Allagash Victor Francenstein | Allagash Brewing Company

53 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Reagan1984
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A small head forms and vanishes leaving a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass. The beer is a cloudy amber color with some carbonation rising to the surface.

Aroma is of grapes, other fruits and some tartness.

Flavor has a great deal of grape notes, lots of oak and a more than a twinge of a medicinal flavor. Lots of vinous notes. Flat bitterness, oak in the finish.

Carbonation prickles on the tip of your tongue.

Don't find this that exciting to be honest. Glad to have had the opportunity to try this, but not a classic.

 542 characters

Photo of vacax
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

 677 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

 770 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.77/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Richard for sharing yet another whaleish offering.

A: The pour is a hazy reddish-pink color with a fluffy off-white head.

S: The nose is somewhat light in intensity. A decent barnyard funkiness with some hints of red grapes and strawberries and a touch of acidity.

T: A light tartness to the flavor with sweet grapes and strawberries. The funk is earthy and leathery and the brett and grapes provide a very dry feel to the beer.

M: The body is medium with a lively carbonation and a dry finish.

D: I was surprised to see this is 9.7% ABV, as the alcohol is very well hidden. However, the beer is fairly pedestrian as far as wild ales goes, and especially for one with grapes (which I really love).

 712 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.87/5  rDev -10%
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.

 608 characters

Photo of ffejherb
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
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."

 1,035 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 497 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

 856 characters

Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 1,112 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 1,097 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 447 characters

Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprise 4oz sample courtesy of jlindros and some quick thinking. Thanks Jared!

A - Pours a clear amber color with a tan collar and no real head.

S - Sweet malt, cherry, wine-like, horseblankety funk, a bit of a floral character and some higher alcohols in the nose.

T - Funky with horsey, barnyardy flavors, grapes/wine, cherries, alcohol, floral and fruity flavors. There is a medium level tartness, lactic sourness. As it warms up a bit, some vanilla and woody/oaky flavors emerge to round things out.

M - Prickly and tingly on the tongue with a higher level carbonation. Body is light. Oak dominates the aftertaste, especially as this warms up.

D - Pretty good wild ale overall. Lots of complexity. Woody, funky and sour blend nicely. Not super sour...this would be really easy to have a couple of bottles...if I could find them.

Overall, very glad to have tried this one...especially since I just missed out getting some at the brewery by about an hour when it was released. A solid sour and worthy, but not as amazing as I had hoped.

 1,047 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy pinkish/reddish color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a winey scent a mild sourness to it. The taste is good as well. It's smooth and delicate with some crystal malts and grape flavors. The "bugs" create quite a sour bite to it. It goes down easy with a dry sourness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've never had the regular Victor, but I do like the sour edge to this version. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd like it. Beer with grape juice added just isn't my bag.

 598 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 788 characters

Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 842 characters

Photo of ElGallo
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with a very generous friend. Pours a reddish pink with a tart but floral nose. Solid carbonation and dry tartness on the first sip. Some musty barnyard in there too, which I liked. The cab franc grapes are everpresent and give this a nice body. I have been a fan of the Allagash sours I've been able to try (Vagabond, Interlude), and this one takes the game up a notch. Very impressive beer. Wish they made more of it this batch. I'm digging the label too. Looks like me on a bender.

 498 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beerFMAndy for sharing this one with me. Poured from the bottle into my tulip.

A: Dark pink hue. Small bit of light pink head. Tiny lace ring.

S: Nice sweet and funky mix. Lots of tart fruit with a mild dose of barnyard stank. Vanila like sweetness along with dry dusty wood round things out.

T: Lightly tart with just a hint of band aid and wet straw. The sourness is majorly subdued. Traces of dusty wood, earth and booze.

M; Light bubbly body.

D: Easy drinker and quite tasty. Nothing out of this world but very happy I was able to try this one.

 570 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

*Bah! I typed up a review, my connection to Stone's Wireless network timed out, and I lost it*


Thanks to Mike (Overlord) for sharing. The Law of Equipoise must be restored in the near future.

A: Hazy orange tinged grapefruit with a small white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Tannic cabernet franc grape skins and a dash of sweet flesh accompany wet wood, wet leather, hay, and a musty character. The fruit is slightly sweet and quite expressive with acetic notes.

T: Wet leather, oak, tannins, sweet and tart grape skins and flesh with a restrained acetic character. The beer is lightly tart and displays a lower moderate level of lactic sourness that is mostly clean. There isn't much funk in the flavor but the fruit is quite nice. The finish is tannic with sweet and tart fruit.

M: Sticky and creamy with prickly carbonation.

Overall: A tasty American Wild Ale. Definitely worth trying, depending on what you have to give up for it, that is.

 963 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
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!

 429 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 716 characters

Photo of Jdiddy
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A HUGE thanks to Chris Lively at Ebenezers's for the bottle. Pours a nice amber, reddish/brown. Smell is instantly of white wine, think chardonnay. Barnyard funk as well. Lot's of oak. Nice carbonation, but not too much.
Tastes similar to smell as the grapes are very present. This is a very dry beer. The finish is exceptionally dry but not in a bad way.
The sour element is not over the top. I found I liked more as it warmed up as the subtle flavors seemed to present themselves. (vanilla, grapes, oak).
Great beer. Mindblowing it is not, but I'd drink anytime I could find it.

 582 characters

Photo of koopa
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 1,065 characters

Photo of Jmoore50
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 949 characters

Photo of gtn80
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a champagne flute.

Appearance is a dark pink, moving towards red. Big, bright white head that lasted throughout.

Aroma was great, sourness and fruit.

Taste was very tart up front, but smoothed through the swallow. Not a ton of funkiness, but that didn't hurt my feelings, I'm not a huge fan of funkiness. The tartness was nice and refreshing, helped by the fruit.

Mouthfeel was a bit too carbonated, and a bit too thin.

Drinkability was only hurt by the mouth puckering tartness.

All in all, a great wild ale.

 543 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Allagash Victor Francenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.