Black - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Allagash Brewing Company

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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
ABV:
9.2%
Score:
92
Avg:
4.15 | pDev: 9.64%
Reviews:
85
Ratings:
441
From:
Allagash Brewing Company
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  71
Gots
  46
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Notes: Our Belgian Style Stout, Black, aged for one year in bourbon barrels. The toffee,chocolate and coconut nose is followed by a smooth bitter chocolate and bourbon flavor. The finish is dry, roasted and warming.
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 441 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big off-white head. Thick collar. Wispy surface.

Smell - Whoa, funky. Oak. Funky yeastiness. Really oaky. Some bourbon and a strange red wine aroma. Roasty and a little grassy.

Taste - Very oaky. Very roasty. A bit of dark fruit. Kinda sweet. Bitter roasty finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The oak is funky and weird. My kneejerk reaction to the first sniff was that something was off, but it never panned out and it's just odd.

Jan 27, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

I would have never guessed this beer is as strong as it is, seems so smooth and mild. having not had the base black in awhile, I am amazed how different this seems to be. a whole lot less Belgian and a whole lot more barrel. the bourbon flavors are dominant while the mouthfeel is extremely soft and velvety and almost delicate for such a big brew. dark chocolate and caramel malt comprise the bulk of the grain character, but the bourbon is a major contributor to flavor. vanilla and charred oak compliment the beer nicely, but I am missing much of the belgian yeast character I seem to remember from black. not a bad thing, just a big difference. on tap at the farmhouse in Burlington after a recent allagash event. lucky to have tried this in that format, just beautiful beer from one of the premier producers on American soil.

Aug 17, 2014
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jwchestnut from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A rather dark, dark brown - straight black coffee color. Gorgeous thick, foamy, khaki head that sticks around for awhile. The nose is subtle but dark chocolate, Belgian yeast, light bourbon and oak, some dark fruits and as it warms I am picking up on the coconut. The taste is wonderful - much lighter on the bourbon character than other BA'ed beer, which was great - not overdone, but added subtlety to an already favorite of mine - sweet dark malts, dark and milk chocolates and Belgian peppery and spicy yeast but with an added layer of bourbon, oak and burnt sugars. Really enjoyed this. I found the mouth-feel was a little richer and smoother than the light body of the regular Black. All in all really wonderful and thankful to have stumbled across this.

Feb 28, 2014
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reebtaerG from Maryland

4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got at growler station at Perfect Pour. Pour into New Belguim globe

A-This one poured a very dark opaque brown color. There was just a bit of a tan head that doesn’t linger long or leave much lacing.

S-The aroma has oak bourbon bready, chocolate, roastiness, some coconut

T-The taste is very good. The bourbon flavor is more subdued than some other bourbon barrel aged beers that I’ve had. Chocolate, some roastiness.

M-The mouthfeel medium full body and medium carbonation.

O-Great bourbon Belgium stout by Allagash

Jan 27, 2014
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Boto from Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle: This one poured a very dark opaque brown color. There was just a bit of a tan head that doesn’t linger long or leave much lacing. The aroma is a little lighter than expected. Not too much bourbon to the nose. Bready, chocolate, roastiness, some pine and citrus hops. The taste is very good. The bourbon flavor is more subdued than some other bourbon barrel aged beers that I’ve had. Chocolate, some roastiness, somewhat bitter. Touch of sweetness in finish. Very Nice!

Nov 17, 2013
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alaimoa from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into teku
A: black with brown lace that leaves decent spotty legs
S: bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, dates
T: bourbon forward like curieux. Chocolate bitterness with a bit of sweet boozy heat but not too aggressive
M: lacks a bit here, the black has thinned out from what I remember and carbonation a bit much.. Would have loved slightly thicker and less carb

Overall solid from Allagash, could drink again and again

Sep 23, 2013
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color with a little over a fingers worth of tan/brown head that relatively slowly dies down to a spotty cap

S: Some nice roasted and Belgian qualities to start things off. Definite Belgian yeast along with a light roast, dark chocolate, and dark fruits followed by a very light hint of oak and bourbon. Alcohol covered well

T: Starts off with a mixture of oak, wood, Belgian yeast, roasted malts and dark fruit. Some bourbon and light alcohol heat make a quick presence towards the finish. Some vinous qualities make their way in around the middle. Finishes with a nice nutty/toffee note

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nicely layered and complex brew. Just the right amount of barrel presence to make itself known, as it's not overwhelming by any means. Certainly don't go in expecting to be overpowered by the barrel. Pricey, but worth it at least once

Aug 28, 2013
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Allagash tasting room.

