Allagash Victor Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Victor AleAllagash Victor Ale

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

153 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 153
Hads: 428
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 9.04%
Wants: 23
Gots: 77 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 153 | Hads: 428
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Fourth Ave. Pub during a recent trip to Brooklyn; served in a tulip

Appears a deep amber with mild carbonation and a khaki head the rose a good two fingers before receding quickly.

Aroma is of fermented granny smith apples, white grapes, candi sugar, and grainy malts. Fruity, flowery and sweet with an earthy hop aroma.

Flavor is very similar except for a dry, wood-like presence. Somewhat sweet caramel malts up front with the same lighter fruits as in the aroma. Same lighter fruits, granny smith apples and white grapes with a solid punch of booze in the finish.

Medium to full body with good carbonation. Full and rich on the palate.

Definitely a boozey beer. The flavors are extremely complex and playful and the alcohol packs a punch. With that said, it was very easy to put back. Each sip yielded new characteristics. (844 characters)

Photo of thekanna
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, DC.

A: Like a dark Rosé wine; somewhat amber with hints of red and pink that poke through. No head to speak of.

S: A slightly burnt caramel flavor reminiscent of Crème brûlée. Also present are fruit juice aromas... white grape and apple, mostly. A bit of nuttiness and a damp forest-like smell rounds out the finish.

T: Somewhat sweet caramel-like malts with fresh-pressed winery (muscat-like) grape juice. It lacks the dryness of white wine and instead replaces it with a more palatable sweetness. A port-like quality is definitely present. This is complemented with a sweet doughy taste of Belgian yeasts and bakery butter glaze.

M: Nice and big body with a perceptible creaminess. Leaves the mouth with an oily slickness.

D: This is very wine-like and should be savored. Great for sipping. (850 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Darker copper color poured without much head. Pleasant, interesting smell, medium malts and lots of fruit - apple, green grape, melon. Flavor-wise this beer had a nice malt base, but was way too fruity for my tastes. White wine flavors really dominated the beer inside and out. Sweet, very tart and lots of carbonation. Drinkable..not so much. More of a slow sipper. Definitely better than the Victoria, which to me is almost like drinking a chardonnay-beer mix, but not what I would look for in this style. (507 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish/orange color with a bit of haze. A small beige head forms, but recedes to a rim. Some good sticky lace is left behind.
S: A malty sweetness at first. Some grapes and apples. Dry with lots of wood. I like the aroma, just not as much as the Victoria.
T: A deep dry wood flavor and sourness. Grapes and apples again. A malty, caramel sweetness as well. A much bolder flavor than Victoria.
M/D: A medium body with a crisp snap of carbonation. There is a prickly heat from the alcohol and carbonation. This is still very enjoyable to sip on though.

This obviously needs to be compared with Victoria. Both are different and interesting in their own way. Victoria is more subtle and fruity. The flavors here are more assertive, dry, and sour. I highly recommend both beers. (791 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
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 Brad007
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to this ale.

Pours a golden amber color (not quite dark) into my goblet with a two-finger head that fades down to a one-finger head.

Aroma is nice and strong with a decent whiff of grape and raisin in the nose. Somewhat "fruity" if ya will.

Taste is strong with a decent grape essence followed by raisin and alcohol warmth. Feels a bit chewy and dry as well. Alcohol warmth isn't too strong.

The grape lingers and actually seems to show through more towards the back of the throat. The dryness is just right and alcohol warmth fades, leaving a great finish.

Definitely a complex ale and not the first that I've had that was brewed with grapes. It doesn't quite fit the style (except for the raisin notes) but it is nevertheless a solid ale. A bit pricey but if you want to treat yourself, it's worth a try. (831 characters)

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

I wish I knew this beer was retired BEFORE I opened the only bottle I had. :( Oh well, it's still great. Getting down toward the bottom of the bottle, this beer gets more and more impressive.

