Ten Years Alt
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Ten Years AltTen Years Alt
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Ranked #10
Ranked #11,478
3.96 | pDev: 10.61%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Ten Years AltTen Years Alt
Notes: A Doppelsticke Altbier brewed for Victory Brewing's 10th Anniversary, released in Feb 2006 and debuting at BeerAdvocate's 3rd Annual Extreme Beer Fest in 2006. A dark ale with malty depth, but with the fragrance and bold, brassy tang of European hops. 8.5%. According to Victory, they believe that this could be the first Doppelsticke brewed in the US.
Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 266 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The wonder of the depth & breadth of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody is some of the beers that it burps forth as I scrub through in order to eradicate them. This is one such instance.

From the Ten-plus Years Alt Bottle: "We met when we were 10 years old, and we opened our brewery just ten years ago. To honor the past years of great beers and memories, we have reached back to our German brewing roots for inspiration. With this special ale we have given new life to a tried and true style."; "The alt beers of Dusseldorf are legendary ales of delicate malt complexity and surprising hop character. Our Ten Years Alt is an amped-up take on the 'sticke' versions of alt beers that the top brewers make from time to time to reward their loyal fans. With a level of malty depth to anchor the robust tang of quality German hops, Ten Years Alt will both surprise and comfort you, just as you have come to expect from our beers. Cheers, [undersigned] The Brewmasters of Victory[,] Bill [&] Ron".

You must know by now that I would be employing a very gentle pour with this one. I began with a Pop! of the cap & slowly decanted the beer into an awaiting glass. My efforts paid off as its clarity was excellent, but it required a vigorous in-glass swirl to briefly raise a finger of foamy, soapy, light-tan head with limited retention. leaving decent lacing as it sank. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with garnet highlights. Nose had a leathery, raisin-y quality, almost like an aged Barleywine. Glancing at the ABV, this may have held up very well. Mouthfeel, while only lightly carbonated, was thick & viscous. I let it roll around on my tongue to warm as I contemplated where I might have originally purchased this sixer. It may have been during a trip to the brewery for its release, actually. The taste was earthy, as though both the hops and malts used imparted an earthiness that melded together really well over the past decade. It was very much imbued with a raisin & leather flavor, again making me thing of an aged Barleywine. Finish was dry and the lees that remained on the punt suggested that the yeast had continued to do its job even after bottling. A very interesting time capsule.

Feb 23, 2017
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Pours an almost balanced dark red/brown. Clarity is high, and the off-white head is tight and lasting, though minimal lacing.

Nose is lightly caramel in nature, but with a balancing bittering note that is indistinct to my nose. The combination seems a little toasty at times. In some whiffs, I get a little fruity note, maybe light cherry - but I'm not positive that this isn't an anomaly.

Taste in this pour isn't as malty as I'd expect. There is a honey-like note in and otherwise toasty and woody to herbal bitter opening. If I let the beer linger on the tongue, the caramel and that light cherry note make an appearance. Feel is decent carbonation that does add a little bite to the feel that comes off to me as a bit of spice. Lingering tingle may indicate some spiciness in the actual hops.

Was looking for a little more malty or balanced beer, but this isn't bad. It comes close to the hoppy amber, but luckily for me doesn't get there.

Mar 28, 2016
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes taken a couple of hours ago while having a glass and being able to chat about it with a friend who is also a homebrewer.

Although this beer is listed here as retired I just had it on tap at the Parkesburg brewpub facility. It was originally brewed as a 10th Anniversary beer and only brewed once. But now, 10 years later in the 20th Anniversary year it has been brewed again but I don't think it will see any distribution beyond the brewpub.

As served in a tall half pint glass the beer is a clear deep copper, almost brown color, with a 1/2" light tan head that leaves some patches of lacing and has a nice layer of foam for most of the beer. Sipping creates scattered patches of foam.

The aromas include some caramel and a bit of dark bready character along with some spicy, grassy, floral hops.

The flavors are really firm, definite and enjoyable with this one. The malt backbone, with its caramel and dark bread character, tends to dominate but isn't overly sweet and so allows the spicy hop flavors to show through while it controls the earthy bitterness that is a part of the flavor mix. I think I'm also picking up a bit of alcohol sweetness as well but there isn't any alcohol burn.

The mouth feel is on the full side of medium bodied and nicely smooth with the moderate carbonation. The finish begins about midway through and is fairly long as the malt flavors slowly fade away leaving some nice earthy bitterness to linger to the next sip.

