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Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

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419 Reviews
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Allagash Odyssey is a dark wheat beer aged for ten months, a portion in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless tanks. The recipe includes 2-row barley, malted wheat, a generous amount of roasted barley and Belgian candi sugar. This deep brown beer boasts an aroma of black treacle and raisin. The flavor hints at dates, with a mildly roasted finish imparted by aging in both medium and heavy toast American Oak barrels. The finish is dry, punctuated by vanilla.

Added by Todd on 01-30-2005

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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,226
Photo of Greywulfken
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a creamy head that slips down into a collar

S: dark fruits (like raisin) and molasses/toffee

T: wheat, candi sugar, roasted barley; suggestions of dark fruits like dates and raisins; some oak - a very "classy" dry finish with hints of vanilla

M: crisp and toasty - especially for a dark beer - medium body, some sparkle

O: high class beer here - very impressed with Allagash again - this is a very well-balanced, smooth, and complex beer

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Photo of allengarvin
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, poured into a half-liter mug. This beer is a very dark brown, which, when poured, has a huge, thick foamy inch-tall head, solid and lasting... it doesn't even start to settle until at least a minute after the pour, and leaves behind lovely lacing. Very nice aroma, malty with a dry yet sweet raisin backbone.

The taste is a bit difficult to sort out: it's a blend of so many different flavors that fit together in a perfect marriage. There's the huge ripe fruity yeast character, a roasty raisin and plum taste... the malt is subtle, with a cocoa tone, maybe a hint of coffee. Oakiness is likewise blended well, never abrasive. It adds a tannic mouthfeel one associates with a soft red wine like merlot. Bitterness is moderately high but hops don't make a noticible flavor contribution. There's a little bit of tartness in the finish. I can't detect any alcohol, and the body is not heavy at all, in the best Belgian tradition.

Truly, a magnificently crafted beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

February 2005 bottling. 10.4% abv. Pours a deep brown cola color with a half inch of bone white head on top. Small particulate yeast in suspension. Head stays around. Aromas of roasty caramelized malts with notes of brown sugar and dark fruits. Sort of nutty with a big oaky, bourbon nose as well. Barrel aged aroma is vibrant and very nice.

First sip brings a slightly roasted caramel, brown sugar maltiness. Dark fruits move in along with a wonderful oak, bourbon flavor. Spicy yeast tones meld in with a Belgian character. Finishes with a whisper of alcohol and a lingering oaky flavor. Quite outstanding.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good steady carbonation. Not too heavy it is quite a decadent brew. After nearly 2 years this is drinking superb. I only wish I had more bottles around. Another acheivement from Allagash. Seek it out.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one heck of a beer. Not black as night, like a good stout. But dark and black. And no other colors seem to be peaking out. Nice head. Good lacing on my drink. As I poured more later, lacing wasn't so good.

Smell: very complex and pleasant. A lot of bourbon in there. I want to say figs and other darkish fruits in it, but it is hard for me to identify like smells. Very complex.

Taste: bourbon and some belgian esters. You can also tell, besides with your eyeballs, that this is a dark beer. Bourbon tastes become progressively more integrated into the beer as it warms.

Mouthfeel: good at first but becomes smoother as the temp increases.

Drinkable? Yes. Very good for the high alcohol %.

I hope they keep this one around for awhile. Excellent and highly recommended, esp. for bourbon lovers. Bourbon dominates but doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BIG thank you to papollo for this!

A - Very dark brown, and lighter around the edges, kind of cola like. Big full tan head with lots of medium sized bubbles.

S - Very woodsy, and earthy. You can definitely pick up on the oak barrel. There's a tad bit of sweetness, like a caramel or something.

T - Initially there's a nice smoky, oak woodiness to it, followed but a combination of sweetness and alcohol reminiscent of rum.

M - Wonderful feel. It's medium bodied, sits and goes down very smooth!

D - If you don't have someone to share this with, finishing the bottle in a sitting is no problem. You'll definitely start to feel it at the end, but you wont want to stop!

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown, 750 ml bottle, corked & caged. Bottled in February 2005.

Dark & mysterious with ruby coloured highlights. Thin cap of rich beige coloured foam. Fast moving lines of fine carbonation.

Vanilla & nuts fill the nose, along with a very in your face charred oak aroma.

Just a touch of sweetness up front. Lovely flavours of vanilla, smokeyness, oak, dark fruit, & nuts. Dry & rustic. Medium-full bodied, robust, but soft carbonation. I imagine this will become quite interesting after a few years in the cellar.

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Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, woody brown color. Sliky beige head with light lacing.

