Allagash Victoria Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Victoria AleAllagash Victoria Ale

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

426 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 426
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 15
Gots: 65 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 426 | Reviews: 140
Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as a crystal clear old gold with ample carbonation and a tall, white, rocky head that drops to a thin blanket, leaving rings of lace and a film with nice legs.

Opens with sweet, fresh apples, grapes, white wine, followed by straw, flowery grapefruit and a bit of leather. With complexity like this, one eagerly anticipates the flavors.

As anticipated, the flavors follow the aroma, though a bit less complex with tartness outweighing the bitter. A subtle, lingering finish improves with warmth as light alcohol and woody notes make themselves known.

Victoria coats the palate with a medium body, soft carbonation and moderate fumes of alcohol.

A fine selection for relaxing or any occasion.

Date consumed: 2 October 2008

Photo of callmemickey
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden-orange body. Minimal head. No lacing to speak of.

S: Bam. Chardonnay hits you right of the bat. Its not overpowering though. You could still get some yeast, pepper, clove and banana notes.

T: More of the same. I think the Chardonnay grapes accentuate the flavor even more than in the nose. Banana and yeast carry the day as malt takes a back seat.

M: Smooth. Refreshing. Slightly acidic. Clean finish.

D: More of a novelty than anything else. A nice beer, but one that maxes out toward the end of the glass.

Photo of asabreed
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle split with a friend, into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Appearance: A hazy golden yellow body with lots of a bubbles at first, and then they slow down a bit. Head is foamy as hell at first but dissipates rather quickly. Spotty lacing but I wish it stuck a bit more I suppose.

Smell: Lots of bitterness, yeast, candi sugar, a bit of vanilla and slight bubblegum. I wish the vinous aroma would come through more, but it's pretty subdued. Still it's pretty nice.

Taste: An initial shot of vanilla, candi sugar, citrus, some diacetyl, and a lingering bitterness with the finish. Where are the grapes? They're there, but if you didn't tell me there were grapes in this I'm not sure if I'd know. Maybe the lingering bitterness comes from those vinous characteristics? And the hops I suppose too?

Mouthfeel: There's a fullness and a great amount of carbonation to this that I like, without being too much. It ends in a great non-cloying coating feeling also.

Drinkability: I'm not sure I'd buy this again, but it's certainly a solid brew and worth a shot. I just wish, as I said, that the presence of grapes was more present and complex and in the mix.

Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a golden orange, a bit hazy and exremely carbonated. Three fingers of off-white egg white head ebb slowly. A reef of lacing lays cemented to the inside of the glass.

In the aroma there comes sweet grain, with light vanilla and caramel. A sour yeast riff sings green apple, and a note of clove wafts through as well. A vinous touch of port carries a solid stripe of alcohol along.

Upon sipping, there's a malted grain sweetness partnered with a more earthy vinous sweetness, with the grape component heavier on the tongue. Mellow bready yeast, tangy and slighty sour, duels with a credible alcohol presence. A glint of clove surfaces, then flattens to a rounded bitterness which joins some residual malt in the finish. There's quite a bit going on, but it all comes together in a good way.

Medium bodied, the carbonation is very peppy and it joins the rest to enliven the palate.

It seems Allagash just doesn't know how to disappoint. It's something different, and done well, no surprise considering the track record in place. With a muscular ABV it warms and even numbs, but enjoyed wisely the grain and grape combo drinks pleasingly. I'm all for pushing the envelope, but it's always refreshing to see a brewery that dares to experiment without having to go over the top.

Photo of froghop
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this a little while ago but was not able to rate because it was 'retired', even though it is still found on the shelve.

pours a yellow-orange with a medium size egg-shell head, some lacing.

smell is faint, musty, sweet fruit, and some yeast.

taste is light yet crisp, fruity, tad bit of sweetness comes through, some caramel, pear, and some spice.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009
Corked & Caged 750ml

Damn! That cork just almost took my eye out! I barely had the cage pulled away and the cork popped, like a gunshot. Fortunately, I had the glass right there, so I didn't lose anything.
This is a beautiful, golden orange color with serious yellow tinting. It has a slight haziness to it. Almost two-fingers of off-white colored foam make the head, which fades to a surface covering film that sticks around for quite awhile. The lacing is in seriously thick strands that are very nicely sticky.

This smells like a big, fat, glass of white fruits. The grapes come through easily. Nice notes of pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, even some light traces of pineapple and raisins. Nice hints of pale malts and belgian yeast notes.
This has a very wine-like overtone to it, which is not surprising, considering what it is.

