V-Ten | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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
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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of Boto
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 9/12/02: I obviously didn't get one of the bad ones that many have seemed to have gotten from this batch. The beer is excellent. It pours an opaque red-copper color. Fair head, but it didn't last long. I agree that it was almost a champagne-like head in how it lasted. It was tan with a tinge of red. The aroma has a sour-fruit smell to it. Definitely more like a Flemish Sour Ale than a Belgian Strong. The taste is along the same lines. Sour taste up-front. There is mix of tart fruitiness in the background. Possibly cherries, apples and plums. I really liked this beer!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had to get over the overbearing immodesty displayed all over the label, but damned if these guys don't deserve such wild self-praise!
Dark garnet color, beautiful head. Aroma is superb: rich, spicy, fruity, cherries, berries, melons, peaches, plums, grapes. Lovely taste, smooth mouthfeel, stunningly delicious! This one stands proudly next to the best Belgian abbey dubbels. Bubbling over with sweet, fruity flavor! Instant favorite!
Proof again that America makes the worst of beers, and the best of beer, like V10, here! If only more Americans knew as much about the former as they do the latter.

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Photo of John
4.73/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The much anticipated Victory V-10 does not dissappoint. Rich, hazy amber/ruby color with dense, creamy tan head. Looks pristine in the proper glassware, a stemmed goblet. The nose is fruity; ripe plum, dried prune, over-ripe pear, spices and a hint of the warming alcohol to come. Initally the flavor is fruity and yeasty tart with a steady, precisely calculated effervescence. Also notes of peach and orange zest quickly shift to caramel, molasses and candied sugar. The alcohol is welcome and warming, very well integrated. Sheer heaven in liquid form. Clearly one of the best Belgian style dark strong ales, domestic or imported.

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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 HopheadEd
4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark ruby red, an aroma of fruits, spices, malts... The first sip is the hook, it keeps you keep coming back. Tastes of plum, black cherries, malt, hops, alcohol, Alot of things going on here. All thoroughly enjoyable. Nice head, nice lace, great finish with an alcohol taste that is not too overwhealming. An excelent beer, I'm glad I live within driving distance to Victory, though I would never drive after visiting the brewery.

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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 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 mophie
4.52/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9-12-02, corked with a Golden Monkey cork! Purchased at the source in Downingtown, PA. Fascinating appearance -- deep, deep copper, with hints of ruby. Light tan head disappears in a flash, leaving a rim around the edge. A combination of bubbles and what appear to be tiny yeast particles is suspended in the liquid. Aroma is fruity -- pears, plums -- somewhat medicinal, and hard-candy sweet. Taste is quite nice, very smooth, sweet (caramel, dates, again hard candy), some pear and cherry flavors. At first, alcohol is not over the top in the taste (but it's there, 'cause I can definitely feel it), though there is a subtle alcohol spiciness. As the beer warms, alcohol becomes much more apparent, giving the beer a sherry-like quality. Nicely done, though one bottle is about as much as I can handle at one time.

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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.

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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 blgianbeer
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened a bottle of 2002 that has been in my cellar for about a year. At first taste last year, this seemed like a typical strong brown ale, malty and alcoholic, with some sour and oak notes in the aftertaste. Good, but not remarkable for the price.
Since being in my cellar, this beer has aged extremely well. The sour and oak flavors have begun to take over the beer, reminding me more and more of my dear departed Rodenbach Grand Cru.
I am very pleased that I get to try one of these every year until 2012!!!
If you can't get a well kept 2002, pick up the newest batch and age it...your patiance will be rewarded.

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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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a deep scarlet in color. A thin beige film sits on top. Lacing is minimal. Alcohol, rock candy, bready yeast tones and fruitiness all intertwine on the nose. The taste really grows on me. On the buds, I perceive biscuit like malt tones, bready yeastiness, subtle alcohol and some slight cherry-like sweet and sour notes. There's a lingering twinge of alcohol on the tongue. Body is light and drinkability is high for a 10% a/v. One of the more enjoyable Belgian Style beers I've had.

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Photo of boblinneman
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As the bittersweet ale warmed, I warmed with it (10% alc vol). Discovering hidden flavors unlocked by the change in temp. Held my glass up to a light revealing interesting shades of red. Going in this belgian is silky smooth with tingly little bubbles, but you will feel the warmth of alcohol as you exhale. I look forward to the experience this ale will bring as it matures.

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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”.

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

Bought Five 750ml brown bottles that were corked. Labeled Sept 2002. Drank one in Nov., two in Dec, one in Feb., one in March. The color is a nice golden copper with deep reds and browns with a good head that faded fast. Upon smelling this I knew I was in for a ride, just pouring it had a strong fruit sense whirling about in the air. Very nice. The taste is awesome, quite a punch at first but softens and gets real warm and fruity. Super fresh and sweet with all kinds of citrus notes rolling around in there. Man this stuff was yummy. I could drink it all day, but I wouldn't last if I did, 10% ABV, uuf da! That high % kind of hits you early and takes a little getting use to. You betcha, its strong. Good heavy tart and sweet tones with fairly medium body to the feel. I couldn't tell whether any aging over a two to four month period made a difference, but I couldn't tell or couldn't wait to open another. Unfortunately Im' now out of this tremendously yummy ale. Its been recently stocked up at one of my favorite liquor stores, but bumped up in price by
.69 cents. So I didn't get any last week, but plan to the weekend.

The whole bad bottle thing didn't happen here so mush as it did out east. Everyone I know whose had it, raves about it and like myself, can't wait to get some more.Yum!

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Photo of ecoboy
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got jumpy, letting this one go for 10 months only. Ahhh that 10% abv warmth masked by fruit...

Short lasting head leaves good lacing. Hue is of ruby.

Taste is sour fruit tart, sour cherries and crab apples, with a vinous character. There is the subtlty of the grain of a real fruit tart riding behind the fruity flavors. Slight in body, mouthfeel and finish.

I truly enjoy sour over sweet, so this one caught my tastebuds off guard and then impressed the heck out of them. If it had been rounder or more carbonated, I believe it would take points off. Without a particular style to compare it to, I would just call this an interesting, superior product. Feed it to your wine snob friends and see what they think.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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

botled 26 september 2002. pours a dark ruby-brown with a minimal tan head. on the nose, one detects dark ripe fruits with an underlying spiciness. mouthfeel is wonderful, with a perfect low carbonation. the alcohol is mostly hidden well, the finish is long and smooth. this beer does seem a little young, as some the fruitiness seems like it could be mellowed a little. this brew will be even better in a year or two. another solid offering from victory.

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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 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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V-Ten from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 72 ratings
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