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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: 269 | 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 morimech
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by Sept 19 2011. Amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Some lacing is left on the glass.

Hoppy aroma of citrus and grass. What malt is detectable gives some toasted notes.

The malt makes more of an appearance in the flavor compared with the aroma. Caramel and toasted malt lays a solid foundation for the hops to play on. The hops have notes of citrus, grass, and a little earthiness. Quite a bit of hop flavor from the modest IBUs. Just a hint of sweetness in the finish.

Solid pale ale body. Good carbonation and texture.

A lot of flavor from relatively low IBUs and low ABV. Why can't more brewers do this.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber color with a thin, lager-like head. Fair lace and retention. Victory has some of the consistently brightest and most appealing labels by the way.

Extremely aromatic for an APA. Grains burst from the glass like a just crushed a few pounds of biscuit. Earthy, tobacco and mildly orange citrus hop. I smell blue balsam wood?

Smooth mouthfeel slightly bristling with hop resin. Earthy bitterness with some additional hop spice. Well balanced. Chalky.

Nice summer session beer.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a light tan-yellowish head.

S - Bread, citrus, and malts.

T - Sweet malts and carmels.

D - Low carbonation, light body overall.

O - Pretty average all around. Yawn, yawn.

Photo of nc41
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one very hoppy PA without the stinging bitterness of an IPA. Very fruity so you can get your hop fix even if your not a real IPA fan or want to cool on the bitter finish. Looks great. nice head, the nose isn't anything special, but much better than say Hop devil which IMO smells funky. This one is all about the hops, and the only other similar PA I've has would be Burning River. One really well done PA that gives you a nice fruity hop lick without crossing over into IPA territory. Worth a shot by any beer lover.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled labeled as best by Sept 19, 2011. Thank you Victory for dating! Pours a crystal clear light amber body with a nice two-finger ecru head. Good retention and good lacing.

Smells like hops! Better than many IPAs I've had. Pine resin up front with some citrus coming along as well. A little sweet malt follows.

Very good flavor blend of the bitter hop notes and malt. Still, enough pine and orange/grapefruit bitterness to compliment the malt. A bit of a sweet finish that combines some caramel flavor with some sweet tropical fruit.

Light mouthfeel that is extremely easy to enjoy. This is definitely one of the best APAs I've ever had.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Has a good orange / copper color when poured. 1 inch head that dissipates into a thin layer with nice lacing.

The nose is full of citrus and grapefruit hop notes with some caramel maltiness in the background. Flavorful bready malts with some grapefruit, citrus flavors as well. Has a nice mouthfeel with good carbonation.

A great, refreshing pale ale that goes down well in the summer months.

Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber, good head.

Smell: Mild citrus and grassy aromas.

Taste: Dry bitterness moves to a little sweeter citrus flavor. Later sips when it warms up some more give a little more caramel flavor.

Drinkability: Definitely an easy drinking pale ale. The dryness might lead to more drinking in a shorter time.

A quality pale ale from Victory. They make good beer, this is a nice pale ale, hits the target of being very drinkable. A nice alternate to Sierra Nevada or Summit pale ales.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dull orange with a good clarity reveals a fine micro-bubbly effervesce rising at a moderate pace. The head is thin, spongy, turning to a washy topping within a short lapse not leaving much in the way of lacing.

S: The aroma was fairly strong of pine and dry citrus that lingered on a bit. Touches of dried toffee and caramel from the specialty grains add a dry toasty compliment.

T: Toasted grains with a light dried caramel and dried toffee. Sticky pine, buttered crossiant with a small helping of alcohol warmth. The finish is dry hopped, grapefruit pulp and pine that lingers with a smooth dryness and spicy nature after the swallow.

M: Nice tingle of carbonation, especially around the tongues edges. Creamy texture, dry with a spicy bite of hops.

O: Overall a nicely hopped pale that doesn’t forget its malt base. Nicely balanced, good drinkability, and one that is definitely six pack and repeat worthy, what’s not to like.

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

Poured a brassy gold with a small white head that faded rather quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.
Nice brisk carbonation and aclean looking beer.
Nice hints of hops in the nose. Citric...resiny with sweet malts doing the balancing act. Come through nicely.
Taste is very nice. This beer, as well as all Victory beers, has the signiture house flavor. This in my opinion is a very nice thing. I love Victory.
Taste is very well balances with the hopsand malts pretty equal.
Mouthfeel very nice as well.
Not a big hitter DIPA, but one very pleasant session pale ale one could drink all night!

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

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a pale tan head that has just a tinge of golden amber. Aroma is rather hoppy, almost more like an IPA than a regular ale, with a malty underpinning and a hint of citrus. Rich flavor has a nice balance of malt and hops with grassy, fruity and honey hints. This ale is very drinkable! Texture is smooth and quite pleasantly fizzy. Recommended.

Photo of BLove
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, light orange hue with thick cottony head, small bits of lacing.

Citrus & floral hop aromas with sweet malt undertones.

