Allagash Victor Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Victor AleAllagash Victor Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

421 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 421
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.03%
Wants: 23
Gots: 71 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 155
Photo of gameface23
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer defines "nothing spectacular" for me. Served on tap at The Great Lost Bear. Pours dark reddish orange with a fluffy, cream colored head. Spotted lacing prevailed. The smell was of red grapes (a sort of Welch's grape juice aroma, but not as sugary sweet). The taste was similar. I didn't enjoy it too much. There wasn't much bitterness to speak of. The middle mouthfeel was the worst part about it: too much grape sweetness.

Photo of JGam115
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pink tinge and golden color. Bright melon and grapes, lite farmhouse. Easy going pale with fruit forward flavors

Photo of MatthewWilde
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2009

A: Pours a small white head that quickly evolves into mild lacing, orange in color and cloudy throughout with lots of sediment, not translucent

S: Moderately fragrant, quite fruity, notes of citrus with some floral/herbal elements as well, champagne-like, sweet with a touch of alcohol

T: Similar to the nose, but much heavier fruit and very apparent grape aspects, mild herbal notes, slightly spicy, flavorful

M: Smooth, drinkable, refreshing, age seems to have added some balance, mild fruity aftertaste, not lingering or drying, only slight alcohol taste

O: Worth a try, fruity and clean, aged well with much added complexity, smooth and delicious

Photo of Sam21
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, 2011 vintage, purchased for ~$19 at Domaney's in Great Barrington, MA. Poured into tulip.

Appearance- Brilliant copper body showing brown highlights - no doubt, a result of the Cabernet Franc grapes. Tight head with excellent retention. Picture perfect lacing as well.

Smell- Sweet aroma. Purple grapes, sweet apple, and some light caramel notes beneath. There are some yeasty aromas as well adding balancing spices to the mix.

Taste- Yeasty clove and subtle phenolic flavors stand up front. The clove spice carries right through into the finish and balances out what I expected to be an overly sweet beer. The sweetness is present, but clings to the tongue's anterior taste buds while the spice commands the center stage. Dark tangy sweet grapes are more prominent in the finish and come together with the yeast for a wonderfully balanced and dry finish. Sweet, tangy, and balanced. The alcohol is expertly integrated. Noticeable as the beer warms, but subtle.

Mouth Feel- Victor sports a medium body with full mouth filling carbonation. Soft, yet active.

Drinkability- This is a wonderful strong Belgian-style pale. It has strong base malt notes and spicy additions from the yeast. The Cabernet grapes add tangy sweet flavors and are a solid addition. An expensive beer, but worth the money. Allagash does it again.

Photo of ruckzuck
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle for a while, finally decided to crack it tonight at the urging of the gf. Into the Duvel chalice

A - nice pale golden/amber body with a thick white head which subsided eventually

S - I get a ton of grapes in the nose accompanied by a bit of peppery spice and a good amount of bready malt and yeastiness. Almost like a wine in many ways. Interesting

T - definitely reminds me more of a Belgian pale (Duvel comes to mind) than a strong dark. Very, very good. Some tartness from the grape/fruity flavor along with some bready malt up front which gives way to a very Duvel-esque beer. Some spiciness and yeast round out the mouth. A bit of a dry aftertatse. Very good

M - creamy and carbonated just right. Very enjoyable going down. Again, very dry, taste aftertaste. Almost reminiscent of champagne

D - this is an excellent beer. I'm not sure the style listed is correct, but this is another epic win for Allagash. Different, tasty, and highly recommended. Definitely check this out. Would gladly drink another

Photo of abfraser
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange; opaque; pours with a thin white head but that disappears quickly. Nice lacing

S: Dark sweet boozy fruit. Belgian spice. Something smells a little different--maybe that's the grapes?

T/M: Sweet caramel malt, spice, dark fruit. Pretty much the same as the smell. Nice mouthfeel, full bodied, nice lingering bitterness from hops.

D: Pretty intense. Can definitely taste the alcohol in this.