I've enjoyed this beer and hope to find it again as I'd like to have another. It's definitely well made and I think its a shame that it has only put in an appearance once every ten years.

Feb 20, 2016
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ithacabaron from California

3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage, sampled in 2010.

Pours an orange hue, with distinctly drawn yellow highlights. Starts cloudy, but clears as it warms.

Aroma is that of candied orange peel, very sweet, very simple. Not particularly inspiring, but fine, all the same.

Taste certainly has a bit of the cellar in it, a touch musty, decidedly mellow, with a just-barely rough finish from the hops. There is the honeyed suggestion of a stronger, and frankly, more British style of strong ale than that of a traditional sticke alt. A kind of roasted meat flavor creeps up here and there.

Mouthfeel is fine and well. Could stand to be a hair firmer to off-set the sweetness, but that may be the result of a half-decade of age.

Drinkability is fairly low; one is fine -- even a half glass would work for me. Split a bottle with someone, as this is more of a curio than anything else.

Aug 09, 2010
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy brown color alt with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep caramel malt is very nice with some subtle toffee notes also noticeable. Taste is very refreshing with some rich caramel malt notes and some balance sweetness. Hops are very hard to distinguish which is a good thing since the malt bill is generous enough and need no complement. Full body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting take on the style and easily drinkable.

May 14, 2010
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rye726 from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown with a tan head. Light lace and good retention. Nose has raw malts, caramel, toffee, peppery yeast and faded floral hops. Taste is nice and malty with herbal spices and sweet candy. Medium body is well carbonated and drinks well. Nice example of the style. Has aged well.

Apr 27, 2010
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ckeegan04 from Texas

3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky dark chesnut brown. Head is about a finger thick and light brown. Quickly fades to a very thin cap of foam. Leaves rings of lace down the glass.

S - Rich malty aroma with lots of fresh baked bread and a hint of caramel. Light hint of alcohol in the nose as well. Earthiness underneath begins to come through stronger as the beer warms.

T - Malty sweet up front with lots of caramel and breadiness mixed together nicely. Earthy spiciness as well but domintaed by the maltiness. Surpisingly strong booziness given that it is under 9%.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very chewy. Very malty is that is your thing. Booziness brings the drinkability down a notch.

Nov 30, 2009
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scottyshades from Florida

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage

A: Pours an unfiltered cloudy brown color that is completely opaque. The head is pretty frothy and retains fairly well.

S: Definitely malt dominant. Lots of wheat and bready notes as well. Also picking up some sweet caramel, brown sugar, and the classic German yeast. Slightly fruity as well.

T: Same as the nose. Malt dominant, wheat is big, yeast is unique and plays a big part in the flavor profile. Sweet caramel, sugars, and fruits.

MF/D: Medium/heavy mouthfeel, wheaty lingering finish.

Overall not too bad, just not terribly complex or delicious. Worth a try though.

Nov 24, 2009
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jrallen34 from Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

I pop the cap and come back after writing an email and thier is 2 inch growth hanging from the bottle. There is huge carbonation that is chunky and heavy and puffy. When its poured into the glass the beer is very dark brillant amber color with a huge 5 finger light tan head that lasts several minutes. The peak of the head is awesome with big bublles and creaminess that makes you want to let your lips sleep on it. The lacing is great. As that huge head falls it coats the whole glass, like a film falling all the way to the body.

The aroma is very malty, lots of sweetness and spice.

The taste is almost very malty, reminds me of a lighter quad. There is light hops and a very nutmeg spice finish that lasts a little to long.

The mouthfeel is very heavy and sticky

Nov 12, 2009
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indiapaleale from Maine

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice looking ruby red/amber color that is practically opaque in appearance with a super rich inch+ of thick fluffy off white head.

I get a huge whiff of brown sugar/caramel as I am pouring this, wow, that is a very sweet/saccharine-y smell emanating from this pour. Once it settles the extremely sweet smell remains as does a bit of a lemony citrus smell but mainly its rich, sweet malt, brown sugar and just a hint of dark unfiltered apple cider.

Taste is a lot of that rich sweet malt, some bitterness in the finish but a lot of those smells come out in the taste, definitely the apple cider, some tart and tangy cherry and a bit of lemon peel. Very rich and sweet but very drinkable and delicious.

Great stuff, this one is on the way out (but still excellent) so I can imagine some of the fresh stuff is amazing.

