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Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 716 | Ratings: 2,605
Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle
Batch 4

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which does leave some nice oil slicks and slight sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some coffee/chocolate, some slight figs/prunes/raisins. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, nice notes of coffee/chocolate, also a hint of dark fruits. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is not a BSDA, but a Belgian Stout like the bottle sez, probably the first I've had, lol Recommended.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge, dense, tan froth fills half of this tulip glass. The other half is filled with a dark, black beer that displays a dark, ruby halo. Enormous lacing leads to a big, puffy pillow, while serious legs defy gravity.

Initially, pumpernickel bread dominates, but is quickly followed by coffee, molasses and light cedar aromas.

Flavor profile presents bourbon early followed by espresso and a mild, bitter finish.

Allagash Black is a creamy, full-bodied beer with soft carbonation and moderately warming alcohol.

This would be a great selection any time of day, but perhaps best as a sipper while reading after dinner. Fortunately, this one's not too big to back for seconds or even thirds.

Date consumed: 22 August 2008

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Russ for sharing this 750 ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a slightly opaque dark reddish black, slightly cloudy, drops a pretty nice film of tan lacing on the glass, very thick layer and ring forms on the glass, very sticky lacing, looks nice. Smell is roasty, some chocolate, dark fruits, real toasty malts, some raisins, lots of Belgian fruity character, but some real nice stout character as well. Taste is nice, really raisiny some caramel malts, lots of fruity malt, some roasty middle, chocolate, very toasty, really nice and clean flavour, currants and raisins, spice in the finish but well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth, some warmth from alcohol but generally a well put together beer, real nice job. THanks Russ!

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Photo of grub
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled dec 31/08.

pours nearly black and mostly opaque with a small dense light brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is good. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. light roast and toasty character. bit of dark fruit.

taste is great. milk and dark chocolate. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. coffee. some dark fruit - date, fig, red grape, raisin.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. nice balance. the stout and belgian allagash characters mesh well together. good stuff. i have another in the cellar and am interested to see how it changes with time.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/28/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a decent off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, dark chocolate, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not overly sweet with flavors of dark fruit, chocolate and Belgian yeast. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, not usually the type of beer that I go for, but this is a good one to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for a very dark Belgian beer.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed this at the sterling Sun Singer. Big mahogany brown body supports a frothy tan head with very good duration and ample lacing--a very good first impression. Prominent coffee aroma lives up to the "stout" moniker on the label, but I also detect sweet-and-sour fruit and a bit of spice. The nose is in a way confusing. This is as much reminiscent of a BSDA as it is a "Belgian Stout." Either is fine, but I'm still wondering which this is--either or both.

The taste is good but only compounds the identity questions I have, but will set aside. It's malty with a nice bite--dark coffee, raspberry, dark chocolate. This is delicious, though the coffee is at times a bit domineering. Smooth, but with decent effervescence, this strikes a nice balance in texture.

This is good overall, though not my favorite from Allagash. Not the most complex stout or BSDA, this is still worth acquiring. A solid beer.

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Photo of dino213aa
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Although this is self described as a "belgian style stout" I will agree with BA that it resembles a strong dark ale. This is especially true in terms of appearance and mouthfeel.

A: True to its name, this brew is opaque bordering on black. Minimal head which quickly dissipates. Practically no lacing as poured into an Ommegang Abbey chalice.

S: Burnt with some spice and solvent notes.

T&M: Definite coffee and chocolate flavors. My wife commented that this brew seems incredibly sweet.. which I would say is how it finishes. Also somewhere between the taste and aroma there is a faint papery note. Sort of a corrugated paper but very faint and could just be this bottle.