Nose has bready malts, figs, cherries, caramel, oak, vanilla, faint earthy hops and spicy alcohol.

Taste is equally complex. Sweet, herbal, and fruity with a nice boozy oak and vanilla presence.

Creamy body is well carbonated. Impressive offering from allagash.

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Photo of stimulus
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled July 2009, 10.4% ABV.
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a jet black with ruby red peeking out of the corners and a one finger light beige head.
S: A bit of Belgian funk, dark fruits, and heavy oak on the finish.
T: Big sweet malt with brown sugar in the beginning with nice vanilla, oak, and toffee to follow.
M: Perfect level of carbonation, and lighter bodied than similar high ABV brews, with the wheat base as opposed to a traditional stout base.
D: Wow, brilliant, this tastes like an imperial stout with Belgian funk in the nose but not enough to influence the taste all that much (unlike Belgian style imperial stouts like JP Dark Dawn). The wheat base helps this beer's cause as it makes it lighter and easier to drink.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by JealousChalice @ jerz halloween tasting

Look: Pours a dark brown color with a 1/8 inch head and very little retention

Smell: Lots of dark fruits on the nose especially fig and dates. Some nice caramel and oak follow the dark fruits

Taste: Very complex flavors that I expect from a very good belgian dark ale. Nice notes of tobacco and leather upfront then the dark fruits take over and punch you in the mouth exceptional dark fruit flavors and the beer finishes nicely with some oak and vanilla notes

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Overall: This is simply put a fantastic beer and highly recommended thank you JealousChalice for sharing this amazing beer

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Photo of kels
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours completely and totally opaque very dark chocolate brown, almost black. The short 1 finger foamy, fizzy hazelnut colored head fades to a soft, frothy skim nearly immediately. Not much lacing to speak of, just a trace here and there.

Warm aromas of oak and vanilla couple with a sticky, raisiny presence. A little toffee and burnt marshmallow linger beneath. Really nice and unique nose on this one.

The taste seems to be comprised of layers of flavors. It starts with a sweet dark stickiness of prunes and currants and builds to a roasty coffee and nutty presence. Huge charred oak comes through, especially in the aftertaste, along with some dark cherry, black walnut, and a hint of creamy coconut. The beer is pretty well carbonated, keeping things from getting too heavy. The alcohol is definitely there, but it's more notable in the feel than in the taste. It produces a slowly building warmth that makes for an even more enjoyable experience.

This one drinks waaay too easy. The body helps it go down extremely quickly with deliciously complex flavors that don't promote pauses.

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Photo of avalon07
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick, impenetrable consistency. There was a big, creamy, off-white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing. A fantastic-looking beer.

S: A big smell of malt, toffee, yeast, and a bready quality.

T: Like the smell, the taste was very big. Belgian yeast, malt, toffee, bread, and some phenols grace the presence of this beer. A complex, flavorful blend.

M: Lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: One of most well made and drinkable Belgian Strong Dark Ales I've tried in a while.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Bottled: Jan 08

Poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass a very very nice brown color, very nice carbonation, awesome thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, tons of thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. Then nose is malty, with some yeast, plums, figs, and raisins, very nice notes of Oak. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, with some nice dark fruit tones, and with notes of Oak. Full body, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is an awesome brew, Allagash did a fabulous job with this one, highly recommended. Thanks Joe.

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Photo of stuppy
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick tan head when poured, that moves to a persistent head over the entire glass, dark brown almost black, can't see clarity

Aroma: Dark fruit, dates and raisins, grainy, oak, light vanilla, some spicy aroma, some alcohol (

Flavor: Grainy flavor, some raisin and date notes in middle, oak and medium vanilla, some roasted flavor, low bitterness, no hop flavor, dry finish

Mouthfeel: medium body, medium carbonation, some alcohol warmth

Overall: Great Dark Strong! Seems to have a scent amount of Wheat. Grainy aroma and flavor and the head is persistent, hard to get in a beer over 10%abv. The Barrel adds a nice touch with oak, vanilla and roast? flavors. Very smooth for a beer of this strength. Very young. Wish I had a second to cellar for a year or two.

