Allagash Victoria Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Victoria AleAllagash Victoria Ale
BA SCORE
3.92/5
500 Ratings
Allagash Victoria AleAllagash Victoria Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,323
Reviews:
151
Ratings:
500
pDev:
9.44%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
92
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 500 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as a crystal clear old gold with ample carbonation and a tall, white, rocky head that drops to a thin blanket, leaving rings of lace and a film with nice legs.

Opens with sweet, fresh apples, grapes, white wine, followed by straw, flowery grapefruit and a bit of leather. With complexity like this, one eagerly anticipates the flavors.

As anticipated, the flavors follow the aroma, though a bit less complex with tartness outweighing the bitter. A subtle, lingering finish improves with warmth as light alcohol and woody notes make themselves known.

Victoria coats the palate with a medium body, soft carbonation and moderate fumes of alcohol.

A fine selection for relaxing or any occasion.

Date consumed: 2 October 2008

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ian_B
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very delicious, focused balance of flavours. Smells and tastes like a bright, peppery, and slightly acidic Belgian pale at first but once the alcohol kicks in it drives through an acidic and vivid array of Chardonnay flavours on the long finish. A little pricey but for a good cause this is well worth picking up a bottle. My only criticism is the spicy phenols overwhelm some of the more subtle/bright flavours.

 412 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/orange color with a good sized head, good retention, some lacing.

Smell is yeasty with strong notes of fruit, apple and pear possibly and a bit of honey, can't really make out much of a grape presence though.

Taste has a rather tart sweetness yet finishes sharply (most likely a result of the grapes), lots of spiciness going on such as clove, good carbonation amount for the style, the strength is well hidden behind the fruit and spice of the beer.

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Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a golden orange, a bit hazy and exremely carbonated. Three fingers of off-white egg white head ebb slowly. A reef of lacing lays cemented to the inside of the glass.

In the aroma there comes sweet grain, with light vanilla and caramel. A sour yeast riff sings green apple, and a note of clove wafts through as well. A vinous touch of port carries a solid stripe of alcohol along.

Upon sipping, there's a malted grain sweetness partnered with a more earthy vinous sweetness, with the grape component heavier on the tongue. Mellow bready yeast, tangy and slighty sour, duels with a credible alcohol presence. A glint of clove surfaces, then flattens to a rounded bitterness which joins some residual malt in the finish. There's quite a bit going on, but it all comes together in a good way.

Medium bodied, the carbonation is very peppy and it joins the rest to enliven the palate.

It seems Allagash just doesn't know how to disappoint. It's something different, and done well, no surprise considering the track record in place. With a muscular ABV it warms and even numbs, but enjoyed wisely the grain and grape combo drinks pleasingly. I'm all for pushing the envelope, but it's always refreshing to see a brewery that dares to experiment without having to go over the top.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled February of '06, Sampled November 2006
This definitely smells of grapes; as soon as I start to pour this beer I get tart, vinous, flinty notes of sharp white grapes. The beer is very well carbonated and has an initial three-finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some lacing on the sides of my glass as it subsides. The beer is a hazy, orange tinged, light amber color. Sweet malt aromatics are also here in the nose; touches of caramel, sweet malted grain and a touch of toasty grain. Fruit notes certainly are the most noticeable part of the aroma with notes of raisins, plums, and even a hint of something like a tropical fruit note. It is interesting that this has taken on some notes of darker fruits (even a note of fig is here), the initial aroma was all chardonnay grapes, but this melds in with darker fruit notes quite seamlessly as my nose gets used to the aromatics. There are some nice, though quite subtle, soft spice notes in the nose as well. Nothing too obvious, but at times I sense notes of ginger, clove, perhaps some cinnamon, and a touch of earthy black pepper.

