Earth & Flame
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Earth & FlameEarth & Flame
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Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
ABV:
11.7%
Score:
92
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 8.39%
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
173
From:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  26
Gots
  48
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Earth & FlameEarth & Flame
Notes: Earth & Flame was forged from the friendship of Victory Brewing Company and Earth – Bread + Brewery's Tom Baker. Together we collaborated on a Wee Heavy that was intended for aging in Heaven Hill used bourbon barrels. The beer was aged for ~6 months before extraction. Brewed to drink now or cellar for several years.
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jadjunk
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Earth & Flame was forged from the friendship of Victory Brewing Company and Earth - Bread + Brewery. With our shared passion for dark flavorful ales, we saw a great opportunity to collaborate on a Scotch-style Ale. Savor the rich flavors that emerge from the dark depths of this limited edition brew. With hints of sweet winter desserts and dark fruits, peat smoked malts and fine bourbon barrel aging smooth the intensity of this complex ale." Brewed in the style of a Scotch Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels. Available in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a pale tan tone over a moderately hazy medium brown body with ample sediment and carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Rich, caramelized bread malts, molasses and rich fruit syrups, lightly smoked with soft peat character. Dark, viscous fruits and red grapes with a touch of sourness. Delicate bourbon and oak overtones with soft vanilla and toasted oak. Very complex and enjoyable aroma. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Toasted bread and lightly caramelized syrup malts met with fruit sugars, molasses for a rich malt profile, not overly sweet. More peat and smoke flavor than in the aroma, not overdone but ever-present, blends well with the bourbon barrel treatment, gentle vanilla and wet, delicate toasted oak tannins. Fruit subtleties of plum, fig and dark raisins with a gentle tartness. Finishes smooth with afterthoughts of roasted grain pairing nicely with the peat and smoked malt flavors. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, smooth, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to smoky, toasted grain and tang. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4.25

(Overall) Scotch Ales are always a personal treat as not too many breweries venture into this beer style, but the few who give it some extra love always are rewarded with rich and complex ales. Throw it in a bourbon barrel and the end result is always welcome by me. Very enjoyable beer, quite complex with a great balance of sweet malts with smoky, peat and bourbon characters. Very smooth throughout with nothing that would hamper drinkability. Deceptively drinkable whilst clocking in shy under 12% ABV, it would be hard to tell. It's a filling beer by style and a good one to share, but a rewarding experience. 4

Victory Brewing Company's
Earth & Flame Bourbon Barrel Aged Smoked Scotch Style Ale
4.01/5.00

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Photo of Sabtos
2.77/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Scotchy soda.

That's what we got from this, straight up.

Fizzy caramel sweetness, with dark soda contributions that are not as spicy as Coke, but not quite as sweet as Pepsi. Following the soda is an enveloping scotch ale flavor, in addition to a Scotch whiskey undertone.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass in January 2016. Bottled date of November 2014 on the bottle, so it was drank about 14 months after bottling.

Appearance: Deep red with light tan head. Beer is clear and very carbonated. Head is thin, and leaves only a thin film/lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. Also typical Scotch Ale aromas. Nice variety and balance.

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the alcohol. There is a very slight hops flavor. There is a nice soft caramel flavors, balancing the hops. There is a little alcohol bite as well. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Strong alcohol level, which confirms the 11.7% on the bottle.

This is a smooth full-bodied Scotch Ale, and one of the best I have tasted. It is an interesting combination of flavors.

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Photo of monkeybone7504
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I sat on this bottle for nearly 9 months, the first was very good but also really hot. This bottle however mellowed out over time and is ridiculous good. Smokey peat scotch taste, lite barrel and almost 0 alcohol burn, and damn it's 12%

I really can't think of anything bad to say.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Victory has always been a hit more miss brewery for me. Earth and Flame is a sure hit though. And scotch ales I have come to believe are a style the highly improves with some barrel aging. This particular one has a nice murky brown pour with a decent amount of bubbles the rise and keep rising throughout the duration of the drinking experience. Along with aromas of oak, bourbon, vaniila and marshmallow. The feel is nice enough and this beer goes down smooth and mellow in spite of it's high abv% content.

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Photo of pagriley
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber bottled Nov 2014
L - Slightly murky deep mahogony. Good 1 inch head that lingered for a few minutes leaving a thin ring of lacing
S - Typical slightly sharp scotch ale notes with dried fruit and tons of caramel malts. Not much smoke at all on the nose, can't really detect any at all, nor can I find much bourbon
T - A touch of smoke (becoming more prominent as it warms) followed by caramel malts and a sharp clean finish with little bitterness. Not much booze to speak of, and not a lot of bourbon character left. Perhaps just a hint of vanilla from the barrel, but you could easily convince me this hasn't seen much barrel time at all.
F - Soft, slightly prickly and a bit thin. Given the ABV and malt bill I was hoping for a bit more body

Overall an interesting beer that I had been keeping an eye open for quite a while. The basic stats are right up my alley - bourbon barrel scotch ale with peat? Count me in! ...but, on experiencing it, I can't really say it is any better or more interesting than a good regular scotch ale like Scottie Karate

Worth checking out if you see a bottle, but probably not worth aging any longer. An interesting and worthwhile beer, but not as special as probably should be for the $15 price tag.

