Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

St. Victorious | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
377 Reviews
St. VictoriousSt. Victorious
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Limited seasonal draft only release. Doppelbock brewed w/ smoked 2-row German malt from Bamberg.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-27-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
377
Ratings:
571
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
13.33%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 571
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... it is finished when it surrenders."

--Ben Stein


Dark bronze that comes alive with a brilliant orange-red sunburst when held up to the rays slanting through my front window. Gaudy blood orange highlights are especially prominent through the bottom edge of the glass. The pale caramel colored cap is richly creamy, but isn't sticky enough to result in a lace display that is any more than merely adequate.

The nose is solid, if not quite as dark malty as I had hoped. I wonder if the beer won't be on the dry, cocoa powdery side of things rather than the sweet and chocolatey side. Leave it to Victory to include a generous amount of herbal, earthy hops; a definite plus from where I sit.

I like St. Victorious! For some reason, there's much more here than the nose even hinted at. Even though I've had dozens of doppelbocks by now, I don't recall one with exactly this flavor profile before. The thing that keeps me tipping up the glass rather than typing is the almost-Belgian amount of complexity on display. I have to believe that the yeast is at least partly responsible for the shape shifting nature of this fine lager.

As suggested by the aroma, the chocolate maltiness is more powdery and dry than it is sticky and sweet. Either one would have been fine by me. There's also a great deal of dark caramel with a splash of vanilla-bean infused coffee. Can't forget the German hops since they contribute so much to the finish. So many flavors packed into one little twelve ounce bottle!

The body/mouthfeel is the very definition of quality. I expect nothing less from Victory at this point. They're one of the few breweries that deliver in that department many more times than not. The mouthfeel is closer to medium than it is to full and is supremely smooth with no trace of stickiness or slickness; a perfect match for the balanced, tending toward dry flavor.

St. Victorious is a delicious doppelbock and is another in a long line of beautiful brews to come out of Downington. 'V' is for Victory, 'V' is for Victorious and 'V' is for Very Good. Anyone even remotely interested in the doppelbock style owes it to themselves to find a bottle (or better yet, a case) of this triumphant beer.

 2,350 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Blind Tiger, NYC, NY

Poured a chestnut color with amber hues with a sparsely lacing white head. Aroma of sweet caramel malts, roasted nuts, toffee. Slightly sweet in the taste with caramel and toffee, subtle tones of raisin, nutty, bready, grassy, with a somewhat bitter finish/aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, moderately carbonated, and pretty easily drinkable.

 381 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a very clear, dark hazelnut brown. Lots of carbonation visible throughout the glass. A nice three finger high head of tan colored lace rose up above it and hung around for a few minutes before finally settling down to just a thin film across the top of the glass. Some decent side glass lacing as well, completed it very nicely.

The aroma was rich and sweet. Lots of great earthy and grainy notes mixing in well with a good amount of caramel sugar. The flavor followed suit nicely, with the dominant flavor of caramel really taking hold. Some nice bready malts being located under that as well. The alcohol was very well hidden, and not a factor at all. Nice smooth finish with the long lingering flavor of nutty caramel on the tongue for a few minutes afterward. The feel was a nice medium-bodied ale with a good amount of carbonation and a smooth creamy feel. Awesome session ale for me, as the palate was rich and the feel great. Very refreshing.

Overall, this was definitely a nice little bock. I could have drank this one all night and it just seemed to be really well done. For fans of the style, this was definitely a good choice. I would have to recommend this one to anyone who likes a good dark German beer.

 1,231 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my small snifter cold
A - Deep beautiful chestnut brown lager with garnet higlights. Almost like a few drops of black coffee dissipating into medium grade maple syrup. A lovely medium tan head that diminishes into a a practically absent one that allows minimal lacing.

S - Vinous malt and sweet wood scents waft up to my nostrils. Dry graham cracker sugar like biscuit scents emanate from the the core of this bock. A pleasant almost port like scent with slightly floral hop underpinnings is detected.

T - A rush of nutty grainy and sweet date-like flavors greet the tongue. Tannic ever so faint grape skin fruitiness makes its way around the boundaries of my mouth. More nuts and woody flavors mix with sweet and somewhat sap like flavors. Subtle roastiness manages to give a sweet nutty grainlike quality along with minute hints of vegetal flavors.

