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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

1,727 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1727
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%


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: 1,727 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Stanhagen
Stanhagen

Pennsylvania

2.28/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited when victory released this pale ale as its one of my favorite styles. the beer pours, looks, and smells nice, however, there is a funky aftertaste that I can't get around. I can understand that it might appeal to some but in the eastern pa/philly area there are some great Pale Ales being produced (troegs, yards, philly brewing, etc). while i'd still list victory as one of my favorite breweries this was a serious let down.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 15:01:08 | More by Stanhagen
Photo of salvo
salvo

Indiana

2.38/5  rDev -39.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 23:31:35 | More by salvo
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

2.45/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoy by Aug 22 2011

A: Clear darker amber. Forms a weak bubbly head with little retention. Head sort of just clings to the side of the glass. Little lacing.

S: An odd stink. Eggy. Flat out unappetizing. This has to be one of the worst smelling beers I've ever had.

T: Thankfully better than the aroma, but not by much. Earthy, grassy, and dirty with a moderate bitterness.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. A little syrupy, but otherwise fine.

O: I do not know what is going on with this beer. It is just wrong. It is well within the "enjoy by" date so it should be fresh enough not to be skunked. But the aroma was horrid while the flavor just wasn't much better. Really just not a very good beer and not one I enjoyed drinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 02:51:27 | More by Florida9
Photo of wollybugger
wollybugger

Pennsylvania

2.6/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The first time I try a new beer I get so excited....after the first sip I was somewhat disappointed. Vicory is usually either hit or miss. I love their Lager & Prima Pils. I'm not a fan of the Golden Monkey or the Hop Devil.

I was drinking Samuel Adam's Noble pils on tap prior to drinking the bottle of Headwaters Pale Ale. The first sip threw me a curve ball. Maybe it was the sudden change from one beer to another, but the next few sips were the same. I thought I was drinking a flower. Yard's does a great job with their Pale Ale where they underbrew the hops for a more aromatic taste. Victory appears to have stopped way to early, and all of the taste is coming from aroma hops.

I'm glad I was a given a bottle for free and didn't spend $38 bucks on the case. Others appear to enjoy this beer, but my taste buds say no.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 22:04:56 | More by wollybugger
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.63/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

I've somehow not yet tried this pale from Victory. How'd that happen? It pours a clear straw-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises dark greens, egg yolk, caramel, flowers, and light leek. Not sure where that egg-y smell's coming from, but it's not helping things at all. The taste holds notes of greens, flowers, toffee, leek, grass, and grapefruit rind. Everything tastes kinda dusty, kinda dirty... The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, I'm not sure what went wrong with this beer. It's still a few months before it's Best By date, it doesn't seem officially skunked...it's just not very good. Hm.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 20:53:52 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

2.63/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Complex malty aromatics that include bready, crusty, and light caramel notes. Mild floral hop aromas. Clean fermentation character. No esters noted.

Appearance: Clear amber pour with sudsy white head. Still looking in the glass.

Flavor: More malt driven character that reminds me of wheat bread, buckwheat pancakes, and dark grain flavors. Balance is nearly even with a slight lean towards the malt. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No astringency noted. Clean on the palate.

Overall impression: A definitively malt-driven American pale ale. Too malt forward to be truly American. Not enough malt character or English hop character to be English. Fits in the style space between American hoppy and English malt driven. Well done but nothing outstanding for me to want to try again.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 21:34:50 | More by mattcrill
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

2.68/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter honey color (like clover) with a bloom of head from an aggressive pour. Head drops quickly to a film of off-white.
Smell is all hops, herbal and piney with just a whiff of malt.
Taste is the same: herbal and evergreen hops with just a hint of malt.
This drinks like a "west coast" beer, almost an IPA in its hop forward attitude. No balance because there is nothing for the hop to balance against. A true "one note" song.
Medium bodied, restrained effervescence. A bit of biscuit comes into play well into the aftertaste. Dry finish. Not a bad beer but it definitely is off style, IMO, and that's what I'm supposed to be rating it on.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 02:51:43 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a slight copper-hued golden color with half a finger of head.

S-Smells of lemon and guava with some light grain notes.

T-Slightly bitter, almost floral notes with a light malt backing.

M-Very light-bodied with medium carbonation and a very drying finish.

D-I'm glad I got this in a mix-a-six; I'd be hard-pressed to buy another one of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 04:41:28 | More by samie85
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio. Poured into shaker pint, reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear, golden copper yellow color, with two fingers of quickly dissipating white head.

