Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
716 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 716 | Ratings: 2,606
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...

 1,243 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

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.

 1,204 characters

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.

 482 characters

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.

 1,091 characters

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.

 439 characters

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.

 730 characters

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.

 716 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

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.

 594 characters

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.

 828 characters

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.

 895 characters

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.

 1,445 characters

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.

 1,038 characters

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.

 584 characters

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.

 594 characters

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.

 230 characters

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.

 1,076 characters

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.

 827 characters

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

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a coffee colored head. The smell was full of espresso and coffee notes. The taste had a lot of coffee in the beginning and then some sweet dark chocolate flavors came through with a light finish. Very nice stout.

 251 characters

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

From notes, 9-12-2010

A - dark blackish reddish brown body, largely opaque with a small tan head

S - malty chocolate nose with hints of dark fruits.

T - See above. Great balance with nose, chocolate and stone fruits.

M - medium body, decent, not great

O (D) - Drinkable for sure, a pretty good and interesting beer.

 320 characters

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

Sampled on tap at the Copper Mine Pub

Appearance: Nice black body with a light brown 1 finger crown that bares some retention and lacing.

Smell: Beautiful toasty malt notes with some hints of coffee and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Very nice flavor profile going here...roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A touch too thin for my preference.

Drinkability: Fairly good.

I liked this much more on tap than my previous bottle samplings.

 473 characters

Photo of ikantspel
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a hanger 24 barrel roll tulip

Pours a dark cola color with a carbonated light khaki fizzy head

Great combination of strong Belgian ale smell of dark fruit and spices kicked around with dark chocolate and cocoa

Great balance in taste as the stout is strong and heavy without trying to be and the Belgian ale floors finesse in beautifully. The caramel and roasted malt finish seem to work well in unison with a classic abbey ale spice.

Remarkably a great beer

 478 characters

Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black - with only the slightest bit of deep amber on the very rim of the Ommegang Adoration goblet. The head is thick and big and evaporates slowly leaving an etching like lacing and skim of smoke grey-tan on the top of the beer.

The aroma is the earth and coffee of stout, with a slight hint of belgian style yeast esters. There is a slight bit of banana as per standard in belgian ales.

The taste is bitter with just a slight bit of sweetness at the back of the tongue. It is amazingly dry like bitter cocoa. There is a slight amount of hops in the flavor and bitterness giving it a bit of tanginess, plus a hint of breadiness from the wheat and Belgian yeast. The bit of chocolate, candi-sugar and roasted malts are deep ane rich.

It has a full, smooth chocolate cake-like mouth feel. There is a definite sense of strength in the back of the mouth but it is not disruptive to the enjoyment of the flavor. It is very drinkable and is an excellent example of two very traditional styles merged to create something luscious and unique.

 1,038 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Black has a black (duh) colour with a good head and excellent lacing. The smell is quite yeasty with some notes of bitter chocolate. The taste is malty with some raisins and coffee notes. It ends with a delicious roasty Belgian-yeasty finish. The texture is frothy and excellent. This is a very nice strong dark ale.

 325 characters

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,606 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!