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: 365 | 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 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 greybeardloon
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

best before March 10, 2012

A: Solid lacing.

S: Bitter grapefruit and piney hops.

T: Slightly sweet grain and the same hops. The hops are definitely prominent, but there is still some modicum of balance.

M: Just about right.

O: Very good, hoppy APA. I have no problem drinking several. (291 characters)

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 24 June 2011
Glass: Ithaca English-style pint glass
Type: 12fl bottle

Poured gently, brief 1+ finger head, reduces to a light cap, fairly nice draped lacing, color is clear amber gold

Aroma is wonderfully floral, paired with touches of pine, and a quick wisp of grapefruit.

Taste is incredible for a session beer 5.1% (at least I believe it's of session quality). Taste begins with a lightly floral bitter hops, a touch of pine, and a pale malt backbone. Possibly the slightest touch of lemon, but very brief.

Mouthfeel is extremely crisp, like a quick spike. Doesn't leave a bitterness on the palate. A lemony flavor lasts few a few seconds. Light-bodied beer, great for hop-heads that don't want to spend a lot of money, and want a sessionable beer. Good job again, Victory. (786 characters)

Photo of DAllspaw
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into plastic cup while on vacation, so I don’t yet have proper rating for appearance, but looks like other pale ales…it was pale with white head. Moving on, the aroma on this beer was exceptional. Very bright notes of grapefruit and citrus with a hint of pine and some subdued malt. One of the better smelling pale ales I’ve had. Taste follows suit, very fresh hope profile and a crispness in the taste that reminds me less of pale ale and more of a pilsner. The creamy mouthfeel present in so many pale ales is not as evident here, but nevermind, since a great beer in its own right. Can’t wait to have again, really made a strong first impression. (664 characters)

Photo of generalnotsew
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick cottony white head. Body is very dark orange/amber color. For the abv and the style it looks exceptional. Smell is sweet grassy, earthy, pineapple, caramel malts. Very potent in the nose with all these pleasant smells. Nice clean hop bite upfront. Mellows out into a smooth caramel malt. Not as good as the smell but still leaps and bounds above a lot of pales. Taste is also grassy with a bit of grapefruit. Very oily and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall this is one the best Pale Ales I have ever had. Very clean and refreshing. Should be a real summertime crowd pleaser! (580 characters)

Photo of Genuine
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

Poured a clear copper/amber in color. Formed a nice, slight tan 2 finger head that left some decent lacing.

Smell - some light citrusty hops hit the nose first, with a nice crispness.

Taste - initial hop bite, that floated over the palate for the malts to show up, and finished very clean and smooth. very easy drinking pale ale.

Mouthfeel - medium light.

overall - not a bad pale ale. Not sure if it's one that i'd get again, but it is a very easy drinking pale ale. (525 characters)

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light,clear orange, with a nice half-inch of fluffy white head.Lacing is rather minimal.

Sweet citrus,floral hops, combined with nice sweet malt backbone. Wow,very inviting. I love this very pleasant aroma,nice citrusy hops are there right in your nose,with the steady level of malt sweetness. Yes.

Upon sip,what I experience in the nose is pleasantly repeated on the tongue. Good bitter citrus hops,yet very restrained, which is appropriate for a pale ale. Sweet caramel malts. Good medium body,with average carbonation,not too much,just the right amount of it.

Yet another winner from Victory,they never cease to amaze me, and always fail to dissapoint me. (662 characters)

Photo of VictorWisc
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours clear medium amber with moderate off-white head with little retention, but with some foam film remaining on the surface. Moderate lacing even after head subsides.

Pungent hoppy nose with noticeable yeast. Mild citrus and eucalyptus notes.

Classic PA flavor profile Tastes grassy up front, then piny resin and clove notes with floral yeastiness. The finish is sweet citrus and caramel maltiness, rounding off back to resinous spice. Well balanced once the initial bitterness melts away. [PS 08/02/13: Just had another bottle from the same batch not quite a week later and this one is all grapefruit peel and mild caramel/burnt sugar malt notes. Not sure what to make of the difference, as there is nothing sweet in this bottle. It really tastes like what I got when I tried to infuse fresh grapefruit peels for 24 hours.]

Body light to medium with very light carbonation as the beer coats the tongue. Not boozy, but there is some alcohol doing a hot dance on the tongue.

Good summer choice if not overchilled. For me this is a strong preference over comparable Sierra Nevada PA which tends not to hold flavors quite as long. An excellent part of a mixed 12 (with Prima, HotDevil and Golden Monkey) that would work well in any season. (1,243 characters)

Photo of Imsothirsty
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper/ orange, lots of bubbles, no haze, half finger of white rocky head.

Smell is all piney hops. Just a little bit floral.

