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Victory Helles Lager - Victory Brewing Company

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Victory Helles Lager
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BA SCORE
81
good

743 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 743
Reviews: 340
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.73%
Wants: 32
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2001

Formerly Victory Lager
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 743 | Reviews: 340 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 355 mL bottle of Victory Lager poured into an Ommegang glass. The lager is cold.

Appearance: The lager has a muted yellow color that reminds me of BMC. There is no sign of any impurities.

Smell: The lager has a strong caramel aroma that results from the firm malt backbone.

Taste: The malts really stand out here. They provide an array of caramel to biscuit aromas, each of which is firm and very tasty. The hop character is just enough to provide a nice even flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very well made and true to style, this beer just tastes good.

Drinkability: High drinkability. This beer is well made and I highly recommend it.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear very pale lemon juice yellow. A one finger head that dissipates within a minute of being poured. No lacing.

S - Crisp clean smell of citrus (lemon and grapefruit) over light bodied malt. Not fantastic, but far from offensive.

T - A bit of citrus flavor at first bite. It is crisp and pleasant. As the flavors progress, they develop a bit of a light bodied malt / grassy presence to overpower the citrus. Finishes grassy and lightly bitter. Very mild flavor, for the style that is great.

M - Carbonation is high, thin and watery. Refreshing as can be.

D - Easy. It is like water, so it drinks like water. This is a natural session beer, a compliment to nearly any meal. It tastes like a macro lager, but stripped of all unpleasantries.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Edit:
Wow, this was an early review...very bland and not too much to write about. A good lager for working outside in the fall or early spring.


Not too sure I'd compare this to other lagers...poured very pale with little to no head. Smells very wheaty with slight hops...don't get me wrong - these characteristics didn't turn me off at all!
Went down very smoothly as it is very light. Aftertaste is that of an American Lager. It's very enjoyable!

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Pours a white 1", short lived fizzy head that is fed after the pour by bubbles from the bottom. The beer is a golden straw in color.

smell: Pretty much the same as the taste. A slight, grainy sweetness of pale malt, light noble hops, and maybe a little corny sulfur.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the low side of the high range, and the body light.

taste: The taste is of slightly sweet pale malts, light noble hops, and just a touch of bitterness. Very clean, well balanced, and especially flavorful for a beer of this style.

drinkability: off the charts drinkability, I will likely drink this by the truckload this summer

Best by date of June 08, 2006 printed on the label

resampled on 6/16/08 with a best by 7/15/08 bottle...scores updated slightly from 4/4/4.5/4.5/5

Photo of kpw1000
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

I was pretty disappointed in this beer.

I acknowledge up front my bias against this style: I prefer an IPA, a trippel, a milk stout or oatmeal stout, a nice brown ale.

While I'm not partial to this style, I've had the Weihenstephaner Original and loved it, and of similar styles, I've enjoyed immensely Hacker Pschorr's Oktoberfest, and several others.

I also have a generally favorable bias for Victory; they're kind of local and I've liked the Prima Pils, and loved (loved!) Golden Monkey and HopDevil Ale.

But this beer, while a nice color, a nice pour, a nice feel, seemed utterly bland in flavor. I know this style is not known for the power of its taste, but this seemed unacceptably and exceptionally insipid.

Sorry.

Photo of scooter231
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale pale golden clear color- beer? This looks like champagne to me. Weird. Not much in the way of the nose... a hint of lemon and wheat, but it isn't terribly fragrant. Tastes like a hefe. A very filtered hefe. Wheat and lemon come through strong, maybe a hint of banana too. Taste is nice- but not so lageresque. Mouthfeel reminds me a bit of champagne, too... Very very drinkable, light and refreshing, goes down easy- a nice crisp brew.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by Jul 02 06.
DRINK IT IT'S SPOILING!
Pretty good for a helles lager... has the typical flavor profile of the style. Kinda wheaty, a bit of lemon in the flavor, very clear looking, a bit on the sweet side of the spectrum. A little too sweet for me; when I go for a pale lager I tend to like them a bit dryer and crisper. This is on the juicy side. A little bit slick on the palate but has appropriate carbonation.
Solid stuff. Nothing striking about it but it does its job.

Photo of doppelmeup
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle of this in a mug after working in the yard.

Poured a pretty, lemony-straw color. Not much head and very little lacing.

