Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

2,219 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,219
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 62
Gots: 248 | 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: 2,219 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chadwicktorres
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of bkaj21
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of strav3894
2.04/5  rDev -48%

Photo of Marty91
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of Filabee
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of Stanhagen
2.28/5  rDev -41.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Kyle1986
2.4/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of Florida9
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
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.

Photo of LookingToLearn
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of JLapadura
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of npendres
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of biercycle
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of wollybugger
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

Photo of mattcrill
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

Photo of PorterLambic
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

Photo of Mcroft25
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of SeanDolan
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of soulcougher
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of NonicPanic
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of jaswilson2
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of ACorts
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Zachtheporter
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,219 ratings.