Earth & Flame | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Earth & FlameEarth & Flame
Earth & FlameEarth & Flame

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 173
Reviews by Beerly-Departed:
Photo of Beerly-Departed
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of TongoRad
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful beer to look at- translucent dark chestnut brown with a thick pillowy head that settles down a bit but then lingers a while.

Crazy good aroma- everything it so well knit together, too, that it makes no sense breaking it all down; I'll just post my overall impression, which is that of a date nut cake covered with a bourbon caramel sauce. So rich, so decadent. The smoke is subtle, but does serve a function which seems to be to add an underlying phenolic complexity to keep everything else in check.

First sip coming up...nutty and fruity to start, bourbon mid palate, then vanilla into toasted nuts on the finish. Again, there is a lingering phenolic element woven through it all, kind of hazy but present- if I didn't know it was smoked malt I probably wouldn't pick it up right away. I really like how it's malty sweet on the palate, but finishes drier than you'd expect. Mouthfeel is moderately full, and bitterness is just where you'd notice and nothing more. Alcohol makes presence known only as a gentle warming sensation. Power and finesse, a tricky balancing act pulled off with aplomb- tremendous job.

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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 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.

 1,201 characters

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 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 NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Victory Earth & Flame
on tap @ Earth Bread + Brewery

Notes: Floral with dark caramel in the nose. Sugary. Softly woody. Peat. Flavor displays malt that's deeply caramelish - almost burnt sugar. Peat. Gently Bourbon-ish, not just accented, but fuller. Balanced by moderate bitterness.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of n2pux
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 jzeilinger
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of rab53
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of mosinmark
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of wise456
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 metter98
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a finger high beige head that gradually died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: As the beer warms up, the moderate aromas of bourbon become apparent in the smell.
T: The taste has flavors of bourbon along with caramel malts along with notes of toasted malts, oak, and sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with bits of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer doesn't feel as heavy in body compared to other beers in the style, so it is quite drinkable, especially when considering that the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to tenderbranson69 (my brother)for sharing this corked and caged 750ml with me on Christmas day. Enjoyed chilled in a stout glass.

The color is dark ruby almost bronze with light hazed appearance and 2 fingers plus of rocky head with large bead and tan color. The smell is vinous up front with light cherry-like aroma that is tart with stone fruit and mild alcohol w/ a fusel quality and earthy smoky peat scent coming in as it warms with a whisky accent and mild toffee mixed with deep vinous odor. The smell leads to a strong malt texture with mild alcohol and smoke mixed in the feel with light woody tannin with creamy yeast in middle with slightly warm alcohol in the finish.

The taste has a slight tangy and fruity yeast in the taste with a light caramel and smoke combo w/ light whiskey and a chewy toffee from the malt and more bourbon coming out as it warms with a nice toasted taste and plenty of peat flavor with earthy woody tannic attributes and slightly sweet element with vanilla in taste from bourbon aging/barrel influence in the strong finish. Overall I consider this a very good strong scotch ale with nice influence of bourbon, very heavy influence of bourbon actually which melds well with malt profile and some smoke with peat complexity -a good Christmas sipper recommended for those who enjoy some smoke and barrel with their strong ale flavor!

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Photo of tikk
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beer-Zombie
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Had this one recommended by the girl at Central Market in the beer department. She said she used to live by Victory in Pennsylvania back in the day. Said it was the biggest brewery in town. I can believe it. Anyways, drinkin this two days before Christmas 2014. Very solid scotch ale. A lil too hot on the bourbon but still good

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Rustico in Alexandria.

Hazy rusty brown body with 1/4" of head that leaves a sheet of lacing in its wake. Aromas of booze, oak, hops, pine. Medium bodied with aggressive carbonation. Some heat in the finish with a bold and assertive hop bill. Best in small doses.

 273 characters

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

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with no real head or lace to speak of.
Aroma is boozy, woody, a little smoky with touch of sweet/sugary malts.
The barrel aging gives the beer a vanilla/bourbon like sweetness and also a smooth, woody feel so that this heavy, thick bodied beer passes over your tongue almost silky smooth while also being a little chewy.
Some booze in the beer but it's rather hidden except for touch of heat in the finish and the beer is more sweet than anything and a great beer to sip on.

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Earth & Flame from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 173 ratings