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Hop Devil Ale - Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Not Rated.
Hop Devil AleHop Devil Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,472 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,472
Hads: 7,081
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 267
Gots: 1,283 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Devil Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,472 | Hads: 7,081
Photo of Weissenheimer
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory Hop Devil is a slightly hazy beer with the color of a copper pipe that was new a few years ago but is now oxidized. Satisfyingly frothy and bubbly, the medium-sized head quickly begins to dimple. As I drink, it leaves horizontal ridges of lacing on the glass. Although these ridges eventually collapse, quite a bit of the lacing is still there when the glass is finished.

The pleasantly fresh, floral, moderately hoppy scent reminds me of a bouquet of wildflowers - not the really fragrant kind, but the kind most people think of as weeds. It's nicely balanced, and not as redolent of hops as I'd expected.

The initial taste is one of mild spices - again, not what I was expecting. I'm quite surprised to find that it reminds me of the subdued spiciness of Penn Brewery's "St. Nikolaus Bock" (listed on BA as St. Nick Bock). Of course the Hop Devil has more hops than the St. Nick, and to its credit the spices and hops are very well balanced. But the bottle says "menacingly delicious" and - I'm sorry, but it's far from menacing. In fact I'd call it timid.

The first bottle I tried was past its freshness date, so I held off on this review until I'd gotten hold of an unquestionably fresh bottle. The above applies to both bottles, the below to each bottle in turn.

FIRST BOTTLE: I get the strong impression that this beer suffers from an identity crisis. It wants to be both hoppy and spicy, but it's not memorably spicy and the slightly flat and cloying hop flavor is not snappy enough. The more I drink the more I see it as a wimpy version of Rogue's "Santa's Private Reserve." The kicker was that I reviewed it over a nice roast beef sandwich with marinated fresh mozarella, and the sandwich and the beer didn't even know they were in the same room! Shouldn't a beer called "Hop Devil" be hoppy enough to pair up satisfyingly with a sandwich?

SECOND BOTTLE: The odd thing was that this one (the definitely fresh one) looked less fresh than the first; it had almost no head. However, with this one I didn't get the sense that the hops had gone flat. It was just hoppy enough to be mildly satisfying in the way in which it played off the sandwich. Still bloody disappointing for a beer called "Hop Devil", but... just sayin'.

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Photo of Gusler
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It’s been almost a year since I sampled this “Elixir of Life”, and Victory is in my top 10 all time favorite breweries, just so damn many fine beers, and only one mouth.

An unclouded deep amber to copper color as it mellows away in my glass, the head portly in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a beauteous light tan with the resultant lace a satin like sheet to cover the glass. The rich aroma of the hops, crisp and fresh with a sweet malt backing, what a treat for the senses, start is rich in malt, sweet with the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is peacefully acidic, the hops masterful in their spiciness, dry as a desert bone aftertaste that takes the hops till the very last drop, one damn fine brewery, one double damn good beer.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy bright orange-amber pour. Thick, frothy, lacy light-tan head subsides quickly but not completely.
Smell: Flowery intense cascade hops, sweet malt background. Perhaps the standard for American-style IPA nose.
Taste: Exceptional balance between hops and malt. Sweet caramel malt followed by acidic hop bitterness concluding with a crisp, dry flower/citrus finish.
Mouthfeel: Just slightly thin. Malt is slick and hops are delightfully oily and drying. Carbonation is crisp and helps deliver the hoppy oiliness to the old tastebuds.
Drinkability: A super IPA.

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Photo of counselor
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a dark amber, good rocky head, but on further inspection appeared a bit cloudy. The hops hit my nose full on, biting, leafy and citrus. The hops dominate all over, especially on the back end where they linger above the gum line, on the back sides of the throat and inside the cheeks. Not much else going on here except the hops, no esters, no malts. I would prefer a bit more balance in my IPAs. A bit over the top on the IBUs. A really good beer for the times you want to be a hophead.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this one all day.

Pours a bright amber with a small frothy tan head. Smell is hops, hops, hops with some sweet malt back there somewhere.

