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Victory Harvest Ale - Victory Brewing Company

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Victory Harvest Ale
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very good

70 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.80% 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: 70 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claspada
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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 cdizinno
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear copper color with a finger+ of off-white head. Fluffy lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: Mild hop scent with some grainy, malty sweetness in the background.

T&M: Heavy pine and floral hoppy flavors at first. Very dry and fluffy. Almost like the muthfeel of a Sam Adams lager. Quite grainy.
Medium body; Almost too chalky and dry; very subtle carbonation

Not the most drinkable brew I've had by Victory. It's just odd with the lager flavor against the a non-fruity hoppiness.

cdizinno, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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 Mojoman8561
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had thison tap at my last Craft Brew Club meeting. Victory was the host and learned a lot about their process.

-L- Golden yellow. Light head.

-S- Lemon Zest and hops.

-T- Definately a creamy lemon taste with a distinct hops flavor. Apprently this comes from the wet hops process they use on this brew.

-F- Light in body. The hops really put a swift kick on the end of this mouthful.

-D- Not bad. Different. Wouldn't buy it by the case but wouldn't say no if someone offered.

Mojoman8561, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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 jwhancher
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For whatever reason, I think Victory missed the mark on this one. After tasting numerous other harvest styled ales, this one comes away with no real hop character and an odd taste I can't quite put my figure on.

A: Pours a gold color.

S: Rather subtle hop hints, mostly grains.

T: Misses out on the hops. Again, mostly a grainy taste.

M: Seems like it should fit more in a lager category. I'm not one to dodge beers in my fridge, but this one seems to be the red-headed stepchild.

D: There's almost no beer I cannot drink. This is certainly drinkable - just not one I'd reach out for or actively search out to taste. There's much, much better Victory beers to try well in front of this one.

jwhancher, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Golden yellow orange color; poured with a half-finger of eggshell head

S - Lager-like aromas with some grain sweetness; aggressive hops; touch of maltiness

T - Hoppy at first; very firm maltiness; a little grainy

M - Medium body; a touch chalky and dry; very subtle carbonation

D - Not the most drinkable brew I've had in the style (even though the style varies greatly); just a bid odd in the lagery flavors against the hoppiness

Overall, definitely a solid brew and it made my palate work, but not one that I would seek out too hard again.

Nickls, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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 mmmbeer
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on-tap at the brewery - my sample is 6.9%. It arrives amber, with medium carbonation and a 3/4 inch, lightly frothy head. Very aromatic and deeply hopped, with orangey, minty, and resiny scents rising from the glass. A touch of toasted malts on the palate, overshadowed by mint, orange, bubblegum, and a late piney flavor. Not too bitter, which is nice as it lets all the hop flavors come through, riding on the smooth, medium body that makes quaffing a cinch. A delicious harvest ale with hop characteristics quite different from your standard pale ales and IPAs. Well-worth a try if you see it.

mmmbeer, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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 HopDerek
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on tap at Victory Brewing.

Beer appears deep amber in color with a fluffy white head. Amazingly, it doesn't have much of a hop smell to it, more prevalent maltiness and caramel. The taste though shows off the hops, though not the bitter piney hops, more sweet and citrusy, helped out by the malty finish. A very refreshing and smooth beer. Alcohol taste is conceiled nicely, though it may be too high in alcohol for its own good as wonderful a taste as it has and as easy as it is to enjoy.

HopDerek, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
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 tgbljb
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
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 RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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 AzAleC
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

AzAleC, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of foggylovesbeer
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great fresh-hop beer. Have had this on tap at Victory twice in the past month and the second time around was better than the first. This beer has a wonderful, hoppy aroma and goes down really smooth. Both times I have had this on-tap, in a 22oz Willi Becher glass.

foggylovesbeer, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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 baldmasterflex
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought a cold, crisp fall nite in the middle of WCU's fall break would be a great time to pick this up.
Pours a really rich pinkish-orange-red color with very little head at all it. My roommate asked if i was drinking wine, which makes alot of sense because it definitly reminds me of a pink sangria. As i stare at the beer there really isnt much carbonation other than some that builds up around the rim that lightly sticks to the sides of the glass.
I have a cold which is killing my senses but the nose of the beer definitly has a sweet aroma with easily detectable very citrusy hops, similar to the kind used in Hop Wallop if my memory is correct (the release of which is about a mere month away).
The taste is very much like the smell, but the hops dont bite the way i expected them to. They really seem to fade very smoothly into a malty sweetness.
The body is medium and the lack of carbonation makes it very smooth going down without any detection of alcohol bite (even tho i know 7.7% isnt dangerously high).
I can see how the use of malt sweetness in this could possibly classify it as something other than a type of IPA or DIPA as the Strong Ale catogorization suggests. But, for clarification and comparison for people who wont have the opportunity to try this brew, i find it to be somewhere halfway between Dogfish's 60 and 90 minute IPAs.
After im finished with the next 50 ounces, Im gonna find the person that stole my victory growler.

baldmasterflex, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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
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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.