V-Ten | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
63 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-27-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 72
Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from September 12, 2002...
Appears a dark amber with a small off white head. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cork, oxidation, caramel, prunes, raisins, black cherries, and tart lychee nuts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a wine like flavor similar to a 10 year old Zinfandel.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, light tart, sweet, zingy.
Probably won't get any better at this point. It's peaked but it's pretty nice.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong Belgium ale.

A: Poured a rusty copper-orange with a slight tand head. Visible carbonation was moderate.

S: The nose was rich with ripe fruit (raisins) along with a sweet malt and alcohol aroma.

T: sweet malt and ripe fruit (raisins, cherries) which soon yielded to a yeasty and fruity spiciness (apricots, pears) with some candi sugar notes. There was some light sour orange hints as well citrus experienced in the finish.

M: creamy and fizzy from the active carbonation with a nice spiciness on the tongue.

D: An easy and spicy drink despite the high abv% which was fruity and enjoyable.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.4/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear ruby red color with almost no head but decent carbonation up the middle. Strong sweet candy-like malt aroma and flavor; lacking dark fruit character normally present in the style. Some Belgian yeastiness and alcohol shine thru but not nearly enough. Light-medium bodied, flat, and sickly sweet finish. A bit tart, a bit sour, a bit nasty...

Drank within 5 years as noted on label but can't imagine it any better in prior years. Drink it now or dump it !

Per Label" "Enjoy within 5 years of Bottle Date"

Per Cork: 2002 Vintage

Bottled: 09/12/02
Tasted: 06/13/07

($7.99 / 25.4 oz / 750 ml tall straight brown wine-like bottle, corked, and caged)

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was extremely fortunate to find several bottles of this recently...the store where I bought it doesn't see a lot of turnover. When I saw this retired ale there, I went for it. This is the 2002 edition, bottled Sept. of that year, so it's well over 3 and a half years old...and I was left extremely impressed.

This is a gorgeous looking beer: Ruby bottom that melts into a dark brown/burgundy near the head. Creamy mocha-tan head that retains well. The head is fed by slow-marching bubbles, with geysers of fizz swirling randomly in the middle. Thick catacombs of lace covered the glass.

Smell is rich malts, raisin/grape, floral, clove and cherry.

Absolutely delicious: cherry-flavored milkshake, with the pungency of overripe dark fruits, a wheaty heft, and a pleasant fruit sourness that wasn't overly tart at all. All this points to a quality yeast strain that had to have been in use. It's totally unique, a big-character beer.

Very creamy mouthfeel with just enough fizz to excite the tongue.

10%? I wouldn't have known it. This well-aged bottle mellowed any alcohol bite it may have held in 2002. Glad this is bomber-size, but still, I didn't want it to end. Superb.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottled 3/12/04, cork says 2003 vintage. who knows.

glorious ruby with slight haze in the glass.. lively with bubble traffic and covered by a thick, glistening collection of tiny soap bubbles. lacing moves fast but covers uniformly. looks tasty and crisp. great belgian smell.. dark fruits, sweet raisin paste and brown sugar delights waft gently into my nostrils. tastes very sweet.. VERY sweet.. fruit is there, but it's overripe and accented by a slightly metallic disintegrated hop character. finishes somewhat moldy although partly masked by the sugary nature. the body is very bubbly and with the weird flavors here, that works. sweetness+bubbly=asti spumante, and that's kind of what this reminds me of. despite its flaws, this has a true belgian flavor and is rather drinkable for 10%. wish it was alot neater.

i think age turned an average beer into a slightly above average beer with a laundry list of problems.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 15, 2004. Cork states "Vintage 2003"

Had to fight like hell to get the cork off this bad boy and suffice to say I will be cleaning up beer off my computer and it's surrounding area for weeks to come.

So much foam poured out of the bottle and glass I thought I may need to seek shelter in the Superdome. When the head settled all that was left was a big clump of foam floating in the middle, I swear it looked just like Hurricane Katrina.

Smells like plums and figs, both of which I happen to enjoy. Tastes spicy with rich malts, figs and plums.

A great big flavor beer. Be careful of the 10% abv if you're driving or operating heavy equipment.

7/16/2008-Dusted off my last bottle of V10 today. Bottled on 3/12/2004. The explosion was legendary, but this time I opened the bottle over the sink, still a lot of cleaning up afterwards. Very smooth, aged wonderfully.