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Photo of stortore
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a hazy, deep garnet with a one finger head, some lacing. Smell is malt, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak. Taste is similar to the nose, but a little more malt forward. Still get the bourbon, vanilla, caramel and oak. Also some brown sugar. Smooth, somewhat creamy, good body.

This is good, very solid. Well worth a purchase, fairly priced. Could have used a bit more intensity from the bourbon.

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Photo of Pencible
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with some tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet raisins and figs and oak, with some vanilla and toasted coconut and nutty toffee.
T: It tasted like sweet raisin and vanilla and rye bread, with some oak and toasted coconut and nutty toffee. It had a clean mostly sweet aftertaste with definite alcohol warming.
M: It was thick with subtle carbonation. Nice big, slick body.
D: This was a delicious beer, with complex scent and taste that were nicely balanced between sweet and earthy. The body was excellent, but the finish was quite hot, so it must be sipped. Would likely age well and mellow in a few years. I wish the smoked peat character came out more, to add further complexity. Still, this is a high quality brew. Recommended.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cork and cage 750 ml into a stout/porter goblet. Bottled Nov 2014.

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a slightly off whote head that receeds quickly but leaves a light ring around the surface. Very little lacing present around the glass. Smells slightly of smoked malt with hints of caramel, sugar, and whiskey. Very mild on the nose for 11.7% ABV. The booziness is masked extremely well. Tastes delicious! Subtle smoky flavor rom the sly with a sweet malt base that finishes dry. You can taste the bourbon when you lick your lips. Above average mouthfeel and very characteristic of the style. Surprisingly quite drinkable at 11.7% abv. Overall a rock solid wee heavy scotch ale. A little different than the traditional scotch ale but the smokiness and bourbon barrel aging definitely add some awesome flavors to this brew!

Cheers!

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Photo of Houser
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a very hazy, dark burnt orange, almost amber. has a lot of visible sediment. head hangs on for a long time with adequate lacing. aroma is sweet malts, vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch. very subtle smokiness and a slight hint of booze. taste is very much the same with a bit more buttery flavor, which was unexpected. carbed up just fine, no issues at all given the high abv. overall, well done. was expecting more barrel character for some reason, but a good, unique beer.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A Brownish/ reddish color with a nice one finger tan head at the top, leaves a tiny bit of lacing around the glass as you drink it.

S: Nice nose on this one, caramel, bourbon, vanilla and some maple syrup in there as well.

T: Some dark fruit on the front end, followed by roasted malts, bourbon, caramel and some vanilla as well.

M: Medium bodied, sticky, and not a lot of carbonation.

O: A very good beer, thought that it was well balanced, I think that Victory is stepping up their game, this was very tasty.

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Photo of smcolw
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small initial head. No lace. Brown color where light shines through. Clear.

Sweet cocoa-like nose. Think chocolate milk.

The chocolate malts of beers. One of the sweetest beers I've ever had. Thick body with muted carbonation. I can really taste the alcohol warmth.

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Photo of ThomasJ25
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a great beer! I had high hopes and they didn't disappoint! So delicious! Shared with my brother in law and wish I had more for myself!

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Photo of barczar
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big alcohol and deep caramel notes mix with light smoke/peat and dark fruit to form a very complex and slightly stomach turning aroma. The smoke mixing with the alcohol is reminiscent of tequila, somehow.

Flavor is far more kind, with a huge buttery, nutty, toffee backbone, contrasted by raisin, date, plum, and muted dark cherry. Smoke lingers throughout, but is fairly subtle until the finish. Subsequent sips allow the vanilla and oak in the bourbon to shine.

One of the more complex and nuanced beers I've had in a while.

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Photo of 57md
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut brown in color. The nose is a beautiful blend of malt and bourbon notes. The body is hearty and creamy and this offering has a very subtle touch of alcohol warmth. The smokey and peaty notes come through on the finish.

This is one complex and well crafted beer.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75 cl bottle

Pours a cloudy, ruddy brown, light tan head retains indefinitely as a film.

Smells of figs, cinnamon, maple, oak, almonds, and brown sugar.

Tastes of figs and molasses, buttered bread, cinnamon, oak, banana and brown sugar.

Full body with light tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth. Slight alcohol sting, warms going down.

Very nice strong ale, feels more like an old ale or a quad than a scotch. Goes down smooth enough, but definitely a sipper as it packs a wallop. Very strong and borders on cloying, but well worth trying.

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Photo of Jjski
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Preface: love most things Victory, and love BA scotch Ale, my favorite style. Not too big on smoke, but if balanced it's ok. My attendance to a couple Scotch tasting events has confirmed that the less peaty scotches such as Glenmorhangie are more my style. In fact the Nectar D Or aged in Sauternes barrels is a confirmed favorite with the wife and I. Try the port barrel aged too!