Taste is a bit disappointing but it's good. There's some nice sweet malt that stands up well to a considerable hoppiness. I like the rounded hops flavors, they are all over your mouth and linger forever. But this is not even the hoppiest beer I have had this week and I m not a hop-head. Magic Hat's Blind Faith has more bite than this. Not to mention Smutty's Big A IPA. A very good IPA and more balanced than I expected, I just don't know where this beer gets its reputation as a raving hopmonster.

Nice sticky aftertaste and quite drinkable for me but certainly not the stuff of legend and I can't believe this is a top 25 brew.

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Photo of hungryghost
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber pour, good white head that leaves nice lacing remnants.
Not surpisingly the first thing I smell is hops, a floral hop, some malt and hops.

Hop Devil most certainly has a healthy hop flavor. I do not think they went overboard with the bittering hops, I have had harsher tastebud killing hop beers.
The taste evens out on the way down, there is a sweetness, maybe a malt that counters some of the hop bite. One is left with a little zing on the tongue.
I find this to be a very drinkable beer.
It went well with the spicey chicken dish I had in between pints.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definitely a hop assault. I'm the type of drinker who likes a good hops/malt balance. I knew going in this wasn't going to be this beer. However, there is a good malt flavor to this beer. The hops completely overwhelm the malt, despite the good malt flavor. I gave a little bonus to the smell rating because you can smell the hops. Probably the best named beer I've come across.

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Photo of Foxman
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a rusty red, reminiscent of the cedar water of my beloved Jersey Pines. The aroma grabs the cilia of your nose, and innundates them with the very essence of the citrusy hops. Ah, but the taste, the flavor! The taste picks up where the aroma leaves off, with hops sliding about your palate, but then, as the flavor ebbs, the malt asserts itself a bit, letting you know there is indeed a balance in place. It's medium bodied, coating the mouth nicely, then slipping away, leaving you wanting the next mouthful. And a next one there will be, as many as one, two, three or more bottles might deliver. There can surely be no perfect beer, but this IPA fits right where it needs to be, yet kicks out all the character needed to be a true original in its arena.

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Photo of jahred
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've read and read about read about how hoppy and wonderful this beer is, and decided it needed to be tried. Pours a ruby red color with a brownish tint and a thin head. Smells instantly of hops? And you could probably guess what it tastes like - hops, hops hops. Initially, as an aftertaste several minutes later, right out of the bottle - and after it warms, too.

But somehow, it went down pretty easy for an IPA (I can't always get thru them so quickly). I barely tasted the alcohol, but 2 beers later I definitely felt the 6.7% ABV.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

on tap @ Charlie's Kitchen

I could just end this review with one word: yummy. It's that good. Reddish color with a nice head. The head has a great "hoppy" smell to it. The taste is hopy and malty combined into a devilish blend that conter balances each other. I find a creamy like texture to this beer. One of the best on tap.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by date printed on label.

Glowing copper colour, topped by a firm light tan head. A little bit of lace clings to the glass as the head settles into a neat halo.

Big, bold, beautiful, orangey hops fill the nose.

Some caramel & biscuit up front. Stinging & brash, orangey American hops. Very balanced, with an incredibly dry finish. The hops just linger on & on. The trout warms a bit. Smooth, but a little bit chewy at the same time.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Um, where do I start? Mr. T comes to mind because as corny as it sounds, I pity the fool who hasn't had HopDevil. I also pity the fools who have had it in the bottle and think it is anywhere remotely close to being what it is on tap. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT BEERS. Well, not by name, but certainly by taste. The bottled one is good. Not great by a long shot. It's too over the top hoppy, which may appeal to some but not to most. It's one big pine tree, with miniminal malt and lackluster everything else. On tap, its a whole different story. Deep red brown, and tan head (not white!). MALT. Sweetness. Citrus. Faint bitterness, but not the atypical "hop flavor". Complex malt, that hides the hops initially. One sip and you may say, "Yum. Tasty. But, what the hell? Who calls this an IP----whoa!!! There they are!!" The hops are there, and they reveal their character long after the beer has been sipped and swallowed. They dance on your tounge. The malt lingers, and the hops, they bite and frolic and play dirty tricks on you. I love it. It's art. It's ectasty. It's by far the best IPA in the country if not for the skill that is takes to make the flavors interact the way they do. And its not fair to call it the same thing as what Victory is sending out to Joe Yutz in South Dakota. Come to PA for if nothing else, the Eagles and HopDevil on tap.


