Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black | Allagash Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by rye726 on 03-04-2009

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 441
Photo of Brez07
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On cask at Novare, Bourbon Barrel aged with vanilla beans. 8oz pour into an Allagash 25cl glass

A: Dark with a quickly evaporating head. Spotted lacing is left all over the place

S: There are a ton of scents here. Sweet vanilla, toasted coconut, slight hint of caramel, cocoa nibs and of course some bourbon. About halfway through the glass I detect something very similar to those buttered popcorn jellybeans

T: Exactly like the nose, minus the popcorn. Just a lovely combination of vanilla, chocolate and a slight hint of bourbon

M: Super creamy and goes down smooth. Small amount of roasted flavor in the after taste

D: This is a phenomenal beer. I wanted another glass, but I had to get going. Dangerously drinkable at 9.3%. I hope to see this again sometime in the near future

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap @ Stoutfest @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Pitch black with a light creamy head.

N: Some sweet malts, a little fruity, quite a bit of bourbon aroma. Little hop spiciness, biscuit malts, vanilla and oak.

T: Lots of fruit, like juicy almost berry fruit. Some wild brett like funk and dry yeast characteristics. Some sour fruit, malty biscuit and barnyard dry funk. It's very much like a dark saison, and despite being dry it still hides the booze pretty well. All that tags along a slight oaky vanilla taste, and a strong bourbon flavor. Not quite Bourbon County Stout, or even KBS, but has its own bourbon charm.

M: Semi thick, little syrupy, and little carbonation.

F: Long bitter finish, saison bite with dryness, and more lingering funk. A little boozy and more like a touch of bourbon on the finish. Malty flavors linger, pretty dry and spicy even.

Lots going on here. It has some nice flavors, but they don't seem to belong and don't contrast well. Its basically lots of great beers blended, not always the best thing. At EBF I blended PtY, Supplication, CBS, and a touch of Utopias, they're all really REALLY great beers on their own, but tasted bad together. Much like this one.

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3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a 10 1/2 oz tulip, batch #1345, $7.50. The ABV is listed as 8.?. I'm guessing the barrel aging provides varying ABV results.

A: Pours with a light brown head, that is small to begin with and quickly vanishes without a trace. For only 8% ABV, the head could have lasted a little longer and some lacing would have been nice. This brew rolls clean off of the glass. The body is an opaque black but thin ruby edges are visible when held to light. I'm looking for something to justify a better appearance rating but there is really nothing exceptional regarding its look.

S: Bourbon dominates the nose but it isn't assaulting. Dark toasted malts plus grains of wheat and oats. Aroma subtleties include chocolate, spent coffee grounds and star anise.

T: Barrel aging is evident on the palate too, as this brew spent 10 months in bourbon barrels, but the subtlety is most impressive. The perfect amount of bourbon contribution for my taste.

M: The mouthfeel is my favorite aspect of this brew. The Black uses a Belgian yeast strain and is bottle fermented with great results. Light to medium body, leaning toward light. The texture is lush and buttery smooth when the effervescence subsides. Fine carbonation with small and productive bubbles, prickling the tongue all over. Semi warm on the exhale.

D: This is another high-quality brew from Allagash. Although I have to say I prefer the non barrel aged version of the Black. I had it on cask in the same sitting and it was much fruitier and had more nuance. Big plum and red grape, semi sweet. As subtle as the bourbon was in the -bbl aged, it hindered the complexity.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a .25cl Allagash tulip. Poured the color of cola with a mere swirl of foam comprising the head, and a tight band around the perimeter of the glass. Nose is very subdued; some brewer's licorice - nose seems closer to a baltic porter. Taste reveals a little bourbon, a hint of a medicinal quality and black licorice; there's also a slightly vinous quality (once again reminiscent of a baltic porter). Mouthfeel was light/medium with a fairly subdued background effervescence. Happy to try this, but I'm a bigger fan of the standard Black. Certainly worth a try if you have the opportunity, but not the best example of barrel-aging from this brewer.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am just a sucker for these stouts...Poured deep, rich, black into the snifter, thick beige head that eventually became the lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, oak and bourbon. Taste was the same as the aroma, with a full-bodied, full-flavour mouthfeel. What makes this different from other stouts? Probably the fullness of the flavours, highly drinkable...if I can find any more!!!

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Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally getting around to the Philly Beer Week notes...
On tap at Capone's...
Appears a dense black with a small tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light oak(becomes more evident as it warms), black grapes, roasty grain, and cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a cocoa, and vanilla flavor dominating the flavors with just a touch of steeped espresso beans.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, roasty during the finish, with a mild astringency found while sampling.
A rare treat that I was glad to enjoy in the company of Rob Tod from Allagash.

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Photo of AltBock
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This wonderful beer was on tap during Capone's Allagash promo on 3/14/2009. They served it to me in a little 9 oz. Snifter.

The beer's color put the word black into "Allagash Black." It poured a solid coal black color with a decent 1/2 an inch head of light tan colored foam. This small head of foam had pretty good retention that only left behind a hand full of tan spots of lace.

The aroma was lightly sweet and smoky with dark candi sugar, dark chocolate, a hint of roasted coffee beans, a pinch of vanilla, a touch of roasted malts, and a subtle whiff of bourbon and oak. All the roasted flavors before the bourbon and oak did a great job not letting them get out of hand and completely take over the aroma.

The first thing that I immediately noticed in the taste was that the dark chocolate was more prominent in the Barrel Aged Black than in the regular Black. Behind the dark chocolate were all the flavors that I had just smelled. That means I got to taste dark candi sugar, roasted coffee beans, a touch of roasted malts, a pinch of vanilla, a splash of smoke, and then this roasted/sweet/lightly smoky beer finished up with a strong, but not overwhelming taste of bourbon and charred oak. In other words, it was a great well balanced barrel aged beer.

The mouthfeel was slick. Even though it was chock full of dark roasted flavors, this beer didn't show it's high ABV of 10% till after the bottom of the second glass. Barrel Aged Black is a full bodied beer with a full flavored aftertaste of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, roasted malts, smoke, bourbon, and oak. I originally thought that some of the alcohol would move over from the bourbon, but it didn't. All the roasted probably had something to do with that.

If you're a fan of the original Black, barrel aged beers, or just a fan of Allagash, then you need to try this beer. I was told that this was only a one time beer. That's too bad because I would certainly love another glass of this wonderful beer.

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Photo of hopdog
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capones.

Poured a dark black color with a smaller sized off white/tan head. Aromas of roastiness, woody, smoke, vanilla, and a trace (if any) of bourbon. Tastes of vanilla, woody/oak, dark fruits, roasty, chocolate, the same smokiness, and vanilla. If I wasn't told this was done in a Bourbon Barrel, I would have just guessed Oak Aged.

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Photo of rye726
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is Black aged for 10 months in bourbon barrels. Pours a near black color with a thick brown head. The nose has dark roasty malts, peppery Belgian yeasts, chocolate and whiskey. The barrel aging for sure added another layer of complexity to the nose, but I'm not sure it had much of an affect on the flavor profile. The taste is however a bit more rounded. Not quite as roasty as the regular Black. The body is not as full as I expected, but still drinks well.

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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 441 ratings.
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