Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut
Ranked #11
Ranked #19,688
3.88 | pDev: 10.57%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Notes: HOPS: German Blanc
MALTS: Pilsner
ADDITIONS: Primary: Saison, Secondary: Sparkling Wine
FLAVOR: Pours golden yellow/orange, with a nice white head. Immediate aromas of pear, green apple, white grape, and spice , with hints of a floral presence. Flavor/mouthfeel is lively and intense with flavors of orange peel, spice, cloves and pear (will be highly carbonated). Finish is dry, crisp and warming.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 50 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jkblr
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked bottle from late 2016 (according to the tiny etched date on bottle neck) poured into a wine glass at fridge temp 12% ABV. The beer pours bright light honey in color with off white head. Retention and lacing are above average. The aroma is fruity. The flavor is slightly sweetish with more fruit and a nice dry finish. Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and very well carbonated. Overall, good. This is the second beer de brut that I've had and I like it better than the SA that was out a couple years ago. The German blanc hops work well with the champagne yeast.

 584 characters

Photo of drtth
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Upon opening the bottle the strong "PUUFF" signals lots of carbonation and so warns of the need for a gentle pour. Even with that gentle pour the golden yellow light apricot tinged beer pours out into a Corsondonk goblet with a finely bubbled 2" fluffy white head that leaves behind a thin cap of lacing as it slowly recedes to a ring around the glass and an island on the liquid. The many streams of finely bubbled active carbonation help maintain that thin island foam. Sipping creates lots of patches and legs of lacing.

The aromas include green orchard fruits (apple, some pear) and some white grapes. There is also a bit of bready malt, some light yeast notes and even a bit of spice.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the white grapes, the green apple and the pear up front all backed up by the light bready malt, a bit of sweetness, the yeast and a slightly bitter herbal, grassy, spicy semi-dryness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and both slightly creamy and slightly prickly with the active, finely bubbled carbonation. The finish begins fairly early on as the initially fruity start begins to show a hint of the bready malt sweetness and a bit of yeast. Then all that begins to fade away, leaving behind some crisp, spicy, herbal, grassy bitter semi-dryness in the ending in the back of the throat which then gradually dries more as it leaves the scene.

This is my first beer in this style so I have nothing else to compare it to, but overall I have enjoyed it, found it complex, refreshing and a beer I certainly would try again. It’s also a bit of a dangerous beer in that the alcohol doesn’t really show, except for the feeling of bodily warmth it creates after several sips. I’d expect this would work well as an aperitif served in Champagne flutes, or possibly as an after dinner digestif.

 1,841 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory Brewing Co. "Jubilee"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged, "BOTTLED ON 14 DEC 2016 07.49P"
$7 @ Pletcher's Beer Distributor, State College, PA

Look: A careful first pour delivers a clear amber-orange body beneath a three finger thick head of pillowy, slightly off-white foam. The head retention is excellent, bolstered by the steady flow of tiny bubbles rising from beneath, and the lacing is very good as well.

Smell: The aroma is sweetish with what seems like rock-candy sugar, lightly caramelish and bready malt, yeast, Spanish Cava, and dried grass.

Taste: The flavor livens up with the addition of a good bit of fruitiness that includes juicy Red Delicious apples and soft Anjou pear. There's a hint of honey to it as well, and some sweet white grape and light orange. The caramel remains, light, and somewhere between golden and medium. It's moderately bitter and it finishes semi-dry but also a touch spicy. Some floral character appears in the finish along with more white grape, some orange, and a dusting of yeast, spiciness, and dried grass. The alcohol is remarkably well hidden across the palate but it is mildly warming in the finish.

Feel: Medium bodied with a dextrinous feel, and gently crisp and effervescent: lightly tingling at first but then more supple and smooth.

Overall: I rarely recommend aging beers but I'd suggest that if you have this in your cellar you give it another six months to a year, and given the price I paid for it I'm kicking myself now for not buying a whole case. It's not fantastic/amazing, but it's quite solid and fairly unique, and I believe that with a little bit of age it will sharpen a touch (although I didn't find much yeast even in my last pour - ?). I can totally imagine having a glass of this at the end of a large meal (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) as a replacement for dessert or an addition to a smaller dessert, or just a spacer; or even as an apertif before hand. On the other hand, it really shows itself best once it's warmed a bit and it would make a great after-dinner/nightcap while winding down but you'd need several people to finish the bottle.

