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Hop Devil Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,486 Reviews
For Trade:
Hop Devil AleHop Devil Ale

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-27-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,486 | Ratings: 7,137
Photo of ithacabaron
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Similar to my review of this beer from the bottle. The major difference is in the aroma, which blooms here to even higher heights.

I promise you, you could smell this beer from across the bar room.

Pair it with some savory food -- preferably something greasy. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of beernbbq
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had to review again to once again be in amazement of this beer. It is so straightforward and simply put together, yet produces an amazing array of tastes and textures. No sugars or spices, no special fermentations, just excellent rich malts flavored with the whole flower hops. Sometimes this beer comes on like an IPA, sometimes like an Alt, with a little bit of Stout thrown in for good measure. At about a buck a beer from most PA distributors, this most reviewed of beers proves that even though it is not number 1, you give up nothing for being the most popular.

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Photo of mikeys01
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried the Hopdevil on draft tonight, after having had it bottled before; I must say it's quite different on draft. Color is a nice deep orange, with a little tan head. The hop aroma didn't seem quite as aggressive as the bottled version, but is very present, along with a nice malt and bready balance. Blended into the aroma are hints of pine and citrus, but well subdued. Taste is very hoppy, but not unbalanced, reasonably sweet with a hint of oak and piney goodness. The malt is more noticeable than the bottled version as well, making the draft a well rounded brew. Goes down very smooth with a sweet, slight hop-bittterness left on the back of the tongue.

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Photo of Dmann
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came highly recommended and it is definantly a good brew! It poured a dark copper color with a good slightly off white head that left a good lace down to the end of the glass. The smell was of hops, spice, and a hint of grapefruit I believe. The taste was not as dry as I was expecting, but it was still excelent. The hops hit in the very beginning but then they were taken over by the wonderful spicy taste. Very unique. The mouthfeel was very smoothe and the beer went down very nicely. Although I do not think this stands up to the likes of the Stone IPA, this is a very very good beer.

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Photo of Redrover
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a nice bronze with an off-white head. Very attractive beer here!

Nice aroma. Big dose of hop goodness. Also get an underlying grapefruit type smell.

Beer has a bracing hop bite. Bitter in the best possible way. Clear use of quality ingredients. This is a big hop beer and I think could use a little more malt for some balance. This is not a huge complaint as this beer is very good.

Drinkabilty is decent, but suffers slightly from the lack of balance. Nice carbonation and mouthfeell, just right for style.

I like this beer, but it is not for someone who does not embrace the hop loving culture of these big beers. I will buy this one again!

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Photo of Quaffer
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This was an amber-red beer with a very heavy bead. A light-tan, three-finger head rose up on the pour. It was kind of rocky and settled down slowly, leaving a ton of sticky lace on the glass. A thin cap of foam remained the entire time, though that wasn't very long with this beer. :-)

Smell: The aroma was nicely balanced, being a wonderful combination of herbal hops and sweet malt. I was really expecting the hops to dominate. While it was very prominent, it was not overwhelming. A few other lighter aromas were also present, such as grass, caramel, and a spice that I couldn't quite put my finger on. As the beer warmed up, a bready, roasted malt smell really developed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a lot of bite. Not as smooth as I would have liked it to have been.

Taste: Upfront, there was a good dose of sweet malt and caramel, with just a hint of roasted malt. Then, after I had a little time to enjoy that, a large does of hops kicked in that totally dominated the flavor. It was kind of spicy, but mostly herbal, taking on an almost menthol-like quality in the aftertaste. I could almost feel it in my sinuses, like the way you feel horseradish in your nose when you eat it. This is not to say that the hops was too strong (yeah, like that's possible), but it definitely made its presence known. Also on the aftertaste was light, buttery sweetness.

This was a great beer. I am glad that I finally got the chance to give it a try.

Thanks Jarod!

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went to the horse's mouth for this one. Straight from the tap at the brewery. Its just a great IPA, nothing fancy, nothing too crazy. It looks like an IPA, light in color and citrusy in smell. It is very crisp and has a bit of a bite on your tongue. What it isn't is one of those watery IPA's that is lacking the hopitude to make it true. Its great from a bottle as well. My advice is to go to the brewery and get a growler, they have the old fashioned metal handle ones!!

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Photo of Kongquistador
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a little warmer than I intended, but here goes.

