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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

563 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 563
Hads: 2,377
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 79
Gots: 372 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 563 | Hads: 2,377
Photo of Frankinstiener
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been wanting to give this a try for a while but never got around to it for some reason.
Freshness date printed on bottle: Enjoy by June 23, 2013. Pale gold in color, about what you expect for the style. Nice head almost filled up the rest of the pint glass then shrank down to a thin layer leaving faint lacing. I thought I got more of a citrusy hop smell right when I opened the bottle, but after pouring it into the glass and taking a wiff I'm getting more of an earthy type smell thats hard to put my finger on but not as impressive. Taste is crisp an well balanced and leaves a little bitterness behind. Solid pale ale overall definataly a good example of the syle but nothing new or special here. At 9.99 a six pack there are couple pale ales right in the same price range that I would prefer. (804 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a peppery and herbal hops and a light sweet dough.

The taste consisted was well balanced with a full herbal atop an earthy and moderately caramely malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very nice hop forward pale ale. (424 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Says to drink by June 23 2013, so I figure this is beer's likely not more than a couple months old. Poured into a Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Almost crystal clear with a very slight haze; orange in color. There's about a two finger head after the pour, but it isn't long before it's just a film on top. Lacing is pretty spotty from top to bottom.

Smell: I first thought it really smelled like woman's shampoo with spices in it. That sounds odd, but it really did -- and not in a bad way at all. It smells great. As it warms up a tad, I find that it smells a lot more like a quality pale ale with a valiant blend of hops and malt. Probably the high light of this beer.

Taste/feel: Sweetness with the hops up front, that develops into more hops... and then more hops... and then finishes with the bitterness, with the flavor of caramel malts coming in to balance the hops. It's odd to me, because the hops seem sweet, and the malts seem bitter. Hey, I'm not complaining. The Citra (I believe they're Citra) hops, as usual, provide a very juicy quality to this beer, and the slight malty and spicy aftertaste on this beer makes it all the more satisfying. This is a great pale ale that has the bitterness of an IPA, but more overall qualities of an APA. Definitely a tasty pale ale worth seeking out. For the best flavor, I say take it out of the fridge five minutes before drinking it -- it's when it's at its best, I think. (1,444 characters)

Photo of Omnium
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle > Winter Lager Glass

A - Pours a really nice golden color with a slight orange tint, 1 finger head, thick fluffy lacing.
S - Citrus fruits, earthy and great floral notes, a little yeast, great aroma.
T - Bitter citrus hop flavor, nice floral undertones, and a floury finish.
M - Bitterness hangs on a bit, along with those earthy floral flavors, medium, and a tad watery.
O - Great APA, Victory is somewhat overlooked, but this is a solid go-to beer, and should get more recognition. Refreshing and flavorful (519 characters)

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

Appearance: Golden orange color. Beautiful. Nice head, fades relatively quickly and leaves a thin head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Citra bomb. Tropical citrus fruit. A bit of simcoe-y pine and earthiness. This smells really, really good.

Taste: Really nice citrus and tropical fruit qualities. Moderately bitter. Quite dry overall. Just a hint of sweet balancing malt. Hops are the star. Hops come across a bit resiny and spicy on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Well carbed with just a touch of prickliness. A bit fuller bodied than expected for a 5% pale ale.

Overall: My go-to shelf pale ale/session hoppy beer. Underrated in my opinion. If the label said "Three Floyds" instead of "Victory" this would be rated considerably higher. (725 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a light copper with a thin layer of head. There is surprisingly healthy amounts of lacing considering the minimal head to work with. The nose presents a decent dose of hops and a touch of pine. Again, I am surprised that such a thin amount of head produced a hearty smell.

There is some malt taste, but the main flavor notes are crisp and clean. The finish is certainly not crazy hoppy, but it is relatively bitter for an APA.

One of the best APAs available - an overlooked style in the days of "bigger is better" beer making. (542 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated "enjoy by 15 June 2015". Pours a deep, clear gold with decent white head. Moderate carbonation. Sort of a floral thing going on here. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Lingering bitter, astringent finish. Probably more like an English IPA in my opinion, and English IPAs aren't my favorite. My relatively low rating is more a reflection of my personal preferences in the IPA/APA field, rather than a negative review of this particular beer.
It's really admirable that Victory donates a portion of the Headwaters revenue to local environmental groups. (561 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent orange with a small white head. Smells of citrus hops and slight flowery notes. Tastes of earthy and slight citrus taste from the hops a a nice malty body. Beer is light/medium bodied and carbonated well. Overall a very good beer. (304 characters)

Photo of WankelEngine
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a vibrantly clear (so clear I can read text through it like an orange-tinted magnifying glass haha) amber-orange color. There is a small, off-white head which quickly fades to nothing but a small ring of foam. Mild lacing.