 2,139 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium gold color, full barm that settles quickly, perhaps a little more carbonation but certainly approximates champagne. Aroma is rustic, lots of those dry pear / apple notes, grape must (not sweet, more earthy), clove, yeast. Belgiany. Taste starts out creamier & sweet with vanilla oramge creme, flickers of that pear must & champagne yeast, but turns pretty husky & spicey towards the end - more star clove, anise bark - with this odd pique of medicinal hops that ends it with bitter note that really conflicts with the rest of the beer. It is certainly interesting & you have to appreciate the effort, but it didn't come together for me (really would have dialed-back the spice & jettisoned the hops). Mouthfeel is too thick & creamy for a champagne style beer.

 775 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is an orange color with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Apple, pear, vanilla, pale, toasted, biscuit, doughy, and boozy.

Taste: Same as above. Sweet, fruity, yeasty, and boozy. More complex as it warmed up and definitely a sipper being so sweet and dry.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweet, dry, boozy, medium to full bodied, and high carbonation.

Overall: Not to familiar with this style, but this was almost a like a super boozy tripel. Definitely a desert beer and sharing kind of beer.

 704 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a bubbly, effervescent cap

S: Lots of fruitiness up front. Includes apple, pear, grape, and some lighter citrus. Some yeasty spice and crackery maltiness as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the grape, apple, and pear notes with a bit of must followed by a mildly sweet crackery maltiness. Goes into very light yeast spiciness and a touch of alcohol. Finishes with lingering fruity notes and light sweetness

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation, very effervescent and on the drier side due to the champagne yeast

O: A solid and surprisingly very drinkable (given the 12% abv) bière brut that does an incredible job combining the maltiness and champagne yeast. There aren't too many beers out there that utilize champagne yeast, but the ones that do are usually quite interesting and complex. This one is no different

 904 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/14/2016. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense, foamy, and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, peach, pear, apricot, orange, grape must, white wine, golden raisin, red/green apple, peppercorn, clove, bread dough, light honey, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, fruity/earthy hops, and pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge lemon, peach, pear, apricot, orange, grape must, white wine, golden raisin, red/green apple, peppercorn, clove, bread dough, light honey, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate yeast spiciness and herbal/floral/grassy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, peach, pear, apricot, orange, grape must, white wine, golden raisin, red/green apple, peppercorn, clove, bread dough, light honey, hay, straw, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, fruity/earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness and carbonation, increasing through the glass. Medium-high carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and fairly crisp balanced mouthfeel that is great. Mildly warming alcohol for 12%. Overall this is great Biere de champagne, and my first from the style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, fruity/earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; very smooth, fairly crisp, and dangerously easy to drink for the huge ABV. Great well rounded yeast and hop complexity; nice malt backbone without much residual sweetness. A very enjoyable offering.

 2,079 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly golden yellow with a fat uniform belgian style head that lasts and never falls completely. Refreshes on each tip. Stream of bubbles can be seen as well as lots of scattered fizzy bubbles. Nose is pear, spice and floral. cracker malt is firm and strong and has to be to keep up with all that fruit. Lemony citrus. Soft nose with lots of sweet spice. Apple. Taste follows the nose. Smooth and not too sweet. The beer is fuller than let's say a typical saison but it has many of the same flavors and features. The yeast does not add funk imo but I did notice a little something tart on the nose. Crisp malt and plenty of fruit flavor to take you to a bubbly and dryish finish.

 699 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tumbler, on draft at DAily Growler.

A: pale dark gold, clear with little carbonation. 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly.

S: smells Belgian; lightly phenolic. Slightly sour; green apple; slightly vinous, wine like; actually smells like champagne. Phenols emerge as it warms, grape and pear.

T: sweet malty arrival, fruit and light phenols expressing immediately. Fuji apple, white grapes, pear, white peach,malt, mild clove.

M: medium, clean, more carbonated than the appearance lets on.

O: a cleaner, crisper, WAY higher ABV Saison. Very fruity, clean, and strong. Really the perfect beer for these cold, sunny spring days. Would definitely buy again.

 672 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It pours clear orange with a huge head of good retention. The nose has some champagne-like elements. Not sure if I'm imagining it but there are some vinous notes too. Some candi sugar as well. The taste is like an overly carbonated and overly sweet Tripel. Thick mouthfeel. The alcohol levels are well concealed at least while the beer is cold.

 344 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First venture into the style, and I'm very pleased with it. Tastes sorta like an imperial Zinfandel with a Helles finish. Body is perfect for conveying the strength without being too heavy.

