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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

2,116 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,116
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 59
Gots: 202 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,116 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmerloni
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful translucent straw yellow-orange with medium white head that spiders out on the top after it recedes. Really pleasant and clean looking. I like the looks of this a lot.

S - Yeast and honey malts. Something a little bit spicy in there, too. And hops.

T - Yeasty with a lot of citrusy hops. There's definitely some kind of spice here. I think it might be sage. Really nice and crisp, hops are fresh. This tastes like it flows from a utopian pristine creek somewhere!

M - Light to medium bodied. Hoppiness leaves the tastebuds pretty rocked. Smooth with not too much carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Nice and light. There's a tiny bit of a gap between the intensity of the hops and the overall drinkability. It seems like Victory wanted to make it highly drinkable - and it is - but it does seem a bit watery on some sips, but it's actually nice and refreshing. Solid beer. I love what they do with lighter ales. They never ever miss.

jmerloni, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of jifigz
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My last bottle of my case poured into a standard pint glass.

A- The beer poured with a small white head that lasted a few moments. The color of the brew is a very appealing light orange/amberish color and pretty easy to see through.

S- The smell on this beer is very light. Some hop aroma with some grass clipping type smells.

T- The taste is pretty light. A nice balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers for several seconds after the sip.

M- The mouthfeel is pretty average. It's not overly carbonated which is a good thing, but its not undercarbonated or creamy feeling either. It works for me.

O- As usaul Victory produced a pretty good beer. I could see this being a beer that could get the average Joe macro shit beer drinker to start to appreciate a finer brew. The amount hop bitterness wouldn't leave their mouth feeling dry and thirsty and the flavor wouldn't be enough to scare them away. Overall an easy beer to drink and a very refreshing one. Thanks again Victory.

jifigz, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Mardukk
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with some off white head and noticable lacing.

The smell is an exceptional blend of herbal hops with some faint malt. Probably the best quality of this beer.

The taste is dominated by the herbal hops with a touch of lightly roasted malt to balance the hop bitterness. The taste very good overall.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style and is the biggest drawback of this APA. With medium carbonation and a nice smooth yet yummy herbal hop flavor this is an easy one to drink.

This is a very nice quality APA that I would definitely buy again.

Mardukk, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of rrski198
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber/orange color. Nice size white fluffy head, great lacing. Small slow rising bubbles.

S: Spicy, pungent, piney hops. They must have dry hoped the poop out of this because it smells of an IPA. Also a hint of odd stinky socks.

T: Nice sweet malt up front followed but the hop spice. These hops bite for sure and leave a nicely balanced biterness that lingers.

M: I love the spice pop of the hops but I am desiring a little more body (as I do with most pale ale's) however, for the style, it is above average.

O: This is a solid beer from Victory. I love the sight of the beer and the smell is awesome for a pale ale, I would recomend, but in a crowded catergory of beer, this is not something I would run to buy again. Great session beer though.

rrski198, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of apbarwood
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

apbarwood, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt orange in color with a think white head. Head dissipates quickly to leave a thin white layer of bubbles. Brew is relatively clear with very few bubbles coming from the bottom. Some lacing, but not the rings I love seeing.

S - Very nice for a pale. Piney Hops, bready malts. Exactly what one would expect, but not over powering at all.

T - Very light taste. Sweet at first, giving way to decent hop character. Less of a bite than some pales, with a clean finish. Less than stellar. Bready malts make an appearance, along with a slight caramel flavor.

M - Low alcohol, light bodied, and easy drinking. Goes down clean.

Overall, is a decent brew. I would drink this one a nice hot day after doing yard work.

BeerThursdays, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

metter98, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fizzy head of 1.5 fingers hits the top of my SA perfect pint glass perfectly, and lots of bubbles from the bottom reinforcing it so it sticks around for a while. The beer is a crystal clear pale amber orange color. slight sticky lacing.

Nose has some nice hops, fresh hops with just a touch of musty resin, light grassy, barely a touch of tropical fruit, not much by way of malts.

