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Victory Harvest Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory Harvest Ale
Picture being approved.
very good

95 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | 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:
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 added by: akorsak on 10-01-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

djrn2, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

WVbeergeek, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Kegatron, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, amber/reddish toned appearance, slim whitish head...nice enough...

Aroma: very caramel malt-y, with classy noble hops speaking up...a crisp, floral aroma, crystal clean.

Taste: alive with hops, but on the mild side. Nice caramel malt, a smooth English style of ale here. Biscuity, caramely, toasty malts, nicely done texture, with hop bitterness riding on the top. Nice hops, balanced extraordinarily well with delicious malt. Yum.

Somehow, though, especially from Victory, I expected/anticipated more...and this, after having some Town Hall Fresh Hop and, just previous, some Masala Mama IPA. A bit disappointing...but expectations are false premises, so forget about that.

and big thanks to stewdawg for providing!

feloniousmonk, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Another fine selection from Victory, who rarely disappoint. A copper-colored beer with reddish tints, and a small white head that retains as a ringlet. Clean aroma, sweet malts and floral and citrusy hops. Sweet caramel malts in the taste, floral and earthy hop notes, well-balanced. Nothing new going on here, but just a good beer in its simplicity. Light-medium body, and easily drinkable.

Rifugium, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark orange in color with a 1" head that lasts around a while. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: caramel and some earthy hops are light in the aroma.

Taste: caramel, light grapefruit tones, some orange, and a nice earthy bitterness make up a a nice fresh hop ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp and a touch dry late.

Overall: this was a flavorful ale that can be a good session beer. Hits the spot on a cool autumn day.

Gavage, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of corby112
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a very hazy, dark copper color with burnt orange edges and a two finger pillowy white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy floral hop aroma with a strong malt backbone.  Some resinous grassy notes but the sweet malts are a bit too strong, overpowering things with hints of caramel, bread, toffee and nut.

Full bodied with a dry earthy hop presence that's countered mid-palate by a sweet malt backbone.  Dry and resinous with pine needle and spruce tip flavor followed by sweet caramel malt, toffee, bread and hazelnut.  Decent but hop profile is boring and the malt presence are too strong for my liking.

corby112, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of akorsak
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

akorsak, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Harvest Ale

Pours a clear copper color, white head forms and dies quickly. Aroma of fresh hops, piney, dank and resinous floral notes. In the taste, mild citrus, rind like bitterness, pine and a bready, caramel malt body. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a moderate to low level of carbonation. Overall, a nice, easy going fresh hop brew with deceptive strength.

Stinkypuss, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much to my delight, this beer has been readily available over at Max's for the past week.

The beer pours an attractive copper orange color with outstanding head retention and good lacing. On the nose I get a good whiff of hops, which is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. On the palate this beer is just delicious. There is plenty of citrus from the hops, with just the right amount of malt to balance it. There is also a hint of wet tobacco and earthiness, which I associate with wet hops. The balance of flavors is excellent with this beer, though the hops come on strong the more I drink of it (had to get a 32 ounce happy hour cup; it's that good!). The beer is light to medium bodied on the palate and drinkability is very good. The abv. is a bit high for my liking in a harvest ale, which is my only real complaint. Nevertheless, this is an absolutely excellent beer from Victory. Along with Sierra Nevada, the best harvest ale I've had this year (not including Killer Green - a beer that's in a completely different league IMHO).

Excellent beer!

John_M, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at irish pol in philly - review from notes

Pours a deep amber color, froth of white head fades into faint film. Tons of ringed and patchy lacing are left behind.

Pine hop bitterness in the nose with some lemon peel and citrus. Plenty of bready malt with light caramel sweetness.

Decent pine bitterness, a little sticky and resiny. Larger malt backbone than expected. Caramel and bread crust with light toasted notes. Some residual sweetness towards the finish, which is bitter and lingering.

Lighter medium body, decent but higher carbonation, sticky and dry on the tongue. Drinks alright, but nowhere near the top of the harvest ale category. More hops needed.

xnicknj, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of claspada
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are very caramely at first, with strong noble hops joining the party: crisp, floral, citrusy aroma, crystal clean.

The taste full of fresh clean hops, but very balanced and not overly bitter. Nice caramel malt, a smooth English style IPA almost. Biscuity, caramely, mildy toasty malts. Nice hops, balanced extraordinarily well with delicious malt.

Overall the best wet hoppeed beer of the 6 I had this evening, over Sierra NW hopped, Rogue's, Great Divide, to name a few. Well balanced beers always win in my book.

claspada, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of Durge
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light golden brown brew with a decent off-white cover and midland lacing. The aroma is pretty standard faire, a solid wheat toast with some carmel malt. The flavor builds very nicely on that aroma. A nice malty bread with tangy carbonation, very lively and refreshing. Lots of gritty wheat goodness without interfering with drinkability. Actually a refreshing brew, generally a bit chewy in a good way, very supple feel. There is plenty of carmel malt sweetness but it is offset nicely by the dry crispness of the wheat. There seems to be some subtle orange flavored hops in the background. All around a very solid offering and one of the better Oktoberfest offerings I have had in a while. Relatively mild but it has character for sure. Very much recommended.