750 ml bottle, caged n corked. Served in a Duvel tulip glass. Victor pours a hazy golden brown with almost no head. The beer shows good, not great, lacing throughout. Nose is very subtle - a little sweetness with a slight touch of musk. The taste is where the grapes are very apparent and the heat of the 9% ABV shows through slightly. The carbonation is very tight and even towards the bottom of the bottle this holds true. The finish is slightly tart and leaves your palate a little thirsty and dry.

To me this beer is a little more like a weak sparkling wine than a beer. It does a great job of straddling the line between the two. Not sure if it's worth $20/btl, but it's a very good beer nonetheless. Certainly recommended with Mexican food that doesn't carry too much spice. (974 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled out of a bottle at the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski. The color was a dark orange/gold, the head off-white. Decent retention and good lacing. The aroma was of Belgian yeast, alcohol, a touch of Chardonnay grapes and some fruit esters. The flavors were similar, but I wasn't thrilled. Bready malt, dark fruit, a light spiciness from the yeast, and the punch of booze. Dry, acidic and tannic, reminiscent of a brut champagne. Interesting, but it lacked finesse. The mouthfeel was a good, the carbonation high and the body medium. It was ok, but it was expensive to purchase and for the same dollar I'd rather have something (or a couple somethings) else. (661 characters)

Photo of abfraser
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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) (615 characters)

Photo of lessthanhadley
3.91/5  rDev +1%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
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 Viggo
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle also from Whole Foods in Chitown. Day 2 of epic DrJay visit tasting.

Pours a cloudy copper, almost dark orange, thick off white head forms, drops tons of lace, very rocky head, settles to a medium layer, looks good. Smell is neat, light sourness and acidity, grapes and wine, wood, raspberries and assorted fruitiness, oranges, more fruit than the Victoria, a little more intense with the aroma. Taste is light sour and tannic, strawberries, oranges, bread, melons, very dry in the middle, some nice bready malt and oak, bit of funky sourness in the finish, very fruity, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, very dry, nice funky finish, I liked. (703 characters)

Photo of gameface23
3/5  rDev -22.5%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
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 DrJay
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Biergotter 2008 tasting - Day 2. Viggo provided this one. Thanks!
Just a bit of haze to this orange/amber beer. The light beige cap showed good head retention and produced some chunky, sticky lacing. Vinous aroma, lots of wine and red grape skin, juicy and fruity, bready with a bit of earthiness. Mild tropical fruit and citrus notes appeared as it warmed. Malty flavour up front, quite fruity, grape and raisin, similar to the aroma but a little less vinous. Nicely balanced with flavours really melding, a bit of toffee sweetness held things together. Smooth, malty texture, moderate carbonation and medium bodied, a bit dry. Good stuff. Quite tasty with well hidden alcohol. (678 characters)

Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. Viggo contributed this one, so thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled nov 28/08.

pours deep orange, nearly brown, with a touch of haze. a huge fluffy cream coloured head forms, dropping slowly and leaving tons of thick lace behind.

aroma is good. a bit richer and "darker" than victoria. raisin, date, red grape. hints of vanilla. whole wheat bread. bit of fresh citrus too. apricot and tangerine. bit of pineapple.

taste is good. red grape. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. raisin and date. bit of toffee and caramel, but with only a hint of associated sweetness. light alcohol. not much of the citrus that i got in the aroma.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is great. nice balance. great malty depth. i really enjoyed the grape character too. good stuff. (880 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked bottle.

Medium hazy amber color with a large frothy off-white head that lasted and produced good lacing. Moderate tart citrus yeasty aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Light sweet flavor with a medium sour long finish with a small alcohol tone.

Good, but I had higher expectations. (325 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 11/08/08.

Slightly hazy orange/gold pour. A two finger white foam head provides plenty of lacing.

Fruity, wet aroma with a touch of funk.

The flavor is slippery and hard for me to pin down. Golden and green apples, white grapes, hint of cinnamon, slight sourness/tartness, some sweetness, clean, dry finish... there really is more to this taste than the sum of the parts. Taste improved with warming.

