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: 475
Photo of biegaman
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Public House, in San Francisco.

The beer is brewed with purple cabernet franc grapes but it looks more like a golden delicious apple, and certainly nothing like the beverage typically made with those grapes. The complexion is pale enough that it should be clear but is actually distorted. While its head is thin, it forms permafrost lacing that leaves that glass looking like arctic tundra.

This doesn't smell as exclusive as it aught to given its specs; there's little barrel character and surprisingly little grape flavour. The malts are plain and have a stale, almost corn-like tint to them. Usually barrel-aged beers make for the most engaging, bewildering scents but this one is, well, kind of bleh. It grew almost nauseating as the alcohol began to show.

The flavour is more reminiscent of apple cider than it is grape wine. In fact, I'm unable to note much grape character at all and I'm going out of my way to look for it! About the only likeness this has to any wine is a residual sugariness and sweet apple-y finish - more what you'd expect from something like a Semillon than a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Then again, what would be the point in it tasting like a wine? There are far more significant things to fuss over, like the fact that its maltiness and hops and yeast - the elements that define a beer - are all either subdued or somewhat off-putting. This tastes like nothing more than an average Belgian blonde (that hardly rivals even the more commercial examples of such). For the price I paid and all the theatrics behind it, I expected something less generic.

There are many beers not brewed with grapes that rival the complexity and elegance of even the finest wines; this one, however, barely even affords the simple quaffability of an average beer. Allagash has proven they know what they're doing with barrels so perhaps it's my own tastes that account for my disappointment with this offering. Either way, this is not a cheap beer and a 750ml bottle is quite a commitment - it's not something I'll be buying again.

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Photo of impending
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Trappist. Served in an Allagash glass. Nice clear moderately dark amber with a minor white head which subsided to the edge fairly quick, ok lacing.

Nice complexity to the nose. Yeasty and estery with a subtle vinous overtone. The notes while blending are somewhat discordant, encouraging much unsure sniffing.

Flavor is a pleasant surprise. The grapes are obvious but not necessarily in a wine fashion until the aftertaste begins settling slowly. Grains and yeast carry the flavor through. Thin creamy mouthfeel.

Compared to Victoria, this has an extra dimension of complexity which gives it a subtle nod.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Blake for sending me this one.

A: The pour is almost copper in color with a fluffy, off-white head.

S: A rather intense grape aroma to the beer, but it's almost like super sweet grape jelly or grape juice. Some malt and light yeast in the background with a little bit of pepper and other phenols and esters.

T: The grape flavor really dominates and gives the beer a very sugary sweetness. Some bread and sweet toffee/caramel malts add to the sweetness. A light yeast and pepper bite in the background and a hint of metal.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Just really disappointing. I like that the grape flavor is there, but it's just too sugary.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Above average lacing.

S: A big aroma of fruit, hops, and a bit of yeast.

T: This is an interesting flavor. There are elements of citrus, hops, malt, yeast, and a vinous quality. It may be a bit on the unfocused side, but it's still a lively flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, creamy finish. Light to medium-bodied.

O: I'm not going to say this is my favorite Allagash brew, but it is a solidly made, flavorful beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle of the 2009 vintage pours a very hazed, dark gold color with a short-lived tan head. Lacing just ok.

Nose is heavy on the grapes, I am guessing white...has a buttery chardonnay smell. Really not a whole lot else going on...maybe some bready yeast and floral hops.

The yeast is much more prevalent than I expected on the flavor. Uber-bready, and I am surprised there is not a big fruit ester surge, grapes pretty much stand alone in that regard. Hops are there aplenty and kind of muddle things up a bit. Malts are toasty and crackery, light toffee. Spicy and phenolic, light acidity and some grape tannins. Interesting to say the least, although I am not sure I would buy it again…even at half the $17 price tag.

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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 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 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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Photo of jampics2
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, shared by Arp. Thanks, I've never had this one before! Split a few ways and poured into a snifter.

The beer looks nice in the glass. The color is copper with notes of orange - hazy but not totally cloudy - and the head displays great retention and lace.

