Nocturna
Allagash Brewing Company

NocturnaNocturna
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American
Ranked #363
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #21,620
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 8.18%
Reviews:
14
Ratings:
36
From:
Allagash Brewing Company
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  2
SCORE
87
Very Good
NocturnaNocturna
Notes: Aging this silky stout in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans fills it with a galaxy of roasty and sweet notes of toffee, chocolate and oak. Experience for yourself this momentous meeting of darkness and light.
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 36 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Steve_Studnuts
Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours with a surprising thumb's worth of khaki-colored head. Not inky black like I like big stouts to be; this is more of a deep dark cola brown. Mild lacing. Doesn't look like I was hoping or expected, but sometimes that's a good thing. Smells of cherry cordial and scents I normally associate with dry Irish stouts; milk chocolate and mild roast coffee beans. There's a dry alcohol accent that is probably from the bourbon barrels, but the vanilla addition makes it hit me like vanilla extract. Hell, maybe they used vanilla extract, I dunno. (Label says vanilla beans, for the record) Tastes kind of like a dry Irish stout as well; drinks far lighter than 9.5% ABV. Vanilla doesn't overwhelm as I feared it might, but it's definitely there and not really adding much. There's some toasty marshmallow and cola too, if that's your jam. Flavors don't quite congeal. Zero barrel notes. Lands on the lower level of medium-bodied with far too much carbonation for the style. Or, I dunno, maybe this is exactly what they were going for, but personally when I see a 4-pack of barrel-aged stout on the shelf for $20 I expect something with a little more heft and balance. Pretty disappointing overall.

Nov 28, 2021
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great take on the bourbon barrel stout, here with vanilla added... Has lots of rich smoke and wood suffused with bourbon and vanilla - chocolaty, rich, smooth - not too sweet, dries on the palate and finish, but refreshes with deep molasses and big vanilla... A very rewarding drink...

Nov 26, 2021
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled 8/25/21

Pours black in color, thin tan head that fades. Pleasant aroma of roasted malt, Belgian yeast, and mild bourbon. Similar flavor, the vanilla is very subtle. Thinner bodied for an Imperial Stout.

Nov 25, 2021
Photo of harrypowers
harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown with a thin tan head and a lot of lacing.

Smells of coffee and bourbon.

Tastes of coffee, chocolate, sweet toasted malt and bourbon with a lightly bitter alcohol warm finish.

Medium body with light carbonation. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

This brew is light bodied for an imperial stout. Enjoyable none the less.

Nov 23, 2021
Photo of Rapscullion
Rapscullion from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle fresh from brewery into tulip glass. Very dark brown, not as opaque as expected. Dense, light tan head. Very attractive.
Nose not at all what I expected. Light, with no hint of cask aging. Smells more like an ESB with strong malty notes. Not picking up the expected roast, coffee or chocolate.
Taste leads with strong malt body, a little roasty bitterness and spice balanced with the sweet vanilla. No alcohol heat but light bourbon flavors develope on the back palate after a few sips.
Body is surprisingly light and mouthfeel is a little thin.
Overall, not at all what In expected. The barrell aging is superbly integrated and it is deceptively easy drinking for the ABV. Just a little thin and lacking in complexity for this style.

Nov 23, 2021
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle dated 08/25/2021. Sampled Nov 20, 2021.

The pour is dark brown to about black underneath a lingering tan head.

The aroma emits an array of sensations including dark roasted malts, char, Graham crackers, toasted bread, light vanilla bean, and earth. No booze.

Smooth medium body.

Sweet and crackery taste right off the bat. Decent earthy and traditional hop notes. not the priority here. Easy drinking.

Nov 20, 2021
Photo of micada
micada from New York

3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured cold to a Glencairn. Decent look. Decent Aroma. Flavor profile is very barrel wood forward, but not really getting any bourbon or vanilla from it. Like all other Allagash I’ve tried, mouthfeel is on the the thin side. For what this stout could be, it’s disappointing. Human ABV brings no bite or warming.

Nov 14, 2021
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle - $5.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Bottled On: 08/26/21.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with an instantly evaporating head.

