Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,358
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 363 | 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
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Reviews: 559 | Hads: 2,358
Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown with a one finger head. Gives off a strong smell, like bread and raisins. Very smooth at first. Light and refreshing on its way down. Bready yeast flavor come through. Aftertaste is different. Leaves a light fruity taste on the pallet. Yeasty feel clings to the back of the tongue. Overall, a pretty decent beer. It's more refreshing than most but lacks a complexity of flavor. (391 characters)

Photo of VictorWisc
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours clear medium amber with moderate off-white head with little retention, but with some foam film remaining on the surface. Moderate lacing even after head subsides.

Pungent hoppy nose with noticeable yeast. Mild citrus and eucalyptus notes.

Classic PA flavor profile Tastes grassy up front, then piny resin and clove notes with floral yeastiness. The finish is sweet citrus and caramel maltiness, rounding off back to resinous spice. Well balanced once the initial bitterness melts away. [PS 08/02/13: Just had another bottle from the same batch not quite a week later and this one is all grapefruit peel and mild caramel/burnt sugar malt notes. Not sure what to make of the difference, as there is nothing sweet in this bottle. It really tastes like what I got when I tried to infuse fresh grapefruit peels for 24 hours.]

Body light to medium with very light carbonation as the beer coats the tongue. Not boozy, but there is some alcohol doing a hot dance on the tongue.

Good summer choice if not overchilled. For me this is a strong preference over comparable Sierra Nevada PA which tends not to hold flavors quite as long. An excellent part of a mixed 12 (with Prima, HotDevil and Golden Monkey) that would work well in any season. (1,243 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe I bought this beer at Oades in Lansing, MI.

Had rating on computer for a while uploading it now

A&S: clear lively looking copper colored beer. Head is off-white and retained at about a finger of semi-foamy and leaves layers of lacing. Not a very powerful smell consists of spices and almost a lemony scent. With tones of breadyness throw in.

T&M: Spicy and floral hops come through strong in the beginning to midtaste. There is a nice presence of a malty background in this one. Crisp and refreshing, coarse feeling beer. The bitterness in the finish comes on strong at the end and fades a bit cause the dryness to be reduced. Lots of carbonation medium to light bodied.

O: Pretty good pale, nothing less then I would expect from Victory. Well priced at a little over 2 dollars for a single. (806 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottles purchased as part of a mix-six pack at Wegmans on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY.

Pours an amber orange into my Southern tier tulip. 1 inch fluffy head, visible carbonation.

Smells deliciously tropical and fruity, very clean smelling.

The taste is clean and crisp as well, I'd definitely guess this one uses a judicious amount of Citra hops. Oranges and pineapples abound, with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Some pine as well, that adds to the bitterness. Light but effective malt backbone, crackery.

Very crisp. One of the most drinkable pale ales you'll ever find.

Not one of the most balanced pale ales I've ever had, as the hop flavors dominate when fresh. The hop flavors are bright, clean, and refreshing though, and this beer is really drinkable- easy to put 3-4. Another winner from our friends at Victory. (829 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Aggressive pour into a standard pint glass. The beer is copper in color and quite clear, with nice carbonation visible. Great head, with well above average retention, that leaves nice thick lacing on the glass. Beautiful.

S - Subtle, but it's a nice mix of citrus and light sweetness. Maybe some floral qualities.

T - Shocking. I want to compare the citrus elements to Zombie Dust. I don't think it's a stretch to say it. Nice progression of flavors from citrus, through light caramel sweetness, through a touch of pine bitterness. Just enough to let the flavor linger.

M - The one weakness. The feel is a little light, and despite that, it sticks to my mouth a bit too much on the finish. I like the bitterness while I'm drinking the beer, but it holds on a bit too long.

O - If I could find a 12-pack of this I would absolutely buy it again. I would love to drink this all afternoon. And evening. And night. (917 characters)

Photo of Brewndruid
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from cold bottle. Full fluffy off white head.
Nice lacing
Nice clarity, light copper in colour.
Aroma strong and indicative of a strong bitterness slitghtly citrusy.
Strong bitterness up front. Balanced towards the bitter, clean and crisp, refresing. Clean finish. (284 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a clear deep amber ruby color with a light two finger head.

