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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

2,235 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,235
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 63
Gots: 267 | 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:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,235 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of rudzud
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price.

Photo of infinitejester
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: A sixpack with a freshness date of 9/12/11. Bought with "session-able" in mind. The bottles were poured into a chalice.

Poured a deep amber and presented a white, two finger head. Good retention throughout and left a cobweb-like lacing. The nose begins with hoppy floralness and settles to a toasty malt aroma with some spice. Taste was consistent with the smell, plus some citric elements. The spicy-toast malts in the nose makes a pleasant and balancing presence alongside the bitter hops. The brew felt crisp and refreshing on the palate. A light body finishing mildly bitter and dry. Overall it was balanced and refreshing. The nose and taste were pleasant, but wholly, just seemed rather average. However, as a session beer, it worked out quite nicely.

Photo of Shiredave
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Totally over priced at $14.00 a 6pk. Having said that - this is a damn fine pale ale.

Spot on for color and carbonation tho it threw a wimpy thin head of soapy froth.
Aroma is beautiful blend of floral and citrus hop with solid malt presence of honey note.
Flavor is solid as well - great balance and drinkability with a firm hop finish.

I great session pale ale - put this stuff in casks please!!

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoy by date on the label reads Sep.12,2011.SO indeed very fresh.

Pours a nice translucent golden color.Left decent lacing globs all over the place.Amazing bubbling action.

The nose is simple doughy malts and a touch of caramel.The citrus hops do add another wrinkle to the game as this makes it seems more of an IPA.

Taste is superb although same as the nose there is more of a pronounced bitter hop linger on the backend. The malt billing is simple an affective it serves it's purpose in making this a more English Pale Ale then an IPA.

Medium bodied in the mouth. With a slight more watery edge to it.Excellent carbonation.

So far I have turned three normal Macro beer drinker's into really loving this one and buying there own and for $34 a case.Very well worth it and a tremendous session ale.

Photo of Mitchster
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$9.99 for a 6'er at BevCo. No real stats on the mfgr website, just "Imported, 2 row German malts, Whole flower American hops, 5.1% ABV".

Pours out to a very clear dark golden, forming a tall white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is great, with aggressive pungent hops...think Simcoe and Amarillo...skunky, funky...a hint of biscuit malt maybe in the nose. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean and fresh, with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...aggressive pungent hops with a well-balanced malt body, and well balanced herbaceous bitterness. Clean finish, no perceptible off-flavors or aromas. Very well crafted.

This is a great beer. At 5.1% ABV, you can drink a few and not get tanked, but it is still very flavorful, kinda reminds me of Stone Levitation in that respect. I would definitely recommend it and would like to buy it again.

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malt character that boasts of pale and biscuit malts along with a floral hop nose. It's refreshing, yet displays a good bit of complexity. The taste is good as well. It has a solid malt flavor that's easy drinking with a touch of biscuit malt character in the finish. It's smooth with only a moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific APA. It's balanced and easy drinking; a fine session pale ale.

Photo of rtepiak
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a spicy apa with without that much accent but a distint mineral note. dry and consistent over time. amber with a mild toast quality. nose of protein and pine resin. hints of walnut and apple. palate of pine apple and a feel that has to open up to the bitter spicy mineral dryness.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass.
I hated this beer out of the bottle... But, getting a chance to sample it again is still welcomed here.

A dark golden orange color. Whitish head. Decent lacing, but retention is a little weak. Not too bad looking.

Smells hoppy-- citrusy grapefruit notes work well over a biscuity malt profile. The taste is nice. MUCH better this time around.
The body is thin, little watery, but not bad. Decent carbonation.

Overall, I am willing to drink this beer again-- and I wonder what the hell the problem was with the batch I gave an F to?!
In any case, THIS beer is not bad. My biggest complaint is the finish has a note of alcohol (which is crazy because the ABV isn't that high?!). Perhaps another issue is that the carbonation is low for my taste... But still, not bad.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA.

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

Purchased direct from Victory after a meal in the brewpub, God it's great living in Downingtown.

A - A beautiful amber color, with a thick head that clings and laces the whole way down the glass.

S - Not very strong, but kind of yeasty/bready with the trademark pine and citrus of a a heavily hopped APA.

T - Not terribly bitter, with a very quick citrus bite that is more grapefruit than lime. Malt comes on quickly and mirrors the sourdough smell the beer has. Feels like it's lacking a little, though.

M - Slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation. Really easy drinking.

All in all, a nice try at the style, but I think there are both better offerings in the APA market [Sierra Nevada, BR XP] and from Victory [Hop Devil, Golden Monkey].

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,235 ratings.