Victor Francenstein
Allagash Brewing Company

Victor FrancensteinVictor Francenstein
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Wild Ale
4.36 | pDev: 8.72%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Victor FrancensteinVictor Francenstein
Notes: Victor Francenstein was created by aging 2008 victor ale in french oak wine barrels for one year with a blend of lactobacillus and brettanomyces. 100 lbs of 2009 cabernet franc grapes were then added to the barrel for an additional six months of aging. The resulting beer is dry, tart and fruity. Fresh strawberries and citrus are present in an aroma that gives way to flavors of grapefruit and rum. The tart finish has hints of vanilla and oak.
Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes sampled Aug 19 2010 at Eb's
Pours a fairly clear golden amber color with a decent white head that shows some retention. Smells of tart cherries, lemons, caramel, very vinous with a solid dose of tart and funk. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. A solid hit of sour fruits up front, lemons and cherries mostly, and a solid hit of grape skins. A bit of funk with some vanilla and caramel round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium to light body with a spirited level of carbonation and crisp bubbly mouthfeel. I like this beer a lot, too bad its nearly impossible to get again.

Aug 26, 2012
Photo of jlenik
jlenik from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

corked and caged bottle poured into Cantillon tulip

a: launched my cork toward the ceiling after a nice pop! pours a clear light amber color. minimal head during the pour that quickly disappears.

s: reminds me of a somewhat sweet white wine. the funkiness this gives off definitely has some legs!

t: sweetness from the grapes comes through immediately. the alcohol is masked by the tartness and subtle oakyness. definitely reminiscent of a gueuze with a balanced sweetness.

m: a delicate balance between the sour and the sweet. there is a slight alcohol presence in the smell but it's rather undetectable. finishes dry.

o: Allagash really makes impressive sours. they may not always be as sour as a RR or Cantillon BUT they are incredibly delicate and balanced; Victor Franc is no exception. glad to have the opportunity to try it!

Apr 09, 2012
Photo of pmlondrigan
pmlondrigan from New York

4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is unmistakably Allagash sour all around. A light pop, a faint hiss, and a gentle pour reveals the following. A pale colored ale, slightly orange, slightly amber, snow white crystal head. The CO2 is audable, crackling and well taught. It recedes but a white ring is ever present. The aroma is heavy with oak, and funk, grape skins, and fleshy grape fruit. If you imagine a Bourdeux when drinking this the grapes pop even more. The aroma is earthy and complex. Fruity grapes meet the palate and are then married to wine barrel oak and funk. The sourness is tame here, tart if anything, but that is an allagash sour for you. More Brett then bugs. Really complex wine like charecteristics. Dry finish. Medium bodied but spritzy. This is a real fine beer, damn fine.

Mar 19, 2012
Photo of BearsOnAcid
BearsOnAcid from Washington

4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown pour; small white head

A lambic-esque aroma. Impressive. Bright grapeyness and Allagash funk.

Slightly sweet vinous flavor. Bretty and bitter(pithy). Some sharp cheese. Finish ends with a little acitidity and some tannins. The alcohol warms you up. Definitely the best Allagash has put out for special releases.

Mar 02, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin from Maine

3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a big Allagash chalice. Pours amber red with three fingers of a quickly receding white three finger head. It settles down to a thin layer of foam quickly.

The aroma has a nice sour grape aroma with some hints of oak and some lactic notes. Musky grapes on the pallet with lots of oak and some hint of vanilla. Mildly tart in the finish with a little bit of grape sweetness.

The body is light and crisp with soft carbonation. Overall a pretty solid brew here. Although I can't really taste the bugs.

Feb 18, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Purplish to pinkish higlights on the orange beer. An off-white head that left a thin ring on the sides and some spots. Nice bubbles rising to the top.

S - Funk, brett, grapes, wood, lactic, wine. Has a nice tart smell, but is on the lighter side.

T - Out of the Allagash special releases I have had, this is the best one. Nice berry tartness with grapes, pineapple, barrel, wood. Very pleasant, light tasting, and tartness. I wouldn't call it special, but it's very good.

M - Good carbonation, lighter bodied, effervescent.

O - Really nice beer that was easy to get down with nice taste and tartness. Would like to get this again, wish it wasn't in such small bottles and limited. Really nice American sour.