The smell is grape-driven, for sure, but there are a few other interesting elements at play here. Dark berries, raisin, and honey all share the spotlight with dark sugar and some nice yeasty esters. The esters give a tropical touch, and there are some green apple notes too. Nice!

The taste isn't quite as diverse as the nose, but it has some strong points too! Mostly, the vineous flavors showcase how a beer like this can be a wine lover's new best friend. There's a significant sweet malt base present here. A touch of toasted grain fades into raisin, plum and grape notes atop a bed of caramel. Just a touch of tartness peaks, then sweetness and dryness follows.

The mouthfeel is light and lively, much like a white wine with bubbles. No elements of booze or stickiness to detract from the tasting experience. Overall, I really liked this beer and would sample again sometime. Thanks for the bottle share, Adam!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown color with an off white head. In the aroma, candy sugar and a sweet white wine. In the taste, candy sugar and yeasty. Almost like a sweet chardonnay or a riesling. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry riesling like aftertaste. It is like a beer version of a nice white wine, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this back in September at the brewery when I was up in OOB for labor day weekend. Finally decided to open the bottle before we head up to Todd's Taco Night.

Appearance: Golden yellow and orance color with a small head when poured into the tuliped glass. There is also slight carbonation towards the top of the glass.

Smell: Smells like grape jelly. There is also some floral and malty hints after you get past the grapes.

Taste: Slightly malty with a tasted of grapes or grape jelly to me.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Good carbonation and smooth.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer and not too boozy given the 9% ABV. This is a beer to hold on to and enjoyed with others given the $18 price tag.

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Photo of krazyboi
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a white wine glass.

A: Dark golden yellow with very small head.
S: Fruity, caramel, grapes, slight alcohol.
T: Sweet malts with a touch of grapes. Finishes dry with a bit of bitterness. The aftertaste is similar to that of a dry white wine.
M: Light to medium body. Good carbonation. Slightly creamy.
D: The alcohol is hidden fairly well and makes this quite drinkable. The price tag makes it hard to drink often. This is a decent beer, but nothing special. The grapes aren't too prevalent when drinking, although you can tell there were grapes used in brewing it. Not worth the $18 price tag in my opinion.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell is is a sweet tart fruit aroma with a slight yeast.

The look is mahogony red with a very lacy white head. The head forms and dissipates but slowly.

The taste is great, I would love to have this at Thanksgiving. The taste stars with a slight yeast flavor mixed with malt. This quickly givesway to a tart wine and almmost cranberry flavor. The mouth is a building of carbonation that finishes dry. Very nice

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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 claspada
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aromas begin malty at first with a pleasant pilsner maltiness. As it warms and opens up, the vinous and sweet grape notes start to come through, a little bit of earthy hoppiness but you really have to search for it.
The taste begins the same as the nose with nice maltiness that is quickly finished with some light but substantial vinous notes. There is certainly a wine-like character to this, but a good bit of malt keeps it in check. The finish is perfectly balanced; bitter and tart, but not overly so. Mouthfeel has a medium-heavy body and is smooth but crisp. The carbonation helps balance out this high ABV offering preventing it from becoming cloying/syrupy.
Overall I really enjoyed this beer. It had a nice body, good balanced flavors and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. Not the best dark Belgian ever, but still very enjoyable. Was lucky to find this for $9 for a 12 oz serving at a bar because even though it was good, you really don't need to have a whole 750ml of it.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured into Delerium tulip.

A- Pours a burnt sienna with a slight haze and a small head. The small head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Grapes, Belgian yeast, some champagne qualities and a light malt. Not much else going on.

T- The taste falls short of the nose. The grape is there but is muddled. There is an overwhelming Belgian yeast and sugar with faint malt in the background.

M- Medium bodied with a sprite carbonation. Dry on the finish and a nice tickling sensation on the way down.

D- This beer alone feels unfinished. I can see why they added the sour aspect with Victor Francenstein.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into a New Belgium tulip style glass a clear copper color with a slighlty offwhite coastered head. The nose is a blended aroma of slight belgian yeast and subtle grape. Medium mouthfeel with a semi lively carbonaton level. The taste is grape, not overally so but a nice subtle grape balance against the belgian esters. Ends with a slight bitter tanic taste. For 9.3% the alcohol is fairly well hidden and not apparent. Pretty easy drinking.