I'm a huge fan of Allagash brews, but I think this one is a bit below their other special offerings. Definitely a unique brew worth trying but not something I'm going to seek out (like a Musette or Odyssey)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's not good for me when, in the middle of winter, I have the craving for a lighter, crisper beer. Not to many of those in the apartment this time of year.... Into the Maredous chalice...

A - Right amount of white head, with no lacing and good retention. A really beautiful golden honey colored body.

S - Not an overwhelming aroma, nice and pleasant. Melon and honey like sweetness, grape like tartness, and good spice all present in this subtle, but interesting aroma.

T - Much more intense in the mouth than I expected from the aroma. This beer starts out with a big hit of honey, which gives way to a unique bitter-sweet quality. This combines with lots of spice, grape like tartness, saltiness, and a very distinct funk to make a jumbled, but interesting experience. The grape and spice linger for a long time in the finish.

M - Full and crisp at the same time, with a very slick feeling on the tongue. Interesting.

D - I came away from this impressed and apathetic at the same time. On one hand, this beer does a great job blending the grape qualities with the rest of the beer, so that neither overpowers the other, and the funk in this beer was the best I've noted in a non-Belgian beer. On the negative side, I felt this beer, while complex, lacked the focus that makes the great Belgian beers great. Something to try, but doubt I will grab another...

Photo of LeRose
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at a beer dinner, paired with roasted pork with grapes.

Appearance - an amber color with a compact head that resolved to a ring around the glass.

Smell - fruity and yeasty, almost wine-like while fermenting. Red wine-like notes, but fairly subtle. Some pear, and very faint raspberry. Just a touch of wheat/bread.

Taste - ok, this behaves more like a wine in my mind. Definite taste of the grape, a mix of other fruity notes like pear and raspberry come into the mix. It's sweet, but then has a tart tang to it, and it all ends with drying finish, tannin-like. I rather like this melding of wine and beer.

Mouthfeel - astringent and drying at the end of the taste. Very wine-like mouthfeel.

Overall - this is a nice meld of wine and beer flavors and characteristics. I felt the flavor was pretty deep and rich, with the fruitiness playing off against the malts. I actually think the pork was a weak pairing for this - could go with something much more hearty, maybe even venison.

Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Pours a red tinted straw color with a head that quickly settles to a light lacing that never goes away. There is a light aroma that is mostly grapes and some grains. The tastes is just a bit sweet but it allows this to be very easy to drink. There is a couple other light fruit flavors hidden in there but nothing that really stands out for me. Each sip is lighter than the other. The 9% is well hidden. Overall, another quality selection from Allagash. Really enjoyed this one even though it was a bit sweet, but to be expected.

Photo of clegolfski
3.58/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of nriech
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of neophilus
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a white wine glass on a gorgeous summer day. The fluffy white head coyly makes an appearance but then disappears, never to be seen again. The ale has a rich copper hue, slightly cloudy with an disciplined line of bubbles marching up from the bottom.

Aroma is rather subdued, a musty hint of belgian yeast crowned with malt. Very clean. Lingering underneath though is something else... sweet and slightly fruity notes take over and brings a gentle complexity to the nose.

The flavor is crisp and dry, showing the same restraint as the aroma did. This strong pale ale does not assault your senses. A tart fruitiness lingers underneath coating the palate, barely perceptable but definitely there. Mild booziness rounds out the experience, warmly elevating the tart flavor. The beer finishes clean and dry with the gentle warmth slowly fading from view.

Definitely an interesting taste experience. The subtle blend of flavors are much more than the sum of their parts. There is craftstmanship in the restraint shown here and the beer never threatens to overwhelm the senses.

Photo of philipt
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm on a big Allagash kick right now (thank you Interlude). This beer is not what I expected nor does it disappoint.

First glass/pour of the 750ml bottle: Pleasing reddish copper with a khaki head. Great lacing.

Sweet, but slightly tart and faintly sour. Overall, i think a little more tartness for balance would work.

As expected, distinct grape / wine-esque subtlety.