Jul 24, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pinkish amber that was nearly clouded over with haze. Nice tight head of a finger in height rises up and settles across the top with gorgeous swirls of lacing across the sides of the glass. First whiff seems a bit light to be honest, light funk, sour notes, pears, and hints of malts starting to come though. No alcohol present at all and the sour seems very understated at this point. The forst sip totally redeems it though as the sour fruits and oak notes start to perk up. Nice touches of grapeskins, sour, sour grapefruit like flavors rip through the palate. Dark fruits, prunes, hints of vanilla and light notes of brown sugar can be picked up through the haze of barnyard funk. Rich medium body is more then well carbonated and really lets the flavor pop across the palate. Final sips are dy, vinegar rich and full of apple and pear back flavors.

Jul 12, 2011
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unearthed from the cellar of Ebenezer's on 6/10/11. Shared with FooFaa and brewslut.

A - Poured a ruby red grapefruit-colored liquid with a patchy off-white head that dispersed to pockets of spotty retention and yielded minimal lacing.

S - Earthy aroma reminiscent of basement dirt, musty cinderblocks and moldy wood, but also quite vinous with plenty of citric acidity and a hint of sour grape skins.

T - Moderate sourness with plenty of woody astringency as well as a hint of musty funk and basement notes. However, this segues into more fruity tart territory with sour grapes and wine-like tannins, giving the finish some tart, sour pucker with a hint of malt graininess to balance.

M - Light bodied with bright, prickly carbonation and a syrupy texture. Finishes semi-dry with plenty of sourness on the palate, resulting in some fairly intense pucker.

D - Victor Frankenstein reminds me of the dank, dusty, moldy basement where the doctor created his infamous monster.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"Smells like a basement."

Jun 15, 2011
Photo of koopa
koopa from New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Traded a 750ml Blabaer for a couple of these 375ml VF's with a nice BA thanks for the opportunity and I hope you enjoy your Blabaer!

Appearance: Pours a fairly pale iced tea to russet with a 1/2 finger white crown that shows little retention and lace. Love the wrapping tissue paper and the gold sticker that come on the bottle. Didn't so much when I traded in the past for Vagabond and Gargamel but I'm now officially appreciating it!

Smell: Lots of nice character here....grapes, brett, minor horseblanket and a hint of wood. Delicate and enjoyable. The mild sourness from the grapes stands out the most.

Taste: A touch of crystal coupled with a nice grape skin dryness. A hint of lemon from the brett on the finish. Not much funk (yet). I'd give it a 4.26 if I could so I'm rounding up.

Mouthfeel: Just how I like my wilds, on the thick side of light bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A decent wild and one I like more than vagabond. I'm happy I have a second bottle and am curious to know what it will taste like in a couple of years.

Apr 08, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
Arenbeer from Connecticut

4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Served at fridge temp

A- Pours a nice clear dark peach colored brown with a super white thin 1 finger head on top. Good amount of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass. Spotty lacing with some serious alcohol feet on the side of the glass.

S- Strong grapes and fruitiness up front that's full of funk and sourness from the yeast. Slight wood notes in there as well with some nice alcohol in the background.

T- Strong funk up front with a really nice vinous profile to follow. Plenty of fruitiness from the yeast as well giving off some nice citrus flavors and tons of buggy tartness. In the back of the palate after it goes down you get some really nice oak and vanilla flavors from the barrels. Surprisingly the alcohol is pretty much non excistant in this one, even being %9.7.

M- Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a sour tart finish.


Mar 20, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1 from New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my girlfriend. She loves sour grapes. Poured into an Allagash chalice. The color is clear golden with a slightly reddish tint. The bubbles look nice steadily rising to the top of the glass. There is a solid layer of off white head on top.

The aroma hints at lemongrass. Not much malt or grape flavor, it's tart yeast all the way. Not much funk, just clean tartness. Enjoyable for sure, but not anything particularly special.

The taste starts out clean and tart. There is just the slightest bit of malt sweetness to take the edge of the sour finish. I detect the slightest bit of grape and cheese; two flavors that work well together.

This one is light and a little to drinkable. The balance leans heavily on the sour flavors, but for those that really enjoy that (this guy included) it works wonderfully. Definitely an exciting beer to have.

Mar 12, 2011
Photo of largadeer
largadeer from California

3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks, Nick.

Appearance: Muddy, rusty red. The head recedes pretty quickly. Not the best looking beer.

Smell: Heavy on the funk and vinous fruit. Earthy, oaky, mildly sour. Pleasant fruitiness, though it doesn't jump out much. There's a bit of dark malt character too, just barely noticeable beneath the funk and grapes.

Palate: Much like the nose, it's a nice blend of very mild sourness, earthy-musty funk, vinous fruit and oak. There's a nice juicy, leathery fruit character that contributes some depth. Still a bit malty, too; the bugs haven't completely taken over this one. The finish is brief, only mildly tannic. Alcohol is nicely hidden, I wouldn't have guessed this was over 6%. Pretty good stuff overall, though it's not something I'd care to drink again.

