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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

583 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 583
Hads: 2,461
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 413 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 583 | Hads: 2,461
Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright amber with orange orange, lots of bubbles rising from the bottom with puffy, off-white 2.5 finger head.

S - I could actually smell this one as I was pouring. Smells of grapefruit and citrusy hops. But there's also a little bit of a dirty soap water smell in the background. A bit unpleasant.

T - Good forward amount of citrus along with some piney hop bitterness. But again, that malt in the background tastes quite soapy. It's sort of masking the overall taste for me.

M - It's pretty thin, lots of carbonation though. Very easy to drink

Overall - I thought it was a decent APA. But I'm not sure if I had a bad bottle or what, because there was just that faint trace of soapyness that became all I could think about when drinking.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served in a pint glass from the tap at The Distillery in Victor, NY. It arrived a golden-brown color. It held a one finger head of creamy, foamy white bubbles, which left a decent amount of lacing as is descended. No sediment or haze was noted, and carbonation appeared light. The aroma was of partially adjuncty malts that were pale, with a sweeter toast to them. Hops were minimal, but notes of earth and grass were picked up. Towards the far back of the nose a sweetness of raspberry was detected. As we sipped, the flavoring began with soapy hops and paler malts. The grain here also took on flavors nearing wheat or rye. The middle moved us forward with cleaner malts, much more pale and unfiltered. We ended on notes of bitter grain and further soapy hops. There was also a sweeter boozy fruitiness, as there was in the nose. The aftertaste sung more of the finish, with soap, booze, and berry. The body was medium, and the carbonation was high. The head retained nicely, so this imparted a nice froth and slurp. The mouth was left a bit dried, and overall was cooled and coated. The abv was appropriate and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the feel. While the carbonation came out on the higher side, with each sip there was a good cream, making this beer nice and satisfying. This beer was good for the style, but the flavoring could have stood to be more pronounced.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, goldish amber color. Average off-white head.

Aroma is grassy and fruity with some slight citrus tones. Seems like a good volume of fresh hops. There seems to be a bit of sulfur in the nose, until it warms and becomes undetectable.

Flavor is simple and gentle with very light bitterness for a pale ale. The overall hop flavor is gentle and balanced with the malts. The malt flavor is gentle with caramel and toast. It seems like it could use a bit more of a sharp, hop bite in bitterness and flavor. Carbonation is average, with the mouthfeel not bringing much to the table. Overall, a bit generic.

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Photo of phreshbeer
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a pint glass... beer is crystal clear and golden in color. Has a white foamy head that dissolved quickly with little residue. Some lacing apparent, not overly carbonated.

S: More aroma than I anticipated. Some straw-like hops and a little musty smell.

T: Solid American Pale Ale, nothing special as far as taste. Some hops present with maybe a little hint of apricot at the finish. Not a lot of malt, but enough to balance it out.

M: Headwaters is a smooth pale ale with a pleasing amount of carbonation. Not too watery, not too heavy. Right on.

D: This wasn't my favorite pale ale, but still very drinkable. I could use this as a session beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a thin head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is mild fruit: apricot and some grapefruit.
The taste has a solid moderate bitterness throughout with some balancing malt in the middle to end. It finishes with a little sweet note.
The texture is crisp with a good fizz.
It's enjoyable and on the more bitter side.

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Photo of NODAK
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is quite hoppy with a high citric content. Definite notes of grapefruit and perhaps lime even.

For an APA, it's rather hoppy as the smell indicated. A person who referred to it as "IPA lite" had a point. It starts off with a good dose of grapefruit, citrus hops smacking the tongue around. A small undercurrent of biscuit malt is present but is most certainly second fiddle. On the finish, the hops linger around with an aspirin-like astringency on the sides of the tongue for a little while.

When I drink an APA, I like a little more balance than this I suppose. It seems like an IPA in a way. It's certainly not bad, just not my favorite in style.

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Photo of BB1313
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 1/14/16. 12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a transparent golden with great clarity; eggshell white head that falls leaving solid retention and decent lacing. The aromas are floral with some subtle citrus notes. Some fresh bread and crackers in the mix. A touch of caramel malts. The flavors are pretty earthy. Tons of grass. More cracker. Not hop forward, but it doesn't have to be. Mouthfeel is light with very active carbonation. Possibly even slightly over carbonated, but it actually works for this one. Very smooth and crisp stuff. Very clean and extremely refreshing.

Solid pale ale right here, but nothing too crazy. More on the traditional side, which is nice. Perfect for the hot weather.

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Photo of orangesol
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Light head. Very pale orange. Decent lacing. Not much to say.

S: Niceish hops, if a bit astringently citrusy. Some grapefruit. Good overall.

T: Mediocre pale ale, but pleasant. The aftertaste is full of drying, bitter hops. A bit better than originally suspected.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty great. A substantial malty dryness is excellent.

O: Pretty good. Nothing to go out of your way for, but I'd have another if not much else was on offer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy caramel/orange hue with a very thin soapy off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and light earthy hops.

Taste: Lots of bready malt and almost a buttery or spicy biscuit taste. A hint of pine and mostly subdued earthy hop flavor. Not much bitterness. Semi-dry finish. A bit of a sweet palate. Nice aftertaste of biscuit.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with decent effervescence. Easy drinkability.

Final Thoughts: A good Pale Ale but nothing special. Would I drink it again? If it was offered to me.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice soft copper/pale color with a finger of beautiful off white head with excellent retention. Really nice to the eye! Super clear

S - Grassy floral hops not much else, pretty weak

T - A nice crisp grassy hoppy beer with a pleasant dry bite to it.

