Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Allagash Black

Allagash Black

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Portland, Maine

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

7.50% ABV

Commercial Description:
Allagash Black, our new Belgian style stout, is brewed with German 2 row barley, Torrified wheat and oats, balanced by a large addition of Belgian dark candi to give the Black a full and silky mouthfeel. Roasted malts give this stout its classic chocolate, toast and malty taste, and contribute to chocolate notes and a hint of roasted coffee in the aroma. The Black is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain and refermented in the bottle with the methode champenoise to make this beer truly unique. Availability: 750 ml bottles, 5.17 gal kegs ABV: 7.5% Original Gravity: 1.072 Recommended Serving Temperature: 55°F Recommended Cellaring Temperature: 55°F

General Pricing:
750ml bottle  ~ $10.00

This review is a bit of a two parter. I have a bottle of this beer (batch 10) in my beer cabinet that I am aging. I bought a new bottle, this one (batch 13) to review so I can have a before and after aging tasting. The second part, the aged beer will probably not be until Christmas 2010.

So for a mini style discussion a Belgian Stout is a bit of a misnomer. A Stout, is actually a Stout-Porter, which is based on the original English Porter. There are basic fundamental differences between Belgian ales and Porters; mainly the type of yeast. So technically it is not possible to have a Belgian Stout as we commonly know a Stout. The Belgian Stout is actually a heavily malted Belgian Dark Ale or Strong Dark, also known as a Belgian Black or Noire. The Belgian yeast will give these dark roasted malts a much different character development producing dark fruity esters that will not be present in any standard stout. 


This beer pours a dark brown almost completely opaque with just a hint of rich amber hues at the bottom of the chalice.

Rich dark roasted malts on the nose along with some very nice dark fruit esters. There is also that classic Belgian yeasty aroma.

Wow that’s probably as close to a stout as you can get a Belgian. This is an extremely unique bier. There are those classic stout flavors of coffee and chocolate but also the unmistakable Belgian yeast and dark fruit esters.

Let me try to dissect his a little. It starts out with sweet dark malts up front then a nice somewhat creamy middle, the back end is a nice more robust roasted malt flavor with a classic Belgian yeast flavor.

This is a great beer but it doesn’t fit any typical standard. Boy, is that good.

This beer is just getting better as it warms. The malts are so rich and smooth with nothing unpleasant whatsoever.

Another winner for Allagash; these guys know how to do Belgians.

This is such a unique beer I’m going to have a hard time rating it. It is hands down an overall B+ but I really not sure how it fits into this Belgian Black style. I will have to have several more of this style to rate it against. So I’m leaving it at a B+. It will be interesting to see what happens when this is cellared for a year.

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