Allagash Brewing Company

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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #1
Ranked #5,519
4.13 | pDev: 7.26%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Notes: Dark Ale fermented with brettanomyces and aged on local fresh raspberries.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BubbleBobble
BubbleBobble from New York

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2018 vintage. Pours from the bottle near black with a ruby fringe, brief fizzy that dissipates to the faintest ring of carbonation, no lacing. Nose is very fruit forward with deep, rich raspberries, raspberry jam, sweet balsamic vinegar; lots of brett as well, but the fruit is most prominent. Taste plays out much the same, with tart raspberries and slight funkiness overwhelming at the outset. Only on the finish are there significant malt notes, which are subdued a slightly chalky, though this could be due to the age. Mouthfeel is coating and the carbonation effervescent, and the alcohol is very well hidden. Very enjoyable and drinkable.

Jan 23, 2021
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; cola brown in color; virtually no head - a tan skim cap that receded quickly to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: combination of vinegar, dark fruit, and raspberry;

T: raspberry and vinegar - the balance between the two goes back and forth;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: really nice flavor;

May 08, 2020
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

SPlit with rudzud, July 2018 vintage but literally bought this at the brewery a few weeks ago
Pours a darker foamy bubbly head with lower retention, fair lacing, messy lacing and decent legs, very dark black beer

Nose brings big Brett funk, farmhouse funk and tart slight sourness, fair juicy raspberry, little chocolate raspberry, touch of plastic, clash of roast, funk, and plastic

Taste brings tart fruit up front, a little sour raspberry, a little chocolate and some bitter roast, raspberry jam, light tart funky Brett, light funky Brett farmhouse, some acidity, finishes a bit slimy, little bitter, more funk and sour dark malt clash

Mouth is med bod, a little slimy like feel somehow, light acidity, medium-high carb, little astringent

Overall not that good, raspberry flavor is nice but the sour stout is not, and the funk is meh, this just missed quite a bit

Jan 31, 2020
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros. 2018 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice almost dark black hue with a thin wispy off white ran head that fades to leave light wisps and a thin halo.

S - Aromas of dark chocolate, belgian candy sugars, flashes of raspberry, tart. Light funk, really mostly tart with dark sugars.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with big fruity red raspberries, bright and tart. The chocolate is light and decent, loads of belgian sugars, finish is chalky and a bit astringent.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, very flemmy, little sharp.

O - Overall this was a rather underwhelming beer. Flemmy, too much roast and sugars. The raspberry flavour is the only redeeming quality of this one.

Serving Type: Bottle

Jan 31, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark red, almost appearing black, but up to a light it still has ruby edges. This is topped by a foamy tan head settling to a persistently thick and creamy blanket leaving ridges and a couple of curled arms of lacing.

Taste is toasty seeds and malt, but not roasty, with a tart mild raspberry-cherry presence through a frothy soft body that finishes tingly dry. It's a little wild, herbal and woody with some char, but not too much.

Jul 29, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, somewhat long-lasting head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: A very nice aroma of chocolate, Belgian yeast, berries, coffee, and some caramel.

T: Tasted of a tinge of coffee (very fleeting), a fair amount of Belgian-style yeast (present throughout), a lot of dark chocolate (quite rich), cherries, a hint of caramel, and lots of raspberries. This is a complex, subtle, and likable flavor. It doesn't overpower your palate, but it has a nice forcefulness to it. Tasty stuff.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A thoroughly enjoyable beer. Drinkable.

Jul 13, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a wonderful looking dark brown close to black color capped by a small off white foamy head softly dissipating to leave some concave lace sliding with the sips.
The aroma had an absolutely fantastic blend of sweet and tart red raspberries entering in on some dark chocolate nibs. Subtle milk chocolate on the back end.
The flavor was majestic as it combined all of those prior mentioned aromas together to the sweet to the tart and adding a touch of roast then sour and an even slighter note of bitter. Mild aftertaste of cocoa powder and red raspberry.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt good. Finish seemed to touch down on the dark chocolate /almost cocoa powder-like sort of quality with the sweetness of the red raspberries, somewhat dry.
Overall, wow, what an absolutely amazing sour ale brewed to be a luscious dessert beer. I would love to have this again.

Mar 08, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This has more of a desert wine feel than anything, with vinous like booze, oaked raspberry and faint chocolate malts, sweet, boozy, and slightly tart. Even the look is like dark red wine with brown tinges. Wood tannins and brett are more present in smell than taste, but raspberry rules both. Nice light dessert ale

Feb 07, 2019
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Viaduck from California

4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown body with a nice light tan head. Mild aroma, slightly sour with berries with a hint of chocolate. Not very sour & even less sweetness, mild funk, the rest of the flavor follows it aroma with a touch of alcohol on finish. Good carbonation & feel. I’d prefer a little more berry & sweetness but still excellent.

Feb 02, 2019
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


Bottle (b. 7-26-19) to tulip glass.

Too sour for me, but interesting. Brett and raspberry work well together, but overwhelm this beer. Maybe a thick full bodied sweetwe imperial stout like BCBS or Great Lakes Blackout Stout.

Feb 01, 2019
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Bluecrow from New York

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This dark tap pour has a fine, thin effervescent cap and a fruity, tart aroma. The flavor is berry-rich and somewhat sweet with a sour stout back. The finish is velvety. This is sweeter than my preference and oak might help, but I expect that many would really like this.

Jan 22, 2019
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clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal head and no lace. Aroma is basically tart raspberry. Deliciously sweet and tart at same time, I'm a sucker for razzies, the raspberries come in puckering and tart (almost like vinegar) and you get that taste in the finish. But there is great sweetness as well and great balance. It's easy to drink but go slow.