I'm surprised by the amount of wheat-ness that I seem to be tasting here. It's not bad, just unexpected. The chardonnay grapes tend to dominate the flavor profile, somewhat. The other white fruits that were apparent in the nose are here, they just aren't as prominent. Big hints of yeastiness. Lots of pale malt notes abound. Good hints of spices. Light sweetness that is similar to honey.
Overall, this is more sweet than tart or funky.

A solid medium body with a high level of (natural) carbonation. It is nicely refreshing and also has a good amount of creaminess to it.
Very nice.

Much like a good bottle of wine, the 9.00%abv is very nicely hidden. The taste is a touch too sweet to get a perfect score here, but it is still definitely drinkable. Grab one if you have the chance. It's a different kind of beer, for sure.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat murky orange body with a couple of fingers of offwhite head that dissipates a bit more quickly than expected. Smells yeasty, citrusy, and somewhat spicey. Tastes citrusy, malty, and spicey. Medium bodied. Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV... Very enjoyable! Kudos once again, Allagash!

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 7/21/2009 (2009 bottle):

Pours a clear bright golden colored body, with a big foamy white head, lasting. Fruity fresh aroma, light grapes, and dark grapes. Some grain smell, mustiness too, like horseblanket or something. Not too strong, though. Grapey taste, fruity, with a strong grape aftertaste. Light and crisp tasting. Some warmness, and a lot of carbonation. Light taste, not heavy, not alcoholy. Alright, light flavor, grapey.

Photo of impending
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Trappist. Served in an Allagash glass. Poured a slightly hazy golden yellow straw, dense white head subsided slowly, decent lacing.

Aroma is yeasty, spicy with minor apple and phenols plus a flora component. Not sure if the vinous notes are real or imagined, certainly not overt.

Taste is sweeter than the nose hinted. Fruity esters dominate the start followed by a phenolic spiciness. Would benefit from a dry kick. Aftertaste slowly fades and reveals a dessert wine potential. Creamy soft bodied mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

Photo of craytonic
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful Belgian pour, perfect and typical Allagash head, nice bubbles off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Delicious, I get muscadines, not grapes. Also it smells of juice, not fermented juice, which I think throws off many tasters. Lots of fruit - I get apple, pear, cloves, muscadines, and Belgian yeast.

Taste: The grapes are more present on the palate, although I still get more white muscadine than chardonnay grape. A bit sweet for the style, probably from the grapes. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Perfect creaminess and carbonation. Alcohol is not noticable at all.

Drinkability: This disappeared much faster than it should have, delicious brew.

Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a honey orange color with a large foamy head. The smell has a grape aroma along with a yeast "bisquity" scent. The taste has a fruity quality to it, as expected, along with some bakery flavors. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing well with the high alcohol hidden very nicely. This is a good beer, but nothing really too exciting. Still, I would have this again.

Photo of soupyman10
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not going to write too much here - StephenRich just wrote the most insanely impressive review ever, and his is right below mine - so check that out. In any case, this was a nice, solid Allagash "big beer," that didn't quite reach the heights of the Interlude, Odyssey, or Fluxus. Just a kind of standard (but still very tasty) Belgian flavor, with lots of sugar, candy, citrus, and a touch of yeast. Overall, good, but maybe not worth the price tag (not when you could go with a La Chouffe or Gouden Carolus for cheaper).

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am a huge fan of allagash. They make great beer. It was with much excitement I found this and bought a couple to bring home from Maine.

A - It looks great. amber / brown, some haze with a large white head.

S - There is a lot in the smell which for me was hard to describe. Some candi sugar, light malti with an unusual dry characteristic which has to be the grapes.

T - Someone else wrote "Interesting but off". I think this sums up how I feel about this beer. definitely begian derived but taken on a right turn due to the grapes. It seemed to alternate through the bottle between sweet and cloying, spicy and dry / wine hints.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Goes down easy enough but has a mid taste and after taste that was a little different than what I expected.

I plan to let the other one cellar for 6 months and see if it changes in any way. An interesting beer - love it or leave it I think.

Photo of Stigs
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz pour at Sunset Grill, served in a tulip

A - served with about a third of an inch of forthy bright white foam, settled to a thin flim but leaves a sticky wall of lace down the glass. the beer is hazy, bright gold in color.

S - struggling to pull out a lot here, some grains, lemon zest, slightly tart fruit, grape skins...

T - tart fruits chime in first, turning a little bitter and acidic...picking out star fruit, grapes, and some peach. light grassy hops and some tannic white wine flavors finish.

M - medium bodied, slightly oily and comes with sharp carbonation. finishes crisp and drying, with lingering fruity bitterness (is there such a thing?).

D - interesting concept...the fruits unfortunately dont meld as well as they could. i can pick out some grapes more as it warms, but by that time i was about ready to move on to something else.

