Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

722 Reviews
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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.

Added by Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007

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Reviews: 722 | Ratings: 2,639
Photo of jrallen34
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this batch 8 from the 22oz bomber into a Rochefort chalice.

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black, but in the light you can tell its brown. The closest brown I've seen to black. The head is a medium creamy tan that has about 2 finger of head. It falls in about 2 minutes to a light coating on the surface of the beer. There are streaks of head hanging to the glass, very good lacing.

The aroma is very your really get some nice roasted malts, and a hint of toast. caramel and light hops.

The taste is right on the aroma very malty at first with sweetness then a nice light roasted coffee to finish. A surprising smooth drink but yet full and clinging on the palate.

This beer is easy to drink, I could put away quite a few with ease.

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Photo of dannydetox
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thick looking, dark brown ale with a minimal tan head; light does not penetrate through this brew and i can't see the carbonation in the glass. belgian yeasts, dark cacao, maybe a touch of cola on the nose. palate brings bitter, dark chocolate, a little raisinette, roasted malt, and more chocolate on the finish. doesn't have any sticky or syrupy sweetness to it. definitely in the stout style, though done with ingredients that could be used for a belgian strong dark.

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Photo of Act25
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this brewery: 2 for 2.

Poured into a stemless wine glass after dinner, want to nurse this beer like sherry.

Appearance: Pours a blackish dark brown with a tan head that falls quickly for a Belgian, laces dots and arcs all the way down. Reforms films with a swirl, good looking.

Smell: I get modest chocolate, dark fruit, and peat. A bit of hay, barnyard. Laid back for a Belgian.

Taste: While starting sweet, finished nice and dry. Begins with classic stout, w serious chocolate dark fruit as well, then becomes smokey and Licorice by mid, and adds caramel, malt, and peat toward the end. a coffee lovers brew!

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, definitely weighty creamy, with medium, pin point carbonation. Great tingle, great finish. Doesnt end sweet. (How do they do that?)

Drinkability: highly recommended and enjoyable, original, one of the best stouts. Must try. Meditation beer. 7.5% sipper.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL brown glass cork and cage bottle. Batch #17.

Appearance: Pitch black with creamy cream-colored head that stands up and won't quit.

Nose: Cafe au lait aromas, sugar in the raw, some fennel notes, sage, really complex.

Palate: Medium-bodied and really herbal and dry. Dry export style stout with some creamy carbonation. Dry and spicy! Serious beer and seriously dry for a stout.

Notes: A tasty brew and I like the new pricing a lot better! Drinkability suffers due to its heft and spiciness.

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Photo of Gmann
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours an almost near black color with an average tan head that dissipated quickly into a ring around the glass. The smell is of Beligan candi sugar, light fruit, light roasted malt and mocha. The taste starts off with a nice Beligan dark fruit esters and candi sugar. The dark fruit esters are not as pronounced as a normal BSDA because they are quickly matched with a roasted malt/coffee balance. If find the taste to be quite unique and enjoyable. The feel is moderate but lighter than expected. The carbonation is a bit more fizzy than I expected as well. The brew finishes well and has nice balance. I didn't know what to expect with this one. I does seem to fit the Beligan stout label. A must try.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #25 poured into a DFH signature glass.

A - Looks like an American stout. Black only letting a very small amount of light through. Cream colored two finger head. Leaves good lacing.

S - Belgian yeast, licorice, roasted malts, coffee. Smells fantastic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Initially pretty spicy as you would expect from a Belgian. Giving way to some roasted malts, coffee and finishes with a huge licorice taste.

M/D - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy and the drinkability is quite high as the alcohol is very well hidden.

My second offering from Allagash, had the Witte a while back. I really enjoyed this and will have to seek out more of their beers.

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Photo of philbe311
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A slightly billowing pour... Just shy of three fingers worth of tightly packed yet slightly fluffy light brown colored head... Impressive retention... A couple of streaks of moderate to quick paced carbonation towards the top of the glass... The color is a flat dark brown that lets light in at all angles...

S - Very delicate lightly roasted malts... Very faint coffee... Some pleasant Belgian yeast notes... Some dark fruit notes as well... Light hints of chocolate... Subtle but abound with complexities... Each subsequent whiff reveals something new...

