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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 SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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

SLeffler27, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of Mantooth
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Duckworth's in Cornelius, North Cackalacky.

Damn fine beer - looks great in the glass, billowing head and thick creamy lacing. There's just the perfect amount of funk to the nose and taste, wonderful sweet vinegar presence as well as dark ripe fruit - plums come to mind. Creamy mouthfeel. This is an amazing beer that would appeal to most anyone, great entry to sours for the novice and enough complexity for the purist. Wonderful brew.

Mantooth, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/orange color with a good sized head, good retention, some lacing.

Smell is yeasty with strong notes of fruit, apple and pear possibly and a bit of honey, can't really make out much of a grape presence though.

Taste has a rather tart sweetness yet finishes sharply (most likely a result of the grapes), lots of spiciness going on such as clove, good carbonation amount for the style, the strength is well hidden behind the fruit and spice of the beer.

deltatauhobbit, May 04, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's for their Allagash event the other night.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. Like the Victor, this beer smells pretty sweet, with honey and hints of cherry. On the palate this beer is moderately sweet, and is a bit grapy. There is also something of a sweet and sour cherry taste as well to this beer. Maybe some honey as well. The beer is smooth and long on the palate, but is not the least bit heavy or tiring. Drinkability with this beer is high. I would never guess the abv. is 9%.

Another very nice beer from Allagash.

John_M, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2009 vintage. Pours moderately cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger fluffy dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big white grape, grape skin, pear, apple, honey, floral, apricot, grass, herbal earthiness, white wine, light black pepper, light funk, and light yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity of malt notes and yeast esters. Taste of big white grape, pear, apple, apricot, honey, floral, grass, herbal earthiness, light pepper, white wine, light black pepper, light funk, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, honey, floral, grass, light pepper, herbal earthiness, light funk, and white wine on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance and complexity of malt/yeast esters; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Strong pale ale. Great flavor balance and complexity of malt and yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I got the chance to try this out. Poured in a wine glass at the SPTR.

A- Victoria holds a hazy gold color with faint spots of orange depending on the light. No head or even a small cap of foam, just some small streaks of fizz on the surface. No lacing on this one.

S- Well, this does not exactly smell like a beer, has more of a wine appeal from the grapes used in the brewing process. Scents of Chardonnay grapes with some fruity spice plus banana and some pepper thrown in as well. Some Belgian yeast as well. Not a pungent aroma but a pleasent one.

T- Reaffirms that this "beer" has a huge wine influence with the chardonnay type taste peeking through ever so carefully, without a full blown flavor assult. The Belgian Yeast used is probably the only thing keeping this in the realm of beer as hops are not very prominent. Some other sweetness from the malt and I like the banana ans slight apple with a spicy finish with pepper. A good "beer"

M- Victoria has a great feel that is not all that strong which I think suits it well. This is a small step above light bodied with just a touch of carb which is perfect. A very smooth beer that has a wine profile throughout. The flavors gloriously coat the mouth for a few seconds not leaving a long aftertaste.

D- Very drinkable. I hardly even noticed that this was a 9% beer, drinks more like a 5-6%er. A great beer for pairing with many types of food. My glass was gone before I knew it. Im interested in seeing how a bottle of this stands up but im sure it pales in comparison with this tap version.

BARFLYB, May 24, 2009
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 Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 hopdog
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle share courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a medium and hazy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of grapes, caramel, yeast, vanilla and a little funkiness. Tastes of grapes, caramel, fruity and light yeast. A little on the sweeter side. Alcohol content hidden.

Notes from 5/4/06

hopdog, Nov 19, 2008
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 Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

750 ML corked and caged bottle > oversize wine glass.

slightly hazy honey color wityh many tiny bubbles and a high crown of smooth, bright-white foam and large clumpy lacing.

Very fruity nose, sweet, red berries, wild raspberries, sour and tart wild yeastie scent with lemmon citrus and overlly ripe red grapes and clean, wheat scent way down.

The flavor is a light and crisp wheatie malt, very pale wheat with white grapes and sour fruits. Later on, there's a wine-like earthiness under a smooth herbal hop. subtle spicey and peppery yeast effect tingles the tongue along with a mellow but noticable heat. Grapefruit tartness and fresh green veggies are subtle but effect for balance.

I think the addition of grapes adds some nice complexity and despite a 9% abv it's very refreshing in the summertime.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 15, 2008
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 akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The ale is a copper red color with orange hints. On pour, the head is thick and luxurious but it dissipates to a small white ring.

S: The ale has a grape aroma, similar to red grape juice, but subtle and not so sweet. It is a different aroma for a beer, I've never encountered it before.

T: The grapes in the nose miraculously disappear from the taste. The taste is a stronger malt flavor, well spiced with some pepper and honey. The finish is where some of the fruitiness re-emerges, giving the ale a tart sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel, with spices and fruit tartness, is very good.

D: The 9% abv is well hidden here, allowing the fruit and spices to shine. A well made beer indeed.

akorsak, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of StephenRich
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

StephenRich, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/17/07- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. 2007 release which was poured into my Troubadour tulip.

Appearance- Light orange-yellow hued pour. Good one inch yellow-whiteish head with decent streaks of lace.

Smell- Lemon rind, maybe a bit of cinnimon and clove with a nice yeasty nose as well. Not really sensing many grapes here.

Taste- Ahhh, the chardonnay (assuming that) flavor really comes through in the taste. A bit sour, but more sweet. Has a lot of witbier characteristics as well. Lots of white pepper, corriander and clove spicyness.

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated, but easy to suck down. More sharp carbonation that foamy.

Drinkability- Seems more like an imperial wit if there is such a thing. Overall really tasty, but the price was a bit steep...$13.99 at a store where prices are very good...I've seen it for as much as $17.99. Maybe a good $9.99 bottle of so.

GClarkage, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into LA Tulip.

Pours a finger of fizzy white head with decent retention. Leaves a decent amount of lace as well. Color is a hazed golden pale yellow.

Aroma: Lots of Belgian yeast with the grapes showing up front. There is some pear flavors, apples, and cloves going on as well. Lots of dry flavors.

Taste: Big pear and apple flavors up front. The grapes show so much after, however. It is like drinking grape juice. Belgian spices, yeast, and cloves. Decent amount of spice flavors.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, spiced, and dry. Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. Ends fairly dry with the dry fruit flavors.

Overall. this beer is decent for a BSPA. I think the category has a slight disadvantage because it has a lot of flavor and is Belgian, but it is not sour. Allagash seems to have done a great job with the style. The grapes added a nice touch to this beer.

mothman, May 13, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Janeinma
4/5  rDev +2%

Janeinma, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of Bizoneill
4/5  rDev +2%

Bizoneill, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +2%

OBIrish24, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a straw yellow lightly hazy body that as a snow white creamy head that last for the full beer. There is a strong carbonation of microbubbles that glide to the surface.

S- The smell of soft sweet honey has a bread crust note to it. For the most part the smell is pretty clean.

T- This beer has a sweet honey malt flavor with some light white caramel flavors and a faint note of banana and bread dough to it. There is a soft bitterness at the finish that has a soft green noble hop note to it.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a creamy texture that finish with no sign of alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a nice smooth wheat sweetness to it with a good balance from the hops. The flavors are not as concise as typically malt and hops flavors but have more of a mystery to them.

rhoadsrage, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2%

mdaschaf, May 23, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2%

Griffith, Jun 03, 2014
Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.