Good carbonation.

Again, not really what i expected, but i didn't know what to expect from this beer. It's interesting, experimental, and it all works very well together.

Photo of edmedina
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK this is another specialty from Allagash. The beer poured a light amber color. The taste was smooth with a hint of fruit. I would even say a sweet taste. Now here it the problem I have this beer. Unlike most Allagash beers I've had this one didn't stand out from any other fruity beers. I can probably name 4, 5 or even 6 beers that have the same tastes. Now this is not to say this is not a good beer. It is, very much so.

Photo of poolemhore
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - poured into a tulip glass at room temperature. Big bubbly white foamy head with a very bright bronze to copper color.

S - distinct Allagash yeast smell the grapes come through slightly as a lighter note. Maybe some acetyl like scents sneaking through.

T - starts off pungent and bitter mellowing into a smooth, almost red wine finish. This however gives way almost immediately to a lingering metallic bite.

M - very light bodied and nicely carbonated. For a 9% beer this facet makes this one dangerously sessionable.

O - love Allagash but I've experienced every once in a while a metallic finish in their bombers. That being said this one has something to offer for both the experienced enthusiast and not so much. I think its most impressive quality is its lightness when regarding its abv.

Photo of krazyboi
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a white wine glass.

A: Dark golden yellow with very small head.
S: Fruity, caramel, grapes, slight alcohol.
T: Sweet malts with a touch of grapes. Finishes dry with a bit of bitterness. The aftertaste is similar to that of a dry white wine.
M: Light to medium body. Good carbonation. Slightly creamy.
D: The alcohol is hidden fairly well and makes this quite drinkable. The price tag makes it hard to drink often. This is a decent beer, but nothing special. The grapes aren't too prevalent when drinking, although you can tell there were grapes used in brewing it. Not worth the $18 price tag in my opinion.

Photo of mobyviacheslov
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Looked like a Saison. Dark gold, and translucent. By the time it reached my table, there was no head.
S - Smelled like a white wine and a german lager, in a good way. The grape aroma was actually less wine, and more actual grape. The mild hop and malt aroma simply helped identify this as a beer, and not a grape drink.
T - Excellent balance of flavor. This had the bitter bite of Saison, matched beautifully with the sweet and sour grape flavor. Again, not a white wine flavor, but an actual grape flavor...I could even taste the skins of the grape (an earthy, fibrous flavor). The brett-like bitterness of a Saison was very present but the very obvious grape flavor was a wonderful balance. And don't get me wrong, this was certainly not a "fruit beer"...the grape flavor is strong, but it does not taste like a grape drink, or like grape juice was added.
M - Nice, light, and bubbly. Excellent refresher.
D - Excellent as well...At 9.3%, there was zero alcohol flavor. I could drink these for hours (or until I passed out).

Photo of turnerk3
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a unique golden yellow color that tends to shift between true yellow to amber. Perfectly topped by a puffy white head which screams Belgium.

S: The Belgium yeast produce that fruity sweet smell as always, but there is a subtle wine aroma that pleasantly adds a distinct sweetness.

T: As expected, the mouth agrees with the nose. Exceptionally unique flavors of banana and clove found in most Belgium's with an enjoyable hint of grape that mixes well.

M: This is where the wine aspect takes main stage. There is a distinct dryness that is more wine-like than Belgium beer-like. Quite distinguishable and well placed.

O: Allagash is an excellent American brewery that produces exceptional Belgium style beers. This is just another over whelming amazing brew. If it is available definitely give it a try.

Photo of drumminbrewer
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(going through the rest of my notes from this weekend)
Bottled in 2010. I think they used Cabernet Franc grapes for this batch (though I'm not sure, the other variation was "Chancellor" grapes).

Pours an apple cider brown with a quickly dissipating head. Not much lacing to be found, but a millimeter of a porous head left. As I get further into the bottle the yeast settles into the glass adding a pinkish tint the beer...mmm, the body is still lovely and effervescent despite everything floating around in the glass now.

