Allagash Victor Francenstein | Allagash Brewing Company

103 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 53
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.

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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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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 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!

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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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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 mjn5036
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled slightly and served in Riedel red wine glass. Pours a musky, blood-orange, grapefruit color with a slightly pink tinted head that rises slightly and falls quickly. Carbonation bubbles dance to the surface in an elegant manner. Smells funky, light acidness, sweet and tart fruits; cherries, grapes and a heavy citrus, mainly grapefruit. It drinks well and the flavor profile starts off with the main points the nose picked up on and some other key elements that came as a surprise to the palate. Starts with a tart/acidic grape presence and mild funk and transitions to a grapefruit and ripe sweet fruit. Sweeter than I expected it to be. Finishes dry. Moments later I begin to get a presence of alcohol- bourbon. The description says rum but I'm getting more of a bourbon through association because suddenly I am pleased with a strong taste of vanilla. The vanilla is a surprise and a fantastic one at that. As it warms the tartness subsides and it becomes even smoother on the tongue and the subtle flavors become more pronounced.

Congratulations Allagash, you have once again impressed me. I think this will continue to improve with some more age on 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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