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Photo of HogHill
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought as a single 750 for $7 bucks, this one was bottled in March '04. It was surprising to me to see such ugly packaging from Victory on this offering (purple, orange, violet and yellow ?).

Poured this one into a large chalice, deep brown body with some lighter brown highlights. A one inch head is light and slowly retreats to the walls of the glass.

The smell is very sweet, like dark candi sugar combined with a rich fruitiness.

Taste follows the aroma: sweet malts blend into some bittnerness followed by a warm alcholol finish. I'd like this better if it was V-8 instead of V-10, a little too high in ABV, or I wish it was hidden better. A medium bodied brew with an average carbonation level. One of these is enough for me, maybe I'll give it a chance down the line, as it was interesting reading the reviews on this brew from year to year.

Overall, it was okay, but not one of Victory's better offerings.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear brilliant amber with a light and small off white head which coated the glass.

The aroma was fruity and malty with a strong Belgian character, some higher alcohol spices and phenols and a complex maltiness. The fruity aroma contain caramel and a vinous character that was very well executed.

The flavor was extreme with an Oud Bruin flavor of slight sourness that was both wonderful and complex. The sour and oaky flavors dominated and yet at the same time were subdued in complexity. The fruity esters in the aroma translated into fruity complex sherry flavors that added complexity to the flavor and interest to the beer.

The finish was dry with slight sourness lasting pleasantly long into the aftertaste. The body was medium at best, but perfectly executed. The alcohol presence was hidden throughout the aroma and the flavor except for perhaps some of the phenolic spiciness of the aroma, but was slightly evident in the post consumption warming in the beer.

Big Belgian 750 ml bottle with bottled on Sept 12 2002 on the label. I might mention that the bottle was a PITA to open. It took quite the GI Joe with a Kung-Fu grip to get the cork out of the bottle. I rated this brew as an Oud Bruin, it was great! Unsure if the sourness was planned, it was so well executed that the gentlement at Victory need kudos for making a beer this good and complex!

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Photo of Rastacouere
1.82/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Famous November 2003 750mL: Nice orange-brown color. Thin off-white head. Off balsamic sour nose, slightly woody, not quite Flemish sour like since you can really feel that this sour yeast punch is off and that’s the annoying thing here, you can smell the acidity comes from the yeast. Straightforwardly sour, dry, vinegary and yeast infection flavours. Rather thick, moderate carbonation (you can feel this must have been pretty good). I heard they won’t brew this again? Too bad really.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 750 ml bottle, corked & caged. Date of bottling printed on label (12 March '04).

Deep burgandy hue. Big pillowy beige coloured head. Head retains well & leaves loads of spotty lace behind.

Fruity & spicy with aromas of pepper & anise fill the the nose.

Big & robust. Sweet malt flavours crash into well rounded fruit notes. This is followed by anise & pepper. Moderate bitterness brings it back together for a warming finish. Medium bodied, with big bubbles of robust carbonation. Quite nice.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an intense malt scent. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity Belgian yeast finish. The taste is good as well. It has a nice malty flavor that seems to be composed of Belgian pale and crystal malts. There is a bit of spice to it as well as a fruity yeast aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine Belgian brew. I've had it a few times before, but I never reviewed it. This time I had a glass at Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. This is a good drinker.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 7th November 2003, Sampled September 2004.
As I pour this into my glass I get thick, jam-like aromatic notes of plums, fig and alcohol. The beer sits in my glass a reasonably clear pretty ruby-amber color. It is topped by a light brown head that is driven by an ample carbonation. The aroma is sweet and fruity with notes of cherries as well, there is a rich undercurrent of complex maltiness here as well. The malt notes have a toastiness and a rich caramel malt note to it that I associate with a Bock.

Interesting, the taste of this beer has a definite sourness to it up front, which, in combination with the fruitiness, again reminds me of cherries. I was not expecting something sour from Victory, and I wonder if it is here on purpose. Whatever the case, I like the tart contribution here, it has a rich tamarind character to it. The beer is quite dry, yet still remains fruity because of the sourness. With the rich malts used here this is quite reminiscent of a Flemish Sour ale, though it is a bit stronger than your typical one. The balance of this beer is dominated by the sourness, but the sourness is not over the top (say like a Lambic), it instead adds a richness and complexity to this beer that otherwise seems to be lacking. This beer, despite being all-malt and 10%, is quite light on the palate. The acid bacteria really helped to lighten this beer up, which I was expecting to be much heavier and richer. I am really not too sure why some American brewers are afraid to use some sugars or adjuncts to lighten up their stronger interpretations of Belgian ales, it is definitely the way to go and produces a much more drinkable beer.

