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Hop Ranch - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hop RanchHop Ranch

Educational use only; do not reuse.

314 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 314
Hads: 2,101
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 111
Gots: 382 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 10-30-2013

Fully juicy in its citrus character with the pleasantly sharp, biting edges of tart fruit and bitterness, Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale traces its roots to Victory’s Ranch series, a unique and comprehensive study of hops in which Brewmasters experimented with different hop varieties to showcase a range of flavor profiles and celebrate the nuances and distinctions in the resulting series’ recipes.

Mosaic hops and Hop #483 (Azacca)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 314 | Hads: 2,101
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We crack a pair, pouring into our oversized tasting snifters. It glows the color of pale goldenrod straw. A rough pour produces a two finger head of creamy, soapy foam of whipped egg white hues. This retains well, leaving precise ledges of lacing around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be quite light. The nose gives mosaics to the maximum, with syrupy fruitiness and spice of hoppy freshness, along with a background of pale and clean wheaty base grain, soft bubblegum esters, freshly crushed white grape juice, lemon and grapefruit flesh, powdered sweet tarts candies, pineapple fruitiness, clay, mineral water, burnt leathers, and sticky sweet boozy fumes. With warmth comes a bit of a toast to the grain, vanilla wafers, and black pepper, along with deepened complexity of the hops to include more specific varietals of grapefruits, florals, blueberry, and mango fruitiness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is great, with a dirty, organic, down-home authenticity that reminds us fondly of Hill Farmstead. As we sip, the taste begins with bright honey sweetness, chalky pales, lime and lemon rind citrics, intensely fruity and spicy hops, twiggy resins, passion fruit, Muscat grape, and mango fruitiness, clay, and sweet tangerine juiciness. The middle peaks with a flash of white sugar and peppermint bark sweetness before bubbling into the bitter half of the beer, with a sting of alcohol, bitter spicy and floral hoppiness, grassy graininess, sharp plastics, tart citric rind, lemon seed, black pepper, and lightly singed caramel. The end comes with herbal and spicy hoppiness, sweet notes of pear, peach, and nectarine fruitiness, green grass, dugout dustiness, bitter boozy fumes, earthy grit of mineral and stone, clean ale yeastiness, lemon juiciness, lactic sourness, and lingering notes of white sugar sweetness. The aftertaste breathes of lightly and massively grapefruity hops, dewy moss, gravel, chlorine chemical bite, sweet honey, dried pine bark, pale and pilsner graininess, envelope adhesives, coconut and corn husk dryness, lemon balm, and a curious depth of spicy rye graininess. The body is medium, with a soft thickness around the edges. Carbonation is lightly medium. Slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop are all decent, with the mouth left fully cooled, coated, and satiated. There is light astringent slickness across the hard palate, but no real dryness otherwise. The abv is appropriate and nicely warming, and drinkability is as a clean and light sipper.

Overall, the best thing about this beer is really a tossup between its aroma and its flavoring. The nose is fresh and full of that glorious mosaic fruitiness, but it mixes with this down-to-earth grit that makes it memorable. The sip, on the other hand, gives you this explosive yet tamable flavoring that again, showcases the uniqueness of the hops, but also shows how interesting you can make the base of the beer as well. Having tried both the R and the S tester batches of this beer over the past couple years it has been interesting watching and being present for this final product’s genesis. While they are each different recipes, they demonstrate the type of heartiness that can go into a DIPA without making it overly dark, overly caramel, or overly heavy. Although they went with the mosaic hop, something that might be a bit unconventional, they still execute a highly commercial beer with wide appeal. They also keep it juicy and tough enough for someone looking for something a bit more complex to dissect. This is a fantastic beer across all categories, except for maybe feel which is a bit ambiguous at times. Either way, this beer, especially since it is following Dirtwolf, is further evidence of the great things that Victory is doing with hops these day.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

