Allagash Brewing’s North Sky, a Belgian-inspired stout, promises a celestial experience akin to a clear night under the stars. With the ambition to blend fruity sweetness with roasty malt, this 7.5% ABV beer aims to create a harmonious balance between light and darkness—a goal that deserves scrutiny.

Appearance: A Dark Cosmos

The pitch-black pour is accompanied by a voluminous mocha tan head, showcasing the stout’s visual prowess. Surprisingly, the lacing persists throughout the drinking experience—a notable achievement, especially considering the absence of adjuncts.

Aroma: Malt and Yeast Symphony

The olfactory journey is a symphony of coffee, toffee, dark berry, vanilla, and cream. It serves as a stark reminder of the complexity achievable through the marriage of malt and yeast, offering a fragrant prelude to what lies ahead.

Taste: A Stellar Performance

North Sky unfolds with a medium bitterness that evolves into a delightful medley of dark chocolate, espresso, and nuanced darker fruits like blackberry and plum. Despite its 7.5% alcohol content, the stout conceals its potency skillfully. The beer gracefully exits the palate with a medium body and an off-dry finish, courtesy of a robust roast character. Every flavor lingers enticingly in the aftertaste, showcasing an impressive equilibrium.

Mouthfeel: Well-Orchestrated Harmony

The beer’s medium body and off-dry finish contribute to a well-orchestrated drinking experience. North Sky strikes a balance between the boldness of its flavors and a palatable departure, making it an enjoyable companion for those who appreciate complexity without overwhelming intensity.

Overall: Stout Season Excellence

In a landscape saturated with various beer styles, North Sky emerges as a game-day player, challenging the notion that stouts are confined to specific seasons. As the trend leans back towards cleaner West Coast IPAs, this adjunctless stout asserts its relevance. Classic dark ales may offer reminders of the genre’s potential, but North Sky stands out with its impeccable balance. Whether paired with a hearty bowl of chili or a curated assortment of fresh fruit, this stout earns its place among the stars of the beer constellation.