D: Overall the drinkability of this brew is mediocre. I'm not a big fan of any brew with an identity crisis. Not my favorite as a stout and not my favorite as a strong dark ale. Not bad, but I doubt I'll buy it again.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is roasted coffee with a slight sweet background, burnt coffee finish. Nice Belgian stout. Pricey at $13.00 for a 750ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review here being written from notes as I drank this over 2 months ago now while on vacation in Boston visiting my sister. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark brown, almost black color. Nice tan head about 1/4 inch thick when served. Good staying power. Sets to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lace. Aromas of bitter coffee and dark chocolate notes filled my nostrils. The taste is the same along with slightly roasted malt, a trace of hops, and a bit of caramel rounding this beer's flavors out. Gets a bit more bitter as it starts to warm up. Has a smooth, frothy, full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. I believe the establishment where I had this beer listed it as being a stout on their beer menu, and based on the heavy coffee and chocolate notes of this beer I can understand how easily they could have made a mistake. this beer is unlike any other Belgian Strong Dark Ale I have ever had before, and I have had quite a few of them. A good beer here.


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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/11/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small ring of tan head. Aroma of roast, coffee, and sweet roasted malt. Flavor of lots of coffee and roasted malt, some peanut brittle and roasted nuts. A nice body- very rich, silky, smooth, and creamy. So drinkable for a stout. Quite enjoyable. I would like to see more Belgian characteristics in this one however.
7/4/8/5/14 (3.8/5)

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Photo of beer2day
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged 1 year in the beer fridge.

Pours very dark with a thick head, leaving faint lacing on my snifter.

Roasted chocolate nose that grows sweeter and fruitier as the beer warms. Initial hit is very roasty with a chocolate finish. Some fruitiness in between, tasting of plums and prunes.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. I was expecting a little more thickness from the appearance, but seems about right for the style.

Overall, a good one-timer.

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Photo of bruachan
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

stuff's dark. and the head proportionally poofy.

from said poof emanates figs, smoke, floral hop, coffee, coriander and a hint of heat

the belgian character is generally subdued (visit Trinity brewpub for a super belgian stout). big woody hop flavor and bitterness, very deeply roasty, with even a touch of astringency. the mouthfeel also come across as fairly smooth (which i see might be attributable to oats). the truth is that the flavor seems a little underwhelming: stouts and belgians are of the richest and most dynamic styles, yet their brood seems a little peaked. tasty, no doubt, but perhaps a warmer fermentation would have helped

ok, so it's roasty and spicy and belgiany and minimallyfruity and hoppy. tasty, but i feel it could be better

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Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A sweet and complex beer that ends up trying a bit too hard. I guess I was just expecting more out of it. I'd seen it in stores, and the price tag made me stay away but also secretly harbor a strong desire. When I stopped in at Toronado last night (my first time but definitely not my last) and saw it on tap, I jumped at the chance to try it without putting out for a whole bottle. It came in a proper tulip and looked pretty good. First, let me say that I'm not sure how to compare it to other Belgian Strong Darks. This beer has clearly been handled with extreme care and lots of fancy ingredients no doubt have been used.

Back to the review. The beer is a very dark brown with little head. I prefer a somewhat lighter color for the style but again this beer does not seem to be trying to compete with classic Belgian Strong Darks and certainly looks nice in the glass. The smell is sweet but well-balanced. You can certainly smell the Belgian candy sugars. There are notes of vanilla, oak and earthy Belgian yeasts. It's a refined scent but not exactly my cup of tea at this point in my tasting life. I can imagine warming to this beer in time. The taste gives further signs of the care put into the beer. This beer certainly spent some time in fine casks. There are a lot of understated sweet notes and both rich chocolatey malt and perfectly balanced hops. However, it just doesn't quite add up for me. It's too sweet and too refined. It doesn't help that the feel is so light. I don't think anything about this beer is unintentional, so I'll just put it down to difference in taste. I'm sure that the most people will enjoy this beer and it would certainly make a good gift. It's a bit like a good dessert wine. I just don't happen to be a fan of that kind of thing. I aspire to like it even more, but this is my review for now.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, almost black. Foamy, cascading brown head. Pleasant aroma of vanilla, anise, chocolate malt, oak, and a kind of yeasty funkiness. Watery mouthfeel in terms of a stout. Some roasted malt and chocolate, but no coffee, bittersweet chocolate, or smokiness. Instead, there is the fruity-yeasty tastes one would expect from a dubbel. Anise, molasses, and some prune flavors come out when it warms. I hate saying this, but an overall disappointment.

