There’s Wine in my Beer!

June 13, 2012

I rarely discuss wine here at the Nobler, for a couple of reasons. The first, is quite simple. The world of wine is a complex monster; one that probably deserves its own blog or two. Maybe if you google “wine” you can find something! But the second and more legitimate reason, is that I am by no means an expert. In fact, while I’d say my wine knowledge puts me somewhere above average, the world of wine is a bit intimidating. I know that it doesn’t need to be this way but for me, I know what I like, and I know what I’m willing to spend for what I like. That puts me in a place where I’m rarely disappointed. I know there’s more to be had however, so I’m enlisting new Nobler Adam to help me out. He knows his shit! So who knows, maybe we can even get him to throw in some insight for us all…

So why all the wine talk this morning?  Believe it or not, the inspiration actually came from beer. The amount of craft beer available in NYC is pretty unheard of. And with that in mind, I try my best to try something new fairly frequently. So when I got a glass of this Allagash Victoria Ale, touting the use of chardonnay groups in the mash, I was intrigued but a little skeptical. I assumed there would be some delicate sweetness imparted that worked nicely with the hoppy belgian strong ale which is great, but maybe not worth much fuss. But after one sip, it was clear this Victoria Ale was worth some serious attention. I’m going to dumb this down for a second, but this beer tastes like there’s wine in it!

That doesn’t do justice, however, as there is some serious complexity to their brew. The direct addition of Chardonnay grapes to the mash means that part of the fermentation process is coming from those grape sugars. So the wine finish to this beer makes total sense. And even more interestingly, the complexity is truly balanced. At 9% alcohol and with inspiration from Bacchus, the god of wine, the Allagash Victoria is one that needs to make your list. Enjoy!



  1. Allagash makes another fantastic wine-based beer called Victor. This time it’s red wine grapes, instead of white…

  2. I love Allagash. Truly one of America’s great breweries.

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