Bottled January 2014
750ml Bottle

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Photo of geexploitation
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark but quite clear, with surprisingly light amber highlights and a surprisingly tenacious tannish head. Rich aroma of caramel, vanilla spice, some smoky meat notes and light coffee-and-cream. On the palate, rich and perfectly balanced flavors mix with excellent carbonation and smooth barrel-derived tannins. Very creamy in mouthfeel and flavor, along with some slightly sweet nutty, coffee and cream notes and slight twang of acidity. Some alcoholic hotness, but it serves mainly to activate the other flavors and lengthen the finish rather than distracting you. Overall, this is a great beer, and one of the better barrel-aged Belgians I've had. The oak barrel notes aren't too sweet, too forward, or too cloying; instead they just add some great nutty and vanilla-y notes to an already tasty Belgian brew. Excellent beer.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown with slight golden hue at the edges of the beer. Forms a small head about half a finger. The smell is strong with heavy malt and cereal notes on the beginning of the nose, also some wet dog. The oak is strong on the nose as well with some leather and tar on the nose as well. Coffee on the nose as well and some dark chocolate. The taste is very interesting, toasted barley, malt, some caramel and vanilla from the oak I'm assuming. The mouthfeel is amazing, full bodied with a lot of texture it really opens up on the palate, the kind of beer you could almost chew. It is really well made.

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Photo of Pencible
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sept 2008; drunk Apr 2009. This poured a hazy mahogany with some light tan head. It smelled like roasted barley and oak with some sweet caramel and bready yeast, along with some coffee and cream, and a hint of aged cheddar. It tasted like rich roasted barley and creamy yeast and oak, with some molasses and coffee. Surprisingly malty without as much hops or wild Belgian yeast. It was watery with some smooth carbonation, and had a mild bitter aftertaste. Overall this was an excellent beer. It was delicate but robust, and was very smooth and easy to drink. It was a bit hot, but the alcohol wasn't too strong. It would probably age very well. All in all I had no complaints about this beer, other than I wish it wasn't quite as expensive. But it's worth it, even if just to try once. Every sip was rewarding. Solid brew.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours root beer brown and sits black in my glass. Soft beige head simmers to a crescent moon skim. One particularly thick, pompous lace ring up top like a stately crown. Bottled 2/11.

Aroma: a list of awesomeness - sugary, creamy coffee ice cream, pralines, espresso, molasses, cacao nibs, chewing tobacco and a meandering wheaty funk.

Taste: a list of awesomeness - Vanilla molasses cookies, pralines, rich, mildly roasty coffee, dark wheat bread. Snappy carbonation at first but a luxurious, plush mouthfeel as it warms.

Ridiculously complex. One of those transcendent beer experiences where you remember where you were and what you were doing and who you were with (tapering, seven days out from the Boston marathon watching the Sox game with Amber if you must know). Good stuff.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from my wife for my birthday. A September 2008 bottle that I've been dying to get into. Pours a deep amber, almost maroon color with deep red highlights. Smallish head that dissolves quickly. Nose is enormous dried fruit, maybe prunes in particular. Oak presence. Chocolate and caramel malt. Some alcohol hints. Flavor is similar, even bigger. Huge fruit, chocolate. Raisins and prunes again, and stronger oak than before. Some dirtier roasted malt in there too. Really an absolutely delicious beer. Body is fine and carbonation is fairly mild, smooth, good for the style. Overall, a delicious beer that I would have frequently were it not for the price.

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Photo of gford217
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

January 2008 bottling, poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown with hints of copper showing when held up to light. There is a small creamy tan head that recedes to a small collar and swirl in the middle.

The aroma is sweet with dark chocolate, molasses and dark fruit - raisins, plums and even some grapes. There is also a noticeable dark roasted malt character and some wood and bourbon.

The taste is spectacular and unbelievably complex. There is a base of roasted chocolate malts with molasses and dark fruits mixed in. The finish is chocolaty but with a definite bourbon and oak presence. The flavors just keep coming as it warms - figs, raisins, rum, tobacco, licorice, you name it.

The mouthfeel is very, very smooth, full bodied with good carbonation. Dessert-like overall.

I had this beer about a year ago and remembered it being good, but, wow, this is an excellent beer, probably my favorite from Allagash. It has so many things going on but they all seem to merge together perfectly. Superb beer.

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Photo of soultrain19
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my tulip glass. Very,very dark with just a faint red glow when held up to the light. It had a limited head that quickly wisped away. The wonderfully complex aroma was full of beautiful malt characteristics and fruit. And the taste. Oh my! The taste is divine. Plum and raisin and chocolate and just an amazing collection of sweet and earthy flavors with the oak just sort of mellowing or melding the flavors together. For such a big beer the alcohol was not discernible and the mouthfeel was remarkably smooth and creamy. I wasn't sure what to excpect, but I know what I got. An absolutely fantastic beer that my only regret is that I had but just the one. Now I begin my search to acquire more.