The aroma is quite big. There’s some of citrus, grass, floral, pine. A huge hoppy wonderful aroma.

The flavor follows on the citrus, orange, floral. Then there’s a middle of caramel malt. It actually pushes on being an hoppy amber ale. It’s not a heavy sticky sweetness, but candy gentle sweetness.

The end hits you tons of pine, but lots of strong tea, earthy, resiny bitterness.

For me, this is just a wonderful pale ale. It really separates itself with the fruitiness and pine. The sweetness compliments the beer extremely well. It’s a great balance, but tons of hops, and packs lots of flavor for a 5.1% beer. Very impressed with this pale ale and definitely something I’ll be going back to. (787 characters)

Photo of stella77artois
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a medium golden-brown, shining a reddish-amber in the light. Not a lot of carbonation noticeable. Very light head, less than 1 finger. Dissipated quickly, almost zero residual left.

S - Malt up front, followed by a good amount of hops. A slight overall fruity aroma, as well.

T - A very good combonation of malt and hops up front, with much more hoppiness in the aftertaste. An ever so slight hunt of grapefruit in the aftertaste. Not outstanding, not bad. Some dirt bitterness though, not what I expect from quality hops.

F - Refreshing, like a pale ale should be. Good feel with just a touch of dryness.

O - Not a bad beer, not an outstanding one. A good refreshing pale ale with a good amount of flavor. Again, nothing outstanding, but it's a good beer. (814 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A pale amber beer with very good clarity. The head is rock, off-white with a decent retention.

S: A medium citrus hops aroma with some resinous character. A clean malt sweetness and a little bit of caramel.

T: A strong hops bitternes and medium-strong citrus hops flavor some piney character. There is a low , peach-like fruit ester. A touch of malt sweetness in middle with balance being decidedly bitter with a crisps, dry finish. Lingering citrus hops and bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A medium bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation and very crisp.

O: A straight forward, hop driven beer. A darn good pale ale. (640 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/23/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy cream colored head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy rings of lacing cling down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of hop notes with a moderate malt balance. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, bread, light caramel, light pine, and floral earthiness. Light floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and good complexity of hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, lightly sticky, and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice pale ale. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,247 characters)

Photo of socon67
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy amber color with a soapy white foam that retains well and laces the glass.

S - Has a light citrus smell and a scent of pale malt.

T - This is a refreshing beer that has a nice contrast of tartness from lemon flavors and a malty sweet taste. There is a lsight amount of bitterness in the finish, but this an easy drinking pale.

M - Good amount of balance and complexity which is hard to do with a standard pale ale. Minimal carbonation present, and light feel. Very sessionable.

O - Really no complaints as this is a solid pale ale that has plenty of flavor. Another staple beer from Victory. (608 characters)

Photo of jSehnert
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Light copper in color, with thin had on pour.

smell citrus and some malt.

taste citrus hop with thin malt balance

lingering bitterness, not harsh but good

overall good hop nose and flavor but not balanced by malt backing.

at 5.1 % may bee a reasonable balance for a hoppy session beer. (291 characters)

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. Enjoy By: June 16, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange with a thick soapy off white head. Great looking pale ale.

Smell: Pure tropical citrus from the Citra hops. Smells delicious. A little sweet.

Taste: An interesting struggle between the light tropical Citra and the harsher piney Centennial. This beer is lacking a little in balance. The malt body comes off a little watery and thin in trying to hold up to the heavy hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately creamy for an American pale ale. Nice.