Beer is black (surprising!) with a minimal tan head. Head fades quickly. Some lace.

Nose contains toffee and cocoa. Some oak.

The bourbon is fairly subtle, but there. Oak and vanilla, and some anise. Belgian yeast. Chocolate, roasted malt.

Full bodied, but not heavy. Moderate carbonation. Slick.

Overall, pretty good, but not something I would search high and low for.

Aug 22, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ The Reservoir

A - Black with a thin layer of dirty cream coloured head.

S - Oak, bourbon, chcolate, dark fruit.

T - Roast, chocolate, Belgian yeast, clove, spice. Oak and bourbon present but not dominant. Smooth and well integrated barrel and base beer flavours.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Dry. Light carbonation.

Jul 02, 2013
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at sams in Durham. into a flute glass.

pitch black, light head. basically this beer is bourbon in a beer. huge bourbon aroma with a huge bourbon taste. hard to rate. not complex, but if you like bourbon you'll like this. medium bodied, not heavy.

overall its good, not great.

Jun 29, 2013
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clayrock81 from Florida

3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thoroughly enjoyed the regular Black so a little let down after this, thinking that the bourbon barrel aging could smooth it out even more as well as add an extra dimension in taste and mouthfeel. Perhaps it will in a bottle that's aged but this review is of a glass I had on tap from a not at all aged keg. Poured a brownish, almost black body, with one finger tan head that died slow and left some lace down glass. Strong malty aroma of roasted malts, some dark chocolate and there is a alcohol, bourbon like aroma with some wood in there. This is where I find this version slightly below the standard from regular black, as the strong roasted and wood type malts and flavors overpower, even while smoothing out this fuller bodied beer, the minor sweet malts (caramel, chocolate) and the hopiness and dark fruit flavors. It is more of a coffee or javalike sweetness and bitter chocolate all while going down easy than a balanced Belgian ale with sweetness and touches of yeast, hops and fruit flavors. Still would recommend this anyone who enjoyed the Black but just thought this effort was just off the mark.

Jun 24, 2013
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wedge from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

@ Milltown

Not really black, but rather a very dark mahogany hued body with a fat, tight head. The aroma is fairly mellow to start: light chocolate, coconut, and vanilla bean. Light on the roast and no real trace of yeast. Very smooth, well-integrated flavors like Belgian chocolate, tobacco, rich malt, and creamy vanilla. I don't go crazy for bourbon barrel aged beers in general, as frequently I find them to be over the top, eclipsing the base beer with straight whiskey booze. This was beautifully done, the bourbon being subtle and working with the dark maltiness of Black, making it superior to the original in my eyes. Medium bodied and silky smooth. Not hot or boozy at all. This was the final beer I had during a rather satisfying evening of special and/or draft-only Allagash brews, and this was the surprise winner for me. I look forward to finding it again...

Mar 28, 2013
Photo of Gassygunslinger
Gassygunslinger from Maine

4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Gardiner, Maine's Swine & Stein Octoberfest.

A: Not much head, but other than that it looked nice. Granted though, it was mother f'ing cold that day (an outside event), so that might have led to poor head retention. Jet black. Just how a stout should look.

S: Smells like bourbon. Not much malt in the smell, at least so far as I could tell. It lets you know that what you're drinking isn't something that's been lightly oaked for an afternoon.

T: Bam. Strong bourbon flavors, and strong stout flavors. The spice of the bourbon comes off powerful over the milder Belgian flavors. Unlike an RIS, there's not much hops, and the maltiness isn't as charred. Unfortunately, it does overpower the light pleasant wheat malt I've come to love Allagash Black for. While I wasn't disapointed with this brew by any means, I can't honestly say that I would have guessed this stuff was once Allagash Black.

M: Standard mouthfeel. Again, it was cold as hell. Not sure how good of an impression I got.

O: Fantastic bourbon stout. Totally worth the freezing cold.