M - lighter body, lots of carbonation which compliments its dryness at the finish

O - Kind of a summer session beer for hop lovers, really drinkable crisp and clean. Really easy to drink, not bad

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Photo of cbless97
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy orange hue. Very light lacing

S- Clean hops, slight orange aroma

T- Very clean floral taste. Bit of a slight orange tang comes through.

M- Nice mellow carbonation and well balanced hops.

O- A very good Pale Ale. Nice blend of all characteristics. I will definitely enjoy this again. Great for watching a game

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Photo of tarkulich
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear golden color with a creamy white head. The nose was barely perceptible; a floral hop smell that quickly faded. Immediately on the tongue is a moderate-high hop flavor and a grainy-malt aftertaste. Floral and earthy hop flavors dominate with a lingering but not overpowering bitterness. The malt taste disappears after a bit and replaced solely by the bitterness of the hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and medium bodied. There may have been some slight oxidation off-flavors in the background.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. Until now, every beer I've had from Victory has been a winner. This one was more or less average. Still, not a terrible beer, just not what I was expecting based on previous varieties from Victory.

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Photo of Brewndruid
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from cold bottle. Full fluffy off white head.
Nice lacing
Nice clarity, light copper in colour.
Aroma strong and indicative of a strong bitterness slitghtly citrusy.
Strong bitterness up front. Balanced towards the bitter, clean and crisp, refresing. Clean finish.

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Photo of almostjay
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I want to love this beer, and feel like I should given the brewer and the hop bill, but it just doesn't hit the spot for me. Solid, but average beer. This is a legitimate APA though, and I feel like some other higher rated ones have clearly crossed into the IPA category.

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Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured clear, medium amber in color with a small, off-white, short-lived head that left spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Mainly hops, with piney, citrus, earthy and herbal notes. IPA strength of aroma.

T: Strong hop presence with a lingering grapefruit peel note. The bitter finish soon retreats to a more welcome malty/bitter hop mix.

M: Smooth for style; Medium bodied; Medium-high carbonation; semi-dry finish.

O: a nice APA that leans to the hoppy side.

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Photo of Blanco
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light orange color and transparent with sizeable white head. lots of apparent carbonation.

smell is very clean and fresh with just a hint of hops.

taste is similar while heavier on the malt side. I was expecting a bit more bite from the hops but it seems Victory chose to keep that muted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy.

This is a very sessionable beer. Drinkability is high due to the fact it seems designed to not push any boundaries and hover in a very neutral place. Not bad if you can't figure out what you are in the mood for. A little disappointing as I've had better Pale Ales from Victory and when I heard they were making one as a flagship I thought they would taste similarly.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very clean, very light Pale Ale that has a nice hop profile of pine and herbal notes while delivering a light malt backdrop. The appearance is very light in its copper hue with a thin fizz for a head. The aromas are subtle with pine, floral notes and a touch of caramel. The flavor follows suit with a very clean light finish. This is a good example of a Pale Ale but does little to set itself apart.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with not really anything but a thin film of white head.

The scent is dominant of citrus hops, there is also notes of caramel malt.

The taste is also dominant of bitter citrus hops, bready and caramel malt are slightly noticeable.

Light body, smooth and creamy with a crisp dry finish, low carbonation.

This was an average pale ale, I thought the flavor was a little thin but nothing too off-putting. Overall a pretty decent beer, but next time I think I'd pass on the cask.

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Photo of Snow81
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small white head

Smell: Light floral hops with subtle malty grass

Taste: Starts off super grassy maltyness, hops come in to play at the end and there a bit bitter

Weight: Medium to low body and medium to high for carbonation

Finish: Hops and a thick grass

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Photo of patre_tim
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

A: Golden with a slight haze, moderate carbonation, and a finger of off white well sustained head.

S: Citrus, catnip, light pine. Light herbal notes.

T: Citrus, light catnip and pine, light sweetness, solid bitterness that comes in and finishes with a linger in the mouth.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight bitter finish.

O: A good smooth drinking beer. Drank on Turkey Creek Road, Clyde the first night of our arrival June 14, 2014. A solid brew by a great company.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

330ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a clear amber colour. Light tan head poured quite loose and faded quickly to almost nothing... barely any carbonation and very little lacing...

Aroma - Grassy hops, good caramel maltiness, faint nuttiness, some light buttery traces, ground pepper, floral honey notes, some herbal hints, some saltiness, grapefruit and citrus fruitiness...

Taste - Quite malty first then grassy hops come to the fore... some sweet honey traces, grapefruit and orange fruitiness, toasted bread traces, quite floral, some saltiness, the faintest of metallic notes..

M&D - Quite crisp and dry... light / medium bodied... Very refreshing and drinkable and pretty sessionable...

Overall - A pretty decent APA - nothing groundbreaking just a good, clean well made APA... recommended...

09-03-2010 10:14:08 | More by mdagnew

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Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Golden orange color with a frothy 1½-finger head that lingers awhile and leaves a nice trail down the whole glass.

S: Mild hoppy aroma with scents of citrus and pine. Not overwhelming by any means, but a pleasant fragrance to the nose.

T: A smooth crisp mildly hoppy flavor, which is appropriate for the style. This is a slightly bitter ale with a good caramel malt base.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: A decent well-balanced pale ale. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a regular pale ale, since everything seems to be IPA’s these days. It was a nice change and a good beer.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.