Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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

2,341 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,341
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 73
Gots: 350 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,341 | Reviews: 564
Photo of SeamusDoyle
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of AmitC
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking my first headwaters. This one is being consumed beyond its best by date of 19 sep 2012.

So it might have lost a lot of its hoppiness and aroma. Still it does very well on a lot of parameters and i can see how good this will be if taken fresh.

Pours with about two finger thick fluffy white colored head, with not much standing. Amber in color, somewhat pale and hazy. Very good lacing. Almost no bubbles.

Aroma: Very good mix of citrus hop aroma and bready malts. Some weed like and grass like nose. I am assuming this is a subdued lot, but still it puts many IPAs to shame.

Taste: Nice mix of malts and hops. Nice use of malts that are suppressing the bitterness but still the balance tilts in the favor of hops. A good bitterness in the after taste for a pale ale. Citrus and some resin, oily character. Very hop upfront. Slight malty backbone and the ending is again full of bitterness. Bitter dry finish.

Mouth feel: Light to somewhat medium feel. Some hop derived astringency. Crisp and refreshing. Low on carbonation.

Very good beer for summers and springs. Very enjoyable in the winters as well. In the mood of some easy hops, this one will do the trick.

Style Rate: 4.25
Personal Rate: 4.25

Would definitely have scored 4.5 if fresh. I will seek this one out, an younger bro of Hop Devil. Certainly.

Photo of fmccormi
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip. Freshness date of April 13, 2013 printed in white-grey ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Enjoy By: Apr 13 2013 0182 1551”). Going by a five-month freshness period that Victory uses for this beer, I’m assuming that it was bottled on November 13, 2012. So, just under five weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): Close to two fingers of very fine, velvety-looking foam rises offof the pour, capping a crystal-clear, honey-gold body. Retention is modest, but it leaves some fat splotches of lace and scattered suds as it goes down—definitely better than average.

Smell (4.0): Surprisingly funky, dank kinda smell coming off of this—which is awesome. The dry-hopping is evident, even at five weeks old. Very clean, fresh, and aromatic, with nice citrus (pineapple, mango) and mild weed tones (a little dank, a little resinous) over some solid, bready malt character that’s only modestly sweet and moderately rich—great mix and balance for the style.

Taste (4.5): A nice dose of bittering hops offers some grassy, mildly vegetal bitterness right off the bat. The body is clean and crisp, a light body of very pale barley malt that’s moderately toasty, like fresh-toasted Southern white bread—not sweet, very nice and dry but not particularly complex in grain composition, either. But it fits the style extremely well. There’s a very crisp, lemony flavor and bitterness that dominates the mid-palate and carries into the finish, which I like—very crisp and refreshing. The finish has a nice, medium-strength bitterness that’s part grass and part lemon. Awesome.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Definitely on the light side of medium-bodied, with a finish that’s crisp and dried out nicely from some modestly astringent hop oils. The carbonation is soft and full, foaming a bit on the way down. This is very, very drinkable.

Overall (4.0): Talk about crushable. This beer is so crisp and drinkable, it’s a perfect springtime beer—I can definitely see having a couple of these on the porch on a warm April evening in upstate NY. This is a great example of the style, and I will definitely be seeking it out again when I need something to shake me out of the winter doldrums and open me up to the crisp air of springtime. Good job, Victory.

Photo of brewdude1982
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark golden brown with great clarity. The smell is amazingly hoppy. I love the nose of this brew. Slight malt taste upfront and then a powerful mule kick of hops that is extremely citrus and very powerful. I love the hop character of this beer. The mouthfeel is average and the carbonation is too. If you have never had this I would recommend.

Photo of match1112
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body, fingers worth of head settles to a thin ring.

s: grainy, floral hops, caramel

t: sweet cereal grains, citrus hops, caramel malt

m: just a tad thin, decent carbonation, a little dry bitterness on the finish.

o: pretty tasty, easy drinkin, glad i grabed a six pack.

Photo of Bworfus
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely biased..

Had this beer for the first time after a 3 hrs MTB ride handed to me by a friend from his treasure trove cooler.

I can taste the pureness of the headwaters in this one. It's like Austrian glacier water freshly melted and cought with your bare hands, blended with everything you love in American hops, the resin, the sap, the citrus fragances, the fruit, the hemp, and then the earthiness of just torn out barley ears from the fields, ground up with your bare hands again..

All of the above was made into a beer from heaven! Thank you Victory!

