Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

721 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: 721 | Ratings: 2,632
Photo of lancecenter
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Winooski Bev in Vermont in July. Poured in to an Allagash goblet.

A - Damn near pitch black with a couple fingers of tan head. Very nice lacing.

S - The coffee dominates, followed by chocolate and charcoal. The faintest smell of dark fruits. The Belgian yeast spiciness starts to appear once the beer is warm.

T/M - Bitter chocolate, some dark fruits and coffee. Warming alcohol towards the end. Moderately dry finish.

O - Not as good as I remember from tap, but not bad either.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: Pours a near black with a nice, off-white to tan head that leaves behind a pretty good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and strong, bringing forth some Belgian yeast esters along with some roast, dark fruits, bitter chocolate, and a whiff of espresso. Taste is similar but not quite as complex, with many of the roast aspects taking over the more delicate flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and full enough for the flavors.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz brown bottle; caged & corked. Served in an oversized wine glass.
Batch #7.

Pours a somewhat opaque, deep maple in color beneath a densely foamy, coffee-colored head with very stable retention. Some patchy, carbonation-filled ringed lacing with decent strength.

Espresso, dark chocolate, and bittered caramel aromas: almost rich, but lacking an expected sweetness. Some candied sugar that is engulfed by a spicy licorice given a brisk must and dryness. Rich, semi-sweet, and spicy.

Licorice, saffron, and spicy clove almost immediately. This dark spice profile, in combination with a mild astringent yeast, gives off a lingering dryness. Light rich and creamy caramel, coffee, and even dry hazlenut. The carbonation is very intense, which takes away some of the rich and dry flavors allowing the spices to run wild.

Medium bodied; good lord, the carbonation is out of control. As stated, the carbonation exacerbates the spiciness, which I do not think is this ale's best quality. Dry, unfortunately unbalanced.

Some unique flavors; however, the carbonation is extremely intense. An interesting idea from Allagash, but heavy on the spice and lacking in richness.

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Photo of drpimento
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice beer. Not as big as anticipated. Poured with a nice sized light tan foamy frothy head and lots of lace. Color is a very dark, almost opaque brown, with dark cherry highlights. Aroma is roasty, bitter, old leather, dark wood. Flavor is quite different and mild. I'm drinking this colder than recommende. It is a stout, but quite mild and not like any other Belgian stout I've had. Body is ok but the carbonation is perhaps a bit fizzy. Finiish is like flavor and short.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 13 poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep black with a creamy off-white head. Holding it up to the light reveals its true color. More of a dark brown.

S: Big coffee nose with a ton of roasty malts and chocolate. More of a coffee bean aroma than actual coffee. Smells bittersweet, with sweet dark malts and a smidgen of citrusy hops. The Belgian yeast also comes through providing aromas of clove, banana and some vanilla.

T: Tastes a bit like stale coffee, and bitter chocolates. Belgian yeast plays a nice role here, never had a Belgian stout. Good combination of banana and chocolate, coffee. Very roasty, a bit overwhelming on the palate.

M: Falls a little flat on the mouthfeel, not implying it's flat. It's quite carbonated and a bit too hot. The carbonation kills all chance of this one dancing around the palate. Just too crisp for a stout. Middle to no body.

D: What keeps me coming back to the glass is the combination of belgian flavors with the large roasty body. Interesting mix, but not too drinkable.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beeer was certainly black with a big tan head that was impressive at first thenn fell away. Lacing was really nice also. The smell was thick of coffee. The taste was a little fruitty and had a roasted coffee taste that was good. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pearly Baker's in Easton, PA. I've been making the rounds with Belgian stouts and this one stands out, for better or worse. It was not my favorite so far. It's not as drinkable as, say, the 9% De Dolle Extra Stout, but it's also more flavorful. There's a strong grape/plum fruit flavor that's too strong for my liking. Aside from that, there are pleasant roasted grains, dry cocoa, and a hint of espresso, maybe. Worth a try, but not my fav.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from C&C .750L to a pint glass the liquid is close to black and nicely carbonated. The head is tall, light and tan, it fades fast leaving some lace.

