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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,220 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,220
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 63
Gots: 250 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,220 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown twist off bottle served into a pint glass. Pours a copper golden with half an inch of white foam and a hint of haze. Decent retention and lacing with a steady boil of carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Nose of citric hops and some balanced graininess along with some background earthy and floral aromas particularly with agitation. Offers some mildly odd aromas on occasion.

Taste is smooth with a citric finish and a light balancing bitterness. Finish is a bit tea like with citrus and flower notes, though a bit short and watery in the delivery, constraining the overall experience.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$8.50 sixer from Liquor Outlet, Boonton.

Appearrance is just classic. Crystal clear bold gold body, topped by two fingers of snow white various sized bubbles.

Pleasant citrus aroma, not at all harsh, very inviting.

Firm semi-sweet caramel base coats the tongue. A good blast of bitterness follows with an undercoating of juicy fruit. Nice clean finish with just a slight malt/hop mix trading off in the afterglow. Extremely well balanced.

Overall, highly drinkable. Victory celebrates its anniversary by going to the style that built the craft beer movement and makes a dandy.

Photo of Stunner97
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- typical of the pale ale style with good crisp carbonation and thin white head quickly faded,

Smell- very nice hop smell really dominates the smell profile

Taste- its certainly has a nice firm hoppy finish but this beer does have good balance of malt up front and that really makes things balanced, in terms of flavor i really enjoyed this beer its got a alot of hops but really the balance is perfect

Mouthfeel- good light to medium bodied and quite smooth, all in good balance

Drinkability/overall- overall i think this beer was extremely drinkable and the keyword here was balance , they managed to use to the right amount of hop ratio to malt and just perfect balance, this to me would make a great session beer that I will probably go to from time to time, just a beer i think a beer that is complex enough yet simple enough to make you want drink it through the night, good showing by victory for a solid pale ale

Photo of elginirishpunk
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with nice carbonation. Rich hoppy aroma and light citrus and fruiy sneak through. Initial taste is smooth and hoppy like a mellow IPA and then your palet quickly clears. definitly a very unique pale ale. Great beer for warn spring or warm sunner day.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice clear copper with a bright-white head. It's a little rocky and there's a touch of lacing, but nothing serious going on here.

Smell: Faint touches of bread crust and a slight earthiness blend with some citrus notes from the hops. Caramel malts sneak through as well, adding a touch of sweetness to everything. Very clean with no lingering bitterness or sweetness.

Taste: Matches the nose with some apple notes creeping around the edges. A nice damp earthiness is complimented by the slight citrus note of the hops. Bread crust lingers while the sweetness fades. Definitely a stronger fix on the malts as they provide most of the flavor, with hops adding a harmonizing note in the overall taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body holds a solid carbonation. Nothing crazy going on here, but that's exactly what I expected.

Overall: Nicely drinkable and refreshing. It's a nice take on the style from Victory. Very clean and balanced.

Photo of Gooball201
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well Victory has finally done it! They have created the NJ/NY Hop Lover's dream in a "session" style interms of alcohol level beer. Picked up a case of this as well as $1200 more of beer and wine for our annual sales meeting. As soon as I had one I knew I was headed back to my store hoping they had not sold the last case as I needed to have at least a case in my frig! Not a big fan of Victory but I LOVE this beer and plan to purchase/consume as long as it is for sale in Northern NJ!

Photo of engagechad
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - dfh snifter

Pours a lovely yellow orange with a perfect head and moderate lacing. easily agitated back to head. Smells incredible! man.. big on the grapefruit zest.. so nice and vibrant. Very refreshing taste, similar to SNPA in a way but a bit more bright. My words fail me..

This is a great beer and one of the few from Victory that I enjoy. Get it!

Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle accompanying my sub from Zeek's.

A: The pale ale is pale, a lighter amber color that looks like tea. Quite clear, the condensation on the outside of the glass being the only impediment. A finger of white head disappeared quickly and left no traces behind.

S: The pale ale has a well-balanced aroma, equal parts biscuit and citrus hops. The hoppy grapefruit aromas are floral and sit nicely atop the malts.

