Victoria Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Victoria AleVictoria Ale
Very Good
500 Ratings
Victoria AleVictoria Ale

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Victoria Ale was inspired by a visit to Victoria Mansion, in Portland, Maine and the visual references to Bacchus, the god of wine. The brewer's decided to fuse the worlds of beer and wine. Over two hundred pounds of Chardonnay (Vidal Blanc in 2010) grapes were brought in, crushed on site and added directly to the mash. Victoria Ale's aroma is fruity spice, and the taste presents subtle notes of green banana, black pepper, and fresh-crushed mint. With a focus on the subtle, wine-like character of the grapes, the 9.0% ABV brew boasts a pale copper color, Belgian yeast influence, and a medium body with a long candied fruit finish with hints of honeydew melon, and, of course, white wine grapes.

Added by hopsaplenty on 04-29-2006

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Ratings: 500 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Torry
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Wally1912
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of daryk77
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of TheBerserker
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Beernoobie
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of smcnulty1981
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, stored about a year in my cellar.

Body is clear gold, with an off-white head, poured easily to a half inch in a tulip style wine glass. Good head retention with curtains of sticky lacing.

Aroma of green grapes, light malt, hay, toffee and sugar, spicy, with notes of coriander and clove.

This really tastes delightful, it has so many interesting nuances and is very well structured. It starts with an oaked chardonnay flavor (although I knew it was made with grapes, I guessed the varietal before I read anything on it, but I am not surprised as it would have to be a white varietal and Chardonnay is the most likely given its ubiquitousness), and just as buttery, with a little vanilla, has a nice light malt structure, layers of different types of sweetness from the grapes and the malts, some ginger, and some tropical fruit notes (banana and lemon to start with), a bit of metal from the yeast and some green, grassy/vegetal hops. I think it is a stunningly crafted fusion of Belgian golden ale and wine grapes and really an amazing experience on the palate. I would just say that it is a little bit too sweet, sort of like a Sp├Ątlese, and that is after being in my cellar for a year which should have dried it out some. Finish is long, as the fruit and toffee sweetness fades to a touch of peppery spice at the end.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is tight, giving this a creamy mouthfeel that is also a bit spritzy on the front of the tongue, somewhat like a ginger ale. The mouthfeel is quite extraordinary.

I am a big fan of Belgian-style pale ales, and I think this is a superb one. At 9%, it is not so strong as some other BPAs. This beer would be a good low alcohol substitute for a 14-15% chardonnay, and you could definitely use this to wean a white wine drinker into beer. Aging has not hurt it; I think I'll buy a few more and lay them down for a couple years. It is a bit pricey at around $18, but it is as worthy in MHO as Cantillon lambics made with white grapes, which I also adore; this is taking a belgian golden ale in the same direction, but with a bigger malt body and nice creamy carbonation that is a great meld of a golden ale and grapes.

 2,206 characters

Photo of Vylo
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Franchise
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from Allagash pours a dark gold with a reddish tint that leaves a thin spotchy head that is quickly remedied with a swirl in my belgian goblet glass. The nose is horse blanket, must, grape, a hint of alcohal, dark fruits, plums, nectarine, figs, a very complex nose.

The taste is fantastic, starts syrupy on the palate with honey, sweet prune and figs, followed by a hint of hop bittterness that helps put this malty masterpiece in check. The finish is warming alcohal, grass, some wheat earthiness abound. This is a fantastic Belgian Strong worth every penny.

 578 characters

Photo of nhindian
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into an Allagash cervoise. Big thanks to 603BeerMe for sending this in a relatively recent trade!

A - Pours a somewhat cloudy goldenrod color with about 2.5-fingers of white foam. Surprisingly, this is, I believe, the only Allagash beer I've had that didn't have that signature rocky, thick, almost-whipped-cream head on it. Rather, it has a more modest texture, which while still creamy, is much more manageable. Decent retention, and thanks to the nucleation point at the bottom of the glass, a half-finger cap lingers for ages. Lacing is surprisingly very faint and sparse, with almost no lacing at all actually.

S - This is truly the closest nose I've had on a beer that approaches that of wine. It's amazing how much the grapes come through at first, and then the rest of the ingredients take it on a ride to remember. Me and my girlfriend always try to take tours and tastings at wineries whenever we go on vacation, so I feel I have a modest grip on how small-batch wines can alter and squeeze different notes out of a grape varietal, and I'm loving what I'm getting here. The Belgian yeast does wonders to the nose, giving a somewhat heavy breadiness but imparting a nice jolt of esthers and spice. Getting that spice, slight lemon, and hay in the finish.

T - As in the nose, the taste delivers a big burst of white grapes at first and then gives it a nice Belgian and farmyard twist. You can almost get the liquid extract of the grapes at first, and then the more leathery characteristic of the skin. Then the yeast takes over, bringing notes of bread, bananas, cloves, and cracked pepper. It finishes with a lighter side, with some straw, lemon, and the lasting effects of the spice.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Definitely full-bodied for the 'style', but I feel it helps bring those bolder flavors out in the taste. Pretty smooth despite the high carbonation. Finishes quite dry, which fits in perfectly with the white wine connotation this beer suggests throughout.

D/O - Drinkability is high. As a fairly avid wine drinker as an active beer advocate (though my love for beer far transcends that of wine), I think this is an excellent hybrid between the two alcohols. It starts with an aggressive grape note, but from the middle to finish, the beer has time to develop its own complexities and flavors, so overall I don't feel one side dominates over the other. I could see someone who doesn't enjoy wine (especially white wines) not particularly enjoying this beer, as the start of the beer and the dry finish is ripped directly from white wine, but those who enjoy white wine could definitely jump into this beer.

 2,678 characters

Photo of Boto
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: This one pours a hazy, darker golden yellow. It has a fairly decent sized off white head on it. There is quite a bit of effervescence going on in the glass. The aroma is quite nice. Yeasty, bready, grains, and fruitiness that almost smells like it could be coming from a chardonnay. The taste is excellent. It is somewhat sweet. The fruits are there, but they have merged into a unique flavor. Spices and a hint of caramel also. There is a bit of fiziness on the tongue. Medium bodied. An excellent brew.

 518 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the greatest craft bar in Maryland of Always Ron's in Hagerstown Maryland.

Very pale like a witbier with billowing head. Has a little funky/barnyard smell but overall the scents are subtle. It has a very well balanced taste profile. You get a touch of sour, some funk, a little sweetness, a little booziness and finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Overall its an easy drinking 9% brew and has alot going on. It didn't quite give me the WOW factor but its definitely at that level just on the cusp of a world class brew but not quite there. Allagash makes another very solid / outstanding beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Fruity light grape nose with a touch of biscuit and alcohol.
Hazy peach tinted gold under a 2" moussey white foam cap, persistent, lacy.
Palate begins with grainy malt, bread, biscuit light fruits, light grape finished with a light hop bitter accent.
Very smooth creamy medium body with medium high very finely bubbled carbonation.

 333 characters

Photo of mamesjaloney
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of KMcG
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KingforaDay
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Mleblanc25
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pehodges
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of doof116
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of wonothesane42
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Googs
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 500 ratings