Allagash Victor Francenstein | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Victor FrancensteinAllagash Victor 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.

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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 103
Photo of newk340
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
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 BrewedAwakening
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from the brewery this morning. Poured into two small Allagash chalices.

A: hazy, deep strawberry blond with an underlying reddish hue. thin lacing with minimal stick, highly carbonated.

S: strawberries and red wine with intense brett funk.

T: effervescent and dry with citrus and oak notes under the lacto sourness and brett funk, with a red wine-type finish. incredibly complex as it initially presents with the forward flavors that fade into the very subtle characteristic of vanilla.

M: light on the tongue with a fleeting tickle of carbonation on the palate.

D: this is an absolutely exquisite beer with beautiful complexity. i look forward to saving this beer to enjoy again in a few years, although aging is totally not necessary as this beer is stellar right now.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
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 asuitor
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off I wish this sour was mass produced so everyone that love sours could try it. I think it will only get better with age tasted a little young.

A-murky reddish, slight head with some retention

S-Grapes, Oak, funky earth tones. Tart smell followed by a sight smell of alcohol behind it.

T-Tart/sour up front, flavors of oak and grapes present. Finishes with a red wine type dryness

M-Light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation for a wild

D- Amazing, however it does feel a bit young. I think given more time to mature this beer will be top shelf. Only time will tell. I would drink this once a week if I could, but hey I love sours.

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Photo of Brez07
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
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

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Photo of sk8man121
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12.7 oz bottle poured into my Allagash chalice.

A: Pours strawberry-blond with a creamy pink, one-finger head. Pumpkin-like orange when held up to a light. Leaves sparse lacing on the glass. The color alone makes this one of the more interesting looking beers I've poured in a while.

S: This is where the Interlude comparisons start coming into play, as Allagash's house brettanomyces yeast takes center stage, with a funky, sour bite in the nose. Behind it lays the smell of Victor; grapes, grass, more grapes. Astonishing combination.

T: Sour vinegar punch up front that slowly turns to fruit at the back of the tongue. More brett, more grapes. There's a slight hint of oak from the barrel-aging process, but it isn't nearly as apparent as I had expected it to be. I would've liked to have seen more oak, actually. Sour-cherry aftertaste is quite nice.

M: Anyone who drinks champagne will be right at home here. Carbonation is high, and this beer turns creamy as soon as it hits the tongue. Any less carbonation and the intense flavors in this beer would be muddled. Mouthfeel is perfect.

D: If there were more of these around, I would drink it on a regular basis. Like the Interlude, it's an American Wild Ale that drinks so easily, it's scary.

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Photo of Casey10
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am biased I am from Maine and I was able to get this.

That being said believe the hype. This has as super grape tart taste that it is worth the hype.

Pours hazy yellow great carbination as well as a nice tangy sour funk (not too) funky though. I feel that both the new and more experienced american sour lover will enjoy this.

I have had a bunch of sours, this is a top notch beeer, best ever? who's to say once this has aged a bit. It is definately enjoyable and while I may have a home town bias, but I feel others will agree.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Brad for sharing this one, tasted alongside Gargamel and Vagabond.

Pours a clear reddish amber with a small whitish head that recedes quickly to a thin collar and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is very bright, lots of lemony tartness and lactic up front but then the grapes take over and are certainly the most prominent feature of the nose. The brett is present but not overdone.

The taste is also excellent with the grapes shining through from the beginning with a musty funk from the brett and some lactic acid and lemons thrown in for good measure. Finish is dry and vinous - oaky.

The mouthfeel is light bodied, extremely crisp and well carbonated.

This was the clear winner against Vagabond and Gargamel. Granted, it's a different type of beer, but it was the tastiest for me and the most drinkable by far. Great American wild and one of Allagash's best.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
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 mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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 Overlord
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a really generous trader.

Pours a murky orange brown. Some nice bubbling and a slight white foam along the edge. The streams of languid bubbling lasted for a long time.

Smells like musty grape funk, some lemons, random acid, and a pleasant oak-y aroma. Kind of a more accessible Saint Lamvinus, actually. The grapes are immediately and strongly noticeable.

Taste is not overpoweringly sour at all. The rarity does this beer a disservice, as it is one of the most accessible sours I can recall. The grapes are fantastically integrated, provide some balancing sweetness, and I'd swear there are a bunch of varieties in here. The promised lemon/acid/unripe pear zest makes an appearance, but it won't take the paint off the walls. Vinous vinegariness and oak on the aftertaste.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of capra12
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed with speedwayjim, chrissy, stephy and laura. Served out of a Kate spade flute glass.

Appearance: tennis court clay with hints of red. 1/2 finger of head and web like lacing. Slight cloudy.

Smell: I get a ton sour from the lactobacilus and moderate funk. Subtle hints of red fruit come to mind and a hint of malt on the nose.

Taste: opens with a sweet malt and subtle dark fruit profile. There is a sour and funk profile that evolves into a fruit and malt profile from the middle to the end. I get a red profile throughout this sip. I get a sour and malt finish.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, slightly warming on the finish. Crisp but not mouth puckering.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and recommend this to those seeking a mildly sour sour with a hint of fruit. This is tasty and a great sour for beginners and weather veterans.

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Photo of glid02
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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.


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Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty red semi hazy color with a light head.

Nose light tart sour fruits, little grape like aromas with a bit of must. Light creamy malts with touch of dry bready funk from the Brett.

Taste is light tart fruit, some grapes and almost a sour cherry like fruit. Some lactic acid and a touch of tart flemmy fruits. Light dry bready malt taste with light brett funk. Dry finish little flemmy pretty tart.

The mouth is light to med body.

Drinkability is surprisingly well for what it is. Drinks a lot less than 9.7% abv, and aside from a bit of a flemmy finish drinks very well for a wild.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of kkipple
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of craytonic
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared w/ habmike and kkipple

Appearance: Pours a red-pink with a nice white head and some good lacing:

Smell: Very nice funk to it that doesn't overpower, hints of cab franc (?) grapes right underneath, along with a light sourness and oaky vanilla

Taste: Funkiness up front, followed by the grapes with a sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Allagash always nails this part, great creamy mouthfeel

Drinkability: Goes down quite well, I was shocked to see it was almost 10%. It has been a while, but I may like this better than vagabond/gargamel

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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 drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is light amber to brown with a thin head of small off white bubbles, carbonation is moderate and the head breaks quickly. The bubbles pull toward the walls of the glass and leaves a little lacing. Looks nice.

Whoa, grapes. Oak, funk, acetic, lactic, and oh yeah, grapes. Smells kind of like a funky chardonnay.

Beer is thin and finishes quickly, its bright up front and finishes nicely overall. There is some tartness like stone fruits and some tannic bitterness from the oak. Bretty funk popoulates the mid palate overall its a great beer.

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Photo of jlenik
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Allagash Victor Francenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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