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 jrallen34
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Hopleaf...A light good with an off white head, ok retention and lacing...The aroma has a lot going on but not successfully, very vinous throughout, grape seed, champagne-esque yeast...The taste is pinot grigo with spice, very vinous again, feels like you're drinking a wine. This is not very good and should be skipped.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Hopleaf. Figured it's easier to part with $6.50 for a tulip than to splurge on a whole bottle. This batch was listed at 9.3%.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is a hazed pale golden color. Why is this called a "dark" ale?

S - An odd mix of Belgian yeast, pilsener malt, and vinous notes. There are some spicy alcohol esters and stone fruits in there as well. Not entirely successful - like someone blended Chouffe with red wine.

T - A mix of grape juice and Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I actually think the taste works better than the smell, as it's less overtly vinous (although the aftertaste is reminiscent of red wine). There's also a yeasty tang to it.

M - Feel is slick, with medium-low carbonation - consistent with the vinous flavor profile. Finishes lightly sticky. It's a touch thin for the high ABV, but there's no obvious heat which is appreciated.

D - I'm glad I got to try this on-tap, not because it was great, but because I saved myself from buying an expensive bottle. It was passable, and I didn't any problems finishing my tulip. Hope Victor Francenstein is better.

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Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. It poured a dark amber color with a thick and frothy white head filling 1/3 of the glass. The head settled a bit but left some very good, thick lacing on the sides of the glass as I` drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of the grapes to it. A clean, slightly grainy pilsner malt comes through along with just a bit of an earthy spice from the European hops.

The taste also shows a pretty strong grape flavor to it as well. It has a bit of a grape juice flavor to it. A little bit of the pilsner malt comes through with a slightly grainy quality in the finish. The grapes are really the main flavor going on though.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied and carbonation is also a bit above average. Drinkability is pretty decent, the grapes added some nice and interesting flavors to it. It felt a bit one dimensional with the grape juice flavors but at the same time they did a nice job at making those flavors work so well in a beer. A cool beer I'm glad I got to try.

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Photo of Golden
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased 2010 version from City Beer recently, chilled and poured into tulip.

Light golden with a rosy hue and nearly white head.

Dry malty aroma with grapes nothing to complex.

Deliciously dry and grassy taste balanced nicely by some grape.

Carbonation dances on the tounge to balance the malt.

Drinks quite nice for a 9%er.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored body is filled with a slight bit of haze and a nice bubbly carbonation. A frothy white head, about two fingers thicks, sits atop nicely without much fading.

Aroma is a bit malty at first with a familiar Pilsner malt scent which seems to be complimented by traditional European hops that seems a bit spicy. As it warms and opens up, sweeter fruit notes start to come through, but its not distinctly grapes.

The taste, from the start is sweet and full of grapes. There is certainly a wine-like character to this, but a good bit of malt keeps it in check. The finish is a bit bitter and tart, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel has a medium-heavy body and is smooth but crisp. The carbonation gives it a champagne-like feel almost.

Overall, this is a sweet but delicious ale from Allagash. I had little idea of what to expect from this beer but the blending of grapes and wine-yeast into a beer seems to work quite well.

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Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from enjoying this on-tap at The Stag`s Head.

Appearance is a cloudy golden color with a thin head with some bubbles. The smell has the grapes that I expected, as well as a good amount of malt and an overall earthiness to it. Taking a sip, the taste is sweet, with more of the grapes, I taste some apple as well. I also note belgian yeast with some bitterness to Victor. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. All in all, this is a very drinkable beer, especially for the style. It had been some time that I had been meaning to try it and am glad that I finally did.

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Photo of drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, but a bit overly sweet for me. Cork almost freed itself and the beer slowly started to overflow. Served at close to correct temperature. Poured with a big, foamy, frothy, textured, cream colored head and a little bit of lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is hugely dominated by yeast, then grape must, some malt. Flavor is quite sweet up front with a bit of bitterness in the back. And under it all is a general Belgian style strong amber ale. Body is quite soft and mouth filling; carbonation isn't enough to handle the sweetness. Maybe a good dessert beer. Finish is like flavor, medium in length and ending with a slight alcohol sweetness.

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Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy light copper with a little white head.
S: It smelled like citrus and sour Belgian yeast with a little earthy caramel and spices. Surprisingly smelled only slightly darker/maltier than Victoria.
T: It tasted like caramel and rich brown sugar, with orange and lemon zest and some white grapes and wild Belgian yeast. It had a bitter metallic aftertaste with some lingering sweetness.
M: It was oily with some smooth carbonation.
D: This started off smelling very similar to Victoria, but the taste was much sweeter rather than hoppy and sour. It had a nice body too and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. Not the best dark Belgian ever, but still very enjoyable. Cellaring could possibly improve it.

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

A = Golden with a slight red/purple tinge that is might just me thinking too much about it. Decent head that sicks a little bit.

S = Hot... Smells pretty boozey but there are some banana and and other yeast characteristics. You get a little little bit of hte grape too.

T = I really didnt like this much at first. It was pretty boozy and and it almost tasted like it had artificial sweetener added to it. As it warmed it opened up a little bit nad you got some of the subtler flavors in between the alcohol and sweet grape. Ended up being ok but a tough sell at its pricetag.

M = Good... not great.... had a nice warming sensation.

D = Slow Slow Slow let this baby get to about room temp before you drink it.

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

A: Honey amber hue with a half opacity clarity

S: Very fruity with notes of grape and something with more ripe sweetness I can't quite nail down. Maybe peach?

T: Sweet just like the sweet, fruity aromas it releases. Very good blend of malt, yeast and fruit gives it a smoothness.

M: Velvety with high carbonation to counter-balance the sweetness. Might be a real chore to drink without and would no doubt lead to pucker mouth.

D: Quite tasty in small batches. A little too much on the sweet side for more than one, but delicious nonetheless. Great balance of flavor and masking of alcohol.

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Photo of Kendo
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice; split the bottle with a friend. Body is hazy golden honey-amber with a small white head. Leaves no lace.

S: Funky and fruity -- ripe peaches and apricot over a bit of malt and yeast.

T: Sweet -- candied sugar over fruity malt. Grapes and ripe peaches or apricots are evident again. Some spicy heat felt at the back end.

M: Slightly heavier than medium in heft, lots of carbonation cuts the slick sweetness a bit.

D: Not bad, a little too sweet and heavy to get a higher score in drinkability. Consider this one more of an after dinner sipper than a pre-gaming quaffer.

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

At the Allagash promo, Coppermine Pub in North Arlington NJ: poured a mildy cloudy yellow with less than a finger of white head, and decent head retention. Very herbal/spicy, dry peel, and some candi sugar in the nose. Nicely balanced aroma. However the taste was a little less so; very spicy, with no hint of fruitiness, and a dry grapefruit peel finish. I will say though that the alcohol content was extremely well hidden. Mildly carbonated, medium body. Given the flavor progression and high alcohol content, I was exactly rushing to session this, but a good beer usual from these guys.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium orange with a finger of white head, some good lace. Don't know why this is considered a BSDA, it's just a shade darker than Victoria.

S: Lots of tropical fruit, I got some mango, passion fruit, and grapes.

T: Orange fruit and stone fruit, the beer isn't really dark; it's just a different incarnation of a BSPA. Fruit salad like in flavour, the yeast is quite light, not a huge complexity.

M: As with the Victoria, medium-bodied with soft carbonation, quite drinkable.

D: A quality product from Allagash, but a pass at the $17-20 they're asking. At those prices to rebuy, a beer needs to have a 5 in taste. Good beer, just overpriced.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at ChurchKey.

Missed this one when it was at Paradiso, so I was jazzed (check out my jazz hands!) to see it at the CK. Everyone deserves a second chance. *single tear* It pours a mostly clear golden straw topped by a half-finger of large white bubbles, though I wouldn't name them (if you catch my drift). The nose comprises white grapes, red grapes, cane sugar, and peaches. I really do like this smell. Yes I do. Yuppers. Anyway, the taste holds notes of white grapes, banana, cloves, a slight bitterness, and an even slighter tartness. ...Is slighter a word?... The body is a light medium, with moderate carbonation and a dry, partially bitter finish. Good times.

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Photo of TommyW
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden/orange with red tints and a fizzy white head.

S- Smell of fruits and a whiff of alcohol.

T- Nice balance of fruits (grape and apple) with some interesting yeast character.

M- Medium feel and a medium carbonation.

D- Nice Belgian beer that goes down very easy.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap this past Saturday night at the Dive Bar in Worcester. Served in a 0.25l Allagash glass for $6. Dull orange color, with a hint of forest green in the body. Fizzy white head. Smelled like a glass of wine - fresh and a bit boozy. Taste was quite different and unique. There was a lot of grape flavor to this beer. The brewer really got a lot of the flavor out of the barrel and into the beer. I have had a few beers aged in wine barrels, and this one was one of the best examples. Mouthfeel fell somewhere between a dark ale and a wine: easy to drink, but a sipper. A small glass was all I needed for this beer, it was an appropriate amount. A great beer to try if searching for something new, or a nice crossover beer for wine lovers.

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

A: Hazy yellow with decent head and some lace.

S: Sweet, with a very present grape aroma.

T: Tasty grapes. Well done. The sweetness, however, becomes too much fairly quickly. This is a decent beer to split a few ways.

M: Decent carbonation level. Ok feel. Again, a bit sweet throughout.

D: A small sample is sufficient. I'm glad I tried it, but don't feel compelled to try this one again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours golden-orange with a white head. The aroma is citrus with some grape notes. The flavor is heavy on the grapes along with some nice citrus flavors. There is some alcohol detectable as well as some Belgian yeast character. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is dark brown with a broken thin head that leaves a lot of lacing but didn't have much carbonation.

The aroma is sweet raisin aroma with an almost sour aroma.

This beer has an odd late sweet flavor. The sweetness somehow avoids the front of the palate. There is a slight lactic flavor. There is also an odd yeast character. Overall its smooth. Drinkability if fine.

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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 psujmatt
2.22/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed at bar while disappointed. First beer of the day.

A: medium amber no head no bubbliness

s: winelike nose

t: not balanced, a bit sharp, a hint of circuit board (is that the wine yeast or some contamination?)

M: wine like with a hint of bubbles. Maybe a cheap sparkling wine

d: circuit board flavor limits drinkability. Hides alcohol well.

Edit: 1/12/2010. I will note that I really liked the Victoria Ale, but that was brewed with Belgian yeast I believe. So perhaps it is the wine yeast that gives it the taste I don't like. Finally, three other people tasted this at my table, and 2 of them were very mad to have spent $8 on 8-10oz. The other thought it was average and worth trying.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap At capone's from a 2007 keg.

A- Victor has a hazy copper slighty lighter amber in color. Some white fizzy head on top that faded leaving no lace.

S- This one is all about the grapes and the malt. Big scents of grapes (chancellor I believe) with malts and some begian yeast. This comes off like a slightly sweet wine. Some faded hoppy earth in the background.

T-A taste of vinious grapes with a underlining Belgian sweetness from the malt. The grape taste is big but not cloying or overly sweet, I think this 2 year old version is at a good point in it's life although I have not had this fresh. A spicy finish with some warmth from the 10%.

M&D- Victor goes down easy enough although the 10 percent is a bit easy to detect. This goes down pretty smooth for a medium sized semi sweet beer, the carb was on point as well, not overly crisp. Im glad i tried it on tap as a whole bottle would have been a chore. Perhaps i'll buy a fresh bottle and share with friends.

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Photo of corby112
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is for the 2007 vintage sampled on draft last week at Capone's.

Pours a dark amber/caramel brown color with dark golden orange hues and a 1.5 finger froty white head. Very good retention, only slowly settling into a lasting ring that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Yeasty aroma with subtle hints of bread along wih a slightly vinous grape presence. Slight earthy funk along with caramel apple, subtle alcohol and very light hops.

Softly carbonated up front with a nice sweet alcohol and grape flavor. The vinous characteristic from the aroma isn't present here but there is some earthy oak tannis but not too much so. Slightly cider like with ints of apple as well as some caramel and toffee. The ABV is decently masked but the sweet alcohol presence is still there. No noticeable heat or alcohol warmth in the finish. Sightly dry herbal/medicinal aftertaste. This was pretty good and I would like to try a fresh vintage to compare. It has held up remarkable 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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