Taste is light and refreshing, low malt feel but a bit of a malty flavor, some hops again, light musty resin, fresh wet hop like flavors, light spicy and grassy hops, very light tropical fruit. Dry finish, gets fairly bitter and slightly astringent, very light mint flavor too. Light lingering citrus and musty resin.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, but good carbonation, crisp.

Overall fairly decent, not the best APA but a decent hop addition, light malts, very drinkable and refreshing.

jlindros, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mikesgroove, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Snow81
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small white head

Smell: Light floral hops with subtle malty grass

Taste: Starts off super grassy maltyness, hops come in to play at the end and there a bit bitter

Weight: Medium to low body and medium to high for carbonation

Finish: Hops and a thick grass

Snow81, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor.

Brad007, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of jera1350
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Certainly looks the part with a thick cap of foam and a golden body.

Kind of a soapy hop smell. Liquid dish soap with some earthy and citrus hop notes.

Not the biggest fan of the hop profile, but I do like the overall flavor of the beer. A nice biscuity sweet malt that puts the earthy hops in balance.

Smooth feeling with very soft carbonation. The body is light-medium. Lightly dry finishing as well.

Overall, this is a very solid pale ale. The hops stand out in this one, but in no way overwhelm the whole of the beer. That is the way a good pale ale should be. Nice brew.

jera1350, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of dciBA
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

dciBA, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of burnheartsMKE
4/5  rDev +2%
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).

burnheartsMKE, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of Soonami
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a fantastic APA. This is a crystal orange-amber beer topped with clingy white lacing that just explodes with citrus flavor. The nose is dominated by tangerine and navel orange peel with subdued whiff of baking biscuit. The beer tastes like candied orange peel, with a fruity mango-like sweetness (not sugary or malty) and a hint of grainy toasted cracker. This is a beer with great balance of hops aroma and flavor with malt, but I wish it were just a little bit more bitter to give it a little more crispness and bite. The beer also has more body than I would've like and tastes a little under carbonated. I guess maybe I want this beer to be more like Prima Pils with it's crisp snappy carbonation and sharp bitterness but with the fruit ale yeasts and citrusy american hops. Either way this is very good but just short of perfect.

Soonami, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of silver0rlead
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden with a frothy off-white head that retains OK. The aroma is grassy and citrusy hops upfront, along with grainy malt and some biscuit notes, honey and some minerals. The flavor is similar with honey and biscuit malt initially, along with some grassy, citrusy and slightly floral hops, grainy malt and some fruity esters. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly, and drinkability is excellent. A tasty and quaffable pale ale, perfect for warmer weather.

silver0rlead, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange with a finger of fluffy white head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell: Citrus notes, fresh hop aroma, slight hint of sweet malt.

Taste: Citrus is the highlight of the flavor profile. Juicy grapefruit and mango, with a slight hop bitterness and a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp and clean.

Overall: Very impressed with this beer. I'm looking forward to drinking this in the summer months as it is really refreshing.

Axic10, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass. Enjoy by: July 8, 2011.

A: It pours a clear red-orange color with a half-finger of head that leaves some small-clumps of lace; it looks typical for an APA.

S: Lots of fresh hoppy and citrusy aromas; it is very enticing.

T: The hoppiness is a bit subdued in the taste but plenty of citrus is still present and it has a dry, cereal malt finish. It is not very complex - how many APAs are? - but it is quite refreshing.

M: The body is medium-light with average carbonation and a "sudsy" creaminess on the palate late.

O: it is a little less hoppy than I hoped but it is highly quaffable and inexpensive - $8.99 per sixer.

bucklemyshoe, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderately strong pungent citrus hops over spicy noble hops in the aroma with hints of light crystal sweetness. Clean, no off aromas. Poured short, foamy, white head that faded slowly to a thin ring leaving a few strings of lace. Pale amber colored beer is brilliantly clear. Spicy noble hop flavor up front with minimal citrus flavor. Lightly sweet malt base fades as the moderate bitterness kicks in towards the finish. Fairly clean finish with just a hint of lingering bitterness. Smooth, not harsh at all. Medium body with moderate carbonation is just enough to carry the flavors while maintaining drinkability. A really clean beer that is well balanced with enough flavors to keep it interesting. Well done.