Jun 30, 2009
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ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a dimpled mug. Appears a hazed rich amber color with about a finger of light tan foam. The head leaves no lace to speak of. Smell and tastes is sweet and malty, with notes of toasted bread, toffee, caramel, and a touch of bitter earthy hops. medium in both body and carbonation. Worthy of at least a try.

May 13, 2009
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bright amber with shreds of banana and cherry smeared across. The head was initially prominent, it's now desisted mostly to the belt line. Some spots are darker and miry while others shine against the light. Indeed, the beer offers a painter's palate worth of amber toned colours. Let's hope it offers just as much from the gourmand's palate as well!

There isn't much left out for the nose except copious amounts of buttery caramel but that's more than enough to quickly fix it in close in a magnet-like fashion. Worth mentioning also are tangy herbals, fragrant flowers and over-ripening, alcohol drenched fruits.

The beer's virtues are much more vividly tasted. The dry, bready flavour of various grains - rye, most distinctively - make up the breadth and body of the beer. Each sip lathers the palate in a light spice, an herbal hop bitterness, almonds, a drop of molasses and a few heaping tablespoons of thick caramel. This is tremendously (deliciously) malty.

The Düsseldorf board of tourism might as well set up shop in Downingtown Pennsylvania. If there was ever one good reason to travel to North Rhine-Westphalia then Victory quite clearly makes the case. I can't speak with confidence to the historical accuracy of the style but I can certainly attest to the tastiness and craftsmanship of this rendition.

It may be a Doppelsticke but this is as rich as a Doppelbock. Although the alcohol is noticed, there's enough sticky sweet maltiness to bury it from memory by the conclusion of each sip. It persists still to leave a bit of a buzz in the mouth, aided surely by the spicy tang of the hops. Despite its warming element, the beer is still incessantly refreshing.

Apparently Victory believes their Doppelsticke might have been the first of its kind brewed in the US. Although I doubt that claim, I wouldn't at all dispute that it's the best of its kind in the US. It's a very good thing the brewery decided to continue to brew this long after their tenth anniversary - not to would have been nothing short of cruel. Thanks DrJay!

Apr 17, 2009
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Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

2.39/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

3 Finger + beige head. Big bubbles. Good Structure Deep amber color with mostly brown tones. Good clarity.

Huge Earthy/Musty aroma. Some minerals as well. A bit stinky to be honest. (doesn't smell "bad")

Tastes dirty to me... Interesting... Dark berries, thick malt... Big bitterness or roasted flavor. Slight sweetness underneath this all.

Big Mouth feel and almost puckering...

Not very drinkable or enjoyable. Sorry, Victory, I usually love your stuff

Apr 03, 2009
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured into a Tom Collins glass. Bottle has an enjoy by date of May 7, 2009.

A: Reddish brown with a beautiful, crisp rust-colored head. Plenty of visible carbonation. Great lacing.

S: Sweet with some fruit notes. Very inviting. Caramel notes and some hops. Maybe some candied sugars.

T: Absolutely lovely. All of the aroma definitely comes through and there is a good amount of complexity to this one. Excellent malt backbone with some hops coming through. Similar to many of the darker American Strong Ales that I've had. There are some slightly spicy notes in addition to the aforementioned aromas.

M: Medium-to-full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very nice. Some slight alcohol presence.

D: Could definitely drink this all day.

Mar 31, 2009
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, DrJay let me have one to myself when I was down visiting.

Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown, some orange highlights, thick off white head forms, drops a pretty tight lace sheet on the glass, great retention as it forms a solid layer, looks nice. Smell is very malty, caramel and biscuit, toast, raisins, sherry, iron, very clean and very rich if lacking a bit of complexity, some dark fruit and earth. Taste is similar, rich malty caramel and biscuit, raisin, iron, toast, some dark fruit, dates, very rich and balanced, very clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth. Thought this was a regular altbier until Jay told me its 8.5%. WTF! Alcohol is superbly hidden, excellent beer. Thanks Jay!

Mar 20, 2009
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claytri from Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a good brown with a nice tan head. The aroma is of sweetish malt. The taste is malty with a sweetness on the back and hop bite in the finish. The feel is smooth, medium, and wet. This is a pretty good alt, a nice enjoyable beer, maybe too enjoyable give the abv.

Mar 16, 2009
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eberkman from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, garnet-colored beer with a nice beige head that sticks around. The nose is dominated by malty sweetness -- honey, molasses, toffee, butterscotch. Tastes like it smells, but with a substantial hoppy bite in the finish to balance things out. Oddly, this made me think of Fuller's ESB going down. Not a bad thing -- totally different style but one of my favorites. Smooth and drinkable -- actually gulpable -- a dangerous thing for a beer of its gravity. Session beer drinkability with extreme beer alcohol presence. A dangerous combination indeed.

