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Helios (V Saison) | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Helios  (V Saison)Helios  (V Saison)

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Repackaging of V Saison

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 448 | Ratings: 1,069
Photo of StephenPickering
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The thing of it is, for me, when it comes to Brettanomyces, less is more. And I have had more than one (usually American) saison which figured more is more, resulting in what can only be described as something like carbonated grapefruit juice. I have read online that Brett was something earlier brewers tried to keep out of beer, and the sense of modern Saisons seems to be "we have to simulate the oops, some got in" quality of saisons - real or imaged - of the past. But I'm guessing because everything I know of this style was learned online.

The Brett aspect here is a little stronger (people talk about wet blanket or whatever; to me it is just grapefruit) than the best American saison I've yet had, which is Ommegang's mighty Hennepin, but it is nonetheless restrained and balanced.

This is not a stunt beer (American beers love to strive to be the bitterest, or most boozy, or whatever). Whoever made this had respect for the style.

I recommend this; it is, as the style is supposed to be, refreshing, not too heavy on the ABVs (not that anything is *wrong* with that unless I can taste the alcohol; a quality which doesn't belong in this style). It is, in a word, unpretentious.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"The radiant energy of the sun gives life to all that we enjoy. Flowing fields of barley for maltin, surging vines of ripening hops and even pure, clean water owe their vitality to the sun. Juse as we do. So in crafting this unique, hazy, orange-hued ale, we poured i nature's great gifts of German malts and European hops to feed the dynamic yeasts that we imported from Belgium. Here in the quiet tanks of Victory our unique yeasts, including Brettanomyces, jave brought vibrancy to this Belgian-style farmhouse ale. That energy has created impressions that range from lemon peel to black pepper, though such spices are not added. Great with a wide array of foods, count on the bright soul of Helios Ale to bring life to all of your meals!" Brewed in the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale, available in 22 oz. bottles and on rotating draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a smooth foam head of a creamy white tone over an aggressively carbonated amber body with mild haziness and sediment abundant. Retention is good and lacing is moderate and clingy. 4.25

(Smell) Cracker and biscuit malts with a mild sweetness are accented by a trace earthy hop bitterness and a bright, effervescent yeast profile, bringing hints of citrus peel, coriander and white pepper spice, and reserved softly tart fruit juice. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Reserved malt sweetness, pilsner and lightly toasted bread malts, with softly acidic fruit juices, bright spices, a touch of citrus peel, little to no hop character or bitterness present. Finishes moderately dry. Simple but very drinkable, well balanced and overall enjoyable. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, softly creamy, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is mild, generating light frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, light/medium overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to acidic, tart and earthy bitter. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Helios is an enjoyable and respectable enough Saison to seek out at a reasonable price. The beer prides itself into genuinely European-sourced ingredients, but I don't find that this makes enough of a difference in the beer to help it stand out above the average American-brewed Saison. I do, however appreciate the balance that this beer strives for, and despite tasting right on par for my expectations for a Saison ale, it avoids the pitfalls of excessive dryness and aggressive peppery yeast characters that so many Saison ales out there are criticized for. For that, I would recommend giving this a try as a respectable American-brewed Saison, but undoubtedly a far cry from the superiority of Belgian-brewed examples (albeit admittedly much more affordable). 3.75

Victory Brewing Company's
Helios Farmhouse Ale

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Photo of JackRWatkins
2.22/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

An after the fact review, not a terrible beer overall but lacks a lot of saison and farmhouse-esque characteristics that could have made it really good, the smell goes beyond funk and is FUCKING AWFUL, I love funky smelling beers and even the cat piss scent of oude quetsche Tilqin was not pleasant but was worth it, this is straight urine in the nose and for this drinker the total experience of the beer does not justify putting up with the atrocious smell, in short don't bother

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Hazy gold with a nice white head that leaves moderate lacing. The smell is yeast, cloves and done sweet malts. The taste is the same with a peppery finish. Very balanced and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of rorykanderson
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden hue with a crisp, slightly tart bite with a little brett-funk to match. Fluffy cap on top of an effervescent body. Peppercorns, hay, spice, earth, green apple, pear and brut. No phenolic taste or high acidity. Nice balance with a really clean finish. Excellent beer. Think it was only $5 a bomber, which is a steal.