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Photo of ccrida
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Delirium snifter, Black is black, with a dense tan head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is deep, dark fruit, milk chocolate, roasty, a berry like vinousness.

Taste is very rich and complex. Boozy roast, nice dark fruit esters, oaky notes, minty hop snap, fantastic balance, wow, I'm really impressed. A true masterpiece. As it opens, the esters really come out and say the balance from the stout to the Belgian side, getting better and better with every sip. I think this is a saison yeast , I love the fruits. Not sure I've given many, if any other beers a 5, to style primarily or otherwise, out of over 800.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, very silky smooth, great viscosity.

Drinkability is high, in that this is a fantastic beer. With exceptional depth, it's not one to drink with anything but a revered appreciation. Tempered by its limited availability and price, it's nevertheless absolutely worth seeking out. A benchmark for the style.

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Photo of Pamola
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Great Lost Bear along with a few other Belgians in a flight. Never had this on tap before, let alone from a cask.

A: Small fairly white head, pretty darn opaque brew. Black as night.

S: Mellow cask scent. not much of a belgian twang to it but a good deal of chocolate and roast malt.

T: Incredible. Light in front from the cask aging. Chocolate, plum, slight belgian yeast note.

M: Medium Body. Slightly silky.

D: I prefer this one from the bottle. It seems like the cask steals too much of the body on this one.

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Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the South Philadelphia Taproom in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark black color with a foamy beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, toast, coffee and toffee. Full bodied and smooth with loads of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and sugar cane. Dry bitter finish.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with a light tan head.

S - Yeasty, coffee, chocolate and spice.

T - Yeast is the first thing that catches my attention. Chocolate and spice soon follow. Not bad.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Although I thought this was good, I'm not sure I could drink more than one without thinking about switching to something else.

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Photo of kasper
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark chocolate with a foamy tan head, lilly pad lacing sticks on the glass.

S: Aromas of chewing gum sweetness (from the belgian yeast), sweet milk chocolate, tad of spiciness.

T: Flavors are much of the same, dominated by belgian candy sugars, milky chocolate, tad of dried dark fruit.

M: Well carbonated, bit velvety but not all the way there. Medium bodied.

D: I've been warming up to this (especially after the last flood of casks into Manhattan). I find it pretty drinkable. I could have more than one.

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Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium to deeper brown color with a huge (5+ finger) sized head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, some coffee grounds, tobbaco and smoke. Tastes of roast, tobbaco, chocolate, and coffee. Body on the thinner side.

Notes from 5/17/08

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Photo of nick76
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is almost salty with chocolate, coffee and toasted malt. The appearance is dark brown with a nice large head. The flavor is like the aroma and bitter. The palate is smooth. Overall interesting but not great considering the brewer. I would drink again but still not what I was expecting.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle thanks to hopscotch. Pours a mostly black color with some red edges. A thick light brown head. The aroma is very nice; a sweet and rich fruity malt. Also some yeast, coffee and light milk chocolates. The flavor was excellent; toasted malts, rich chocolates, some sweet dark fruits, a bit of yeast, and a slight bitter coffee bean and hops. A excellent mouthfeel; rich and creamy. Just a great beer. I drank the 750 with ease, and wanted more.

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Photo of pwoods
3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into a Chimay chalice. No dating.

A: Pours a nearly solid black with just a scratch of light on the edges when backlit. 1ish finger worth of khaki colored head forms somewhat creamy but a bit frothy at the same time. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Soft notes of deeply roasted malts... odd that such a robust aroma can be soft. Definitely a bit of char. Some sweetness from either burnt caramel sugar or burn molasses. Some light alcohol accompanied by light Euro hops. A touch of spicy yeast rounds things out.

T/M: Alcohol is pretty assertive for only 7.5% especially through the finish where it's pushing a flat out raw feel. Lots of deeply roasted or burnt malts... plenty of char and soot, maybe even a wisp of smoke. Very controlled sweetness in the back, burnt black strap. Hops are a bit more present and lend some oily resins to the alcohol and brings out some bitterness to a very soft super dark chocolate prick in the back. The Belgian yeast is tasty and nearly a saving grace. Body is nearly full and lightly cut by the tiny carbonation bubbles.