Photo of meathookjones
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange body with a nice tall eggshell white head. Aroma was a bit strange with sweet grapes and biscuit malt coming on strong. Very light spiciness and yeast. Biscuits, yeast and spiciness over a pretty big sweetness in the flavor. Light alcohol peaked though. Fruity notes and a big sweet finish. Not bad but it was a bit overly sweet. Well carbonated and has some trailing warmth on the way down. Easy enough drinking and comes off pretty mild. Unique brew that would be interesting to see what a bit of age does for it.

Photo of joepais
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Again thanks to Stan for sharing these. Stan figured we should do both back to back. I like red wine more than white so I think the same can be said for these two brews. The bottle poured into a snifter produced a huge three finger off white head. There is tons of carbonation on this brew. The color of the brew reminded me of honey.
The nose had a ton of green grapes in it. The flavor was very spicy and dry like a chardonnay. I never thought I use that word in a review. It has a light feel to it with all kinds of carbonation. It was drinkable but not my favorite Allagash.

Photo of BostonHops
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter glass.
2009 vintage.

pours a mostly translucent (there is a touch of haze) golden yellow, yields a solid finger-plus creamy white/off-white head; retention is decent, lacing is good. overall a solid presentation.

nose offers a mishmash of fruity notes: grape, lemon, apple, maybe peach... spice... vinous with a touch of oak. good aroma. taste follows nicely. again, 'vinous' is the operative word with this one; i think it works well. more spice and fruity notes... a bit of hops in the finish. alcohol presence is virtually non-existent. very enjoyable.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. drinks easily at the outset but the grapes tend to wear on you after a while.

originally reviewed: 02-13-2011

Photo of kkipple
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very mead-lookin' nearly still dingy dull orange. Head dies faster than a snickers bar in death valley.

I'm getting a lot of yeast in the nose, vitamin B and tang, with layered notes of honey and white grapes. There's alcohol heat and a pleasing floral scent here - let it sit for a while and the yeasty smell fades a little and it opens up. Not awfully complex, but good.

Tastes quite grape-y, white wine and sulfur yeast mingle with your basic mellow Belgian golden ale. Lots of honey and pears, pepper, mild apple tartness. The yeast is still a little overpowering here and sits in the finish a tad too long. Overall it's a pleasing mellow flavor if you can get past the yeast funk.

Mouthfeel is finely carbonated and slick, the finish is heavy on the white grapes and a little boozy-sweet. Not too shabby.

This is a good beer, but the yeast character overpowers a lot of budding nuance. Worth a try, now I've got to get some Victor!

Photo of geexploitation
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I love Allagash. I boost for their beers. I boost for Maine beers in general. Allagah's barrel series and their other special releases have been extraordinary. I've eagerly anticipated their Victoria Ale, which is brewed using chardonnay grapes.

Pours a dark honey amber with a big off-white head that fades gradually while lacing the glass. The nose is quite complex, with candi sugar, dates, and raw alcohol dominating, but there's also a sweetness to the nose that has to be derived from the grapes -- its fruit character is redolent of chardonnay wines. It's an interesting nose, but the grape characters don't fit very well into the rest of the beer. It's off.

"Interesting but off" could describe the flavor of this beer as well. It's quite sweet initially, with the grapes providing a cloying, sticky sweetness unattenuated by hops or bitter malts. That sweetness sticks to the mouth, clogging the palate. Victoria Ale feels high-gravity while rolling around the tongue, with relatively little carbonation for a bottle conditioned, Belgian-style beer.

Is this beer interesting? Yes. But the flavors do not meld together well; there's a reason that beer is made from grains, wine from grapes, and the that two remain separate. The influence of the grapes on the beer adds some interesting notes in the aroma department, but the overall effect is a bit gross... way too sweet, with a bit of a chemical tinge, this beer is unsatisfying, and not worth the price you'll probably pay. In the interest of seeking out unique beer experiences, I recommend giving this brew a try, but it's not something I'd go back to, that's for sure. I'm sad to say it, but it's the truth.

Photo of cbl2
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2/21/2007 $10.99 750 mL 9.00% No best by date, designed for aging.

Appearance:

Pours a hazy orange topped by a thin film of white head that is constantly replenished by the presence of vigorous carbonation.

Aroma:

Muscat grapes meets pizza dough, as wine and beer face off in this melange of aromas. Sweet honey and a bit of earthyness present themselves as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Excellent mouthfeel leads into a sweet warming body of gooey honey, cantalope and pear. Alcohol and bread are abundant in the finish, as is an intense belgian candied sugar.

Reminiscent of Midas Touch to me. This one straddles the fence between beer and the beyond. Fruit characters lead the way here, though not the Chardonnay I was expecting.

