Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
418 Reviews
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
418
Ratings:
1,224
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
9.18%
 
 
Wants:
328
Gots:
248
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 418 | Ratings: 1,224
Photo of Arbitrator
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Sent by a generous benefactor who will remain nameless for now...

February 2011 bottling.

A: Pours a dark maroon body, opaque in the center but with a small edge translucence. A 1.5" tan head is formed upon pouring; it falls into a thin cap on top of the beer. It leave some curtains during sips.

S: Figs, raisins, cloves, and a mild aroma of oak. It's not all that pungent, and even with swirling I can't raise much complexity out of the beer. Not at all bad, but it could use some work.

T: Oak is unmistakable on this one; it has a drying effect that closes the taste out nicely. And yet, it's not dominant or overpowering. The beer uses it to great effect. The main taste delivers flavors of figs, raisins, cloves, pepper, and soft vanilla. It is remarkably balanced for its complexity. While it delivers a smorgasbord of sweet components, it doesn't come off as a cloying mixture; the simpler sugars have fermented out, and the remaining ones are counterbalanced by oak to lower the perceived sweetness. I don't like the dominance of the phenolic flavors, but that's just a personal preference.

M: It's on the dry side for the style, but that is emphasized by the light astringency of the oak, and the spices in the finish. And yes, being dry is a good thing in my eyes (or mouth, whatever). Medium-bodied, with soft, velvety carbonation.

O: It's quite good. I find the spices played up too much for my liking, but its dryness is appealing, and the superb use of oak makes it stand out from other examples of the style. Hopefully they'll play around with the recipe some more to make it better (or what I consider better).

 1,667 characters

Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle witha bottling date of October 2006. Pours a deep mahagony brown with a 2 finger head and very nice lace. Hard to get a decent aroma - I'm brewing right now so I will give it a average. Fruity, earthy, a bit smokey and roasty. Ok hop bitterness cosidering the style. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Smooth and very drinkable. I'm glad I aged this for a year. Nice beer.

 395 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color, almost into stout territory. The head is a finger high, with a mocha shade. It's superbly creamy-looking, and has excellent retention. A creamy ring of lacing sticks to the glass. Very aesthetically pleasing.

S: Very much like a Belgian stout, in a manner of speaking. I'm getting goodly amounts of chocolate, brown sugar, toast, and smoke. Subtle hints of dark fruits lie beneath those primary notes. I'm also getting the oak barrel in a subtle expression - very soft hints of toasted coconut and vanilla can be found. I was disappointed at the lack of Belgian presence at first, but it develops a nice tone of biscuit after a while. It hits all of the right notes quite well.

T: A nice initial flavor of chocolate and brown sugar open it up. Then it transitions into coffee, and it finishes off with some Belgian yeast characteristics - biscuit, black pepper, and white grapes. Oak is gentle throughout. I think it could stand to be brighter: all of the sweet chocolate and brown sugar notes are very rich, almost to a fault. Having said that, this drinks like pure luxury.

M: Holy fork, this is one creamy-feeling beer. Easily, this is the most velvety soft Belgian-style beer I've ever had. The extremely fine carbonation is part of the reason why. Creamy, rich...and despite the dry finish, not spectacularly drinkable. The alcohol is hidden superbly, however.

O: Everything apart from the taste is excellent, and even the latter is still pretty good. Maybe it's just personal tastes - this is superbly crafted, but not to my BSDA preferences. This is an excellent dessert beer, however (definitely worth snagging another to age a year or two).

 1,720 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in January 2014:
Pours a deep auburn brown, clarity visible at edges. Head is small bubbles, off white, and sustaining (light lacing). Initial pour rise to a couple fingers, but leveled off at about 1/2 cm. Nose has syrupy sugar to molasses as described. Some raisin bread provides the non-sugar notes. Only a light hint of alcohol.

Taste is subdued from the wood the pervades the sip. Taste is cola, indistinct dark fruit, and a bite of the wood at the end. The flavors come across more as the beer warms, including molasses and root beer. The carbonation from the feel is also biting, very effervescent. The wood adds a dry feel to the end of the taste.