S: Biscuity malts and grassy, herbal hops both come through strongly here. Nice balance between the two- bitter and sweet are in close proportion to one another.

T: Rather bitter with more of the grassy flavor present in the aroma, along with some light caramel sweetness lingering in the background.

M: Standard APA- light/medium body with moderate+ carbonation and a moderately dry finish.

O: The lack of any really enjoyable flavors or complexity hurts this beer's overall score; I was pretty tired of it by the end of my glass and doubt I'll be picking this one up again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 22:22:16 | More by AwYeh
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale glowing orange, white head. Head retains as a cap and splits into a bunch of little chunks that look like curdled milk. Nice color but not the most attractive looking beer.

Nose is pretty bland, uber-small dose of herbal/grassy hops and metallic notes.

Taste has got a bit more going on. Herbal/grassy hop profile matches the nose, with faint piny and spicy hops as well. Very light notes of fruit but not much. Bready malt with a nice warm and toasty finish. It seems pretty bitter although the none of the hop flavor is very strong.

The finish is probably the highlight of this beer, otherwise feels like a mixture of average/messy/slightly unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 00:20:35 | More by Chico1985
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 23:58:42 | More by Beaver13
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Taste: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied, sweet with a distinct bitter backbone and a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: An ok pale ale. I could have a couple of these, but this one really does not stick out. If you love hops, try it, but I will pass on this one in the future

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 14:06:55 | More by tigg924
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light layer fo white head. Fades down to a ring. Color is a clear gold.

Aroma: Light aroma. Grassy and kind of weedy. Crystal and pale malts. Kind of bready.

Taste: Pale malts. Very bready. Grassy and weedy. A light citrus note.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a decent pale, but nothing I would want a lot of. Somewhat easy drinking. Average pale.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 02:00:03 | More by mothman
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Victory Headwaters 

Served in a Terry Abner Salon signature glass

A: Pours as shiny copper with decent head that sadly has poor retention. Still, a nice stream of bubbles rise through the beer. 

S: Hops smell pungent and lively, evoking citrus and tropical fruit, especially passion fruit. A little marijuana. Malts throw biscuity aromas.

T: Unfortunately, the above characteristics are not as sharp in taste. Cracker-like malts with a hint of steely caramel.  General fruity and a little spicy hops. Medium-high bitterness. The beer is dry. Weeds and citrus peels in finish.  

M: Medium-light body and medium carbonation. The beer would be smooth except somewhat harsh weedy finish. 

O: Victory Headwaters strikes me as a decent pale ale whose overall score is hurt by a relatively harsh finish. I will probably revisit this beer, particularly if I find it on tap. 

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 03:17:18 | More by Wadsey
Photo of deaconoflove
deaconoflove

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ap. Beautiful, bright amber color with frothy off-white head. Nice lacing, too.
Sm. Grapefruit, first and foremost and really the only thing.
Ta. Grapefruit...maybe some malt way back int he corner.
Mf. Light, crisp, good carbonation. Good.
Dr. Goes down easy.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 21:03:52 | More by deaconoflove
Photo of david131
david131

California

3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a lightly hazed yellow liquid with a thick and craggy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Some toasted grains, cut grass, and a light fruitiness. A little faint but it isn't bad per se.

T- Toasted grains, a touch of butter, some fruitiness, and fresh cut grass. The flavor is alright, but nothing to write home about.

M- A bit bitter with a nice amount of carbonation.

O- It is fine, but nothing all that memorable.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 03:26:35 | More by david131
Photo of Buggabeer
Buggabeer

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Nice golden color with nice lacing around the glass. It has a nice carbination and you can see the bubbles rising to the top to produce a thin head.

S Oh the Hop and Citrus (Grapefruit) aroma is wonderful. I could smell this all day!!

T Oh if I could only taste smell. As it hits the mouth it has a nice taste but after swallowing the best discription is it taste like biting into a grapefruit rind. It has the acidic bitter flavor to it.