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Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stan for sharing these. Bottle poured into a snifter produced a two finger white head that laced out quickly. The body of the brew was a orange to copper in color. I got a large whiff of dark fruits coming off this brew. Raisins and plums stuck out the most. Flavor wise it came off like a fizzy red wine but with a dry finish from the hops. It had a medium body to it with good carbonation. It drank really well I would think this would be a great brew to pair with a good steak. As with most Allagash it's a little pricey but worth it

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Photo of Xul
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep golden with amber highlights, capped by a finger of frothy white head. Retention is good as it settles slowly, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S: Biscuity malt base up front with good vinous character poking out, followed by light fruits - green apples and lemon zest - poking through. Light spicing in the background.

T: Huge fruit profile with tons of grapes evident right away, with a blend of sweetness and a light musty feel. Green apples, peaches, and light citrus come in on the mid-palate along with lightly toasted bread, before going back to a long, slightly sweet finish of fruit.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation, extremely smooth.

D: Very drinkable for as big of a beer as it is.

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Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Great Lost Bear in Portland on 10/30
Served in a tulip glass.

A: This beer pours a murky toffee color. No head to this beer but leaves minot wisps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of apple, pear, pale malts and belgian yeast.

T: Taste starts with pale malt flavoring. The middle is Belgian spices and yeast flavoring. The pear and apple really take over and dominate the finish and hang on the tongue for a bit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation nice crisp body with a dry feel to the finish.

D: Goes down entirely way too easily, nice kick, nice representation of style. This beer is blended far too nicely. You would never guess the ABV on this one! I'd get it again in a heart beat.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Pours a one finger tight white head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Almost clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is spicy fruit. Flavor is malty fruit, spices, hints of grape. Better than their Victoria Ale. Higher ABV is hidden. Pricey at $15.49 for a caged & corked 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of stimulus
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage.
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy brown with a one finger white head that settles but doesn't really go away completely.
S: Sweet red grapes and a little bit of a winelike scent.
T: The grapes start off here with sweetness and then a bit of sour, but not as much as an American Wild or a Lambic, and there is noticeable alcohol burn on the finish. There is a clean malt and hop profile underneath the dominant grapes, perhaps a pilsner or pale base.
M: Very well carbonated and a balanced medium body.
D: Well, it's up and it's down. It is 9% abv, but the burn on the finish of the taste is harsh and this brew feels like it hits harder than only 9. This bottle is somewhat of a chore to drink alone, but the sweetness and sourness of the grapes is really quite pleasant, and as it warms, the crispness of the pilsner/pale malt backbone makes up for the increased alcohol burn. This sort of reminds me of wine, but like a mix between a sweet red and less sweet white.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a murky brownish amber with an off white full head leaving a thick lacing.

S-the nose is big but a little messy. notes of caramel malts and dough up front, spicy phenols and notes of alcohol tinge the nose, lemon and banana take over in the back with a fair bit of grassy herbal hops. all the aromas seem to be on point but they don't blend well and seem to stand alone.

T-the taste is more integrated, dough caramel malts show a strong malt body. spicy phenols, lightly peppery with notes of alcohol but very light. tons of bananas behind with light lemon. the finish has a fair bit of grassy hops with little to no bitterness.

M-full bodied and chewy, strong malt presence in the body, good carbonation balances nicely with a slightly dry finish.

D-the flavor is well balanced and more integrated than the nose. its slightly messy but the flavors are nice and it is rather easily drinken. not a whole lot of yeast but huge malt presence, interesting take on the belgian style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly dirty golden color with an off white head. Nose brings forth some yeast but mostly a lot of grapes. This carries over into the taste where, despite some yeast and spice, this is almost just a fancy grape juice. Feel consists of a medium body and good carbonation. All together, this is just a bit much and almost tastes like a grape juice mixture.

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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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Allagash Victor Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 475 ratings.
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