Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

718 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: 718 | Ratings: 2,618
Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a near black color, with a tiny bit of red shining in the edges of the glass. Head is light tan. Has a massive pillow chunk head that sits on top. Head settles to a chunk lace head, nice lacing.

Brew smells of yeast, dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee. Very complex, very tasty smelling brew.

Brew is very smooth; a bit of spicy yeast initially; dark fruits, wheat, roasted malts. A very complex tasty brew. This is a great tasting brew. Leaves a coating on the tongue and is slightly dry.

This is an absolute must try for any craft beer fan. If you are really into Belgian style brews and are a fan of dark brews, this will turn your head after the first sip. I want to pound this, but I have to sip and savor. Yet another top shelf brew from Allagash. Excellent stuff from an excellent brewery.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #25 poured into Goblet.

A-Fantastic presentation, poured two finger cream/tan head that quickly returns to a thin cover. Consistent thick lacing.

S-Sweets, estery aromas. Mildly phenolic (bandaids).

T- Sweet up front, complex. slight roasted malt, chocolate, hops give off brief citrus. Flavors become more complex and varying as it warms.

M- Intensely smooth and inviting.

D- An exceptional sipping beer. I'm fully hooked, especially being one of Allagash's more affordable beers.(Paid $7.99)

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into Duvel tulip

A: pours black, with a huge 3 finger frothy light brown head that laced the glass and held a thin layer for a long time.
S: bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet malt.
T: sweet malt coffee and a sweeter chocolate. a bitter chocolate and sweet aftertaste
M: thick and heavy, coating carbonation is mild.
D: rather easy, find myself taking bigger and bigger sips.

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Photo of ponderous
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: It's a pretty beer. Near black. Almost as black as my ex-girlfriend's mother's heart, which must have been awfully black to have created a witch like my ex-girlfriend. An off-white head falls to a cap which persists for the duration of this review, no matter how hard I shake the glass. It just gets bigger. Thinks it's smarter than me, eh? Perhaps. But better looking? Probably, actually.

Smell: smells spicy like Belgian yeast. bit of alcohol on the nose if you really shove it in there. Not too far though. Don't snort the beer. There you go. Just right.

Taste: Awesome. The spicy profile of a dark belgian ale at first, reminds me of Trois Pistoles, opens up to chocolate malts on the way down. Some roasty bitterness but not much. Quite awfully well balanced. Awfully because I could see myself drinking too many of these.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. This beer is creamy and smooth. I want to bite it. I keep trying but it evades me. Damn liquids. The carbonation isn't off the wall as it is with some beers brewed in quasi-Belgian traditions.

Overall: 4.5? I don't want to give this beer too much credit but I quite like it. I'm a fan of the dark malts and slight roastiness combined with Allagash's ester-y Belgian overtones. If only it weren't so damn expensive. $13 for a 4/pack! Never again, no matter how much I like it! Well, maybe once more, but never again after that!

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Photo of corey0212
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of khiasmus
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very dark, though not quite "Black" as the name suggested. A thick pillow of light tan head that laces quite well.

S- Initially roasty, then as it warms, all the spice and character comes out. A bit metallic, and hints of fruit - peach? Mango? One of the most difficult beers to describe in the nose, ever. You just have to smell it yourself.

T- Very roasty, malty, sweet honey, fruit, yeast, bread, alcohol. Very well-balanced, and extremely tasty.

M- Smooth, creamy, well-carbonated, and dry, oily and warming.

D- Outrageously drinkable. The balance between the sweet, Belgian notes and the coffeeish, roasty notes is excellent.

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

750ml bottle into 8oz snifter.

Deep black with a thick light tan head. It's completely opaque without any ruby edges. Spotty lacing along the glass.

The aroma is sharp bitter malts, unusual for any Belgian style ale. Hints of coffee are around, and a bit of alcohol.