Jan 25, 2013
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mactrail from Washington

3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker shade of blackness in the small tulip glass. Nice foam and plenty of carbonation on the tongue. Medium body.

Warm malt with many shades of roasted malt. Some toasted nuts along with hints of charred grain. Mellow malt flavors dominate but it dries out in the aftertaste into a more austere brew. You wouldn't mistake this for a Barley Wine. The modest sweetness provides a pleasant base for some high notes of hops. Raisiny and figgy, but pleasantly balanced. A little booziness but the barrel flavors don't really dominate.

A pleasant sip of no great distinction but with an aromatic woody flavor. On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego.

Jan 06, 2013
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 11/25/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and Belgian yeast.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, dark fruit, licorice and coffee followed by a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect but is complementary and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good dark beer to drink for a long time.

Nov 25, 2012
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TheBrewo from New York

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was served from the tap at The Blind Tiger in New York, NY into a stemless chalice. It arrived glowing a cola black, with lighter brown around the edges. No head was noted, and lacing was accordingly minimal, with spots here and there. Carbonation appeared lighter, and no haze or sediment was noted. The aroma gave melted butter, caramel, toffee, strong diacetyls, warmed booze, milder oak, and the distinct sweeter corniness of straight bourbon. Our first impression was that this was one of the most bourbon-laden beers we’ve ever tasted!! The flavoring opened with musky, roasted malts. These had a deep char with a light smokiness. The oak began here as well, but again, this only added to the vibe of sipping the musk and darkness from a wood cabin’s cellar. The middle peaked with sweet and smoky bourbon, edging on Islay scotch peatiness. The malts here were rich and roasty, blending beautifully with the booze. The finish was with more smoke, bourbon, hearty grain of roast and caramel, warm nuttiness, and the stark coolness of vanilla. The aftertastes breathed of big bourbon, chalky grain, more smoke, souring grain, and mineral bitters. The body was full, and the carbonation was light to medium. Dryness was left streaked down the tongue via the bourbon flavoring and big booze to the back. There was nice slurp and smack, but lesser cream and froth. The abv was appropriate, and despite the slower sipping nature of this drink, you will keep coming back for more.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the huge bourbon through the mouth and nose. This also gave a surprising smoky quality to the flavoring, making the bourbon flavoring out of this world. Everything makes for such a warming brew, with big booze, a hearty malty background, and a totally inclusive blend. The original base beer has truly found a glorious buttery home in barrel aging.

Nov 20, 2012
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elgiacomo from Georgia

4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz Growler from Beverage World. Served at around cellar temperature.

Pour black with some red highlights under light and a small light brown head that leaves some lacing and recedes to a wispy cap and ring.

Aroma features warm bourbon notes, vanilla and oak, brown sugar, dark fruits, coffee, some chocolate, roasted malts. Very good strength.

Flavor features vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, dark chocolate, coffee, Belgian yeast esters, some sweetness, minimal bitterness, alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation.

I like this. I’ve enjoyed the regular Allagash Black and this adds a nice layer to an already good beer. The bourbon isn’t overpowering, mixed in very nicely with the nice balance of a roasty Stout and Belgian Ale.

Oct 28, 2012
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT

Solid black pour (at least it seemed so in the dim light) with a small tannish head; minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of dark malts, chocolate, distant hints of vanilla and bourbony wood. The bourbon element is more mellow in this beer, which is nice, otherwise flavors of dark malts, cocoa, some dark fruit and vanilla, and a bit of bready yeast and ash. On the heavier side of medium bodied, flavorful and nicely crafted.

Oct 09, 2012
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2013. Probably way past it's prime but it's not terrible. Lots of oxidized malt character with wisps of chocolate and dark fruits. Flavors have dulled for sure. No bourbon, no roast. Not too sweet. Eh. 3.61 as it is today.

Rating based on what I remembering it tasting like fresh.

Aug 26, 2012
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

8oz. pour into a Stang. Not sure why they chose to serve it this way. Reviewed from memory the same night.

Served with a 1 finger light mocha head with decent retention. Beer is opaque black but thin. Lacing is stringy with nice stick. Decent.