The smell is ok, lightly roasty with a faint but noticeable Belgian yeast.

The taste follows, a nice roasty malt, mild hops try to bring balance and of coarse the Belgian yeast and a bit of light breadiness and some fruit notes.

The mouthfeel is ok, not thick but perhaps more carbonated then I would like.

The drinkability is ok, A fine brew and good example of the style, but not quite what I look for. Prosit MK

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 mL 3 ways. reviewed 1/23/2009.

Ar: Dark fruit, oak, powdery floral, roast, alcohol, light metallic, burnt sugars, molasses

Ap: coarse tan head 1", great retention, black

F: roast, chocolate, lingering dark toast, dark fruit, clean coffee roast, dark toasted malt, plum, raisin, molasses, dark toffee, prune, clean hop bitterness

M: high carbonation, thin, toasty end, warming alc

O: solid beer, good roast/toast balance

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Photo of BrownNut
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice looking textured head.

Smells... Belgian.

The taste is an odd mix of stouty char, divorced from the other usual elements of a stout, and Belgian style yeasty sweet mild. The yeast, or maybe the whole candi-sweetened Belgian dark ale profile wins out. So it comes across as more of a Belgian ale that somebody accidentally spilled some black malt into. Those two components don't seem to come together very well.

Some combination of mouthfeel and taste comes across kind of weak and diluted.

It's not offensive but I kind of don't want to finish the rest of the pack. You can tell the skill was there in the separate elements. It's just the overall composition and blending of the elements that was lacking.

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Photo of clintyeastwood
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle in a lovely Allagash glass.

Pours a rich sable color with an effervescent beige head.

The scents of cocoa powder, ginger, caramel, vanilla are barely discernible. Although these scents do become more present as the beer warms.

You can taste the belgian style yeast, baker's chocolate, vanilla, ginger and a slightly distracting metal taste in the finish. There is also a finish of anise or possibly mint.

Mouthfeel is creamy, yet light with a good balance of carbonation. A nice balance of a stout and a belgian style beer.

Overall, a very good beer, although not my favorite from Allagash. While I love the appearance and mouthfeel, there are a few distractions in the aroma and the taste, such as the metalic quality. However, my least favorite Allagash beer is still better than most.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strong offering from Allagash, in both flavor and ABV. Poured at the bar into a tulip, black color, not much foam.

Taste is strong, can slightly taste the ABV, coffee flavor is delayed in the release, after you swallow it get a heavy dose of it.

Not an overly drinkable beer, I was hoping for a little more in the flavor and complexity of the beer, still a solid offering, not something I would look for again though.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap next to the bourbon barrel aged version at Rustico in Ballston.

A: Black pour with a finger of white head. Retention, isn't great but it laces nicely 4

S: Roasted aroma with a lot of sweetness. The two seem to work together, but the sweetness (anise?) does seem a bit misplaced at times 3.5

T: Like the aroma, the taste has a real nice roast character, balanced out by the sweetness of the anise. I don't find the taste to be as offensive as the Stone Belgo Anise IRS, but I still prefer a regular stout to a Belgian. 3.5

MF: Heavy body, low carbonation. Decently drinkable, but the sweetness wears on me. 4

O: Solid offering, just nothing special. At $3 for 4oz I would say I'm done with this beer, but could see myself getting it again. I quite enjoyed trying it alongside the bourbon version. 3.5