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Photo of mschofield
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy bronze, short light tan head
Hops and spice in the aroma, the hops follow through to the taste, and the spice is there in a minor amount, citrus and unripened green apple.
Medium-full body - the malt isn't overpowered, finishes dry and leaves you looking for the next one.
Drinkability - well I love IPAs and I eat grapefruits and lemons like other people would apples, this is about as good as it can get for me.
This is good in the bottle as well, but draft is better, smoother and more balanced.

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Photo of Onceeven
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Tried this at my local pub, and was so blown away that I was forced to take a road trip to Downingtown to visit Pennsylvania's beer mecca. This is a hopheads dream. The taste is like a punch to the face, but still absolutely drinkable. I've had quite a few IPAs since but have yet to find one that measures up Victory's brew.

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Photo of dweideman
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Anam Cara

Medium head, white that was mostly lasting. Slight hop aroma but I was not able to detect much more. Flavor had some surprises, with a slight aprocot and light grapefruit flavor. Sweet to start with a moderate hop flavor finish that was not too strong. Light to medium bodied ale with lively carbonation. Nice representation of the style not too over the top with hop flavor and some really nice tastes on the palate.

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Photo of saltydog
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The day before tasting the bottle for review, I had this cask at Mugs Ale house. I like the beer much better on draft; the lower carbonation smooths the flavors out substantially. Appearance: Reddish orange, clear, thin head, but fairly retentive. Aroma: very subdued due to low carbonation, but hops are apparent. Taste: Big hops, but malt is apparent, not as overpowered as in bottle. Mouthfeel is very smooth at low carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Gasp100
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally had a chance to pick up a six pack of this brew in one of my local liquor stores. I had just finished the 1/6 keg of Dogfish head's "Shelter Pale Ale" (I'll review that next) and I was ready for a change. Since visiting this site I never go out to the beer store without a list of recommendations (too bad the stores in Middletown, DE are limited in selection) from writers here. Anyway, this beer is fantastic. The color was a beautiful bronze hue, a bit cloudy but enticing none the less. I like my beer very cold (on the lower side of the recommended 36 degree's) and this may have an effect on the cloudiness of the brew. After opening the bottle I was greeted with a wave of hops, hops and more hops. Not overpowering but very present. The beer poured with a thin head that disappeared and formed a nice lace down the glass. The taste was awe inspiring... I really mean it. I wasn't through my first glass when I jumpted back on the site and hit the homebrewers section. Then I came back to my senses.... I'll let other craftsman perfect their art for now. The taste had a nice caramel sweetness, much less fruity than the Shelter Pale Ale I was drinking and the hops really cut through and seemed to lighten everything up. It has a kick too, 3 or more and you have the smile on your face (especially when the Yankees are beating the Sox in game 7).

Overall, I love it and I'm proud to say this is a local beer for me --- Downington, PA is not more than an hour away. I WILL take a trip to the Victory Brew Pub as soon as I can.

This is my first review, so go easy. I don't know all the "catch phrases" and I don't know how to put into words the particulars just yet, but I'm learning and I love good beer.

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Photo of byrd
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HopDevil pours with a small light tan head that only gets to about a half an inch at the most and reduces to a thin lace. The color is dark amber, almost copper. As expected (and hoped for) there’s a big hop aroma of juicy citrus notes. The aroma isn’t quite as biting and grapefruity as some other big IPAs, and it seems a little sweeter from some caramel malts. The body and carbonation are medium. There’s a good malt backbone that starts a little sweet. This brew is very well balanced, and the hops are never overbearing. However, the hops are a little harsher the some other IPAs. This really isn’t much of a problem though. There’s a citric bitterness in the finish that lingers for a bit. Very drinkable IPA that I enjoyed immensely. I’ve been typically purchasing beers by singles. The flaw in this method is that whenever I try a great brew I don’t have anymore to follow.