 189 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a crystal clear deep golden yellow in color with heavy amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and moderate brassy colored highlights. The beer has a four finger tall dense foamy fizzy off-white head that slowly reduces to a large patch of half finger thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of musty white grapes, green apples, and pear with light to moderate aromas of pale malts with a moderate amount of candi sugar sweetness. Light aromas of spices (grains of paradise + coriander).

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of pale + bready malts with a moderate amount of candi sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of light fruits - white grape, pear, and green apple. That is followed by moderate flavors of spices (grains of paradise + coriander) and a moderate champagne yeastiness. Light amount of lingering yeasty sweetness in the finish.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: More of a hybrid Belgian Tripel and Biere de Champagne - starts out like a Biere de Champagne but the finish is much more similar to a Tripel. Easy to drink with lighter, more effervescent body and well hidden alcohol. Enjoyable.

 1,398 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: clear, medium amber with a mild yellow tint... finger-high loose foam recedes and actually maintains a messy collar and thin pad of suds atop

S: semi-sweet, semi-toasty pale malt with a mild tinge of honey, some apple-like esters, and hint of powdery yeast... initial impression is that it smells like a Belgian golden strong with hints of a dirty triple but with altogether tame/mellow aromas

T: rather spicy up front and through the finish... semi-dry, graham-cracker malt flavor with some vague (clove) spicy apple (cider) flourishes on the fringes... now noticing the details below - more white grape than pear, but not much of either

F: marginally slick, near-syrup viscosity in the middle of the first few sips that thins out gradually, though the body never becomes sharp or bone dry... carbonation too buried

O: the baked-yeast flavors are too prevalent - tastes a little like a Belgian strong pale that's been sitting on the shelf for a couple years... the tame alcohol presence is enjoyable, but there's not enough of anything else going on to bring me back - I'll stick to Mickey's, or hopefully eventually soon grab a bottle of Deus or Malheur

 1,162 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: crystal clear golden yellow in color with a 1" head that hangs around a while.

Smell: green grapes and some floral notes rise from the glass.

Taste: green grapes, pear, orange, a spicy yeast flavor, and a floral bitterness rounds it out. Alcohol is well hidden here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very crisp from the start, and the finish is dry.

Overall: a super crisp and refreshing beer at a high ABV. Very enjoyable.

 433 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a very exciting new offering from victory, who has really been keeping the high quality and intriguing releases coming in this large format series. this is a style i would really like to see more of, and a fine example of it here. pale yellow and quite clear from the tap, lots of active carbonation and instant belgian aromatics, with dry white fruit and white wine. summery spices, grains of paradise, tea, light citrus, white sangria, really a blast to the nostrils. the yeast is cool, winey, champagney, unexpectedly belgian. the layers of nuance from multiple fermentations are also on display in the flavor, which carries a bit more of the spice aspect, and has a lot of sweet baked grain character, obviously a lot of malt in here to get the abv this high. the alcohol is strong through the whole flavor, packed in tight and assertive, but also kind of flattering to what else is going on. green pear, golden raisin, baking spice, white wine, lots going on here and really well rounded and complex. the mouthfeel rules, which is part of the point in this style, highly effervescent and bright, this one not as dry as others ive had, but refreshing for its size, and robustly flavorful, lingering in the finish. i have never really associated these guys with yeast driven and belgian styles, aside from maybe the golden monkey, but this is really top notch!

 1,364 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the growler via Jungle Jim's Eastgate in a snifter. This unique hybrid
pours a luminous golden with a quickly dissipating head of white foam that
falls flat and is gone rather quickly. Nose of apples, white grapes, some pear,
herbal notes of orange zest, and slight yeast notes. Flavors follow the nose
with dry grape and crisp apple notes with a touch of pear awash in a unique floral
flavor with clove and coriander coming through on the back with sweet candy malts
and bitter orange peel more prominent on the aftertaste. Nice mouth body; medium
mouth feel, smooth, warming, and loaded with the champagne characteristic. Reminds me
of a more craft version of some of the Lithuanian out there with the champagne yeast and
farmhouse notes.

Overall, unique and worth trying once. Decent price on the growler---11 bucks.

Of note; the bottle version was vastly improved over the growler version with
a fantastic look of a great brut ale. Big head, thick layer, excellent lacing.


 1,003 characters

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is crystal clear deep golden yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that left a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of musty grapes and green apples are present in the nose.
T: The taste starts off with some notes of grape flavors but quickly transitions over to something that closer resembles a Belgian Tripel with underlying candi sugars and strong notes of spices.
M: It feels a little shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: This beer kind of tastes somewhat like a hybrid between a Belgian Tripel and a Bière de Champagne. It hides its alcohol exceptionally well and the higher amount of carbonation helps to lighten up the body.