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Photo of damienblack
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown, but more like a brown ale than a stout - not as thick or as dark as you would normally see. Sticky tan head, decent but not outstanding retention. Smell is superstrong yeast - like a burnt yeast, in keeping with the stout theme. Taste just like it smells - sweet like a milk stout, yeasty like a belgian, with a slight roasty overtone bringing the two together. It really is almost more like a belgian strong dark, but it lacks the complexity you like to see in the style. Slight roastiness lingers on the palate, but it's like drinking a Coffee Coolada compared to the real thing - kind of artificial sweet, meant to approximate the real thing, but not to be the real thing. Overall medium body, definitely on the lighter side for a stout. No real depth to the roastiness at all, like imitation instant coffee is to real coffee. Almost tastes watered down. Drinkability is OK, not really hampered by the alcohol content, but by the way the yeast and stouty bitterness merge - not offensive, but a bit disconcerting. I'm not a huge fan of this brew, and Allagash has done far greater things.

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Photo of Floydster
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle from Beverages and More in Redlands, cost was fourteen dollars, split with my friend last night, poured into a pint glass

A-Very dark brown but not quite black, small 1/4 mocha colored head that settled almost immediately, not much retention or lacing

S-Hint of faint coffee, charcoal, Belgian yeast, dark chocolate, roasted malt, smokiness, caramel, smell was not very strong but it was good

T-First of all, this does not seem like a Belgian dark ale to me, starts off tasting like a fairly dry porter or stout, then fades into a little chocolate, finish is dry with some chocolate and a small amount of hops, later on is when things got interesting and I began to taste some unique spices in the aftertaste, some coffee and burned malt took over at the end when the liquid reached room temperature, nicely balanced for the most part, nteresting twist on what I thought was a stout

M-Medium to full body, not much carbonation at all, dry and spicy mouthfeel, taste did not linger too long, weird stinging sensation once it warmed

D-Probably could not have drank this bottle by myself, pretty heavy and syrupy at times, ABV is not too high, smooth for the most part

Surprised to see this, so I grabbed it even though it had a high price tag, never though Allagash would make a dark beer but what do I know, would drink again only if I did not have to pay for it, recommended to try once though

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Photo of irishking1977
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting hybrid that I found in a 750 ml bottle. Curiosity got the best of me and compelled me to give this one a shot.

A: Nearly jet black with a massive off white head. Ample lacing as well. Does look like a stout, but with a Belgian strong dark ales head. It's a mutt.

S: Slight malt accent with hints of spice and alcohol. A little surprising considering it's a moderate 7.5 abv.

T: This one appears to have both characteristics of a Belgian dark ale and a stout. It's more like a strong Belgian dark stout. Both the malt characteristics and the fruit accents from the Belgian yeast seem to fight for dominance, with both of them being moderately distinguished.

M: Smooth, rich and creamy, with reasonable carbonation. For a hybrid attempt, it seems to be quite balanced with flavor and feel.

D: Pretty good, kind of what I expected from Allagash. I don't think I've had anything offered by the brewery that I haven't liked at least somewhat. Not as heavy as it would appear to be, but still not something I would drink for hours on end. Good once in a while for sure.

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Photo of retry4z
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bought a bottle at Whole foods for $12. Served at room temperature in a snifter.

I didn't know this, but apparently Allagash Brewery is from Portland, *Maine* (not Portland, Oregon).

I loved their Allagash White, so wanted to try more. This was the only Allagash under $20 (The Allagash Four and Allagash Curieux were each $21).

Also, although this ale is classified as Belgian Strong Ale (BSA), the bottle says "Stout."

Pours a dirty brown with no head and no lace. A small head appears when I swirl the glass.

The smell is complex and includes alcohol, cacao, coffee, licorice, and oatmeal.

Tastes of coffee, chocolate, smoky flavor, and vanilla. The taste is more stout-like than Belgian Strong Ale-like. There is a vestige of a bitterness in the aftertaste - must be the result of American brewing.

The beer feels thin - thinner than I expected from either a stout or a BSA.

