Jul 28, 2007

Victory Hop Devil Ale

Now that Victory's seasonal run of Whirlwind and Sunrise are coming to an end and getting harder to find in a town where a decent mircobrew selection is hard to find to begin with I decided it was high time to get a taste of something else is this (so far) fine brewery outta Downington, Pennsylvania has to offer. In my book IPA's are always worth taking a gamble on because they are one of my favorite kinds of brew even though there been those times where Lady Luck has not quite been on my side. Tonight she must've went out of her way to stack the deck in my favor because this is one of the best damn IPA's that I've never tried before in quite a while.
The aroma of oranges and caramel was different than what I usually smell had me intrigued right off the bat. Neither of them overpowering the other like they are in some kind of perfect harmony. I found the darkish orange color of it interesting too. Yeah, such a shade is expected in an IPA but there is something a little more eye catching about it here.
"Oh man. If this is half as good as it smells and looks" is all I was thinking but didn't get my hopes up too much though because, as I already said, I've tasted a fair share of IPA's that command a "Yeah...we get it. They're all about the hops but come on now. Don't you think this is a little out of hand?" response (and this coming from someone who LOVES plenty a hop in his ales) or the other end of the stick where it's like "Ummm...you realize that malt talking the lead does not any kind of pale ale make." This is almost perfect. The only reason I say almost is because I am just starting to hone the craft of home brewing. I know it's gonna take me a couple of years before I'll even have an idea of what I'm really doing but a pale is probably what I am gonna focus my first mastering skills on. Hop Devil is gonna be incorporated into that template. It's bitter but not that way too much pucker, the taste of lemon peel and caramel letting it go down smooth. The hops linger leaving a nice little twang in the mouth once it's down the throat but not anything shouting too loud "I'm 6.7% abv" the way a bunch of others do. Nice medium body...not too fizzy nor too oily. The only complaint I have is the name Hop Devil itself. After all it's got a hop bud fancied as a devil's face on the label. Off the name alone I was expecting something a bit more over the top and maybe a belly ache/esophagus fire the next day like a Bell's Two Hearted Ale at first and that was what I was prepared for. I don't feel let down at all that this is a bit more mellow than that...An almost perfect mellow as a matter of fact....A mellow that I can share with friends who are even of the too much persuasion as well as those that like the bite. No matter the season either. There's something about the way these guys do things (though I'm gonna wait til the colder months roll in before I try their Storm King Stout) where I have to say Victory does it again!!!
http://www.victorybeer.com/home.html

8 comments:

Lord Rutledge said...

Nice review. Victory's Hop Wallop oughta give you the over-the-top hop assault you might crave. I'm not a huge hop guy, so the balance of the HopDevil makes it one of the few IPAs I can regularly enjoy.

Dale said...

I was 3 deep into the six when I wrote the review (which might be obvious from the rambling parts in the write up). yeah, I'm all about the hops but the super hoppy thing can sometimes delight and other times make me shudder. I really liked Hop Devil but was prepared for something a bit more out of hand based off the name. Doesn't discount the brew at all though cuz it's super damn good and if there wasn't just, at the most, 2 stores (both on the other side of town) stocking it around here-It would be my IPA of choice. Hop Wallop is fall seasonal isn't it? I already informed the "good beer store" dude to get some in come the fall. Victory is always worth dropping coin on (in a dumb comparison they're kinda like the In The Red of beer makers)
Lord Rut-you live in Penn right? How far is the brewery from ya? Maybe we could do a Mi vs. Pa beer trade or something....

lord rutledge said...

Victory Brewing is about an hour from my house. It's one of my fave dining spots. Sadly, we have stringent laws about not being able to ship beer. Otherwise, I'd be able to send you some fresh wares. Ever try the Prima Pils?

Dale said...

I think Michigan has some laws involving beer mailing too (or they did at least...You couldn't ship it too particular states at least I believe) but somehow Lagerhead and Hedonist Beer Jive have worked some kinda law violating set up working (provided if the law here is still what it was)...Yes! I have had the Prima Pils but not in a couple of month. I might come back around to it for a review sometime soon. I find Pilsners kinda boring normally BUT I do have so that Prima is one of the best tasting ones I've ever had.

j said...

Pilsners are boring? What about Stellas? They rule.

carson said...

What about Stellas? They aren't a pilsner.

lomar said...

"I was expecting something a bit more over the top and maybe a belly ache/esophagus fire the next day like a Bell's Two Hearted Ale at first and that was what I was prepared for"

Stick to reviewing rock records. Two Heart Ale is one of the best beers out there. You obviously don't know much about beer,

Dale said...

Nice. The BA elitists are chiming in now? Spill over from their message board? Oh boy.

Re-read the post. I already explained it over there.