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Allagash Victor

Allagash Victor / Alllagash Victoria

Victor/Victoria (released in 1982) is a classic musical with music by the eminent Henry Mancini (winner of 4 Academy Awards and 20 Grammys) and lyrics by one of my personal favorites Leslie Bricusse (writer of the Goldfinger theme song, the oft-covered modern standard “Feeling Good,” and many other songs and scores [most importantly though, 1970’s Scrooge musical starring Albert Finney as Mr. Ebenezer]).

Starring Julie Andrews as a woman playing a man playing a woman (read it again) and the late James Garner as her love interest, plenty of zany gender-bending hijinks ensue involving saucy dames, hilarious musical numbers and… cockroaches.

Someone at Allagash Brewing Company must also be a fan of the musical as not one, but two of their famed limited releases reference the movie. The beers, much like Julie Andrews in the film, mirror each other: Victor is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged in red wine barrels; Victoria is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale aged in white wine barrels.

Victor is definitely the more masculine of the two, as the 9 percent ABV brew pours a beautiful cloudy caramel color with an impressive cap of cream-colored foam on top.

The flavor spans the breadth of its ingredients (just as Mancini and Bricusse’s score pulled its style from various vaudeville, Broadway and New Orleans jazz influences), with just the right touch of hops balancing the heavily Belgian malt bill and the red wine barrels adding the perfect kiss of wine flavor to tie it all together.

The movie is timeless, but sadly the beer was only around for a few minutes after uncorking. C'est la vie.

– Chris Guest