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Photo of soilguy
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The american IPA has finally reached the pinnacle of its evolution, and its name is Hopdevil. This was my second encounter with the Hopdevil, having visited the brewery in 2001. It was even better than I remembered. A blast of citrusy american hops assaults one upon opening the bottle - definitely some Cascade, and I wouldn't be surprised if some Centennial was lurking in there as well. It pours a dark golden brown with a rich white head. The flavor is the perfect union of sharp hops and crisp maltiness. Naturally, it is out of balance and strongly weighted towards the hops, but the hops do not suppress the other complex flavors in the beer. Any idiot can fill a brew kettle to the top with hops and call it an IPA, but the skill of the brewer is revealed by brewing a beer that satisfies the hopheads and still has loads of malt character. In my opinion, this is one of the top five craft brews that I have tasted.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow!…is this ever a powerfully hopped IPA!!!. It pours an orange-tinged amber/copper with a nice offsetting trim of beige head. A big whiff of fresh floral hop is noticed upon opening. The lightly sweet caramel malt has a toasty background flavor. Big white grapefruit bitterness leaps out as fresh under-ripe oranges and a lightly metallic tang add dimension and snap to the overall hop theme. A mild herbal quality ever so slightly tempers the sharp edginess of this brew, making it high drinkable despite its high alpha- acid content.

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Photo of mydeadguy
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on cask at Sunset in Allston.

Haven't had the bottled version in a while (and liked that quite a bit), but this beer is absolutely fantastic in a cask.

Poured a clear, deep golden orange, with little to no head. The scent was remarkable, hop resins, pine, citric acid, slight alcohol.

Taste was phenomenal. hoppy, but not overdone or out of balance, resinous, slightly astringent, a slight warming from the alcohol. Really, I cannot say enough good things about this.. Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing, a joy.

Drinkability, let's just say they could park my barstool next to the beer engine and I would pour this one all night. Get your ass to Sunset, even if you hate the place, because I don't know of anywhere else in boston to get this amazing beer..I'm getting thirsty just typing about it..

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Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This was a work of art. The body was a gorgeous, deep dark orange with a monster head that rose and rose. I couldn’t stop staring at the lacing that it left when it finally went down.

Smell – Extremely complex hop profile. I think just about every type of hop must be represented in this ale. There’s also a subtle yet distinct malt balance, but this one is all about the beautiful hop scent.

Taste – The complex aromas found there way into the taste. The hops were very well balanced, and made this one a pleasure to consume. The malt backbone was enough to balance, but this one certainly is all about the hops.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied with a bit of carbonation. The exceptional balance of this ale made it feel terrific in the mouth.

Drinkability – This was a terrific IPA that was exceptionally smooth, tasty, and exciting all at the same time.

Update – I thought I’d revisit my review 10 years later. The incredible mouthfeel stands out to me again. It is so smooth it just disappears from the glass. This one will never grow old.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good brew. Not my favorite, but pretty good, none the less. It had a nice orange color pushing a well lacing head. The smell was that of flowers. I don't know why, that's what I got. A hoppy taste, but at the same time it was very malty. Kind of its own contradiction. There was more than enough in it to balance things out. It was a good beer. I like it.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good Moogly-Googly! What a beer! Poured an amber-orange color with a beautiful head and good lacing. Very hoppy-floral aroma. Good rich mouthfeel. The taste was complex with a vicious malt vs.
hop battle waging with the ultimate winner being your tastebuds. I don't think I've had a more balanced IPA. Very drinkable, highly recommended and certainly worth seeking out.

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Photo of Gavage
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange / amber color, with a thick head. The floral nose is extremely prevelant, with hints of sweetness. Extremely well balanced, the malt and hops dance together on the tongue, producing a crisp bitterness that slowly fades after swallowing. The glass develops nice lacework as the liquid is emptied. Extremely smooth and drinkable. The consistancy of this product over the past few years has been incredible, and this is an IPA others should try to emulate.

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Hop Devil Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
91 out of 100 based on 2,472 ratings.