Allagash Victoria Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
497 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
497
Reviews:
151
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
9.39%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
91
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 497 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of ljc973
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of sunnytropic
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jtdolla911
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of scottwurst
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jm6367
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pretty cloudy at first as a Yellow-Gold with a slight orange tint. It has a large white head that stands forever. Lots of thick lace are left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: Malts and spicy hops that are very Tripel like in their first impression. The grapes aren't obvious in the cold beer. The aroma is getting more grape-like as the beer warms, and it is also getting the chardonnay notes that the flavor has.

Flavor: Clean with bold hops up front. Strong sweetness in middle. Toasty bread crusts are the main representation from the malt, but caramel notes are coming out a lot more as the beer warms. The finish is well attenuated and quite dry. Grapes add a chardonnay note in the finish and this gets more noticeable as the beer sits. There is some evident alcoholic warming in the finish. The hops soften as the beer warms and start letting the malt shine through. There is a subtle honey impression that I am getting as the beer actually warms up some. The carbonation is ample to high, which is good. Now that the beer is warm, the hops are hardly noticeable.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty good beer. I actually like how the flavor and aroma change as the beer warms us, especially since nothing about it ever gets one-dimensional. I actually think that I like this beer a little better than the Victor, which is a little surprising for me as I typically favor the darker side of things, but this is a really nice beer overall. If you like Dupont Moinette Blond, I don't think that you would be disappointed in this beer as they share some characteristics in hops especially.

 1,623 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ripe apricot with sheets of bubbles boiling off the bottom of the glass. Victoria doesn't look overcarbonated, it looks Belgian carbonated; there's a difference. Atop the gorgeous liquid is a chunk of French vanilla foam that is almost, but not quite, the equal of the best BSPAs. It's respectably rocky and is just sticky enough to leave a few melty smears of lace.

The aroma is classic for the style. I'm continually amazed that Allagash nails the Belgian styles with authority, while most American brewers struggle to some extent. The nose is apple and pear fruity with a perfect amount of clove-like yeastiness. Surprisingly, white grapes aren't a huge part of the aroma.

Victoria Ale is yet another wonderful beer from Allagash Brewing Company. The addition of 100 lbs of Chardonnay grapes gives it a distinctiveness that sets it apart from the rest of the brewery's lineup. There isn't a huge grape influence on the palate, although they're definitely noticeable and add a considerable amount of fruitiness to a style that is able to incorporate more fruitiness with ease.

In typical ABC fashion, each member of the flavor profile knows its place and contributes perfectly to the hugely successful whole. Allagash beer doesn't smack the drinker in the face with a shovel, but the end result is the same: stunned amazement. There's a fraction more sweetness than is typical for the style; probably due to pale malt, candi sugar and fructose from the grapes.

I can't imagine a more perfect spiciness. Ground clove hums warmly along, zipping in and out, complementing without overwhelming. These guys have mastered the use of Belgian yeast more completely than many Belgian brewers. They've also just about perfected the art of alcohol masking because there's virtually none noted until the senses begins to fuzz about a third of the way into the bottle.

The mouthfeel score was one notch lower initially. However, with repose, it has improved considerably. I love the combination of a medium weight silkiness; a peppy, invigorating bubbliciousness; and a lightly coating, finishing stickiness. Pure pleasure.

Allagash is not only the best brewery in the state of Maine, it's one of the best breweries in America and in the world at large. In fact, in my humble opinion, there are only a handful of Belgian brewers who are as accomplished and as consistent. Victoria Ale may not be the best BSPA that I've ever had, but it's within sight of the leaders. Thanks hopsaplenty.

 2,483 characters

Photo of jason_nwx
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brdc
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks cookin420 for this one.
Large corked bottle, no bottling date I could find, poured into a goblet.

Golden brew, somewhere in the middle of the golden spectrum, just slightly hazy, with a dense, creamy white head that is rather short but lasts a long time, and covers the sides of the glass on the beer's way down.
Aroma is quite fruity, acidic, tart at times, caramel, bread, grains are noticeable as well.
Rare spices can be observed, pepper the most obvious.
Medium bodied, quite creamy on the palate, with sweet tastes opening up, followed by tart and acidic notes, and a dry finish. Grapes, oranges,
white wine like acidity, grains.
This is a very interesting beer, one that I would be glad to have more if it had not been discontinued.

