V-Ten | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
72 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by Loki:
Photo of Loki
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Sept 12, 2002 ? Consumed April 18, 2003. 750mL bottle sealed with cork.

(Side note I would be careful how you use the word corked, in wine terms that usually means bad bottle which could have happed to the Sept 11, 2002 batch that everyone is has noted was bad. A natural fungus from the cork can affect, taint, and ruin wine, and it seems beer. Now back to the regularly scheduled review.)

I was hesitant to open this beer since it said before 5 years, but I?ll buy another on my next road trip to Vintage Cellar. This beer was still very young, and a fruit bomb. I would give it anywhere from 6 months to a year, but I don?t have much experience aging beer.

Cherry, raspberry, and subtle malt and hops the noise. The malts and hops help distinguish this from a lambic; other wise the fruit could easily confuse the two.

Great think head from the pour, but it did not last longer than 30 seconds to a minute. The color was dark amber, with deep red and brown clouds through out. I think the colors would become more uniform as the beer matures.

The taste was incredible, but was my confirmation that this beer was still young. The red fruit tastes were dominate, but not even. The cherry, raspberry flavor danced on the palate with a nice finish of malt and hops that let you know this was a beer. I would wager that with more time the fruits would calm slightly, and greatly even out allowing the malt and hops to take a greater role. The higher alcohol content is noticeable in the effects, but not in the taste. I would have rated the taste higher, but I think it needs to age.

All-in-all the V-10 is a wonderful beer of a style that I had not previously sampled. I plan to buy a few more and age them for various lengths to try to determine a good range.

 1,786 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 884 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
1.15/5  rDev -69.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Presentation: 750ml big-assed bottle. No bottlecap...it's got a cork with the fancy-shmancy wire holding it in. A whopping $8.69 at Carytown Wine & Beer. Alas, it is also from the 9/12/02 batch.

Appearance: Unfortunately, the color is the best thing about this particular batch of the V-10. It did pour a nice copper hue. Zero head despite a pretty aggressive pour.

Important note: I will skip Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability with this review as this bottle was extremely nasty from the first whiff to the end of the repeated rinsing of the mouth to clear the horrid taste from my mouth. A skunked beer to rival any other.

Very frustrating for me in that it was pretty expensive and I was looking forward to trying it. Thus far, my experiences with Victory beer have been very favorable (with the exception of the All Malt, but that's just my opinion). I will still drink the others I've had that I liked (Hop Devil and Old Horizontal), but rest assured that each opening will take a cautious whiff to make sure I'm not drinking vinegar.

 1,056 characters

Photo of ADR
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

V-series, bottled Sept. 11, 2002...

Clear dark copper color, head is a tan 1/4 inch mound that goes to seed in a minute. Slight citrus aroma and some deep spice smells, notes of apple brandy. Low carbonation and strong coating sense. Flavors of pear, apple, and apricot as a mix dominate. Sense of spiciness but of no particular spice. Hops not noticeable. Powerful alcohol warming. I like the effort made for this beer but was surprised by the lack of complexity...where are the musty, woody, changing flavors of some of the classics? Pretty good, but not seminal. The next one lays down for a couple of years.

 614 characters

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.

 744 characters

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.

 1,189 characters

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

750 ml bottle, corked & caged. The year is on printed on the cork. Very deep reddish-copper, almost brown, with ruby highlights and a creamy head that holds extremely well and leaves some good lace. The aroma is malty and fruity with a very light spiciness. The body is medium with a very fine, highly effervescent carbonation that is quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor is of a very rich, softly sweet, and fruity (both light and dark) malt that's very well balanced. Supple! Excellent! Absolutely worth seeking out.

 520 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light tan head sitting over lightly hazy red/amber liquid. Nose is very Belgian, with a slight "horse blanket" aroma detected, as well as dark fruit notes. Taste is quite sweet, with yeast fruitiness and candy flavors...some tartness tasted near the end too. Not much hoppiness evident in this one. Finishes up sweet and very warming. This 750ml. bottle is a great candidate for extended cellaring. Recommended!

 419 characters

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.

 887 characters

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.

 604 characters

Photo of pbrian
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sep. 11, 2002. Deep medium brown with tinges of ruby highlights, nice multi-dimensional head that subsided into a thin layering that left a tidy lace. Aroma of fruit (cherries, peaches) with a spicy vinous yeast and a bit of alcohol. The beer starts with a fruity sweetness (cherries mainly) and never really loses its grip, but a certain tartness/sourness comes in that's reminiscent of an Oud Bruin/Flemish Red. It's this character that keeps this beer fresh and inviting and light on the tongue. A nice complex warming finish rounds it out. A very nice beer.

 569 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 849 characters

Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained this through a beer trade, and had been saving it for a special ocassion - decided to open it during my 40th birthday party and shared it with a few beer geek friends.

Very pleasant - soft, dry mouthfeel. Substantial apple cider notes with sufficient yeast tangyness to offset the sweetness. The 10% abv was completely undetectable - a marvel of integration. Overall, the beer seemed a little on the green side - as though the flavors had not yet matured and achieved the fullest depth. I would love to put a bottle back for a couple of years.

 555 characters

Photo of goz
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby red, with a good layer of off-white foam that leaves a nice lacing. Large carb bubbles stick to the glass, while tiny bubbles race to join the head at the top of the glass. Aroma is sweet and fruity (ripe apples, grapes). Flavor comes in with the ripe fruitiness at the start, followed by a spicy hopped finish.

