Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Victory Harvest Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory Harvest AleVictory Harvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

109 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 638
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 36
Gots: 77 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 109 | Hads: 638
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Poured into a Riedel tulip. The liquid is a transparent golden straw color with plenty of tiny bubbles rising quickly. The pour kicks up a wonderful fluffy off-white head that leaves tons of lace on the way down. Exactly what I wanted this to look like.

Aroma is glorious wet-hop goodness. Grapefruit, tangerine, oranges, weed, hints of pine and mint. Totally clobbers you with amazing hop aroma even as it's sitting on the table next to you. Just the slightest hint of a sugar cookie malt presence.

Taste follows the nose. Clobbers you with tart, aggressive citrus off the bat, followed by an undertaste of weed, cat pee, and onions. The malt makes itself known mid-palate, with hints of slightly toasted bread and sugar cookie. The beer is pretty bitter overall, but the bitterness is well-backed by some incredible hop flavor. Finish is citrus, with a more noticeable pine and mint flavor, with some lingering bitterness. There's an oddly crisp note on the aftertaste, which is pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with lots of soft, silky carbonation.

Overall, really great hop flavors here - awesome showcase of citra and mosaic, and they work so well together. I just wish I could drink it all year. The fact that it comes in 12 oz bottles is just the icing on the cake! (1,296 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Appearance (4.25): Clear orange copper color with a head or two off white head

Smell (4.5): Oh ya, this is certainly a top notch smelling brew. Reminds me of Stone actually. Lemongrass, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, slight pine and onion, and pepper malt

Taste (4.5): The flavors live up to the smell with a bouquet of citrusy, floral hops with a resinous dank pine finish and light peppered bread malt for good measure

Mouthfeel (4.5): Light medium body yet slightly resinous with a smooth and slightly bitter finish

Overall (4.5): This is probably the best pale ale I've had to date. Its light enough yet packs a punch with flavors and aromas. I love beers that are so aromatic and flavorful yet isnt excessively bitter, and id put this in that category. It goes down more like a <5% beer. Outstanding in all aspects and i urge you to try it yourself! (858 characters)

Photo of are_doubleyou
4.69/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: A bright, clear and rich orange color that is exactly maybe a tinge darker than I want an APA, but a brilliant color. It pours a decent head, but quickly dissipates into a mere ring of lace around the edge. I have to knock it down a bit for head retention.

S: The aroma is tremendous. Almost overwhelming with a complicated mix of hop notes. I smell mostly citrus and floral notes with some grapefruit and pine resin underneath. Very inviting for a hophead.

T: The taste follows up on the promises of the aroma. A very crisp start with great floral and citrus notes flooding the body before letting way to a more bitter grapefruit flavor. The grapefruit flavor dominates the finish and I only taste resin a bit after I have swallowed each sip. Once again, a true treat for someone who loves hops. The malt balance is a bit lacking, but there is an underlying toasty flavor if you can find it through the hops. Nothing too damning considering this is a showcase for the freshest hops.

F: The mouthfeel is very crisp and clear, but not watery. I actually would call it zesty because of the way the hop flavors and carbonation feel in your mouth.

O: I really enjoyed this beer and highly recommend it. I've been trying out pretty much all the wet hop beers that I can find right now and I think this might be my favorite of the bunch. I may even pick up another 4-pack before it is gone.

This beer was poured into a Blind Pig mug from a 12 oz bottle and enjoyed at apx. 55F (1,478 characters)

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

This is probably as close to a perfect beverage or certainly the closest to perfect for an American pale ale as you're gonna get. There are certainly other excellent APA's out there but the really special brews move on to a higher category. Apples and oranges really -- none of the competitors are really better than each other. But each bring their own special attribute to the table.

Victory Harvest Ale is such a bew. It is a bouquet of flavors dancing on your tongue and without an exceptionally high ABV. Truly a work of art. Between this and their Dirt Wolf double IPA, Victory is becoming one of my top three favorite breweries. (642 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got my growler jug filled with this at the Cloverleaf Tavern last week, right before the keg kicked. I was excited to enjoy this after seeing how enjoyable the Dirt Wolf was and even though this reminded me a lot of that, this was a bit different and nowhere near as potent while still maintaining a similar hop profile and like the Troegs Hop Knife, showed that a seasonal beer for the fall doesn't have to be an Octoberfest or a Marzen.

Solid pour to this as the glowing apricot hue, foamy head, lively carbonation, and slightly cloudy hue all combined for a pleasing appearance. Nice earthy hop presence to the nose as it easily filled up the remainder of my pint glass from start to finish. The funky, skunky aroma matched up well with the taste as this had strong mango and papaya notes, a waxy mouthfeel, and a hint of piney resin to tie everything together. Just a hint of warming alcohol could be felt but this never seemed too heavy or strong given the dry-hopped feel of this.