I'm sitting on a case of Backwoods Bastard, 2 Ride the Lion ( after drinking a couple), and some Wulver so I was in the hunt for this

Perhaps it's the smoke ( right now) as I don't like peaty scotch, and how it melds with the vanilla oaky notes of the barrel. It just does not hit home in the palate.
The brew exhibits master craftsmanship , and I'm going to age a few, with hopes of less smokiness. The smoke notes are lingering and uniquely creamy, and a definite twist on the aforementioned BA scotch ales. Smoked beer & Peaty scotch advocates: don't miss this

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Photo of DIM
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bulls Head.

This was a dark cola brown and it came with a thin coating of short lived bubbles.

Earthy, lightly smoky peatiness dominates. Some vanilla, caramel, and oak are present as well, but this smells like watered down scotch. Tastes as the smell suggests, but it isn't quite as appealing. Smoky peats take center stage, but they have a strange, however faint, overripe fruity quality. The barrel flavors were noticeable but fairly subdued. The vanilla and bourbon played well off of the smoky peats.

This is certainly a well made beer and I'm sure the result is as the brewer intended, but I just didn't love this one. This is the closest a Scotch ale comes to Scotch that I've tried, I just don't love Scotch. If you love Scotch, seek this out.

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Photo of larryi86
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle dated 11/13/15 poured into a teku

A- A clear brownish ruby color with a two finger off white head.

S- Sweet, caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, smoky, oak, maple syrup.

T- Sweet, complex and amazingly balanced. Toffee, syrup, vanilla, bourbon, oak, peat smoked malts, along with a a fruity sweetness I can't put my finger on, maybe plums and coconuts.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- An excellent collaboration with Earth-Bread. At first I thought at $16 a bottle it was a little high for a beer from Victory but it is worth every penny. Love the balance of this beer, can't wait to pick up more.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow did this look beautiful in the glass. Tons of carbonation and red hue.

Taste was missing a bit of a kick. For almost , I was hoping for a big kick. Although, it was well balanced. Very nice presentation, can't wait to finish the bottle.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/13/2014. Pours lightly cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge caramel, toffee, butterscotch, molasses, brown sugar, toast, vanilla, bourbon, oak, raisin, plum, light peat smoke, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, butterscotch, molasses, brown sugar, toast, vanilla, bourbon, oak, raisin, plum, light peat smoke, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Light tannic oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, molasses, toast, vanilla, bourbon, oak, raisin, plum, light peat smoke, and bourbon/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged scotch ale style. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The latest Victory collaboration brew is said to be a "wee heavy", but instead it's a "lot heavy", toppling double digit alcohol strength and the intensity of malt flavor, barrel complexity and campfire perfume to make its power a mere nuance.

Deep and tawny brown, the beer's redolent garnet ribbons echo malty sentiments to the senses. Toffee, maple, sorghum and molasses frame the sweet aromas and flavors while wafts of vanilla, char and mesquite overcome the nose.

Complex barley sweetnesses weave from syrups to toasty, nutty, bready and nearly cake-like tastes and textures. Aided by the wood spices of the barrel, not only does bourbon favors rise through the middle, but so does the slight twang of tannin, weathered oak, scorched earth, peated whisky, coconut and caramel. Peppercorn and char illuminate the final details as the beer steers toward a slow and savory finish.

Clinging to the mouth, the beer's full and chewy texture lingers long to ensure high and savory rewards to the tastebuds, and is fully capable of replacing sweet port wine as after dinner digestive. Only the faint woodsy bitterness steps into warm and spicy finish to remind us that this fine elixir is indeed ale.

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Photo of riverotterrob
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Rustico -best $5 I've spent recently. I'm sometimes not a fan of barrel aging (if you like the taste of bourbon, why not just drink it?), but the sweetness and smokiness of this scotch ale mixed brilliantly with the stronger flavors of the barrel.

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Photo of emyers
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours murky dark brown with a one-finger tan head which dissipates quickly into a thin lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit up front, with oak, bourbon, peat smoked malt. Lots of sweet, fruity character tends to dominate with the smoked malt and bourbon fading in and out, along with a stout alcohol heat. Lots of complexity.

Taste: I have to admit, this tastes completely different than I was expecting based on the aroma. Bourbon is way more prevalent, with a deep caramel malt presence balanced out by peat smoked malt taking over on the finish. There is still a dark fruit presence, but it's quite subtle when compared to the nose. They did a great job with the peat smoked malt, which can VERY easily take over and ruin a beer. Very little alcohol heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium-to-full, with light carbonation providing a very smooth drinking experience.

Overall: Phenomenal beer. Keeps a great balance between bourbon and smoked malt, which is not an easy task.

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Photo of jsurfs82
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I would enjoy this beer in a 12oz format. I'm very pleased to have a Victory beer aged in bourbon barrels for the first time in well over a decade of drinking Victory beers. I am not overly disappointed yet not all that impressed with this beer. Its worth checking out but I will not be buying another $14.00 bomber of this.

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Earth & Flame from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 173 ratings