Overall actually caters more to an American IPA lover, than to somebody who's looking for a true pale ale, due to a strong hop presence throughout.

Photo of Mojo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Victory pours up a deep gold with a one finger white head, not much retention, but substantial lacing on the side of the tulip. The nose is floral, citrus, and pine. Taste is very sweet upfront followed by a bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is good with a bit of an aftertaste, though not completely unpleasant. Certainly a worthy offering. Not world class, but good stuff nonetheless.

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.

Photo of Murrhey
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer poured on a flight at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width head, good retention and carbonation. The lacing is nice as well. Orange-brown body.

S- Hoppy and light.

T- Crisp flavors, bitter and fresh.

M- Smooth and fairly dry.

O- Easy drinking beer. Tasty and floral hops. I wish I took better notes on this one.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.0 A: Faintly hazed light orange color. Just half a finger of frothy off-white head with average retention, but no lacing.

4.5 S: Lot of aroma in this. Jam packed action for the nose. Quite hoppy with floral and dank resiny, cat pissy hops. Maybe some citrus and pine underneath. Grainy with a light caramel and a light toastiness. Solid neutral malt aroma. Not entirely complex, but powerful and more importantly, exceedingly pleasant.

4.0 T: Good balance betweent the hops and the malts. Hops are again floral, resiny, and dank with just slight cat notes. Grainy malts with light toast and caramel. Solid flavors that are big and bold. Well done.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and could use some more, but good enough overall.

4.0 D: Tasty, well rounded pale ale. Super drinkable and easily classified as an "anytime beer."

Photo of TTAmod
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no visible bottling date poured into pint glass.

A: Clear. Somewhere between gold and yellow. One finger pillowy white head with okay retention.

S: Smell is strong tropical fruit. Grapefruit dominate but there are hints of orange creme and pineapple.

T: Nice use of Citra hops (I believe this is a single hopped Citra beer.) Easy-going grapefruit and orange flavors but with the added depth of flowery and herby hops. Slightly toasted malt base keeps the hops in check. A slight bitterness lasts into the finish.

M: Pretty much perfect. Slightly less than medium body, effervescent, creamy. Obscenely drinkable.

O: One of my favorite new-ish APAs. Complex, strong (but not overbearing) hops. Interesting, complementary malt base. One of my favorite Victory Brews. This has a similar hop profile to Hop Wallop, but without the huge ABV.

Photo of EvanM
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very beer-like. It has the color of beer and has a foam that appears when poured. Smells good and tastes great - not sour or bitter or sweet. Ask me if I like it....yes, tons! Beer is about the circumstance - not the provenance. Not too much hops and not too dry. Well balanced.

Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with a long lasting white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of citrusy hops, orange marmalade caramel and biscuit malt. Body is medium and crisp. Citrusy, earthy hops dominate the palate while caramel and biscuit malt and ripe fruit provide support. Finish is long, grapefruity. Delicious brew.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grapefruit/citrus hops with lighter hints of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of malts followed by moderate flavors of grapefruit/citrus and grassy hops. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and quite easy to drink - good flavors and the lower ABV make this quite sessionable. Well balanced.

Photo of mooseo
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Victory pint glass.

A - Light copper brown with a dense white head.

S - Citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel malt, light grains.

T - Mildly bitter citrus hops up front with some pine. Light, sweet bready malts and caramel lend nice balance. Finish brings in earthy hops and toasted grains.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

O - An impressive, easy drinking pale ale. One of the better examples I've had - great flavor and balance.

Photo of Kisejohn
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Victory - Headwaters Pale Ale

Appearance: Honey color. Slight chill haze. Half finger of head with great lacing.

Aroma: Grapefruit and citrus hop aroma, fades quickly. Just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste: Grapefruit hop flavor and moderate bitterness to start, mixed with a pleasant malt sweetness. Finishes dry with some lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very enjoyable pale ale. At 5 percent ABV this beer is easily sessionable. Recommended.

Photo of jmarklan
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden / copper color, white head leaves a few nice rings of lace. Lovely look, very attractive.

Spicy hops dominate the nose, herbal and citric. Fresh tangerine aroma with a touch of malt sweetness.

Slightly spicy hops, herbal and citric, lemon rind, sweet tangerine asserts itself in the middle (I just love that flavor) along with a slight grassyness, cracker/biscuit malt towards the end, finishes with an herbal hop bitterness on the palate.

Somewhere in between light and medium bodied, very crisp and a bit dry.

