Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,006 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +1.3%
Bang-on APA style, good citrus bitterness. Golden, good head, good hop aromas. A bitterness in the 60 range, years ago what would be called by many an IPA. Above average mouthfeel, satisfying. A bit of a palate shredder in bitterness, so not for everybody. Very flavourful; very drinkable.
05-15-2011 04:01:47 | More by Sammy
3.73/5 rDev -5.1%
Bottle courtesy of jcb890. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.
Pour yields a copper-orange beer with a thin white head that doesn't stick around too long and really doesn't leave much lacing behind. The nose brings forward some citrus and floral notes. They are certainly faint, but come out more as the beer warms up and are quite noticeable with a good, hard sniff. Taste is a bit on the light side, though enjoyable. There's a generic "hop character" but nothing really pops out.
Feel is slightly bitter with good carbonation on a medium body. Quite drinkable. Not a huge standout, but with this ABV and overall profile, I could see myself coming back for more of this.
03-15-2011 22:15:20 | More by Thorpe429
3.95/5 rDev +0.5%
A: The beer is clear dark golden yellow in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down into lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of citrus and grassy hops in the nose. Smells of grapefruit stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, grapefruit flavors stand out in the taste, which is well balanced by the underlying malts. The finish has a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable. I would have no problem drinking this beer all night long.
03-23-2011 23:14:22 | More by metter98
4/5 rDev +1.8%
Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger cap; decent lacing action
Smell: Grass and grapefruit with a biscuity base
Taste: A hint of the biscuity underpinnings and then the hops take over, bringing both grass and grapefruit in moderation; a bit of a mineral character, after the swallow, though the hops remain prominent
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation
Overall: Tremendous balance in this beer; this is the kind of beer to settle down with while watching a football game - enjoyable but happy to stay in the background rather than be in your face with every sip
09-13-2013 22:57:14 | More by brentk56
3.8/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
03-20-2014 04:37:28 | More by BEERchitect
4/5 rDev +1.8%
had this one on tap at barleys while waiting for calton to bring up the growler! served cold right from the tap.
the pour was a very nice and very golden amber with a smooth cap of white that graced the top for a few moments before settling back down. light aroma, citrus hops, lemon, orange, nice hints of tangerine peel and a wonerfully well balanced profile. smooth, clean and very light delivery lets the flavor explore the palate and really gives a cool and resfreshing taste. clean an concise, the finish was lightly tart and dry.
overall i was not expecting much but i ended up really, really liking this one, good session beer.
03-23-2011 01:54:57 | More by mikesgroove
4/5 rDev +1.8%
Thanks for sending this one my way, Dyan.
A: The pour is amber in color with a couple fingers of white head that leaves some mild lacing on the glass.
S: A solid hoppy aroma right away. Juicy citrus with plenty of oranges and tangerines, perhaps some hints of grapefruit, too. A moderate amount of malt in there. Nicely balanced.
T: The citrus hop flavors open things up quite pleasantly. Plenty of tangerine and mild grapefruit along with some hints of pine which provide a little bitterness. Balanced with sweetness of bready malts.
M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.
O: This is very much along the lines of how I like my pale ales. Nice hoppy character without being overly bitter or malty.
05-05-2011 05:58:26 | More by womencantsail
4/5 rDev +1.8%
A: 1.5 finger white head with decent retention on a hazy golden with amber hue body.
S: a mild wet sock hop, almost fresh hop like note, and mildly earthy and floral hops. little on the malt side.
T: nice pine, grass and floral notes provided by the hops. minimal on the malt end.
M: medium body and moderate carbonation.
Overall: Nicely hoppy but still drinkable. This APA is properly hopped for the style. A nice member of the genre.
05-15-2012 02:09:03 | More by kylehay2004
4.05/5 rDev +3.1%
12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Enjoy by August 17, 2011.
Appearance: Pours a golden-orange body with clear, consistent clarity and crowned with a layer of just off-white suds. Some spotty lacing on the way down.
Smell: Citrus peelings and sun-dried grasses in the nose with some underlying, milder hints of sweetish malt.