Would like a little more strength of flavor from this beer. The flavors seemed ok to maybe even a little weak, but I think the carbonation detracted from the flavor in an unfortunate way.

 863 characters

Photo of NuclearRich
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2011 bottle poured into a snifter style glass.

A. A deep dark abyss with a medium sized head of an almost opposite color of light tan. The head fades rather quickly into a thin cap and has minimal lacing.
S. Dark fruit, vanilla notes surrounding a slightly boozy belgian ester background.
T&M. A big carbonated bite cascades over the tongue, smoothing into a robust thick and roasty character. Actually reminds me of a porter. Robust, roasty, thick, a slight bitterness and a hint of dark fruit.
O. Pretty good stuff. The oak isn't as strong as I thought it would be, but personally I think that's good. I would be happy to have it again.

 643 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cola brown color with a thick full head.

Had a light sweet molasses smell with dark belgian candi sugar and a light bit of yeast.

Sweet dark fruits dominate with a clean oaky malt finish. Touches of Sweet dark sugar, cherries, and raisons flavors come through nicely.

Mouthfeel is full with lots of carbonation and a bit of an oily clinging finish.

A nice Belgian dark, but nothing to special, the barrel ageing is only mildly noticeable.

 456 characters

Photo of ewright
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Tyler's in Durham about a month ago. I just found my notes tonight.

A: Poured dark brown, with just a slight amount of light showing through. As with most Tyler's pours, there is minimal head in the glass.

S: There's a slight oak aroma evident from the barrel aging process. Other than that, there's not much there other than a bit of wheat sourness.

T: The oak aging shows up in the flavor as well and is sadly the most prominent flavor. The wheat provides a sour twang as well, but I'm not picking out too many other flavors. That's not to say I don't like it, but it's a bit of a muddled mess of flavors.

M: Medium body and carbonation with a bit of alcoholic bite late. There's a slight astringency in the aftertaste as well.

D: This one goes down easy for 10%, but I've had it once and don't think it's worth the exorbitant price Allagash wants for it.

 883 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled January 2010. A relatively young beer and bought on sale.

A: Pours out with a massive mocha colored puff of tightly packed foam. The beer itself is a deep cherry red, almost purple

S: A quick swirl of the glass gives off a hot breath of alcohol that gives the hairs on the inside a tickle (sorry to be so graphic). I think I want to see what letting this beer warm would do but I am initially getting the oaky, vanilla sweetness, nutmeg and light cinnamon and cocoa powder.

T/MF: Barrel character is apparent on the first sip, smooth and silky with the same sweet notes of vanilla and subtle herbal spiciness. For a beer of this size it is incredibly subtle will the wonderfully soft barrel character coming in and mixing with the previously mentioned herbal/light spicy characteristics. I want to say there is a slight peaty character to this beer (am I using that word too much?) and I want to say even slightly salty/meaty/chocolatly, a flavor that (for me at least is almost impossible to describe).

D: A different beer but a bit young I think. This salty/meaty thing though not as prevalent as this review might indicate, is just enough of a distraction to make this beer less enjoyable than it should considering how amazingly smooth this beer is. I would like to pick up this beer again and lay it down for a couple of years and see what some age might do for this beer.

 1,391 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured with a light, deep-brown head. The beer itself was a deep brown color and the nose gave off an unmistakable smell of bouron whiskey as imparted by its aging in used barrels. The mouthfeel is thin, light, and unobtrusive, whch was somewhat surprising. Both the taste on the tongue and the finish are awash with a bourbon-sweetness, sort of like coconut. I'd like to have Lew Bryson weigh in with his thoughts on this one.

 432 characters

Photo of egajdzis
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cherry amber color with a small, light tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of dried fruits, cherries, toasted oak, caramel and alcohol. Taste of vanilla, caramel, earthy yeast, toasted oak, tart cherries and alcohol. This was very nice.

 261 characters

Photo of vandemonian
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Odessey is malty, smoky, dark, good. I didn't find it especially complex, but it was quite nice.

