SamGamgee (2585) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - JAN 16, 2009
Draught at The Big Hunt. Black with a medium beig head. Sweet and fruity aroma, with some caramelized and light licorice notes. Not very roasty on the whole. More Belgian than stout, but what would you expect from Allagash? Lots of fruit, with a good pear quality showing, and a light chocolate and molasses sweetness. The dark candi sugar is quite evident as well. Medium-full, silky mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this, but it really isn’t much of a stout, just a really dark belgian ale. ClarkVV (6962) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 7, 2009
In the last half of 2007, the biere du jour seemed to be the Belgian stout (with most versions pushing the imperial status as far as gravity was concerned). Allagash cashed in towards the end of this trend and really capped things off with what I’d consider to be the best commercial example of the "style". So patience really paid off here. Having had samples of the bottle, cask and draught from batch 1 onwards, the beer began great and has remained functionally unchanged in its present incarnation. I found the bottle, with its penchant for evolving more quickly thanks to the more rapid bottle refermentation when compared to a keg, and its more spritzy carbonation (though this is hardly a "spritzily" carbonated beer), to be a bit more dry, and more focused in its dual display of sweet chocolate and dry, moderately bitter roast; though detracting little from the draught version, which is simply more of a hearty, chewier, slightly more sweet "foreign" stout, in the real sense of the style (which it only somewhat approximates). No, the bottle is certainly more a roasty American stout-meets-Belgian yeast. Light notes of vanilla, cocoa and chocolate syrup are found in all versions, with a medium-dry finish in all cases, as well. What I really applaud here is the restraint on the gravity/abv which allows for more focus on the malt and yeast and avoids any obtrusive alcohol sharpness/dryness/heat. The cask was delicious as well, achieving a chocolate fudge iced cream-like flavor and consistency, with fresh Belgian yeast softness on the finish and a creamy mouthfeel that turned it more towards the decadent. Bravo Allagash! Gmoney (465) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 4, 2009
750 ml bottle , jet black pour,thin beige head.malty aroma with coffee and dark fruit notes.flavor is malty,yeasty ,sour and a bit bitter. different for sure .should have waited longer than 6 months to open. porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - DEC 31, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 2, 2013 (750 ml bottle from Downeast Beverage, cellared for 1 yr. after purchase) Pours very dark tobacco brown with less than a finger of tan head. Aroma of sour fruit, chocolate and yeast - not particularly inviting. Mouthfeel lightly fizzy, a touch chalky, medium-full. Nice, light rings of lacing melt away rather quickly. Flavor of light baker’s chocolate with a tinge of fruity sourness and yeast. A bit nicer as it warms. Some bitterness builds toward finish. Lingering unsweetened chocolate aftertaste with a bit of bitterness. An interesting, nice quality beer but at the same time a bit of a letdown from Allagash. Seems a little confused. UPDATE: 6/2/13 Draft @ Lion’s Pride - This was smooth with a really nice balanced flavor highlighted by baker’s chocolate and coffee. My posted rating is average of former and recent. shadey (2171) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 27, 2008
750ml bottle. Fresh. Pour is black and oily. Aroma is roasty and mild, with a touch of chocolate. Flavor is really smooth and well-blended. I am surprised at how smooth the flavors and the body roll over my tongue. It is almost like an aged stout, but this might only have a couple months of age. Smooth and chocolaty with a nice roasty finish.
jimhilt (2635) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 27, 2008
Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is roasted coffee with a slight sweet background, burnt coffee finish. Nice Belgian stout. Pricey at $13.00 for a 750ml bottle from a Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, ME. nramsburg (259) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2008
Pours to, well..black. Fairly small sized head. Aroma of deep chocolate, coffee and a hint of yeast as well. Definite undertones of toasted malty flavor.
The body is fairly thin with a good deal of effervescence. I had expected a bit more syrupy feel for a stout but this is a real treat. Unexpectedly light without sacrificing flavor at all. Notes on the aroma come through, with a bit more toasted flavor.
Fairly sweet finish. Impressive beer.
ElDuderino (184) - Hyde Park, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 24, 2008
On tap at the Publick House in Brookline. The body is a semi transparent black with dark caramel colors at the edges. A big tall light brown head has good resiliency and leaves a nice thick lacing on the glass. The smell is mostly sweet malts with some dry hay or dusty wood notes. The flavor starts out sweet and woody but finishes with a lot of yeasty bread and bitterness. In addition the mouthfeel was really airy and light which confused my pallate. I felt like this beer wanted to have a sour profile but never really got there, and the sweet stout aspects were not coheshive with the belgian yeast and malt profiles. KimJohansen (10498) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - DEC 24, 2008
Black with medium beige head. Sweet aroma with plenty of roasted malt, coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Flavour likewise hints of lemon from the hops. Powerfull roasted finish. nickd717 (4999) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 19, 2008
On tap at City Beer Store in SF. Aroma of roasted chocolate malt and Belgian yeast. Taste of coffee, yeast, and dark fruits. Average on the mouthfeel for a stout. Dangerously drinkable.