Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,359
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 364 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 559 | Hads: 2,359
Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with minimal head and moderate lacing.

Smells rather mildly of piney hops and caramelized malts.

Tastes much like it smells, but tasting slightly heavier in the hop department, with nothing being overpowering or offensive. Quite refreshing, and extremely well balanced.

It's moderately carbonated, and goes down incredibly smooth like almost every other Victory brew, and exceptionally smooth for a lower alcohol content beer.

Overall, a very good pale ale and a really exceptional session beer. This has been one of my go to session beers especially in the summer season, as it's fairly light and refreshing and goes down extremely smoothly while being very solid in the flavor department as well. (730 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of singles at the end of April for $1.49 each. I could not find a freshness date.

Beer poured golden orange with a nice white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is toasted grains with hints of citrus hops.

Taste is well balanced between the toasted grains and citrus hops. Some hints of mango was present. Bit of pine oil left behind in the end

Mouthfeel is medium boded, decently carbonated, and medium bodied.

Overall this is a pretty tasty brew, nice representation of the style. (518 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (329 characters)

Photo of Bone53
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 40° F

Appearance: Copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: I get a ton of biscuit malt and maybe a hint of citrus

Taste: Too much biscuit malt flavor and not enough hops

Mouthfeel: Light body; Crisp and refreshing with a slight bitter finish like a pale ale should be

Mouhfeel: Pretty decent, but far from great. VERY biscuity which reminds me a lot of DF 60 Minute in that regard. I was a bit let down with this one. However, it's still very refreshing and a solid offering during the warm months. (573 characters)

Photo of Stobin
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Really like this style, don't know if this one is a good representation. Smell has a hint of what wine people call "pipi du chat", or cat piss. Didn't care for smell, but tastes much better. Really like this brewery, and most of its offerings, but this one falls a little flat for me. Will try on tap if given the chance, but won't buy in bottles again. (353 characters)

Photo of tmm313
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looked good in the glass. Really nice lacing. The smell leaned more toward bready malts, but there was definitely some caramel and a light citrus/piney hop presence. Taste followed the nose pretty closely. Sweet and bready with notes of citrus, pine and spice. Mouthfeel was medium and lightly drying. (301 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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! (722 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a cheater pint from the bottle.

A: Translucent with floaties. Golden radiance. Thin head dissipates to ring less than 1 mm and minimal lacing. Has a fairly active carbonation present.

S: Very tropical and a hair bit piney. Malt peeks in with very light, crackery malt that does not intrude on the hops. Yeast is very subdued and a light yeasty, toastiness or bread peeks in.

T: Bitter orange and tropical fruits yield to a light bread or cracker note. A slightly bitter, sour fruit/metallic swallow ensues, not unpleasant but pronounced.

M: Dry with a very pronounced creaminess. Ephermal on the palate from the carbonation and hop dryness and medium body lends itself to these factors too.

O: Very good example of the style. Not too bitter, not too over the top. (781 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; clear amber, very little foam but large bubbles cling the side of the glass tightly.

smell; floral, slightly yeasty with a bit of a hop bite.

taste; citrus, floral notes, apple, slight alcohol taste.

mouthfeel; medium carbonation, light/ medium body, very crisp, slightly dry in the finish.

overall; a solid pale ale (332 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  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. (1,829 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly flavorful and interesting Pale Ale. Reviewed to style, this one is among the better pale ales I've had. Good complexity of hop aromas and flavors, balanced on the palate, yet also refreshingly easy to drink. Rivals the best of the new, trendy "session IPA" beers too, I would wager. (293 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear golden yellow with a nice pile of white head that maintains to a thin cap that coats the glass. Good lacing.

S - lemon grass, citrus, yeast, grains.

T - Hop forward - citrus and piney. Faintly sweet, yeasty. Finishes bitter on the back end.

O - Nails it for me on the APA style. Aggressively hopped and that is a good thing. (346 characters)

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Vivid amber hue with a creamy three-finger head that takes eons (in beer-time) to deflate to a 1/4" cap. Tons of lacing left behind as the head dissipates.

S: Some light citrusy hops—grapefruit, little bit of orange and tangerine, but mostly grapefruit. A decent amount of malty sweetness underneath to keep things mild and balanced.

T: A bit of citrus upfront with some lightly floral notes coming though. Hints of maltiness and breadiness balance everything else out to keep the profile very mild while still allowing the hops to shine.

M: Medium body with a crisp carbonation. Finishes dry and goes down super-smooth. This one is the definition of sessionable.

O: Another fantastic brew from Victory. This one is great for hopheads and non-hopheads alike. Well-balanced flavors, a bit of complexity, and wonderful sessionability. A recommended brew, no doubt. (909 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Very few times I have felt such intense aroma of papaya in a beer. Also hints of sweet strawberries and white bread.
Bitter flavor with notes of tea bags, oranges, papaya, mango, peaches, caramel, grass, earth and floral and perfumy hops. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting perfumy bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation and an acid sensation.
A hoppy and earthy APA. Papaya with lemon drops and a handful of hops. (494 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque golden with a creamy white head.

