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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

583 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 583
Hads: 2,461
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 82
Gots: 413 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 583 | Hads: 2,461
Photo of Wiffler27
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours light crystal orange with a thick white head.

smells like citrus malt, not overly sweet or overly bready.

crisp and bitter, finishes with a crisp note on the tongue. nice hop bite but not overpowering. good pale ale!

goes down smooth, nice finish.

overall this is a pretty good pale ale. very sessionable. IPAs are one of my favorite styles so it's nice to enjoy a pale ale sometimes. easy drinking, nice hop bite, and crisp taste. much better than the first time i had this. i like this being in a can too.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

A: Golden with a slight haze, moderate carbonation, and a finger of off white well sustained head.

S: Citrus, catnip, light pine. Light herbal notes.

T: Citrus, light catnip and pine, light sweetness, solid bitterness that comes in and finishes with a linger in the mouth.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight bitter finish.

O: A good smooth drinking beer. Drank on Turkey Creek Road, Clyde the first night of our arrival June 14, 2014. A solid brew by a great company.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

330ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a clear amber colour. Light tan head poured quite loose and faded quickly to almost nothing... barely any carbonation and very little lacing...

Aroma - Grassy hops, good caramel maltiness, faint nuttiness, some light buttery traces, ground pepper, floral honey notes, some herbal hints, some saltiness, grapefruit and citrus fruitiness...

Taste - Quite malty first then grassy hops come to the fore... some sweet honey traces, grapefruit and orange fruitiness, toasted bread traces, quite floral, some saltiness, the faintest of metallic notes..

M&D - Quite crisp and dry... light / medium bodied... Very refreshing and drinkable and pretty sessionable...

Overall - A pretty decent APA - nothing groundbreaking just a good, clean well made APA... recommended...

09-03-2010 10:14:08 | More by mdagnew

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

From 08/31/14 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a bright amber-gold color with one to two inched of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light citrus hops, followed by a lot of bready malts, dough, some caramel malts, and light oranges and floral hops. More malty than hoppy. Medium body and low carbonation, no bitterness and easy to drink.

Overall a decent APA. Not too hoppy but tastes good and easy to drink. Would have it again and easy to drink a few of.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

This ale is a one-of-a-kind. Wonderful! Haven't yet tried anything that is close to it. You've got to try it - it defies description. But you definitely have to like dry…very dry.

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Photo of leantom
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Most certainly an APA. Here goes:

A: Quite good. Orange with a large head and a ton of lacing. Thoroughly enjoyed the beer's appearance. 4.5/5.0

S: Just hops, son. Don't smell any malt whatsoever. Grapefruit, citrus and pine. However, these smells aren't as robust as in other APA's. Overall, somewhat underwhelming: 3.75/5.00

T: Good, but somewhat light for my palate. A slight inkling of lightly-kilned caramel malt, but the hops immediately take over the beer's flavor profile. Grapefruit, lemon, pine and grass (very grassy-tasting beer, actually). OK, but the light, watery taste somewhat impairs the flavor. 3.90/5.00

M: Very mixed review. Good carbonation, but the beer is too light. 3.5/5.0

O: A good beer with major flaws. Hops mitigate the lightness somewhat, though. 3.75/5.00

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Photo of fank2788
4/5  rDev +2%

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bright orange gold with a head that starts nice and thick then settles to a fine layer of bubbles. The smell is clean citrus hops with a strong malt backbone that is primarily bread and biscuit. The hops come right out front in the taste. Hop flavor seems to be a mix of grapefruit and more herbal grassy varieties. The body is light to medium and relatively dry with a bitterness that falls off sharply inviting the next sip. A highly sessionable beer not overly complicated but crisp and clean with a good shot of bitterness that is well balanced by the malts.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

A great example of what a pale ale should be. Golden color, good hop aroma and a great balance between the hops and rich malt backbone. Very refreshing. Good carbonation level and smooth mouth feel with a sweet finish.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle dated BB 15 Dec 2014 at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma citrusy hops
Head average (3 cm), off white, creamy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good, complete thick rings of mostly tiny bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear, continuingly rising bubbles
Flavor begins bitter and lightly citrus, ends just bitter; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.625. Final weighted score: 3.3
This pale ale has hop bitterness in abundance but has little hop flavor. Perhaps I’m being harsh for this is an otherwise very good pale ale. The head retention and lacing are good, the nose is attractive, the palate is good – just the flavor is lacking. Since the flavor is the most weighted, a lower final score occurs.

