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Victory Harvest Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory Harvest AleVictory Harvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

633 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 633
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 27
Gots: 75 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: akorsak on 10-01-2006

Highly aromatic and sensual, this novel pale ale delivers a fresh hop flavor like no other brew. Its secret? Fresh hops piled into our boiling kettle just hours after their harvest. With many more of their essential oils intact, these ‘wet’ hops add glorious middle notes of juicy, fruit and tea-like bite to play off of its lightly toasted malt character deliciously.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 633 | Reviews: 117
Reviews by Stermax:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -1%

There's only one time of year to celebrate the true vibrantly fresh aroma, taste and sensations that the hop harvest brings. Before all the drying out and vacuum sealing all those natural, botanical and herbal juices, still in tact, meet the brew kettle for beer character that uniquely brings the flavor of fall.

Its deep golden color casts a brilliantly clear sheen through a malty sweet center, but never gives the eye any secrets of the hoppy balance within. But once the nose clears the rim of the glass, an explosion of hop aromas abound. Distinctly vegetal, citrusy and herbal, the beer's grassy bouquet commands attention with utter ease.

The middle palate draws upon a medium-light caramel support with the light starch of malt and biscuit in undertow. Its quickly receding sweetness gives the hoppy fruit impressions a succulent, ripe and fresh taste. Stealing the show are the flavors of pink grapefruit, freshly zested orange, a berry medley and a piquant lemon verbena and lime peel earthy tang. Growing bitterness carries a spicy grass and peppercorn balance to keep new waves of flavors washing over the palate with every sip.

Drying to near perfection in finish, the beer's late impressions are citrusy bitter, sticky with fresh pine resins and distinctly herbal for a deeply earthen tea-like refreshment to the palate.

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a standard pint glass a clear rich golden with a thinner white head atop.Whoo a big splash of tropical fruits hit ya in the nose along with a hint of Vidalia onion herbal notes,wow fresh hops galore!Grapefruit and tropical fruity hops upfront on the palate with a hint of grass and herb,just a lot of hop complexity,a mildly sweet caramel/biscuit base is well detected.One of the better harvest hop ales I have had in a while...maybe ever,a great beer.

Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by 3/10/15. Pours slightly hazy copper gold with a medium creamy white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is bready malts and grassy piney hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and a little fruit with grassy resiny hops that leave a good bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, one of the better wet hop beers I've had - they are usually too grassy.

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange with a light 1 finger head with big soapy bubbles that lingers for a while. The smell is outstanding. It's a great mixture of mango, tangerine, orange, and other citrus fruits. The smell follows the nose. Mango, tangerine, etc. right up front. Mid palette turns a touch sweet with the caramel malt showing it's face. The finish is bitter grapefruit/pine mixture. The bitterness lingers on the tongue for a while while the finish is dry. This is easily the best harvest ale I've had and its absolutely worth seeking out.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that settle into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A very juicy and piney hop forward aroma with big hints of citrus fruit and resin. Upfront citra hops with juicy hints of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, lemon, apricot, and pineapple. Earthy and floral hops with hints of dank pine resin and grass. Background malt presence with hints of caramel, grains, cracker, and yeast. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a ripe, juicy, and earthy hop driven taste with big notes of citrus and pine resin. Very ripe and juicy upfront with citra hop notes of orange peel, mango, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and apricot. Earthy, floral, and spicy hop notes with some pine resin and grass. Solid backing malt presence with notes of caramel sweetness, grains, cracker, and yeast. A really good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, oily, and very drying on the finish.

Overall: A really good fresh hop ale. Good ripe and dank presence of citrus and earthy hop notes.

Photo of AzAleC
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A glowing amber color with a loose head (approx. 1/2") diminished quickly.

S: Somewhat earthy - perhaps roasted malt, mildly fruity (citrusy).

T: Mildly malty-sweet on the tongue with a crisp and citrusy hop brightness. Roasted malt is very prevalent throughout. Very little alcohol taste for the ABV. So many flavors exist, but are all very well balanced.

M: Smooth and full, nearly creamy.

