Allagash Victor Francenstein - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Victor FrancensteinAllagash Victor Francenstein

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

101 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 313
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 03-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Victor Francenstein was created by aging 2008 victor ale in french oak wine barrels for one year with a blend of lactobacillus and brettanomyces. 100 lbs of 2009 cabernet franc grapes were then added to the barrel for an additional six months of aging. The resulting beer is dry, tart and fruity. Fresh strawberries and citrus are present in an aroma that gives way to flavors of grapefruit and rum. The tart finish has hints of vanilla and oak.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 53
Reviews by BearsOnAcid:
Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown pour; small white head

A lambic-esque aroma. Impressive. Bright grapeyness and Allagash funk.

Slightly sweet vinous flavor. Bretty and bitter(pithy). Some sharp cheese. Finish ends with a little acitidity and some tannins. The alcohol warms you up. Definitely the best Allagash has put out for special releases.

More User Reviews:
Photo of newk340
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a beautiful golden amber color that is visibly carbonated with a fluffy white head.

S: smells of funk and grapes, can't get enough of the well-balanced brett!

T: yum! tastes of sour fruits all around, hints of grapes, lime, and grapefruit at the end...

MF/D: very mouthpuckering, but i'm not complaining. very hard to put down. a shame the bottles weren't any bigger...

Photo of kingcrowing
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked & caged bottle poured into a wine glass at Ebenezer's pub during the 6th annual Belgian Beer fest.

I was going to Maine/New Hampshire for the weekend after Victor Francenstein was released, and I was planning on stopping at Allagash on my way over with some friends to grab a couple bottles. Sadly it sold out a couple hours before we could get to Portland but I got to Ebenezer's (for the first time!) for Belgian Beer Fest for a few beers anyways. I asked Chris if he by any chance had any bottles left from the dinner before and thankfully he busted one out that I was able to share with a couple friends. I know there's a lot of hype around this but I split it with two other friends who both like beer but neither are BAs or have ever even had a sour beer before this and they both thought it was fantastic as well.

Pours a nice hazy ruddy orange color with a thin white head & light white lacing. Nose is very fruity with grapes dominating the nose but there's also a nice amount of funky sweetness that is quite delightful and just what I expect from a sour.

Wow, on the first sip I knew this was a world class sour, possibly the best I've ever had and certainly up there with the big boys like Cantillon and Drie Fontenin. It's tart and crisp with a very nice grapey sweetness, it's got a lot of wine characteristics, the two friends I split it with described it as a "wine beer" which I think is pretty apt, it would be a good cross over for a lover of fine wines into the world of craft beer. There is a nice funk to it but it's not of the barnyard variety, which I think makes it much easier drinking. The mouthfeel is full and sharp with a nice amount of carbonation similar to many of Allagash's wild ales.

A big thanks to Chris for busting this out, it was fantastic. I really hope that Allagash makes this beer again as it was so delicious, I think the $10 price at the brewery was a steal for something this good and if they could manage to produce it at a larger volume it would do fantastically.

Photo of glid02
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Brad - much obliged!

Pours a slightly rosy light brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bright white grapes with moderate amounts of funk. Also present are solid amounts of dark fruit flavors - raisins mostly - brown sugar, and nondescript yet crisp medium malt flavors that serve as a nice backbone.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light medium malt flavors kick things off and dry out quickly with the addition of moderately tart grape flavors and hints of oak. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of raisins dusted with brown sugar. Slight amounts of molasses make a brief appearance before fading out into a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a big fan of this beer, and despite it being the youngest it was the smoothest of the three Allagash offerings. A complex beer that's well worth a shot.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by capra12. Poured from a 12oz. corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

A: Pours a nice 1/4 finger biese head with good retention and coarse bubbles lingering at the side. Beer is a semi-clear reddish-clay. Lacing is ruler-like and thick and frothy with decent cling.

S: Vanilla, oak, grape, ethanol, earth, light funk, raspberries and other ripe, red fruits. Aroma is overall rather sweet but there's a slightly abrasive alcohol in the back.

T: Acidic in the opening, grape, wood, peat, with a good balance of tart and sweet. Sour creeps in starting at the outset and builds towards the finish. Slight ethanol backdrop. Tart grape aftertaste that lingers at the end.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, oily and dry with a slight acidity. Dry finish, sticky and puckering aftertaste.