S: The first thing I pick up is a good dose of tropical fruits, very citrusy. Mild pine and some toffee follow, but the nose is dominated by the tropical aromas.

T: Not nearly as fruity as the aroma, but with a bigger emphasis on the citrus. A good dose of grassy hops greets the mid-palate and lingers through to the finish. The malt here is light and mild but provides just a bit of balance with some caramel flavor. Moderately bitter overall with a mild but long finish.

M: Fairly thin mouthfeel, but not overly so. Carbonation is on the mild side of moderate, but still effervescent. A little watery as I swallow.

O: A decent pale ale. Citra hops are here doing their thing which never hurts. Easy drinking with decent flavor. (1,011 characters)

Photo of masemase
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance was not notable

S - general mix of pleasant hops...citrus, pine, floral

T - bitter then sweet then floral then resinous bitter with clean finish

M - Solid carbonation, the reason this beer rates so high is that it is full of delicious hoppiness, yet without an overwhelming bitterness that accumulates on the palate

O - an extremely drinkable pale ale (366 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-amber with high clarity. An almost two-finger head leaves some streaks of lacing. Grassy and citrusy aroma, in that order, with the citrus coming through as grapefruit and orange rind. Hints of tropical fare from the citra hops. Interplay between the citra and centennial hops is very nice in this restrained APA. The more restrained use of citra yields a floral, citric character as opposed to the pungency sometimes found with IPAs that use it heavily.

Cracker-like malt profile and a hearty helping of hop bitterness in the palate. Some grassy and citric hop character, grapefruit and other citrus rind. Good flavor for a 5% beer. Not all that complex, but enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall, Headwaters is like a more aromatic Sierra Nevada, which is a decidedly good thing. A great choice for a lighter offering that still packs a solid, hoppy bite. Despite being the "baby" of Victory's pale ale lineup, I think this is their most impressive. (957 characters)

Photo of JG-90
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle into glass

A - Pours medium/large slightly creamy head, leaves moderate lacing, very clear pale copper color

S - Not as much smell as I expected, resinous hops, bread, and a little malt

T - Huge prickly/resinous hop start (seems to me a little aggressive for a pale ale), bread, grapefruit, and a slight malt finish

M - very prickly mouthfeel, medium/light body, moderate carbonation

O - I think the prickly hops with lighter body are a little too much for my taste, seems like a sligthly watered down IPA, but still a good and interesting beer (556 characters)

Photo of mscudder
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served into a pint.

A - A bronze pale ale with an off-white one-finger head. Average retention with below average lacing.

S - Funk, citrus, grapefruit, hops and pale malts.

T- Nice hop profile for a pale ale. Subtle blend of citrus and pine atop slightly bitter and sweet notes.

M - Medium minus body with moderate carbonation.

O - A drinkable and refreshing pale ale that I would buy again in a heartbeat. Excellent balance. (431 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Clear dark gold colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/lemons mixed with some light pineapple. It ends with a sweet malty and fruity aftertaste with a touch of hop bitterness.

Overall – Really delicious stuff that I could see myself drinking a lot of in 1 sitting. It has a nice well rounded taste that isn't potent but remains interesting throughout. I'd buy it again. (733 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a light, translucent copper with a one inch, frothy cream-colored head. Nose expresses Simcoe, an earthy/herbal quality, citrus notes and light, toasted malts. Head eventually disperses into a consistent, 1/8th inch cap with delicate spots and strands of lacing revealed in the wake. Taste consistent with nose, as well as the addition of a slight buttery flavor that cuts across the flavor profile and a light, noble hop bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an assertive, slightly prickly carbonation and some citrus astringency. Overall, a very satisfying and tasty APA that would pair well with pub food and quite quaffable at 5.1%. (707 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Orange color, great head, lots of lace up the sides of the pint glass. Aroma is very floral hops, perfume-like and reminiscent of the floral/perfume aspect I get from Sierra Nevada amped up to 10. Flavor is more of the same. Overall a solid pale ale but it is also sort of one-dimensional and becomes overwhelming. (327 characters)

Photo of matjack85
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Glen Ellyn, IL. for $1.69.