Overall, not the most exciting beer to drink, but I finished half a bottle just fine. (499 characters)

Photo of nick76
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is unimpressive with malt, cheese yeast, and grapes. The appearance is deep gold amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is smooth. Overall I like it but it's not as good as I was hoping. A really mediocre beer from a good brewer. (265 characters)

Photo of ruckzuck
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (1,033 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber with reddish hues and plenty of carbonation action going on demonstrating bubbles galore. A large pure white pours high and fades into a pillowy stump leaving sticky lacing behind.

Nose shows signs of plum, berry, belgian yeast, belgian spices, orange peel, cotton candy, and some tropical type fruits.

Good nicely balanced beer. Some hop bitterness on the fninish. Fruity throughout and dominating on the mid palate. A hint of raisin, pinot noir grapes, black cherry, berry fruit, spicey etheral qualities. Light bodied but long on the finish. I could drink this beer all day and not get tired of it. Very easy sitting on the palate. The grapes show through nicely. (684 characters)

Photo of sinistrsam
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden copper with a nice head and clean appearance. The aroma on this beer surprised me; it came off almost skunky, with strong notes of sour grapes and mild spice.
Most notably in the taste was once again grapes and sour fruit, some spice, yeast and alcohol...not balanced very well.
The mouthfeel was overall pretty decent, and finishes smooth but starts biting and somewhat bitter.
I'd say it was a decent beer and definitely interesting, but just too expensive for the quality. It was awfully bitter and overshadowed by a high ABV. I love Allagash's experimental tendencies and their constantly pushing the limit, but the last several brews I've had by them just haven't delivered the quality I expect for the price I've paid. (742 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a clear toasted grain color with an average soapy white head that didn't leave much as it settled. The aroma is of white grapes, a bit cidery. The grape aroma pretty much dominates everything else. The taste is again of white grapes, honey, a hint of pepper and grain, ending with some bittering hops. The feel is moderate with fairly soft carbonation, the finish starts off slick but ends up dry. A very nice BSPA that doesn't knock your socks off with sweetness or spice but delivers a very drinkable brew. A nice drying finish rounds off the brew that make drinking the 750ml bottle enjoyable. (642 characters)

Photo of malcontent
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my St. Bernardus Goblet (I'm thinking a tulip would have worked better) only a thin layer of bubbly head appears before fading fast. Lovely rose-tinted, orange body leaves an impression.

It's strange just how much the grapes come through. However, the scent is of the fruit and not the implied overtones one would find from a wine. I have to wonder if Allagash used an American eating varietal instead of a wine grape. In any case, the fruity scent fits in nicely with the earthy/sweet malt body.

I don't see how this fits in BA's category of "Strong Dark Ale" as the malt profile is much more akin to that of Duvel or Fin du Monde. That same rose (the wine, not color) infiltrates every corner of the flavor profile, partnering in a shockingly natural fashion with the clean pilsner malt and fruity/spicy yeast.

Booze isn't detectable and the crisp carbonation adds a refreshing aspect to a beer already eerily similar to a Provencal Rose. An excellent, if not unexpected, choice for a summer brew. (1,015 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly light gold into a chalice, not what I was expecting for a "dark ale." But I won't split classification hairs; this is probably one of those beers that can't really be classed. Not a great deal of head, though, and somewhat poor retention. Markedly better when I agitate it somewhat, though.

S - No mistaking the vinous aromas here. Has a Riesling-like aroma; lots of fine sniffin' grapes. Uncomplicated, but top-notch.

T - A bit bready up front, then the unmistakable grape hits. A little sweet, not overly so. Some Belgian yeast-spice character at the back end drying things out along with some light hop. Doesn't come off as the hefty 9% beer it is.

F - Pretty much nailed it. Not too sticky with a good bite of carbonation.

D - The carbonation, not the alcohol, seems to want to catch up with me after a bit. Still a very drinkable and classy beer (as noted below). Excellent marriage of grain and grape. Expensive, though. (953 characters)

Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.