T - The many complexities of the nose follow through to the palette... Molasses... Subtle coffee notes... Faint chocolate... Lightly roasted malts... Raisins... Fig... Dates... Belgian yeast... Some walnut notes on the finish...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Fairly dense... Lightly carbonated... A touch of lushness... The finish is a bit chalky...

D - A truly outstanding offering which should come as no surprise from Allagash... Solid in all facets, but it is the overall complexity in both scent and flavor that make this one a truly exceptional offering... I can easily recommend this one for fellow BAs and will indulge in future bottles myself as well...

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Photo of fank2788
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served up in a snifter this beer is nearly black in the glass the head is thin likely due to a soft pour but the dark khaki colored bubbles around the edge of the glass don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. I'll agree with others in that the smell is a bit heavy on the malt for a belgian strong dark ale. However, I'm not going to fault the beer too heavily because i think it works. Malt is the focus in the nose with roasted and chocolate and dark coffee coming through. Below that there is some dark fruit and yeasty esters. The taste follows the smell quite closely with the malt focus clear. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt a bit of caramel and then some bitterness and the yeast. The carbonation is high and bitterness through hops appears relatively low but the coffee like character adds additional bittering. The finish is quite dry and lingers with the coffee character last to leave. Overall this is somewhat of a mix of styles rather than a pure belgian strong dark or I suppose you could just call it an interesting take on that style. Quite good and definitely recommended.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed and reviewed on 1/29/10.
Poured from 750 mL bottle into pint glass (yeah, not ideal, but I had no other glassware on vacation).
A: Pours a nice black (no light comes through with backlighting) with 1/2 to 1 inch creamy tan frothy head. Very nice for style.
S: Can smell this several feet away. A wonderful mix of dark dried fruit and belgium spices. Hint of yeast. Definitely a belgian here. With warming, more of the stout comes through with a toasted and roasted malt note.
T: Here there is more balance of belgian and stout. Dry toasted malt with caramel malt, belgian spice, yeast, and dark dried fruit. Although I love the two styles by themselves, when they come together here there is a bit of a clash (note: I love both stouts and belgians, so perhaps my expectations were set too high). Good complexity though and nice experimentation. With warming, dry dark chocolate comes through.
M: Starts more belgian--medium body, smooth--with a finish more stout-like--light and dry.
D: Very drinkable and good complexity. What I would imagine if a good dry irish stout was mixed with a darker belgian brew. Seek it out if you are a fan of either--or especially both--styles. Good sessionability.

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Photo of eberkman
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Showed up an opaque black with a soft light-brown head that reduces reasonably quickly. A lot of creamy milk chocolate on the palate -- very rich and smooth. The mouthfeel was satiny smooth but without a lot of heft in its presence. Pretty drinkable -- like a serving of mocha iced coffee. Really didn't strike me as a Belgian-style ale -- I'm not totally sure how I'd categorize it. It was a strange one, but a highly enjoyable one nonetheless.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours with a good sized light brown head that fades to a film. and yes, it's black.
the smell contains what is best described as a smoked coffee aroma. it's got a faint lactic quality. i find chocolate, some powdery, yeasty breadiness. the chocolate develops into a milk chocolate, with warmth. also with warmth some of the dark fruitiness from the yeast shows up.
the taste contains an earthy more pronounced and smokier version of the roasted coffee aroma. with warmth that smoke mellows though, bringing out some softer dark fruity chocolate. it stay loaded with complex roasted coffee flavors though. it's got a little bit of a bitter nuttiness, like a walnut, and also a similar lactic sourness like in the aroma. hop bitterness hits towards the back, but without any hop flavor that i can pick out. alcohol makes a little bit of an appearance in the finish.
the body is fairly full with a pretty moderate carbonation. i find it really suits the beer.
good drinkability not a booze bomb, as this type of beer could be, and all the flavors remain in check. a complex in interesting beer.

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Photo of mactrail
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Really rich and hoppy dark ale. Great roasted flavors with very aromatic hops. Chocolate and warm flavors, hot with alcohol. Sharp and slightly acidic, but so full of mellow malt it's well balanced. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, but with more of the dark, deep, and spicy flavors.

