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Allagash Victor Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Victor AleAllagash Victor Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

156 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 156
Hads: 441
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 23
Gots: 79 | 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: akorsak on 06-10-2007

The Victor Ale was inspired by its feminine-named predecessor, the Victoria Ale. With chardonnay grapes to make the Victoria Ale unique, our brewers decided to use red grapes for the Victor. Over one hundred pounds of cabernet franc grapes were crushed on site and added directly to the mash. In addition to a generous portion of Pilsner malt, Victor is hopped with Fuggles and Hallertau and fermented with a wine yeast strain. With a focus on the subtle wine-like character of the grapes, the 9.0% ABV brew maintains a copper color, wine yeast influence and a medium body with a tart and spicy finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 156 | Hads: 441
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nostradamous flute glass. Pours a clear orange yellow amber, honey colored. One finger medium white head with good retention and nice lacing. Looks nice. Mild aroma of apples, light malt and a hint of Belgian spicing. Taste is light malt, apple juice, Belgian yeast with a somewhat dry finish where the vinous characteristics show up. Medium bodied. An interesting, not very complex Belgian style ale. I like the vinous finish less than most Belgians ales. An obviously well made ale that just did not suit my palate. (531 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. It poured a dark amber color with a thick and frothy white head filling 1/3 of the glass. The head settled a bit but left some very good, thick lacing on the sides of the glass as I` drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of the grapes to it. A clean, slightly grainy pilsner malt comes through along with just a bit of an earthy spice from the European hops.

The taste also shows a pretty strong grape flavor to it as well. It has a bit of a grape juice flavor to it. A little bit of the pilsner malt comes through with a slightly grainy quality in the finish. The grapes are really the main flavor going on though.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied and carbonation is also a bit above average. Drinkability is pretty decent, the grapes added some nice and interesting flavors to it. It felt a bit one dimensional with the grape juice flavors but at the same time they did a nice job at making those flavors work so well in a beer. A cool beer I'm glad I got to try. (1,034 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured slowly into a wide-mouth glass, as per instructions on the label.

Pours hazed orange-amber with a white head that slowly becomes a thick swirling patch. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of musty grapes, with a touch of sourbread. Some maltiness in the back. Subtle fruitiness and spiciness mixes in.

The taste is peppery spicing - Alcohol is a bit raw and dominating. Caramelish - almost syrupy - maltiness with bready notes - grapeskin blends in to give it a dry finish.

Full-bodied and thickish. Alcohol is a bit raw on the palate.

Not a bad use of grapes at all - present but in a supportive role - Fairly complex. A very slow one, with some astringency and alcohol making it a bit tough to get through. Interesting. (780 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly dirty golden color with an off white head. Nose brings forth some yeast but mostly a lot of grapes. This carries over into the taste where, despite some yeast and spice, this is almost just a fancy grape juice. Feel consists of a medium body and good carbonation. All together, this is just a bit much and almost tastes like a grape juice mixture. (386 characters)

Photo of clegolfski
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A = Golden with a slight red/purple tinge that is might just me thinking too much about it. Decent head that sicks a little bit.

S = Hot... Smells pretty boozey but there are some banana and and other yeast characteristics. You get a little little bit of hte grape too.

T = I really didnt like this much at first. It was pretty boozy and and it almost tasted like it had artificial sweetener added to it. As it warmed it opened up a little bit nad you got some of the subtler flavors in between the alcohol and sweet grape. Ended up being ok but a tough sell at its pricetag.

M = Good... not great.... had a nice warming sensation.

D = Slow Slow Slow let this baby get to about room temp before you drink it. (712 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprised this is retired? It was on the shelf here April/09

Appearance: Pours a very hazy straw-pale-yellow with a nice Allagash Belgian head, nice lacing.

Smell: Concord grapes and muscadines hit hard, much more prevalent than in his sister Victoria. Also lots of malt, biscuits, and buttery crackers.

Taste: Once again, concord grapes and muscadines, perhaps some strawberry jam. Also malt, biscuits, and buttery crackers. Definitely some sourdough bread. Could use some brett funk or something, I found it just a tad lacking.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, with a very noticeable ABV. Lots of grape sugar.

Drinkability: If I hadn't recently enjoyed the sister brew Victoria, I would have liked this better. Victoria vastly outshines it as a much more refined product. (774 characters)

Photo of grover37
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle bought at the brewery for about $17 back in July 2010. Split into two Allaglasses.

