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Allagash Victoria Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Victoria AleAllagash Victoria Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 446
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 15
Gots: 78 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 04-29-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 446
Photo of busternuggz
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Toronado San Diego in a tulip glass.
Pale gold/straw yellow color with a 1/4" bubbly white head. Recedes to a thin layer with a ring clinging to the sides of the glass.
Very estery scent, with some oak and white grape, peach candy, lemon. Smells a little sweet. Nice, layered.
Tastes very Allagashy...some peach and lemon, oaky finish. A little sweetness. Clean aftertaste with some lingering estery fruitiness.
Nice light body, clean, ends a little effervescent.
Pretty light and drinkable, but something about the estery sweetness makes it drag a little for me. This draft is enough for me but it's pleasant enough to finish.
Doesn't really stand out much from other Allagash offerings but it's not bad. I'd go with Curieux or just the White before getting this again though. (792 characters)

Photo of cracgor
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Advertised as a beer brewed with grapes, the first thing I noticed when I opened the bottle was a grape aroma. Smells similar to champagne. It is a brown beer with a weak head, perhaps from the aging process. It has a great taste, complex flavor with a good mix of wine-like undertones and a nice beefy malt. Light on hops, it is like they replaced the hops with grapes. Sadly, there is not much in the way of head which is what the low marks on appearance are for. Kind of a little flat for my taste, but overall it is interesting and fairly well done. (553 characters)

Photo of mgironta
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured with a barely there white head on a clear, yellow body. Mild carbonation was visible in the body. The nose had a hint of tartness, and this is where the chardonnay grapes became apparent. On the taste, it definitely had a lot of Belgian yeast to it, which was quite tasty. The grapes were also very apparent in the taste, but not cloying or overly sweet. The sweetness was just enough to be pleasant. The mild carbonation really complemented the lighter than expected body. I also got hints of pear and apricot as I sipped more on the brew. The finish was quick and sweet. What also surprised me was how high the booze was on this bad boy. It was completely and totally hidden. I would definitely have this beer again! (735 characters)

Photo of OldSock
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – 750 ml bottle from Colonial Spirits. In a white wine glass it looks slightly cloudy with streams of bubbles. The head on top of the golden body has big bubbles and poor retention.

Smell – Coriander, and sweet malt. I actually get more of a grape jelly aroma than wine, but then the grape aroma fades quickly leaving a relatively standard Belgian pale nose.

Taste – Its hard to tell whether the fruitiness (apples, pears) is from the yeast or the grapes. 100 lbs of chardonnay grapes in the mash of a 17 barrel batch (about .18 lbs per gallon) lends a nice subtle grape fruitiness without being overpowering. Nice balance at the start, but as time goes on the spicy phenols take over a bit. There is a bready malt backbone that holds the beer together, but doesn't contribute much. Relatively dry for a 9% beer, but still with some sweetness at the back of the tongue. No aroma hops, just a moderate bitterness. Solid flavor, but I would have liked more contribution from the grapes.

Mouthfeel – Strong Belgian style carbonation on a medium-light body for such a big beer, I imagine that the grapes helped to dry this out.

Drinkability & Notes – For a big beer on a hot night this is still an easy beer to drink, the 85% attenuation really helps the drinkability. Another tasty experimental batch from the good people at Allagash. (1,359 characters)

Photo of ruckzuck
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a large wine glass with steak tartare.