 754 characters

Photo of mgironta
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured with a barely there white head on a clear, yellow body. Mild carbonation was visible in the body. The nose had a hint of tartness, and this is where the chardonnay grapes became apparent. On the taste, it definitely had a lot of Belgian yeast to it, which was quite tasty. The grapes were also very apparent in the taste, but not cloying or overly sweet. The sweetness was just enough to be pleasant. The mild carbonation really complemented the lighter than expected body. I also got hints of pear and apricot as I sipped more on the brew. The finish was quick and sweet. What also surprised me was how high the booze was on this bad boy. It was completely and totally hidden. I would definitely have this beer again!

 735 characters

Photo of RixBeer
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Year old cellared bottle (thanks Dave).

Pours a piss yellow until the yeast drops in there and then the haze develops with a nice thin white head.

There is a nice yeasty sweet white grape juice aroma [with a tiny hint of mint?].

Nice smooth mouthfeel. Can't feel any thickness at all. Leaves a little chalky after-feel in the mouth though.

I could kill a few of these before they hammer the nails into my coffin! Nah, I'll stick around and drink them during poker (so what if I lose all my money).

 501 characters

Photo of KingPurple
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of everetends
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Arbor Place Beverage a few weeks back. Hadn't heard much about the beer at that point so I figured I'd give it a shot. Bottle was $14.99 I believe, which is a bit out of my usual price range for a bottle but I decided to live dangerously. Served up in an oversized wine glass.

A: Really nice pop of the cork at opening. No trouble gettin the cork off, no fighting but no explosion either. Pours a pretty clear, yellow with some orange hues coming through. Almost honey colored, a little lighter but absolutely darker than a pale yellow. Got about a finger of head on each pour. No gushing or excessive build up. Sadly, the retention is a bit weak. Falls quickly to a thin ring of bubbles. Color is off white. No lace builds on the glass sadly. Don't know if it is due to the glass or because this beer has some weight to it on the glass, creating a thin film on the glass with each sip. Probably hurts lace. Still a good looking brew.

S: Really nice white wine aroma coming out the glass. Smells like a cross between a chardonnay and reisling. Has that dry nose of chard, but a sweetness and fruitiness of reisling. Getting some apple notes behind the grapes which really work well here. Almost a champagne type yeast coming across in the nose, but the yeast is definitely there. Pale malts are weak and overtaken by the grapes. Only gripe is the alcohol is present big time in the nose. It doesn't hide or shy away from the fact that this sits at 9% at all. Doesn't kill the experience though, very good aroma that is making me hopeful for the flavor.

T: Taste is much like the nose. Yet again getting that chardonnay/reisling blend thing going on, and it works. Nice and dry grape flavor working with a sweet grape flavor at times. Apples and pears match up with the sweetness greatly. Tons of flavor from the grapes. Very impressive. Yeast gives the beer some heartiness for sure, but nothing too heavy or overly heavy. Not really getting any notes of malt or what not, probably just blending in nicely with the grape and fruit flavors. Little bit of spice coming across at times with some clove and pepper. Yet again alcohol makes its presence known, and toward the end of the bottle it seems to get a bit taxing. With that said, its still great flavor. It all works, but the alcohol could be tamed just the slightest notch.

M: Sitting at a perfect medium in body. Has a nice weight to it, but nothing to heavy. Much like a good Chard, maybe a touch heavier. Carbonation is big and crips, prickly at times. It seems just a touch too high, which is a bit shocking. Nice and dry on the palate with just a touch of sweetness. ABV is bringing the heat, and it actually comes across higher than 9% at times. Aftertaste is all grape and fruit.

D: This bottle was killed pretty quickly by myself and my girlfriend. She really enjoyed it. Makes a fantastic wine substitute if you want to shake things up at a dinner party. Great flavors that just work so well with the aromas. My only complaint is the carbonation and the alcohol being a bit too much in the aroma, flavor and feel. All in all though, just a great beer. Tastes are so on point and enjoyable. I will buy this again, even at that price.