Appearance (3): Hazy copper organge with two fingers of off-white head. Reduces to a very thin layer with swaths of lacing.

Aroma (3.5): Yeast forward with bready notes. Some light red wine as well.

Taste (3.5): Vinuous and yeasty. Fruity with cranberry and plum perhaps. Really interesting and unique flavors but a bit tannic; has gotten better with time.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Pretty light for 9% and the alcohol doesn't show. Pretty effervescent but not overly so - accents the flavors nicely. Medium body and medium to high carbonation.

Overall (3.5): Different but not something that I will go out of my way for. I like it with some age on it, but fresh it wasn't very enjoyable. (785 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from City Beer for an annoyingly expensive $17.

A - Pours golden-orange with a large white head and good retention.

S - Sweet malt, mild vinous notes, spices, and yeast.

T - Sweet caramel and pale malt, oak, red wine, and pepper. Maybe a little Belgian yeast as well. Mild tartness on the finish. This is good but not quite a standout.

M - Medium body with some red wine acidity. Smooth on the palate yet a little sticky.

D - Well, this is fairly drinkable for what it is, but I am starting to join the camp that thinks this category should also factor in the price tag, which in this case is simply too high. Allagash is becoming brutally expensive. (662 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange tone.
Hawaiian Punch aromas, floral, sweet, grapey, fruity.

Sweet fruit flavors, alot of yeast, some residual bitterness. Not very balanced, much too sweet for my taste. Slight dryness at the end, but the taste lingers on the palate way too long.

Unpleasantly full mouthfeel for the sweet flavors that occur in tandem. It makes it a chore to finish almost, however it doesn't have any attributes that discourage one from drinking it.

Somehow I finished the bottle with some minor help from a friend. Not one I would revisit anytime soon. Allagash bottles alot of their experiments, and this is one I can't recommend. (643 characters)

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 750ml into a chalice.

Pours a surprisingly light tan or deep gold color. Minimal head.

Smell is of faint grapes and Belgian yeast. Almost a hint of saffron in there.

Taste is bready. Grapes and a wine like quality are certainly there. Slightly yeasty with a malty and borderline sour finish.

Overall, this is a solid beer but not as good as some of the others in this line (Curieux,Musette). Very creamy and remarkably well hidden alcohol, yet it left something to be desired. Not that it was a bad beer by any means, but I've been spoiled by their other exceptional offerings I guess. (596 characters)

Photo of nriech
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark orange, good amount of head, good carbonation. Some lacing.

Smell: Heavy on yeast and some sweet dark fruits. A little spicy.

Taste: Good complexity that is difficult to describe. Belgian yeast mixed with a mild red wine. A little sweet like wild berries but not overpowering. Some alcohol present but no bite. Exellent finish.

Overall a quality brew from Allagash as always, and definately overpriced. It was an interesting idea and fun to taste with friends, but could in no possible way become a regular or be affordable in a commercial setting. (574 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, but a bit overly sweet for me. Cork almost freed itself and the beer slowly started to overflow. Served at close to correct temperature. Poured with a big, foamy, frothy, textured, cream colored head and a little bit of lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is hugely dominated by yeast, then grape must, some malt. Flavor is quite sweet up front with a bit of bitterness in the back. And under it all is a general Belgian style strong amber ale. Body is quite soft and mouth filling; carbonation isn't enough to handle the sweetness. Maybe a good dessert beer. Finish is like flavor, medium in length and ending with a slight alcohol sweetness. (659 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large bubbled head, but not quite at the level of soda pop. Very light lace. Nearly no head after one minute. Light haze to an otherwise gold to amber colored beer.

Earthy smell. No notable hop or "grape".

A classic Belgian flavor of yeast, high alcohol and pale malts. I would not describe this as a dark ale. There is a tartness to the beer that one could associate with grapes, but I would not be able to specifically as grape-like, perhaps it's the tannin. Good body. (473 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a hazy, orangish tinged, copper color and is topped by an initially three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma is quite fruity smelling, with berry notes being the most prominent; currants, blackberries and raisins all form the most noticeable characteristics of the aroma. Underneath this though is a sort of saw dust, almost nutty (but not really), what seems to be malt derived character. I also get notes of biscuit malt and lightly toasted grain when I really concentrate on the aromatic components. The grape character definitely plays a prominent role in the aroma; even the skin seems to add some tannic, almost cherry-skin aromatic components.