M - Rich, sweet, slightly effervescent textures here. Syrupy light maple qualities just shy of cloying with tinges of bitteness.

D - A greatly drinkable lager for the substantial gravity. It is consumed best in limited quantities-a finesse beer with many strengths. Excellent for winter with warming qualities

 1,185 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BBD of ?-22-08. Pours a reddish chestnut with 1 finger of sand colored head. Minimal lacing & zero head retention

S: Slight spicyness & a little boozeynes

T: Breadyness, brown sugar & warming alcohol up front. Caramel & a hint of coccoa follows as this warms. Finishes dry, warming with big breadyness & a hint of gingerbread cookie & fruitcake

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Drinks too easy, a nice dopple, not a great one. Lacks a few asthetics, but well worth seeking out, but a tad pricey @$11 a sixer (davidsons)

 538 characters

Photo of Jason
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Obvious decoction mash here, some many complex levels of maltiness it is crazy! Nice layer of hop bitterness to keep any kind of cloying sweetness away. The mouth feel was so creamy from the dense malt body. Tasted of freshly baked brown bread with a hint of spicy alcohol.

On of the best domestically brewed Double Bocks I have had to date.

 344 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark amber-orange. Clear. Very little head; absolutely no head.

Strong metalic aroma. Very little sweet malt. Disappointing.

Better flavor; malty and full bodied. There is good hop balance and enough carbonation to keep the sweetness in check.

This would be a good D-bock if the smell could be rectified.

 312 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Revisiting this one due to pleasant memories from back East. It pours a clear ruby garnet topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises rye bread, wheat, light cocoa, and light maple syrup. The rye really brings a good amount of breadiness to the aroma. The taste follows the nose pretty closely, with a mild touch of roasted malts thrown in to compliment the aforementioned rye breadiness. The cocoa has morphed into some slightly bitter dark chocolate as well, creating a light coffee flavor in the back. It all comes together rather nicely. The body is a svelte medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice d-bock. 'Nuff said.

 734 characters

Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my brand new Three Floyd's glass. It poured a very nice looking, deep mahogany color. It started with a full and fizzy half inch head to it, but settled to a thin and spotty layer shortly after.

The aroma is not surprisingly very malty with toffee and caramel playing a prominent roll. Just a hint of a roasty, coffee like flavor comes through, as well as some fruity, cherry notes.

The toffee and caramel flavors are there throughout the flavor as well. It starts with more of the sweet, malty flavors to it, and as it finishes I get some balancing bitterness to it. Like the aroma, I get just a bit of a roasty, coffee like flavor to it as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate, but sharp. It's crisp and clean in the finish, making for a pretty easy drinking beer. Drinkability was good, I enjoyed the flavors a lot. A good version of the style, and a good beer overall.

 936 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This started out by pouring with a huge, deep brown head that just dwindled away to nothing, not even wisps. The color was a clear russet-brown/
mahogany. The nose was very malty with an underlying molasses/tar scent. I should point out that this last was not off-putting, just present. It had a really thick mouthfeel with a caramel sweetness on the tongue. The finish was a blend of sweet flavors - caramel, toffee, molasses. Warming, it became even richer, more toffee-like. A very interesting beer.

 503 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I tell you what there are breweries out there that claim to be world class, but Victory doesn't have to act, they are the real deal. This authentic German style Strong dark lager or Doppelbock is dead on, pours a ruby deep amber tone off white cream colored head not very thick and doesn't stick around very long leaves behind specks of lace on my imperial pint. Aroma deep plentiful layers of malts supporting a cast of other stars, the German Hallertau whole leaf hops and plum esters. Smells predominantly of fruit soaked in alcohol with caramel malts around the edges, hmm hmmmm good. Flavor is flowing with a wave of malts creating over ripened fruit notes and a touch of hop flavor bringing mild but perfect bitterness to the table, I think I'm in love. Rolls down the palate with a slick slightly syrupy texture and medium body packs a nice punch with 8.5% abv. Suprisingly incredibly smooth and drinkable, I am sold never had two doppelbocks in a row, I had two imperial pints of this with dinner tonight damn good. If this is an option I will pass on Celebrator, Salvator, or any other (insert word here)ator knockoff.

 1,132 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clouded brown with a creme head. Thickly sweet. Malts are present, but the strong sweet flavor is what dominates. Kind of one-dimensional to me. Feel is decent on the body. Carbonation has a bit of a bite. Overall it seems a bit too cloying really. It's okay at best I guess.

