Black | Allagash Brewing Company

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2,737 Ratings

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Allagash Black is a Belgian style stout brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candi sugar. The silky mouth feel is a great balance to the roasted character, coffee and dark chocolate notes expressed throughout this beer.

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Ratings: 2,737 |  Reviews: 742
Reviews by wizo:
Photo of wizo
4/5  rDev -1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty typical easy drinking stout. Pleasant aromas and flavors of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee all brought together by the Belgian yeasts to make an extremely enjoyable Belgian stout.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown-black with a cream head. Smells of belgian yeast and roasted malts. Tastes dark and roasty, yet sweet and lively. The belgian style uplifts the stout flavor and manages the deep roasted malts well. It goes down easy with light carbonation and medium body. Overall a nice refreshing take on a dark beer/stout style. Well balanced.

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Photo of corey0212
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown, borderline-black with dark ruby highlights, big foamy tan head hanging around for a loooong time, lots of lacing on the glass. Some dark fruit aroma, yeasty, some burnt coffee and smokiness. Lots of initial spice in the taste, mild coffee, some bittersweet chocolate. Medium-bodied, really creamy, light carbonation, some gentle lingering spice and bitterness. This is tasty, I'm sure it would pair well with lots of dishes, and I'd definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a very deep brown in color with just a bit of red tinge to it. A small and dense, frothy head forms and hangs around a bit in the form of thin layer. Body of the beer is just a bit lighter than most big stouts.

S- Dark, dry malts up front are quickly overtaken by chocolate. The chocolate is prominent and dominant, making this one smell mostly like an unsweetened, iced hot chocolate.

T- The taste follows the smell of the beer very closely. Dry and almost burnt tasting roasted malts start the drink and then the chocolate comes in. The chocolate is dry and only semi-sweet, very close to a baker's chocolate flavor. Towards the very end of the drink, the chocolate turns from a baker's chocolate more towards a dry cocoa powder flavor. A slight bitterness ramps up at the end of the drink and lingers on the tongue afterwards.

M- Not quite as thick and smooth as most stouts, and a little more carbonated, this one drinks a little oddly for the style. It is much easy to drink that most stouts and doesn't sit too heavy in the stomach.

Overall, this is a great, dry stout, especially if you are a fan of chocolate. Brewing this one is the Belgian style really gives it a uniqueness and depth that other, drier stouts usually don't have.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This “Belgian style” stout pours a black color like all stouts, but maybe not quite as pitch black as most. There is a slight ruby tint in the right light. It has a fairly small white foamy head. The smell is a little sweet, chocolatey, with some alcohol flavor that suggests more than 7.5%. The taste is definitely not totally standard for a stout, so I guess there may be something to the “Belgian style” label, although I have never heard of a Belgian stout before. There are some standard flavors with some nice roasted grain, espresso, and dark chocolate tones, but it also has some traditional Belgian flavors like an obviously Belgian yeast and some light spicy notes that come through in the aftertaste and mingle with a mild alcohol flavor. The finish is semi-dry. The body is heavy like any stout, but it is maybe slightly lighter than most, which I would normally resent, but it somehow works with this. I am a big fan of the Belgian IPA style and in that same vein I also find this to be an intriguing combination. It’s maybe not quite a top stout in my book, but it’s very interesting and quite good like most beers from this brewery. Definitely worth trying.

 1,184 characters

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap Friday at night at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro.Poured into a small goblet a deep but not entirely opaque black, a bit of ruby did show thru with a thinner light mocha colored head.Aromas were not as bold as expected,I picked up some roasted malt and brown sugar,the chocolate was very faint.Flavors were great with some good complexity,starting out with some brown sugar and bitter chocolate melding into a roasted and smoky finish,I really liked the smoke element it went well with the light sweetness of the beer.To me very stout-like on the palate,a very nice brew.

 579 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This poured a darkish brown in color with a relatively mild head considering the style.

Smell - The nose is dominated by a stiff aroma of coffee grounds and maybe a hint of dark chocolate. I can get a little table sugar but no yeast or malty character whatsoever. I like the smell but it lacked complexity.

Taste - I get much more of the malts at the taste. Again the raw coffee grounds are powerful and there is still that hint of chocolate. Otherwise, the biggest deviation from the smell is the plentiful sugars. I've got all kind of sugars going on at the taste that I didn't catch at the nose even as the ale warmed to room temperature.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with a classic carbonation worthy of the BSDA style. The carbs are very tight and tickle the cheeks and there just is enough dry malty bitterness at the finish to command respect.

Drinkability - I enjoyed Allagash's effort at the style. It reminded me so much of their Dubbel Reserve which lacked in complexity as well but more than made up for it with the wonderful chocolate notes and first class carbonation. This one focused a bit less on the chocolate and more on the coffee but delivered the same one-two punch. Nicely done, Allagash.

 1,241 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ExtraStout
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a pint glass with a very thin brown head. Aroma was smoky and sweet; roasted nuts also present. Batch #27.