 3,221 characters

Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance- A light orange with a small, egg white head that retains well. Medium carbonation.

Aroma- A great balance of sweet white wine and belgian yeast funk. Subtle but beautifully complex.

Taste- Sweet white grape flavors in the forefront but not at all overwhelming. Great yeast and slightly hoppy profile to balance the sweetness of the grapes.

Mouthfeel- Light and smooth. Sweetness lingers like a wine.

Overall- A phenomenal beer. The presence of the grapes is immediately noticeable, but yet not overwhelming, in every aspect of the beer. A great use of subtle yeast and hop profiles to compliment the grape flavors in the forefront.

 650 characters

Photo of rdoggg
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a big creamy white head that recedes slowly to a soapy swirl along the top.

The aroma has lots of lightly toasted grains, wheat and a got bit of Belgian yeast. As it warms, some light sweet fruits come out - candied pears and apples mainly.

The taste is sweeter than the aroma and the toasted grains are much more in the background. The fruits are more prevalent and hit the tongue quickly with a slightly sugar-coated character. The yeast makes its presence felt mostly in the finish with a lingering dry spiciness on the palate.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with lively carbonation, which all adds up to an extremely drinkable beer.

This is a solid Belgian ale that goes down super fast and easy. It's not the most complex or tasty version of the style, but it is one of the most drinkable. Excellent.

 887 characters

Photo of craytonic
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful Belgian pour, perfect and typical Allagash head, nice bubbles off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Delicious, I get muscadines, not grapes. Also it smells of juice, not fermented juice, which I think throws off many tasters. Lots of fruit - I get apple, pear, cloves, muscadines, and Belgian yeast.

Taste: The grapes are more present on the palate, although I still get more white muscadine than chardonnay grape. A bit sweet for the style, probably from the grapes. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Perfect creaminess and carbonation. Alcohol is not noticable at all.

Drinkability: This disappeared much faster than it should have, delicious brew.

 662 characters

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the folks at Allagsh:
To create Victoria Ale, the brewers at Allagash drew on references to Bacchus, the Thracian god of wine, in the history and artwork of the Victoria Mansion as inspiration for this new beer. One hundred pounds of chardonnay grapes were brought in, crushed on site and added directly to the mash. 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 finish.

The Inspiration
Allagash Victoria Ale is a tribute to the Historic Victoria Mansion here in Portland, Maine. Also known as the Morse-Libby House, it is one of the greatest 19th century houses in the United States. Designed by architect Henry Austin, the mansion was built between 1858 and 1860 and survives as a unique example of the princely palaces created for America’s wealthiest citizens in the pre-Civil War era. With superb architecture and well-preserved original interiors, the Victoria Mansion is an unparalleled document of America’s highest aspirations in architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts.
----

The 750ml bottle releases its cork with a soft, hollow 'pop'. The head forms one inch thick and snaps, consisting of fine bone white bubbles. There are a handful of active carbonation streams racing through the hazy glowing golden caramel colored liquid. The smell is distinct and noticeable away from the glass -- Belgian all the way with some fruity, white wine notes as well. The taste is lush and full and distinctly Belgian. There is a persisting, but not overwhelming, white wine dryness in the finish that leaves the palate relatively clear to enjoy the next drink. The 9% alcohol is undetectable. Medium body, with some tingly carbonation, a bit creamy as well. This beer is a nice mix of flavors and the chardonnay grapes lend an interesting note. The bottle was consumed in no time at all and enjoyed thoroughly.

The fact that $1 from the sale of the bottle goes to save an interesting and distinct historic building is an added bonus that makes it easy to feel good about the purchase. Another nice offering from the great folks at Allagash.

 2,187 characters

Photo of Jordanmtate
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of flexabull
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of brandonman63. Thanks again!

Pours a cloudy gold color with a nice big head.

Aromas are spicy, yeasty, and very floral.

Very creamy, nice sweet and full malt flavors. Some yeast and spice on the finish. Somewhat tart as well, very nice balance of flavors. Would like a bit more of a spicy kick to this one though... still quite tasty.

A lot fuller in mouthfeel than others in the style I have tried. Very nice.

Super easy to drink, and very tasty.

 470 characters

Allagash Victoria Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 497 ratings.
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