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Photo of wvudak
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a stemmed tulip. This is a local brew for me, one that I've come back to often as an after work beer. A beautiful IPA, clear amber body, soft head, top smells of grapefruit. Very hoppy in front slight malt aftertaste. Leaves a nice citrus hop taste overall. This is something that one could drink over and over as I have.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color with a slight tinge of orange, small sized head that fades quickly, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma mixed with a light grassy presence.

Taste is a well balanced between malt and grassy hops, neither is overly strong to overshadow the other aspect but that also means there's no shining star, carbonation is decent with a slick mouthfeel, very easy drinking and sessionable.

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is hoppy, bitter upfront, some citrus, pine as well, smooth and enjoyable. feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
2.99/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, light, golden amber color, with a thick, fine, persistent head and sticky lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Bright grapefruit, and piney hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Immediate, biting carbonation on the tongue, with strong grapefruit flavor, and a slight touch of biscuity malt. The finish consists of exceedingly bitter, resiny hops, like pine oil.

Final Word: This one feels pretty self explanatory to me, given how few descriptors there are for the beer, as even the hop/bitterness lovers that I would recommend this to (and those are the only ones I would recommend it to) should still want something with more depth, complexity, and balance than this beer offers. The vicious carbonation, and overwhelming bitterness make for a brew that you have to brace yourself against before every sip, and even if it were in better balance, there are so few flavors present in the beer that it would still be underwhelming/bland. My hope is that the passing of time could benefit this beer by reining in the carbonation, and hop bitterness, creating a better balance. As it stands, I can only recommend this to someone craving an extremely bitter, piney tongue bruiser, and would recommend that all others find something else!

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Photo of RhettM1
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nothing is overpowering in this beer. Smells good...but faint. Taste is there...but subtle . Great example of the style. The taste does not overpower your palette. Some breweries confuse the American pale ale and the India...Victory does not. Overall a good beer that satisfies during a hot afternoon.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with minimal head and moderate lacing.

Smells rather mildly of piney hops and caramelized malts.

Tastes much like it smells, but tasting slightly heavier in the hop department, with nothing being overpowering or offensive. Quite refreshing, and extremely well balanced.

It's moderately carbonated, and goes down incredibly smooth like almost every other Victory brew, and exceptionally smooth for a lower alcohol content beer.

Overall, a very good pale ale and a really exceptional session beer. This has been one of my go to session beers especially in the summer season, as it's fairly light and refreshing and goes down extremely smoothly while being very solid in the flavor department as well.

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Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of singles at the end of April for $1.49 each. I could not find a freshness date.

Beer poured golden orange with a nice white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is toasted grains with hints of citrus hops.

Taste is well balanced between the toasted grains and citrus hops. Some hints of mango was present. Bit of pine oil left behind in the end

Mouthfeel is medium boded, decently carbonated, and medium bodied.

Overall this is a pretty tasty brew, nice representation of the style.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a thin head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is mild fruit: apricot and some grapefruit.
The taste has a solid moderate bitterness throughout with some balancing malt in the middle to end. It finishes with a little sweet note.
The texture is crisp with a good fizz.
It's enjoyable and on the more bitter side.

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Photo of Bone53
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 40° F

Appearance: Copper color with a frothy two finger off white head

Smell: I get a ton of biscuit malt and maybe a hint of citrus

Taste: Too much biscuit malt flavor and not enough hops

Mouthfeel: Light body; Crisp and refreshing with a slight bitter finish like a pale ale should be

Mouhfeel: Pretty decent, but far from great. VERY biscuity which reminds me a lot of DF 60 Minute in that regard. I was a bit let down with this one. However, it's still very refreshing and a solid offering during the warm months.

