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Allagash Victoria Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Victoria AleAllagash Victoria Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

370 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 370
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 13
Gots: 54 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Victoria Ale was inspired by a visit to Victoria Mansion, in Portland, Maine and the visual references to Bacchus, the god of wine. The brewer's decided to fuse the worlds of beer and wine. Over two hundred pounds of Chardonnay (Vidal Blanc in 2010) grapes were brought in, crushed on site and added directly to the mash. Victoria Ale's aroma is fruity spice, and the taste presents subtle notes of green banana, black pepper, and fresh-crushed mint. With a focus on the subtle, wine-like character of the grapes, the 9.0% ABV brew boasts a pale copper color, Belgian yeast influence, and a medium body with a long candied fruit finish with hints of honeydew melon, and, of course, white wine grapes.

(Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 04-29-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1%

Atlanta ale meeting. All but drunk, I swished some samples around after seeing and smelling. Creamy mouthful and grapiness mixed in the yeast.Sweetish from the much chardonnay grapes.And with that it is more wine than beer, but there are not wines around that brew with beer.

Sammy, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

t0rin0, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%

On tap for Allagash night at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a hazy yellow with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain and some light jelly/jam fruity aromas. Taste is the same with some herbal flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

djrn2, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a shade of gold with a white head. Nose brings some wood, spice, grape, and some stone fruits. The taste is quite taken over by the grapes, taking away some of the nose's nuances. Feel is somewhat dry. Drinks okay, but like with the Victor, I think the grapes ended up being too large a component in the beer.

Thorpe429, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

nmann08, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2%

metter98, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +14%

Ripe apricot with sheets of bubbles boiling off the bottom of the glass. Victoria doesn't look overcarbonated, it looks Belgian carbonated; there's a difference. Atop the gorgeous liquid is a chunk of French vanilla foam that is almost, but not quite, the equal of the best BSPAs. It's respectably rocky and is just sticky enough to leave a few melty smears of lace.

The aroma is classic for the style. I'm continually amazed that Allagash nails the Belgian styles with authority, while most American brewers struggle to some extent. The nose is apple and pear fruity with a perfect amount of clove-like yeastiness. Surprisingly, white grapes aren't a huge part of the aroma.

Victoria Ale is yet another wonderful beer from Allagash Brewing Company. The addition of 100 lbs of Chardonnay grapes gives it a distinctiveness that sets it apart from the rest of the brewery's lineup. There isn't a huge grape influence on the palate, although they're definitely noticeable and add a considerable amount of fruitiness to a style that is able to incorporate more fruitiness with ease.

In typical ABC fashion, each member of the flavor profile knows its place and contributes perfectly to the hugely successful whole. Allagash beer doesn't smack the drinker in the face with a shovel, but the end result is the same: stunned amazement. There's a fraction more sweetness than is typical for the style; probably due to pale malt, candi sugar and fructose from the grapes.

I can't imagine a more perfect spiciness. Ground clove hums warmly along, zipping in and out, complementing without overwhelming. These guys have mastered the use of Belgian yeast more completely than many Belgian brewers. They've also just about perfected the art of alcohol masking because there's virtually none noted until the senses begins to fuzz about a third of the way into the bottle.

The mouthfeel score was one notch lower initially. However, with repose, it has improved considerably. I love the combination of a medium weight silkiness; a peppy, invigorating bubbliciousness; and a lightly coating, finishing stickiness. Pure pleasure.

Allagash is not only the best brewery in the state of Maine, it's one of the best breweries in America and in the world at large. In fact, in my humble opinion, there are only a handful of Belgian brewers who are as accomplished and as consistent. Victoria Ale may not be the best BSPA that I've ever had, but it's within sight of the leaders. Thanks hopsaplenty.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a bright yellow color ale with a big foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet white grape juice with some Belgian malt and some yeast. Taste is sweet with a nice mix between Belgian style malt and a yeasty finish. I couldn’t really pick-up the taste of grapes in there. Body was above average with some good carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Overall, this is an interesting beer but definitely not the best from this fine brewer.

