Victor Francenstein | Allagash Brewing Company

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Victor FrancensteinVictor Francenstein
103 Ratings
Victor FrancensteinVictor Francenstein

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by WesWes on 03-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 53
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again, Craytonic delivers, cracking out a rarity for a little tasting action. Very upscale presentation, typical Allagash class. Love the brown paper wrapper with gold sticker, and the label is quite purty to boot.

A. Gorgeous deep red-copper autumn leaf beer. 2 centimeter tall eggshell head, foamy. No lace. Deep, rich color, lovely and refined. Well done.

S. Simply excellent and intriguing - sour funk, of course, but plenty of white grape and tropical esters (pineapple? Shades of Les Deux Brasseurs here. Some berry, some barrel, some musty fall notes.... hard to pin down exactly but I really did enjoy it.

T. Dry white wine immediately, there is that must again, and sweetness, some restrained funk, faded citrus (not bitter) fruit, hint of fruity sweetness to balance. Oaky, complex, interesting and rewarding. Outstanding balance; nothing dominates save for deliciousness.

M / D. Stand-out carbonation, big yet soft, dry, long white wine-Brett finish. Elegant. Quite drinkable, reminds me of a champagne or sparkling Rose wine.

I'm not very big on Allagash Victor, but Victor Francenstein is another creature entirely and a very good one at that. Highly recommended.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of newk340
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
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...

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked & caged bottle poured into a wine glass at Ebenezer's pub during the 6th annual Belgian Beer fest.

I was going to Maine/New Hampshire for the weekend after Victor Francenstein was released, and I was planning on stopping at Allagash on my way over with some friends to grab a couple bottles. Sadly it sold out a couple hours before we could get to Portland but I got to Ebenezer's (for the first time!) for Belgian Beer Fest for a few beers anyways. I asked Chris if he by any chance had any bottles left from the dinner before and thankfully he busted one out that I was able to share with a couple friends. I know there's a lot of hype around this but I split it with two other friends who both like beer but neither are BAs or have ever even had a sour beer before this and they both thought it was fantastic as well.

Pours a nice hazy ruddy orange color with a thin white head & light white lacing. Nose is very fruity with grapes dominating the nose but there's also a nice amount of funky sweetness that is quite delightful and just what I expect from a sour.

Wow, on the first sip I knew this was a world class sour, possibly the best I've ever had and certainly up there with the big boys like Cantillon and Drie Fontenin. It's tart and crisp with a very nice grapey sweetness, it's got a lot of wine characteristics, the two friends I split it with described it as a "wine beer" which I think is pretty apt, it would be a good cross over for a lover of fine wines into the world of craft beer. There is a nice funk to it but it's not of the barnyard variety, which I think makes it much easier drinking. The mouthfeel is full and sharp with a nice amount of carbonation similar to many of Allagash's wild ales.

A big thanks to Chris for busting this out, it was fantastic. I really hope that Allagash makes this beer again as it was so delicious, I think the $10 price at the brewery was a steal for something this good and if they could manage to produce it at a larger volume it would do fantastically.

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Photo of glid02
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Brad - much obliged!

Pours a slightly rosy light brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bright white grapes with moderate amounts of funk. Also present are solid amounts of dark fruit flavors - raisins mostly - brown sugar, and nondescript yet crisp medium malt flavors that serve as a nice backbone.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light medium malt flavors kick things off and dry out quickly with the addition of moderately tart grape flavors and hints of oak. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of raisins dusted with brown sugar. Slight amounts of molasses make a brief appearance before fading out into a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a big fan of this beer, and despite it being the youngest it was the smoothest of the three Allagash offerings. A complex beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by capra12. Poured from a 12oz. corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

A: Pours a nice 1/4 finger biese head with good retention and coarse bubbles lingering at the side. Beer is a semi-clear reddish-clay. Lacing is ruler-like and thick and frothy with decent cling.

S: Vanilla, oak, grape, ethanol, earth, light funk, raspberries and other ripe, red fruits. Aroma is overall rather sweet but there's a slightly abrasive alcohol in the back.

T: Acidic in the opening, grape, wood, peat, with a good balance of tart and sweet. Sour creeps in starting at the outset and builds towards the finish. Slight ethanol backdrop. Tart grape aftertaste that lingers at the end.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, oily and dry with a slight acidity. Dry finish, sticky and puckering aftertaste.

D: A very solid offering from Allagash and on par with their other special releases. However, in my opinion, don't believe the hype, this beer'll surely get better with time as the abrasive ethanol starts to fade a bit, yet, it'll never reach absolute masterpiece status.

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Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of UTvolFAN16
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of nickd717
3.87/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of morimoto76
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of aepb1
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful red clay, the edges fade to a nice amber. Small frothy white head

S- Very grapey. With a bit of funk, fruity malt base.

T- Grape sour! A bit of alcohol up front that goes straight into the sour and finishes very clean leaving on a bit of the malty taste behind.

M- Light, crisp, nice airy carbonation

D- As I age the other 3 bottles I have of this, I can't wait to see the change. As is, it's a nice little brew!

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Photo of Rakastaakissa
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of jsilva
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 9.7% ABV, no date.

This requires a massive thanks on my part to Keith (Rochefort10nh) for sending this to me as an EXTRA in a 6 beer trade. Ridiculous! You're the man Keith!

A - Almost totally clear and vibrantly amber-orange with a loose, bone-colored head. Moderate retention with a nice arch of thick lace from swirling it.

S - Gentle touches of sweet caramel notes hide behind a wild brett funk aroma. Barnyard and horse-blanket couples beautifully with red grapes and subtle, delicate wood barrel. Notes of cherries poke through. In one word; orgasmic.

T - Fairly malty for a wild ale, a lot of caramel and bread notes shine through with a hearty helping of brett in there. Tart red grapes blend nicely with the gentle draping of horse-blanket.

M - No alcohol presence what-so-ever for being damn near 10%. The mouthfeel is actually a little bothersome to me though as the malty sweetness comes out a little too much giving it a fuller, medium body. The high carbonation and spritzy finish with a great tartness from the grapes and sourness from the yeast is very awesome though.

D - Epic brew in the nose with a good flavor but a little too much in the mouthfeel. I like my wilds like this a little "thinner" or light-bodied, not so rich, but let me tell you, I feel extremely privileged to have tried this beer. Thank you again Keith!

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Mike
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of vacax
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark pink with a significant haze to it and fairly typical moderate head/retention. I like the color though the haze diminishes the appearance. Aroma is mostly funky with brettanomyces notes backed by vinous and red fruit notes. Flavor has significant acetic components, more barnyard funk than sourness here, not as sour as expected. Tart fruit/grapes in the background here, mostly hiding. I'm surprised this is 9.7%, the alcohol was well hidden but unfortunately the vinegar notes do that. Moderate body and appropriate higher carbonation for a wild ale, good balance on the feel. Decent wild ale, though not up to the high bar set by some of the other Allagash sours.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jpmclaug
5/5  rDev +14.9%

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Victor Francenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 103 ratings