Allagash Victor Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Victor AleAllagash Victor 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:
The Victor Ale was inspired by its feminine-named predecessor, the Victoria Ale. With chardonnay grapes to make the Victoria Ale unique, our brewers decided to use red grapes for the Victor. Over one hundred pounds of cabernet franc grapes were crushed on site and added directly to the mash. In addition to a generous portion of Pilsner malt, Victor is hopped with Fuggles and Hallertau and fermented with a wine yeast strain. With a focus on the subtle wine-like character of the grapes, the 9.0% ABV brew maintains a copper color, wine yeast influence and a medium body with a tart and spicy finish.

Added by akorsak on 06-10-2007

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Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 474
Photo of poetaster
4.77/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich dark gold with a yeasty froth cap. Fruity, tart nose supported by the first lip-puckering taste. Grape flavors and rich, smooth maltiness soon take the lead, well balanced by refreshing hop bitterness. Very much unlike most beers of this style--to my taste, like a cross between a triple and a bière de garde. Unlike the former, there's more thick malt and candy sugar flavors, and unlike the latter, more crisp tartness. Excellent offering though, as always, from the folks at Allagash.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage on tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. White head, low retention on a clear, light golden body. Clear lacing, some suds. Aroma is deep and musty, includes green apple, green grapes and some candy sugar. Taste follows the aromas pretty closely, no alcohol on tasting or in aroma. This beer has aged incredibly gracefully. Developed some extra sweetness and some complexity. Wonderfully delicious and extremely tasty.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Nose: interesting blend of spice, light malts, grapes and a suggestion of Brett - probably from the wine yeasts.
Pours hazy reddish amber under a 1" very finely bubbled rose tinted white foam cap. Thick clingy lace. Some legs.
A blend of light grain malts, light red wine, lightly sweet, slight funk with a tart finish and a gentle hop bitter accent.
Medium body, above average carbonation, slight warming.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Allagash Victor Ale, special thanks to "Allagash man" for bringing it along. Corked and caged, brewed with wine grapes. A few years old, what a treat.

Pours a hazed gold in color with a tint of amber. Head is bone white and short livid, just leaving a few spots of lace. In the aroma, big time fragrant wine grapes adding a nice white wine type element. They really hit it out of the park with the aroma, this beer smells great. In the flavor, the wine grapes are still there along with some peppery Belgian yeast. Certainly Belgian ale yeast, lending its subtle fruity complexities that really shine through and play off the grapes. Mild tartness that has mellowed out to just a notion. Alcohol is quite tame and just present in the end. Delicate feel with a nice level of carbonation. Nice and drinkable, this is one hell of a beverage.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Looked like a Saison. Dark gold, and translucent. By the time it reached my table, there was no head.
S - Smelled like a white wine and a german lager, in a good way. The grape aroma was actually less wine, and more actual grape. The mild hop and malt aroma simply helped identify this as a beer, and not a grape drink.
T - Excellent balance of flavor. This had the bitter bite of Saison, matched beautifully with the sweet and sour grape flavor. Again, not a white wine flavor, but an actual grape flavor...I could even taste the skins of the grape (an earthy, fibrous flavor). The brett-like bitterness of a Saison was very present but the very obvious grape flavor was a wonderful balance. And don't get me wrong, this was certainly not a "fruit beer"...the grape flavor is strong, but it does not taste like a grape drink, or like grape juice was added.
M - Nice, light, and bubbly. Excellent refresher.
D - Excellent as well...At 9.3%, there was zero alcohol flavor. I could drink these for hours (or until I passed out).

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Photo of Meeg
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm stuck in Cleveland, reading my buddy's Facebook posts about his beer tour in New England, which included a stop in my Promised Land... The Barrel Room at Allagash Brewery. What else to do but open a bottle of my Allagash stash?

2009 vintage poured into an Allagash stemmed-glass, consumed while playing hookey and attempting to make progress on my bathroom remodel, listening to WEEI.

Aside from the bitter taste of the discussion about the Red Sox' epic collapse...

Beautiful pale golden color, with a nice, subtle grape scent. Grapes on the tongue, lasting through to the end, pleasantly reminiscent of Dogfish's Midas Touch (a favorite). A not-too light, definitely-not-heavy mouthfeel, matching the best belgians.

I'm happy, and I made progress in the bathroom remodel. Allagash always helps.