S: Biscuity malt, sweet nectary citrus, mango, orange in the nose.

T: Starts off with citrus peel, orange, a touch of mango, then some pine and lemon, followed by a blend of all those flavors in the finish and a hint of malt comes with the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Really good. Perhaps not the best pale ale, but definitely worth a try and recommended. (418 characters)

Photo of mnrider
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Bright somewhat clear amber color. The medium sized white head leaves little lacing and just a thin layer of retention. The color is outstanding.

S: Floral hops. Sweet fruity notes. Grains. Overall fresh and cool, but somewhat confined.

T/M: Bitter citric hops, mostly floral. Fruity flavors. Malt sweetness. Grains. Crisp with a creamy feel. The finish is hoppy and little gritty. Flavors linger on the palate.

O: This is a terrific pale ale. Victory continues to impress with every entry I try. The drinkability with all their beers are excellent and this one is no different. The citric hoppy flavors are solid but don't go overboard.

Cheers!!! (664 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange to tan and slightly hazy, decent head and lace.

Aroma and flavor are full of fruity, floral notes with some sweet, caramel malts, and earthy malt notes.

Body is very drinkable with a lightly sweet, lightly malty, somewhat floral hops finish.

While my favorite from Victory remains Prima Pils, this one is definitely a winner too. Good job on this beer, Victory! (373 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of March 14, 2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Victory that just arrived in my area. Victory really seems to be cranking them out lately. Expectations are decent.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice bright coppery orange with excellent clarity, and just over a finger of soapy bubbly off-white head. Some thin strings of lacing. Looks very prime.

S - Very floral hops really shine here. Flowers, grass, lemons, pine, and some crisp leafy earthiness / yeast presence. A touch of grainy pilsner malt sort of smell.

T - Taste follows the nose with the addition of woodsy caramel malt. Grainy pilsner malts, leafy herbal earthiness, floral hops, resinous pine / spruce, and some bitter grapefruit. Nice and all, but I feel like it falls a bit short somewhere.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, and even refreshing. Light grainy malt and some resinous hops chilling on the palate.

Overall, a nice pale ale, but hardly distinguishable from many others in the pack. It is bright and floral with excellent balance, and a solid sipper with a moderately low 5.10% abv. I would have it again if the occasion was right.

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale ---3.5/5 (1,221 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beautiful beer no doubt about that. That rich, clear amber that you want your beer to look like. Decent little white head, sticks around a little bit, decent lacing.

Subdued aroma. Decent little hops presence, bready malts, and a mild yeastiness that could be partly my imagination.

The taste is much more pronounced than the aroma. This is a good thing. It starts out with an abrupt bitterness: pine, yes, but a lot of cooled grapefruit and pith as well. The malts are merely strings holding the hops afloat, and it fades into a bitter aftertaste with a kind of generic bitter and crackers aftertaste.
It's a decent brew. Not one I'd necessarily look for again, but I don't regret having tried it? (712 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Prime 16 in Orange. Pours a translucent amber color with a 1/4 inch of head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is citrus and spicy hops. Slightly tropical with some biscuity malts. The taste is spicy hops with some orange peel and pine hints. Lots of hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness. Biscuit towards the end with more orange peel bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation. This is one of the hoppier Pale Ales I've had. Overall, lots of flavor that's easy to drink. This Pale Ale is worth seeking out. (538 characters)

Photo of goldrodent
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice friendly beer that lets the malts run the show, intimidating the hops up front, letting in a little spicy bitterness at the end. Tastes very good. Looks very, very pretty. Date it. See where it goes.

Epilogue: It is probably unfair to force a reviewer to write a review longer than 250 words when a beer is this proudly simple. (336 characters)

Photo of Steff_Wantz
4.81/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: amber colored with clear carbonation

S: delicious hoppy, crisp aroma

T: refreshingly smooth, citrus hints, not bitter at all

M: very pleasant, does not linger after

O: Overall I love this beer! It is super refreshing and light. I really would like to try this beer on tap. (279 characters)

Photo of Marko84
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a variety pack I recently purchased
Victory Headwaters pale ale
I like this. I like this a lot. As with Hop Devil, it doesn't smell as good as it tastes. A musty smell is forgotten the moment it hits your tongue. This was my favorite among the Victory taster pack I bought. I don't mean to draw a parallel, but it feels and tastes more like a wheat beer. Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of it. (401 characters)

Photo of Hoperator
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clarity and the amber glow was exceptional. Carbonated perfectly. Dense tan head laced the glass and retention was there to the last ounce. Against the APA style this is way too hoppy, however, is more in line with an IPA standard. There is certainly a good amount of Citra Hops pushing an incredible citrusy aroma with some piney, lemony notes. The taste is the same as the aroma with a well balanced overall experience. Has a good level of bitterness, certainly more than present in APAs. This is the beer your want to have when an traditional IPA is to big but when you want all the nose and flavors. One of my favorites and is my go to beer when people like hoppy without the extreme bitterness. (699 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.