While not a session beer, it was hard not to have another serving of this once the glass emptied out. A worthy counterpunch to the West Coast IPA's, this deserves to be a year-round beer and is worth seeking out for hopheads or those who love the Dirt World but want a lighter take on it. A solid winner from top to bottom and in line with it comes to Victory's other current offerings. (1,376 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

2014 Vintage. Mosaic and Citra hops.
12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Golden amber with a short head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with medium-light carbonation.

Nose
Pineapple, peach, passion fruit, tangerine, mango, pine sap, and candy sugar.

Taste
Sweaty pineapple, musky mango, and pine sap. Lesser notes of peach and passion fruit. Light maltiness of candy sugars and lightly toasted bread. Finishes dank and slightly drying with green florals, pine needles, and a touch of onion.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, juicy, and smooth with a light bitterness.

Overall
A lot of tropical fruits and dankness. Juicy and flavorful. Victory did a stellar job on this one! (696 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
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 (702 characters)

Photo of ksimons
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a clear bright amber with white head that leaves lacing around the top

S-sweet caramel, grapefruit, some lemon, and light pine

T-heavy hops presence, mostly citrus flavors with some earthy notes, spicey, light bready backbone

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall a very hop centric beer with enough sweetness to make it drinkable (342 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

This one is about the same price as Founders. However, it is much easier to find. Or at least it was for me. This beer was not my favorite harvest, thus far. I have read some reviews where people refer to hops as tasting like cat piss, some like this others don't. I am on the not big fan or feline urine side of the fence. I will say this is the first beer I have had that I would refer to as tasting or even more so, smelling like cat piss. I assume its the hops. Oddly enough its really not a bad beer just kind of caught me off guard.

Color: Amber, with nice head retention.

Aroma: Maybe some malts, but definitely the aforementioned cat piss. Sour hop aroma. Maybe this one is off somewhat? I could also be me.

Taste: Similar to the aroma. Some resinous taste earthy not unlike Dirtwolf in that regard. I do detect the floral notes, but it coated my mouth with kind of an odd film. I will try to get one colder and see if that improves things. I don't believe that will make that much difference. Its definitely drinkable, but its a sipper for sure.

Overall: I was interested in trying this one. I bought this alongside Founders, which I lucked up and was able to purchase a four pack as well. They were both around the same price. But to me Founders was a much better tasting and smelling beer. Don't get me wrong, I generally love beers from Victory, but this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. Its not Hop Devil, but it is good. Don't let the cat piss deter you, you may enjoy that. I know a lot of people do! (1,536 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -12%

12 ounce bottle - Barrel & Barley in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a darkened copper body, though quite clear, with a slim, near white head.

Smell: Peppered citrus, mainly grapefruit but also some lemon, black tea leaves. Subtle pale maltiness.

Taste: A spiciness akin to fresh-ground pepper, a tea-like herbal quality, as well as gentle floral and citrus rind flavors overlayed atop the base pale maltiness hinting lightly toasted bread with a little sweetness. Medium bitterness overall. Crispish, bitterish finish with more of them citrus accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's okay, it's fine, and, while I have had better, it's by no means a bad beer. (699 characters)

Photo of drtth
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a bright, light copper golden color with a 1/4-1/2 inch ivory head that slowly recedes to leave a ring and large patch of foam on the surface. The ring persists for much of the beer and there are patches and speckles of lacing on the sides of the glass. On the surface of the liquid there is an irregular island of thin foam.

The aroma is all about the hops with hardly any malt showing at all. The combination includes citrus (mostly grapefruit), herbal and grassy notes that even have a bit of dankness and resinous tang mixed in.

The flavors are, as expected from the nose, all about the hops as well. While its possible to tell there is a light malt backbone, it remains in a supporting role to help alleviate but not eliminate the resinous bitterness from the hops. In the flavor profile there's lots of grapefruit with some herbal and grassy notes.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied with ongoing light, prickly carbonation. The finish starts in the full flavors of the hops, lets the malt soften the bitterness for a bit, and then tapers off back into grapefruit bitterness and a long long dry finish that eventually leaves one wanting another sip.

Overall this is a really nice APA that shows off the character of the wet hops quite nicely despite the fact that the hops were transported most of the way across the country from the Yakima valley to South Eastern PA. If you like grapefruit you'll enjoy this beer. I'm glad to have gotten a case of this one as that means a few more weeks of sipping and exploring how the flavors mellow, integrate, and change as the days go by. (1,652 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From vine to Victory comes a 12 ounce bottle of wet hop beer. There's an "enjoy by" date, however the label tells you to "Drink now. Do not store". On to it we go:

Toasted orange colored with some visible bubbles running through. The head forms low on top, eventually resting as a lace, and the lacing which sticks to the glass is impressive for a beer with little head. As it is so often with wet hopped beer, the aroma is dank and hoppy. Fresh flowers, a note of citrus, cantaloupe, perfume-like hops and pleasing.

