Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Beer: Allagash Black, 750ml corked bottle
Style: Belgian Strout
POP: West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m really excited about this beer. I’ve been really impressed with pretty much all of Allagash’s brews, even the ones that aren’t my favorite style. You may notice that instead of writing notes and putting together the full paragraph later, I’m running this one play-by-play style. Here’s the kickoff…
Pours a thick, dark brown, almost black coming out of the bottle. Sitting in my Dogfish head globe, it’s nearly pitch black with a beautiful two finger light tan head. This is just an astounding LOOKING beer, further adding to my excitement. I let this one sit a bit to get to its proper serving temperature, and have left it in the glass for a few minutes to let it warm a little further. The head dissipated slowly with a ton of lacing on the glass, and there’s still a thin layer of head on the top that doesn’t appear to be going away. Nice.
For such a big looking and sounding beer, there’s not a whole lot going on aromatically. Honestly, it smells like, well, what it is….kinda Belgian, kinda a stout.
Taste…HEAVEN. Oh man. This is seriously one of the best beers I’ve had since trying Surly’s Darkness Imperial Stout. Malty and yeasty up front – that Belgian yeast coming though – and a bitter chocolate and coffee finish like a proper stout. This feels thick, like a stout, but you can’t ignore the Belgian yeast. Some of the clowns that review stuff on Beer Advocate might say that “the flavors are all over the place” or something like that, but personally, I love the fact that the first taste is different than the finish. Surprisingly a little bit of alcohol taste at the end, even though this beer only (ha! only!) clocks in at 7.5% ABV. Not overpowering though, and just a reminder that this is a strong beverage.
The second pour (after warming even more) still is thick and almost creamy. It’s definitely best towards the bottom once the carbonation settles a little bit. Not that it’s overly carbonated to begin with (one of my pet peeves of less superior stouts), but that smooth, thick taste that you get at the bottom half of the glass…amazing. Overall, an amazing beer.
Final verdict: I will buy it whenever I see it.