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 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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by an insanely generous advocate of beer. Served in a goblet.

Pours a nice amber-brown color with a light tan head and a touch of lacing as it went down. The nose is really nice and complex with some great funky notes plus a bit of wood, cherries, sherry, a bit of grape, some lactic character, and a bit of light wine.

The taste isn't quite as complex as the nose and brings a good dose of lactic sourness, cherry, and some oak. Also there is a bit of barnyard funk. Mouthfeel is nice with good carbonation plus a nice dryness to accompany the funk and lactic character. Really nice. I can't believe I got to try this one after kicking myself for not getting tickets to the day session of BBF, where I could have sampled this at the Allagash special session. Really nice brew.

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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.

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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 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 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).

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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."

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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