Taste: Floral hops, some sharp citrus notes, and just a tiny backing of malt. Not complex, but satisfying

Mouthfeel is nice. Body is between medium and light, moderately high carbonation, but it seems appropriate. Just a tiny tiny bit of heat from the alcohol.

Overall maybe the best Pale Ale I've ever had. Probably will be my next homebrew project to clone this. (508 characters)

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

Over a large pie from Classic Slice I drank this tasty pale ale. It had a mellow aroma, a laid-back impression, a chill mid-section and dry bitter finish. At first I thought, Oh no, another out-of-wack pale ale! But as I enjoyed it as an accompaniment to my rich, tangy-sauced pizza it became a highly regarded companion. The big malty base played well with the bitter linger and actually kept me eating (and drinking) more than my fair share.

Thankfully, it's a pale ale that isn't trying to be a IPA or some other bastardized-macho-hop-whipper. Not the best out there, but well worth a seat the pizza parlor booth (and a repeat visit to my fridge). (651 characters)

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

Had this one on tap at The Distillery in Rochester, NY. Glass arrived fresh pulled at a nice temp. Noticed the color right away at a reddish, copper. Next, the smell was very uplifting, and hoppy. Various floral, piney, fruity scents. Small head on it with descent lacing. Taste was very nice and rolled around the taste buds sweetly. Went weel with the pizza we ordered. Would def have again. It was on sale fro $3 a pint. Cant lose there for sure. (449 characters)

Photo of 312HopBomb
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A burnt amber color that is clear with a slight eggshell cap and little lacing.

Aroma that is slightly fruity with pine sap hops..

Taste begins with a blast of hop bitterness that is dry with some acidity. No tropical or citrus that I was expecting, just a sharp bitterness that lingers. Doesn't taste fresh.

Mouthfeel is medium with light/medium carbonation.

I was disappointed with this because I it's a Citra hop brew that does not compare to the Zombie. (461 characters)

Photo of tbrown4
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. -> Dogfish Head chalice. Picked up a six pack of this at Well's in Towson, MD @ about $11. First I've seen it anywhere. Some PA friends of mine have been fluffing this brew recently, and I tend to enjoy the Victory brews. I decided to give this a shot and buy the whole pack.

A - Bright copper, medium bubble head quickly dissolves, decent carb stream, no lacing.

S - Wow. Immediately noticeable, could be due to the glassware. Very earthy, musky almost muddy. I'm not sure how I feel about this, and it's certainly unique from what I've experienced. It's a round hop aroma with a lightly roasted backdrop.

T - Tastes right about how I'd expect an APA. The big difference here that sets this one apart from the pack is how well defined each flavor note is. Really well done. I imagine this has a lot to do with the freshness.

M - Feels light to medium-light bodied. Crisp carbonation makes this feel very clean.

O - Oh wow, so no more "Drinkability"? Ok, this makes more sense anyway. So, this one is in the middle for me. The ABV makes it easy to put back a few, but as with most decent PAs it's a bit heavy on the palate. I'd certainly order this if I ever find it on tap. I'd buy a six pack again in a few months. This would be a good one to keep on hand in the fridge for the day that you want a good full flavored and moderately hopped craft ale. Nice job, Victory. (1,385 characters)

Photo of Fenris244
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the flying saucer in Austin

Been meaning to try this beer for a while glad it came in! dome to me with a white one finger head, good retention and lacing, copper and amber in color.

Lots of citrus aromas in the news, bits of malt sweetness and floral notes as well

Good sweetness followed by a floral hop bitterness with some hints of lemon peel. Malt character is great thick with cooked grain and bready goodness.

Light in body, very crisp and refreshing, smooth to boot

Overall, tasty beer, I'd go back (524 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 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 mtalley999
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice amber color with little head that receded quickly but left very good lacing.

Smell is all citrusy hops to me.

Taste is true to smell. Citrusy hops at first, then a bit of pine. The taste is very crisp and the flavors are very clean to me.

The mouthfeel is slightly thin, with the carbonation still remians even after about 15 minutes in the glass.

Overall this is a solid beer. Very easy to drink and good to just kick back and relax with. (497 characters)

Photo of fsvan
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass. Best by date of Oct. 25 2011.

A- Bright golden. Big, three fingers of fluffy white head.

S- Oily, piney hop notes up front. A bit of bread-like malts in teh background. Smells a good bit SNPA, but a bit more subdued. That is, of course, a compliment.

T- While the smell is reminiscent of SNPA, the taste differs quite a bit. Light pine hop flavors up front. Light malt notes. Big bitterness on the finish.

M- A little light and watery, but not awful. Makes for easy drinking.

