Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

559 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 2,359
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 76
Gots: 365 | 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: 2,359
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. Named for the source of the water used in brewing Victory's beers - the Brandywine creek.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of fruity hops, pine, a hint of citrus, sweet caramel malt and earthy yeast. Very nice.

Tastes of spicy aromatic hops and sweet malt, with a crisp bitter finish. Notes of pine, grapefruit, peel, citrus, grass/hay, caramel, barley sugar, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A tangy bitterness envelops the tastebuds upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body but lacklustre carbonation. Slightly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of pine resin, bitter hops and mild caramel.

A tasty brew - goes down nicely. Looks alright, with a fantastic aroma/flavour of hops and sweet caramel malt. Decent body, though more effervescence would add texture. Reminds me somewhat of SNPA, which is a pretty good endorsement. Could happily drink a few of these. Worth sampling if you come across it. (1,197 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color. Amber around the top. Lots of visible carbonation. Creamy white head with nice retention. Some striated lace

Smells of biscuits and slightly grainy. Fresh oranges. Some honey. Lots of estery yeast character. Faintly metallic. Some spice too but a lot of sweetness

Taste starts off with some peppery spice. Biscuity malts with some traces of honey or caramel. Hops kick in with some juicy grapefruit. Herbal bitterness works well with the fruity esters. Very nicely balanced. Finishes a bit spicy

Feels smooth and medium-bodied. Crisp with carbonation and spice

Overall a classic in my book. I find that many pale ales - even the good ones - fall flat for me. I'll find myself saying that something's "good for a pale." This is a great beer. True to style, yet different enough to stand out and be known (833 characters)

Photo of zookerman182
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous amber orange color in the glass with a one finger head that vanished quickly.
Aroma is hoppy and yeasty with no malt and maybe A hint of metallic.
Flavor is piney and a little bitter and still yeasty. Very lightly carbonated almost like a light beer but with a hoppy flavor. Not a complex beer at all and doesn't get better as it warms. But a simple solid version of a pale ale. Not my favorite frm victory but its a sessionable ale. (442 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Innis & Gunn flute from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick head which dissipated quickly and almost completely. Little carbonation evident, appears flat.

t: Sharp metallic up front, reminds me of early craft beer which often seemed to taste of the metal tanks. Brief floral follow up is nice, but then the taste flattens out to just bitter beer. Not flat though, some carbonation.

m: Moderate.

o: Not much going for this other than being somewhat darker colored with some evident hop presence. The initial metallic tinge leaves a poor first impression. Thought it might be an old bottle, but the only possible information are numbers on the bottom, 30610-B1-1731, which are not in the format which Dating Beer reports. .

In any event I still love their IPAs.

UPDATE 11.11.13 Had another from the same sixpack, which seemed to lack the offending metallic tinge of the first. Still finding it rather undistinguished, but then by now I am spoiled by so many good brews. Reminded me somewhat of Sam Adams Vienna Lager, which is generally available for less money, although the Victory may have had a bit more hops presence than Sam's. Did not see much reason to upgrade my ratings enough to make a very significant difference. (1,263 characters)

Photo of ChrisMyhre
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz. bottle. Best by December 2013.

a: Light copper color,billowy head with some lacing.

s: Hoppier than expected. Very little malt.

t: Hoppy, light malt but very flavorful.

m: Heavier than expected, nice smooth, easy drinking beer.

o: Great drinkable beer, very non-pretentious but flavorful. Great APA. (347 characters)

Photo of BeerMark
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this sixer at Derk's Fillet & Vine in Montgomery Alabama. My goodness, Alabama has come a long way in the last few years. I'm seeing world class beers sitting beside some great local selections. There's not much else that I can add to the reviews that are not here already. Headwaters Pale Ale is delicious. It's malty and hoppy and the combination of flavors is great. A very nice pale pale ale for times an IPA may be too much. Will be buying again. (455 characters)

Photo of herr_fish
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into pint glass, getting close to expiration date so it is probably better than i am reviewing
app- appropriate copper hue for an pa, minimal head on my pour which disappeared quickly
smell- smells great, like a pale ale should, that hoppy smell thats set my mouth to watering, i'll save you the microanalysis of describing what typed of citrus is smells like
taste- delivers what one is looking for in a pale ale. the hop punch we addicts seek, but balanced enough to be all-night drinkable.
mouthfeel- a touch thin for my preference, but not objectionable at all. good carbonation but not '"fizzy"
overall- we have a winner here. wish my local tavern had this one on tap. gives you exactly what you are looking for in a pale ale. not a mind blowingly great beer, but definitely one to put into your regular rotation. good hop flavor, yet with balance, and an abv that you can have more than one (or serveral) of. (936 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger cap; decent lacing action