Overall a respectable beer, with 7.5% abv, and a mix of American stout and Belgian dark ale.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL Belgian bottle, batch #6, purchased at the brewery. Brewed with German 2-row, oats, torrified wheat, roast malts, dark candi sugar and their house Belgian strain; bottle conditioned. It pours near solid black, with an inch of almost fluffy, tan head that doesn't leave much lacing. Nice chocolatey roastiness in the nose, steely, with a drop of licorice. It gives the impression of an oatmeal or Irish stout. Similar in flavor, but it tastes a bit sharp, minerally?, with prevalent green hops that impart a medium bitterness. Not incredibly Belgian at first, but after some time to breathe it picks up a bit. It has a well-attenuated medium body that at times pushes to thick, with very fine carbonation and a dry finish. The beer comes across as a mishmash of styles at first, but it does improve a bit. Good, but not great, just make sure not to drink this one too cold.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with an immense, frothy beige head.

Smell: Aroma saturated with the scent of Belgian yeast and roastiness and containing notes of mentholyptus, burnt wood, cocoa powder, and the juice of one lemon.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and a dash of cola start things off with a restrained, rather brief sweetness. A pop of lemony acidity. Tastes of coffee, half a Halls Menthol cough drop, and a few chunks of smokey fire-charred wood follow. Medium bitterness. Plenty of yeast. Very dry finish leaves you with a lingering roasty, bitter herb aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A decent Belgian-minded stout from the folks at Allagash, though I didn't care for that herbal, mentholyptus-esque taste and aroma I kept running into even if it cured me off my nagging cough.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz short bottle into chalice. Bottled on June 29th 2016.

L: Deep dark brown (almost black). Finger width frothy beige head. Slowly recedes.

S: Rich cocoa, chocolate, charcoal, sherry, currants.

T: Follows the nose closely, cocoa and chocolate, currants and almost a char hint. Solid flavors and decent complexity but something is off for me. Have to retry this another time.

F: Medium body, crisp, oily.

O: I don't know what it is but something is off with this beer.

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Photo of albern
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is another interesting variety from Allagash coming in their 750ML bottles. This beer pours a very blackish color with a nice tan head that certainly retains. The beer doesn't lace particularly well. The appearance is quite good, but the smell diminishes the experience to a degree. You will definitely encounter earthy tones, coffee aromas, burnt or roasted grains, perhaps a bit of chocolate, and then something else not so pleasant. At first I thought it was like a stale soy sauce smell, but other reviewers call it a lactic aroma. I'll go along with that. It's not pleasant. The one characteristic of this beer is its incredible silky smoothness on the tongue. This is like drinking milk chocolate in terms of mouthfeel. The taste is quite tart and sharp in the finish. The mouthfeel is delightful and the mid sections give you that roasted maltiness that is pleasing, but then you come up against too strong an astringency that is off putting. The alcohol is warming and about right, but this beer just comes off as too sharp for the style. The beer is moderately carbonated, medium bodied, and just wonderful on the tongue. It's too bad that the flavor and aroma could not follow suit with the creamy consistency.

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Photo of maximum12
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny thing happens after multiple beer 'trips' & 170 plus trades/BIFs: for the first time, I have no earthly idea how this beer ended up in my cellar. It may have been part of the self-sent box from Seattle eighteen months ago...but who knows? Early onset memory loss, setting in. Batch #4 bomber set to split with my tired, nervous wife. Considering the current reviews are batch #25, my guess is this is going on two years in my basement.

Pours like a cloudy night in the BWCA, white above, black below. Smell is understated, mellow roasted malts, mildest tang of sour, bare Belgian yeasties.

Allagash Black is a seriously chilled out beer; unsure if it's the age or its innate nature, but this is laid back & relaxed. Mild roasts come through clean, black grapes give up a vineyard characteristic, low-rolling sweetness holds it together & finishes it up with a White-smooth lick of cocoa. Just the barest tang of dog iron mars the taste.

