Ten Years Alt | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
241 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Ten Years AltTen Years Alt

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

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Todd on 01-05-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 262
Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Dee's. Like a smooth barleywine. Interesting and good. Tea light brown colour, nuts and malt, grapes,molasses, vanilla. roasted barley. Hop in aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Suitable carbonation. Somehow didn't all work, too many different ideas.

Liked it better in the bottle I brought home.

 299 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Though it is a tasty brew, it's about 100 miles out of style. The mild, but solid malts add sweetness and textures, but the hops are more akin to IPA. American hops accentuate the crispness and cleanness, but the flavors that are offered kick the beer into a grassy, herb-like brew instead of the easy-on-the-palate session beer. Though still easily drunk, the hops contribute an unnecessary bitter and floral quality that hurts it's drinkability. Aside from being an overly aggressive Alt, its a good brew.

 507 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a beige head that leaves some splashes of lace

Smell: Caramel and fruity green apples

Taste: Starts with a nice caramel base; after the swallow the bitter, earthy hops kick in and nicely balance the malt; the finish is a bit of a problem, however, as an astringent quality takes over the sides of the tongue after about 20 seconds and leaves an unpleasant lingering sensation

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (slightly resinous) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The astringent aftertaste detracts from what would otherwise be a very drinkable beer

 602 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 754 characters

Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A great ten year anniversary beer in my opinion,poured a deeper brown with some amber tint with a tighter white well retained head.Aromas are malt tilted some caramel malt and a nice peppery hop zip,flavors are alot like the aromas and let me say the alc% is so well hidden in this beer that I thought it was at 5-6% alc at most,flavors of molasses and caramel up front but there is a definent spicey hop profile that made me wanna continue on with this brew.Well my favorite alt to date better than the Urige line in my mind,soon to be a classic in my opinion.

 561 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive! Buy it if you can find it! I kind of ignored this release expecting it to be a big version of an alt... and it is, but it's som remarkably balanced and well-rounded that I can't help but sing its praises.

It pours a clear, deep mahogany body with a reddish-orange cast and yellow-orange highlights. The creamy tan head holds quite well before droppping; maintains a solid lid throughout; and leaves short walls, vibrant splashes, and patches of tiny-spotted lace about the glass.

The nose expresses deeply caramelized sugar and bread crust alongside a smear of leafy and floral hops.

It's medium-full bodied and creamy-smooth in the mouth with a very fine bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich without being overly malty, sweet, or hoppy. It delivers a very nice, lightly sweet and toasty caramelized maltiness that's backed by a solid bitterness and a handful of spicy and floral hops. Some really nice, gentle fruitiness appears towards the swallow, and again at the end of the finish, with a combination of subtle dark-skinned fruits (plum/prune) and some apple. It finishes surprisingly short, but also quite dry, with a lingering, firm bitterness. The alcohol is far from directly present, and you probably won't notice it's strength.

Extremely well-done!

 1,300 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from JeffKrenner courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, spices, a little alcohol and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and very sweet with flavors of caramel and brown sugar. There’s a nice hops presence for the style, which certainly is an attribute of an American influence on an Altbier and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if done well and I think this one has been. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and pretty smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily for a beer with an 8.50% ABV and an “Enjoy by date” of 8/10/06, not too filling, good representation of style. This is a beer that might not be the best to pound down, but I’ve had very few beers that are comparable in terms of straight characteristics, thus giving it the unique factor going in its favor. However, if you’re holding onto this beer, I’d recommend drinking it now because I believe any additional age with only harm its flavor.

 1,269 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fiery blood orange, like a jack o' lantern at full blaze. The color of the head is where pastel orange, cream and ecru meet; a great contrast with the color of the beer. The heavily whipped creaminess and the persistence of the crown is impressive, as is the display of lace. This is simply a great looking beer.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to appreciate much in the nose at all. I was all set for malt and hop complexity in all its glory to assault my nostrils, but it's not to be. The aroma is somewhat caramel-like and flowery hoppy... and that's about it.

Ten Years Alt is more of a presence on the palate, although it still isn't the multi-faceted flavor bomb that I was expecting. It's considerably malty and equally as hoppy with flavors of heavily toasted, spiced brown bread (malted rye?), caramel, light molasses, fire-roasted pecans and cherries macerated in vodka. Okay, so maybe it's multi-faceted after all.

The various flavors don't come together as well as they might and I get the impression that another year of rest would do this beer a world of good. It would tame the alcohol somewhat and should allow the flavor profile to coalesce into a more harmonious whole. That's not to say that it isn't good beer right now, just that it might become great beer with more maturity.

The body/mouthfeel doesn't need any more time, it's just fine the way it is. A shade bigger than medium and heavily silky, it's unquestionably the best part about this beer at this point in time and makes me wish that I had used a snifter instead of a pint glass.