The hops are raw in this beer. So raw I swear that I can taste the fertilizer. Very floral in flavor and woodsy, yet also bringing some cantaloupe and orange slices too. There's very little malt noticed, which is strange considering the beer's strength. In fact, the beer feels as close to light bodied as it does to medium bodied. And in the aftertaste, floral and bitterness lingers.

There's no question that this is pleasing ale. But I feel that something small is missing to make this memorable. Or perhaps it's a teeny too raw which keeps it from being at the next level for me. (1,106 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy by: 3/10/15.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with lots of citrus forward fresh hop aromas and flavors and a definite tea like drying quality in the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle. (663 characters)

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%

Resin and grapefruit dominate the aroma, with a dank spin and light skunk notes. Flavor reveals grapefruit underlying a resiny, dank dominance, finishing fairly bitter and earthy. A little more bitter than I prefer, but good flavor/aroma balance. As it warms, it becomes more earthy in aroma and flavor. Not my favorite profile. (328 characters)

Photo of Omnium
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle > mason pint

A - Clouded gold with two fingers of foamy off white head, thick lacing.
S - Excellent aroma! Cracker malt and fresh grains lay the base for some awesome fruity and floral hop tones, citrus, some grape, apricot, papaya, sweet orange, light dankness.
T - Excellent balance of hops and malt, sweetness is there, but its just enough to control the bitterness of the hops, lots of bright vibrant hop tones, very "green" and fresh tasting.
M - Clean and balanced mild body, well carbonated and smooth.
O - Excellent fresh hop harvest ale, the mosaic and citra really pop in this one. Victory has been on fire with all the new IPA's they've been doing. (673 characters)

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

Love me some wet-hopped beers. Love the oily kind of tone on top of the vegetal aspects. This one carries more vegetal tones than I typically like, but it's still good. A nice example of the style, though nothing I would pass other beers up for to try again. (258 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

The beer comes in a reddish amber orange.

The aroma pops out of bright hops of tangerine, blood orange, citrus zest. Tropical fruit towards guava. Then there's an underlying dank pine quality.

The flavor follows of that spritzy citrus zest up front. Then onto a light and sweet bready malt. Then the beer bitters out aggressively to medium plus bitterness of pine and slight resinous qualities.

There is a huge disparity between the exciting aroma and the more tame flavor. Still a satisfying fresh hop IPA though. (517 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.17/5  rDev +2%

Had this on 2014-10-26 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge from a bottle

Victory has produced an excellent harvest ale. Lots of flavor and aroma. Fresh, juicy and pretty dank but with little malt. I had a fresh Sierra Nevada Celebration side-by-side with this brew and they are quite different. This Victory Harvest Ale tasted more like a a Stone offering. Generally, I like a bit more malt in my Harvest Ale's, so Sierra Nevada's Northern Hemisphere suits me a bit better but if you a dryer, hop-oriented flavor profile is your preference, this is a really good one. (569 characters)

Photo of Zach136
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear light orange body with a quickly dissipating head

Aroma: Light hop aroma of pine, grass, and tangerine.

Flavor: Pine and grass up front, pretty solid astringency for a wet hop unfortunately.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied (237 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a copper color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to nothing aside from a ring around the glass

S: Citrus and pine straight in your face. A little bit of peppery malt/hop combo as well, but the citrus and pine dominate

T: Follows the nose. Citrus and pine up front, with a nice peppery malt backing that helps to cut bitterness and lends a little body. Definitely has a little bit of the Victory house yeast signature, as well. Finishes with a light lingering bitterness and some of the maltiness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: This is almost like a tamed version of DirtWolf or Hop Ranch. At 6.5% abv, it has slightly less body but still most of the hop flavor. The wet hops definitely help in that department. Definitely worth picking up, especially if you a fan of the aforementioned DIPAs (830 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

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. (1,338 characters)

Photo of Stroget
3/5  rDev -26.7%

The bar was high and it didn't meet expectations. Too much grapefruit. Nice scent, color and aftertaste (after a while) but the bitter grapefruit taste was too much. Won't buy again. (185 characters)

Photo of y2jrock60
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Golden orange with a think white head that leaves behind a lot of lace.

S- Very dank and grassy. I also pick up onion and tropical fruit notes.

T- Starts off slighty sweet with a lot if dankness and onion flavor. Grassy, berry, and tropical fruit flavors become prominent in the finish. You're left with a pleasing mild bitterness and grainy malt on the tounge.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- An amazing beer. It reminds me a lot of Hop Ranch in the flavor arena. It's kind of pricey and I've only seen it for sale directly from Victory. If you get a chance to try it don't turn it down. (611 characters)

Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.