Good beer with higher marks for being easy to sip & velvety than anything else. Solid Belgian stout in a distinctly Allagash style.

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Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer at a Cask Ale festival in NYC about a year ago and remember being VERY impressed with it, so when it popped up on the shelf at a local Whole Foods I grabbed a bottle (which says Batch #10 on the side). Pulled the cork to a nice "pop" which unleashed misty vapors from the neck of the bottle.

The pour released a ton of carbonation with a huge tan head. First thing I noticed about this beer was that, despite the name, it was not black. It was more of a brownish color, with some amber highlights around the edges. I know I'm being nit-picky, but that kind of irks me. Why call it Allagash Black when it...isn' Oh well. Onward.

The smell reminds me of a dark roasted coffee with a splash of Anisette. The roast hits you up front and fades into alcohol with a subtle anise flavor way in the background. Little to no Beglian character.

The taste is definately closer to a Russian Imperial Stout than a Belgian Dark, but with less weight and potency than a typical RIS. Lots of roasted character and some subtle dark fruit flavors up front. As the liquid settled on the palate, a bitter astringency starts to cut through the mix, which I'm assuming is from a healthy dose of roasted barley. This astringency is pleasant, but does linger a bit longer than I care for. The alcohol is surprisingly present, considering it is only 7.5%.

Mouthfeel is actually a touch light for a Stout (and a Belgian Strong, for that matter), but the texture is very rich and silky, which is nice.

Drinkability suffers a bit from the presence of the alcohol and the lingering of the roasted astringency.

Overally, a solid beer, but not nearly as good as what I was served on cask. Maybe the cask version was barrel aged? I don't remember, but the cask version, to my memory, was definately thicker and smoother. I think the biggest issue with this beer is in the marketing. The bottle uses the word black, though it isn't black, uses the word Belgian, though there aren't many Belgian characteristics, and uses Stout, though it isn't quite a Dry Stout or an Imperial. It sets up certain expectations that aren't quite met. I think had I been served this beer without the promises of the package, I'd enjoy it a LOT more.

On a side note, a bit of this beer spilled on my shirt and stained almost instantly. It'll probably come out in the wash but looks really gross for the time being. Careful sipping.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A huge frothy eternal mocha brown head. Thick, billowy rings of lacing. Black brew with a ruby tint.

S - Moss, coffee, charcoal, pungent grasses and molasses.

T - Charcoal, moss, licorice, alcohol. Aftertaste has general dark flavors - charcoal, coffee and chocolate.

M - A little harsh, thin and a little refreshing.

D - Pretty good. A potent brew with a lot of flavor. Worth a try. I'll have again if found on tap. A nice stout. I wouldn't say it is a Belgian strong dark ale though.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received this way back in February of '08 from DIM... Wow!! Dan.. sorry I took so long to get to this... I've had it a time or two with some Boise peeps.. but I'm glad I finally pulled it out of the basement.

Sharing with Brenda.. mine is poured into the trusty Delirium goblet... 3 finger lite tan head.. the brew is very deep walnut with only bands of ruby showing when I hold it to a light... no real lacing.

A bit lite in the nose.. I was expecting more dark fruits and esters and of course a bit of malt.. instead, there is a bunch of dark roasted malts... mild malty sweetness and only slight esters that are reaching for raisins but fall short.

Some traditional yeasty phenols help rescue this brew somewhat.. mild clove that quickly gives way to cold brewed coffee (and that is actually lite too).. all of the flavors are pretty mild.. It seems like a "BSDA light" with some char thrown in to push into a different realm... It sorta works, but overall, I want more aroma and flavor... the body also seems a tad out of whack.. medium, but the carbonation is medium/high and doesn't work well and leaves it a bit harsh.

As it warms, some chocolate arises and it sorta helps resemble more of a stout.. but it just seems like a mash-up of 2 styles that crashed into each other... it has good bones, but needs to really be dialed down a bit.


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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,632 ratings.
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