To sum up, this beer is perhaps a bit one-dimensional in its sourness, but I do get notes of tamarind, sweet cherries, toasted malt, and a hint of grainy astringency in the finish. This beer is quite nice, it really reminds me of a Flemish Sour ale, even if this is a mistake on the part of the brewers.

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Photo of PSUDREW
2.97/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It pours a nice deep ruby-amber color. Some head, little retention
Smells sweet and nutty at the same time. I really can't describe this in words the way I describe it in my head. The maltty sweetness in over-run by the candi-sugar sweetness (see what I mean now?). I like it, but I really can't recomend this on a daily basis. It is nice, but I could use more balance. I do recomend this, but not on a regular basis. Good try by victory, but not a home run

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Photo of nomad
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa there... you gotta hear the story behind this beer. The bottled editions of a little while back didn't turn out well - the inside word is that the candi sugar used reacted badly once it got into warm and varying temperatures. Since Victory learned their unfortunate lesson, Ron and Bill say they'll never bottle this beer ever again. Thus, welcome to the new 2004 world of draught-only V-10, and its a great beer.

Smell and flavor appear as mirrors of each other: both show a strongly nutty flavor ans scent that is smooth and sweet like hazelnut cream. Maybe this flavor is what creates, or merely reminds me of, a very milky sense of flavor and a fragrant tick of roasted nuts. But its not roasty, instead heavy laden with toffee on the nose and tongue. The toffee is tasty, thick, and leading to a solemn malty core with bare amounts of fruity esters. Hops are fifth-fiddle to the yeast and malt party.

Sweet yet not sugary, solidly tasty and Belgian, but not heartbreaking in flavor. Of course, in true Victory fashion, the malt is large, clear, round, and succulent. That 10% abv is a bad idea, though the small serving glass is a good one.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Without question one of the styles that I venture into least often, but nevertheless, Victory has changed my views on that once again. An amazingly rich and sturdy-looking brew, this strong ale packs a whallop in the nose, with some earthy barley and malt and some rich sweetness, of which I can not specifically place. The mouthfeel is smooth, and slightly stringent, cleansing the palate for the next sip, or the next bite of grub. A stellar brew, to be sure.


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Photo of cbl2
1.35/5  rDev -64%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1


Opaque brown with a hint of orange; 1" head that is an off white which laces the glass nicely.


Rotten fruit comes to mind.


Funky. I had heard that the Sept 2002 bunch of 10 was messed up, and they weren't kidding. Flavors of an off fruit that is mouth puckeringly bitter. This is undrinkable.

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Photo of garthwaite
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at the brewpub. Slightly hazy deep copperish ruby with an everlasting bubbly head. Nose of tropical fruits, belgian yeasts, warming alcohol, hints of citrus & some spice. In the mouth, this is full & rich. Flavor is of deep fruit (cranberries, apples), brown sugar, & spicy alcohol. Slightly acidic with a full citrusy, mildly yeasty, dry finish. A treat to find this one on tap.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this beer as a capper on a wonderful brewery tour afternoon. Poured into a goblet a dark ruby red/black color with a a powerfully sublte bouquet of spices and sweetness. good glass lacing and a very smooth drinkability. flavor of cherries, coffee cream, and butter rum. a sophisticated beer that challenges the palate and presents much more like a full-bodied wine. made to sip and appreciate. A cold winter end of the evening with a promise for more beer.

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Photo of Darkale
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Ruby red body, as billed on the label, with a reluctant head that, surprisingly, sticks around for a while.

Spicy and yeasty aroma, not very sweet at all. Pungent and sharp.

Gritty, sour, and puckering mouthfeel. Taste is very carbonated and raspy, like harsh ginger ale. Sour fruit predominates.