Photo of Jonada
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage served in a tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a light golden yellow color with 2 fingers of a white soapy head. Body is slightly hazy with medium levels of carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: White grape, pear, spice, slight cereal grain, biscuity malt, and red apple.

Taste: Spicy yeast, pale malt, white grape, pear, apple skin. Light sweetness upfront is balanced with a mild bitterness that lingers through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat slick mouthfeel with medium levels of slightly rough carbonation.

Overall: Very good Belgian pale ale. The grapes add some nice additional complexity without overwhelming the base beer. Worth picking up a bottle.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip. Nice inch of head that shrinks into a bit of lacing. The body is very light golden, only slightly hazy. Looks very appetizing.

I smelled british or german type spicy hops as I poured the beer; it was quite prominent. A bit of sweet grape aroma is also noticed.

The taste is pleasantly grapier than I expected. The hops balance out the malt and fruit profile perfectly; hitting the sides of the tongue just right. The finish is full of spicy hops as well. A nice balance for a Belgian style like this.

Slightly aggressive carbonation is in my opinion great for this style. Adds in the vinous character that of course present with the Chardonnay grapes.

Highly drinkable for the style; great light body which is dangerous for the ABV. For what it's worth, not exactly cheap though.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, stored about a year in my cellar.

Body is clear gold, with an off-white head, poured easily to a half inch in a tulip style wine glass. Good head retention with curtains of sticky lacing.

Aroma of green grapes, light malt, hay, toffee and sugar, spicy, with notes of coriander and clove.

This really tastes delightful, it has so many interesting nuances and is very well structured. It starts with an oaked chardonnay flavor (although I knew it was made with grapes, I guessed the varietal before I read anything on it, but I am not surprised as it would have to be a white varietal and Chardonnay is the most likely given its ubiquitousness), and just as buttery, with a little vanilla, has a nice light malt structure, layers of different types of sweetness from the grapes and the malts, some ginger, and some tropical fruit notes (banana and lemon to start with), a bit of metal from the yeast and some green, grassy/vegetal hops. I think it is a stunningly crafted fusion of Belgian golden ale and wine grapes and really an amazing experience on the palate. I would just say that it is a little bit too sweet, sort of like a Spätlese, and that is after being in my cellar for a year which should have dried it out some. Finish is long, as the fruit and toffee sweetness fades to a touch of peppery spice at the end.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is tight, giving this a creamy mouthfeel that is also a bit spritzy on the front of the tongue, somewhat like a ginger ale. The mouthfeel is quite extraordinary.

I am a big fan of Belgian-style pale ales, and I think this is a superb one. At 9%, it is not so strong as some other BPAs. This beer would be a good low alcohol substitute for a 14-15% chardonnay, and you could definitely use this to wean a white wine drinker into beer. Aging has not hurt it; I think I'll buy a few more and lay them down for a couple years. It is a bit pricey at around $18, but it is as worthy in MHO as Cantillon lambics made with white grapes, which I also adore; this is taking a belgian golden ale in the same direction, but with a bigger malt body and nice creamy carbonation that is a great meld of a golden ale and grapes.

Photo of rallison
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very classy looking 750ml bottle, backed with a $16 price tag. Let's hope this is at least decently tasty....

Pours a nice cloudy amber color into my Urthel glass, with a semi-fizzy 1 finger white head that leaves a good bit of lacing. Smells of apple cider, coriander, white wine and similar smells.

Taste is interesting. Well spiced - coriander and the like - with an interesting grape character. Peppery. Slight bit of tartness as well. Some earthy characteristics, with a nice touch of yeast. As this warms, sweet flavors take on a more central role - sweet toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel is pretty well carbonated, with alcohol not really present. Finish is sharp. Drinkability is decent.

Was this good? Yes. Altogether a solid offering. Was this worth $16? No, you can find better for quite a bit less.

Photo of ferrari29
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into a short wide mouth pint glass

A - Opaque golden/orange body; fluffy white head; served in short wide mouth pint glass, which might have reduced the head size; sticky lacing; no visible carbonation

S - Lemon; spices; orange; floral notes of rose; light white grape smell; fruity yeast aromas; grape brings out a sour smell; leather

T - Chardonnay grape explosion; tanning flavor of leather; touch of sour grape taste tickles the sides of the tongue; citrus flavor and spice; lemon, but not much of a lemon bite, tangy and crisp like traditional Belgian Strong Pale Ales; yeast flavor

M - Thin body; slightly bubbly; lemon tartness and crisp; immediately turns dry

D - Overall, this beer drank well; I think it could have used a bit less of the leathery smell and taste; could have used more lemony or spicy flavor to it; glad to have tried it, but would pass on the next one

Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.