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 Jables
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/12/02
Sampled 2/19/04

Aroma has slightly sour notes but it's got a stale flat empty not good smell too.

Flavor is way, way better than the aroma. Nice rich, ripe fruit flavors (just like the bottle promises), rock candy sweetness, and an assertively sour finish. Quite tasty and dangerously refreshing for the alcohol level. Finish gets progressively fruitier the more you drink.

Mouthfeel is creamy with some carbonation.

Drinkability is too high for its own good. Interesting beer, it's not a knock your socks off super close Belgian replica, but it is a good beer of its own merit. Definitely nothing "off" about my bottle!!

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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 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.

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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 ZAP
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice dark amber..frothy white head...bubble gum on the nose along with tropical fruity...yeasty....the taste has a twitch of sweetness at the start but then the yeasty sourness overwhelmes...mouthfeel is tart....this is an interesting beer but I've had many better belgian style beers...at $9 a bottle I'll pass next time...after doing my rating my brother Big Hugey (who has had this before) and is sharing this bottle with me tells me this bottle is 'off"...Bottled Sept 11, 02..drank on July 30, 03

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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 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

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Photo of francisweizen
1/5  rDev -73.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Notes: 750ml, corked and caged bottle. bottled on september 11th of 2002. This beer was just plain nasty. It poured with a nice enough dark ruby colour and an ample head. The aromas were nice and were of various dark and light fruits, candy sugar, alcohol and yeast. The taste...was horrible. Very tart and lemony up front with no other discernable flavors. Down the drain it went. I'd love to try a good bottle of V-10 and would gladly trade for one if someone can help me out. The mouthfeel on this was astringent due to the sourness/tartness of this beer and the drinkability is non-existant.

Thanks to NeroFiddled for the free sample!

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Photo of BeerBuilder
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This brew pours to a ruby-orange color with an off-white head. The aroma is grainyand fruity. The flavor is fruity, tart, sweet and a bit astringent. It is a medium-full bodied brew, very sweet and tart. Not an easy drinking beer due to its tartness. It is a different beer; although I would not seek this one out again.

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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 RonfromJersey
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A warm-up for tomorrow's BA gathering art Victory.

Bottled 09-12-02

Hazy orange body, with some very fine carbonation and a little sediment bobbing around. Loose off-white bubbly head settles quickly, but leaves a little nice lacing behind. Nose is fruity, with some lemons noticeable, but overall not as strong a aroma as I would have expected. Taste is a little tart, particularly in the aftertaste, but also notes of plums, raisins, and especially apples.

While this bottle is not the vinegary disaster others have noted, I think it may not have reached its maturity. Unfortunately, from what we know of the early bottles of V-10, maturity is definitely a two-edge sword. Either the beer developes deeper richer character, or it becomes undrinkable. I chose not to wonder any longer. Because of the documented flaws with the 2002 batch, I would recommend waiting for the next release of V-10, and giving it another try.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of comat0se
2.07/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The infamous Sept 12th batch.

Appearance: copper orange, decent quarter inch head that leaves good lacing on the glass, held up to the light you can see quite a bit of yeast in suspension.

Aroma: Strong sour notes, higher alcohols, and hints of sweetness.

Taste: Initial sweetness followed by a maltiness, then overwhelming tartness, sourness, and alcohol harshness. The sourness is almost as if you're eating some sour apple or sour cherries candy. Is this a lambic or something? Makes my mouth water after swallowing it, also makes the inside of my upper lip feel "funny". Spicy alcohol notes combine with the intense sour notes, this is "Xtreme Beer." It's not entirely horrible, but very sour.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy at first, but sourness and alcohol attack the tongue in a one-two punch rendering the mouthfeel not so great.

Drinkability: Yeah, right. I'm taking one for the team in just finishing my glass. Not entirely a loss, but still, fairly difficult to drink.

Apparently, this beer is known to be sour, and something went wrong at the bottling stage, thus, infecting the beer.

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Photo of kunzbrew
1.83/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Well I have been waiting to try this beer for about 2 months, I was waiting for the perfect time, and I figured the Daytona 500 would be perfect. This is a September 12, 2002 batch, so I am a little scared because of what everyone is saying about this batch. The beer poursed a dark amber color with a sizable head that doesn't last long at all. A lace is left behind after the head subsides. Sweet fruits pour out the top of the glass along with a hops that is hard to sense as I waft the beer to my nose. This first almost made me spit across the room with disguss. The vinegar taste along with the tartness makes me sick to my stomach. If I wanted cider vinegar I would have went to the cupboard for some. I am not impressed with this beer, my nightmares came true about getting the bad batch. I am sad that such a quality brewy put this out to the market. Maybe I will try another one in the future.


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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...

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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.

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Photo of beernut7
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fruity light aroma hinting at Belgian yeast on top of a ruby-amber body. The first taste brings forth a very malty flavor with a tangy ester of the yeast and a bold floral spice and significant bitterness. The finish is quite drawn out and really supports the bitterness of the brew. Quite complex.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this at the local overpriced six pack joint I frequent and decided to give her a try. I think that with proper storage, this beer could be amazing, but this had been sitting right near a deep fryer and a grill used to cook cheesesteaks. The odor must have permeated the cork and weaseled it's way into my beer. Unfortunately, the grease is noticeable in the flavor as well, making me realize that if I see this place selling a beer of this quality again, I'll tell them to get it the hell away from the grease traps.

Now that my griping is out of the way, this seems to be a pretty resilient beer considering it's still tastes damn good. The appearance is what you'd expect from a belgian dark but the head on this doesn't stay for very long which was kind of a bummer. The taste is as the bottle suggests. Ripe plums, apples, and grapes, mixed with the delectable flavor of week old hamburger grease. I don't have much else to say about this beer except that Chimay Blue is a much better example of the style.

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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.

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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 CharlesRiver
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to say that I was a bit let down by this beer. I was thinking that this brew would blow me away and I was thrown a curve ball. Good, just not what I expected.

Pours a very dark amber color, almost glowing. The smell reminds me a lot of an English Strong Ale, malty and sweet. The taste was at first sweet then sour and was not what I expected. Towards the end a tart flavor also took over, kind of like a lambic. Finished dry and left a fruity and sweet aftertaste. Maybe aging would help? Maybe this beer is right on? It just didn't sit right with me but I still enjoyed it.

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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.

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