This poured with a nice thick head, very firm, and tiny bubbles. Head was somewhere between off-white and tan. The beer itself is a nice copper color, more reddish toward the center, and a nice amber around the edges. The lace persists throughout the drink, but loses strength toward the end. It is primarily a very fine bubble lace, with some deposits to the sides. The aroma is all hops as far as I can tell, with no hint of malts coming through. It is slightly spicy, but it took me awhile to notice that. As the beer warms, I am beginning to get a faint hint of some malts, but nothing distinct.

The first taste is primarily the sweeter hops, although even up front a but of the bittering comes through. Not at all unpleasant though. The middle has some malt flavoring, mainly caramel, with maybe a slight grassy hint to the brew as well. The finish, as one might expect, is thoroughly dominated by the bitter hops, and the flavor lingers like a girl-friend that won't go away... but in a good way. Overall, this is very well balanced, albeit toward the hops. But then, you knew that was coming. The presence of some malt renders this a very, very drinkable beer.

Can't complain to much about drikability or mouthfeel. Carbonation is moderate, and helps to keep from feeling as though the mouth has been coated in hop oil. The higher alcohol means that this isn't to be fooled with, but it can be consumed enjoyably in quantity.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, an IPA. Sure can't find any here in Russia, so jumped at the chance when friends offered to bring some from the U.S. HopDevil and I are old friends who haven't had the pleasure of each other's company for quite a while. This bottle advised me to enjoy its contents by 11/20/03. No danger of waiting that long. It was empty before 8/17/03.

Poured a gorgeous clear dark copper hue with a medium sized tan head that lingered a bit and held some contour. It also produced some lace, but not enough for my taste. The nose was perfect: beautifully flowery, with hops hitting every corner of each nostril. This nose perfectly telegraphed the coming taste. The mouth was light and prickly, with the flowery sweetness one expects from this much hops. The taste starts sweetish, flowery and hoppy. Then the hops really kick in - almost chewy with grain, leaving a very nice, strong but not agressive bitterness. The aftertaste maintained this flowery bitterness at the back of the jaw and the top of the throat. Smooth, refreshing and wonderful.

I shared the bottle with my brother-in-law from Kazakhstan. He'd never had an IPA before, nor anything else that could even remotely be described as hoppy. His comment: "this is what beer should taste like." Amen.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber with an off white thick head that sticks to the sides well. Has a good spicy floral aroma. Starts with a quick jolt of spicy hop bite that works it way into a sweet maltiness and finishes out with a hop bite that just keeps going. This beer drinks well.

On a personal note, I would prefer a bit more bitterness. The spiciness is good but i prefer a bit more citrus flavor to round it out.

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Photo of leeenglewood
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap this beer is hoppier then out of the bottle. Copper with a creamy white head that smells earthy and hoppy. Tastes initially extremely hoppy but as it flows across your tongue you get nice kick of malt goodness. Hops are the overwhelming flavor with a slight warmth from the alcohol in your stomach but its barely noticeable. Nice thirst quencher and is also highly drinkable do to its unique but not overwhelming flavor.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle.

For the hop heads. I just love this IPA. Problem. I only found it at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa. I have not seen it in L.A. or Santa Monica yet. Depressed.

Pours a great copper color. Clear and bubbly. Head was minor and not much lacing. Scents were strong with pepper, spices, hops and a malt for balance.

Flavors reflect the scents in many ways. A lot of spices incuding pepper, rind and a grassy bite. The hops are bitter and heavy but not fruity. There is an earthy quality and this IPA is bitter. The malts are present but they do not provide much balance. Some molasses but nothing to invade the presence of hops. They dominate this IPA.

It feels great and there is a smooth drinkability to this one. It goes down real easy. I want to try this from a cask some day. I bet it is just out of this world.

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Photo of Stopper
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This pours a nice, bright amber highlighted by hints of red with a moderate pale tan head that dissipates very slowly. In the nose there is a great balance of robust malt with a bit of caramel and bright, barely citrusy, hop aroma. The first sip hits you with a well-bodied base of the same, somewhat caramelly, maltiness that was in the aroma and a perfectly balanced medium bitterness. As the malt fades, the bitterness remains and a great hop flavor emerges, which is a touch spicy for a moment, then fading to a mostly round noble-type flavor with only a barely-perceptible spiciness. And the hop flavor seems to go on and on...

This is a very refreshing, wonderfully hopped beer, with a great malt base and piles of flavor and interest. It's a great beer for nearly any occasion or mood, and enough amazing taste and character to come back to again and again.

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Photo of marburg
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shock and awe: That's what just happened to my palate.

I'm glad I didn't plan on drinking anything after this; it's flavor and residual bitterness lingers with an incredible intensity 20 minutes after consuming it.

Color is full of warm tones. Orange, red, copper hues shift in the light. Breakfast assortment of aromas. Honey, grapefruit, citrus, herbal tea. Honey-sweet malt backbone gets slapped aside quickly by an overwhelmingly bitter hop presence. This beer represents the bitter equivalent of some of the more extremely sour Belgian brews. Pleasingly, this brew's immense hop presence doesn't completely destroy its subtle aromas. A little too far out there on the hop spectrum to really be considered exceedingly drinkable.

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Photo of taez555
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very thick orange/tannish head with a very clear reddish amber body.

The nose was pure hops, yet not as overpowering as you might expect. Some slight malt, but mostly a very subdued citrus, spice, slight peppery hop smell.

The taste started very malty. Full bodied. Some caramel malt flavor. Quickly followed by this big, very tight, citrus/black pepper hop burst. A nice intence but balanced bitterness. Then it ended on a very slow smooth bitter hop finish.

What I found really interesting about this beer is how perfectly balanced it is. It's not your typical over hopped, floral, american IPA. It's overlly hopped and in your face, but the hop flavors are mellowed just enough to balance it and make it very drinkable. Not as if you're drinking a beer soaked in hops.
On top of that the hops are very tight and sharp. Almost like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, but for everyday drinking.
A very nice beer.

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Photo of bmills1608
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


First and foremost, cask conditioned HopDevil is totally different then on tap or the bottle. It's almost like a totally different beer, wow, I was very surprised at how this tasted.

Served in your typical, chunky American pint glass. A rather murky light brown color. The bar was dim, so judging the color was a bit tough, but cloudy and murky for sure. Head was off white, frothy, thick and creamy as hell. Sheets of lace were left on the sides of the glass as I drank.

Taking a smell, I was initially confused, "where did the cascades go?". Aromas of sweet bread, tons of herbal smelling hops, rich, almost fudge-like malts and exotic fruits exploded from the glass. The floral/herbal aroma is what I think surprised me more then anything. No citrus/grapefruit this time around.

Taste was above all - fruity. Melons, oranges and herbs danced around on a thick and solid foundation of malt. The malt character, like the other versions of HopDevil, had a big say in the cask version as well, but this time, it was even heavier handed, slapping the hops around and making it clear to them that in this version, malt rules, but only by a nose. The hop character is there, just more mellowed and less brittle and crunchy hard as in other versions. The citrus hammer that bottled or tap versions of HopDevil usually wield, was just not here. The finish was herbal and smoldering with soft bitterness. Mouthfeel was rich, smooth and fantastic, so creamy and rich.

Overall impression - This just goes to show you the huge difference cask conditioning can make in a beer. This beer was young and ALIVE. Fantastic.

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Photo of ngandhi
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very solid pale ale. The pour is decent, leaves enough head to sip through for a while -- nothing spectacular. A nice, rich amber brown body. What you would expect from a pale ale, but well done anyway.

The nose is this beer's best trait. It perfectly resembles the taste of the beer. I won't go into the nose in detail, just assume that everything I say I taste, I smell. A noteworthy achievement.

Taste/Drinkability: Very hoppy, but not difficult. The IPA that got me loving IPAs was Three Floyd's Dreadnaught, but many complain of its power. Though I like that about Dreadnaught, I can see why some would find it off-putting. HopDevil lacks that devestation. This is much easier to drink on a regular basis. The grapefruit hop kick dries out as expected on the back of the tongue (and STAYS there), but also gives way to a very mild, easy to miss estery sweetness. Also some black pepper.

I like what the malts are doing here. Yes, they are difficult to detect because of the necessary hop focus, but they add a lightly creamy body with just a pinch of sugars. Combined with the yeasts and what can only be assumed as expert brewing techniques, a light flower taste comes out from deep in the background -- natural and not perfumey, it's a great touch. Overall, tangy, but very manageable.

This is a true pale ale. Three Floyd's fans could especially appreciate it. Though strong in flavor, as IPAs are, it's complex and layered.