A: Clear dark brown colour and a great 1 cm head. 4.5

S: Malty, umami and a little smoke. 4

T: Malty with hints of smoke and meat. A little oak in the finish. 3.5

M: foamy. 4.5

O: 4

 299 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 bottled dec 2011 into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark ruby brown with a two finger khaki head.... Nice retention and nice lacing.

S: dark fruit, plums, raisins, toasty grains, chocolate, a bit of yeast... Light coffee aroma, overall the aroma is very well balanced.

T: toasty grains, chocolate, a touch of coffee, the dark wheat becomes apparent in the flavor.... A bit of underlying dark fruit, a very well balanced flavor

M: medium body with low carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol is very well hidden and this brew ha a nice drink ability.

O: a solid brew.... Especially of one I didn't think I would like to much.... I typically don't really enjoy wheat beers or Belgians.... But this one was so nicley rounded and well done it was impossible not to enjoy.

 794 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgundy color. Coconut and cork aromas, with hints of vanilla, bourbon and fruit. Not much aromas from the actual original brew, but the barrel contribution is vibrant. Flavor is very vinous, with hints of raisins and grapes, chocolate and perhaps a hint of amarone. Hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Pretty rich, with a nice body to boot.

 349 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

on tap at Duckworths (NC)

Pour is a bit light for the style; but then I see this is partly a dark wheat beer. The clear dark brown/amber body is covered by a bone head that has great retention

Mouthfeel: near medium body with well-chose, soft carbonation. Very smooth.

Taste and Aroma: Wheaty, with plenty of alcohol esters and Belgian yeast. Also rather sweet up front. with hints of caramel and brown sugar, but ends mildly bitter.

O: Low on dark fruit for style, this Belgian ale was disappointing but should appeal more to folks who like wild yeast and wheat in their beers more than I do.

 601 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 8-2-10
Bottled in September 2008

Pours a very deep red color, almost purple, with no head, no matter how hard I pour. Very mean looking, slick and boozy.

Smell is strong fermented grape, very red wine, with malt coming in next. Lighter notes of apricot and more grape give way to caramel and burnt sugar. Extremely complex, and very nicely aged.

Taste is very tart and fruity at first, very acidic with an apple cider edge. The malt shows up very deep and smoky, with a bitter coffee character I didn't expect. A little thin, and and not as complex as the smell. The finish is buttery and sweet, becoming dry and slightly boozy in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very thin, and the carbonation is on the low side. I can only think that age had something to do with it, but the cork had a decent "pop".

Drinkability is not bad, the flavors are enjoyable but the mouthfeel really brings things down.

Overall, it was an expensive bottle, and a little disappointing, but I'm glad I tried it.

 1,001 characters

Photo of RescueKitty
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber and served in a tulip glass. Poured very dark mahogany with a thick off-white head. Glowed a dark ruby red when held up to the light. Smelled of sweet dates and dark figs. The first sip was a surprise. Tasted of coffee with hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit with slight wood notes. Creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol was well hidden. I expected this to be much sweeter than it was. Though tasting of soft fruits, it had a nice dry finish. An impressive and complicated beer.

 495 characters

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled dated September 2008. Tasted November 2010. Poured into a tulip.

Look: dark, kind of reddish brown tending towards brown. Dark red highlights. There's almost no visible carbonation and no head except a thin circle of bubbles lining the side of the glass. There's also not much in the way of lacing, which is fine because of the alcohol content.

Smell: a little oaky bourbon alcohol aroma, some dark fruit, brown malt, some vanilla also. The smell is a little more subtle than I would have thought it would be but it still smells good.

Taste: mild bourbon taste, a little toasted malt, some vanilla, molasses, grapes, and some dark fruit like fig. The alcohol is apparent and there's some heat in the finish.

Feel: fairly dry, a little thicker than medium bodied, almost no carbonation and kind of a sticky mouthfeel.

Drink: definitely a sipper. The bourbon flavors, for me at least, mean that this is hard to drink for a 10.5% beer.