D: A very solid offering from Allagash and on par with their other special releases. However, in my opinion, don't believe the hype, this beer'll surely get better with time as the abrasive ethanol starts to fade a bit, yet, it'll never reach absolute masterpiece status.

Photo of nickd717
3.87/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Traded for this bad boy awhile back and finally cracked the sucker open. 375ml bottle.

Pours a hazy amber color with a small whitish head and good retention.

The aroma is basically grapes and funk, not too much to it but pretty good. Somewhat oaky with slight leather, typical of Allagash wilds.

The flavor starts with somewhat sweet caramel malt then finishes with a good tartness, with white grapes and slight vinegar. Slight leather and oak.

Medium-bodied with a good acidic mouthfeel and average carbonation.

Good compared to other Allagash wild ales, but not a standout in the big scheme of things.

Photo of aepb1
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful red clay, the edges fade to a nice amber. Small frothy white head

S- Very grapey. With a bit of funk, fruity malt base.

T- Grape sour! A bit of alcohol up front that goes straight into the sour and finishes very clean leaving on a bit of the malty taste behind.

M- Light, crisp, nice airy carbonation

D- As I age the other 3 bottles I have of this, I can't wait to see the change. As is, it's a nice little brew!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 9.7% ABV, no date.

This requires a massive thanks on my part to Keith (Rochefort10nh) for sending this to me as an EXTRA in a 6 beer trade. Ridiculous! You're the man Keith!

A - Almost totally clear and vibrantly amber-orange with a loose, bone-colored head. Moderate retention with a nice arch of thick lace from swirling it.

S - Gentle touches of sweet caramel notes hide behind a wild brett funk aroma. Barnyard and horse-blanket couples beautifully with red grapes and subtle, delicate wood barrel. Notes of cherries poke through. In one word; orgasmic.

T - Fairly malty for a wild ale, a lot of caramel and bread notes shine through with a hearty helping of brett in there. Tart red grapes blend nicely with the gentle draping of horse-blanket.

M - No alcohol presence what-so-ever for being damn near 10%. The mouthfeel is actually a little bothersome to me though as the malty sweetness comes out a little too much giving it a fuller, medium body. The high carbonation and spritzy finish with a great tartness from the grapes and sourness from the yeast is very awesome though.

D - Epic brew in the nose with a good flavor but a little too much in the mouthfeel. I like my wilds like this a little "thinner" or light-bodied, not so rich, but let me tell you, I feel extremely privileged to have tried this beer. Thank you again Keith!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pinkish amber that was nearly clouded over with haze. Nice tight head of a finger in height rises up and settles across the top with gorgeous swirls of lacing across the sides of the glass. First whiff seems a bit light to be honest, light funk, sour notes, pears, and hints of malts starting to come though. No alcohol present at all and the sour seems very understated at this point. The forst sip totally redeems it though as the sour fruits and oak notes start to perk up. Nice touches of grapeskins, sour, sour grapefruit like flavors rip through the palate. Dark fruits, prunes, hints of vanilla and light notes of brown sugar can be picked up through the haze of barnyard funk. Rich medium body is more then well carbonated and really lets the flavor pop across the palate. Final sips are dy, vinegar rich and full of apple and pear back flavors.

Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks, Nick.

Appearance: Muddy, rusty red. The head recedes pretty quickly. Not the best looking beer.

Smell: Heavy on the funk and vinous fruit. Earthy, oaky, mildly sour. Pleasant fruitiness, though it doesn't jump out much. There's a bit of dark malt character too, just barely noticeable beneath the funk and grapes.

Palate: Much like the nose, it's a nice blend of very mild sourness, earthy-musty funk, vinous fruit and oak. There's a nice juicy, leathery fruit character that contributes some depth. Still a bit malty, too; the bugs haven't completely taken over this one. The finish is brief, only mildly tannic. Alcohol is nicely hidden, I wouldn't have guessed this was over 6%. Pretty good stuff overall, though it's not something I'd care to drink again.

Photo of vacax
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark pink with a significant haze to it and fairly typical moderate head/retention. I like the color though the haze diminishes the appearance. Aroma is mostly funky with brettanomyces notes backed by vinous and red fruit notes. Flavor has significant acetic components, more barnyard funk than sourness here, not as sour as expected. Tart fruit/grapes in the background here, mostly hiding. I'm surprised this is 9.7%, the alcohol was well hidden but unfortunately the vinegar notes do that. Moderate body and appropriate higher carbonation for a wild ale, good balance on the feel. Decent wild ale, though not up to the high bar set by some of the other Allagash sours.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to make this my 700th review.

