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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

371 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 13
Gots: 55 | 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: 371 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gotbeer
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

gotbeer, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

meathookjones, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of OldSock
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

OldSock, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of maniac
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

maniac, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of mcallister
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this after a bottle of Westy 12 and I must say I thought this held it's own very well.

An awesome shade of orangish, yellow straw. Large frothy white head, dissapeared fairly quickly and left lacing down the Riedel Bordeaux glass.

Belgian yeast on the entrance aroma, followed by pear, fig, herby smells, apple, plantane, and good malt prescence.

Again on the front palate is exploding with that funky belgian yeast character, and a good maltiness. Dried bananas, bosc pear, apple, dried fig, and spicy hebacious characters. Very well balanced and complex.

Smooth, creamy, delectable mouthfeel. No signs of alcohol in the nose or mouth so I think it would be rather easy to drink a few to many of these before it knocked you down.

mcallister, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of blackie
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour creates a 1" slightly off white head which is slow to dissipate. A layer and a ring of head is left throughout. The beer is a medium-light amber in color, only slightly hazy when poured off the sediment.

smell: There are upfront aromas of light fruit (white grape, candied pear, banana), with some considerable yeasty aromas. The pale malt aroma is moderately sweet. A little bready. Aromas of slight, aged noble type hops. A touch of spice including orange peel, coriander, and white pepper are found. The moderate ethanol presence contributes positively to the aroma, perhaps carrying some of the aromas to the nose.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is very high and prickly on the tonge, a little distracting. The body is light.

taste: Upfront are light fruity flavors of white grape, apple, and pear...and a mild sweetness of pale malt. There is not too much depth on the tongue, unexpected given the aroma. No hop flavor and just a touch of bitter astringency and a yeasty chalkiness and flavor in the finish. The finish is very dry.

drinkability: The alcohol seems well hidden, only slightly noticeable on nose. The carbonation is filling and somewhat excessive for my tastes.

Split with dirtylou during his stay in Raleigh...review entered from notes taken.

blackie, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of ColForbin
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

ColForbin, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, from the cellar of "Blackie", corked and cage

appearance: pours a murky peach, large and fluffy white cloud head with long lasting retention, active carbonation noticeable

smell: very fresh and powerful nose...big yeast whiff at first, fresh orange-citrus, peppery spice, light white grape juice aroma, zesty

taste: lot of things going on...alcohol is a bit too hot in my opinion, and the carbonation is very high. yeasty, wheat, rather vinous, white grape juice, alcohol warming, pear, green apple, sweet and malty.

mouthfeel: very active carbonation, warming alcohol presence, medium body, lively on the tongue

drinkability: above average

dirtylou, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Foxman, May 26, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims for $12.99. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a pleasing hazy golden honey coloration. The head was about two fingers high off white in coloration. The beer is lightly carbonated.

Smell: The beer has a sweet fruity grape aroma coupled with a funky yeast note. Did they use Bret yeast? The beer has a pleasant light citrus note. There is a noticable doughnutty character to the beer.

Taste: The beer has a vinous quality. This combines nicely with citrus and yeast. Again did they use brett? The hops provide a peppery zing. This is like a witbier on steroids. The beer produces a very interesting taste.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The vinous qualities create an interesting kicked up witbier. This is a very interesting and tasty beer. The alcohol is well covered up in both the smell and the taste.

nlmartin, May 09, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold color, with a thick head, and forms a blanket. Little lacing, but pretty to look at.

Aroma is almost non-existant. Slightly belgian triple nose, but very faint.

Flavor is very odd, but quite enjoyable. Somewhat wheaty, somewhat vinous, but very well balanced. Oaky, vanilla flavored finish. Smooth

Mouthfeel is full, and drinkability is good.

This is one incredibly complex brew. Lots of things going on here.... take time to appreciate and savor it.

phisig137, May 06, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice lightly hazy amber golden with an almost white head which was coarse and loosely gathered, and fell slowly enough to coat at the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a sweet candy aromatic and a light Belgian yeast spice and a grapeskin undertone. The light spice in the aroma was enough to excite the nasal passages and was probably enhanced by alcohol. The aroma also exhibited a light citrusy presence, notably orange in character.