Fairly sweet up front, and it gets even a bit more sweet as the beer passes through my mouth. Fruity notes are accentuated by the sweetness and remind me of currants, blackberries, a touch of concord grape jam, tart / sweet plums, . The grape skins have certainly contributed to the flavor profile; a certain tannic quality, as well as a pithy astringency, plus some chewy cherry skin flavors, as well as kiwi like note. Really this is a bit too sweet and fruit tasting.

This somehow seems to fizz in the end, the grape flavors just don't add up to a complexity of flavor; what really seems to be the problems is that the grape / berry notes are too dominant, the underlying beer flavors don't play enough of a role for a beer this clean. Did I mention that this beer is fairly clean, it really could use quite a bit more funk to it; a touch of Brett might make this beer sublime. (1,595 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Public House, in San Francisco.

The beer is brewed with purple cabernet franc grapes but it looks more like a golden delicious apple, and certainly nothing like the beverage typically made with those grapes. The complexion is pale enough that it should be clear but is actually distorted. While its head is thin, it forms permafrost lacing that leaves that glass looking like arctic tundra.

This doesn't smell as exclusive as it aught to given its specs; there's little barrel character and surprisingly little grape flavour. The malts are plain and have a stale, almost corn-like tint to them. Usually barrel-aged beers make for the most engaging, bewildering scents but this one is, well, kind of bleh. It grew almost nauseating as the alcohol began to show.

The flavour is more reminiscent of apple cider than it is grape wine. In fact, I'm unable to note much grape character at all and I'm going out of my way to look for it! About the only likeness this has to any wine is a residual sugariness and sweet apple-y finish - more what you'd expect from something like a Semillon than a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Then again, what would be the point in it tasting like a wine? There are far more significant things to fuss over, like the fact that its maltiness and hops and yeast - the elements that define a beer - are all either subdued or somewhat off-putting. This tastes like nothing more than an average Belgian blonde (that hardly rivals even the more commercial examples of such). For the price I paid and all the theatrics behind it, I expected something less generic.

There are many beers not brewed with grapes that rival the complexity and elegance of even the finest wines; this one, however, barely even affords the simple quaffability of an average beer. Allagash has proven they know what they're doing with barrels so perhaps it's my own tastes that account for my disappointment with this offering. Either way, this is not a cheap beer and a 750ml bottle is quite a commitment - it's not something I'll be buying again. (2,062 characters)

Photo of Mantooth
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, on draft at Cork and Cask, Cornelius NC.

I applaud the effort, interesting mess Allagash has made here. Slight head and sticky lacing look good, the brew is the color of tea and smells faintly of bread and grapes. There's the taste of malt and an odd thinness from the grapes. Overall, not something I'd go out of my way for. (349 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at a Julio's tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a hazy reddish straw hue with a a nice head that quickly faded to a thin cloud with no lacing.

S - Smell isnt that bad. Light vinous notes (red wine) but mostly bready yeast and malts.

T - Similar to the nose with a bit better on the cabernet notes. Nice fruit notes but alot of the bready yeast qualities again. Yeasty wine. I've had better.

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad. Crisp, dry on the tongue.

O - Overall, not my favorite Allagash by far. I prefer Victoria better, the grapes are intergrated a bit more. This meanwhile was a yeasty mess. (603 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle of the 2009 vintage pours a very hazed, dark gold color with a short-lived tan head. Lacing just ok.

Nose is heavy on the grapes, I am guessing white...has a buttery chardonnay smell. Really not a whole lot else going on...maybe some bready yeast and floral hops.

The yeast is much more prevalent than I expected on the flavor. Uber-bready, and I am surprised there is not a big fruit ester surge, grapes pretty much stand alone in that regard. Hops are there aplenty and kind of muddle things up a bit. Malts are toasty and crackery, light toffee. Spicy and phenolic, light acidity and some grape tannins. Interesting to say the least, although I am not sure I would buy it again…even at half the $17 price tag. (730 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Hopleaf...A light good with an off white head, ok retention and lacing...The aroma has a lot going on but not successfully, very vinous throughout, grape seed, champagne-esque yeast...The taste is pinot grigo with spice, very vinous again, feels like you're drinking a wine. This is not very good and should be skipped. (329 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Hopleaf. Figured it's easier to part with $6.50 for a tulip than to splurge on a whole bottle. This batch was listed at 9.3%.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is a hazed pale golden color. Why is this called a "dark" ale?

