772: Victory HopDevil

772 - Victory HopDevilName: Victory HopDevil
Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Downingtown, PA
Style: American IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.70%
First Brewed: 1995
Price: $2.29

Tasting Notes
On the nose, huge pine and citrus aromas rise above a creamy head. Malt sweetness dominates the palate at first, followed by grassy, citrusy hops with a tight spiciness, then there’s a sweet, smooth, satisfying finish that is never cloying.

Ricky’s Thoughts

This is our last beer from Victory. I landed this beer in a trade since Victory beers are not distributed out here. We could easily get them in Indiana, but Indiana is a lot closer to Pennsylvania than Arizona. I am a big fan of this brewing company, too. I didn’t realize the guys behind it were beer nerds and studied beer in Germany. I hope this beer stacks up.

I have had this before, but not in a long time. I think the last time I had this was in Indianapolis at a beer festival. Oh, and I love the label. The little hop devil… cute!

In the Glass: The beer, for being an American IPA, has a nice creamy head. The lace is really nice, too. I would use the word, “sticky” to explain the lace. The beer is also quite cloudy. Makes me think of an unfiltered wheat beer. Maybe that is the German training these brewers had. Let’s see what she smells like.

Nose: There is a ton of orange zest on this one. The tasting notes mentioned a lot of pine, but I am not getting much, if any, pine here. That’s good, because it’s hot outside. I like nice citrus forward beers during the hot summer months. Save pine for the wintertime. Well, the 65 degrees we get here in the desert! There might be a hint of pine there, but the sweetness of the malts really tames it down. Let’s see what she tastes like.

Flavor: There is more pine on the palate. A lot more pine. The beer also has a weird mouthfeel, but we will get to that. The flavor profile doesn’t really match the aroma whatsoever. That’s not a bad thing, as that allows you to experience a wide range of hop character in a single bottle. I haven’t had their lineup in a while, but I wonder if all their beers have a similar hop profile. Think Stone Brewing Company.

Mouthfeel: Flat. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this beer was flat. It’s not, but it has a very flat mouthfeel. I don’t know what other words to use to describe it… it’s not thin, but that is the word that comes to mind.

I will mention this beer is NOT right out of the fridge. I took this beer out and let it warm up a little. Some of the mouthfeel changes might be coming from that. I wonder if Sheryl noticed.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste also has a lot of pine in it. It is somewhat drying, and leaves me wanting another drink. The ABV on this bottle would allow me to drink 3 or 4 without even really taking note. Speaking of their other beers, their Storm King and Golden Monkey are two of their best beers. They also produce a weizenbock that I have never had. I am not sure I have even seen the bottle.

This is a good beer. For a basic IPA, I would totally put this in my rotation. It has just enough hop character to appease the hop head in me. Sheryl isn’t a big fan of hops, but yesterday ordered the new Enjoy By from Stone. We were at Aces and Ales in Las Vegas celebrating my birthday, and they had the new one on tap. It was good; lots of fruity flavors.

If you like a good American IPA, give this one a shot. Cheers!

Victory HopDevil – The bottle says: “The mythical HopDevil resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, spicy and menacingly delicious. He’s the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. arising from the heady wilds of our Hopback and gently tamed with time, this Devil makes a great companion.”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I just had an IPA, and I think we are reviewing one now. I don’t even really like IPAs. I hope this is a good one. It kind of had a lot of head in the glass. It actually looks pretty thin. It’s kind of an orange color, with a few bubbles floating to the top. It smells mostly of hops, which isn’t surprising. See, this is why I don’t like IPAs that much. To me, they all smell the same and pretty much taste the same. Unless it’s one like Dogfish Head 120 Minute or something like that. Most IPAs just taste entirely of hops to me. There’s just no differentiation. Let’s see if this one’s any different. I don’t expect it to be.

This one does taste different to me, at least a little. It’s different than the one that I just had. It’s smoother somehow, more balance. It still tastes very much like most IPAs, though. All you really taste is hops. Maybe that’s where my taste buds fail. I guess I just don’t have a palette trained well enough to like IPAs. All I can really tell you about this beer is that it’s a hoppy, balanced and smooth IPA. It’s not bad, but to me it’s still an IPA. Probably not one I’d buy again.

Rating: 3/5

771 bottles of beer on the wall…

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