HopDevil is a no fuss pale ale and, because of that, I will keep it on hand. I wish I could rate it higher. It is what it is. Unpretentious and, so, quite appealing. If there is such a thing as a session IPA, this is it. Alcohol's just low enough, barely I think, to let you kick back a few (at least it seems that way).

Relax, relax.

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Photo of kevinl6
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fine ale indeed from Victory. This one pours a combo Golden/amber/orange color with an almost 1 finger deep silky head. A very pleasing brew to the eye. Smell is nice also: hoppy (of course), fruity....citric? Taste is very hoppy as well, with a blend of fruit, a nice combination of flavor. Mouthfeel is very soothing for an ale, it is pleasant on the palate. A very drinkable beer, I want another...and another....and another!!

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Photo of Brent
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After wanting to try this much acclaimed beer for quite some time, I was delighted to finally run across a bottle. Had I first sampled this a few years ago in my pre-hophead days, I'm sure I would have been blown away. But, having been amused and abused by such hop tonics as Stone Ruination, Dogfish 90 min. and Rogue I2PA, I met this beer on a level playing field.

Cascades juice? Not quite, but not far away. Big malt backbone carried the hops load quite well. My first impression was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids. The hops flirt with harsh acidity, but manage to pull back just enough. Certainly a top-flight APA.

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Photo of bierman2000
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The malty hoppy IPA that keeps you begging for more. Not being a hophead this is actually an ale that I can drink a full glass of without tossing. The amber/copper color as well as the floral head and nose make for a stunning bouquet. Taste is well balanced and very enjoyable.. especially if you love hops.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great amber color and a full one inch head with staying power that lasted most of the glass. Spicy hops with small hints of citrus in the aroma. The taste was excellent, I haven't had many IPA's but if this represents the style, wow. Bitter but perfect as it goes down, slightly malty with the hops coming on strong about 90% of the way through the drink. Very drinkable, I will have this again and hopefully soon!

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Photo of jcalabre
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled many moons ago. I am writing this review from my notes. This is a world class IPA. In my humble opinion, it is in the same class as Stone's IPA and Kalamazoo Bells Two Heart. It's appearance is a copper body w/ an offwhite head. The nose and flavor are those wonderful citrusy hops. Great brew

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a pretty sanguine amber color with a medium and clingy off-white head. Nice lacing throughout. Aroma is heady floral hops. Medium-bodied and crisp with a near-perfect level of hops in the flavor. There is a hint of citrus (lemon/grapefruit) and grass as well. The finish falls off just a little toward the end but overall this is a very good beer.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After my recent scary experience with an over-the-top hop monster (SN Bigfoot 2003), I was a little nervous about trying HopDevil, but I'm glad I did. For me, it's a good summertime beer, lighter than my usual stouts.

It poured an orangey red, with a chunky beige head. The aroma was faint, malt, caramel and hops. The taste was an initial blast of malt and caramel, purged right after with a steamroller's worth of hops. Mild hops, though, not anywhere near as mouth-puckeringly bitter as the previously mentioned Bigfoot. (Still maybe a bit too hoppy for a recent convert from macros. For them, try a Brooklyn IPA, just as good as HopDevil, but not as hoppy. Review coming soon...) As the beer warms, the taste blossoms into bursts of honey, cola, prunes. In retrospect, I've been drinking this too cold, try chilling this for a short while so that it's in between cellar and fridge temps. Mouthfeel was creamy smooth, with just enough carbonation to stand up to the jambalaya I had it with tonight. Finish was mild, just a faint mellow hop tang.

Thanks to Victory for enlightening me to the hoppy truth; hoppiness doesn't have to mean bitter and nasty.

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Photo of purplehops
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap HopDevil pours a hazy beautiful copper-orange. The head is off-white and made of very fine bubbles. A nice lace pattern was left on the glass. The aroma is floral and spicy hops with a hint of malt in the far away background. On tap the taste is like that of the bottle version only it seems brighter and more defined on tap. The battle between the bitterness of the hop and the sweetness of the malt is more in balance in the tap version. They are not so much fighting each other as they are working together in a bliss of malty bitterness. The finish is also smoother with a softer carbonation and a more floral hop flavor. Aftertaste leaves you with a smile and a desire for more and more and more. The alcohol seems almost imperceptible.
Overall an excellent IPA on tap for the hop head. Malty, medium bodied, and hoppy to perfection.

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Hop Devil Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
91 out of 100 based on 2,486 ratings.