Oh! It was gusher, but I hadn't cooled it before opening. A rookie mistake. Don't open at 70 degrees, or you'll lose a bit of beer.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from RSVP in Portland. Hazy amber-red body with a thin film of off-white head. Smells fruity, peppery, and spicey. Tastes fruity, with grapes and raisin flavors playing a prominent role. Spice, roasty malts, and alcohol warming all play big roles too. Fairly full bodied with less carbonation than expected, but enough to make this beer surprisingly refreshing. A pretty darn good beer, with some good wine qualities too.

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Photo of edmedina
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK this is another specialty from Allagash. The beer poured a light amber color. The taste was smooth with a hint of fruit. I would even say a sweet taste. Now here it the problem I have this beer. Unlike most Allagash beers I've had this one didn't stand out from any other fruity beers. I can probably name 4, 5 or even 6 beers that have the same tastes. Now this is not to say this is not a good beer. It is, very much so.

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Photo of errantnight
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at The Publick House

By far the lightest Belgian Dark I've ever had... in fact, I would have said this was more of a Dubbel than a Belgian Dark... in fact, I did...

Rich copper with a thin head with minimal lacing. Glow-y.

Raisins and figs and bears, oh my! Estery goodness.

Sweetly malty and ripe fruit... where's the alcohol? Hint of brown sugar, faint spice.. subtle and complex...

Smooth and silky and faintly crisp.

Glug, glug, glug. Another?

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Photo of Brad007
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to this ale.

Pours a golden amber color (not quite dark) into my goblet with a two-finger head that fades down to a one-finger head.

Aroma is nice and strong with a decent whiff of grape and raisin in the nose. Somewhat "fruity" if ya will.

Taste is strong with a decent grape essence followed by raisin and alcohol warmth. Feels a bit chewy and dry as well. Alcohol warmth isn't too strong.

The grape lingers and actually seems to show through more towards the back of the throat. The dryness is just right and alcohol warmth fades, leaving a great finish.

Definitely a complex ale and not the first that I've had that was brewed with grapes. It doesn't quite fit the style (except for the raisin notes) but it is nevertheless a solid ale. A bit pricey but if you want to treat yourself, it's worth a try.

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Photo of drumminbrewer
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(going through the rest of my notes from this weekend)
Bottled in 2010. I think they used Cabernet Franc grapes for this batch (though I'm not sure, the other variation was "Chancellor" grapes).

Pours an apple cider brown with a quickly dissipating head. Not much lacing to be found, but a millimeter of a porous head left. As I get further into the bottle the yeast settles into the glass adding a pinkish tint the beer...mmm, the body is still lovely and effervescent despite everything floating around in the glass now.

Nose is alive with all sorts of citrus; oranges, lemons, lemon zest (like the rind of lemon shaved off) and tangerines. More Brett like qualities come off as it warms. Strong presence of the grapes.

The first sip is so alive. Every part of my tongue gets a different nuance or secondary flavor. The grapes themselves are most noticeable in the middle part of my tongue, pleasant acidity makes elevates the citrus notes. Everything delivered on the nose is present in the flavors and then some. 9% abv? Are you kidding me? It drinks more like a 6-7% saison!

This is a wonderful beer. I've had really good luck sitting on Allagash stuff for about 1 to 2 years, no exception here. Extremely refined, complex and balanced. Highly recommended with some age.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly light gold into a chalice, not what I was expecting for a "dark ale." But I won't split classification hairs; this is probably one of those beers that can't really be classed. Not a great deal of head, though, and somewhat poor retention. Markedly better when I agitate it somewhat, though.

S - No mistaking the vinous aromas here. Has a Riesling-like aroma; lots of fine sniffin' grapes. Uncomplicated, but top-notch.

T - A bit bready up front, then the unmistakable grape hits. A little sweet, not overly so. Some Belgian yeast-spice character at the back end drying things out along with some light hop. Doesn't come off as the hefty 9% beer it is.

F - Pretty much nailed it. Not too sticky with a good bite of carbonation.

D - The carbonation, not the alcohol, seems to want to catch up with me after a bit. Still a very drinkable and classy beer (as noted below). Excellent marriage of grain and grape. Expensive, though.

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Photo of malcontent
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my St. Bernardus Goblet (I'm thinking a tulip would have worked better) only a thin layer of bubbly head appears before fading fast. Lovely rose-tinted, orange body leaves an impression.

It's strange just how much the grapes come through. However, the scent is of the fruit and not the implied overtones one would find from a wine. I have to wonder if Allagash used an American eating varietal instead of a wine grape. In any case, the fruity scent fits in nicely with the earthy/sweet malt body.