The taste is quite sweet up front, a grape like sweetness and fullness lingers in the mouth. The beer finishes with some acidity and sharp, slightly astringent, spicy note that is sort of like a sauvignon blanc. This definitely has a fairly full body to it; it is not quite a sipping beer, but I would not call it quaffable either. Chardonnay grape flavors are definitely here as well, but the beer is sweet enough that it masks the typical dry, chardonnay wine flavors. Again the sweetness of this brew makes me think of darker fruits than white grapes; notes of sweet plums, fresh figs, and raisins are the most easily discernible flavors. There are some notes of greener fruits here as well though; notes of honeydew, star fruit, and of course green grapes are noticeable if somewhat subtle to the more noticeable darker fruit notes.

Despite my comments regarding the heft of this beer, this has disappeared remarkably fast from my glass. Something about it is definitely drinkable, though I still would not say it is quaffable. I think it might be the acidity here, there is just enough to not allow the sweetness to become overbearing and actually it keeps it quite manageable. I definitely think this would be much better at a slightly lower alcohol content; at 6% or even 7% this would be quite a bit easier to drink and would actually be more in line with what one typically expects from a Chardonnay grape. This is definitely a hard one to judge, on its individual components I would score this quite highly, and even overall I am enjoying it, but I don't think it is as good as it objectively seems.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottling, green lettering on front.

Very even, fine white two-finger head. Hazy golden body. Awesome lacing.

Smell is sour and bretty, though smelled much sweeter in a mini Aventinus glass. I'm pretty sure everyone's glass was clean, but it smelled different in every glass.

Taste has some significant malt presence (surprisingly), with some faint vegetal presence. There's chardonnay grape in here, but it's subdued and really well integrated. (Not like Dogfish Head Red and White, which failed in that respect). Doesn't taste like chardonnay either (not lemon and pennies), but as I said, the chardonnay grape is integrated with the malt in the body. Trace of brett in the taste, but not much. Sweetness comes through (again, this is not chardonnay) and the brett character develops as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pretty average, kinda thin. Interesting considering the head and lacing, I expected a fine-grained texture.

Stuff like this is hit or miss. This is a hit.

At the price point? There are better things to buy for the money. Still, quite good.

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Photo of cliff1066
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of berkey
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Soild medium pale amber body. A good lingering head formed in an Allagash glass even with a very slow pour (per the directions on the bottle). Moderately carbonated. Thick creamy lacing.

Smell: Yeast, some citrus, slightly dry & acidic white grape, spice, sugar, possibly caramel, alcohol.

Taste: White grape juice, seems like some wheat malt but I'm not sure if that's the fruit playing tricks on my palate. Reminds me a little of a Belgian Amber Ale more than the Pale Ale it's classified as. Specifically brings to mind a flash of Caracole Ambree with grapes. Because of these grapes I was expecting something a little white wine-like but that's not exactly it. I'll say it this way: a fair amout of grape flavor in this ale, you obviously get grape flavors in wine, but that doesn't necessarily mean you get wine flavors in this ale. As it warms some honey and vanilla peeks though. Pleasant beer.

Drinkability: Fairly enjoyable and drinkable but the 9% ABV and overall sweetness keep this from getting a higher mark.

 1,036 characters

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's for their Allagash event the other night.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. Like the Victor, this beer smells pretty sweet, with honey and hints of cherry. On the palate this beer is moderately sweet, and is a bit grapy. There is also something of a sweet and sour cherry taste as well to this beer. Maybe some honey as well. The beer is smooth and long on the palate, but is not the least bit heavy or tiring. Drinkability with this beer is high. I would never guess the abv. is 9%.

Another very nice beer from Allagash.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2009 vintage. Pours moderately cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger fluffy dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big white grape, grape skin, pear, apple, honey, floral, apricot, grass, herbal earthiness, white wine, light black pepper, light funk, and light yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity of malt notes and yeast esters. Taste of big white grape, pear, apple, apricot, honey, floral, grass, herbal earthiness, light pepper, white wine, light black pepper, light funk, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, honey, floral, grass, light pepper, herbal earthiness, light funk, and white wine on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance and complexity of malt/yeast esters; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Strong pale ale. Great flavor balance and complexity of malt and yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,280 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I got the chance to try this out. Poured in a wine glass at the SPTR.