O- A pretty solid APA. With the prices on Victory 6 packs, it won't be a common buy for me, but I'm not going to have any problem finishing the 6. (658 characters)

Photo of y2jrock60
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- The first thing I noticed was how clear the beer was. It was dark yellow with a two finger white head that faded quickly and left behind only a slight amount of lace.

S- Very clean with a floral and earthy aroma and hints of citrus.

T- Very clean upfront with hints of mild light malt. There is a mild bitterness that hits you in the middle of the sip accompanied by floral and earthy flavor hops. This then fades into a citrus flavor and crisp finish.

M- Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable. Very flavorful and refreshing.

I had this beer on tap a few weeks ago and didn't care for it, there was a strong aftertaste I didn't like. I decided to give it a second chance and picked up a few bottles. I was pleasantly surprised, the potent aftertaste I first experienced was gone, it was replaced by a nice crisp clean finish. The one I had on tap a few weeks ago must have been from a bad batch, or it could have been the result of sampling five beers back to back. (1,003 characters)

Photo of apbarwood
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Headwaters Pale presents with a pale amber color that catches the light nicely. A nice looking beer sitting on the railing of my deck on a spring afternoon. Head retention is minimal; a thin layer of bubbles clings to the surface and leaves a little to be desired. Not bad overall.

The aroma is inviting with notes of damp pine needles and bitter orange peel. Those aromas carry through onto the taste with a little earthy depth for good measure. It has really nice balance with a pleasant bitterness that's noticeabet but not at all overpowering.

It's crisp and refreshing, with a clean taste and lively carbonation that cleanses the palate. It has enough body to carry the flavor without being too sticky on the finish which leaves the lingering flavors of ripe grapefruit as it fades.

All things considered I found this to be a really good pale ale. I would have liked the flavors to be a little brighter and fuller perhaps but I don't have a whole lot of complaints. Very pleased with this one and definitely something I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time. (1,072 characters)

Photo of nc41
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one very hoppy PA without the stinging bitterness of an IPA. Very fruity so you can get your hop fix even if your not a real IPA fan or want to cool on the bitter finish. Looks great. nice head, the nose isn't anything special, but much better than say Hop devil which IMO smells funky. This one is all about the hops, and the only other similar PA I've has would be Burning River. One really well done PA that gives you a nice fruity hop lick without crossing over into IPA territory. Worth a shot by any beer lover. (525 characters)

Photo of TH28
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. 7/3/14 code date. Appearance: A hazy dark golden with a thick off white foam cap. Aroma: Nice aromatic toasted bread in the malt with a hint of floral and herbal hops. Taste: Rich, bready and toasted malt dominates. Bread crust. Bitterness is crisp and strong enough to balance the malt, with some herbal/floral hints. Mouthfeel: Medium with a medium high carbonation. Finish: some lingering bitterness and bread crust. Overall: A great English style pale, with rich bready and toasted flavors dominating the flavor profile. Definitely malt forward. (562 characters)

Photo of dciBA
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Victory tulip. Clear, amber in color with about 2 fingers of white head that fades to a thin skimming. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is quite hoppy. Citrusy grapefruit hops mostly, some pine. There's a solid amount of toasted malt coming through as well.

The hops in the nose aren't quite as strong on the tongue. The classic Victory malt profile comes through nice and strong without being overpowering. Hops aren't as prevalent as you would expect after smelling the brew. They are there though. Flavor lingers surprisingly long for the style. The finish is on the sweet side, but doesn't detract too much.

Perfect carbonation. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall a well balanced, tasty APA. Not the best I've had but a nice effort from Victory and well worth picking up a sixer. (828 characters)

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

This is a groovy pale ale. I'm not a huge IPA nerd myself, so I generally tend to gravitate towards the pale ales and appreciate their mellow bitterness and great aromatics more than harshly hopped IPA.

It's got a great clear, light-amber body with two fingers of marshmallow-white head. Good retention and a spotty lace.

Smells like floral, citrussy, piney hops on top of dry biscuity malt. Straightforward and damn good.

Hop flavor hits up front, but quickly give way to bready malt and a bit of implied grapefruit from the olfactory. Clean, bitter finish. Impressive malt presence without becoming sweet and juicy or losing the bitter dryness. Full and prickly carbonation feels just right for this refresher.

I might be crucified for saying this, but I like it more than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, and I stand by that statement 100%! (841 characters)

Photo of BeerTwigs
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on Tap at the Golden Rail in Newburgh, NY. It pours an a nice clear amber color with some off white head and good lacing.

The aroma has some great herbal hoppiness with a trace of malt which is very pleasant.

This beer tastes very good with balance of herbal hops and slight maltiness.

A very drinakble beer which is smooth and light medium bodied. I would definitely recommend trying this beer. This beer could definitely replace one of my everyday beers. (476 characters)

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