Overall: I like the direction this beer was trying to head in. Looks and smells great, but in the end, the hops overwhelm the malt body. Still good overall. (713 characters)

Photo of dancaplette
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

headwater's has a bright copper color to it , slight carbonation that lasts through the pour. it retains a one figure head with a nice lacing.

it has a citrusy smell to it, more than I expected for a pale ale, very pleasant.

it has a nice mouth feel, I can describe as a light, but creamy smoothness and nice bitterness.

overall a good effort, as usual by victory. (368 characters)

Photo of lsummers
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler with a one finger bone white head. Very clear bright copper. It's so clear it's actually quite attractive. Smells of some spicy nutty piney hops. There's a malty sweetness in there along with some lemon zest. The taste doesn't hit as hard with the hops up front. Starts a bit nutty and has a herbal, earthy, pine with that lemon zest hop notes. Ends with some roasted malt notes. Mouthfeel on this is hard to judge since it's from a growler. It has a milder carbonation and feels fairly round on the tongue.

Overall, I really need to try this bottled or on tap to gain a better gauge of the mouthfeel. It's tasting fantastic and is a solid pale ale. (673 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here is a hazy, golden brew...thin white head. The aroma is of aggressive, piney hops and grain. Citrus and a pungent tree bark quality. Almost cheesy hops. Odd. The taste is moderately dry, sharp , bitter hops. Some companies may call this an IPA. Crisp, bitter, and clean. Full mouthfeel, firm body. Refreshing, and very enjoyable after an afternoon of hiking. (362 characters)

Photo of Headyman
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to SammyJaxxx for the beermail.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a belgian tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautifully clear light amber. 1 inch bubbly head fades away fairly quickly.

Aroma: A pleasantly mellow citrus, with lemon and grapefruit. Some earthier hop undertones with a sweet, slightly dank finish. The aroma is quite pungent for a Pale ale.

Taste: Unlike any Pale i've had before. Begins with a nutty sweetness, that is accentuated by the high carbonation. Headwaters has a real grassy, weedy, mid and a somewhat salty sweet earthy hop finish. A bit of a peppery taste lingers.

Mouthfeel: Moderate-to high carbonation that works to bring out the hop character. Has an aftertaste that slowly changes from citrusy sweet to a slightly bitter peppery taste. Perhaps a tad watery.

Overall: Extremely interesting to say the least, and quite good. There is a nice dank flavor that evolves from the first sip to the last. A solid pale ale, I'll have to pick this up next time I see it. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle.

Appearance - a beautiful golden color with some red tint. Nice one and heif finger head. Sticks around nicely.

Smell - this one is very citrusy. Lemon, lime grapefruit. Hops as well.

Taste - delicious refreshing citrus flavor with fantastic bitterness and hoppiness. Very nice taste.

Mouthfeel - very nice, refreshing.

Overall - a great offering from Victory. Victory is a pretty underrated brewery in my opinion. I really enjoy all of their beers I have tried. (486 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured clear, medium amber in color with a small, off-white, short-lived head that left spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Mainly hops, with piney, citrus, earthy and herbal notes. IPA strength of aroma.

T: Strong hop presence with a lingering grapefruit peel note. The bitter finish soon retreats to a more welcome malty/bitter hop mix.

M: Smooth for style; Medium bodied; Medium-high carbonation; semi-dry finish.

O: a nice APA that leans to the hoppy side. (464 characters)

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

(Served in an American pint glass)
Enjoy by Apr. 4 2012
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a lumpy beige head and a wall of microbubbles running up the side of the glass.

S- The green earthy hops are full and just a hint of pungency in the finish.

T- The green mellow hops have some pineapple weed flavor and a spice quality to the finish. There is a biscuit malt flavor that grows under the pale malt taste and the dry finish has some grapefruit pith and lime leaf hops flavors that hang on.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a tight fizz that enhances the hops in the finish.

O- The nice smooth pale ale has some good malt support to the more forward hops making this very sessionable although a bit on the dry side. (737 characters)

Photo of u2carew
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head that settles quickly learning a thin lacing of big bubbles at the edge of the glass. Clear, bronze colored body.
S) Robust hop aroma consisting of sweet floral notes, evergreens, and peaches.
T) Well balanced hops and malts. Nutty and buttery malts with leafy and vegetal hop notes. A semi-sweet hop bite lingers in the aftertaste.
M) Clean throughout. Crisp. Medium light body.
O) A delicious APA. I will be drinking another one! (480 characters)

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)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.