obisbeer (568) - Barcelona, SPAIN - OCT 16, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Crystal clear rich amber color with little or no head. Malt cherries, and spice on the nose with hints of carmel and sweet fruit. Heavey mouthfeel with sweet palate and lingering sweet finish, almost clying though the alcohol which is well hidden balances it out nice. Sweet fruit flavors with vanilla, carmel, cinnamon, and malt on the finish. Fresh peaches linger as you await nother sip. Another great beer from victory.
hopdog (11459) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 10, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a medium mahogany color with a tan head. Aromas and tastes of caramel, brown sugar, and apples. Little spicy finish. Alcohol lightly noticeable (but not 12%). Overall a decent Belgian Strong.
Loddeer (171) - USA - OCT 8, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2004 I had the pleasure of enjoying this free of charge at the Victory brewhouse in Downingtown. Almost like a wine, with an abundance of grape and light spice flavoring. Impressive appearance and goes down very nicely, it warms the soul and makes you happy to be alive. Almost taste too much like wine though. Nonetheless, without Victory, my life would be incomplete.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 3, 2004
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a deep chestnut with a dense white head that is mostly diminishing but does leave a solid spider web lace all over the glass.
Snickerdoodle cookies, pears, mellow floral hops, and apricots up front, melted candy in the mid-palate and cherries, apples and red licorice on the finish.
Very smooth but still heavy in the mouth. This is amazingly complex and a phenomenal ale.
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - SEP 25, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Wheat and olive nose with some spice. Spicey efferecent mouthfeel. Doughy/cobweb yeasts with more of that wheat/olive taste.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - AUG 29, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2007 2/20/07. Poured out of 750 mL bottle, obtained in a trade with ClarkVV on RateBeer 7/8/05. Rated blind. 2003 Vintage. Pours a hazy caramel-orange color with a medium-small cream-tan, uneven head that fades to a blotchy mess fairly quickly. Lots of active carbonation streaming up from below, and although the lacing is almost non-existent (fast and patchy), the sub-surface lace is an elegant, shimmering, multi-layered cascade. Extremely fruity, sweet aroma like candied pear, syrupy candied nuts, some soft rummy fig and sherried caramel notes, all outlined by a big bright yeasty presence. Some woody and nutty notes give some earth character, but it’s like everything is drizzled in honey and natural maple syrup. And the good news is that most of it carries over to the flavor. Flavor continues to posit the honey/sherried notes like an elegantly oxidized but otherwise syrupy malt bomb, interestingly accompanied by some fuzzy nutshell dryness and toastiness. Alcohol fuzziness and a drying sort of woody chalkiness. Finish is long and sticky on the lips, bold and sweet while teetering on the safe side of over-sugary. Body is actually thinned out a bit, I think by the alcohol, with a somewhat watery texture and a gentle but consistent carbonation tingle. Big, immediate alcohol warmth and numbing presence in the finish. After working through most of the bottle, a strange flavor starts to creep in way at the back end of the finish-- this starts to get exceedingly tangy and pasty with sort of a rum-soaked raisin flavor accompanied by a woody dryness as if from a barrel. I can forgive those sorts of transgressions, because it’s still very interesting. But I have to admit it was somewhat of a chore to drink even my first glass, because the sweetness in the flavor does begin to wear down fairly heavily on the palate and the alcohol wears heavily on my eyelids. I still like it quite a lot, as I’m admittedly a sucker for sweet and high-alcohol beers. Upon reveal: I had this one pegged at first with a correct guess, but almost thought for a moment I was drinking Allagash Curieux (although my experience with that beer is very limited, so don’t lambaste me for that comparison). Whatever it was, I knew I liked it. Well done. Now I wonder if recent vintages can measure up. (8/4/8/4/17)
8/28/04. Poured out of 750 mL bottle, sampled at Dr. Bill and Steiny’s 8th Annual 12-Hour Beer Festival in Orange, CA 8/28/04. 2002 Vintage. Gold/amber in color, thin head that lingers in a whisp with not much lacing at all. Sweet and vaguely Belgian candi nose, some caramel berry with a sugary quality. Taste is very good. Wonderful carbonation on the mouthfeel and some really mellow sweetness. Thick roundness and appley sweetness. Very full body, viscous. Very good. (7/3/7/5/18 - 4.0) Final rating reflects some kind of average of the two ratings.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 28, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle: Pours to a deep amber with an initial large head but fades quickly into a small lasting ring and little lace. The aroma has notes of belgian candi sugar, carmel malts, aromatic hops, and funky and dusty yeast esters. The taste starts sweet and fruity, lots of apple and pear. Light spices and some bitters on the finish. The feel is lively and some noticeable alcohol is detected. Overall, good but not outstanding. Quaffable.
dukefan (215) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 11, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I found this beer to be almost painfully too high in alcohol. While much of the Belgian flavors do work your way through, you somehow feel like you are drinking a fancy "boilermaker". As a huge Belgian and Victory fan, I was expecting better.
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JUL 31, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle Dated March 11, 2003: Beer pours pale golden with a mostly diminishing off white head. The aroma is both rich and subtle. Many fruit aromas are present as is the expected yeast, and a light presence of alcohol as well. Flavor is sweet with candy sugar a bit of dark fruit ala raisin and the alcohol warmth is there as well. Quite a nice example of the Belgian Style by a great American brewer, might have been even better at say 10% ABV.
kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - JUL 25, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Medium amber w/a thin, short lived white head, pours sort of thick. Intial aroma is winelike, turns plum & peppery spice as it warms; Alcohol & woody, malty, hints of solvent & some smokiness as it warms. Very well balanced; malty w/ a dry finish, alcohol taste & fruitiness; some hop flavor in the finish & aftertaste, plum fruitiness, spicy, peppery, bready, doughy yeast. Some alcoholic astringency, dry m/f, alcohol is warming or a little more, medium bodied. A little more than warming for style. Not a bad example, but alcohol flavor takes away from the other subtleties. Good, but could be better.