Hop Ranch - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,273 | Reviews: 210 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
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.
Serving type: bottle
01-25-2014 02:00:58 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
Hop Ranch from Victory Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.