D: Very easy to put down at the ABV. Amazingly balanced yet complex flavors.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tapped recently by the Sharp Edge Creekhous definitely not a Strong Ale more so one of the most balanced harvest wet hopped ales in the land...so nice. Appears a clouded amber with hop particles a floating froms a large tightly bubbled cream head that leaves even lace all around the imperial pint glass as it dwindles. Aroma...it smells like a bouquet of fresh hps with grassy, citrus (grapefruit), and pine cone scented hops to it. A bit perfumey and seductive all at once with sweet caramel malts that leave a bready spice component there. Taste is awesome albeit not over the top like some brews that claim to have fresh hops...this brew knows how to bring the fresh hop flavor with a substantial bitterness with grassy citrus peel flavors and a touch of floral effervescence and the lucious not sugary but sweet caramel malt profile truly balances so well with the prickly wet hops. Once again a mild spice character is noted within the malts but it's warming yet the alcohol flavor is so hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft gentle carbonation goes down so smooth can't wait to try more of this or something similar from Victory. Drinkability is so sessionable the true pinnacle of Harvest ales, thanks for the great brew bring more to the Burgh please.

Update 2014 version

Dank bitter aggressive fresh hops!

Photo of Brenden
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a medium-dark orange, bright and almost completely clear, somewhat coppery overall. The head is just a touch off-white, easing in at about 3/4 finger with moderate retention. It leaves a film on top with some foaming at the edges that achieves tiny but dense spotting with some ringing where it settles in the glass.
This is an aromatic one for sure, lots of hops pouring out when the bottle is opened. It's got lots of citrus, herb and pine with a spicy herbal note becoming prominent, maybe a touch of earth but mingling dank notes with brighter ones. Malts are notable for balance while letting fresh hops dominate.
Hop oils are fresh and delicious and seemingly plentiful in this pale ale that drinks like an IPA. Lots of the herb hits of the tongue first without diminishing while piny wood/dry notes strike. Malts hold up the middle just enough to even out the pithy-leaning bitterness and keeping it in check without lowering it. Spiciness remains strong in the herb as well as black pepper notes while a touch of fruits linger in the back.
Crispness is strong and remains extremely consistent, putting lots of bite on the tongue the whole way. Pepper, leaf and a tea-like dryness also contribute, each lingering on the palate after each sip.

Photo of rdilauro
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was totally surprised by this one I've had a few wet hops recently and enjoyed them but was not all that excited by some of them. I know I have enjoyed almost every Victory beer that I had.

We were going to go for a full darker beer after work, but we decided to go iwth Harvest Ale, since it said "Drink it Now"

Really, really good. Have to say its been one of my favorite IPAs that I have had in a long time. I could not find a thing wrong with this beer. The aroma came flowing out as soon as the cap was taken off, the dry hoppiness along with citrus and pine came out in a perfect balance. This beer was neither too late or too heavy. Just right.

Can not wait until I have my next one

Photo of secondtooth
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clean golden with medium head of off-white suds. Lace is light but ornate.

Aroma: Heavy on the tropical hops. A stunning experience, really, that seems to signal a great beer experience on the horizon.

Taste: Crisp, and bursting with fruity tropical hops and a dank, resinous, bitter finish. Overall, a well-balanced IPA, but not my favorite from Victory.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Victory Harvest Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 10 MAR 2015 1421 P"
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Victory never fails to deliver, and just the aroma of dank, pungent hops coming off of this beer makes it all worthwhile! It's bright and full and complicated, and I can smell it at arms length. I could try to analyze the aroma but I don't think I could do it justice, so let's move on to the flavor.

Malt cuts right through, possible dashing your hopes of drinking sweaty hop juice, or perhaps not... they do remain, but not nearly as intensely as they do in the aroma. It's got an edge of sweet toasty bread, or even slightly burnt cake, and lots of gentle golden caramel. That then couples with a leafy, tea-like character from the hops and I instantly think of an English ale. But there's more, some fruits appear, giving it an almost orange marmalade character, which once again, makes me think of an English ale. Pine and pith, and other citrus find their way through as well, and it becomes more tropical and "West Coast IPA". It's solidly bitter, and in combination with the resinous hops it's quite dry in the finish, but overall the hop bitterness is balanced so that you can enjoy the hop flavors, and continue drinking without pause (although a bit of water might help to cleanse your palate and open you up to complexities you haven't experienced just yet). The soft caramel maltiness lingers long into the finish as hops flicker across it: pungent, spicy, fruity/citrusy, leafy, and even floral. Except for the possibility that some of the spiciness might be coming from the alcohol, it's entirely cloaked.

As far as hop harvest ales go, this has been one of the best I've tasted. The aroma is intense, and it's complex and full in flavor yet anchored and balanced. Each subsequent growing season will, of course, determine what the hops will give, but I'll certainly seek this out again. Along with the aroma of misty fields and piles of damp leaves, what better way welcome fall and ward off the chill than with a glass of this?