T: Very piquant, the spiciness of the hops hits a surprisingly high note. The hops have grapefruit sweetness that flicks at my tastebuds, a sharp bitterness. Caramel and biscuit are nearly as flavorful, matching most all of the hops. An excellent pale ale.

M: Balance is the key, equal parts hop and malt, bready and biting. A comfort beer. I'm glad that Victory finally listened to the masses.

Photo of rdub
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my favorite pint. Frothy white head and nice lacing. Floral hops on the nose emanate from the clear bright liquid. Yum. The best way to describe this brew was Nugget Nectar Jr. Nice balance of strong flavor vs drinkability. Would definitely have again.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Bright amber with a creamy white lacing. Sweet floral, herbal and fresh, with apple skins and fresh grain in the nose. Firm body, creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. Citric hop bite up front with a mixed bag of floral, herbal and spicy notes, followed by a small dose of malt sweetness (cereal grains, biscuity, bready), and apple-y fruitiness rounds things out. Chalky, bicarbonate, and dry with sticky and spicy herbal flavors lingering on the palate. A very solid addi- tion to the Victory lineup. This will no doubt become a benchmark APA in years to come, if they keep it consistent.

Photo of nukem5
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a great golden color with a spectacular frothy head which does last thru the entire beer. Nice legs or lacing whichever you prefer.

S: Sweet and little bit of both floral and citrusy hop aromas.

T: Taste is of a malty initial burst then flashes between floral and zesty citrus hop flavors with a great malty backbone.

M: Medium bodied with a light carb level good balance.

O: Very drinkable and would like another sadley have none to have.

Photo of rebel1771
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours honey colored with a big fluffy head that stays around a long time.

S: Plenty of hops in the aroma. Heavy notes of pine and citrus intermingle with some floral notes. Seems a little strong for an APA.

T: Just like the smell the taste is dominated by hops. Pine and citrus again dominate.

O: Overall this is a good beer but it could be better IMO if they pulled the reins back on the hops a bit.

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

Very, very pretty. Smells nice. My first sip forced a double-take: am I drinking a beer, or am I munching on a bud of chronic? Seriously, you guys, this is delicious. Bitter and fresh. Nothing mind-bending, nothing revelatory, but for reals: I could drink a whole lot of them. I want to drink a whole lot of them. I'm sad I only bought two.

Photo of MacQ32
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice soft copper/pale color with a finger of beautiful off white head with excellent retention. Really nice to the eye! Super clear

S - Grassy floral hops not much else, pretty weak

T - A nice crisp grassy hoppy beer with a pleasant dry bite to it.

M - lighter body, lots of carbonation which compliments its dryness at the finish

O - Kind of a summer session beer for hop lovers, really drinkable crisp and clean. Really easy to drink, not bad

Photo of Casey10
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am rating this one by style. It is really good and a really good beer for the style.

A - really nice pour slight head with a nice copper body.

S - light crisp smell grassy.

T - interesting taste can't put my finger on it but it is good.

M - nice feel it lingers a bit with that grassy feel again.

O - I liked this a great representation of the style of a pale ale and nice to see in Maine.

Photo of mltobin
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single bottle of this at a small shop in Norwalk.

Appearance is a hazy amber color with a good sized off-white head. The smell is quite nice with floral hops, some grapefruit. Headwaters` tastes fairly sweet for an APA, but it is done well, along with some hops and small amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. All in all, this is a good pale ale and a good choice for a leisurely spent afternoon.

Photo of afksports
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Having this on tap at amity hall and tagging for later review. Beautiful appearance copper base, puffy head that stays all over the brew, bubbles floating up... This is pale ale. Smell is indistinct, biscuits, bready malt, tiny touch of hops pine and citrus. Tastes good: bread, small grapefruit up front and in back, bit of grass in the front, refreshing. Pale ale taste. Good mouthfeel medium with good carbonation. Overall Ray drinker, interesting taste to repeat. I'd call it a success.

Photo of birderbeerer
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden beer with a slightly off-white, two-finger head.

What is that hop? It's the same aroma as Daisy Cutter and Nugget Nectar--a clean and pungent hop. Like a juicy pine cone. Hard to pinpoint. But it's very nice.

