Mar 31, 2008

Victory Hop Wallop

Ahhh, yes. The Victory Brewing company. Probably one of my top 5 favorite beermakers ever. When it comes to always to solid quality and good tasting beers-they like to experiment but never get too out of hand and silly like some of the other "extreme" breweries do. They take chances but, so far, have never put out something that sounds good in concept but ends up being something that is a very limited acquired taste even to the utmost of beer snobs (cough...like when Dogfish Head does something like...cough...Fort...cough). It's been awhile since we've discussed on of their beers 'round here and with the appearence of Hop Wallop on some local shelves the time seems right to do so again.
Victory is already a king when it come to a full on hop tang and flavor with their Hop Devil and it did have me wondering what they had up their sleeve with this. Well, let's just say that they took the Devil's platform, supe and juiced it up and the result is one of the best double IPA's I've tasted. A dark clear orange in color with a one fingered head that fades pretty quickly but leaves almost a blowing and drifting snow looking lace on the glass. The hop scent wasn't as stong as I expected it to be but it is there along with earthy and grapefruit aromas.
Though the hop scent isn't that detectable in the smells they sure do in the taste. Tart and sweet like a grapefruit is what you taste in the front end of the flavor. The grapefruitness of it is one more of the ruby red kind than say, your standard white or pink varieties. In some ways it also reminds me a bit of a pilsner with a huge hop profile. Some pine notes though bring you back though to remind that this is an IPA. A slight herbal bitterness follows it up giving it a dry kick in the back end but still not a burn that one would likely expect from something bordering the 9% abv mark. Watch out though cuz it does sneak up on ya.
I've said in the past that even if you were to chose one of Victory's lesser beers (though, honestly I can't think of one they've made that I've tried that could be considered that so far...except for maybe Golden Monkey-the spicing of it strike me weird-but I think that's just a personal taste thing) it's still gonna be better than a lot of brewer's best. I don't see myself changing that opinion anytime soon. The dude on the label sure looks like he knows how to party too.

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