The taste starts off more like any stout, with roasty malts and light bitterness. Toward the end, the flavor shifts to more of an estery Belgian mix that is more typical for the style. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is a slight amount of the bitter malts, with more of the estery fruit flavors that linger.

This is a great blend of an American/English style with a Belgian brewing technique. It doesn't taste forced at all. It's like this has been the main tradition for centuries. It's a Belgian Strong Dark Ale by name only, it's more of a Belgian Strong Stout. I think this is one of the better ultra-dark Belgian ales. Recommended.

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

Note: this review is from a bottle that was aged for approximately 20 months - I've had this fresh, and I know that cellaring matters (it makes it better!)

Review adapted from notes taken 4/3/2010

Appearance: Arguably more of a dark brown than an actual black, but who cares? Nice beige head and nice lacing

Smell: Roasty/burnt malts, chocolate, some sweetness, some dark fruits in the background, something that smells woody

Taste: Complex and delicious - the malts impart a combination of roasted, burnt, and mellow pale flavors - I realize this doesn't make much sense, but this is what is going on - chocolate, coffee, caramel - some Belgian yeast under the layers of malt flavor - definitely tastes like an Allagash beer (not a bad thing) - some subtle dark fruits - kind of tastes like a stout that is decidedly not a stout

Mouthfeel: Remarkably light despite how flavorful the beer is - it seems thin, but it seems to fit the style - well-carbonated

Overall: Tastes like a sipper but the ABV really isn't high - very drinkable

This is one of my favorites from Allagash. The balance is very interesting. It's like a hybrid between a Belgian dark ale and an American stout. The beer is tasty to begin with, and it gets better with age.

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

Split a 750 corked and caged with Stopper. poured at cellar temp into an SA "pint" glass. the beer pours a cola brown with creamy tan head of .5 cm foaming up and sticking around.
Aroma is cocoa powder and molasses with some bready yeast and brown sugar with hints of roasted grain to boot. First sip reveals a velvety smooth texture with soft mild spacious carbonation. Flavor is sweet and malty with no hops or hints of ABV. The beer finishes with a little roastiness and sweet brown sugar. Very easy drinking smooth brew. I recommend to all the "maltys" out there!

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

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Poured a very dark midnight blue, near black color with a 1F head, dark tan color, creamy look, modest lacing. Some dark brown and ruby color highlights as the glass emptied.

There are roasted and chocolate malts but the kicker is the aroma of just roasted and brewed coffee grinds.

The coffee reigns supreme again. Chocolate, some dark fruit, caramel semi-sweetness; they all take a turn, but it's the coffee flavor that really made this beer for me.

Silky smooth near full body, very enjoyable drinkability. There was a slight ashen mineral finish that likely came from "smokiness". It wasn't bad, I deducted for it.

This beer hit all the right notes for me. Style, taste, etc. I'll get it again, soon.

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

Poured 22 oz to tulip.

Apperance: Poured 2 fingers light tan head. Thick and dark. Hints of dark amber and brown around the edges.

Nose: Belgian yeast and malts. Coffee, caramel, raisins, very mild hint of alcohol. Slight "funk" of the yeast gives a delicate mossy or subtle mushroom smell hidden in there somewhere.

Taste: Dark malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, dried fruit. Small amount of alcohol heat near the end. Almost a mildly bitter and woody flavor (oak-ish) that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced. Round, but not syrupy. Mild carbonation, but enough to put a slight peppery spice on the tongue which quickly and pleasantly fades.

Drinkability: The usual for Allagash --- excellent. Slow sipper. Would be excellent with gamey meats, beef roasts, or an after dinner drink in lieu of dessert. I'd find it again.