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Photo of DBosco
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One week before its Best By date. Pours without a head, very little carbonation visible. Somewhat dark orange color, slightly hazy. Not much noticeable aroma, but a little citrus. A tart but slightly sweet taste with a little bit of Belgian style clove and spice. A smooth and pleasant drink, clean taste with a little bit of sting from tartness and slight carbonation.

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Photo of pheuker75
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

L: bright golden straw; loose white head

S: very subtle banana and malted barley

T:no dominant or off flavors, very subtle in pepper and citrus; hardly any detectable Brett

F: good carbonation; clean dry finish

O: not worth a special trip; maybe good for sessioning; might benefit for some cellaring

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Photo of thepenguin
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed 5/30/12

L: A darkish straw color.

S: Yeasty, earthy, musty, only somewhat spicy. It’s a bit funky, peppery, and certainly grainy. Not mind-blowing.

T: Dry, peppery, with substantial bitterness upfront. Finishes dry with a bit of hop bitterness. Kinda grainy. Not terribly complex, and could definitely use some more fruit-like esters, but not unpleasant either.

F: Pretty light body with medium-high carbonation. Some lingering alcohol warmth but not too much. Leaves a nice slickness on the palate.

O: This a pretty good, easy-to-come-by, cheap American saison. Belgians are not Victory’s strong point in my opinion, but at around $4 a bomber this is a good one to keep stocked.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I Found this beer 14 months old and took a chance. There's a lot going on here. The smell is largely funky. The taste is funk and fruity sourness with a touch of spice. Really nice combination of flavors. Very interesting beer but a bit too much funk for me. nb

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Photo of Apellonious
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pt 6 fl oz bottled poured into tulip glass.

A - Cloudy, straw gold with a half finger head that moves quickly moves to a thin lace.

S - Grape must, funk.

T - Clove, white wine, hay. Notes of pepper and lemon.

M - Somewhat watery, has a back of the mouth sharpness. Carbonation is medium high.

O - Interesting, if not overly complex. I can see this more as a hot summer quencher.

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Photo of meson13
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

bland boring beer. some generic saison notes, no personality or character. nothing offensive, just boring. shoulda figured a 5 dollar brett saison wouldnt be very good.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden orange in color. 1 finger of fluffy white foam that dissipates surprisingly quickly. Nice lacing though.

Aroma is of spicy yeast, cloves, prominent banana, and honey.

Taste is just a little too sweet for me. There is no carbonation tickle or dryness that makes me want to return for another sip. Up front is the spicy yeast, followed by a honey-like sweetness. This is coupled with major bannana near the end of the sip. The finish is mainly just sweetness. Again nothing bites through, not even much citrus.

Overall, this beer is alright and easily accessible. I probably won't buy it again because there are so many better options available. I see it pairing well with a warm peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream. It gets a 82/100.

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Photo of puck1225
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful cloudy yellow pour into a snifter. Nice thick head and lacing. Great spicy taste with citrus and floral tastes as well. A very nice beer and I will buy it again.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: It pours a clear straw to gold color with a two finger head that lingers. S: There is a little floral from the hops and ester from the yeast in the aroma. T: Malt and light fruit are well balanced by an assertive hop accent. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: A good, drinkable saison.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: August 16, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Duvel footed tulip... OCCASION: recovering from a shore trip to LBI... APPEARANCE: a tumultuous twister of bubble stirs the heart of a hazy burnt orange body; head is foamy, white, and full of effervescence, with high arching lacing to boot ... AROMA: banana, clove, soft pepper, and lavender/lilac--complex yet withdrawn... PALATE: to the effect of the aroma, the beer apologizes as it is sipped; foamy and creamy through its great head retention; lively and rounded on the tongue, memorable in its aftertaste with a dry finish... TASTE: clove, banana, vanilla, pepper, grapefruit, apple, biscuit, and some other fruits that are patient yet palpable...the yeasty end suggests dough and read, with floral hops and lemon arriving in waves after the sip has finished... OVERALL: I try not to be biased when drinking big bottles, saisons, or Victory brews, but this glass contains all through with a winning combination--refreshing, complex, vibrant, and flavorful...worthy of a bomber and a Sunday night...