Feb 18, 2011
Photo of nickd717
nickd717 from California

3.87/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Traded for this bad boy awhile back and finally cracked the sucker open. 375ml bottle.

Pours a hazy amber color with a small whitish head and good retention.

The aroma is basically grapes and funk, not too much to it but pretty good. Somewhat oaky with slight leather, typical of Allagash wilds.

The flavor starts with somewhat sweet caramel malt then finishes with a good tartness, with white grapes and slight vinegar. Slight leather and oak.

Medium-bodied with a good acidic mouthfeel and average carbonation.

Good compared to other Allagash wild ales, but not a standout in the big scheme of things.

Feb 18, 2011
Photo of grub
grub from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. tpd975 contributed this one. thanks greg!

375ml corked and caged bottle.

pours hazy orangey brown with a big white head. the head drops fast but leaves a bunch of spotty lace.

aroma is great. earthy and woody. yeasty. big horse blanket and leather character. no real vinegar or sourness, just full out funk. malty - whole wheat bread, biscuit, and cracker. light alcohol. bit of date and fig.

taste is good. much like the aroma, but with light malt vinegar and lemon. bit of sour cherry. the aroma is all about funk with very little sourness, but the taste flips that and lets the sourness shine. low bitterness level. bit of caramel.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body with a dry finish. slightly above medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. good balance. nice depth.

Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50 from Nevada

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this rarity the other day with jh1982. He got this some time ago, I guess this was just the day to drink it.

It pours a nice amber-orange color with a nice clarity to it. It pours with a fairly high carbonation and a white foamy head. Light lacing.

The smells on this one are superb. It has a very strong acidity with a crushed grape skin smell. There is a note of malt background that backs the fruit and helps push the must smell coming from the bugs.

A fairly interesting brew that is actually quite complex. The cabernet franc grapes are very present, as well as the wild yeasts. A dry must flavor probably coming from Brett is evident, as well as a strong Lactic lemon flavor. There is a background of darker biscuit malts, and it adds a balance to the whole beer.

A good mouthfeel that owns an astringency from the grape. I am sure some of the oak tannins are shinning through as well. A very good beer that I was pleased to try.

Jan 18, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this one. Served in a champagne flute.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thin ring and partial cap. Mostly transparent orange body with golden highlights and lots of visible bubbles.

S - Big funk, bretty pineapple from the yeast, light vinous notes, fairly acetic, some spicy oak.

T - Fruity, bretty, funky, with a very sour grape and vinous finish. A little less complex than the nose, but still quite enjoyable. Alcohol is shockingly well hidden. Probably a 4.25, but I'll be generous.

M - Fairly high carbonation that provides effervescence and zest. Refreshing, surprisingly light body. Tannic grapeskin finish. I had forgotten this was 9.7% - drinks like a 5-6% beer.

D - This was a pleasant surprise. I didn't like it quite as much as fresh Gargamel, but it's a very solid American Wild Ale and much more enjoyable that Vagabond.

Jan 16, 2011
Photo of Brez07
Brez07 from Maine

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened this to celebrate my girlfriend's new/first job out of grad school. 375ml bottle split into two MBC glasses

A: Peachy color with some fizzy white head on initial pour. A swirl garners that same amount. Lacing is brief

S: Nice bretty aroma starts this off along with some barnyard funk. There is some grape as well. Probably more grape skin opposed to the actual fruit. Light floral and strawberry presence

T: Tartness caught me off guard in the first sip. Felt it right in the jaw. Sour until the end, where it mellows out with some oakiness. Fruit flavor consists of sour grapes and strawberry

M: Crisp and refreshing. Medium bodied with fairly present carbonation. Sour up front before smoothing out

D: This one was hard to put down. So delicious. I liked that it wasn't one of those stomach turning sours. Already wish I had more

Jan 06, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at an after-Christmas tasting this week, courtesy of AgentZero (thanks Mike!). This was one of the first choices for the night, and was a great kick-off.

It poured a dark straw color, initially clear but a little murky in the later pours, with a thin white foam ring. This smelled so good compared with earlier Allagash limiteds, way better than Vagabond or Gargamel. A very nice funky brett aroma, throw in the standard barnyard and horse-blanket descriptors, with light oak and, to me, barely perceptable grapes.

What a great drink, this beer made it hard to move on to others at the tasting. It tastes closer to a great Cantillon than anything else. Some citrus character and a nice tart bite, lasting impressions from the grapes.