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask, via hand pump, @ the Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, PA) on 10/16/10. Served in a pint glass. I've got no idea if this year's edition is vastly different than any of the other years, so I'll just forego a new entry and put this under here.

Pours a hazed copper, topped with a rigid finger of smooth bright-white head. Retains with about half that original size and just absolutely COATS the sides of the glass with heavy and thick lacing. The aroma smells grassy and damp with earth & herbs, as well as a pronounced spicy character. Citrus peel and bitter fruit add some sharpness to the nose. Malt sweetness hangs on the edges, helping soften this up a little, but the hops really shine here.

The hops in the taste are coming off as initially more mellow feeling but still have a forcefulness to them, with a spicy bitterness that is softened somewhat by some easy herbal textures. This is well balanced by a flat and grainy Pale Malt sweetness across the back of the profile. Gritty bitterness lies on the tongue in the finish but isn't coming off as overbearing, as this steadily lingers with notes of bitter fruit and dry spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth overall, with a smooth creaminess and an easy mellow slickness that matches the flavor profile. This is just really easy drinking stuff here that helps even out that bitter finish. The alcohol levels do seem lower than 7%, so maybe this is more in line with some of the lower ABV efforts from the last couple of years.

I like their Harvest Ale here because it doesn't try to beat you over the head with hops, but instead offers a nice even amount of fresh flavors and bitterness throughout. The cask conditioning is just the icing on the cake, bringing out even more of that character and giving this a silky smooth body and feel. Good stuff.

Photo of richj1970
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottle dated enjoy by 3/10/2015.

A: Pours a rich golden yellow with one finger head with decent retention and leaves a good amount of stringy lacing.

S: Bunch punch of citrus hits you immediately. Grapefruit, oranges, and lemon. Faint notes of pine needles and wet grass. The smell alone told me I was going to enjoy this one immensely.

T: Again some juicy citrus and a dank hop bite. Lots of grapefruit and orange peel.

M: Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Finish is crisp and dry with a nice hop bite and leaves a bit of oily resin behind.

O: Very nice IPA and a welcome departure from the big stouts I have been drinking lately.

Photo of KYGunner
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a little older than I like it style kept a reasonably hoppy profile of aromatic flowers, pine needles, rose petals, barley and tea leaves.

The flavor is interesting as its bitter with hops and pine but has a bit of lemon and citrus. The malts are barley, tea leaf, maple and nutty.

I will have to revisit for freshness but I like this.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Spiegelau ipa glass. Enjoy by 03.20.13. Consumed 02.20.15.

A: Oxidized orange, sharp clarity with a feverish pitch of macro-effervesce. Whipped, old white colored head with a strong resistance to fold. Full skirt lacing down the vessel.

S: Freshly sliced lemon, hint of lime, and tangerine. Nice wet freshness.

T: Grassy-orange and dry pine hopping to open. Big front of hoppiness, backed by dry toasted speciality grains. Hints of dry flowery tangerine, green melon, white grapes, and dry toasted apple skin that finishes with a big encore of grassy hops.

M: Active carbonation, chewy malts, with a big dry touch of hops on the tongue.

O: Overall a big, fresh, wet nose, with a good complexity of dry grassy hopping and dry tropical fruits that stay on the tongue long after the swallow. Labeled as a APA but clearly has the an overclocking of hops on par with IPA standards with a huge helping of bitterness and flavor hops. ABV% is perfectly suited. Drink fresh.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Victory's Fall Fest as well as the restaurant.

A: The ale is a deep copper red color with a small ring of white head.

S: A hoppy citrus flavor with earthy hints comes out of the nose.

T: The hops have a very subtle taste, the result I believe, of wet hops. The flavors that do come through are grapefruity and earthy, a very nice taste that is not overhopped.

M: The hops are flavorful without stripping the taste buds, the wet hops make a big difference.

D: At 7.7%, the drinkability is limited, but this is a good ale for a cool crisp football tailgate.

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev -3.4%

When I think harvest ale, I think something brown, with a distinct maltiness, some hops, and possibly some rye or other grain, maybe even some dried fruits. Not being a hop head, I guess that's my naive take.

This is a pale ale made from the fresh hop harvest. It's hoppy, fresh, and delicious, with tons of essential oils coming through and lots of bite. The hopes are incredible clean and bright and they really shine. I wish all hoppy beers drank like this.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottles purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a deep golden amber, with a half inch head, and lots of sticky lacing.

Smells like grass, tea, grapefruit, orange, and other juicy citrusy hop flavors. Smells quite inviting.