I liked this and will be looking for more.

Mar 13, 2009
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KOPBeerDrinker from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. The beer is hazy and the color of a dark apple cider. A 1 inch tan head was present and left a small amount of lacing.

Smells very sweet and fruity with a hint of caramel.

Taste is of sweet malt up front, with some caramel and bready flavors. Lots of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with prickly carbonation. A nice beer. Would be difficult to drink more than a couple at a sitting.

Mar 09, 2009
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deereless from Colorado

3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite frothy on an easy pour, muted ice tea color, slightest hint of haze - 3.50, S: Very sweet in a ripened fruit sort of way, smells of dates and candied apricots - 4.00, T: Like the nose the palate is predominately a heavy sweetness but hops are quite noticeable, some caramel and a touch of caramelized brown sugar, lots of signs of alcohol but not to the point of being a distraction - 3.75, M: Extremely smooth and creamy, a very pleasant mouthfeel - 5.00, D: A solid beer, the high alcohol would certainly limit my consumption - 3.50

Feb 12, 2009
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mikereaser from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky to copper brown with a 1/4 inch of foam

S - caramel aroma with a bit of some nice spicy hops

T - caramel and toffee malt flavor with a bit of a woody/piney hop finish

M/D - full bodied beer that goes down too easily, esp. for the ABV. Nice flavor.

Jan 30, 2009
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albern from Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours very thick, almost like sludge. The beer is a very cloudy dirty water mahogany brown with a tannish head that retains a bit and laces. This beer is full bodied and very thick. It is syrupy and loaded with ABV and brown sugar sweetness. The nose on the beer is a dead ringer that this will be a thick, ABV, malty, slightly hopped up, substantial beer.

The taste on the beer is a full palate of malts, brown sugars, some caramels, some florals make their presence felt, and there is just a load of ABV in this beer. There is a hoppy bitterness throughout, and some pear flavors as well. The beer has a throaty ABV burn in the aftertaste and it is just too strong for its own good. It is a complex beer, with lots of balance between the sweet, full palate of malts and the bittering hops. The brown sugar thickness, the sludge like full bodiedness of the beer, is just a bit too much for my preferences. There are some interesting spices in the finish that are hard to pin down; they are not peppery, but more festive for the holidays. Those who enjoy extreme beer will find this more to their liking than I.

Jan 10, 2009
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jujubeast6000 from Texas

2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 4/12/2006 (12oz bottle):

Thick amber color, small head off-white, quickly diminishing. Very malty aroma, very nutty like Newcastle. Hoppy acidic flavor, unbalanced. Warming up the beer, the acidity goes away, more balanced. Still a semi-sweet aftertaste.

Jan 08, 2009
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OStrungT from California

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly cloudy copperish brown color, with a fluffy light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a good lace.

This beer has a sweet slightly caramel like aroma. It has a pleasent spicy hop aroma as well.

This beer tastes more hoppy than it smells. It has a nice spicy hop flavor, with a good, mild sweet caramel flavor. Alcohol is well hidden in the flavor.

This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a spicy caramel aftertaste. Carbonation iw good for the style. The alcohol is well hidden in this one.

This beer may not be the best session beer simply due to the high alcohol content. It sure is good though.

Overall: Thanks to DrJay For the hook up. This beer was good. Actually, it was better than I expected. It was not at all boring, like I sometimes feel that Altbier can be. Worth trying.

Dec 31, 2008
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque, cloudy, buttescotch color. Huge, craggy tan head with good retention and a snowstorm of lace.

Smells like sweet, caramel malt, fall fruit and raisins.

Ten Year Alt is robust yet smooth. A complexity of malts, mainly a deep, sweet caramel malt followed by a fig and date maltyness after, pave the way for a herbal hop finish. Slight warming with the swallow is the only evidence of a 8.5% abv. Very well done beer.

Dec 21, 2008
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/22/08. Bottle. Pours a deep dark amber/brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of roasted and burnt malts. Flavor of roasted lager malts (similar to a Doppelbock), apple juice, bread, soda-like quality. Very malty, not much hops at all. Full palate. I liked it but it is quite burnt/malty in the doppelbock style, if that appeals to you. Tasty beer!
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

Dec 20, 2008
Ten Years Alt from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 266 ratings