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

A - Almost jet-black, but still brown by a hair. Nice one-finger, tan head and just enough carbonation to keep a residual head after each sip. Not very much lacing. I feel like the richness of the color hints at the complexity of flavors in this beer. 4.0

S - Fruity smell of figs or prunes combined with roasted malt, cloves and a hint of phenols. If it weren't for the smokiness and I were blindfolded, I'd mistake this for a Belgian Pale Ale or something of the like on the count of the heavy presence of fruit and esters. That being said though, the nose is incredibly good and yet also slightly mysterious. It only hints at the flavor of the beer and some of the more subtle aspects of the taste. 4.5

T - Wow. The taste is incredible. Very smooth and sweet introduction combining flavors of molasses, coffee, roasted malts...and mystery. The flavors are so complex it's almost impossible to break it down into individual components. Finish is bitter with a hoppy and smokey flavor. Leaves a perfectly bittersweet flavor on the tongue that urges you to have another sip to try and figure out what the hell it was you just drank. 4.5

M - Heavy-bodied and slightly creamy, but still lighter than a stout or a thick porter. Nice mouthfeel, not watery at all. Slight tingle of carbonation on the sides of the tongue as well. 4.5

O - This is probably one of the finest beers I have ever had. I would highly recommend this to anyone, regardless of their taste in beer. I'd consider it a sin not to try this beer. I think the body could have been a bit heavier and if there was a bit more lacing and head retention this would have received a solid A/A+. Those are just tiny things the long run, this beer is wonderful and I'd pay top-dollar for it any day :D 4.5

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

Deep black like the label suggests. Two-finger thick head. Very creamy looking.

Scents of dark cocoa, coffee, along with hints of anise, yeast, and a velvety sweetness.

Nice bitter espresso flavors upfront. Notes of dry cocoa powder. Develops hints of dark fruity black currant in the background along with a brief refreshing sweetness. A good amount of bitterness in the middle balances the sweetness of the roasted malts in this beer. Finish toggles between dry dark chocolate and mildly sweet hints of anise.

Extremely smooth with low carbonation.

An extremely dark and complex stout. Great for sipping over an extended period of time. There were also some fleeting floral herb notes in this beer, but I could not pinpoint at which stage I was tasting them. It's a very fine offering from Allagash. Recommend.

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

A: Nice thick brown color with a thick tan head. Left a good amount of lacing.

S: Nice aroma typical of a Belgian style brew.

T: Very nice sweet flavor that balances well with the beers slight bitterness. A good set of earthy flavors -nuts, barley, malts, with just a slight hint of hops at the end and also a nice smokey flavor. Very nice.

M: A real nice thick beer. Great amount of chew. It definitely delivered.

D: A very drinkable beer. Very great beer, so I wouldnt mind putting back a few more of these.

Overall: Overall the beer was very good. If delivered on all fronts. I would highly recommend this beer to ANY beer drinker. Well done.

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Photo of brureview
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer if served in a tulip and at about 48F.

No head. Beautiful molasses color. I noticed black chunks from the underside of the glass- chocolate?

Excellent light molasses-caramel aroma.

The mouth feel is a bit carbonated, but contributes to the overall balance of the beer.

The finish is slightly alcoholic- this adds to the flavor and mellows with warming.

Overall, a solid enjoyable beer. Perhaps my current favorite from the brewery.

Serving preparation: I put the bottle in my freezer for about 50 minutes. It was stored at room temp.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Sierra. Great color and nose. Pours a jet black color with tan head. Looks like a big stout, but I keep reminding myself its not. Aromas are big coffee roasted almost heavier than what I know the palate feel to be. Mouthfeel leads it to be higher than 7.5 but overall a great smooth flavorful beer. I'd kill to try the BA version as I think the bourbon would blend into this one very well and to see the alcohol increase.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown, almost black; no light. Poured a wispy dark tan head that dissipated to the edge. Lace washed down the glass.

S: Burnt toast, coffee and dark fruit. Anise and faint alcohol aroma.

T: Toasted malt; dark fruits, chocolate and coffee. Smooth and rich; pretty well balanced. Bitter coffee lingers through the bitter finish. Very flavorful.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth yet not real thick. Flavorful and balanced.

