Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

722 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: 722 | Ratings: 2,639
Photo of ibbjamin
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

About an inch of frothy light tan head of fine bubbles. Very dark, nearly black with ruby hints when held to a light. Thick lacing and excellent head retention. Rather carbonated.

Smells quite spicy and yeasty. Bubbly and carbonated.

Taste is much different than the smell. Much more reminiscent of a stout, while the nose was screaming Belgian Dark. Quite malty up front, the creaminess lends to a longer finish of a spicy belgian. The yeast is better balanced in the mouth and adds a nice touch to stout qualities.

This one is medium bodied, smooth and creamy, but not silky smooth. Rather carbonated, pretty easy going down.

A nice spin on combining two somewhat contrasting styles. And certainly was worth trying.

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

There seem to be a lot of brewers experimenting with "Belgian style" stouts lately...or at least I seem to be trying a lot of them for the first time lately. They tend to fall in one of a few categories: either they are Un-Belgian-y (just stout-like and roasty), too Belgian-y (Buffalo Belgian Stout), or just right (Weyerbacher XIII). I would put this one in the Un-Belgian-y category...there was plenty of roastiness, but none of the mouthfeel or yeast or spice notes that I associate with Belgian-style beer.

It was black, it was roasty, it was ot very Belgian-y. It reminded me of a milk stout, and a very good milk stout at that. I would suggest that this beer is not exactly on-target (as far as the description is concerned) but I nonetheless thought this to be a very good beer.

I bought this at Rick's Wine on Duke Street in Alexandria, VA. I enjoyed it with SurlySober and Flyer at a tasting at my house which also included RR Beatification and Westvleteren 12 (quite respectable, eh?).

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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 CrellMoset
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Allagash Black, sampled on three different occasions, with composite notes from all three. The first set was written on a napkin, and the beer enjoyed on tap at Summits Wayside Tavern, Snellville, GA. The second was from a sample, enjoyed at the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC. The third and final was at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook location, Richmond, VA. Yep.

Appearance: A solid, black-bodied beer, with a relatively fast-fading tan head that leaves a solid sheen of lace, a little thin collar, and a few glittery sheets and streaks here and there. Retention leaves a bit to be desired, and that and the lacing is pretty much all you can review as far as appearance goes in a beer this dark, no?

Aroma: Banana dominates, though smoke, very heavily toasted malts, char, and a few bready notes that give a faint air of banana bread provide the balance. All in all its a little faint, and a little too heavily roasted, but that's ok.

Taste: Char is strong here, and it almost lends that bourbon barrel note, though it's obviously a result of all the woody earthiness. Plenty of cocoa and a dash of coffee lends a mocha-like edge with a few lactic notes. Relatively dry, on the whole. A few faint spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, relatively crisp and dry, with mild and even effervescence. This beer's best aspect.

Drinkability: Not my cup of tea, really. Hell Hath No Fury was better than this. This one's just a little too heavily roasted, a little too dry. It's worth at least one try, though I can't say I see myself going back to this one.

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

A - Pours black with brown highlights and an ecru head that slowly recedes to a viscous white film.

S - Roasted malts, coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate.

T - I wouldn't exactly say it makes my tastebuds pop n lock uncontrollably, but they're nodding their heads a little bit. Dark malty upfront with a bitterness creeping in and a little licorice essence. Little bit o' coffee as well.

M - I wasn't enamored with the mouthfeel because I felt it should've been thicker, but I don't discount that too much as it wasn't really my decision to make, but the brewers'. Good carbonation.

Notes - Good drinkability, the ABV isn't evident in the lack of strong alcohol taste.

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Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a color one shade away from being black. The head is one-finger of off-white foam that recedes into a thin pancake on top with decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with hints of coffee and licorice. As the beer warms the licorice becomes more apparent.

Tastes good. Mild roasted malt flavors up front that segue into hints of licorice. Depending on the sip the initial flavor switches between roasted malt and roasted coffee. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit more carbonated than I was expecting, but the thickness is good and it goes down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished one glass with no problem and could have a few more.

Overall this isn't my favorite from Allagash, but it's still a solid offering. Worth a shot.

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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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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,639 ratings.
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