Not a lot of aromas, mild malt and hops but nothing to jump out, however for the style this is what I expected.

This beer had an excellent, subtle flavor that was not overly hoppy or malty, but did have a nice, mild taste. A good example of a helles lager, IMO.

Kind of a fizzy mouthfeel, but also light, smooth and crisp.

It really excels in the drinkability category, I wish I would have bought more than one to sample, as I could easily drink several of these in a row, especially out on a hot summer day grilling. This will be my beer of choice to bring to a summer party, especially if there are lots of non-BAers around who might squawk at something other than a typical lager.

Photo of pvsob
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold to pale straw color (clear), with a one finger head that dissipates rather quickly (no lace). Besides a slight hop aroma mingled with a touch of malt, I personally had a little trouble picking up any other aroma characteristics. The taste starting a little sweet for me, moved to a slight hoppy flavor and finished crisp with the faintest grain flavor. Overall mouth feel was a little thin almost watery to me. Bottom-line is that this is a decent Helles Lager. It won't knock you out with complexity, but it is enjoyable as a simple Lager. I will definitely be enjoying a few of these beside the grill this summer.

Photo of Phatz
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the absolute most approachable beers I've experienced. With all the recent conversations about approachable, easy going transition beers I wanted to start off by saying this definitely falls in that category.

Appearance: Typical for the style. It is a pale golden color, completely translucent. Head fades fast and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Musty and sweet right up front. It is gently malty with a clear presence of some hops but it is just laid back and relaxed.

Taste: The taste is the same way. Laid back and relaxed. This beer is interesting and good to taste but is remarkably easy to just drink with out thinking. The lightly toasted malts have a barley caramelized attribute to them. The hops character does not want you to notice it; so well balanced and simply supporting the overall affect of the beer on the palate. There is a bit of homemade bread or dough attribute as well, maybe that is what subconsciously says take off your shoes, sit on the porch and enjoy the hell out of me.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. this style tends to be very crisp and this one is light crispy and only gently bitter in the dry aftertaste. A bit more slick than some.

Drinkability: Many of the characteristics of this beer may seem reserved. It may not be as ‘big’ as some of you my prefer, but it is remarkably easy, one of the most enjoyable session beers I can think of.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of DaggerEyes
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a "best before" stamp on it, into my trusty pint glass...Victory lager poured a golden yellow with a small head that disappated to leave hardly anything behind, all that was visible of the head was a faint faint ring or lace around the rim. Thin beads of carbonation rushed to the surface.

Took a few deep whiffs of this but had trouble pulling much of any character off the nose. A faint yeasty or bready scent was detectable.

The taste was really nothing to get excited over, bready yeasty really reminds me of a slightly better version of budwiser, not exactly what you expect when you spend your money on "Victory" if I had wanted a beer with characteristics like this I would have just bought a case of Bud for what I plopped down for a sixer of this.

The mouthfeel was the only thing that really set it apart from a cheap lager. slightly more carbonated and a little more active in the mouth. Water thin yet at times it feels like it is attemping to acheive a more medium body.

Very drinkable in the way any cheap lager is...not something you sit back and savor, but something you drink at a out of control house party...

all in all this is definately not worth the price. Bummer

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear pale straw color with a fizzy white head that thins. Spider web lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very grainy with just a light scent of hops. Smells very fresh and crisp.

Taste is very crisp and malty with a dominating grainy flavor. A slight hop taste peeks through now and then, but it's more of an afterthought. Finishes crisp and clean.

Body seems a bit thin, carbonation is good.

This goes down with tremendous ease. A very nice lager - but what else would you expect from Victory?

Photo of shbobdb
4.94/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours urine yellow with a limp head . . . but boy does it taste!
Ahhh . . . now this is what beer drinking is all about. Round and clean, yet there is a faint malty taste that lingers on the back of the tongue with a pinch of hops up front.
Nothing finer than a good lager and this is a good lager. One of the best American Lagers I've had. Certainly the best made outside of Wisconsin.
Yeah, this lager could easily compete in Wisconsin . . . heck, it could even find itself in Germany and have a fighting chance against some German varieties. I love it, I love it, I love it.