This tastes pretty nice. Just really fresh juicy hop flavors. There's some tea-like, herbal earthiness that comes with the "harvest ale" territory, alongside citrusy, slightly catty hop flavors. There's barely any malt flavor, and it kind of falls thin and flat near the end due to this. This tastes amazing, very full up-front though.

Like said above, the mouthfeel and body on this could use some work, it falls a bit flat and thin near the end, feels much lower in ABV than it is. It does have a crisp, juicy mouthfeel, though.

With a little bit of work in the malt department, this would be a much better beer. As it is now, it's still quite tasty.

Photo of wedge
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful clear copper color under a slowly-deflating head of lumpy beige foam. Aroma is all fresh, dank, oily, spicy hops...really highlighting the raw aromatics of wet hops. Herbs, green grass, marijuana, and peppery citrus all atop a substantial cereal malt base that adds just the right amount of support. Flavor is another blast of supremely oily, resinous hop cones backed by a lighter malty sweetness. Sticky pine needles, spicy grapefruit, lemongrass, peppercorns, and flowers. Very nice all around. Medium bodied, fluffy, and dry, never turning sweet, staying perfectly drinkable until the end. Despite the drinkability, it wouldn't surprise me if this was more like 7.5%+ given the intensity of flavor. Damn tasty stuff from Victory, who know a thing or two about hops.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: clear deep gold color; center pour produced a few fingers of fluffy ivory foam which trailed messy lace down the glass

S: wet grasses and grains with citric and floral points; hint of bright pepper

T: clean malt base softens the hops with fresh grain and mild sugars; hop character runs the gamut in a well-balanced range of grass and pine and citrus and flower; has some pithy moments and some piney ones; subtle bitterness barely edged by the faint sweetness of the malt

M: medium-bodied, amply carbonated, and smooth with a solid bitterness; crisp and tight but rounded

O: a well-executed fresh hop pale ale from victory that hits all the marks most look for in IPAs or APAs - straddles the line between the two styles. Get it while its fresh!

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.89/5  rDev -6%

Hey there...

Is the Queen ready for her tea and crumpets? Pretty much like the label on the bottle states: fresh, juicy hops with a dry, tea-like backbone - nothing more, nothing less. So if you are down for an octogenarian IPA (which isn't all that bad) have at it.

Photo of Immortale25
4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a clean, rubyish medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of wispy sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass.

S- Huge tropical fruit aroma brings to mind pineapple, guava and mango with resinous overtones and just enough cereal grain malt sweetness. Has that dank smell that some describe as oniony. It's perfect.

T- Big bitterness clamps down on the palate and stays, bringing with it lots of citrus and pine. Good malt backing provides some sweetness to balance.

M- Soft, almost creamy with a strong hop bite, medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- This is getting me pumped for Hop Ranch because that's what it reminds me of. If you don't get Hop Ranch in your area but you get this, it's a worthy substitute. Easily the best wet hop ale I've ever had.

Photo of Absolut
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very wet and dank with a solid malt back. Well done

Photo of Blanco
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with solid white head. Pretty good lacing. Some moderate carbonation. Smell has a nice, slighty hoppy aroma, a hint of breadiness. Taste is classic Victory pale ale, with less bready notes than usual. Hops are more dominant, but not apparently because it's hoppy, but more because malt backbone is light. Very well balanced. Medium bodied, only slight mouthfeel. Very nice classic hoppy beer. Not sure if this is supposed to be "wet" hops or "fresh" (Sierra Nevada definition), but it's a solid pale ale.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. The beer has a fairly dark amber gold color, very clear, and sports about a finger of fine off-white foam. The nose promises American hops in the form of fresh tropical fruit, very little dankness or piney aromas, and a slight whiff of mint.

Light to medium body - ideal for the style - and a sharp, pleasant hoppy flavor. Plenty of biscuity toasted malt up front to support the hops, which are just as lively on the tongue as they are aromatic on the nose. Fresh grapefruit, lemon, orange, some marmalade, and a hint of pineapple all join in. The finish is pleasant and those juicy, oily hoppy notes linger behind, urging you to keep sipping and sipping. Highly enjoyable stuff.

I rarely buy entire 4- or 6-packs of beers I've never had. Since I have really enjoyed Victory's other IPAs and IIPAs, I didn't consider this one to be much of a gamble. I was right. It is a delightful fresh hop IPA that I believe is right up there with Founders Harvest Ale and Three Floyds Broo Doo (my personal favorites in this `substyle'). Anyone who is a fan of either of those two beers should really enjoy this one. I will definitely buy more of it if Victory releases it again next year.

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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.