12.7oz bottle poured into my Allagash glass.

Pours a light amber/golden color with what appears to be a tinge of pink, hardly any head at all and no lacing on the glass, very small bubbles rise from the bottom.

Smell is wicked tart, more so than I thought it would be, I've had regular Victor but this takes it to a whole new level, picking up subtle hints of oak and a bit of fruitiness.

Taste starts out with a nice tartness, makes you pucker but it isn't overkill on the level of Hommage, the light fruit melds well with the oak in a balanced way, finishes quite dry but the flavor lingers long after, prickly carbonation really helps this beer along, probably one of the most "wine" like beers I've ever had too.

While not on the level of Gargamel, this is a significant improvement over regular Victor, add in an awesome label and that makes it a must have.

Photo of Casey10
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am biased I am from Maine and I was able to get this.

That being said believe the hype. This has as super grape tart taste that it is worth the hype.

Pours hazy yellow great carbination as well as a nice tangy sour funk (not too) funky though. I feel that both the new and more experienced american sour lover will enjoy this.

I have had a bunch of sours, this is a top notch beeer, best ever? who's to say once this has aged a bit. It is definately enjoyable and while I may have a home town bias, but I feel others will agree.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Served at fridge temp

A- Pours a nice clear dark peach colored brown with a super white thin 1 finger head on top. Good amount of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass. Spotty lacing with some serious alcohol feet on the side of the glass.

S- Strong grapes and fruitiness up front that's full of funk and sourness from the yeast. Slight wood notes in there as well with some nice alcohol in the background.

T- Strong funk up front with a really nice vinous profile to follow. Plenty of fruitiness from the yeast as well giving off some nice citrus flavors and tons of buggy tartness. In the back of the palate after it goes down you get some really nice oak and vanilla flavors from the barrels. Surprisingly the alcohol is pretty much non excistant in this one, even being %9.7.

M- Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a sour tart finish.

SkÅL!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by an insanely generous advocate of beer. Served in a goblet.

Pours a nice amber-brown color with a light tan head and a touch of lacing as it went down. The nose is really nice and complex with some great funky notes plus a bit of wood, cherries, sherry, a bit of grape, some lactic character, and a bit of light wine.

The taste isn't quite as complex as the nose and brings a good dose of lactic sourness, cherry, and some oak. Also there is a bit of barnyard funk. Mouthfeel is nice with good carbonation plus a nice dryness to accompany the funk and lactic character. Really nice. I can't believe I got to try this one after kicking myself for not getting tickets to the day session of BBF, where I could have sampled this at the Allagash special session. Really nice brew.

Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty red semi hazy color with a light head.

Nose light tart sour fruits, little grape like aromas with a bit of must. Light creamy malts with touch of dry bready funk from the Brett.

Taste is light tart fruit, some grapes and almost a sour cherry like fruit. Some lactic acid and a touch of tart flemmy fruits. Light dry bready malt taste with light brett funk. Dry finish little flemmy pretty tart.

The mouth is light to med body.

Drinkability is surprisingly well for what it is. Drinks a lot less than 9.7% abv, and aside from a bit of a flemmy finish drinks very well for a wild.

Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. tpd975 contributed this one. thanks greg!

375ml corked and caged bottle.

pours hazy orangey brown with a big white head. the head drops fast but leaves a bunch of spotty lace.

aroma is great. earthy and woody. yeasty. big horse blanket and leather character. no real vinegar or sourness, just full out funk. malty - whole wheat bread, biscuit, and cracker. light alcohol. bit of date and fig.

taste is good. much like the aroma, but with light malt vinegar and lemon. bit of sour cherry. the aroma is all about funk with very little sourness, but the taste flips that and lets the sourness shine. low bitterness level. bit of caramel.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body with a dry finish. slightly above medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. good balance. nice depth.

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Purplish to pinkish higlights on the orange beer. An off-white head that left a thin ring on the sides and some spots. Nice bubbles rising to the top.

S - Funk, brett, grapes, wood, lactic, wine. Has a nice tart smell, but is on the lighter side.

T - Out of the Allagash special releases I have had, this is the best one. Nice berry tartness with grapes, pineapple, barrel, wood. Very pleasant, light tasting, and tartness. I wouldn't call it special, but it's very good.