Photo of Chadbrew
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a very light yellow beer. The head is about a half a finger but falls very very quickly. The aroma is mostly like corn, and I'm sorry to say that the flavor is mostly the same. It is light and fresh and except for a touch of diacetyl, it's kinda refreshing. A bit thinnish on the mouthfeel but appropriate enough for the style.
There is an easiness to drinking this that I cannot quite put my finger on, just wish something stood out a little more.

Photo of futureman69
5/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, ok....you guys (and gals) are looking at my ratings and thinking "how could this brew possibly be as good as he claims..?"...well, there are a few things you need to know first:
1) You need to be a Helles Lager fan
2) See item #1...
3) You get the picture. Helles lager is a VERY exclusive beer club; it's definitely NOT for the faint of heart or for the hop-enthuiast. Helles-style lager has its own beer-aesthetic - and not one that can be easily explained - but let's just say I live within 45 minutes of the Victory brewery in wonderful Amish-laden Pennsylvania and I can say with utmost confidence that - straight out of the tap or the bottle - this IS the most delicious example of this variety of beer I have ever had.
Do yourself a favor: try it. If you don't like, set it aside and don't think about it for several months...
Then pick it up again - give it another try. If it still doesn't appeal to you, set it aside. Talk with friends. Play pinball. Shoot skeet...take a walk.
THEN - come back and drink it again. Ok..."Wow!", you'll say...or "huh.." or something.
Ok. At this point, change your life. Go back to school and get that post-graduate degree. Or, maybe, propose to that high-school sweetheart and finally get married and settle down. Something. SOMETHING! Do something with your liffe, Goddam-itt! Then, after you've changed, come back and try Victory Lager again. Perhaps you will have found a place for it in your life - at last. Perhaps not.
Ok, several more decades have past; the family's good, the kids are grown, the wife's got some 'growing pains'...says she wants to try life on her own for a while - out in the Pacific Northwest - without you - so you let her go...you trade in your stocks, sell the homestead, flip over your long-held socio-political ideology and find life anew as an ascetic new-millenium warrior monk. God bless you! Now, go to your local beer retailer and purchase a fresh case of Victory Lager. Chill it. Open it. Sip it. Savor it. Delight in life, because (God knows) your days are numbered and good lager (like this) is a rara avis - a scent of life blown on an ocean breeze.
...try to grasp it for a moment and know life as few others live it...

Victory Lager. Indeed.

Photo of twelvsies
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice, standard issue but solid sort of lager. Would be excellent in the summer. One thing I love about Victory is the fact that they have so many beers that are just eye candy. This is a great example of what a lager should look like - perfect clarity, straw colored, lightly carbonated, and with a small head that sticks around for a while but eventually disappears. Would be nicer I guess if the head lasted longer, but I'm not gonna nitpick here. Smell is yeasty and grainy, with a light malt backbone and a grassy but sedate hop profile. Crisp taste first of all, which is good. Followed up by some bready malty tastes and a wee bit of hops. Could be a bit more rounded off in terms of having some nicer, more robust, sweet malts, for balance. All in all though, it's a really drinkable beer with a subtle character.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came a clear straw yellow with a hint of brown and a thick frothy head. Smelled of dry dirty corn and a musky citrus. Tasted very citrusy for a lager with a sweet corn and oats base. Very slight and simple. Mouth feel was light bodied with a medium to high carbonation. I’d have to say that this would be an ideal transition beer for some one addicted to macros who is curious about Victory.

Photo of mobyfann
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $28 for the mixed case...

The beer pours a slightly hazy light golden base with a medium white head, minimal head retention and a few specs on the glass in the end. The aroma.... what aroma, where are the hops, a very faint smell.

The taste is just average, a little flavor but that is it, very one dimensional and average as a helles. The mouthfeel left a slight dry and harsh touch in the end, it wasn't a particular favorite. Decent drinkability, for a standard beer over Bud I would take it and split a pitcher with someone, but I would rather end with this than start with it.

Final Thought: An average Lager, disappointing coming from Victory.

Photo of HugoGrim
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Victory brewery.

The look was pretty plain. Pale yellow body with a white head which disappeared quickly.

Scent is sweet grain with hints of spice and fruits. Hops hiding in the background.

The flavor starts with a graininess then moves to a fresh bread flavor mixed with fresh hops. Finishes with a yeastiness.

A decent beer overall, though it is paled in every category to the other beers available. It tasted like water after such monster brews as Storm King and Hop Devil, though I tried not to let that hinder the rating.

