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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,110 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,110
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 198 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,110 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by salvo:
Photo of salvo
2.38/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Headwaters APA is a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde: it is a completely different beer out of the bottle and on tap. I've noticed this with Victory products and I'm beginning to wonder if there's something going on at their bottling facility. I'll take this on to the discussion board, but I offer the following schizophrenic, double faced review of the two beers, both called Headwaters APA.

On tap:
Pours a beautiful clear straw-yellow under an inch of pure-white foam that dissipates, leaving only a ring all the way down the pint glass. Smell is of tropical fruits: guava, pineapple, mango. A rich nose for such a light beer.

Taste asserts its tropical fruit esters and is pungently guava tasting with some citrus in the background, ending with a suggestion of tea. The hops are supported by a solid malty sweetness. Body is light and could stand some additional substance. But overall, this is a damn tasty beer at 5.5%, and would be a lovely everyday drinker.

Bottle:
Pours a beautiful clear straw-yellow under an inch of pure-white foam that dissipates, leaving only a ring all the way down the pint glass. Similar to the tap. That's where the similarities end.

Nose is very lightly and suggestive of non-descript citrus; some grassiness and slight astringency.

Taste has more malt early in the sip, particularly when cold. No tropical fruitiness at all. Ends grassy and astringent; bitter. Finishes much more quickly, much more dryly.

salvo, Apr 24, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

BEERchitect, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of PA-hunter
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured bottle into glass. 5.1% abv

Appearance- Semi clear amber with a thick fluffy head slow to dissipate.

Smell- Citrus aroma of oranges with floral characteristics. Biscuit notes mixed in as well.

Taste- Some slighty sweet bready/barley malt contrasts with a little bit of sweet caramel notes. Noticeable earthy hops sneak in later leaving for a bitter dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light but not too watery. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall- A decent and flavorful ale. Not super exciting but pretty basic. A good hop presence however. On the refrshing side too and easy drinking for a warm day. Also, hats off to Victory for advocating environmental stewardship and protecting waterways on the label on the bottle!

PA-hunter, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice to see a newer Victory offering here in Greensboro.Poured in a nonic a clear copper with a frothy white head that left multiple chunks of broken lace as it never fully settled,good carbonation.A mix of hops in the nose upfront,grassy,herbal,and citrus fruit mixed with a hefty caramel/biscuit base.A little this and watery in the feel it seems to take away a little oomph from the beer.A mix of herbal and citric hops and sweet caramel biscuit malt on the palate,the hops get the slight edge in a pretty balanced brew.A nice APA,big hops but really balanced,tweak the thinner mouthfeel and this is steller.

oberon, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of Turbo
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Turbo, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A pale amber beer with very good clarity. The head is rock, off-white with a decent retention.

S: A medium citrus hops aroma with some resinous character. A clean malt sweetness and a little bit of caramel.

T: A strong hops bitternes and medium-strong citrus hops flavor some piney character. There is a low , peach-like fruit ester. A touch of malt sweetness in middle with balance being decidedly bitter with a crisps, dry finish. Lingering citrus hops and bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A medium bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation and very crisp.

O: A straight forward, hop driven beer. A darn good pale ale.

MadScientist, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Tiernan, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of woodchipper
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

woodchipper, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of JacobMutberg
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

JacobMutberg, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Bright amber with a creamy white lacing. Sweet floral, herbal and fresh, with apple skins and fresh grain in the nose. Firm body, creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. Citric hop bite up front with a mixed bag of floral, herbal and spicy notes, followed by a small dose of malt sweetness (cereal grains, biscuity, bready), and apple-y fruitiness rounds things out. Chalky, bicarbonate, and dry with sticky and spicy herbal flavors lingering on the palate. A very solid addi- tion to the Victory lineup. This will no doubt become a benchmark APA in years to come, if they keep it consistent.

BeerAdvocate, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

SuomiHobbit, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of pengs68
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

pengs68, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

csmartin6, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of equinox1
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

equinox1, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of DWolf
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

DWolf, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

SunDevilBeer, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Beaver13
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, enjoy by 4/29/12. Pours a clear yellow gold with a smallish rocky white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet bready malts and piney hops.

The flavor is sweet, slightly vegetal, malts and a little fruit with a good sized resiny grassy hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some prickly carbonation.

Overall, a decent pale ale.

Beaver13, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of TTripp725
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

TTripp725, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of generallee
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

generallee, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of dgfool
4/5  rDev +2%

dgfool, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

TimoP, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of Fcip78
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you are looking for a hoppy session beer, this is your choice....It pours light amber in a pint glass with a nice off-white head. PLenty of light delicious citrusy grapefruit hop zing with each sip balanced with malt, thanks to citra hops! This is plenty smooth, but not too smooth where the beer becomes forgottable. This is a great beer year-round, but really awesome for any get together for casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike.

Fcip78, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +2%

VernonKell, Nov 15, 2012
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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,110 ratings.