And, like Daisy Cutter, the taste just isn't as nice. The hop tastes more bitter than it smells. The malts are very sweet and this is a good beer. But it's not blended well and the hops are a little off-kilter with the rest of the beer.

This beer is best as a hoppy chug after doing something outside on a scorcher day.

Photo of LtCracker20
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear orange amber with a beautiful 2-finger off white head that hangs around for a little bit before falling to a cap. Leaves some very nice lacing.

S- Amazing citrus and floral hops. A little malt sweetness, but the nice citrus and floral aroma comes through the most.

T- A little sweetness mixed in with the hoppiness. Not IPA hop bitterness bite, but nice pale ale hoppiness.

MF- Nice moderate bodied beer with a very clean and crisp finish to it.

O- I actually like this much better than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale. Don't hate me, but I think the flavor of this beer is much, much better.

Photo of shand
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very hazy orange color with a tiny head. The aroma is full of bright citrus and floral hops. Caramel malts also make themselves known. The taste is very bright, full of floral hops and citrus notes. The finish is really smooth and crisp, this is truly a delicious APA. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly light-bodied and has a medium level of carbonation. The drinkability is also very good. Overall, this is a solid, drinkable pale ale.

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Golden orange color with a frothy 1½-finger head that lingers awhile and leaves a nice trail down the whole glass.

S: Mild hoppy aroma with scents of citrus and pine. Not overwhelming by any means, but a pleasant fragrance to the nose.

T: A smooth crisp mildly hoppy flavor, which is appropriate for the style. This is a slightly bitter ale with a good caramel malt base.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: A decent well-balanced pale ale. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a regular pale ale, since everything seems to be IPA’s these days. It was a nice change and a good beer.

Photo of StaEva
4/5  rDev +2%
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%!

Photo of BranfordBound
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle marked best before September 2011. Poured into a DFH Shaped Pint.

Pours a nice amber color with a fluffy one and a half finger white head. Leaves ok lacing.

Smells of hops, surprisingly. Suprising in that hops are extremely strong for a pale ale. Rivals their IPA.

Wow, yeah, follows with the nose being extremely hoppy. Not like other Pale Ales, this one is not all that malty. Only a hit of malts at the beginning which yield immediately to the rush of hops. Hops are herbal, grassy, and have a strong grapefruit flavor which lingers.

Lighter side of medium bodied, carbonation not too strong to distract.

Nice drinking pale ale, definitely on the hoppy side of things.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have always liked Victory beers, and I especially respect a brewer that would have balls enough to showcase the water in their beer. Granted most “normal” beer drinkers wouldn’t get the significance of that…but I respect it just the same. Let’s see what the water at Victory has to offer in this one:

Appearance: Pours a very clear slightly orange golden color with a small 1/8” head of active off-white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. There were quite a few bubbles rising, but they didn’t stick once they got to the top. There is only enough lace to last for about 1/2"up from the top of the beer. Though it is clear, it could be better presented by the carbonation.

Aroma: Lots of fresh citrus and some floral notes. The aroma is dominated by the hops, but they aren’t chalky or anything as you would expect from a Pale showcasing the water. There is, however, some clean sweet light caramel backing the beer up.

Taste: The flavor, while run by the hops, is rather light and crisp as they mention. The balance of the finish is very slightly tipped toward the hops, but there is plenty of maltiness to this light beer to give it palate appeal. The carbonation is low, so the beer comes across a bit watery. The body is light to medium…but more to light. There is no alcohol noticeable at all.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer and it has a nice balance. Though there was a good off-gas when the bottle was opened…the carbonation was for my taste on this style. If that was fixed, this would be a different beer.

Photo of phillybeer7779
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden colored, some head, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some citrusy hops with a malty undertone.

Taste- Very balanced. Citrus flavors balanced by a solid malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- As drinkable as a hoppy craft brew gets. Nice body, nice carbonation. Good hop flavor, but doesn't destroy my palate.

Overall- Another quality offering from Victory. A very good pale ale. Definately not one of those APAs that are basically IPAs, so do not expect a hopbomb. Just a quality beer you can drink a six pack over the course of a night and not regret it in the morning.

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,220 ratings.