I'm fairly certain that Ten Years Alt will be a much better beer on the brewery's eleventh anniversary; possibly even their twelfth. I don't believe, however, that it will ever be a serious contender for the dopplesticke crown worn by Uerige Dopplesticke. That's okay though. I'm just glad that Victory continues to push the envelope and continues to brew quality beer.

 1,940 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So lucky I felt to get a hold of a bottle of this one. I don’t remember trying an Alt beer before but I am sure I have, but I treated this one like it was my first. Poured a nice medium brown with somewhat of a hazy quality to it, but not too bad. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom and this formed a nice one inch thick head across the top which faded down to only a layer of lace which hung around for a good long time. Smell was fully of a grainy brandy sort of aroma, a nice touch of grapes mixed in and the flavor followed that right along. It definitely had some ear markings of an English ale in the malts used, but was very strong. A nice warming came over you and the finish was actually a touch sweet. A very smooth feel, not too thick with a decent overall drinkibilty. This was a very nice nighttime sipper. Overall I was glad I was able to try it. It was very complex and had a lot more flavor then I thought it would, lots of earthy grains and grapes mixed in. A very nice combination indeed. If you can get your hands on this I would highly recommend it. It seemed like a really fine choice and something I would be glad to try again.

 1,187 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted cool into a standard pint.
A - A deep caramel brown w/ deep amber highlights and a half inch white head.

S - The smell is a bit fruity w/ a sweet caramel odor.

M - Nutty dry and malty with a good dose of carbonation and a semi-sweet finish.

T - A nice smooth malty intro w/ a gentle nuanced flavor. A hint of ale fruitiness w/ a bit of caramel sweetness. The hops start to stand out about halfway through w/ a hint of spice. The taste is dry w/ a tinge of woody flavor. The flavor is hoppier in the final sips w/ both pine hop bitterness that accents the malt nicely

D - A finely balanced ale, very smooth malt flavor w/ substantial hop taste to back it up. A brilliant display of brewing technique since there has not been a doppelsticke brewed in the U.S. before. A decent ale w/ very good drinkability.
I realize this bottle was brewed last year, but it was stored cool and I don't feel the flavor was affected in this sample.

 943 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in late July in NC

Poured caramel with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Intense toasted malt & caramel

T: Caramel& toasted malt up front. Intense dryness sets in as this warms, along with herbal hops. Finishes dry with more caramel

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & decent balance

Drank slow because of the dryness. I'm guessing I caught this beer slightly too old

 419 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impressive head but little lace to show for it. The head has great staying power. The beer has a slight haze and is wonderful dark amber/light brown color to it.

Slight sourness to the aroma; largely malty with a subtle sweetness that suggests something akin to a Scotch Ale. The hop smells are light but present.

Much more hoppy than the smell suggests, also far more dry. The aftertaste is long-lasting with an interesting hop bite. The malt flavors are muted, but some dry crystal flavors do show up. The body is nearly perfect--around the level of 2% milk.

I love beers that offer multiple flavor profiles. This one fits that category nicely. The smells bely the taste, but both are fascinating and complex.

 721 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is caramel light brown hue forms a nice sized off whtie cream colored head leaves behind a good bit of lacing. Aroma contains sharp but roasty sweetness somewhat of a mineral character herbal German noble hops toasted nut character with a citrus under tone. Taste has more depth that arises as it warms flavors complement eachother well, malts not overly sweet toasted nut some alcohol notes roling hop profile herbal grassy light citrus flavors ample bitterness very nicely done. Mouthfeel has a medium body smooth carbonation stays on the palate nice Drinkability...well, I quaffed a few of these at Victory during the 10th anniversary party had to revisit to give it a worthy review found it in Pittsburgh for $1.99 a bottle so I picked up a couple.

 763 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of two or three alt beers I've been able to sample. Color is a gorgeous dark caramel with a bit of ruby glow. The small head is light brown and creamy. Aroma is of sweet dark malts, caramel is noted. Some herbal hop creeps in as well. Overall smell is a bit weaker than expected. Sip starts with sweet dark malt flavor, caramel again, with an edge of mild roastiness. A nutty malt taste is also in the mix. Towards mid-sip herbal German hop flavor takes over, with a fairly high level of bitterness. The overall flavor is very good, yet, for me, the amount of hop flavor in this beer was too high. The hops really seemed to take away from the malt profile I was really enjoying. Probably a dopplesticke isn't a ideal style for my taste buds.

 745 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby hued brown with a creme head. Sweet grainy nose. Super smooth flavor. Sweet and bitter on the back. A bit too pungent, but it's nice. Thicker liquid feel. Kind of sticky. Carbonation is lower. Very nice to drink. The first sip turned into a gulp.