A- Victoria holds a hazy gold color with faint spots of orange depending on the light. No head or even a small cap of foam, just some small streaks of fizz on the surface. No lacing on this one.

S- Well, this does not exactly smell like a beer, has more of a wine appeal from the grapes used in the brewing process. Scents of Chardonnay grapes with some fruity spice plus banana and some pepper thrown in as well. Some Belgian yeast as well. Not a pungent aroma but a pleasent one.

T- Reaffirms that this "beer" has a huge wine influence with the chardonnay type taste peeking through ever so carefully, without a full blown flavor assult. The Belgian Yeast used is probably the only thing keeping this in the realm of beer as hops are not very prominent. Some other sweetness from the malt and I like the banana ans slight apple with a spicy finish with pepper. A good "beer"

M- Victoria has a great feel that is not all that strong which I think suits it well. This is a small step above light bodied with just a touch of carb which is perfect. A very smooth beer that has a wine profile throughout. The flavors gloriously coat the mouth for a few seconds not leaving a long aftertaste.

D- Very drinkable. I hardly even noticed that this was a 9% beer, drinks more like a 5-6%er. A great beer for pairing with many types of food. My glass was gone before I knew it. Im interested in seeing how a bottle of this stands up but im sure it pales in comparison with this tap version.

 1,564 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter glass.
2009 vintage.

pours a mostly translucent (there is a touch of haze) golden yellow, yields a solid finger-plus creamy white/off-white head; retention is decent, lacing is good. overall a solid presentation.

nose offers a mishmash of fruity notes: grape, lemon, apple, maybe peach... spice... a touch of oak. nice aroma.

taste follows nicely. definitely agree with the vinous quality others have noted. i think it works well. more spice and fruity notes; a bit of hops in the finish. alcohol presence is virtually non-existent. very enjoyable.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. drink well - goes down easily - although the grapes tend to wear on you after a while.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mantooth
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Duckworth's in Cornelius, North Cackalacky.

Damn fine beer - looks great in the glass, billowing head and thick creamy lacing. There's just the perfect amount of funk to the nose and taste, wonderful sweet vinegar presence as well as dark ripe fruit - plums come to mind. Creamy mouthfeel. This is an amazing beer that would appeal to most anyone, great entry to sours for the novice and enough complexity for the purist. Wonderful brew.

 450 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle share courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a medium and hazy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of grapes, caramel, yeast, vanilla and a little funkiness. Tastes of grapes, caramel, fruity and light yeast. A little on the sweeter side. Alcohol content hidden.

Notes from 5/4/06

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Little Tap House, Portland, ME

40 characters

Photo of blisscent
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am biased when it comes to Allagash. I think they brew interesting, tasty beers, and this is no exception. I had a 750ml bottle all for myself. After pouring the first glass, I let the bottle come to more of a room temperature. The beer was a cloudy orange with a medium head. The smell was mostly sweet fruit. The taste was fruity, somewhat tart, with a little hoppiness. I'm not certain I could detect a vinous character to it. As the beer warmed, it became dryer and more malty/yeasty. Very interesting. Somewhat carbonated. Another great offering from Allagash.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GravityKills
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mcallister
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this after a bottle of Westy 12 and I must say I thought this held it's own very well.

An awesome shade of orangish, yellow straw. Large frothy white head, dissapeared fairly quickly and left lacing down the Riedel Bordeaux glass.

Belgian yeast on the entrance aroma, followed by pear, fig, herby smells, apple, plantane, and good malt prescence.

Again on the front palate is exploding with that funky belgian yeast character, and a good maltiness. Dried bananas, bosc pear, apple, dried fig, and spicy hebacious characters. Very well balanced and complex.

Smooth, creamy, delectable mouthfeel. No signs of alcohol in the nose or mouth so I think it would be rather easy to drink a few to many of these before it knocked you down.

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Photo of darktronica
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of zotzot
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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