Overall: Another fine beer from Victory. Sessionable and full of hop flavor, just like an American pale ale should be.

Photo of UnderPressure
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice standard looking pale ale. Orange color. Slight haze. Thin head. Nice lacing, though.

Intense hop aroma. Caramel sweetness. Nice citrus and floral. Pungent undertone.

Awesome flavor! Hops everywhere. Not all that bitter. Sweet, grainy, and very hoppy.

Heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Could use more carbonation and a thinner body. Otherwise, this beer is awesome.

Photo of SteveMi
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Note: bottle felt colder than the beer actually was so this review is focused on a warmer than normal pour.

A - Pours golden with some slight red/orange. Fluffy white head which falls from about half an inch to a quarter inch after 30 seconds. Just the right amount of carbonation.

S - Citrus and hops. The bitterness is right behind the grapefruit.

T - Very grapefruity with hops trailing right behind it. Not very complex but satisfying. Seems like this would fall more under IPA but maybe I'm still a bit new at this...

M - On the ligher side of medium. Slightly dry. Very, very drinkable.

O - Impressed and am wondering why I haven't seen more of this one around.

Photo of PorterLambic
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter honey color (like clover) with a bloom of head from an aggressive pour. Head drops quickly to a film of off-white.
Smell is all hops, herbal and piney with just a whiff of malt.
Taste is the same: herbal and evergreen hops with just a hint of malt.
This drinks like a "west coast" beer, almost an IPA in its hop forward attitude. No balance because there is nothing for the hop to balance against. A true "one note" song.
Medium bodied, restrained effervescence. A bit of biscuit comes into play well into the aftertaste. Dry finish. Not a bad beer but it definitely is off style, IMO, and that's what I'm supposed to be rating it on.

Photo of BrewerB
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack today from the nearby corner market. Dated best by 9/13/2012 so it's a few days out of range. Pouring into a 3 Floyds pint glass.

A slight haze envelops the light orange beverage topped off with a tight off-white foam. Lacing clinging to the glass as the head retraces back down. Lemon rind hops propped up by a salty cracker, toasted malt foundation. Sweet wort also makes a brief appearance in the aroma along with a danker hop note. Firm light toasted bread malt along with a steady, persistent level of bitterness lending a nice balance to the beverage. Short pine needles on the back-end preceded by a touch of navel orange fruity. Medium bodied and modest carbonation. Overall a well-balanced beer with enough flavor on both sides of the hop-malt spectrum to keep me coming back for another taste.

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: clear golden amber and leaves a one finger white head that lasts for a half a minute. Some spider web lacing is left around the sides. No carbonation is seen rising.

S: spicy hops up front with a bit of citrus in the background.

T: spicy through the hops leaving a strong bitterness

M: light with nothing harsh on the tongue and a dry finish.

O: this is a very drinkable beer that I would have again and am wishing I would have bought a six pack of.

Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. No bottle date.

Deep tawny orange, with golden edges. Small pillow of gauzy, off-white head. Nose shows off fresh citrus and piny notes mixed with spicy, almost rye-ish malt, and a bit of fruit. Nice balance.

Toasted malt up front. Hop bitterness soon follows; very citrusy, with some marmalade, grapefruit, and spice. Caramel and fruit show up in the malty base. Drier in the finish, with lingering peppery, citrusy hop bitterness and traces of caramel malt. Moderate body with a smooth, easy feel. Very enjoyable and quite sessionable. Can't believe it took me so long to try this beer!

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head that leaves a ring around the pour and some mild lacing.

Smell: Light malt with a citrus peel hop note in front. Not particularly interesting, but still nice.

Taste: Could use a bit more malt in the background, but the hop profile is nice. Citrus peel hop bitterness builds through the sip to the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really drinkable pale ale. Nothing to think about too much, but I enjoyed it enough.

Photo of TBoneJones
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot color, slight head and nice carbonation movement via tiny bubbles surfacing.
Smells great of fruity hops, maybe some apricot (kind of like the orange yellowish color), very nice and not overpowering at all.
Tastes light fruit in the mouth, then a hop finish of smoothness. Light and bitter. Refreshing.
Solid carbonation and body, goes down refreshing. If I session a beer I go to pale ales, and so far this is among my favorites.
Bitter to some, but I prefer bitter presence. Somehow more of the fruit taste would make me love this even more, more of a tropical fruit profile such as that of Zombie Dust. But Victory hasn't disappointed me yet, and this is one worthy APA.

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,341 ratings.