The flavor was fruity with a light sweetness and a graham/bready presence. The malt was some caramel and a candy presence coupled with a light fruity undertone that once again had a grapeskin and grape presence (not raisin). The flavor was interesting with the spicy nature being peppery and lasting on the tongue and palate. The flavor also contained a citrusy presence, muted and well mixed, similar to that of a witbier in nature.

The finish was dry with lasting, make that long lasting pepper flavor and fruitiness into the aftertaste and well beyond. The body was medium full with a lower than expected carbonation level. The alcohol in this beer really came into play in the flavor and in the warming after consumption, the aroma was enhanced by the alcohol the flavor, not so much.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle.

GCBrewingCo, May 05, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

jmz62565, May 05, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to egajdzis for this $20 brew via The Flying Pig...
Limited release of 2,700 bottles.
Appears a hazy gold with a small white head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of a Belgian mix, yeasty dough, vanilla, peach, apricots...perhaps a touch of champagne esters.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is yeasty, doughy, with vanilla, and citrus clinging to the palate.

weeare138, May 04, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

barleywinebrewer, May 01, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

geexploitation, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of ridedammit
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

ridedammit, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am biased when it comes to Allagash. I think they brew interesting, tasty beers, and this is no exception. I had a 750ml bottle all for myself. After pouring the first glass, I let the bottle come to more of a room temperature. The beer was a cloudy orange with a medium head. The smell was mostly sweet fruit. The taste was fruity, somewhat tart, with a little hoppiness. I'm not certain I could detect a vinous character to it. As the beer warmed, it became dryer and more malty/yeasty. Very interesting. Somewhat carbonated. Another great offering from Allagash.

lordofthewiens, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of sinistrsam
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouted a golden copper into my Duvel snifter, accompanied by a HUGE white, thick foamy head, which took forever to die down, and left excellent lacing.
The smell was that of a tripel; yeasty and plenty of candy sugar, bananas, citrus, bubblegum and alcohol. It was very complex and became more evident as it warmed.
The taste wasn't dominated by anyhting in particular; some buttery tones, vanilla, honey, alcohol, citrus(mild) and possibly some sweet fruits? I was expecting a more wine-like taste, but the only thing that the Chardonnay grapes gave the flavor was a slight bitterness to offset the sweetness of the candy sugar.
The mouthfeel was rather sweet at first, but faded into a bitter (but still smooth) aftertaste, with a buttery lingering feel on your tongue. Very interesting, but not as complex in the mouthfeel as I'd hoped for.
I could, however, drink this all the day long. It was another interesting brew from Allagash.

sinistrsam, Apr 29, 2006
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.

asabreed, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of hopsaplenty
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the folks at Allagsh:
To create Victoria Ale, the brewers at Allagash drew on references to Bacchus, the Thracian god of wine, in the history and artwork of the Victoria Mansion as inspiration for this new beer. One hundred pounds of chardonnay grapes were brought in, crushed on site and added directly to the mash. 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 finish.

The Inspiration
Allagash Victoria Ale is a tribute to the Historic Victoria Mansion here in Portland, Maine. Also known as the Morse-Libby House, it is one of the greatest 19th century houses in the United States. Designed by architect Henry Austin, the mansion was built between 1858 and 1860 and survives as a unique example of the princely palaces created for America’s wealthiest citizens in the pre-Civil War era. With superb architecture and well-preserved original interiors, the Victoria Mansion is an unparalleled document of America’s highest aspirations in architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts.
----

The 750ml bottle releases its cork with a soft, hollow 'pop'. The head forms one inch thick and snaps, consisting of fine bone white bubbles. There are a handful of active carbonation streams racing through the hazy glowing golden caramel colored liquid. The smell is distinct and noticeable away from the glass -- Belgian all the way with some fruity, white wine notes as well. The taste is lush and full and distinctly Belgian. There is a persisting, but not overwhelming, white wine dryness in the finish that leaves the palate relatively clear to enjoy the next drink. The 9% alcohol is undetectable. Medium body, with some tingly carbonation, a bit creamy as well. This beer is a nice mix of flavors and the chardonnay grapes lend an interesting note. The bottle was consumed in no time at all and enjoyed thoroughly.

The fact that $1 from the sale of the bottle goes to save an interesting and distinct historic building is an added bonus that makes it easy to feel good about the purchase. Another nice offering from the great folks at Allagash.

hopsaplenty, Apr 29, 2006
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Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.