Taste: Adequate base of pale maltiness with light streaks of grainy bread and mildly sweet toffee. Citrusy tastes of zested lemons and tangerines. Moderately bitter, though it builds a bit as you go along. Grows a bit pithier and resinous as you approach the dry, crisp finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.
Overall: A nice, pleasant pale with a little bit of potency going on.
04-26-2011 18:59:47 | More by ChainGangGuy
4/5 rDev +1.8%
This poured out as a clear looking orange color. The head was white and doesn't really have much retention. The lacing is light but scattered around the glass. The smell of the beer has a solid malt character with some hope on the nose. The taste is balanced with bitterness and grains. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good carbonation to it. Overall this beer is actually impressive. I enjoy it and I feel like I would enjoy it again if I were to have it. Thumbs up to Victory on this one.
01-19-2012 04:24:30 | More by Knapp85
4/5 rDev +1.8%
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.
03-06-2011 21:57:14 | More by oberon
2.63/5 rDev -33.1%
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.
06-26-2011 20:53:52 | More by TMoney2591
3.4/5 rDev -13.5%
BBD: Aug 17 2011
Burnished gold color, offwhite cream colored foam that maintains itself well. Random spotty lace and a partial sheet of foam sticks to the glass. Slowly ascending visible carbonation.
Honeyed malt, mildly aromatic floral hops. Fairly mellow with a sweet, malt forward aroma.
Soft sweet malt, grassy hop, light lingering bitterness. Very simple and understated malt character. Hops come across as slighty spicy and floral. Light carbonation, easy drinking. A bit simple with no real flaws, slightly sweet for my taste personally. Still it's a quality offering, like the majority of Victory's output. Good craft transiton beer.
05-08-2011 01:59:26 | More by emerge077
3.88/5 rDev -1.3%
A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white, bubbly head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled piney with some tropical fruit. A touch of caramel, too.
T - It tasted fairly spicy with some sweet caramel maltiness. It had a tropical fruit hop presence with just enough bitterness.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.
O - This is a very nice APA. Victory is very consistent with their year round brews.
01-18-2012 04:43:17 | More by zeff80
4.35/5 rDev +10.7%
I recently consulted with a brewery that was soon to be starting up and when they asked what beers I thought they should brew (which was really the LAST thing to consider given the many unanswered questions regarding just getting the brewery built!), I told them "forget doing a pale ale and just brew an IPA". My point was that hops are what's selling now; and that a lot of beer geeks just aren't interested in basic pale ales anymore - they want "WOW"! Besides, it's a very hard sell to get your pale ale on tap when they're already being squeezed out by different styles (Belgians, IPA's, ...). That said, I'd questioned why Victory, or any brewery would bring out a pale ale at this point. I didn't know what to expect of it, but now I do - it's got some "WOW"!
There are a lot of breweries making IPA's that are really just hopped up pale ales. That's not even an option for Victory given their IPA's. This is a pale ale. It's medium light in body and drinkable. The bitterness is at a reasonable level, somewhere around 36 IBU's; and it's got a nice, caramel-drizzled malt base to it (giving a nod to its English ancestors). The difference is they've used some new and different American hops. I'm not sure what they are, but there's a sharp edge in the nose, and at the front of the mouth in the flavor. It's pungent and somewhat citrusy (tangerine). That's the attention grabber! Unlike a lot of other breweries that would have just taken that and run with it (read as - hammered you over the head with it), Victory has decided to go for more balance. They've blended their hops so that it's not just one gleaming component that blinds you from the rest of the beer. It's right up there in front, yes, but then it settles down and you find more leafy, floral, earthy, and even somewhat piney hops across the middle. There's a lot of character, but the hops still don't overwhelm the malt. It just goes from sharp at the beginning, to wide and malty with more bitterness showing across the middle, and then it steadily reduces in a dwindling finish that's more earthy/piney than citrusy. Everything is kept in balance, which leaves it remarkably drinkable.
The only question is, are today's craft drinkers savvy enough to recognize that balance, or will they still be blinded by the next bigger and better (read as less-focused but brash or bold) thing? Headwaters is a great American pale ale that carves its own little niche; and hopefully will be rewarded rather than passed over.
03-09-2011 18:22:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,006 ratings.