A - lovely copper opaque body with a white head which dissipated

S - fruity, spicy, yeasty, funky, peppery, and sweet malt. Smells absolutely delicious

T - just like the nose. The peppery and spicy aspects are more pronounced in the flavor for sure

M - medium bodied with some nice carbonation

D - absolutely great! This is a superb beer. I almost wish I weren't sharing the bottle with my gf, but I'm sure I can get more at Green's and I'm glad we're enjoying it together. Highly recommended. Allagash hits this one out of the park. (584 characters)

Photo of thequeen711
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to try this beer, since it bears my name... Taste is Fruity spice with a slight hint of wine. Aroma of bananas, black pepper and mint are infused in this light tasting offering. Big ABV here, I don't think I can drink a lot of this, resembles more of a wine that a beer, can't even call this a barleywine...But worth the try. (331 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved this beer from the noisy pour to the fantastic sweet honey and rich complex fruit scents. The taste was not as good as the smell but this may be due to its youth. It was a bit too sweet but a year or two should round it out. Still it is a well done rich flavorful tasty belgian style ale that many would be envious of. This one is going back on the want list. Thanks to Brewfan for this. (395 characters)

Photo of StephenRich
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash is a Brewery in Portland Maine which honestly confuses me. Since 1995 their focus on unique Belgian inspired craft beers with a twist of wine and history continues to both amaze and frustrate me. Their traditional beers like the White, Dubbel and Bock have all be very nice, but Allagash also has a much more unique array of beers.

They offer a Barrel Aged series of beer all aged in oak barrels of some variety; Cellared beers which are all designed to be laid down to rest for many years; the Tribute series whic are beers based on a historical model or story; the Serie D'Origine which are totally unique and exciting blends of various styles of beer; and finally the Limited Series which are extraordinary beers crafted with the most choice ingredients specifically for that task and brewed in very limited quantity.

The reason I say that they confuse me is because beyond their classic beers, I have been both amazed and disappointed by them. The Black Belgian Style Stout, was excellent, but the Confluence was lacking. The Flexus was superb and extremely exciting, but the Victor was very tart and off balance. So, with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, Allagash came through with a winning home run; the 2008 Victoria Ale.

The Victoria Ale is in Allagash's Tribute Series and is dedicated to the historic Victoria Mansion in Portland Main known as the Morse-Libby House. It is credited as being one of the greatest 19th century houses in the United States. The Victoria Ale was brewed with one hundred and fifty pounds of Chardonnay grapes which were crushed and added directly into the mash.

It is available only in 750ml corked bottles scattered throughout the U.S. at 9 abv. Before I opened this bottle I did hypothesize that this would be significantly better than the Bottle of Victor which I had had about a year ago. The Victor is in the same series and is also brewed with grapes. However when I had the Victor is was very fresh, maybe four or five months young. This Victoria Ale from 2008 is now close to two years old, so I did expect the added maturity to treat this beer very well.

I opened this up at a the top of the cool temperature range at 12C (54F) to try to evoke both crisp and quenching characteristics as well as excite loads of fruity aroma. An initial tilt of the bottle exposed huge amounts of slurrying sediment - soft waves of pale dust danced gently in the bottle; this indicated to me that perhaps the rest time is necessary for this bottle. Bottle conditioned beers are typically built to age, they are continually growing while resting building new character and smoothing out rough edges.

The pour was soft but very lively; it flowed smoothly out of the bottle developing quietly in the bottom of a deep connoisseur's glass lifting a short pure white head that latched on to the sides of the glass and would not let go. The Victoria was a delightful bright amber orange with golden bronze and yellow hues. It was completely opaque and hazy as you would expect, but no sediment was obviously noticeable in the glass.

The nose was sweetly tart with ripe fruits, citrus, soft earth and tree bark. The spice and funk from Belgian yeast comes out softly in the center, but is quietly balanced with light clove, the softest touch of vanilla, banana and pear. Hints of caramel and toffee make their way in at the end, but it finished with a dry lemon zest crispness. The Victoria was already winning me over.

The first thing I noticed about this beer was the lack of abrasive one sided funk and tart that I felt in the likes of the Victor and Confluence. The Victoria flowed softly into my palate with clean and silky effervescence bringing warm apples and clove, pears, banana, pale malts and earth with muddled spices and perfect touches of funk and tart. A generous fruity backbone melts over your tongue and cheeks showing complex notes of fresh grape flesh, sweet ginger, sweet and savory pastry and light hints of pepper. Creamy caramel is light with soft vanilla warming the palate.