Photo of Citadel82
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well this is a perfectly average beer. A beer to recommend to the Bud drinker in your circle of friends as an entre' to better things. Pours a transparent pale gold with a sparse short-lived head that left no lace whatsoever....sigh. Persisitent light carbonation insufficient to form the sparsest of rings of foam on a beer clean glass. The aroma was light and bready, some sweetness hints of corn and faint floral hops. Taste was balanced and refreshing. Short lived sweetness fading to a hoppy finish that is persistent but faint. Mouthfeel is light. This is an easy drinking beer though a tad too "euro lager-ish" for my tastes. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp. A refreshing and drinkable brew, perhaps a good brew to have around for the dog days of August when you are having many more than one.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, milky sunshine yellow with a fine yeasty haze. The bone white cap is decent, but isn't up to Victory's usual high standards. The foam is neither creamy nor sticky and doesn't look all that impressive as it deflates. A squeaky clean glass doesn't help.

Back on track. The nose is a wonderful combination of fresh, sweet grain and bright, lightly spicy, fruity hops. It's exceptionally well-balanced. I haven't had that many, but I don't recall a better Munich helles lager nose than this one. If the flavor follows the aroma, I'll be a happy man.

It does. The first thing that hits me is how much flavor is packed into each mouthful. Victory Lager is well-malted with loads of golden, flame-kissed grain that is deliciously, lightly sugary sweet. Thankfully, the flavor is as finely tuned and as balanced as the nose. A generous amount of German hops provides floral, spicy and herbal flavors with very little grassiness.

The beer stays balanced to the very end. I would have liked a longer finish (it's perfectly clean and crisp by the way) since the flavor is so much to my liking. The light mouthfeel is appropriate for the style and does nothing but enhance drinkability. A somewhat vigorous amount of carbonation keeps things lively all way to bottom of the bottle.

Victory Lager is what American macro lagers should taste like. This bottle contains a simple, straightforward, extremely well-crafted beer that is enjoyable solo and should match up well with all manner of foods. Along with Ayinger Jahrhundert Bier, it's my new favorite version of a style that I don't usually pay much attention to. Victory brews good beer!

Photo of akajimmyd
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pale golden color, not unlike a macro, slightly more lively looking. Minor carbonation action, very thin head.

Smell – Sweet malts, hard to get too much more. Grains?

Taste – Mild malt flavors. A bit sweet but in a nice way, not sticky. Tastes like a full flavor (euro) macro. Crisp.

Mouthfeel – Light body. Pleasant mouthfeel. Nothing lingers, clean finish.

Drinkability/notes – Probably a nice summer or all night session beer. Maybe a good cross over brew as has been noted, but maybe not enough going on to make converts.

Photo of JISurfer
2.81/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a disappointment for me. I guess I was expecting much more from this brewery. I was really excited to try it, but it did let me down. The main reason was the smell and taste. They were way too much like a lot of the Euro Lagers out there. The only thing, was that it had an ok look to it. Skunk abounded in this bottle for me. Not something I would offer to anyone I liked.

Photo of sabrills70
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold, slightly hazy, with very little head or lace to speak of. Nice malt aroma comes through, a bit of honey and citrus and a subtle hop aroma. Again a nice malt flavor mixed with honey and citrus. A decent hop flavor and slight bitterness but not as sharp as their pils. Average carbonation and high drinkability. A decent brew and a good candidate for a crossover brew to entice the macro drinkers of the world.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single 12 oz bottle. Best by Jun 17 05. I guess it's a little late for this one, but I just bought it last week.

Pale, slightly cloudy yellow with a light frothy white head.

Mild malt nose.

Sweet malt up front, mild floral hops. Not bad, but not a lot there, either.

Mouthfeel is thin but refreshing. About what I expected for the style.

Drinkable. Would be a good lawnmower beer, or a summer barbecue beer, or a beer to enjoy while bowling with the guys. It's a micro-macro.

Overall, it's like they set out to brew a smooth lager to show how good it can be done, and maybe succeeded a little too much. It's what many macro-brews could achieve if they bothered with quality ingredients and methods, a smooth mildly malty beer with very little flavor, but certainly no BAD flavors. I'm glad I tried it for variety's sake, but will stick with Victory's other offerings in the future.

Victory Helles Lager from Victory Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 743 ratings.