 281 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Enjoy by" Jan 5 2011:

Pours brown with ruby highlights. A thin head immediately falls to wisps.

The smell is of toffee - towards chocolate with medium-dark fruitiness. Rich malty aroma is complemented by earthy, floral notes in the back.

The taste is very malty - caramel/toffee - dark fruits - fig, prune, some dark cherry. The malt is balanced by some bread and and earthy, floralish touch. Sweetness is balanced sufficiently, while keeping a malty sweet character. Some warming alcohol shows, though not raw or masking.

It has a rich, full, silky body.

A very enjoyable, malty but with a hop touch - traditional-style doppelbock. Easy to drink despite alcohol warmth and overall richness. Complex maltiness with a hop touch in the finish....Well done!

 760 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner short style glass at Roscoe's Pizza Takoma Park.

A sticky caramel and toffee like head is presented with tiny uniform bubbles and succinct. Body is a cloudy brown and orange, sort of dull. While drinking the beer gives a good solid puck. There is no lacing on this whatsoever.

Nose has a malt stickiness and toffee classic to the style, some mild hints of chocolate and banana, but sort of clean and wet smelling. There is also a faint anise smell here too.

Taste brings a light bodied and very wet malt. Light toffee aromas in the mid palate which also mix with a sort of wodden like character, almost teak like. Texture though is very wet for such a doppelbock which I expect to be bolder and thicker.

Overall pretty solid and enjoyable, but lacking in body and fullness in the feel otherwise.

 837 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshly tapped and poured into an Aventinus glass.
Dark at the top, clear at the bottom, caramel colored, edging on a bright crimson...attractive creamy tan cap atop.

aroma: sweet and spicy, with notes of toffee, peppers, leather, nougat, and the slight sting of brandy.

Taste: rich, thick, and warm. Great grit in the texture, full bodied, long, sweet, considerable finish. Huge malt, tenacious cling on the palate, toasty and ultimately dry. Quite complex.

Terrifically balanced doppelbock. Not too sweet, full of flavor, the caramel never quits,...deeply delicious, roundly rewarding. Higher alcoholic content creeps up quietly, then takes command and let's no one forget it's there.

A masterfully conceived and brewed beverage. One I've had on the to-try list for many years, and am glad to know it and enjoy it at last!

One more word on the subject: Yum!

 878 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/08/05- Received via trade with Santoslhalper.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a best by date stamped on the bottle. Poured into my dimpled mug.

Appearance- Off brown chocolaty colored pour. Small 1/4 inch head with specks of light lace here and there.

Smell- Sweet toffee malt with maybe some dates and raisins as well.

Taste- Very nice sweet and maybe a bit tangy roasted malt with a touch of brown sugar for that sticky taste. Dates and maybe some prune action going on as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit thick and definitely sticky. Heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Quite a nice doppelbock. Right up there with my two favorites (Celebrator and Weltenburger). Would have again if it was out here. Thanks for the sample Santos!

 739 characters

Photo of tempest
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Blue Nile.

Dark brown body with no head, served in a Westmalle chalice. Smells delicious with dark fruity malts. Taste is rich with licorice and chocolate followed by the fruit. Creamy and somewhat thick mouthfeel and very drinkable. A very fine beer.

 268 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark copper color with a nice two finger head. The head lasts a while. Some spotty lacing develops. Slow rising carbonation bubbles are visible.

Smell: caramel candy and brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: nice malt backbone. Tons of caramel with some ripe fruits and mild bitterness. A brief hint of smokiness does hit the tongue during the swallow, but is short lived. Some alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth, leaning towards syrupy. Long aftertaste as caramel and sweetness linger on the tongue. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: very easy drinking for the style. Must pick up a six pack or try on tap. Great beer.

 667 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with little head tospeak of. The aroma is good. It's full of burnt caramel and warm alcohol. It's rich with quite a bit of malty sweetness. The taste is good. It's smooth and full bodied with loads of malts and a nice sweet finish. It's low on CO2 which doesn't do the beer justice. I imagine it's much better than what I'm tasting right now. The mouthfeel is lacking. It goes down slow and seems a bit flat. This is a good tasting beer, but the carbonation issue needs to be addressed. Maybe I got a bad bottle.