such a delicious big boy ipa, packed with a mosaic fruitiness and a simcoe oily property, not sure if those are the varietals used or not, but this beer exhibits very similar properties to both. very blonde beer, honey colored and clear with a nice white head. the nose is just dripping with fruity oily hops, and the grain base interferes little, despite the abv. the flavor too is a hop explosion, as fresh and as vibrant as any i can recall. notes of grapefruit, tangerine, cut lawn, and even green grape are all there for me, and the finish still comes on nice and bitter. the malt base never makes much contribution, as the body is light, appreciably dry, and leaving only a slight hop stickiness there after the swallow. fresh is the word that keeps coming to mind for me on this one. the alcohol can be felt but not at all tasted. i love this, even more that dirtwolf i think, one of the best east coast india pale ales ive had in some time.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle best by 24 May 2014 at 42 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of citrus, closest to lemon
Head average (4.5 cm), white, creamy with rocks, very slowly diminishing fading to a to 1 -2 mm layer
Lacing poor: partial rings with small to medium bubbles, stalactites
Body light yellow, hazy
Flavor begins with a light lemony taste, slowly fading through sweetness to a light astringency. No alcohol, no diacetyl, no malt. No aftertaste is noted.
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation lively.

This is the last bottle from the case I bought in Jan, 2014, and somehow I’ve neglected to review it. IMHO this is a much better beer than Dirtwolf, certainly having more flavor and a less noticeable hop profile. This could easily be a session beer.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Here’s another super-fresh, super-tasty IPA from Victory that isn’t getting noticed so well, yet is, in my opinion, a world-class IPA.

Appearance: Light, golden clean, with a thick head of fine white carbonation. Nice tree-line lace.

Aroma: Spectacular tangy citrus hops, with some tropical fruity notes even. Maybe a bit of dankness sets in as it warms, but this is quite a harbinger of great things.

Taste: Tropical hops explosion in a lush, drinkable, and well-balanced setting, especially for the ABV. Even the wife, upon tasting blindly, remarked at how light it seemed. Tastes as refreshing and light as a session IPA, but with a 9% ABV level, this one’s very deceptive and sneaky. Tangy, fruity, and absolutely delicious. Will buy again, yes.

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

Victory "Hop Ranch"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 25 APR 2015 0437P"
$3.65 @ The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, PA

Based on how fond I am of Victory's "Dirt Wolf" I thought I'd give their "Hop Ranch" a spin, particularly as it uses a hop I'm not familiar with - Azacca.

Azzaca is the Caribbean God of farming, so it's not surprising that there's a tropical fruit character in the aroma, namely mango and pineapple. There's also grapefruit, some tangerine, pine, a hint of lemon, and a bit of spiciness. It's interesting, and refreshing; and as a winter seasonal, it's a fairly welcome ray of sunshine beneath the cold grey sky here in Pennsylvania!

Given the quality of the hops I see why they went with a straightforward Pilsner malt as it allows the hops to come through clearly, and also allows for some of that refreshing character to be transferred into to the flavor. Unfortunately that's all you're getting, it's not a complicated or 'dense' beer, and I'm not sure that it needed to be an "Imperial" IPA. I think it would have worked just fine as a standard IPA, or even a pale ale. The gentlemen of Victory are shrewd marketers, however, and I'm sure they didn't want to drop another entry into those already over-stocked categories. On the up-side, the alcohol that comes along with the "Imperial" designation, clocking in at a whopping 9.0 % abv., is surprisingly well-cloaked. Not unlike the "Dirt Wolf" this is a beer that does not overwhelm you with bitterness, resins, and alcohol - instead it's very focused and balanced, leaving it remarkably drinkable, and at 9%, dangerous.

So how to rate this beer? It delivers everything that an "Imperial" IPA should, sans the bitter punch and late raspy/resinous finish, the alcohol slap, and the overall palate-wrecking voluminosity. There are no defects of any sort (although I would like to see just a little more bristle in the mouthfeel), and in fact it's a really well-rounded and highly polished beer. What's not to love? But on top of that it's also quite unique, and innovative. Clearly a winner, and one that really needs to be sampled, any fan of hoppy beers needs to check it out!

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Photo of hogie7
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Phenomenal beer, an instant favorite. Gotta love the hints of citrus, so pleasing to the nostrils and palate. I bought 2 cases of this after trying it on tap at a local bar. Too bad it is seasonal, I want this year-round. I do happen to like it better than dirt wolf.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured moderately cold into my fancy tulip glass of snobbery.

I'd call the color a straw gold. Some visible sediment and a cap of white froth.