D: Very flavorful and balanced. Rich, but not thick or filling. Disguises the alcohol well.

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Photo of aepb1
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Big off-white/tannish head, very dark body

S- Vanilla/caramel sweet malts

T- Smoked dark flavor and I get some rich sweet raisins too. There's a lot going on here. I do get the vanilla caramel in here too as it warms up a bit. I really enjoy the complexity

M- Smooth with a heavy body

D- I could sip on this all night long!

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Photo of OCBrewin
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great mix of a Belgian Triple and a Smokey stout. So light that it almost feels like a schwartzbier. Fruity and phenolic, but smoke and chocolate prevail. Great overall experience.

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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 rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a trace of strands of microbubbles lingering up the edge of the glass. There is a thick light tan head that leaves a bit of slippery lace with each sip.

S- The soft musty funk hint leads to a dark roasted malt note with a creamy nose to it. There is a light cherry tartness that comes from the musty hint has it warms. The dark roasted malt is still the main player.

T- The soft smooth black roasted malt has an almost smoky quality to it with a flavor of cream and a lighter chalk note. The black roasted bitterness lingers for just a moment to finish the taste.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very soft tartness to it and no alcohol heat noted.

D- I do enjoy a good Belgian influenced stout and this is a great example of this style. The flavors are dark but very smooth and well blended to create a mysterious quality. The funk hints really to compliment the black roasted malt and creamy flavors.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark brown, which looks black in the glass, except for the dark amber around the edges. The head recedes quickly, but leaves a couple spots of lacing down the glass.

S- So much comes through, but not all at once. The spicy smell of Belgian yeast is prevalent throughout the glass. Chocolate is very noticeable, but fades into a toffee aroma as the beer warms. Slight herbal tones are also noted.

T- So delicious! Belgian yeast and sweet Belgian chocolate flavors meld together with a fairly strong coffee presence and a hefty dose of malt. The hops assert their presence as well, but not through bitterness. The hops impart a spicy and slightly floral flavor. A truly unique flavor combining the delicious flavors of an Imperial Stout with the spiciness of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

M- Thick, creamy, rich and still very effervescent.

D- Goes down easier than most stouts.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a deep, almost black, chestnut brown with lighter shades of brown interlaced. It looks like a liquid Tootsie Roll. One finger of tan head sits on top. Head retention is low and recedes into some sticky bubbly remnants.

S- The aroma is beautiful and complex. Initially a roasted hazelnut and toasted malt characteristic shines through. A delicate French pressed iced coffee mixes in with a great creamy note. Finishes with earthy Belgian yeast with a dried fruity ester that makes currants come to mind.

T- Complex semi-sweet chocolate flavors like a gourmet milk chocolate bar to a homemade glass of chocolate milk induce euphoria. Assertive creamy mocha blends with toasted semi-dry malt in the middle and reminds you that this is a beer. A hint of charred fruit with a herbal hop character dance on the palate with ghost like seduction. Finishes dry, roasted and semi-sweet with a tobacco note.

MF- Allagash Black is light to medium in body. It's silky smooth and velvety on the palate. The light feathery carbonation works incredibly well and fits the beer with precision.

D- High drinkability. Allagash Black is one helluva a beer and will change your perception as to what a dark beer can be like. Dark beers generally inspire masculinity and typical robust roasted flavor. Allagash Black has all the characteristics of a stout but is somehow delicate, feminine and graceful.

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Photo of lostandwandering
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a solid two finger head that lasts. Persistent lacing remains on the glass with each sip.

S- Roasty and earthy. Not all together unpleasent.

T- Some slight fruitiness with plenty of roasted malt. Smokey flavor towards the end.

M- well carbonated. Medium body. Not thick like an Oatmeal or mild stout, but not thin either.

O- Very good beer. Got this for my birthday and didn't get around to it until now. This is my first offering from Allagash and I am rather impressed. Would higly recommend this one.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,618 ratings.
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