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Photo of Stobin
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Really like this style, don't know if this one is a good representation. Smell has a hint of what wine people call "pipi du chat", or cat piss. Didn't care for smell, but tastes much better. Really like this brewery, and most of its offerings, but this one falls a little flat for me. Will try on tap if given the chance, but won't buy in bottles again.

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Photo of tmm313
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looked good in the glass. Really nice lacing. The smell leaned more toward bready malts, but there was definitely some caramel and a light citrus/piney hop presence. Taste followed the nose pretty closely. Sweet and bready with notes of citrus, pine and spice. Mouthfeel was medium and lightly drying.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very clean, very light Pale Ale that has a nice hop profile of pine and herbal notes while delivering a light malt backdrop. The appearance is very light in its copper hue with a thin fizz for a head. The aromas are subtle with pine, floral notes and a touch of caramel. The flavor follows suit with a very clean light finish. This is a good example of a Pale Ale but does little to set itself apart.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured bottle into glass. 5.1% abv

Appearance- Semi clear amber with a thick fluffy head slow to dissipate.

Smell- Citrus aroma of oranges with floral characteristics. Biscuit notes mixed in as well.

Taste- Some slighty sweet bready/barley malt contrasts with a little bit of sweet caramel notes. Noticeable earthy hops sneak in later leaving for a bitter dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light but not too watery. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall- A decent and flavorful ale. Not super exciting but pretty basic. A good hop presence however. On the refrshing side too and easy drinking for a warm day. Also, hats off to Victory for advocating environmental stewardship and protecting waterways on the label on the bottle!

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Photo of Scrapss
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a cheater pint from the bottle.

A: Translucent with floaties. Golden radiance. Thin head dissipates to ring less than 1 mm and minimal lacing. Has a fairly active carbonation present.

S: Very tropical and a hair bit piney. Malt peeks in with very light, crackery malt that does not intrude on the hops. Yeast is very subdued and a light yeasty, toastiness or bread peeks in.

T: Bitter orange and tropical fruits yield to a light bread or cracker note. A slightly bitter, sour fruit/metallic swallow ensues, not unpleasant but pronounced.

M: Dry with a very pronounced creaminess. Ephermal on the palate from the carbonation and hop dryness and medium body lends itself to these factors too.

O: Very good example of the style. Not too bitter, not too over the top.

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Photo of SteveB24
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; clear amber, very little foam but large bubbles cling the side of the glass tightly.

smell; floral, slightly yeasty with a bit of a hop bite.

taste; citrus, floral notes, apple, slight alcohol taste.

mouthfeel; medium carbonation, light/ medium body, very crisp, slightly dry in the finish.

overall; a solid pale ale

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Pale is dead, long live the Pale!

As the classic taste of pale ale is taking on a renovation, it's shedding much of its malt sweetness in favor of a drier backbone. This happens as hop aroma, flavor and bitterness pulls substantially forward. Maybe they're not "session IPA". Maybe they're the new look of American Pale Ale.

Headwaters Pale Ale pours as any well-conceived one would- its copper and light bronze body shows glimpses of gold about its margins. As a steady stream of bubble race to the surface, a longstanding coat of froth presumes the beer's surface. As it trails with dotted rings, the beer sings the praises of all-things-pale.

Its racy scent favors the hop cone with unmistakable Pacific Northwest grapefruit and orange peels. Propped up with medium caramel and graham cracker-type dry bready-sweetness, the malt character offers stern support while still letting the hops shine. A turn to mint, fresh-cut grass and shaven pine complement the scent with earthy vegetative character.

Conversely its the graham cracker and caramel that greets the taste buds first. Its leading sweetness trends dry and lightly toasty while the pang of citrus rapidly grows in the middle. As a crescendo of citrus strikes, it immediately develops toward spicy, piney and pleasantly grassy finish with a piquant and resinous bitterness.

Medium-light on the palate, the sweetness lingers with the creaminess of carbonation momentarily. But once the hops resinous character sets in, the sweetness escapes and the hops close the show with its own sense of dryness to match that of minty-warm alcohol.

Echoes of toasted barley malt return as the stronghold of bitterness starts to relinquish. Its refreshing and satisfying taste isn't as IPA-ish as many. Headwaters retains its caramel "Pale" roots but also modernizing them.

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Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.