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Photo of jsapunor
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been looking forward to trying this Allahash offering for over a year now and thanks to West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, I was able to obtain a bottle.

This is the July 2009 bottling. It pours a very nice dark color into the Allagash tulip with about two fingers of ecru head.

The aroma is intriguing. Dark fruits like figs and raisins with tobacco, cloves, bourbon and oak mixed in.

I love big beers that bludgeon you with whatever flavor they have chosen to feature like Stone Ruination or Allagash Curieux. Odyssey is not one of these, All of the flavors in the nose are present in the taste and they engage in a subtle interplay which is delightful. I was expecting something strong like Curieux but this is nothing like that. All of these flavors dance around in balance showing off the fabulous complexity of this beer. The nice alcohol note at the finish is to be expected given the 10.4 ABV but it, like everything else, is muted and melds well with the rest.

A nice soft warming mouthfeel rounds out the experience.

Some of the best beers in the world are marvels of balance, Westmalle Tripel and Chimay Blue come to mind. Odyssey belongs with them in the pantheon of world class beers.

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Photo of cptierney
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750ml brown bottle with a bottled date of July 2009, poured into a Chimay chalice.

The beer pours an impressive deep mahogany. There is a troubling lack of carbonation to the beer, but not enough to raise too much of an alarm as the white bubbles are present but quickly recede. The lacing is minimal as I drink.

Oh, that glorious smell. Chimay, eat your heart out. Along with a parade of dark fruits, this guy has that sweet candied sugar smell that screams BSA and on top of that has this amazing layer of deep woodiness.

The lack of carbonation on the appearance of the beer doesn't show up in the mouthfeel. I don't like my BSDA's to be overly biting and this one fits the bill. The carb is creamy and supportive and the beer is easily gulped down.

The taste is robust and complex. There is a natural caramel-like sweetness that makes the palate instantly recognize the Belgian influence, along with that delicious bready maltiness. Dark fruits are also present with the biggest contributor being a hint of a date. The oak is just suggestive and not too overpowering, providing a delicious earthy backdrop for the sweeter malts to come to the fore. Spicing is excellent with some definite hints of cinnamon and clove and ultimately making this deep beer even more complex. The bittering is minimal, this beer is all about the barley and yeast- simply glorious!!!!

For 10% this guy is deadly. The sweet isn't overwhelming and the viscous mouthfeel makes for a quickly disappearing drink. Hats off to Allagash for making a tremendous and affordable beer. One of my favorites!

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Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

large bottle, caged and corked, dated, numbered, the works. Simply stated this has got to be one of the best brews on the planet. Large, flavorful, strong, complex. Tons of wood, figs, raisins, rum.Words cannot do justice to this flavorful tipple. Get a few bottles, put em away for about 5 years and enjoy, or crack em open tonight and savor this nectar. One of the best brews I've ever had the priviledge of drinking.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one at a great bottle shop in Durham, NC, and have been looking forward to giving it a try. Popped it open while watching the Cardinals win the World Series!

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bordeaux glass.

Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, a twangy, wild, oaken barrel note, and then some nice, Belgian spiciness comes through after the bottle's been open and the beer has warmed in the glass for a while.

Appearance: Dense, light tan, two-finger head has excellent retention. Body is a dark ruby-brown. Thick, foamy lacing clings to the inside of the glass.

Flavor: Mmmm. Mildly-sweet malt comes through as rich caramel and vanilla. A little bit of oaky funk--doesn't come through in a tart way, though. Bitterness is just enough to prevent the malt from being cloying. The oak definitely plays a supporting role in the flavor of this one, which is fine. Fantastic flavor!

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation lends itself to the foamy head and a lively brew overall. Medium, chewy body.

Overall: An extremely drinkable BSDA-- one of the very best I've every had. I've only ever had one other brew from Allagash, but from these two, I can tell that this is one heck of a brewery. Unfortunately, it's not distributed in Indiana, but I'm going to take advantage of any opportunity I get to try their other brews. I highly recommend this one!

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Photo of Kakaraht
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A Deep red mahogany in color with two fingers of off white head that last most of the drink.

S: Grainy, with caramel and bread essence. There is a sour yeastiness and a big dose of heavy dried fruits reminding me of raisins. There is a slightly alcoholic aroma as well.

T: Sweet on the tongue with a deep caramel and chocolate flavor. There is a definite flavor of dried fruits and liquorish. The sour oak also gives of a vanilla and lightly spiced character. I cant for the life of me taste too much alcohol.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation and extremely smooth and rich.

D: Oh sooo drinkable I wish I had a hundred of em.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,226 ratings.
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