This is really a great example of a Belgian-inspired beer that doesn't go overboard on the yeasty and bacterial dosage. Complexity merges with drinkability.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A thin head of foam and an opaque black body. There was a fair amount of lace and little carbonation.
Smell- A bit of licorice and drip coffee. There was a bit of sweetness but little roasted notes.
Taste- A bit of sweetness and mild roasted blend of flavors. Coffee and toasted grain blend together. There was a bit of yeast flavor but mostly filtered out and concealed.
Mouthfeel - A meduim body with a lit carbonation and a mild finish. It appears to be a part stout/porter/dark beer.
Drinkability- Its quite a confusing beer because it a unique interpretation of a style. However on a hot summer day it has all the characteristics of a satisfaction. Its lighter on flavor intensity and body, but not complexity.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.25/5  rDev +6%

A: Caramel brown with a finger of white head that recedes promptly to a ring.

S: Caramel-toffee, dried dark fruits, plum, dark chocolate, coffee, and oak. This has a toffee-caramel aroma – you can almost smell that stickyness – with a bit of an oaky-boozy aroma too.

T: Dried dark fruits (mostly dates), plums, cherries, toffee-caramel, spices, and an oaky finish. This definitely comes across as well roasted with a very robust and near burnt (pleasantly so) quality.

M: Medium bodied with lower carbonation. Perfectly slick and oily.

D: The best part for me is the plums and cherries – which really standout here, and isn’t usually the case in this style – coupled with the heavily roasted malt.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black color with half a finger off white head that fades to a thin layer of bubbles relatively quickly.

S - Definitely get a stout base to this and some very nice belgian undertones. Roasted malts, slight coffee aromas, lots of belgian yeasts.

T - Roasty, burnt flavor is the dominant thing in this beer. The stout comes through more than the belgian qualities, but the balance very nicely. Bitter dark malts with some earthy hops and slight bready undertones.

M - Very light for what you would expect. Fairly thin with little carbonation. Finish is slightly roasty with mostly that burnt flavor staying around. There's a slightly fruity character to the finish.

D - Very drinkable. Silky smooth and asks for another sip. As I was tasting this I kept thinking I had already tasted a similar beer, and finally remembered the taste from Basha by Stone/BrewDog. The style of this beer is a Belgian Stout but the body being as thin as it is, and the hops being fairly prevalent, make it almost a Black IPA. Belgian Black IPA is what Basha is. Both are very good and I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great black, deep, muddy brown. Can only see the tiny bubbles at the very top of the brew. You can see tiny bubbles actually breaking through in small concentrated areas. Very little head orlacing. But with each swirl I take, there is a small swell of bubbles around the edges of the black brew. The aroma is a mineraly chocolate and coffee rosted malt. The taste follows well with the deep roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The candi sugar blends well with the bitter chocolate coffee. The palate is smooth ik silk. A little warmth, and a slightly dry finish that lingers. Great beer.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork+crown bottle poured into a chilled pint glass. Bottle stamped with batch #15.

Beautiful rocky taupe head, decent retention, condenses into larger bubbles as it settles. Pretty dark, but against a light it becomes murky brown with orange highlights. Smells of yeast, banana, silage and raw grains, burnt sugar, melon, clove, hardwood smoke. Taste is much darker than the smell and not as complicated. Hardwood smoke, bitter chocolate, tad of cinnamon and clove, some very subtle yeasty fruitiness. Finishes with clove, lingering smoke, and a pinch of lemon rind. Nice and smooth, has a bit of a starchy raw grain feel. Appropriate carbonation. Alcohol only mildly apparent.

Smell and taste develop interestingly as it airs and warms. I find myself adding aspects to my description as it intensified. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This sample of batch number 4 pours a nearly opaque black with a soft, faint tan head full of tight carbonation, which seems to last for only a short time after pour with little to no lacing.

You do not have to get very close to this beer to experience its aromatic qualities. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and perhaps some bread qualities waft from this masterpiece.

More roasted palate pleasure in the flavor with chocolate and coffee notes mirroring the aroma. In addition, there is just a slight smoky quality, which is more pronounced in the aftertaste, especially as this friend warms.