Smells... green! Like plant matter of various types, from freshly cut grass to pine needle resin. A nice fruity aspect is there too. Lemon, lime, a bit of pineapple, and maybe even some pear and green apple! Those last two are fruit aromas I don't recall ever picking out of an IPA before this one... Fascinating.

A nice, nice explosion of fruitiness pops out on the palate right away, with citrus on steroids. And I just ride that juicy, delicious, tangy citrus for a good while into a seamless rise of piney astringency and citrus rind until it mellows out into a bittersweet finish of mellow honey and bread. WOWEE.

The feel is quite prickly and full. Just as lively as the flavor.

Some DIPAs blast bitterness upon beer-drinkers to the extent that bitterness becomes the very core of the flavor profile. While I adore such palate abusers, that is not this beer's approach, and it works wonders in its own way, heaping forth a menagerie of gymnosperm and angiosperm-derived brilliance.

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Photo of mrz200
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is probably the most "refreshing" DIPA I've ever had. The alcohol is extremely & dangerously well hidden. Very citrusey with an almost european/heffeweizen taste & feel. Very good beer.

That said, I don't know that I'd buy again. When I want "refreshing" I'm not reaching for a 10% ABV. And when I want a 10% ABV I'm looking for a big hop smack & bitterness and a variety of smells & flavors because I'm only drinking one or two of them. This one doesn't have that flavor punch, at least in the way so many other big IPA's do.

Apparently the hops used are kinda different, and it's noticable, and while it was certainly well crafted, maybe those aren't for me.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: The head is a finger and a half thick and lasts for a good 30 seconds before it falls into a nice, cap. The cap tops off a murky, burnt orange beer beneath. Tiny bubbles rise from the sides of the glass while a few larger bubbles can be seen towards the middle through all the haziness.

SMELL: Wow, that is fresh! Orange, pine, mango and apricot dance around with a touch of grapefruit and grass. This smells amazing, just wish it had a little more intensity.

TASTE: There is tropical fruit everywhere on this and it’s really juicy. All the fruit from the smell is there, but the grapefruit seems to be more intense, and there’s a little lemon I didn’t get with my nose, providing a nice, bitter bite.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with a little stickiness and a very dull tickle. The balance is excellent with some sweeter, sticky, fruity notes to start followed by a drying bitterness.

OVERALL: I don’t know if this one is better than Dirt Wolf, but at the very least its close. I will reach for this again.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Enjoy by 25 Apr 2015

A: Mostly clear, a little cloudy. Some stuff floating around. See that a lot in Dirtwolf, so no surprises there. Doesn't phase me.

S: Not overpowering, but some really nice notes of pineapple and mango.

T: I love Dirtwolf and this one is similar, but slightly different hop and malt profiles. Tastes better than it smells. Very light pilsen malt backbone, a very hop forward beer.

M: 9%? how? Good carbonation, almost no heat from the alcohol. Outstanding.

O: Victory is killing it right now with IPAs. Wish this was year-round with Dirtwolf.

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Photo of charliekeyheart
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

These guys are underrated. They continually impress with voluptuously hoppy offerings. Puts Stone to shame in my opinion.

121 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a small layer. It is a pale yellow color with a little haziness and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Tropical, floral, piney, resin, pungent, grassy, pilsner, and pale malts.

Taste: Wow!!! What a tasty brew. Everything I smelled came out on the palate. Nice mild bitterness and the alcohol is not even noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, tingly, light to medium bodied, a little chewy, and so tasty.

Overall: I have had this several times and I think it gets better. So delicious and tasty.

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Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a standard pint a clear dull yellow with a tightly formed one finger white head,the pour was not real awe inspiring by any means.Tropical fruits in the nose along with a bit of sweet onion,very fresh and juicy smelling.Flavors of grapefruit and mango are just dripping,almost like drinking mixed fruit juice,in the finish I pick up some vidalia onion,not much of a malt presence but a decent amount of sugary sweetness.This is a big fruity,juicy hopped IPA here,way to easy to drink.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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

Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%

Photo of woodchipper
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Andnkuhn
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Punchy_Munchie
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of DWolf
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

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Hop Ranch from Victory Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 314 ratings.