Serving type: bottle

 922 characters

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a flute glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a massive fizzy / creamy, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of several different fruits, citrus, and a floral quality.

T: Tasted of light citrus notes (oranges, in particular), some apples, a vinous quality, the aforementioned floral quality, a slight booziness, pear, cloves, malt, and hops. A surprisingly aggressive flavor that surprises you a bit. Very fruity and powerful, with a spicy quality.

F: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I haven't had many beers of this style, but this seems to be a good example of it. Worth a look.

 700 characters

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Only the 3rd beer of this style I have had...and it's been awhile.Pours into a pilsner clear golden with a fluffy bone white crown atop that never really settles.A little cork in the nose along with a bit of a vinegar note,a breadiness emerges after awhile as well.The beer starts out on the dryer side with slight funk but than big fruits and and hefty sweetness really hits,the feel is heavier than expected as well but not all bad.This isn't a bad beer but alot of things make the drinkability on the lower side,I would think this would be more "spritzy" and dry.

 568 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer's cork did pop out of the bottle with the loud sound of a champagne cork. A rush of air also brought forth a fragrant fruity floral note to my nose.

The bubbles outran the body up the glass, but I poured carefully enough. The head fell moderately, without leaving much lace, into a soapy medium large rim. The beer's body is quite a vibrant gold color, with a very clear makeup.

The nose reminds me of a slightly more fruity version of Brooklyn's Local One. Peach and apple with a slightly more acidic note to them than sweet. There is a different sweet note that is maybe like a white grape juice or a dry apple cider. There is also a light yeasty note I am getting.

My very first sip and I thought this was much sweeter than I expected, even given the nose. The beer does have a heavy effervescence, but it's from smaller bubbles than your champagne (much smaller than soda). It feels softer and the tingling builds up slowly and fades quickly.

Given a few sips to adjust and analyze, the opening is actually a little dry with some dry grass in there - reminiscent of a saison. This is not the only note, however, and that apple cider a part of the opening. The back of the taste strengthened that sweetness a bit though, as well as bringing the yeast I smelled to the party. Later in the pour, I start to pick up a very light banana note and maybe a little clove with the yeast notes as well as a little bit of alcohol.

A very interesting beer, as I seem to get drier and sweeter impressions with each sip, sometimes mirroring what I am focusing on. I think overall the somewhat sweeter aspects of the beer gain more of my palate. This is also what makes me not as fond of the beer as a whole, despite its varied other nuances.

 1,759 characters

Photo of bonns42
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a wine glass from a 750 mL cork and cage bottle.

Look: Pale, clear gold, with a bubbly white head that starts out full and dwindles to a fine sheet over the top of the beer.

Smell: Lots of sourdough bread, and some green apple and pear sneak in as well.

Taste: Tastes a lot like a dry champagne, but doesn't quite hide the alcohol as well. Green apple and some sweet bubblegum from Belgian yeasts (I assume). Full flavor, tastes pretty good. Some floral or pine bitterness on the finish.

Feel: Active carbonation, lots of fizzing on the tongue, lingering sweetness and floral bitterness.

Overall: This is my first time with this style, I grabbed the bottle because it was on sale and I like champagne. This is definitely a champagne beer. A little sweeter than I would've liked, but it has a fuller, more complex flavor profile than the champagnes I've had. I would definitely buy this again.

 909 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I drank this with the feeling that I wouldn't like it because I don't like champagne. Unfortunately, that's what happened. It's got a nice apple smell, but the only thing beer-like is the carbonation, which isn't specific to beer. Not my favorite.

 247 characters

Photo of PecherHead
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L : very clear amber color with a head that fades quickly

S : malty with a vague sweetness

T : very sweet, in my personal opinion, light general fruitiness with a slight alcohol taste on the end

F : a little thick feeling, the feeling sits on the tongue for a short amount of time

Overall a very good beer. I would 100% buy this beer again.

 345 characters

Photo of MarcusGrandCru
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Usually in the winter time I feel trapped under a deluge of imperials and stouts that are so heavy I can't even get up the next day. I got to enjoy a 750ml bottle of the Jubilee from Victory, and what a refreshing change. It's still strong at 12% but it is not the syrupy sugar water that seems to be flooding things right now. It's got a nice finish and it isn't excessively sweet. Definitely worth trying out.

 411 characters

Jubilee from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 50 ratings