I don't see how this fits in BA's category of "Strong Dark Ale" as the malt profile is much more akin to that of Duvel or Fin du Monde. That same rose (the wine, not color) infiltrates every corner of the flavor profile, partnering in a shockingly natural fashion with the clean pilsner malt and fruity/spicy yeast.

Booze isn't detectable and the crisp carbonation adds a refreshing aspect to a beer already eerily similar to a Provencal Rose. An excellent, if not unexpected, choice for a summer brew.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a goblet.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves clots behind.

S- Fruity yeast aroma with notes of pear, raspberry and apple.

T- Taste isn't quite as exciting as there's more of a wheat presence to go along with the yeast. Some Bready notes and a pronounced sweetness. Alcohol is quite well hidden.

M- Tangy and a bit prickly. Medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Been wanting to try this for a long time and it was worth the wait. A great, fruity Belgian that's actually a bit different from Allagash's usual MO.

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Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. Viggo contributed this one, so thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled nov 28/08.

pours deep orange, nearly brown, with a touch of haze. a huge fluffy cream coloured head forms, dropping slowly and leaving tons of thick lace behind.

aroma is good. a bit richer and "darker" than victoria. raisin, date, red grape. hints of vanilla. whole wheat bread. bit of fresh citrus too. apricot and tangerine. bit of pineapple.

taste is good. red grape. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. raisin and date. bit of toffee and caramel, but with only a hint of associated sweetness. light alcohol. not much of the citrus that i got in the aroma.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is great. nice balance. great malty depth. i really enjoyed the grape character too. good stuff.

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Photo of ruckzuck
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle for a while, finally decided to crack it tonight at the urging of the gf. Into the Duvel chalice

A - nice pale golden/amber body with a thick white head which subsided eventually

S - I get a ton of grapes in the nose accompanied by a bit of peppery spice and a good amount of bready malt and yeastiness. Almost like a wine in many ways. Interesting

T - definitely reminds me more of a Belgian pale (Duvel comes to mind) than a strong dark. Very, very good. Some tartness from the grape/fruity flavor along with some bready malt up front which gives way to a very Duvel-esque beer. Some spiciness and yeast round out the mouth. A bit of a dry aftertatse. Very good

M - creamy and carbonated just right. Very enjoyable going down. Again, very dry, taste aftertaste. Almost reminiscent of champagne

D - this is an excellent beer. I'm not sure the style listed is correct, but this is another epic win for Allagash. Different, tasty, and highly recommended. Definitely check this out. Would gladly drink another

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Photo of thekanna
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, DC.

A: Like a dark Rosé wine; somewhat amber with hints of red and pink that poke through. No head to speak of.

S: A slightly burnt caramel flavor reminiscent of Crème brûlée. Also present are fruit juice aromas... white grape and apple, mostly. A bit of nuttiness and a damp forest-like smell rounds out the finish.

T: Somewhat sweet caramel-like malts with fresh-pressed winery (muscat-like) grape juice. It lacks the dryness of white wine and instead replaces it with a more palatable sweetness. A port-like quality is definitely present. This is complemented with a sweet doughy taste of Belgian yeasts and bakery butter glaze.

M: Nice and big body with a perceptible creaminess. Leaves the mouth with an oily slickness.

D: This is very wine-like and should be savored. Great for sipping.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a fan of Allagash, of course I have to try this. After the Victoria I was a bit hesitant, but as I understand it, this one was done with a red grape versus the green of the victoria. Well, let's see how it worked:

A - dark reddish amber color, huge billowy white head. Took ages to settle down.

S - belgian yeast, candi sugar and an almost pinoir note. Faint swirls, not off putting but seeming like the brew will need time to find a consensus nose.

T - Very wonderful merge of belgian yeast, candi sugar, mild malts and wonderful red wine grape influence. Warms up to room temp and the flavor melds exponentially.

M - medium bodied, vigorously carbonated yet soft in mouthfeel, wonderfully dry finish.

D - This drinks incredibly smooth. The best compliment I can say is it drinks like this has been a style for years, not a one off. YES I'll have another!

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

split with my father. poured into my Duvel Tulip.

A: pours amber, a little hazy due to a bit of yeast. a finger thick white head that laced well.
S: a wine grape is first noticeable followed by sweet malt and a fruity hint.
T: a good wine beer mix to put it simply. sweet grape and malt blend better than i expected. the alcohol is noticeable but is more wine like, probably due to the wine yeast used. hops are more noticed as it reaches room temperature and are more earthy.
M: high carbonation with a slight dry feeling.
D: an interesting sipper that would be great to wean a wine lover to beer.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Standard clear honey, lots of near white head, leaves fast to ring. Some small bubbled lacing after.