This was a much evolved and matured beer with several flavor combinations and complexities that just made it a superb drink. The smooth creamy, almost buttery mouthfeel was perfectly extenuated by delicate natural carbonation which all came together to match excellent flavors and delightful aromatics. Hints of floral and honeydew like hops aided a touch of bitter to the finish with slight lemon zest and orange peel giving it a short, and softly crisp finish.

That was really the power of the beer; lots of amazing flavors and aromas, but all very light and soft perfectly balanced in an orchestra of musical flavor. Allagash won the game for me with this one, and I will seek out more of their beers now for my cellar. The Victoria I expect would pair nicely with a wide range of soft or funky cheeses, croissants, smoked salmon or light fish, or lightly herbed rack of lamb. (4,931 characters)

Photo of LeRose
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at beer pairing dinner, reviewed from notes.

Apearance - slightly hazy, golden yellow color. Half inch of fluffy white head.

Aroma - strong white grape aroma, a little grassy. Breadiness and yeast character takes a back seat - this serving, the grape was dominant.

Taste - followed the aroma. Very grape forward, very sweet, almost candy-like.

Mouthfeel - medium-bodied, very drying on the finish.

Overall, I felt the grape was far too prominent and the beer was far too sweet. This combination just didn't work well for my tastes. It is well-made, but not one I have to have. (590 characters)

Photo of ColForbin
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Allagash Victoria Ale is described on the bottle as being an ale brewed with grapes. From their website, the specific grapes involved are chardonnay, and that they were added directly to the mash. As a bonus, $1 from every bottle goes toward historic preservation of a mansion in Portland, ME.

It pours a cloudy copper orange with a fairly substantial white head. Aroma is fairly subdued, some spices and some sweetness from the grapes, but not a wine-like aroma by any means. Taste is full of Allagash Belgian yeast characteristics up front, with lots of sweet grapes in the middle with a spicy off-dry finish. Big chewy mouthfeel, with a pretty high level of carbonation. Almost a wine-like aftertaste. The sweetness of this beer makes it a bit less drinkable than some.

Not the absolute triumph that Interlude was, but a very intriguing beer nonetheless. I would buy more if I could get it in VT or NH. (912 characters)

Photo of NuclearRich
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a snifter type glass.

A: Golden liquid with a beautiful hue of orange, layered by a robust but short-lived head of white. Lacing is minimal to non-existant, while the head fades into a tiny collar.

S: Soft fruit is the first scent, white grapes for sure. A touch of citrus, and a nice yeasty funk. Really mild overall, and on the simple side

T: A delicate fruit sweetness is twisted into that golden tripel flavor. The light sweetness is funny in that it is not a strong flavor, but still manages to dominate the palate. Very mild spice flavor, mixed with the classic Allagash yeast flavor.

M: Silky smooth medium body, coating the tounge nicely until it moves down and leaves behind a sharp tingle of strong carbonation.

O: Delicious. Interesting and complex, with a simple dominating chardonnay grape presence. Pairs amazingly with cheese. I took home 5 bottles from the brewery, so you can say I like it! (944 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a cloudy amber with a light colored head.

The smell has hints of chardonnay and bicuity malt. The taste has fruit flavors (pears, grapes) and hints of a bready malt. It is dry and refreshing for such a big beer. The mouthfeel has noticeable carbonation, and a satisfying finish. Drinkability would be great on a warm summer night or a cool fall day.

Another interesting brew from Allagash. I still use their outstanding Triple as the benchmark, but this one is another example of what you can do with a traditional style. Worth a try for sure. (564 characters)

Photo of RixBeer
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Year old cellared bottle (thanks Dave).

Pours a piss yellow until the yeast drops in there and then the haze develops with a nice thin white head.

There is a nice yeasty sweet white grape juice aroma [with a tiny hint of mint?].

Nice smooth mouthfeel. Can't feel any thickness at all. Leaves a little chalky after-feel in the mouth though.