This is not one of my favorites, which is too bad because Victory is one of my top 5 brewers. Too sharp and sour.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.72/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this brew at RFD in washington DC last weekend while visiting a friend. Couldnt believe they had these and for only $12 a pop!
The brew was bottled 9/11/02 and is a 750 corked and caged bottle. Cool label.
The beer is poured for me and before I can say anything a simple pint glass is used. Oh well.
Aroma is rich and fruity with cherry and apple and some biscuity yeast scents coming through. Very faint alcohol hint on the nose as well. The beer is slightly hazy in the glass and is a rich ruby red color. The head is fine, soft, and creamy and white in color. Great staying power as the head is present throughout the sampling. First sip gives a gentle, almost not present carbonation and a thick body. The flavor is rich and complex fairly sweet up front with some malt hits toffeeish, and also fruit flavors. This flows to a tart apple middle and finish and I detect no hint of the alcohol presence.
The beer is very satisfying and I would definitely buy this one again. If you see it try it!!!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Guess what? On my last visit to VICTORY, I bought my 1st German flip-top growler. To celebrate, I filled 'er up with V-10. Whew! Into a snifter, me peepers see dark almost black, but if I have to choose a color, its a dark ruby brown.

Sniffs are over ripe bananas, raisins & dark spicy cinnamon.

Even tho' I reeeealy liked this a lot, there isn't much to write. That's odd. Tastes like over ripe bananas and chewy, doughy banana bread. Acidic fizzy feel, that has a chewy sizzle bite.

Cant say high 5/5 in the drinkability department, due to a high 10% ABV, but it is an easy swigger. That makes it dangerous.

Last swigs: Not too much to add. Yummy, Belgian banana yeasty, dark. Too bad I had to knock this back so fast due to a growler. I would drink this again in a second! GOOOOD!!!

Beer is good. Happy local beering.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised to find this on tap at the brewery during the BA Philly Rally. It is usually available in the 750-ml bottles only. It was a deep amber color with a large off-white head. The aroma was one of maltiness, fruit (raisin?), and a definite hint of the alcohol present. This is a sweetish malt beer. There is a definite hint of the yeast and alcolhol at the back of the taste, but it adds just a hint of bitterness and is not offensive. This is another thick beer, being very heavy but not creamy. I enjoyed the beer quite a bit, but it is not one of Victory's best. Being on tap added some carbonation that is otherwise missing from the bottle version. This is heavy enough that I didn't want a second one right away.

I think that I actually liked the bottled version of this better than the tap version, which is highly unusual for me.

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Photo of JimsArcade
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Victory and dispensed into a brandy snifter, V-10 produces a finely-carbonated, 1½ -finger, off-white head. The brew is reddish-brown and somewhat cloudy. It looks like a typical Belgian strong dark ale.

Cherries and alcohol dominate the nose. As the aroma it is brought into the mouth, alcohol becomes even more prominent. Again, these characteristics are nothing unexpected for the category.

The first sensation on the tongue is alcohol, and lots of it. As the beer is brought back to the tongue, mildly sour and bitter sensations come into the mix. The carbonation is somewhat less than the head indicates; it’s definitely present but not over-the-top. The tartness is difficult to describe: apricot and Shiraz wine come to mind, but that is somewhat inadequate. It’s like nothing I’ve never tasted before. The beer finishes slightly less tart but more alcoholic.

V-10 is an unusual brew. The above-average tartness is atypical for the category, but not unwelcome. It’s not the best Victory has to offer, but it is still a fine brew to end an evening.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby richness... as the bottle states great color of white cream head elaves behind nice Belgian style lacing. Aroma: Rich alcohol infused with ripened fruits namingly apples and raisins with a bready yeast tone as well sticking around. Taste: Once again rich but mildly tart apples with a wave of juicy raisins and a dose of hops skimming along the palate sweet candi sugar is in the finish. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied fine even cabonation juicy texture, wow. Drinkability: Excellent flavors well made, can't taste 10%abv very tasty easy to consume means this one could be dangerous. I know there was some hoopla awhile back about the quality but I can guarantee that the bottle I sampled was nothing but quality, nice brew.

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Photo of FoolCircle
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

V-10 on tap, now we're talkin'!

The V-10 arrives in a brandy-snifter style glass full to the brim. Not much head retention, but the vibrant ruby-mocha coloring is very enticing. Upon first impressions the smell was warm and alcoholic with some scotch-like undertones which were quite appealing. The taste was soothing. Very mellow yet bold at the same time. There was nothing too overwelming yet there was a harmonious elixir dancing with my tastebuds. The mouthfeel had obviously low carbonation, which for me, excentuated the scotch-like appeal of the beverage. Very smooth and warming in the mouth and all the way down. The drinkability was dangerous. Normally for a beer of this strength I would like to slow it down and enjoy it a bit, instead I was finished and wanting more within minutes! Maybe next time I should nightcap with one of these instead of begin my night with one.

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V-Ten from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.75 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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