S - Yeasty, musty, juicy fruit, a little skanky.

T - Nice malt base, lots of Belgian yeast attributes, nice flavors.

M - Creamy, good balance and coating.

D - Like it. For the style, very drinkable.

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Photo of neophilus
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a white wine glass on a gorgeous summer day. The fluffy white head coyly makes an appearance but then disappears, never to be seen again. The ale has a rich copper hue, slightly cloudy with an disciplined line of bubbles marching up from the bottom.

Aroma is rather subdued, a musty hint of belgian yeast crowned with malt. Very clean. Lingering underneath though is something else... sweet and slightly fruity notes take over and brings a gentle complexity to the nose.

The flavor is crisp and dry, showing the same restraint as the aroma did. This strong pale ale does not assault your senses. A tart fruitiness lingers underneath coating the palate, barely perceptable but definitely there. Mild booziness rounds out the experience, warmly elevating the tart flavor. The beer finishes clean and dry with the gentle warmth slowly fading from view.

Definitely an interesting taste experience. The subtle blend of flavors are much more than the sum of their parts. There is craftstmanship in the restraint shown here and the beer never threatens to overwhelm the senses.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a tulip glass at Downtown Johnny Brown’s in San Diego, Calif. Color was dark caramel amber. Maybe an inch of head. Lacing was consistent throughout on the top, as was the film on the sides.

Smell was fruity aromas, most notably peach and plum. Grapes came in strong after. Also some cloves in there.

Taste seemed to be similar to a Saison. Fruity deep flavors with dark fruits (grapes) and cloves leading the way.

Medium body. Lively carbonation. Crisp and clean.

A pretty good beer overall. It doesn't taste as strong as the 9.0 percent, so watch out.

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Photo of beerhan
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2009 vintage.

Poured into a snifter, golden color with medium medium carbonation. Small white head that fades fast.

Smells very sugary and sweet. Almost like a sugar daddy with some grapes. A little yeastiness to it but nothing overpowering.

Taste is incredible. I came into this beer with low expectations but I thought it tasted fantastic. Most belgian pales have an overdominating yeast taste to it but this one is rather subtle. There is some grape in the after taste that is delicious and its sweet but not bitter.

Quite drinkable but could use a little more carbonation. It is almost like a bitter juice rather than a sweet beer at some times.

Overall this is one nice beer. Worth trying once or twice but not really worth 11 dollars.

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Photo of cwguy5
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC...

Poured with a rich, foamy, off-white head.

Aroma has grape and slight spice.

Smooth with low alcohol flavor for a 9%er. Low fruit but some slight citrus or apple. Interesting herbal and vinous notes pair well with the yeast used. Medium sweet, low bitter and sour.

Fine, fizzy mouthfeel with short linger.

Clean, crisp, and very drinkable. Strong overall grape impression but no one flavor dominates.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just noticed this beer at the Woodlands Spec's and thought that I had never reviewed it yet. I got the Victoria too. Let's give the Victor a go.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy burnt orange color with a solid 1" cap of creamy antique white foam. There are tons of bubbles rising as seen on the side of the glass, and they are making the head last forever. At least 10 minutes after the pour, there is still a huge rocky head on this beer that is leaving continents of lace as it tries to recede. If it were a bit clearer, this bear would rival any.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of hops, with what seemed like American varieties in there mixed with some spicy Saaz. Interesting. I guess the grapes are giving the beer the dryness that you get with some red wines, though it isn't reflected in the color...just an impression that I get, and perhaps this is all in my head because of suggestive thinking because of the label? Let's see in the taste.

Taste: The flavor is also a mix of malt and hops, but the grapes are more noticeable in here than in the aroma...of the cold beer that is. The hops must all be in the last additions as the grapes are adding a significant part of the bittering by themselves. The mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation and a good bit of body to be elevated by this carbonation. Overall the mouthfeel is quite complex and more than you get with more ordinary beers. The grapes are adding to the whole ensemble in a very well blended way. The finish is toward the sweet, but there is a lot going on to challenge the sweetness.

Opinion: I have been pretty impressed with this beer. To me, it is obvious that they did a number of test batches or blends to get the balance right. I like how the hops are such a big player in the aroma and the initial parts of the taste, then they step aside and let the rest of the beer do its thing for the finish. The grapes seem to really work with this beer. I think that they have done this really well.

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Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 474 ratings.
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