This beer had all the makings of an Imperial Stout with just a subtle hint of Belgian spices. Big smoky, chocolate flavor up front, with roasted nuts and spices following. Very minimal hop presence, but it didn't detract from the experience. SLight dark fruit flavor as well. Mouthfeel was a touch on the thin side. Overall I really enjoyed this one. Not quite Belgian, not quite RIS, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of cdog3
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured black almost opaque but not cloudy at all with a tan head. The aroma was a beautiful roasty and chocolate with slight hints of coffee. The flavor has the same roast as in the flavor with out a lot of complexity. It was chocolaty but the mouthfeel was a little thin and spritzy. Maybe a little more oats in the malt bill would have improved the beers creaminess and helped to round out the flavor profile. Overall very drinkable, but the top Belgian stout that I have ever had.

 488 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A very dark brown with a garnet hue and good clarity. The persistent head is made of creamy dark-tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is dark fruit and moderately-light notes of the fruit and spice of Belgian yeast. It has a moderate dark fruit aromas of prunes and some plums. There are some moderately-light dark malt aromas of chocolate and coffee. The light alcohol aroma is soft and floral. There is a slight earthiness that might be the hops.

T: Smooth with the chocolate, coffee and malt sweetness dominating. A moderate dark dried fruit flavor with the yeast lending a bit of orange and light pepper notes. There is a light hops bitterness and little hops flavor. The balance is moderately towards the sweet with a medium-sweet finish. The aftertaste has flavors of dark roasted grains like chocolate, dark fruit and a light alcohol sweetness. There are slight molasses flavor that I catch here and there.

M: medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a light alcohol warmth.

O: A rich and somewhat sweet Belgian with enough dark roasted grains to be a bit more stout than dark strong. There is a ton of flavor going on here. I really enjoyed this years ago and haven't found any for a while, since that time I've grown more partial to drier beers but still a great beer in it's own right. I'd still try this if I find it on tap but I won't be going out of my way for a bottle.

 1,445 characters

Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with faint coffee. Not as aromatic as I would think it would be, but maybe I'm a little stuffy. Tan head that clears quickly, but leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Watery taste up front, almost like a tap water taste. It gets better as it gets to the middle and back palette. Coffee with roasted malt. Kind of disappointing, for something in the 95th percentile I expected good flavor and mouthfeel across the whole palette. This didn't deliver, but I will probably revisit it to be sure.

 509 characters

Photo of woodchipper
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a glass that resembled a heavy weighted pilsner glass.

The color was near black with a clear ruby tint when held to the light. There was just about a finger's width of light brown foam head that hung around for most of the glass and left some light brown lacing down the side of the glass.

I had a hard time getting much aroma off from this. What I did get was some very mild chocolate and touch of alcohol - both incredibly faint.

Incredibly rich and complex malts engulf the tongue in a display of more balance than expected. There isn't much in the way of hops but there are some bittering elements from some of the malts that seem to balance the sweetness of some of the other malts. This reminded me of a great stout with strong chocolate and coffee flavors with the addition of one noticeable difference - that flavor of Belgian candy sugar and dark fruit. It's subtle, but it's there and it works great! The finish is slow and chocolaty with some more of that dark fruit flavor but has an extended linger of coffee.

Rich. Bold. Chewy. Refined. This is a great brew and I very much enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

 1,136 characters

Photo of sdsimkins
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

What's that saying? Once you go Belgian you never go back. Or was it black? What the hell, let's hit two birds with one bottle. Big, bubbly tan froth with excellent head retention and lacing on the glass. A shade or two away from pitch black. The aroma ranges from charcoal to dried black currants, from earthy yeast to a mild herbal phenol. A complex nose for sure. Bold crispness and very smooth with a slick medium body. Maltiness is semidry and extremely complex; the silky sweetness from the oats and the graininess meld well with a mild charcoal flavor. Layers of light vanilla, faint anise and cocoa powder come to mind. More charred flavor hits the palate with dark baker's chocolate and espresso. Modest hopping and a warming alcohol help to balance and add their own complex layers. Sort of a semidry mocha finish.

A top pick for the style, and with each sip Black is turning into our current favorite from Allagash.

 976 characters

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle pours into my glass black with deep brown edges and a half inch of bubbly light tan head. Good retention. Aromas of roasted grains with cocoa powder. Slightly smoky with a big yeast profile. Undercurrent of clove and a light banana even. Quite nice aroma.

First sip brings a smooth lightly toasted grain malt upfront along with cocoa powder accents. Dark candi sugar notes meet with a tasty, somewhat earthly yeast flavor. Light clove and banana flavors mix in. It flows down with some nice bitterness. The oats in here really bring in a silkiness to the brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and lighter with good bubbly carbonation. Goes down easy as it is not too heavy. This 750 is a treat and another good brew from Allagash. Check this one out while you can as it is a tasty example of a Belgian style stout.

 817 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle purchased for $11.99 at Carl's Meat Market in Kittery. Enjoyed it quite a lot, and was happy to hear it will be a year-round beer. Poured into a goblet, it was a very dark brown, almost black, with a medium-sized mocha head. It had a sweet, chocolate aroma, with a little bit of fruitiness. Great taste, milk chocolate, coffee, yeasty. At the end there was a hint of licorice. Not a heavy beer, very drinkable.

 425 characters

Photo of freshflesh
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

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

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Black from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 2,737 ratings