Overall, this was a decent beer but I don't think it was a great beer. Maybe the age didn't do this bottle well. I liked it but I don't know if I'll go back. There's enough here that I want to try other beers by Allagash. I would recommend picking it up if you're a fan of Belgian Dark Strong Ales and bourbon barrel beers, otherwise I might recommend going elsewhere. Cheers.

 1,327 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Busted out a bottle at UJ's in Glenside, pours a ruddy dark brown pour with a standard khaki head cap.

Scents and flavors meet. Muted oak barrel and whiskey that the guy next to me argued about. Some sure bourbon oak barrel but not as bright as Curieux. A solid belgian that contains a barrel oak wood note.

Aftertaste is a slight linger of oak and wood. Worth trying, but I'd say not worth going crazy for.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 446 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Brick House Pub. The beer is dark brown colored with a light tan head that laces in transient wet streams. The aroma is really complex, it seems they crammed everything possible into this beer. The strongest note is chocolate, with lots of berries and fruit, some sweet malty aspects too. The beer tastes way strong, sweet and estery, maybe some real fruit was steeped in here, plums or figs or something similar, a little roasted malt, and some burning alcohol holds it all together. This is too big to be anything but a sipper, but it's a really good one.

 575 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky brown with a vast off tan head. The aroma is fruity, apple, pineapple, with a phenolic edge as it warms. Flavor is dark and grainy, wheat and oats, with spiced pear, apricot, roasted apple. The cereal character is huge. The finish is mellow and smooth. Good but strange.

 282 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, good lace.

S: Definite medicinal alcohol, phenol, dark fruit.

T: Prune and date syrup are evident with a bit of molasses and oak. Some phenol is still there, but not as big as in the smell which makes the drink more satisfying in the end.

M: Rather full-bodied, creamy, some ethanol notes.

D: Good, but not as good as I expected, but another solid brew from Allagash and one I's certainly have again.

 474 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky reddish brown in color with minimal fluff of head but leaves good lacing. Scent is of sweet malts, touches or fresh grain, earth, oak, light spice and floral hops. Taste is a rather undewhelming blend of dark crsty bread, sweet malts, very mild spicing - failry weak tasting. Lighter side of Medium body but somewhat watery. Just doesnt do much for me, mild without being complex, lacks assertiveness and a good oak quality from he aging.

Update: Not sure if it is my palate, or the beer itself, but I tried again and enjoyed it much more.

 555 characters

Photo of Neecee513
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark amber/brown. Moderate head and retention. Somewhat cloudy.

S: Raisins or rich fruits.

T: Tart fruits on finish.

M: Moderate carbonation, dry finish, somewhat full and warm body.

O: Enjoyable, certainly lives up to expectations.

 271 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Allagash brewery in Maine, earlier this year. I’ve heard some nice comments, so I am pleased to drink this while watching some pre-season Pats football. Feb ‘ 11 batch
Pours with a fluffy light tan head that rises to about 3 fingers and fades rather quickly. The beer is dark with a burgundy/ruby tint when held to the light some very light lacing.
Aroma has a lot going on. Dark fruits, spice and cocoa powder dominate.
Cocoa powder is again the first thing that comes to mind in the flavor. Some prunes, vanilla. Nice malt flavors mix with the cocoa notes. Oak just below the surface but well rounded. Not the raw oak notes that sometimes accompany an oak barrel beer. Some star anise and clove in the finish.
Interesting dry fluffy carbonation. Pillowy in your mouth.
A very good beer, but not quite the giant that I had hoped for. I kept waiting for it to open up even more as it warmed and it never really became epic. Very good…just not great.

 977 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bruery Provisions

Poured into snifter

Vintage: I'm assuming 2011

Aroma: Unexpected roast with hints of dark fruits

Medium body and creamy. Taste bitter espresso notes. The heat's there, but faint. Almost doubting it's a belgian dark; its much like a stout in many aspects. Very drinkable.

Now in the 2nd half (warmed up a bit) and the heat's showing more. Picking up the earthy wood from the oak. Getting some sugary sweetness at the tip of the tongue. Catching hints of cherries.

Overall, a nice diferent take on a Belgian dark. I totally wasn't expecting to taste something like this.

 602 characters

Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe