Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

720 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: 720 | Ratings: 2,626
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Rattle-n-Hum during craft beer week with capra12. Served from a pint glass.

A: Thick, 1 finger creamy head on top of a deep, full mahogany brew. Although not layered, there was ample lacing reminicent of a magnificent beer.

S: Belgian yeast, sugar, honey, citrus, and milk chocolate/cocoa.

T: Opens with roasted malts and that signature Belgian yeast flavor that fades into a dark fruit, maybe raisins, and finishes surprising light and crisp with a distinct milk chocolate flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied. This one really surprised me based purely on the look and lacing. However, although there is ample carbonation, the brew is very silky.

D: Glad I had a chance to try this and its truly a unique and worthy interpretation of an English or American stout in a Belgian style.

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Photo of capra12
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed @ Rattle N Hum courtesy of speedwayjim.

Appearance: dark amber with little head, weblike lacing.

Smell:roasted coffee beans

Taste: Opens malty with milk chocolate. From the middle there is a sweet coffee and licorice which leaves a coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and if difinitely worth the try.

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

Had this at lunch at Ron's in Exton, served in a tulip glass

Pours a deep, opaque black color, with a medium white head.

Roastedness dominates the nose, a sweet anise backnote follows

A licorice and roasted malt combination, a hint of coffee in the roast, but not dominating at all.

Creamy clean feeling, not oily. Fairly lightly carbonated, pleasant.

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Photo of TheViolator666
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml. caged and corked bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Nearly opaque, dark brown with a nice 2 finger head. Left some slight lacing on the way down.

S: Pretty good, some chocolate notes as well as a ton of malt. Earthy hops as well as a bit of yeast.

T: Chocolate was the most up front, roasted malt and a certain earthy character made this one pretty complex. A hint of dark fruit was trying to fight its way into the taste as well. The Belgian yeast left a very dry aftertaste paired with some roasted malt.

M/D: The bottle conditioning gave this one a ton of carbonation. Medium-full body and hid the alcohol well.

Overall, not a bad experience.

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

Very dark brown in color, but not quite opaque. The head is a decent size, off white and left a bit of lacing on the way down. Looks very carbonated with tons of bubbles collecting on the glass.

The smell is very nice and complex with a mixture of chocolate, fruits and a toasted malty sweetness in the background. There is also a hint of dry, earthy yeast.

The taste is pretty interesting with a nice malt sweetness up front; fruits, chocolate and some earthy notes come to mind. The finish is different than what you would expect from the smell. Dry yeasty and earthy aftertaste coupled with a touch of roasted bitterness.

Overall, the taste exhibits a complex range of flavors from sweet and malty up front to a bitter and drier aftertaste. The mouth feel is a bit heavy on the carbonation but still pleasant and full.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a glass in two parts. Review taken from notes at time of tasting.

Appearance is opaque black. One finger tan head with great retention. Nose is chocolate and coffee notes, pretty straightforward. Taste has these coffee and chocolate notes balanced with some nice yeast sweetness and a smoke note. Rather bland. Smoke note feels too strong. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Brew is medium to full bodied and slighty chewy at the end of each sip. Drinkability is good due to the light flavor and the fact that the ABV is hidden well.

Overall, a reasonably good brew, although slighty bland. Nice mouthfeel and highly drinkable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Batch #4. Served in a chalice, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch tan head. Head retention is good, not much lacing at all. The aroma is very nice, it smells like bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit (raisins, plums), coffee, and a bit of licorice. It tastes like roasted and burnt/smoked malt, coffee, plums and bittersweet chocolate, along with a bit of licorice and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has medium/high, but soft carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and easy to drink. Overall I think this is a pretty good brew, it's tasty and very enjoyable. I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of donniecuffs
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of if not the best example of an American-made Belgian dark ale I have ever tried..

A: The name says it all. Very dark brown/black, with a tan head.

S: Malty, chocolatey, spicy, etc, etc, etc..this bouquet is amazing.

T: All of the aromas you pick up initially, certainly come to fruition when you take your first sip. Full-flavored, and nicely balanced between start and finish. Warm yet not overpowering aftertaste.

M/D: Velvet on the tongue. Full-bodied, yet easy to drink. Tiptoes the line between one-off and session beer. Surprising for such a high-alcohol beer.

This review was written based on my cask tasting, but since then I have had a regular tapping as well as many 750ml bottle pours. All were/are fantastic. One of my personal favorite beers, of which I have several now aging in my basement.

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Batch #8.

Cola caramel brown body. Big, rocky, creamy, khaki mud head. Great lacing. Nose of prunes, plums, raisins, tobacco, molasses, faint dark chocolate, and lightly roasted coffee. Very nice and complex.

Roasted barley and tinny bitterness up front. Peaty-smoked-charred roastedness surrounds dark fruits (figs, plums, raisins). Dark chocolate and roasted coffee mix with tobacco before a flash of sugary sweet molasses into the finish. Lingering roasted bitterness along with some leafy hops and some funky yeast. Delicious and complex, with a medium-full body, and creamy feel.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Ashley's. Satisfying, its black yes with off-white head and its very lacey. A roasted stout aroma, medium mouthfeel. Coffee and roast, nutty, caramel, some candi. Aggressive carbonation. a good balance overall, and so good drinkability.

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Photo of DawnL
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What Allagash had to say: Our Belgian-style stout. Roasted malts give this stout its classic chocolate, toast and malty taste. A hint of coffee in the aroma. 7.5% abv

What I have to say:
Deep black color with tan head. Bitter on the backend - burnt coffee taste really comes through. It is a very deep, dark, full-flavored stout. It's what stout should be. Very drinkable. I totally agree with the Allagash notes.

I had this at an Allagash tasting on 7/23/2009. It was a rooftop bar - hard to get anything off the nose when the wind was whipping the aroma of the beer across the isle of manhattan!

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with DrewOSU tonight. I've had it before, but never reviewed it.This is a bottle purchased in late '08.

Pours black with mahogany highlights. A nice creamy, white head sits on top with a good 1/8 inch retention.

Moderately complex mix of sweet malts, cocoa, light coffee grounds and a bit of alcohol.

Taste reflects the nose... Sweet malts amidst light coffee and chocolate. I really like the light body and high carbonation on this one, it really adds to the summertime drinkability.

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Photo of DrewOSU
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle, shared by beachbum1975, thanks man

A: Huge pop on the cork. Thought it was going to hit the ceiling. Pours dark brown to black with a ½ inch, thick, frothy head.

S: Licorice, light cocoa and a small amount of coffee and roasted malts. Belgium sugars in the background.

M/T: A heavier light to light medium body. I get a lot more roasted malts on the pallet then on the nose. I get roasted malts, followed by a slightly hot alcohol base. Again finishes with a rich roasted malt and cocoa flavor. Aftertaste is a little thick. With the slightly hot alcohol base, tongue feels dry and chocolaty. It backs up after half a glass, but nothing obnoxious.

D: Aftertaste is big with this one. Not a bad beer, rich at times, but doesn't fill you up. A nice alternative to an American Stout.

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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 coldmeat23
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

It's color lives up to it's namesake. About one-fingers worth of caramel colored foam makes the head. This recedes to a thin filmy covering. The lacing is quite good, but also quite slippery.

A wonderfully thick smell of malts dominates this one. Smells nicely sweet with a load of toastiness. Big notes of caramel and brown sugars. Nice hints of dark fruits. Light notes of vanilla and a smooth nutty scent. Hints of coffee notes.
There are a decent amount of scents going on in here, but you have to look for them. On the surface it seems quite subdued.

Now the roasted malts and the coffee notes are out in front. Hints of smoke and chocolates, both dark and milk. Nice vanilla notes. Toast flavor is all over this one. Great level of lactose sweetness. Mild caramel notes. Nutty hazelnut flavor. Mild hints of smoke and anise. Light spiciness in the dry finish.

A fairly full-bodied brew. Nicely creamy. A bit of roughness around the edges keeps it from being overly smooth.

The 7.5%abv is very well hidden within this one. Throw in that the flavor is very good, well-balanced, and not overpowering, at all, and this is a tasty, drinkable, brew.

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Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of light brown head on an opaque black body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Smoky coffee aromas with a hint of chocolate. Some nutty caramel and sweet brown sugar as well.

T - Lots of chocolate and coffee up front. The mocha character is partially replaced in the middle by caramel and brown sugar with some fruity belgian yeast notes. The finish darkens with more coffee notes and moderate european hop flavor balanced by moderate malt bitterness. Lingering flavors of tobacco and smoke.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice belgian stout, leaning more towards stout and less towards belgian, which is probably a good mix. The malt character is dark and complex while the yeast lends a mild fruity character that lifts the whole experience in a way that compliments the stout character without becoming cloying. One of those beers that is more than the sum of its parts.

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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.

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Photo of battlekow
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Black is definitely a grower, not a shower. It poured with a prodigious head; I had to wait about five minutes before I could drink it, and another couple before the foamy head taste had subsided enough to really appreciate the flavors. The smell is also unremarkable, pretty similar to other Allagash beers in its Belgian yeastiness.

But oh, those flavors, once you're quiet and let them peak their heads around the corner--it's like Allagash White mixed with chocolate. Really smooth and delicious, hardly any roastedness, but no fruitiness either. Almost like those bite-sized Charleston Chews. Not as dry as I expected. Very elegant, luxuriant mouthfeel. Really tastes and feels like a treat.

Don't be disappointed initially. Give it some time to warm up and you'll find yourself warming up in return.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a very large, almost four-finger head - extremely lively stuff, the color of egg whites or off-white. This settles slowly into a one-finger head. Lacing is there, but not particularly prominent and also pretty fleeting, but it does leave a variety of patterns on the glass rim. Body is a jet stout black. Looks like a stout.

Smell: Cork wood, belgian yeast, grape flavored cough syrup on the front end. Grape cough syrup aroma seems to be a result of the lower end's coffee notes hitting the belgian yeast and cork wood aromas. Burnt sugar, almost a similar aroma to when you're actually making home-made caramel, really prominent about halfway through the inhale. A general sweet char quality, like tira misu crust, accompanied by vanilla (again, tira misu crust). Chocolate notes are buried, in my opinion, and only really hinted at. It's intriguing.

Taste: Much more stout in the flavor than in the nose. A sort of sweet See's candy chocolate lollipop flavor followed by some dark fruit esters, such as grape and fig. Grapes there, as well. Coffee upon swallowing along with some peanut brittle. Really, pretty delicious, and a lot better in the bottle, I think, than the one time I had it on draft.

Mouthfeel: Syrup-y, well carbonated. Pretty damn dry, though, although not quite enough to be detrimental.

Drinkability: It's a sipper, but not too bad of one. The alcohol others seem to be talking about in their reviews I can't really find too well - which is a good thing, given that it's "only" 7.5%.

This beer really is one-of-a-kind, to my knowledge, and I really enjoyed its flavors. On-tap this beer just seemed confused, a misguided experiment in mashing two disparate styles, but I really enjoyed this in the bottle a lot more, so maybe age/secondary ferm. had something to do with it.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Begins with an explosion of billowy beige foam that dissipates quickly - quicker than I expected. There is neither lacing nor perceptable clingage. There is a deep, dark body that is impervious to any natural light.

Heavy notes of cocoa powder compliment the extreme alcoholic aroma. The palate detects an initial, and lingering, bitterness complimented by malty notes of biscuit; yet it possesse a surprisingly underwhelming mouthfeel.

Something different here, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of csmiley
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark chocolate brown and lets some light through. Color is really pushing into stout territory. The tan head tops out at just under half inch and stays around for a few minutes. Some lace is left behind but nothing to get too excited about.

S - Some bittersweet chocolate is followed by a smoother milk chocolate. A pretty significant smoke aroma makes its presence known midway. Smell kind of drops out after that. Not bad but kind of a letdown. On a good note, alcohol is nowhere to be found.