Smell: Spiced dark fruits, juiced vanilla pods, chocolate flavoring (less of a taste of chocolate and more akin to a flavoring within a small plastic bottle), the bourbon character is most reserved, here.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, though the maltiness and its flavors seems pretty muted. Subtly sweet. Chilled dark fruitiness and glug of black cherry cola. Teeny tiny pinch of Chinese five spice. Understated vanilla, virtually absent bourbon character. Its Belgian yeast qualities, also mild, are sustained though the gentle, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-soft carbonation. A little bit of stickiness.

Overall: Not at all unpleasant, it's just that so many of its aspects are

Nov 13, 2021
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2021/08/25
Pours a smaller fizzy tan head with med retention, fair lacing, dark but semi clear mahogany color

Nose fair bourbon and vanilla oak, sweet bourbon juice, light baking spices, hint of anise, earthy root notes, little charred oak and faint roast and dark chocolate, vanilla spice, more bakers chocolate as it warms

Tastefair stout like with roast and char, little burnt coffee, big baking spice with fair anise, fair roast bitterness and mild spicy hop, some sweet bourbon but not as much as the nose, barrel char, fair vanilla spice and rich raw earthy vanilla, semi sweet sticky finish

Mouth is fuller bod, med frothy carb, light warming alcohol

Overall mixed, I like the nose much more than the taste, to much earthy vanilla and burnt roast, and anise a bit high even

Nov 12, 2021
Photo of LeRose
LeRose from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Looks proper enough on the pour with a fairly dense tan foamy head that falls in a few minutes to a single layer of a cap that clings surprisingly well. Dark brown with good clarity.

Smells slightly sweet on the inhale, vanilla and some milk chocolate, toffee, and a nice bit of woody oak. A little bourbon. Not mind altering, but an inviting aroma. It is quite tame - the smell is not strong and take a bit of time to emerge.

The taste is where this beer shines more. Smooth tasting with no jagged edges. I get some sweetness initially, then the bourbon arrives but it is still quite smooth. Chocolate - just a little and it combines nicely with the fair amount of vanilla that emerges. Woody oak, but only a touch. Typical stout malt, but very dialed back on the charred bit and very mild coffee notes. To me it opens and finishes pleasantly sweet, while it does some interesting things in the middle There's enough of a bitter bite to keep the sweetness in check. The flavors integrate well.

The feel is medium maybe a bit less. Enough carbonation to keep it alive, slightly sticky on the lips.

Overall, this strikes me as a well-balanced beer, and it is Allagash's interpretation of a stout, which to me means it has elements in common with a BSDA. Much smoother than North Sky. Good, easy drinking 9% beer, deftly integrated flavors.

Nov 08, 2021
Photo of bobv
bobv from Vermont

4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle.
Bottled 08/25/21.

Moderate pour yields a one and a 1/4 inch light tan head over a near black body with sticky lacing.

Nose of muted aromas of roasted malt, vanilla, chocolate, and slight oaked bourbon.

Taste outdoes the nose with much stronger flavors of chocolate and vanilla coming forward.
Nice hoppy finish is a pleasant surprise with some bourbon notes there as well.

Feel is quite adequate for the style.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone.

Cheers!

Nov 08, 2021
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/25/21; drank 11/3/21 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge khaki head; strong, frothy tree-rung lace.

Cream, bourbon, mild charred oak & faint chocolate notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium mouthfeel.

Charred oak, cream, mild bourbon heat & faint chocolate flavors.

Balanced & interesting.

Nov 05, 2021
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Dark brown color.

Coffee and bourbon notes. Vanilla, oak, caramel. Tastes more like a strong dark than a stout. Lighter feel. Smooth. Chocolate notes. Solid.

Oct 10, 2021
Photo of scotorum
scotorum from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. can into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Opaque black with semi-clear multi-color bottom. Inch thick offwhite head receded to even surface foam and some dense lacing.

s; mild to moderate Bourbon.

t: Follows the nose, the liquor dominating any other flavor. Sweet to alcohol finish with some cloying at the sides of the mouth.

m; Lighter side of medium, ok body and lots of carbonation tingle.

o; Good if you like the whiskey flavor (which I do), just seems a bit lightweight for a stout, with no apparent smokey/coffee/chocolate notes to speak of.

Mar 16, 2020
Nocturna from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 36 ratings