M Nice feel with the right amout of carbination but nothing more than an average Pale Ale

O It was a dissapointment to me. After smelling the beer I so wanted to drink but after my first swallow and I got the rind taste it was all down hill after that.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 23:30:05 | More by Buggabeer
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Enjoy by Aug 17, 2011 but no idea when it was bottled. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a clear, darker than expected copper orange color with a 2 finger antique white head of both large and small bubbles. The aroma is not overly fruity or piney but has subtle hints of orange and grapefruit rind. Medium mouthfeel. The taste is more subtle than I thought it would be with a light sweetness up front with a light/medium amount of citrus bitterness that quickly fades. Mild lingering bitterness. Some lace. Overall, not bad but I was hoping for a wee bit more of a pop in flavor from this.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 22:41:01 | More by kbutler1
Photo of sdsurfer217
sdsurfer217

Ohio

3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Purchased this beer because of the headwaters program. I'm always down to support a good cause.

A: Copper/orange color. Half finger worth of clean white head. Pretty sexy looking beer.

S: Citrus, hoppy, almost sweet smelling. There’s something else that I can’t put my finger on, but it smells delicious

T: Almost a caramelized orange flavor, a little bit of biscuity/toast. Touch of hops linger

M: Not very carbonated and a little thin.

O: Pretty drinkable Pale Ale. Not bad, but also not remarkable. I would probably buy this again because it goes toward a good cause and the beer is decent.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 12:29:36 | More by sdsurfer217
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 15:49:26 | More by rudzud
Photo of phantomwyse
phantomwyse

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a perfectly clear copper/caramel body – almost looks like cream soda. Half finger white as snow head rises and recedes quickly.

S: Pretty straight forward hop aromas – thick pine, slightly orange tinged citrus. Simple syrup sweet. Apple turnover, pastry malts.

T: Moderate hops, clean pine and a bit of grapefruit. Sweet in the middle, again reminds me of breakfast pastries – like the ones you get in gas stations that cost 99 cents and have a half life of 600 years. But, I mean this in a good way.

M: Medium to light bodied, halfway creamy, finishes crisp.

O: Hop Devil light. A moderate pale ale without the peppery bite of other hoppy Victory beers. Personally, that’s what attracts me to Victory beers is the assertive hop and alcohol presence. So, this beer comes across as middle of the road for them. I’m sure it opens their market up a little bit by having a less aggressive pale ale, however, there are better travel lane pale ales in my book – Troeg’s Pale Ale comes to mind.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 00:27:03 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours easy, smooth, gentle. The head develops quite nicely with very miniscule bubbles, not necessarily a creamy emulsion on top, but something appreciable. We got some disturbing medium to large size bubbles cascading up from the bottom of the glass and ripping through the cap. Copper body is clear to vision.

S- Very light floral and herby nose. A light metallic sharpness does flow through the hop character. Could be a bit of grapefruit as well. Simple, but faint at the same time.

T- Opens herby hop nature, spicy, bit sharp. Flows into a more grassy nature, bit of sweetness but very subdued. Finishes the standard bitterness that has pine thoughts, but not pine frond or bark. Bit of a simple, normal flavor.

M- Nice full body, sort of creamy. Crisp ending around the side of my tongue. Doesn't bubble the entire palate, just picks and chooses where it would like to find its nucleation points.

Not bad, not great. Just a pale ale you can enjoy when you got no other options.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 02:57:20 | More by Khazadum
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from a 12 oz bottle best by 070811

A- was a yellow/orange sunset color with a fresh head just a litlle lacing mostly clear PA

S- was malty hay with some lemon citrus ,some floral hops

T- was wet grass,some floral hop notes mixed in were some lemon and citrus notes

M- fizzy a little watery

D- easy to drink but the taste was a watered down pale ale ..i like victory but this PA was a let down for me..and one i would not buy again.. ill try it on tap and maybe buy a single again

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 20:20:21 | More by gatornation
Photo of jSehnert
jSehnert

New York

3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Light copper in color, with thin had on pour.

smell citrus and some malt.

taste citrus hop with thin malt balance

lingering bitterness, not harsh but good

overall good hop nose and flavor but not balanced by malt backing.

at 5.1 % may bee a reasonable balance for a hoppy session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 21:38:52 | More by jSehnert
Photo of JG-90
JG-90

New Jersey

3.24/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle into glass

A - Pours medium/large slightly creamy head, leaves moderate lacing, very clear pale copper color

S - Not as much smell as I expected, resinous hops, bread, and a little malt

T - Huge prickly/resinous hop start (seems to me a little aggressive for a pale ale), bread, grapefruit, and a slight malt finish

M - very prickly mouthfeel, medium/light body, moderate carbonation

O - I think the prickly hops with lighter body are a little too much for my taste, seems like a sligthly watered down IPA, but still a good and interesting beer

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 22:11:30 | More by JG-90
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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,727 ratings.