 265 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by May 07, 09 on neck:

Pours medium, shiny brown with a tan head. Small-bubbled trailing lace slides down glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is of caramel, bready notes, a touch of herbal spicing, a slight touch of alcohol.

The taste is of caramel, a touch of brown sugar. Spicy, herbal/resiny bitterness is a bit forward for the style, but makes for a unique interpretation that works well enough. Unfortunately, there is a slight metallic tinge. Spicy tang balances malty sweetness in the finish. Alcohol is covered very well in the taste.

The body is pretty creamy and full.

Not the "malt bomb" that is usually associated with the style, though it makes a nice enough showing. Glad that this was re-released this year!

Thanks to Wasatch for including this one in a recent trade, though it fizzed over/exploded. Fortunately, though, it became available locally.

 879 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, cherryish, tea-like color, a lovely rubyish tint, under a slim cocoa/creamy layer of foam, soon down to a slight ring.

Earthy aroma, big malts, mild fruit, herbal, crisp, clean, classy.

A malty explosion once on board the mouth, big caramel and dark fruit, splashes every inch of the palate. Bright caramel, rich and delicious, delights the tongue, just long enough before gently drying and fading handily away. That's the key to this terrific brew, has all the taste and strength of a doppelbock, yet holds into well into check, with the attributes of an altbier.

Taste is brighter with fruit, cherries and grapes, further in.

Strength is not felt right away, but creeps along.

Full-bodied, boldly flavored, well-constucted, a display of skill and imagination.
Great way to celebrate 10 victorious years!

 844 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very happy to see this on tap at DBA last night, as I've had no luck finding it in bottles, so far. Imperial pint, pours a rich shade of almond amber, with an tan head. Leaving typical lacing. Nose has a bit of funky, cheesyness, as well as some alcohol and crisp apple tickling the nostrils, medium bodied, with hearty notes of malts, alcohol, gin, anise, slight juniper. Yum, bold and complex, nice job Victory, here's to many more years of quality brewing!

 465 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hazy off brown, yellowish hue. Big head, nice foaming action. Left some lacing and rocky spots.
Aroma is sweet malt and light citrus. Carbonation makes it zing a bit.
Taste: I wanna saw citrus, but it's not that acidic. If you've eaten a Pomelo, that is probably the closest comparison. Some soft lemon and light caramel are also present. It's a good taste, a bit light, but that's the style.
I can drink this again, better on a summer day instead of 11 degrees.

 467 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear dark copper in color with a two finger head. The head falls to a surface covering. Some mild lacing developed during the session.

Smell: loads of malt, caramel, and a hint of floral bitterness.

Taste: nice malt backbone with some soft nuttiness, hints of ripe red fruits, and alcohol. A mild bitterness helps round out some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth with a touch of crispness at the start. The finish is long on the malts and mildly dry. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: I found this to be nicely drinkable even though the alcohol was slightly noticeable. Very enjoyable.

 626 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a copper color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of burnt caramel and roasted, breadlike notes. It appears to have a mild hop aroma with a warming feel as well. The taste is great. It has a smooth malty flavor that boasts of roasted malts and burnt toffee. It has an intensely bitter edge that leaves a dry hoppy aftertaste. It's warm, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine brew. It's loaded with malty flavor and a powerful hop finish.

 616 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to MuenchenerKindl for this brew.

Pours a cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy off-white head, nice oil slicks in the middle. The nose is malty, tangy, slight hops, spices, and caramel. The taste is malty, tangy (cherries), slight spices, maybe some vanilla, and lots of caramel. Slightly dry finish. Alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body, a complex well rounded brew. Drinkable, a very tasty brew, I can honestly say I've never tasted anything like it so far. Highly recommended.

 521 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

 2,054 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep, dark, reddish color that shows ruby notes when held up the light. The head is initially one-finger thick, through it quickly disappears and is a light tan color. The aroma is fruity with a bit of sweet candied cherry note to it. There is also a light herbal and spice type note here as well as a light toasted malt note, which combines with a sweet caramel malt note.

The beer is full and coating up front, yet is not as sweet as I would expect from a beer of this heft. An immediate, herbal, almost raw hop note is noticeable up front and continues on into a mouth gripping, solid bitterness. I was expecting this to have an aggressive hop character like the best Alts I have had, which it does, but I was hoping for that intense, smooth fruitiness as well, which is not in this beer. The hops, especially the herbal notes, seem to combine with some alcohols and perhaps some fusels to give this a bit of a harsh note towards the end. This is pretty tasty, I just wish it were a bit less herbal and aggressive and a bit more balanced. I have a feeling though, that this will mellow and become a much more rounded and balanced mix of flavors once it gets a couple months more of age. Or perhaps it is just that I am haunted by the wonderful memories of tasting fresh Ale in Düsseldorf.

 1,322 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ten Years Alt from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.94 out of 5 based on 262 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.