Jan 18, 2019
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Epsom Circle Mart
Dark brown with a veracious off white head. Lemony tart with bits of raspberry jam on the nose. Light bits of cocoa and caramel. Lactic with just a hint of earthy funk. Pretty tasty beer but its a stretch calling this cake like, there is very little sweetness.

Dec 31, 2018
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid black color. Medium light body with about medium carbonation.
Aroma is raspberries, cherry, lactose/yogurt, some really high end quality milk chocolate that shows up in the background.
Taste is cherry,raspberry, mildly tart and some funk. Like the aroma the milk chocolate shows up in the background.
It's a great beer for dessert but because it isn't too sweet it is good anytime

Dec 31, 2018
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with fine foam around the edge.

Smell is tart with raspberries and cherries hiding a subtle, sweet chocolate note.

Taste is rich and quite tart upfront, wtih plenty of berrries. Behind the fruitiness comes a nice. slightly sweet chocolate vibe along with some coffee. The two then blend together into a real dessert of a beer.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a very complex and interesting beer with a lot of levels.

Dec 16, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a fairly dark brown/black, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like sour raspberry and tart dark fruit, chocolate, leathery brett, red wine, and berries.

Like most wild ales from Allagash, the Brett funkiness is expressed in a complex but subtle way. There's slight leather and lemon, with a big chocolatey character from the malt. The raspberries add a touch of sweetness, but mostly acidity. It does feel like a chocolate-covered raspberry, a bit.

This is light bodied and slightly creamy, with a great level of drinkability.

This is a very fun beer- I'd wish for a bit more chocolate flavor from the malt (or actual chocolate added). Despite that wish, I enjoyed this a lot.

Nov 26, 2018
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mkh012 from Colorado

4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 3 months ago.

Pours surprisingly dark (near-black) with a lasting off-white head.

The nose is milk chocolate, black cherry, raspberry, and a faint metallic character.

The taste follows. Chocolate/malt, subtle tart red fruit, and minor herbal bitterness.

The mouthfeel could be a tad fuller/smoother but is solid.

Overall, pretty good but a bit bitter/dry on the backend.

Nov 03, 2018
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml cork and cage bottle poured into a tulip at 48 degrees F. 7.5%ABV

Pours an impenetrable black with a 3 finger khaki creamy head that takes its time settling down. Some lacing left behind from the head slinking down the glass. Edit: now that I'm nearing the end, you can see that this is a deep brown, with lots of caramel and ruby hues. Much lighter in color than a stout. It appears black in a full glass, but it's quite thin and golden in the light. Collar and lacing has persisted through the entire experience.

Nose is very contradictory from the appearance. Elegant tart raspberries, a little bit of wild funk, a slight sharpness, a slight sweetness, and the tiniest impression of chocolate malts. The raspberry is very evident, and it's truly a beautiful aroma. Edit: Bretty notes of ripe dark fruit and must become more detectable and this warms up a touch.

Palate is deliciously wild. Overripe raspberries, overripe dark fruit, plenty of barn-y, farmy yeasty sour funk, and dusty, wild Brett character that works wonders with the prevalent fermented raspberry flavors. The raspberry is tart and sharp, but still retains the smallest little bit of sweetness that keeps the sour in check. Impressions of oak barrel and vanilla lend a nice, dry woody aspect. There is the slightest little touch of bitter through the finish, thanks to the dark-roasted malts that gives this a touch of dryness, and helps conclude the harmonious melody of flavors. Neither the sour, bitter, nor sweet notes work to this brews detriment. ABV is not detectable whatsoever, and this drinks like a 3.8% sour ale. Everything is perfectly balanced, modest, and enjoyable, and all the elements work together to give this just the right amount of depth, without coming across as unapproachable, or uneven. This is a truly outstanding wild ale.

The feel on the more medium side of light. It is actually pretty crisp. The carbonation is pretty medium. It's definitely effervescent, but it's not sharp or prickly or scratchy, and nowhere near flat. It feels very natural. It's more than enough to keep this light and moving. It's lightly lively.

Overall, this is an outstanding, beautiful creation from Allagash. Truly a wild ale in every aspect, with very unique raspberry and wild yeast character. Sure to please any sour/wild ale lover out there. Approachable price is worth every penny. Do try this if you get the opportunity to.

Oct 14, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate pour yields a 3/4 inch off white (very light tan) head over a very dark (almost black) body with some sticky lacing. Nose of raspberries first and foremost. After it warms a bit, some dark malt comes forward with a little brett funk also. Taste of raspberry and the tiniest bit of bitter chocolate. There is some brett tartness also. Very nice feel and overall, a real nice dark sour ale. Cheers!

Oct 13, 2018
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WildMaverick1200 from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Ganache is quite a pleasant adventure. Black, with an off-white thin head and the typical sweet smell of malt and vanilla you get from many stouts. As you taste it though, you get dark chocolate, hints of oak, followed by a quick and aggressive surprise of moderately sour cherries, raspberry and wine. The consistency is thick and inky, with a long lasting aftertaste. Sour beers tend to be hit or miss, and while this combination seemed really odd at first, it turned out to be extremely tasty and satisfying. In fact, it was quite a refreshing change of direction from all the coffee and vanilla-heavy stouts of these days.

Apr 01, 2017
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Severymusic from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/5/17
Drank 3/3/17

So I suppose the name of the beer is a little misleading. There's no mention of chocolate added or chocolate roasted malts even though it's named after chocolate raspberry cake. As a result there's no chocolate flavor or smell.

That being said, the raspberry taste and smell is fantastic and works well in a dark ale style. It's mildly sour and you can definitely sense the Brett in there. If you're going for a puckering sour beer, this probably isn't the one for you. However it's a plesant raspberry adventure.

The light feel is good, color isn't super important to me.

Feb 25, 2017
Ganache from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 83 ratings