Extremely smooth and well balanced. No particular flavor dominates this beer, yet it is still very rich. This is a particularly crisp and refreshing Belgian stout.

This is an instant favorite. It does not sit heavy and could be enjoyed with a variety of foods. A slow drinker to imbibe in anytime.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of JAA
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review. I hope i don't sound like a dumbass, 23 year old kid.

I bought this growler at this new beer store in Bradenton,FL. The owner keeps it behind the counter to protect it from touchy-feely beer shoppers. After i poured it into a rocks glass, the beer developed about a one finger medium tan head. I don't think my sense of smell has been properly trained, so i won't even guess. The aroma wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The beer had a spicy-smokey onset that faded into a very dark chocolate and ashy aftertaste that lingered for quite a while. Mouthfeel was silky-smooth with what seemed to be the perfect amount of carbonation.

I was quite impressed with this allagash after tasting another, less satisfactory, variety. I would drink this quite often, if it weren't 22 bucks a growler. If you like 60%-72% cacao chocolate you'll probably enjoy this beer a lot.

Edit: well you knew i was new at this, because i said that this was a "growler". It actually was a 750 ml bottle. Der der der der der.

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Photo of mjaskula
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch 15. It is certainly named appropriately, only a hint of red on the edges when held up to the light. The head is thick, dense and tan like a stout. It thins down to a film and laces nicely.

The aroma is faint, dark malts and dark sweet fruits, a little alcohol. Flavor, is also as expected, 'belgian style stout' describes it very well. Dark roasted malts are predominant but not overpowering. The flavor is balanced with a malty fruity sweetness. Chocolate and spices are in the background. Flavor is very smooth and balanced. Carbonation is high. Very drinkable.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice creamy tan head that diminishes quickly but leaves a lasting cover. Very nice lacing. Pours a dark brown that resembles chocolate with a slight hint of copper to it.

Smell: Hints of Belgian spices dominated by a mix of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. After mixing it a little you can get a little bit of alcohol in it.

Taste: Chocolate mixed with coffee and roasted malts dominate the palate. Underscore of hops and Belgian spices which mix very well.

Mouthfeel: Light body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A very good beer for a warm night or a cold room. Recommend.

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Photo of GrinkoN
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark with hints of red. Slight head.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee?

Taste/Mouthfeel: chocolaty toasted malt, slightly bitter on the back end. Felt a little thick was enjoyable.

Overall: It was a great beer, would buy again.

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Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tim for bringing this down and sharing it with the Central NE BA Meetup.

A: Creamy 1 finger head fades semi quickly, over a pitch black color.

N: Great nose, nice roasty earthy bitterness from the charred malts, with more roasted malt, chocolate malt, chewy dark malts with a little creamy porter aromas, little coffee, fluffy, slight nougat and very hint of marshmellow, little hops, earthy chewy and spicy hops with a hint of grassy hops.

T: Fluffy, earthy roast, with lots of dark chewy roasty malts, chocolate malt, roasted barley, minerality and bitterness from the charred malts, but still smooth and creamy with a little chocolate milk and oatmeal almost, some bitter spicy earthy hops too. Also slight hints of nougat again.

M: Semi thick, a little heavier but smooth and creamy, with lower but decent carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, lingering earthy roasted malts and some bitterness. Chewy malts with lingering chocolate roast and milk, fluffy nougat still there, with a little roasted barley lingering. A touch of sticky sweetness, but a light dryness.

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Photo of Jayli
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at Novare Res on 10/29
Served in a tulip

A: This pours an opaque black, minor reddish edges when held to the light. Two fingers of thick, creamy light brown head. Head holds extremely well and leaves nice big chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is belgian yeast notes, nice roasted malts, chocolate and a bit of hop bite.

T: Taste starts with a mixture of dark fruits, raisin and dates, mingled with nice belgian spiced yeast. Middle has some nice roasty notes, that are quickly overtaked by bitter baker's chocolate, and strong coffee/espresso bite that carries through the finish.

M: Medium body, higher carbonation, slightly thinner body with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, nice kick, nice representation of style, a touch less carbonation would be nice, but a damn fine beer that I would easily get again.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,639 ratings.
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