M - Good carbonation, lighter bodied, effervescent.

O - Really nice beer that was easy to get down with nice taste and tartness. Would like to get this again, wish it wasn't in such small bottles and limited. Really nice American sour.

Photo of Jdiddy
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A HUGE thanks to Chris Lively at Ebenezers's for the bottle. Pours a nice amber, reddish/brown. Smell is instantly of white wine, think chardonnay. Barnyard funk as well. Lot's of oak. Nice carbonation, but not too much.
Tastes similar to smell as the grapes are very present. This is a very dry beer. The finish is exceptionally dry but not in a bad way.
The sour element is not over the top. I found I liked more as it warmed up as the subtle flavors seemed to present themselves. (vanilla, grapes, oak).
Great beer. Mindblowing it is not, but I'd drink anytime I could find it.

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Richard for sharing yet another whaleish offering.

A: The pour is a hazy reddish-pink color with a fluffy off-white head.

S: The nose is somewhat light in intensity. A decent barnyard funkiness with some hints of red grapes and strawberries and a touch of acidity.

T: A light tartness to the flavor with sweet grapes and strawberries. The funk is earthy and leathery and the brett and grapes provide a very dry feel to the beer.

M: The body is medium with a lively carbonation and a dry finish.

D: I was surprised to see this is 9.7% ABV, as the alcohol is very well hidden. However, the beer is fairly pedestrian as far as wild ales goes, and especially for one with grapes (which I really love).

Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprise 4oz sample courtesy of jlindros and some quick thinking. Thanks Jared!

A - Pours a clear amber color with a tan collar and no real head.

S - Sweet malt, cherry, wine-like, horseblankety funk, a bit of a floral character and some higher alcohols in the nose.

T - Funky with horsey, barnyardy flavors, grapes/wine, cherries, alcohol, floral and fruity flavors. There is a medium level tartness, lactic sourness. As it warms up a bit, some vanilla and woody/oaky flavors emerge to round things out.

M - Prickly and tingly on the tongue with a higher level carbonation. Body is light. Oak dominates the aftertaste, especially as this warms up.

D - Pretty good wild ale overall. Lots of complexity. Woody, funky and sour blend nicely. Not super sour...this would be really easy to have a couple of bottles...if I could find them.

Overall, very glad to have tried this one...especially since I just missed out getting some at the brewery by about an hour when it was released. A solid sour and worthy, but not as amazing as I had hoped.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes sampled Aug 19 2010 at Eb's
Pours a fairly clear golden amber color with a decent white head that shows some retention. Smells of tart cherries, lemons, caramel, very vinous with a solid dose of tart and funk. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. A solid hit of sour fruits up front, lemons and cherries mostly, and a solid hit of grape skins. A bit of funk with some vanilla and caramel round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium to light body with a spirited level of carbonation and crisp bubbly mouthfeel. I like this beer a lot, too bad its nearly impossible to get again.

Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy pinkish/reddish color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a winey scent a mild sourness to it. The taste is good as well. It's smooth and delicate with some crystal malts and grape flavors. The "bugs" create quite a sour bite to it. It goes down easy with a dry sourness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've never had the regular Victor, but I do like the sour edge to this version. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd like it. Beer with grape juice added just isn't my bag.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beerFMAndy for sharing this one with me. Poured from the bottle into my tulip.

A: Dark pink hue. Small bit of light pink head. Tiny lace ring.

S: Nice sweet and funky mix. Lots of tart fruit with a mild dose of barnyard stank. Vanila like sweetness along with dry dusty wood round things out.

T: Lightly tart with just a hint of band aid and wet straw. The sourness is majorly subdued. Traces of dusty wood, earth and booze.

M; Light bubbly body.

D: Easy drinker and quite tasty. Nothing out of this world but very happy I was able to try this one.

Photo of asuitor
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off I wish this sour was mass produced so everyone that love sours could try it. I think it will only get better with age tasted a little young.

A-murky reddish, slight head with some retention

S-Grapes, Oak, funky earth tones. Tart smell followed by a sight smell of alcohol behind it.

T-Tart/sour up front, flavors of oak and grapes present. Finishes with a red wine type dryness

M-Light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation for a wild

D- Amazing, however it does feel a bit young. I think given more time to mature this beer will be top shelf. Only time will tell. I would drink this once a week if I could, but hey I love sours.

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Allagash Victor Francenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.