D: Not bad but it definitely pales in comparison to other great Belgian Strong Stouts like Black Albert and Bolshoi. 7.5% isn't extremely high, especially for the style but the alcohol is quite present and makes this drink like a much stronger beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sold to me by Peanut at the Dilly Deli. I'm toasting him tonight with hopes for his speedy recovery from a recent spill on the ol' two-wheeler.

Appearance - after unwiring the cage, one twist of the cork was all the encouragement it needed to pop off. Whew, one of the few corked bottles I've had where the cage was actually necessary. Pours a dark cola red. It has two fingers of mocha foam which fade back quickly but have a smooth semi-creamy appearance. The head maintains a thin but full cover and puts some occasional but thick pieces of lacing on the glass.

Aroma - powdery grain smell, some Belgian yeast/farmy bit, but really not much of that.

Taste - good roasted grains on the Black, the sweetness is well done, reminding me of thin chocolate milk. Coffee notes on the swallow, good stuff! Just a touch of the Belgian yeast, some vague fruitiness happening generally towards the front of the palate. The swallow has just a touch of finishing hops, it could just as easily be a bit of char from the malt too. Finishes warm with more coffee and chocolate syrup notes, an occasional estery burp in there.

Mouthfeel - average weight I think. Pretty crisp, does the beer well.

Drinkability - one of the more drinkable Belgians I've had, that it's fashioned into a stout-like style certainly helps. Thanks for the recommendation, Peanut, here's to your quickly restored good health my friend.

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Photo of AltBock
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle that has a simple black label with "Allagash" in gray letters and everything else in white letters. To the far left of the label is the barcode and Government warning. To the far right is a 1-800 number, deposit prices, pouring instructions, proper glassware, and a batch #. Mine was batch #4 which means that it's from early 2008.

Appearance: The label said it should be poured into a wide mouth glass, so I poured it into a Chimay Chailse. It can't get any more wider than that. This 'black" Belgian stout actually poured a black color. It wasn't as thick and black like crude oil, but it did pour a solid midnight black color. Sitting on top of this black brew was a fluffy 3/4 of an inch head of foam. The color of this head wasn't tan or mocha. It was little bit of both. This multi colored head of foam had great retention that left behind a small film, spotty rings, and few spots of lace around the glass.

Smell: It wasn't overflowing with aromas, but it was still pretty good and interesting. The aroma was lightly chocolately with Belgian milk chocolate, a subtle hint of roasted malts, a few roasted coffee beans, and then this chocolately aroma finishes up with a small whiff of sweet and dried yeast. I thought it was interesting because the chocolate had sweet and dried yeast backing it up. You don't encounter that very often.

Taste: I like my Stouts chewy, roasted, robust, and with a ton of dark roasted flavors. This Stout had some of those qualities. It was still chocolately with roasted coffee beans, like it was in the aroma, but it was in the taste where they increased the roasted coffee and kept the chocolate where it was. Behind the roasted coffee beans and Belgian milk chocolate was a small hint of dark roasted malts, a quick splash of plum, a drop of sweet yeast, and then ends on a slightly hoppy finish with bitter citrus hops. There was a very little hop profile like a good Stout should have. I have to give to Allagash for making an interesting and delicious chocolately beer.

Mouthfeel: This Stout was medium bodied with a low level of carbonation and features a light chocolately aftertaste of Belgian milk chocolate, a dab of roasted malts, a splash of sweet caramel, and plenty of roasted coffee beans.This chocolately aftertaste doesn't last too long. It comes in for a second and then it's gone in a flash.

Drinkability: A nice expensive chocolately unique Belgian Stout. I liked all the Belgian chocolates and roasted coffee beans in this beer, but I think the hefty price tag hurts the drinkability. Is it worth it? If you got the cash, then give it a try.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,605 ratings.
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