Nose is alive with all sorts of citrus; oranges, lemons, lemon zest (like the rind of lemon shaved off) and tangerines. More Brett like qualities come off as it warms. Strong presence of the grapes.

The first sip is so alive. Every part of my tongue gets a different nuance or secondary flavor. The grapes themselves are most noticeable in the middle part of my tongue, pleasant acidity makes elevates the citrus notes. Everything delivered on the nose is present in the flavors and then some. 9% abv? Are you kidding me? It drinks more like a 6-7% saison!

This is a wonderful beer. I've had really good luck sitting on Allagash stuff for about 1 to 2 years, no exception here. Extremely refined, complex and balanced. Highly recommended with some age.

Photo of WontontoIsDrinking
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tastes like wine poured into a beer. A slight bitter finish.

Photo of lessthanhadley
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the brewery in early August. Finally got around to sampling on 1/16.

A: Orange/Golden in color when poured with large head and lacing that lasted throughout the duration of my beer. Not the coloring you would expect for this style.

S: Slight hint of grapes, otherwise very similar to your traditional Belgian strong.

T: Very malty, somewhat of a fruity taste. I picked up grapes, but to be honest not so sure that I would have if I did not know the beer was flavored as such.

M: Highly carbonated (surprisingly carbonated in fact) which led to a pleasant bubbly mouthfeel.

D: Fairly drinkable, although I'm not sure I would go back for a second bomber.

Photo of MarioL66
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Stong white head that left an intricate lacing as the beer was consumed.

Smell - Strong, red wine, fruity and inviting.

Taste - Alcohol sweetness up front subsides into a red wine dryness? Slight sour notes before the red grapes take over. Interesting, though I am not in love.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and clean. Not overly creamy or crisp.

Drinkability - The alcohol, while well disguised, is still noticeable and will keep.

Another interesting offering from Allagash. I would have it again but I would choose other examples of the style before Victor.

Photo of psujmatt
2.22/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed at bar while disappointed. First beer of the day.

A: medium amber no head no bubbliness

s: winelike nose

t: not balanced, a bit sharp, a hint of circuit board (is that the wine yeast or some contamination?)

M: wine like with a hint of bubbles. Maybe a cheap sparkling wine

d: circuit board flavor limits drinkability. Hides alcohol well.

Edit: 1/12/2010. I will note that I really liked the Victoria Ale, but that was brewed with Belgian yeast I believe. So perhaps it is the wine yeast that gives it the taste I don't like. Finally, three other people tasted this at my table, and 2 of them were very mad to have spent $8 on 8-10oz. The other thought it was average and worth trying.

Photo of poetaster
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich dark gold with a yeasty froth cap. Fruity, tart nose supported by the first lip-puckering taste. Grape flavors and rich, smooth maltiness soon take the lead, well balanced by refreshing hop bitterness. Very much unlike most beers of this style--to my taste, like a cross between a triple and a bière de garde. Unlike the former, there's more thick malt and candy sugar flavors, and unlike the latter, more crisp tartness. Excellent offering though, as always, from the folks at Allagash.

Photo of Meeg
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm stuck in Cleveland, reading my buddy's Facebook posts about his beer tour in New England, which included a stop in my Promised Land... The Barrel Room at Allagash Brewery. What else to do but open a bottle of my Allagash stash?

2009 vintage poured into an Allagash stemmed-glass, consumed while playing hookey and attempting to make progress on my bathroom remodel, listening to WEEI.

Aside from the bitter taste of the discussion about the Red Sox' epic collapse...

Beautiful pale golden color, with a nice, subtle grape scent. Grapes on the tongue, lasting through to the end, pleasantly reminiscent of Dogfish's Midas Touch (a favorite). A not-too light, definitely-not-heavy mouthfeel, matching the best belgians.

I'm happy, and I made progress in the bathroom remodel. Allagash always helps.

Oh! It was gusher, but I hadn't cooled it before opening. A rookie mistake. Don't open at 70 degrees, or you'll lose a bit of beer.

Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.