HappyHourHero, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of Jul 8 2011. Pours a stunningly clear copper color with a modest cap of tan head. Fades fairly quick and does not leave a whole lot of lacing.

I really like the tropical blend of hop aromas on this one. Really nice. Some toasty malt is in the background, but the juicy hops are the main show.

This is a mighty fine Pale Ale. Succulent hop flavors are complimented by a shifting grass hop bitterness at the end. Not to be outdone, the biscuity and toasted malt flavors manage to shine as well. Mouthfeel is right at medium for an APA and it goes down very easy and smooth. I think Victory has a real winner on their hands here. I know I will buy more than a few six packs of this each year.

twiggamortis420, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a golden amber color, with a thinning but still creamy looking head. Smells a lot like a famous Pale Ale from Northern California that I won't name, some nice citric hop whiffs with some spiciness that is hard to point a finger on. Taste is nice a balance, some malty, breadiness but with a spicey hop background to help balance the flavors out and cleanly come off the palate. Definitely a bit more spicey than that Calfornia Pale Ale, but I think these are similar in quality, I believe they both are using lots of whole leaf Cascades, which to me is still one of the best hops on earth. Anyway, would take a point off for originality somewhere, but from the brewers standpoint why try and reinvent the wheel? A nice, high drinkable interpretation nonetheless!

Star80, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, deep golden with a 2-finger+ white head that falls at a moderate pace leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is fruity and grassy with a bit of sweet malt.

The taste is mild grassiness and light fruit balanced nicely with a similar mild malt sweetness followed by ,,, yes, mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin, crisp and lightly carbonated.

Overall, this is a mild but still tasty and well balanced beer that will be an excellent beer on a hot summer day and I look forward to having some fresh bottles in a few months. Victory has produced a pleasant, nicely made version of an APA.

meatyard, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of yesyouam
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale is a crystal clear, lightly sparkling golden ale with a dense, bubbly white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a huge, fresh hoppy aroma of pine and flowers. It has a very smooth medium body with a solid, dry finish. It's a nice, simple, hoppy flavor with perfect bitterness and perfect balance. It tastes slightly dry and piny. This is a supreme example of an American pale ale.

yesyouam, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Morey
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a July 8th 2011 best by date stamped on the label.

Pours copper-orange in color with brilliant clarity. One finger of off-white foam topped this brew for the first couple of minutes, but has now settled to a thin lace floating on top. Pretty decent head retention.

Smell was pretty fruity and citrus forward immediately following my pour, but more malty aromas are now starting to dominate the nose.

A really nice mix of hops and malts. Really balanced at this point. Hops linger a bit in the finish, but it's pretty mild making for a very refreshing summer beer.

Thin to medium body with moderate carbonation. About what you might expect for the style.

I could easily drink this on a warm summer day during a BBQ.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is the first time that I've had this beer, and I'd like to have a fresher bottle sometime. I almost didn't review it, but if Victory still considers it to be well within the freshness realm, then why not. It was good, but I prefer Southern Tier's Pale. But then again, ST is close, so I only drink theirs fresh.

Morey, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters has a nice copper-colored body has an off-white head that doesn't have much going on in terms of lacing or retention.

It smells like there is an interesting variety of hops in this one, with a mix of citrus and earth aromas. A good bit of caramel malt also.

There is even more of a multitude of different hop flavors than what I noticed in the aroma. A good bit of citrus flavor is followed by a strong, grassy flavor and a bit of earthiness. The fairly-sweet caramel malt backbone balances these hops out a little too much for my tastes. I would really let these hops shine given the chance, because although they are not in-your-face-overpowering, they are really interesting.

Victory always does a good job with the mouthfeel of their beers, and this one is no exception.

Overall, I like this one. Solid pale ale.

Hojaminbag, Mar 19, 2011
Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,116 ratings.