I could kill a few of these before they hammer the nails into my coffin! Nah, I'll stick around and drink them during poker (so what if I lose all my money). (501 characters)

Photo of mutterfudder
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Bottle, poured into a Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

A - Pale straw color clear as day. Pours with a big foamy head that is short lived, but leaves a bit of lacing on the sides of the snifter.

S - Biscuits and honey, with a booming sweet nose. The nose has a fresh cut grass note to it as well.

T - Sweet riesling like flavors, with a bit of dryness. There's a hint of some wood here, but it's quickly extinguished. The flavor is juicy and sweet, with a bit of a pale ale note. The sweetness and winey-ness is front and center. Afternotes of pineapple and tropical fruit. Interesting.

M / D - There's a good carbonated mouthfeel, I would have liked it to be a bit drier on the palate. It's a bit too sweet to want to drink another glass. (747 characters)

Photo of krazyboi
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a wide mouth glass. Vintage 2010.

A: Golden yellow color with a decent frothy head that dissipates quickly. A few sediments float around in the beer.
S: Sweet grapes, slightly malty, and alcohol.
T: Grapes, very slight bitterness, malts.
M: Medium thickness with low to medium carbonation.
D: I was expecting more complexity from this beer, especially at $18 per bottle. It is a bit more subdued than the Victor Ale from the same brewery, but the basic taste is dissapointingly similar. I would not buy another one of these bottles, especially at this price. Try it if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you... (648 characters)

Photo of ShamasUVA
2.69/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Gingerman SoNo.
A:12 oz pour; cloudy golden belgian ale.
S:Wine, Belgian ale, and a peculiar and out-of-place phenolic/plastic smell.
T:More of the same... subtle and lovely with the exception
of the phenols.
M:Perfectly dry, ideal for this beer
O:Would not order this again unless I was assured this was a suboptimal batch. (336 characters)

Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%

Appearance- A light orange with a small, egg white head that retains well. Medium carbonation.

Aroma- A great balance of sweet white wine and belgian yeast funk. Subtle but beautifully complex.

Taste- Sweet white grape flavors in the forefront but not at all overwhelming. Great yeast and slightly hoppy profile to balance the sweetness of the grapes.

Mouthfeel- Light and smooth. Sweetness lingers like a wine.

Overall- A phenomenal beer. The presence of the grapes is immediately noticeable, but yet not overwhelming, in every aspect of the beer. A great use of subtle yeast and hop profiles to compliment the grape flavors in the forefront. (650 characters)

Photo of ridedammit
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A and I bought a bottle at Downtown in Davis Sq after hearing about it at
PublickHouse. Made with grapes sounded interesting and we like
Allagash offerings. The beer is hazy amber, not surprising from what looks
like a bottle-conditioned brew. I think I was expecting more of a wine
nose to it, so I was surprised that it smelled like a typical Belgian. The
taste is good, quite dry, I think this is where the grapes must have their
greatast influence, since the dryness is not from the hop. Mouthfeel is
a bit acidic, also due to the grapes I imagine. All-in-all I liked the beer,
it is a nice unique brew. I think A liked it better, so I may have it again,
but its not something I would go out of my way to find. (732 characters)

Photo of MarioL66
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden cloud, led to anticipated deliciousness

Smell - As it warmed I detected chardonnay/white grapes, interesting

Taste - Sweet up front, then a light sourness leading into a very small hop note. A mint note.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, a little heft (from the alcohol)

Drinkability - Refreshing when cold and as it warms the details emerge.

This beer works from a refreshing standpoint when cold and, if warmer, really shows the white grapes used to brew it. A good beer from Allagash. I prefer a few of there other offerings but I would drink this again. (578 characters)

Photo of maniac
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was a hazy amber color with a medium frothy white head.
The aroma was of sweet fruit with a malty edge.
Flavor had a sweet malt base with hints of fruit and bread.
The relatively high alcohol content was certainly not very noticable beyond the warming effect. (276 characters)

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Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.