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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

400 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 400
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 20
Gots: 65 | 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: 400 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EFR94
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
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-

Photo of MasterSki
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of Mantooth
3.44/5  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.

Photo of rudzud
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.