 550 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bitterbill for the brew.

Enjoy by 22/08

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown/ruby color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, not much lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet malts, and caramel. The taste is sweet/malty and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, the last three brew's I've had have been Doppelbock's, this is a very good beer, but nothing compared to the last two I've had, sorry Victory. Recommended though.

 447 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured into a mason jar. Hearty in color with an amber hue. Small off white head sticks for a while.

S. Bready and chocolatey. Sweet pumpernickel smell. A fantabulous splendor to behold.

T. Very malty, with a noble hop. Caramel malt and toasted grains . Slight solvent alcohal character, but balances very well with the roasted malt flavors.

M. On the light to medium side of "Full Bodied". Smooth and flavorful.

D. Warming and filling. Great for the cold winter months. Very strong but also very welcome. Solid brew from Victory here.

 543 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by date of January 2008, Sampled December 2007
A brisk pour produces a frothy, fat-one-finger thick, tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, deeply concentrated, amber colored beer. When held up to the light, the beer shows a lightly hazy, dark cranberry color. Ah, what a rich and malt aroma; concentrated, richly caramelized malt flavors mix with drier, toasted malt notes of biscuits and whole grain bread crust. This is malty enough that it is starting to pick up those malt notes that lean towards soy sauce (though definitely not this) flavors that are umami like. At times the malt has a touch of dark fruitiness to it that is reminiscent to something that is a cross between raisins and concentrated pear.

Sweet tasting, though not cloying. It is a touch lighter bodied than I was expecting, but it is rich with a full heft to it. Interesting notes of bitter cocoa and dusty browned malt come through in the middle and linger on through to the finish. Herbal hop notes play a supporting, but noticeable role here as does a hop bitterness that provides an anchoring note towards the finish. Malt, hop and carbonation notes combine in the finish to give this beer a light astringency. Dark, caramelized malt sugars provide flavors of brown sugar, hints of molasses, flavors from that slightly burnt syrupy drippings left in the pan after baking a black, holiday, sweet bread / cake.

The taste does not quite live up to the rich promise of the aroma, but it certainly gives it a go. A thoroughly enjoyable beer that is fitting my current mood / needs just right.

 1,580 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep set shade of blood orange colour with dazzling ruby that absolutely blazes to the light. This melange makes up the entirety of the beer's appearance less perhaps the thinnest of white lace around its perimeter. Rather gorgeous by all accounts.

It is a delicate but luring bouquet, one that marries dark buttery caramel with dark sugar coated fruits. It smells filling. There is a hint of chocolate or cold coffee. Raisins and plums seem actively fermenting in sugary sweet malt serum.

The taste fully explores this combination of flavours and even introduces another component: hops. A green leafy bitterness, full of resin and sap, finds its way between notes of raisins, gingerbread, brown sugar, plums, and molasses - all of which are coated in the sticky sweet malt sugars.

The mouthfeel isn't quite as gooey and sticky as the best, but it sure is viscous. Notes of dark caramel and rum soaked raisin stay glued to the palate. Its level of carbonation is properly adjusted so as not to interfere with the delicacy of the flavours.

I like that they've stuck true to style and haven't skimped on one ounce of what makes dopplebocks so delicious: the malts! Victory certainly are victorious here. I could guzzle this down pint after pint and, fortunately or unfortunately, there seems to be no sign of the 8.5% here to stop me!

 1,343 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 Oz bottle thanks to Imstillthegman.

Poured in to my glass I am rewarded by a clear strikingly crimson colored beer. Back light only intensifies the color and shows a brilliant maroon colored beer with a tan head.

Smell is good clean and malty. A bit grassy in aroma you can smell a fair bit of Nobel hop in this one. Not nearly as good smelling as it looks.

Taste is a little sweet and grassy with a malty after taste. On the dry side for a Doppelbock this lacks complexity.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer but not anywhere near the best of its style. Not a beer I can really recommend.

 615 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ortino's Northside...
Appears a dark brown with a red hue and a light tan head. Very dense and unsure of the visible carbonation.
Smell is of cocoa powder, smoked peat, caramel, molasses, black plums, and roasted nuts.
Taste is equally as enjoyable as the aromas.
Mouthfeel is right on. Chewy, warming, sweet, and balanced with a quick finish.

 357 characters

St. Victorious from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.05 out of 5 based on 571 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe