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 jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a warm orange amber color with shallow wispy off white head that struggles and settles to the surface nicely. Visibly effervescent, a steady stream of bubbles from the bottom of this St. Feuillien goblet generating intense surface pools of foam that leave textbook spotty patterns of Belgian lacing . The smell is aggressive. There is an undeniable presence of the alcohol at first over a tart yet sweet fruity fragrance and an almost balanced earthy malt and yeasty aroma (this bottle indicates 9% ABV vs the 10.40% indicated on this page) . Well carbonated without being 'fizzy', the signature tiny bubbles of this Belgian Strong Ale give the mouth feel a really wonderful creamy texture. The first sample is notably 'warming'. The alcohol is neither timid nor distracting. Full flavored, the creamy tartness of the mouth and classic fruity taste from this Belgian yeast finishes with a pleasant, almost dry sensation. This one is a keeper. While the "dark" piece of this is understated, the complexity is well worth considering. Highly recommended.

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

Pours a cloudy yellow/orange color with a decent frothy head and some lacing.

A sweet smell, can make out the grapes, fairly yeasty aroma too.

The taste is more tart/sour than I expected but in a pleasant way, even though it makes me pucker after drinking. Quite a carbonation kick, usually too much is bad but it works very well with this.

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

A 750 mL corked and capped bottle.

A: The ale pours a dark orange color, a reasonable approximation between orange and amber brown. The head was huge on pour, measuring almost 3 fingers in size.

S: The aroma coming off of the ale is strong on the yeast strain, a funky aroma that conjures up a good Belgian brew. Along side that yeast aroma is some raisiny sweetness and dark candi sugars.

T: The ale is delicious. Candi sugar and raisin sweetness dominate the first sip, creating an excellent dark Belgian base. On top of that flavor is the tartness of green grapes, which surprises me because the ale showcases chancellor grapes (red grapes), unlike its sister, Victoria. The ale shows off a unique dryness in its finish that reminds me of a nice red wine, full of flavor yet dry in its end.

M: The ale retains a strong tart green grape flavor up front before yielding to the dry red grape finish. The flavor throughout is true to the Belgian framework.

D: The abv is very high and doesn't hesitate to pop up throughout the glass. Despite that, the ale is strong on Allagash's best features: dark fruity taste, funky yeast and strong finish. An excellent ale.

[Follow-up note: The bottle says 9% but the fact sheet from Allagash says 10.4%, decide amongst yourselves.]

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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 jancona
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap - wonderful peppery yeast smell. Great yeast flavor with some bready notes. The wine kicks in a bit in the finish though it is subtle. Great with my meal!

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

Pours an amber with reddish hues and plenty of carbonation action going on demonstrating bubbles galore. A large pure white pours high and fades into a pillowy stump leaving sticky lacing behind.

Nose shows signs of plum, berry, belgian yeast, belgian spices, orange peel, cotton candy, and some tropical type fruits.

Good nicely balanced beer. Some hop bitterness on the fninish. Fruity throughout and dominating on the mid palate. A hint of raisin, pinot noir grapes, black cherry, berry fruit, spicey etheral qualities. Light bodied but long on the finish. I could drink this beer all day and not get tired of it. Very easy sitting on the palate. The grapes show through nicely.

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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 John_M
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's Allagash event last night. Of the two V's (Victor and Victoria), I believe I liked this the best.

The beer pours a honey gold color with fair head retention and lacing. The beer is pretty sweet on the nose, with considerable malt and honey. On the palate this beer is quite delicious, and I'm surprised by the flavors of vanilla and chocolate on a moderately sweet frame. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable in this beer, but it's not obtrusive. The finish on this beer is very smooth and long.

Impressive. What a delicious beer.

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