Phyl21ca, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Texasfan549, May 31, 2014
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

GRG1313, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -23.5%

largadeer, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

SocalKicks, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%

On-tap 6/18/2013 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright yellow color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, citrus, bananas, light caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of citrus, caramel and bananas. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. There’s some spice in the background along with a decent hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid and flavorful Belgian-style beer to drink for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

RblWthACoz, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Leftovers from an Allagash event apparently. Copper-amber color, thick white head that receded to a ringlet, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma of white grapes, light lemony zest, pale malts. Elements of the aroma appeared in the taste naturally, white wine, bready pale malts, pithy citrus, apple skins, subtly tart, and a touch of peppery spice. Medium body, slightly chewy, decent and quite drinkable, but a bit bland overall.

To me, this came off almost as an attempt of cloning or at least imitating a Temptation or Damnation, and while decent in its own right, it wasn't nearly as good as those two.

Rifugium, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2%

Reviewed from notes. The beer pours an orange color with a large white head. The aroma is heavy on the white wine notes, with some nice orange and other tropical fruit notes coming through. The flavor is more of the same. I get some biscuit and wheat notes, as well as some orange and chardonnay grape notes. There is a lot of fruit in the beer, and a decent amount of sweetness and Belgian yeast. The alcohol is well hidden. Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

Mora2000, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

mendvicdog, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Bottled February of '06, Sampled November 2006
This definitely smells of grapes; as soon as I start to pour this beer I get tart, vinous, flinty notes of sharp white grapes. The beer is very well carbonated and has an initial three-finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some lacing on the sides of my glass as it subsides. The beer is a hazy, orange tinged, light amber color. Sweet malt aromatics are also here in the nose; touches of caramel, sweet malted grain and a touch of toasty grain. Fruit notes certainly are the most noticeable part of the aroma with notes of raisins, plums, and even a hint of something like a tropical fruit note. It is interesting that this has taken on some notes of darker fruits (even a note of fig is here), the initial aroma was all chardonnay grapes, but this melds in with darker fruit notes quite seamlessly as my nose gets used to the aromatics. There are some nice, though quite subtle, soft spice notes in the nose as well. Nothing too obvious, but at times I sense notes of ginger, clove, perhaps some cinnamon, and a touch of earthy black pepper.

The taste is quite sweet up front, a grape like sweetness and fullness lingers in the mouth. The beer finishes with some acidity and sharp, slightly astringent, spicy note that is sort of like a sauvignon blanc. This definitely has a fairly full body to it; it is not quite a sipping beer, but I would not call it quaffable either. Chardonnay grape flavors are definitely here as well, but the beer is sweet enough that it masks the typical dry, chardonnay wine flavors. Again the sweetness of this brew makes me think of darker fruits than white grapes; notes of sweet plums, fresh figs, and raisins are the most easily discernible flavors. There are some notes of greener fruits here as well though; notes of honeydew, star fruit, and of course green grapes are noticeable if somewhat subtle to the more noticeable darker fruit notes.

Despite my comments regarding the heft of this beer, this has disappeared remarkably fast from my glass. Something about it is definitely drinkable, though I still would not say it is quaffable. I think it might be the acidity here, there is just enough to not allow the sweetness to become overbearing and actually it keeps it quite manageable. I definitely think this would be much better at a slightly lower alcohol content; at 6% or even 7% this would be quite a bit easier to drink and would actually be more in line with what one typically expects from a Chardonnay grape. This is definitely a hard one to judge, on its individual components I would score this quite highly, and even overall I am enjoying it, but I don't think it is as good as it objectively seems.

Gueuzedude, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours yellow with a frothy light white head, some lace.

S: Light with lemon, various stone fruit.

T: Lots of lemon zest, apple, the Chardonnay is apparent in the overall flavour. The malt adds a nice flavour as well. A tasty beer, not too complex though.

M: Medium-bodied, very smooth, very easy to drink.

D: I don't know, for some reason I found this the pinnacle of drinkability. Good flavours, quite refreshing. I liked it a lot, but not in the upper echelon of Belgian & Belgian-style beers.

Halcyondays, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

beernads, Jan 09, 2014
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Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.