Smell: Grass and grapefruit with a biscuity base

Taste: A hint of the biscuity underpinnings and then the hops take over, bringing both grass and grapefruit in moderation; a bit of a mineral character, after the swallow, though the hops remain prominent

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Tremendous balance in this beer; this is the kind of beer to settle down with while watching a football game - enjoyable but happy to stay in the background rather than be in your face with every sip (597 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Golden orange pour. The head is a half finger and white. Retention isn't great, but it hangs on with a little lacing.

S- Floral hop in a good battle with some grainy malt as well. A little citrus comes out of the nose as well.

T- Some grain malt, once again, in a battle with some hop. This time more earthy and piney. Some citrus peel bitterness in there, too.

M- Medium light body. A bit of some fizz. Finish is a tad bitter.

O- A very fresh and decently balanced ale. I love the simultaneous aromas and tastes of both malt and hop. (579 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles can be seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Grapefruit, tangerine, orange, tropical, and caramel.

Taste: Herbal, grassy, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, pineapple, caramel, and bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, lingering hop bitterness, , light bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid APA. Nice hop flavor and balance with caramel and bready malts. (546 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear golden amber with a scant head of bone white foam that fell fast to a cap and ring. Left nice lace and constantly refreshed. In the right light has an orange hue.

Nose is out of this world. Citrus, lemon and orange with apple behind that. Light malt sweetness, grains and light bread. Generous spice, sweetly floral and herbal.

Taste follows the nose all the way. Citrus twang greets you first followed by a light sweet malt. Cereal grains carry it to the back with an earthly presence and a healthy helping of spice to tingle on the tongue. Ample carbonation lightens the body. Mouthfeel is sticky, creamy, crisp and light. The apple is sweet and tart like a good apple should be. Lingers whole in the aftertaste with no one characteristic able to be separated from the others. Terrific balance and the aftertaste has a slight mineral quality.

This is one of the best pale ales you will have. It's refreshing, it's delicious, it's well made and you want to have it always in your refrigerator. It's confident and brisk. (1,038 characters)

Photo of horshamguy
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.
A--Deep golden, a bit cloudy. Small head that didn't last long, but left a decent amount of lacing.
S--Vague floral & herbal notes. Hoppiness is quite apparent.
T--Yummy. Hoppy without being one of the trendy hop bombs. Citrus and floral. Not as much maltiness as I'd like to see for balance, but still fantastic.
M--Tart from the hops and a bit of a tannic finish. Crisp is an understaement, it's tart. A little creamy and quenching.
O--Excellent. Another example of a high quality craft brew from Victory. These guys just can't miss. (578 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden color, slight haze. Creamy white head retains at a quarter of an inch. Thin sticky rings of lacing.

S: Floral, citrus pith, grains, light toast and caramel.

T: Very floral, touch of lemon and white grapefruit pith, mild bitterness. Solid malt base of caramel, toast, and toffee. Slight minerality, a touch brothy. Toasty grain and fading oily, green and spicy hops on the finish.

M: Lightish medium body. Nice malt backbone, firm, creamy. Moderate prickling carbonation. Very smooth.

O: A very well balanced American Pale. Too easy to drink. Shows more layers and complexity than the average APA. (651 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a stemmed tulip glass.

A- Bright copper-orange color. The head is off-white in color and measures 1-finger, it tapers to a thick film with staying power. Not much lacing. It looks good.

S-Nice blend of citra hop goodies, citrus and pine. There's strong malt, almost whiskey-like with the noticeable presence of alcohol factored in.

T-Spicy, citrus, big malt backbone. Some alcohol in those tastes. Earthy pine.

M- It loses a little here, a bit thin. The sweet malt and alcohol give the hops a run for the finish. The hop bitterness holds up, though.

O- I like it. Pale ales that push toward the IPA are all right with me. (641 characters)

Photo of 312HopBomb
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A burnt amber color that is clear with a slight eggshell cap and little lacing.

Aroma that is slightly fruity with pine sap hops..

Taste begins with a blast of hop bitterness that is dry with some acidity. No tropical or citrus that I was expecting, just a sharp bitterness that lingers. Doesn't taste fresh.

Mouthfeel is medium with light/medium carbonation.

I was disappointed with this because I it's a Citra hop brew that does not compare to the Zombie. (461 characters)

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)

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