The beer poured a pale orange color with a 1-finger white head that lasted about a minute with decent lacing.

Big floral hop aroma along with lots of fruits.

Good citrusy hop flavor - mostly orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Just enough maltiness for sweetness and balance. Bitterness is at IPA levels, but I liked it.

Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

This is a good tasting beer. Another winner from Victory. (517 characters)

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

Pours a clear copper with a half inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving thick lacing.

Grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh cut grass begin the aroma. Mango, pineapple, and floral hops add complexity. There's a bready caramel malt backbone that is subtle.

Malt backbone is more substantial in the flavor, creating a lightly toasted breadcrust imitation. Citrusy hops become less distinct than in the aroma, providing a sharp contrast to the resiny, bitter finishing hops.

Body is moderate and slick, with moderate carbonation and a slight astringent bite.

More citrus hop character than anything, certainly more along the ipa line, if bitterness were more pronounced. Wish the flavor matched the aroma more closely. (731 characters)

Photo of BierStein711
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew was again had on draught!

Outstanding beer with much fanfare!

Three finger head.

Amber read in color similar to Bass Ale!

Smells of grassy hops, herbs, and a touch of dark fruits!

Tastes of hops, grass, grain, herbs, and a balanced hop finish!

Mouthfeel: smooth and refreshing!

I liked this a tad better than HopDevil! (336 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a fingers worth of head

S: Has some nice citrus and grassy hops with pale malts to back up the hops

T: Follows the nose, with some citrusy hops to start off, followed by the more dominant grassy hops and finished by the pale malts. Fairly simple

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice, simple pale ale with a good bit of hops and the malts to back them up. Nothing to really write home about, but a good drinker nonetheless (485 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy copper orange color, with a small bright white head with slight retention retention that sits on top of the glass as you sip your pint.

S: Just.. Wow.. An explosion of cattyness hits at first followed by the classic west coast resiny citrus. I also detect mango, melon and other tropical fruits (Simcoe/amarillo??) nice!

T: The cattyness comes through in the taste as expected, with a nice toasty backbone. The piney bitterness stays with you after you've put down the glass. Crisp and clean, this beer should be drank as fresh as possible.

M: Moderatly dry and a stickyness i describe from heavy late hop additions.

O: Bam! Victory makes some great beers this one included. While some people arn't a fan of the catty character the newer aroma type hops provide I love them in combination with the old classics. The aroma of Headwaters puts this thing in the IPA cattegory for me despite what the label says, I would love to hear the grain/hop bill for this bad boy. Good show ol' chap, good show! (1,021 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif., on Dec. 27, 2012
Price: $19.99 for the variety 12-pack
Misc.: Box said enjoy by March 10, 2013; Also a long and uninformative spiel about water on the bottle and not as much (really nothing) about the beer.

Poured a honey golden, pale, clear color with two fingers of snowy, frothy white head. Healthy amount of thick, foamy white lacing on the sides. Good thick retention on the top as well that lasted throughout the pour.

Smelled a sharp whiff of hops up front, somewhere between resin and citrus (grapefruit). The bitterness comes through unambiguously. Also lemon grass, hay and honey.

Tasted the hops first like the smell. Got that mix of resin and grapefruit. Also some lemon in there. Cereal and light bread.

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

Just a really good pale ale. Will savor my other two in the Victory variety pack. (960 characters)

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy yellow with a small white head.

Smell offers fresh, citrus hops..really clean aroma. Fresh orange/lemon with mild sweetness for balance.

Similar to nose with plenty of lemony citrus hop character, some spicy hop notes, hop forward but well balanced. Slightly bitter finish.

Crisp carbonation and light feel makes this a great pale to session.

Another great brew from Victory. (399 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into my tulip glass and got about two fingers of head. The coloring is more brown than orange.

The aroma from this beer is decently strong. I like the prevalence of citrus in the nose.

The flavor is pretty strong for a pale ale. You get a lot of citrus hops with really minimal malt. This leads to some decent bitterness. This is a pretty good pale that tastes more like a single IPA. (400 characters)

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

Pours clear amber with an average, frothy white to off-white head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is fragrant fruity, citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops and cereal malt with tropical fruity esters. Flavor is heavy hops and bitterness, supporting dry malt and fruity esters with a dry finish and a spicy character. Medium body and carbonation. (351 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.