It's little surprise that one of the best examples of this hybrid style comes from Portland's Allagash Brewing. The Maine-based brewery helped popularize Belgian-style beers in the United States, and over the last few decades it has steadily expanded its catalog to include more and more styles. Its take on a Belgian-style stout, brewed with barley, wheat, roasted and chocolate malt, and caramelized candi sugar, debuted in 2007.
The opaque brew's intercontinental aspects play off one another perfectly at 7.5% ABV. Roast malt and caramel combine pleasantly on the nose, backed by subtle spice. The flavor is a complex trip, starting with coffee up front before coming around to a mocha finish. The oats used in the recipe provide a silky smoothness not unlike an oatmeal stout. Allagash occasionally puts out a bourbon barrel-aged version of Black, which adds wonderful oak and vanilla (not to mention whiskey) flavors to an already pleasant package.
Review originally printed in The Handbook of Porters and Stouts