Nose is plum, prunes, and other fresh, dark fruit. Bourbon overtones with honey and molasses mixed in also. Some light chocolate as well. Sweet and fresh. Moderately aromatic. Nice.

Fresh dark fruit. Prunes, plum, grape, bourbon, molasses, and honey. Good fruit sweetness balanced by some chocolate notes. Booziness is apparent but not overpowering. Honey sweetness in the aftertaste. Real solid.

Miedium bodied with moderate carbonation. Perfect for the flavor. Smooth in the mouth with a slight alcohol kick going down. Clean finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Couldn't ask for more here.

Aging in bourbon barrels really adds a whole new dimension to this beer that puts it a decent cut above the original. Booziness is present but not overpowering... instead bringing out the robust dark fruit and chocolate flavors. Definitely worth a try.

Aug 09, 2012
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brokensail from California

3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a very dark brown color with a creamy off-white head. Nose is heavy on the roast with light bourbon aroma (more oak than anything). Lightly peppery with a hint of fruit, mostly banana. There is just a touch of coffee. The flavor has an interesting smokiness to it, perhaps from the char of the barrel? Mild bourbon and vanilla notes, some dark fruit, pepper, and lots of roasted malts. A hint of bitter chocolate, some banana, and a bit of booze.

Aug 07, 2012
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Southport Lanes of all places. Served in a goblet of some sort.

A - A nice finger of tan foam settles to a solid cap as well as splotches of lace. Black body with some brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of bourbon and barrel, but with fruity Belgian yeast, chocolate, molasses and caramel in the cracks.

T - The taste is quite similar, with lots of bourbon flavor followed by tangy Belgian yeast, dark bread, Belgian chocolate, candi sugar, and a touch of anise. Finish is whiskey-laden and a tad hot.

M - Slightly watery and thin, but with moderate carbonation. More 'Belgian' than American. Sticky finish, with a touch of alcohol warmth.

D - Not bad, but a bit too much bourbon and anise for my tastes. It's nice for a small pour, but gets a bit fatiguing after a while.

Aug 06, 2012
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Jamesthebrit from Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark brown with a good golden brown head.

S: Some oak, vanilla, a sweetness is also there.

T: As with the smell some oak, vanilla, a sweetness, drinks like a very bold porter. A great balance between earthy and sweet with some great hits at both.

M: Sits great with perfect carbonation and good flavor development. Alcohol cuts through over time but that takes a while.

Overall an amazing beer. With a great mouthfeel and a taste that is (to steal Armin Van Buuren's adjective) massive! No harsh notes whatsoever and the alcohol is so well hidden it's amazing. I think this is a limited release.... or maybe only on tap. Anyway that's sad because this beer is one of the best I've ever had.

Aug 06, 2012
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Just a lovely beer, and the thing that really makes this beer is just how well integrated all of the flavors are. Beautifully silky in the mouth, the glass keeps releasing all of these wonderful notes, one after the other- chocolate, vanilla, roasted grains, fruity esters, smooth and mellow Bourbon, a touch of cream. This beer isn't about being slapped upside the head and dragged into a back alley, it's about being seduced. Each flavor seamlessly progresses to the next, and nothing is overdone. Through the artistry of the brewer, and a deft hand with barrel aging, this beer has been crafted into a unified whole that emits a siren song that keeps you coming back for another quaff. Entirely too drinkable for the abv, and altogether very pleasant.

Jul 21, 2012
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**Had on tap at anotheroom tribeca and enjoyed it much more- the bourbon flavor was very much present. I'm bumping up my rating thusly**

Allagash Bourbon Black, on tap at Pony Bar in NYC, 8-oz glass.

Appearance: 2 fingers of foamy, chestnut-colored head, thick soapy bubbles. Serious retention, lacing. Auburn-amber-ebony color.

Smell: Quality booze, roastiness, camp fire. Toffee, brown butter and a touch of hops.

Taste: Disappointing, weak. Vinous qualities, demi glace-beef jus, raisins. No bourbon or booze, more like a mellow brown ale. Tad of chocolate at the end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, great carbonation, hop profile all around the mouth. Dry sticky finish.

Overall: Not too different from regular Black. Where's the Jim Beam? Aged for a whole year, seriously? Sad. But drinks great for sure.

Jun 13, 2012
Black - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 441 ratings