Good carbonation, very spritzy. I loved this, so glad to have the chance to try it.

Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my homie, AgentZero, for breaking this one out. Poured from 375ml bottle into a 3F wine glass.

A - Pours a light golden yellow, off-white head with some larger bubbles here and there, and no lacing or much retention to speak of.

S - Tart/sour notes, slight cheesy funk, sour grapes, oak.

T - Similar to the nose, but slightly better. I really dig the level of funk/tart/sour along with the grapes/oak/floral notes. A really nice combo and very well-done.

M - Light in body and carbonation, dry finish.

D - My favorite Allagash sour out of the first three (Gargamel, Vagabond, and VF). Thanks for breaking this one out, Mike. I hope to have it again in the future. Recommend.

Dec 28, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34 from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Mike at our tasting...Pours a clear light purple, a darker cherry seven up. Light pink head, not much carbonation...The aroma is very grapey, in a good way, they aren't super sweet. Oak balances as well, vinous and yummy...The taste is almost as good, but lacking on a lot of the grapes, more of a vinous oaky ale, still good, just not elite. The finish is peppery oak, distracts me.

Much better than I expected, good not great.

Dec 28, 2010
Photo of newk340
newk340 from Wisconsin

4.97/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a beautiful golden amber color that is visibly carbonated with a fluffy white head.

S: smells of funk and grapes, can't get enough of the well-balanced brett!

T: yum! tastes of sour fruits all around, hints of grapes, lime, and grapefruit at the end...

MF/D: very mouthpuckering, but i'm not complaining. very hard to put down. a shame the bottles weren't any bigger...

Dec 21, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit from Maine

4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to make this my 700th review.

12.7oz bottle poured into my Allagash glass.

Pours a light amber/golden color with what appears to be a tinge of pink, hardly any head at all and no lacing on the glass, very small bubbles rise from the bottom.

Smell is wicked tart, more so than I thought it would be, I've had regular Victor but this takes it to a whole new level, picking up subtle hints of oak and a bit of fruitiness.

Taste starts out with a nice tartness, makes you pucker but it isn't overkill on the level of Hommage, the light fruit melds well with the oak in a balanced way, finishes quite dry but the flavor lingers long after, prickly carbonation really helps this beer along, probably one of the most "wine" like beers I've ever had too.

While not on the level of Gargamel, this is a significant improvement over regular Victor, add in an awesome label and that makes it a must have.

Dec 12, 2010
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part 3 or 3 in the Allawelsh tasting.

Poured into snifter. Pours ½ finger of white head that fades to a thick ring. Leaves some lace rings. Color is a dark amber peach color.

Aroma: I get a strawberry flavor before the grapes hit. It is fairly fruity. Also has some muskmelon and oak flavors. Some spices show. Very wine like. Also has a passion-fruit flavor.

Taste: Again, a lot of fruits here. Strawberries and grapes with some muskmelon. It also has a herbal/floral brett characteristic. It is fairly oaky. Has a lot of wine flavors here like in the nose. Has some bready malts and flavors that remind me of a Belgian golden ale. Decent flavors here.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, clean, and refreshing. Medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation. I will have to swirl some of it out. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, I had a small sample of this a few months back and wasn't looking forward to this one, but it is actually a decent beer. It has a bit too much carbonation, but that can be fixed. I enjoyed this one. It has a lot of nice fruit flavors with a good amount of brett flavors. Pretty good drinkability.

Dec 03, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Opens with a nice big pop of the cork. Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter glass an opaque apricot orange color with a decent sized white collared head. The aroma is more sour/tart fruit notes with grape, vanilla and oak. As it warms this has vanilla and caramel taste as well. Smell is very wine-esque as well. Light mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation. The carbonation is actually a little much and gets in the way of some of the flavors. The taste starts off with sweet/tart fruit and transitions to a long drawn out wine like dryness with touches of brett florals and medicinal. The alcohol is noticeable in the end and reminds me of wine. Overall, I like this beer but again with some of the other Allagash limited beers, this isn't really mind blowing or life changing at all.

Nov 27, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper, dark salmon, lots of lace. Nose is heavy on grape, fairly sugary, with salty ("sea salt") brett. A lot of brett in the mouth, grape skins, sugars. Low acidity, with a bit of a straight flavor profile that wasn't overly complex to my taste. Finish was kind of strangely herbal, almost numbing, a touch astringent. The flavor profile here just wasn't very tight and the finish was weird. I'm definitely being picky, and nice though this was I wasn't blown away by any stretch.

Nov 21, 2010
Victor Francenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 102 ratings