T - Now we're talking. Several stout flavors really jump out and grab the palate. Bittersweet chocolate, smoke, dry roastiness, the list goes on. Nice complexity going on here. Alcohol barely comes through on the end and has a nice warm feeling. There is just a hint of a metallic flavor that comes and goes. There is also something on the end that is hard to pick out. Could be a dry spiciness.

M - Medium to light bodied with a carbonation level that just tickles the roof of the mouth. Pretty creamy. Finish is dry and sticks around for a while.

D - Drinkability is good for the Black. The flavor works really well overall. Alcohol is hidden really well which makes this brew go down quicker than expected. The aroma could really use some work but everything else comes together to make a solid brew. Glad I got to try this one out. As it warms, the brew really smooths out in the flavor and drinkability categories.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pretty darn dark brown color with a tan head that pancakes down rather quickly for a Belgian style but leaves a bunch of dots of lacing

Smell: Roasty and rather peaty, with hints of charcoal, chicory, black currants and milk chocolate

Taste: Starts out with milk Stout flavors of chocolate, lactose and a developing anise and charcoal character; by mid-palate, the flavor profile adds caramel and peat to the mix; after the swallow, the yeasty phenols build as does a smokey character with coffee undertones; the finish is surprisingly dry for a stout which starts out somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body, almost creamy, with effervescent carbonation

Drinkability: Extremely interesting, with characteristics from a number of styles; highly recommended and enjoyable

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I received a 750ml bottle from a friend -- kept it for a few months before the itch to open it finally got to me.

A: This was the first Belgian Dark that I ever tried -- I was surprised that it poured so easily (considering it said stout on the label). It was pretty viscous, with a coffee colored head that lasted for a good while. Still, not quite as thick and soupy as I expected.

S: WOW -- where to begin -- this beer showed a ton of malt, licorice, coffee, and an abundance of yeast. I knew from my first sniff that this was a beer that I wouldn't share with anyone.

T&M: When I took a sip, coffee hit me initially. There were undertones of dark chocolate, anise, and a faint hint of hops. Hazelnuts were more noticeable as the beer warmed -- kind of reminded me of a whole wheat baguette with Nutella on top. Very complex, but the mouthfeel was a little sweeter and longer lasting than I anticipated (I decided to share it afterwards -- too rich for one person).

This might be one of my favorite beers. I love the complexity, and the variety of flavors that continue to evolve as the beer warms. I wish it came in a smaller bottle, a 750ml is definitely too much for one person to handle on their own. A 4-pack would be most welcome, but regardless of size, a fantastic brew that really warms you in the winter months.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from that pretty corked and caged bottle at the top of the page. The bottle clearly says "Belgian Style Stout," whatever that means. You have to buy that don't you? Before its poured, I already love it.

Appearance: Pours thin for a stout, super dark for a belgian dark. White-tan head with a little lacing.

Smell: Well, roasty stout goodness and bready belgian yeastiness.

Taste:Holy shit, its a belgian stout. Exactly how I wanted it to be.

Mouthfeel: Like the pour, its thin in the mouth for a stout. Well, not really. Its thin for an imperial stout which I want it to be. Otherwise, nice.

Drinkability: At 7.5% I have no intention of ever sharing this, other than to convert some anti-belgian stout/hopheads to the joy of more complex belgian flavors. This stuff is great. I'd love for some more breweries to try this idea-- make it 10%, thick, and syrupy.

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4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Questions have been raised as to whether this one is a stout or not. Well lets see.

Body pours like a black ale and settles black in the glass. Doesn't have the huge thickness though. Head is a rocky biscuity light brown that initially stands at nearly three fingers and has nice retention. Nose is soft but has some nice yeasty chocolate esters to it. Enters the mouth creamy smooth and really reminds me of a well made milk stout. Chocolate pastry feel kind of like a doughnut makes up the charmingly sweet body of this brew. The Belgian styling really shines through in a positive way. Mouthfeel is a blanket of coco and Belgian yeast that mixes well together. Exceptional drinkability and just right amount of alcohol. Belgian stout it is.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,626 ratings.
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