Durge, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of IPAchris
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

IPAchris, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of tgbljb
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed fresh from the tap at the brewpub.
Served as a very deep amber colored beer with modest slightly off-white puffy head.
Smell is strong for malt and caramel.
The taste is absolutely fantastic. It is dominated by a caramel-toffee malt and a pronounced hop flavor, without the bitter dryness.An absolutely perfectly rfefreshing beer. The 7.7% alcohol is totally concealed by the smmoth sweet malt.
One of the best beers I have every enjoyed. The alcohol keeps you from having too many, but the drinkability is superb.

tgbljb, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of argock
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Burnished amber with 1/2-inch, off-white oatmeal-colored head with decent retention and a line of crusty lace at the top of the glass.

S: Big floral and citrus hops aroma greets with a pretty substantial caramel and fruity ale backing aromas. The fruity character is probably somewhat yeast derived. No detectable alcohol qualities.

T: Whopping fruity hops flavors with orange, grapefruit, lime, and floral qualities as well. The malt backbone is fairly caramelly with some bready malt/yeast character. The yeast character extends with some fruity esters as well. Moderately bitter. Nice beer with great wet hop flavor.

M: A tad thin in mouthfeel with lightish body, it comes off a bit watery. This isn't a super combo with all the fruity character. Finish is average-dry for the style.

O: A really solid brew that would be a bit better with some more body and a little lower ABV. All in all though, this is a good beer that whets the wet hop appetite very well.

argock, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of IdrinkGas
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

IdrinkGas, Friday at 01:51 AM
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Victory Harvest Ale has a slightly cloudy copper body with an thick, creamy, off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

The aroma features some grass/earthy hops and some pale malt.

I like the hop profile of Victory Harvest Ale; it has grassy and earthy flavors that I would assume come from the wet hops and just a taste of citrus bitterness. The malt balances out the hops with a biscuit like sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a medium but a bit creamy, pretty good.

I like the Hops in Victory harvest Ale, but I would honestly be happier with it if just a little bit of malt was cut out, along with a lot of alcohol. With that said, using fresh hops to make a strong ale is an interesting idea, and it's something I had not tried before.

Hojaminbag, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of david18
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The fact that this is a strong ale explains a lot. I thought I was ordering a wet hop pale ale and was surprised then when it came as dark and as strong as it was.

Overall, this beer did no knock my socks off but it was ok. Carmel color with a nice hoppy aroma and a light colored head. The flavor was quite bitter but the dark malt also came through. I'll try it again now that I know more about it but overall I wasn't all that thrilled.

david18, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev +1.3%

mdillon86, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of DIM
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, coppery color. It was served to me with a small, fizzy cap.

s: Caramel malts and a hint of pine.

t: Light caramel sweetness up front with some fairly strong bitterness at the end.

m: Crisp and fizzy.

o: Not bad, but kind of lifeless overall.

DIM, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of jsh420
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

jsh420, Yesterday at 04:32 AM
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my Harvest Beer Adventure, which confirmed that I should never go Beer Hunting without a navigation system.

Bright new penny copper body, fairly clear with a hint of haze. Smallish white head (though to be fair, this is the third glass poured from the growler, over a ten hour period). Some nice stretchy lacing.

Inviting, and yes, fresh hoppy and piney aroma clears out the nose.

Caramelly sweet malt beginning is almost sneaking about on the tongue, like slipping into a bed beneath a billowing comforter of hops. The hops aren't abrasive, just a gently floating raft. Getting an earthy/herbal vibe, more than the pine in the aroma. A definite sense of "freshness" to the taste. Very mild sensation of alcohol at the finish. Long hop tingle aftertaste.

Solid medium plus mouthfeel. Good drinkability, I found the listed abv of 7.7% surprising.

Very enjoyable and very interesting. There does seem to be a different sort of hop character with the various fresh hop beers, at least the few I've tried so far. Further study is warranted.

RonfromJersey, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Victory brewpub.

Presented in an imperial pint glass a deep copper color with about a 1/2 inch of off white head. Smell is of fresh hops and citrus. Taste is piney and full of grapefruit yet the level of maltiness seems nearly perfect. One of the most balaced beers I've ever had the pleasure of trying. Medium bodied and crisp. An outstanding beer. I could see myself returning very often to enjoy this brewpub exclusive beer.

ClockworkOrange, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

bigfnjoe, Oct 13, 2013
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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.