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours a medium straw color with good clarity and one finger of head.
Aromas are a lot of funky yeast and mellow malt character.
Flavor is on point as the bottle label describes with lemon and white pepper present.
Finishes clean and dry just as I'd like.
This bottle was not expensive and delivered very nice flavor.

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Photo of fx20736
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bought from Beers of the World. Hazy gold, tight white head. Aroma of bubble gum. Taste is tangy, bitter, earthy. Mouthfeel is meringue like. This is an interesting, tasty beer.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks so good. I never rate a beer's appearance that high but this beer is perfectly clear, has a thick creamy white crown that lasts and leaves a film and ring on top. Body is sunshine yellow. Golden. Nose is sumptuous but fun with lots of fruity citrus, a plentiful hops herbal that is whimsical with pepper and a malt sweetness that is a touch of white bread with honey. Taste is sultry and heady with lemon, the bright lemon peel, the spontaneous herbal. The hops herbal in this beer is like hay or dried grass bit it also has quite a bit of pepper. A perfect tartness that makes the mouth water and a dry and bubbly finish that lets that pepper really tickle. Smooth and at 7.5% it's on the high side for abv but you will find it a pleasant warmth in the swallow. There is a bitterness in this one and it's welcome because of the slightly higher abv. It balances out that alcohol sweetness and bit of extra body perfectly and lets the beer reside in the aftertaste as plentiful in flavor as it was on the palate .

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Photo of ZBowden
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden lemon orange with a thick white head, smells of yeast orange peel with slight spice slight tart raspberry, tastes of bitter yeast with lemongrass orange peel peppery with cider like tartness. Mouthfeel is full and bright with high carbonation and smooth finish.

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Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead in early April for $5.49. No freshness date visible.

Beer poured golden with a nice white head that is hanging around quite long.

Nose is classic farmhouse, hay, citrus, noble hops.

Taste has a touch of tartness, lemon, grass, very light pepper.

Mouthfeel is a tad heavier than a normal saison yet still has the saison effervescence.

Overall a nice beer at a reasonable price. I would definitely try this again.

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Photo of TopherBreski
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very different than any other beer I've ever had. The smell, is great!! The taste, is done what like a Hefeweizen without the wheat taste, however, slightly too much citrus for my taste. Still, excellent beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint on draft as KC's alley in Ambler. 7.5% abv

Bright gold and clear. Citrus aroma. Taste is sweet with hints of apple and Belgian yeast. Medium body. Great saison.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with virtually no head. Lacing is minimal. Has the typical farmhouse aroma. Taste of Belgium yeasts with a bitterness at the end. Very bready. Decent saison but not among my favorites. There is something off with the aftertaste.

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Photo of Bone53
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber

Appearance: Golden straw color with a two finger white head

Smell: Lemon citrus, funky yeast, light spice

Taste: Spices upfront with slight citrus, and a funky yeast and slightly offputting apple aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light body; Crisp with a slightly dry finish

Overeall: Iv been on a streak with great beers this winter, and this is not one of them. I saw that it was $4.99 and figured i couldnt go wrong. I admit im not a big fan of saisons/farmhouse ales, but i found Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and Ommegang Hennepin to be a lot better. I think its the yeast strain in this that turned me off a bit. Victory is normally excellent, but this is probably my least favorite beer iv had from them and most likely wont return.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very solid offering from Victory.
Looks the part, delightful fluffy white head,
Aromas of lemon, earthiness, a little funk, and all in a light flavoursome package. Hint of dryness on finish.
My only question, does it need to be 7.5%??? Could it be the same beer or nearly at say 6?

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Helios (V Saison) from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
87 out of 100 based on 448 ratings.