 322 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a joy it was to receive my package for the “Christmas Swap”, a few days ago, and both beers are new to me, and one a particular thrill is this “Victory V10”, as you can see from my reviews, “I like Victories Beers”.
I will thank “RONFROMJERSEY”, now and get to the part I love so much, sampling a beer I know I will like before I even sample it, ah the thrill of it all.
As it breathes away in the “tripel” glass which is my preferred glass for tripels and “Belgian Strong Ales”, also use “Snifters”, but find them both to work quite well on this style of beer. The appearance a somewhat hazy cherry red, the head modest in size, creamy in its texture and the lace derived from the head fine beige sheets to slide tenderly down the glass. Over ripe fruit aromas along with malt and yeast all vie for the top spot, quite a “Sniffable Beer”. A “Sweet and Sour” start, the top rich and full in the feel, the finish has a splendid hop spicy bite, the carbonation perfect as is the dry, somewhat bitter aftertaste. The 10% ABV, certainly makes this a treat for a “Cold Winters Night” in Arizona and better yet its “Christmas Eve”, and I’m sharing my beer and my thoughts with some of the nicest people on the face of “God’s” green earth.
A “Merry Christmas” to Ron, and the same to all my “BA” brothers and sisters, and please accept my wishes for a “Safe and Happy New Year”.

 1,411 characters

Photo of frank4sail
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage
Rose' in color the brew also has a tan head with big round bubbles. The look of this beer is quite different. The head dissapated quickly to a constant pale sheen and lace in and on the goblet. The light ruby color is striking.Fresh abv nose is almost astringent with yeast working in your sinus area. Smooth delecate mouth. Sweet smooth floral taste. The brew for my taste needs more time in the bottle to mature and round the intense flavors. The hop presence along with the big sweet base almost confound the tongue. Still, the brew is quite drinkable already at 10% abv. Not overly sour as others have found...

 629 characters

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.

 490 characters

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.

 454 characters

Photo of jcalabre
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 27 November 2002. Fruity aroma, pours with a big tan head w/ medium bubbles, nice & sweet on the palate with a clean finish. It's beautifully done; there's nearly no hint of alcohol, yet it's 10% ABV. Once again, Victory comes thru

 253 characters

Photo of marc77
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy deep burgundy hue covered by a thick butter white creamy head. Nutty yeast and caramelized sugar upfront in aroma, followed by pronounced unripe prune like, borderline acetic tartness. As the beer warms, vinous sweet sherry and dark raisiny caramel sweetness surface but remain secondary to tartness. Trace banana esters. Tartness continues into the flavor profile, albeit in a diminished fashion. Lightly acidic, quasi balsamic tartness is partially offset by dark caramel malt and lightly bready sweetness. Contrary to what the label suggests, fruitiness is of an unripe nature. Lightly bodied, and somewhat thin in mouthfeel. Hopped meagerly, but the inherent acidity balances residual sweetness. Finishes with an abrupt tartness. Although the tartness grew on me, overall I'm disappointed. Either this was a off bottle, or at this young stage it requires cellaring to mellow that pervasive tartness. Lacks the complexity of other dark strongs, but remains quite drinkable. Bottled 9/12/2002.

 1,000 characters

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)

 654 characters

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!!!

 1,009 characters

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

Cork dated 2002. Appearance: Amber-red color, very clear, big head when poured. Smell: very strong spices. Some malt, and fruitiness. Taste: Sweet/sour flavor. Tartness is nicely dry. The spices are also very strong and dominent. Mouthfeel is very full. Drinkability: Drinkable, but complex flavors seem not quite meshed.

 321 characters

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

Package: 750ml caged and corked bottle, labeled 10% ABV, Cork stamped 2002, label marked “Sept 12 02.” Vibrantly colored, busy label.

Cost: $6.99 at Valley Liquors (had been $5.99 at Bottle King)

Presentation: tulip glass at 50º

Appearance: Burnished auburn-ruby bio-luminiscent color. Relatively large-beaded carbonation. Loose, modest head diminished quickly despite vigorous pour.

Smell: Smelled a bit like fruit soda with a kick. Tangy citrus notes, with definite whiffs of alcohol! Very vibrant with esters and solvent-strong aromas.

Taste: Again, the fruitiness jumps out in front with the sweetness, followed by a tart snap. Reminds one of sugared grapefruit and Granny Smith apples. Exhibits a distinctive tartness verging on gueuze, but no elements indicative of spoilage. Quite the opposite, this brew is almost too fresh. As this warms and the carbonation levels off, one gets the more subtle elements of candied citron, orange, and lemon. Some spiciness peeks out from behind the sweetness, but would probably be a bigger player in a bottle of more advanced age. The sweetness lingers through the finish, with tartness moderating the tendency to be cloying.

Mouthfeel: High level of carbonation is a bit coarse, but helps the brew stand up to its sweet-tart heart. This would also probably subside as the beer aged.

Drinkability: This is a bit of a brawler of a brew. Not ass-kicking like some barley wines or imperial stouts, its vibrancy just calls attention to itself. The alcohol is not over-bearing but obvious. The flavors meld as one drinks through the bottle, but this is a beer that needs to be the star. Not the best for pairing with food or drinking in a flight of other beers. This one needs to stand alone.

An individual in a world of variations on themes. On balance, I liked this beer, but find it difficult to compare it to anything else. The nearest I can come is to say it brought to mind what Orangina would taste like if spiked with a little Everclear or 151. It shows elements of dark strong ales, lambics, and barley wines. I have kept another bottle (also Sept. 12 02) for aging. Next year will tell the tale.

Bottom Line: Those of you who haven’t tried it or are afraid to because of the warnings of bad bottles, go out and try it for yourself. Those of you who’ve had a bad bottle, owe it to yourselves to give it another try.

 2,418 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
V-Ten from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 72 ratings