S - An odd mix of Belgian yeast, pilsener malt, and vinous notes. There are some spicy alcohol esters and stone fruits in there as well. Not entirely successful - like someone blended Chouffe with red wine.

T - A mix of grape juice and Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I actually think the taste works better than the smell, as it's less overtly vinous (although the aftertaste is reminiscent of red wine). There's also a yeasty tang to it.

M - Feel is slick, with medium-low carbonation - consistent with the vinous flavor profile. Finishes lightly sticky. It's a touch thin for the high ABV, but there's no obvious heat which is appreciated.

D - I'm glad I got to try this on-tap, not because it was great, but because I saved myself from buying an expensive bottle. It was passable, and I didn't any problems finishing my tulip. Hope Victor Francenstein is better. (1,188 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 750 ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California. Cost was $18.49 plus tax. Reviewed live.

Expectations are extremely high given the brewery and label description, plus the 2009 vintage.

Served refrigerator cold. Side poured without any extra vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, nice thickness, and decent retention for the style. Some mild lacing. Nontransparent (but not opaque) dark butterscotch-orange. Nothing strikes me as special or unique, but it's appealing. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Grapes are dominant but subtle, with perhaps a hint of vinegar. Some yeast. Mild indistinct esters. A mild strength clean pleasant aroma.

T: A subtle grape taste over top a clean malt foundation. Some mild esters - maybe a light hint of peach. Quite clean and pleasant. Certainly enjoyable, but not exceptional. No yeast or alcohol comes through. A light cidery note is present. A bit floral, likely from hops. It's certainly subtle, but I wouldn't call it complex. The grapes are pretty light; likely more white than red. A mild brett tone gives it some added complexity but doesn't contribute anything substantial. Well balanced, with a rounded flavour profile. Built decently but timidly.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours nicely. The bretts give it a silky character whilst retaining its full feel. Not too thick nor too thin. Adequately carbonated, even in light of its age. Overall, its nicely complementary of the flavours but doesn't feel tailored to them.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but a bit boring considering its potential. The ingredients, process, and brewery made me expect a far better beer, but I do like this one. I don't know that aging had a significant effect on the flavour. I'd try this again only if a much older bottle was freely available to me; elsewise it isn't worth the price.

It drank just fine out of me snifter. Would pair well with some foods but not spicy ones. Maybe sweet potato fries would be ideal.

B- (2,180 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Blake for sending me this one.

A: The pour is almost copper in color with a fluffy, off-white head.

S: A rather intense grape aroma to the beer, but it's almost like super sweet grape jelly or grape juice. Some malt and light yeast in the background with a little bit of pepper and other phenols and esters.

T: The grape flavor really dominates and gives the beer a very sugary sweetness. Some bread and sweet toffee/caramel malts add to the sweetness. A light yeast and pepper bite in the background and a hint of metal.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Just really disappointing. I like that the grape flavor is there, but it's just too sugary. (684 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Copper/yellow color with a fluffy whitish head that left a little bit of stick on the sides.

S - Smells like grape jelly or grape juice, lots of grapes in here. Malty backbone is pretty buried by the grapes, and there's some estery smells as well.

T - Sugary grape sweetness over some caramel malts, but this is so grape forward it's almost a waste of beer, just drink juice at a cheaper cost. Little bit of spice and yeast in the background.

M - Medium bodied with fairly active carbonation.

O - I don't really feel like drinking this one again. I like grape juice just fine, but juice is juice, beer should seem more like beer. (637 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark-orange brown with a medium egg-shell head, okay lacing.

smell is faint, butter, coffee, some spice, and sweet fruits.

taste is fizzy, white grapes, caramel, apricot and other fruits, and malt.

overall just an average ale, nothing too impressive here the victoria ale is much better. (298 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured into Delerium tulip.

A- Pours a burnt sienna with a slight haze and a small head. The small head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Grapes, Belgian yeast, some champagne qualities and a light malt. Not much else going on.

T- The taste falls short of the nose. The grape is there but is muddled. There is an overwhelming Belgian yeast and sugar with faint malt in the background.

M- Medium bodied with a sprite carbonation. Dry on the finish and a nice tickling sensation on the way down.

D- This beer alone feels unfinished. I can see why they added the sour aspect with Victor Francenstein. (647 characters)

Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.