Tastes like....VICTORY. No big surprises here...citrus hops are bitter but balanced nicely with sweet & crisp malts. Medium body & avg carbonation...just enough, not too much.

Well done & enjoyable pale ale...think I'll pour myself another. ;)

Photo of generalnotsew
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick cottony white head. Body is very dark orange/amber color. For the abv and the style it looks exceptional. Smell is sweet grassy, earthy, pineapple, caramel malts. Very potent in the nose with all these pleasant smells. Nice clean hop bite upfront. Mellows out into a smooth caramel malt. Not as good as the smell but still leaps and bounds above a lot of pales. Taste is also grassy with a bit of grapefruit. Very oily and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall this is one the best Pale Ales I have ever had. Very clean and refreshing. Should be a real summertime crowd pleaser!

Photo of detlefchef
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I suppose there's a cap on how "exceptional" a beer like this can be. Mostly because I don't think it sets out to be "exceptional". So, with that in mind, I suppose I can understand the good but not great reviews.

And, I guess, that explains why I'm not giving it 5s all across, because I certainly could were I simply judging it on how well it does what it should do.

I mean, assuming the goal was to produce a delicious and sessionable brew that goes down easy but reminds you that you're drinking something tasty, then I've got to say they nailed it.

Honestly, this beer was love at first sip for me and I could drink a vat of it were I more thirsty.

Juicy malts set off by lively but not over-aggressive hops.

Is the new standard bearer as far as I'm concerned for the modern American Pale ale.

Photo of celticfutblclub
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

twelve-y poured into a pint glass.

comes out a nice shade of orange with a pure white head that has great retention and decent lacing. the nose is powerful and full of doughy malts with oily hops citrus and grapefruit. tongue picks up doughy malts again with a piny hop character to it. its pretty good but nothing too amazing. this is a light bodied brew with medium carbonation. not too much of a hop bite on this which is good. overall its a decent beer but nothing that i'd go out of my way to find.

Photo of Ahoyhoyindeed
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light amber, couldn't tell too much in the bottle

Smell: Slightly sweet

Taste: Light and slightly sweet with a brief hop bite

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light and crisp

Overall: Been drinking a lot of pale ales recently and this is the best so far.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Grapefruit mostly and other citrus with a light bready malt.

L: Crystal clear orange with 1/8 inch creamy off-white head, solid lacing.

T: Bitter hoppiness up front with a medium malty sweetness. This is quickly erased by a medium high citrus bitterness, quite bitter. Some toasty sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Solid, quite bitter and hoppy for a pale ale.

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Taste: caramel and floral and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied, sweet with a distinct bitter backbone and a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: An ok pale ale. I could have a couple of these, but this one really does not stick out. If you love hops, try it, but I will pass on this one in the future

Photo of mattcrill
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Complex malty aromatics that include bready, crusty, and light caramel notes. Mild floral hop aromas. Clean fermentation character. No esters noted.

Appearance: Clear amber pour with sudsy white head. Still looking in the glass.

Flavor: More malt driven character that reminds me of wheat bread, buckwheat pancakes, and dark grain flavors. Balance is nearly even with a slight lean towards the malt. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No astringency noted. Clean on the palate.

Overall impression: A definitively malt-driven American pale ale. Too malt forward to be truly American. Not enough malt character or English hop character to be English. Fits in the style space between American hoppy and English malt driven. Well done but nothing outstanding for me to want to try again.

Photo of Cresant
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. bottle in a Sam Adams glass. Date was unreadable. The body was clear and golden. The head left only a few veins of lace.

The smell was grainy. Damp hay too.

The taste was more like an IPA to me. grainy malts but also some bold leafy hops. Finishes with a grapefruit pith bitterness that dries the mouth.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a coarse texture that I really liked. Plenty of carbonation. This one is a keeper.

Photo of powellmg
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served @ 40F in a pint glass.

Poured with a spare, off-white head, quickly gone. Clear, orange color. Subtle, hoppy aroma of orange and honey. Medium bitterness, mineral taste supported by toasted malt. Some sweetness behind the hops. Dry, lingering finish. Lighter-bodied, average carbonation. Well-balanced and drinkable. A good session beer.

Photo of omnigrits
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pored into a straight pint glass.

A. A very pleasing amber/light copper colour with a white head. Nice lace.

S. Almost non-existent. Virtually no aroma, but what little there is feels very APA-like. Some malty grain and a hint of citrusy hops.

T. Much better. Malt and hops in near perfect balance with a good but not overstated bitter finish.

M. Medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

O. A decent pale ale, very drinkable, quite subtle. I could easily see myself drinking this all evening. Very tasty.

Photo of sdsurfer217
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Purchased this beer because of the headwaters program. I'm always down to support a good cause.

A: Copper/orange color. Half finger worth of clean white head. Pretty sexy looking beer.

S: Citrus, hoppy, almost sweet smelling. There’s something else that I can’t put my finger on, but it smells delicious

T: Almost a caramelized orange flavor, a little bit of biscuity/toast. Touch of hops linger

M: Not very carbonated and a little thin.

O: Pretty drinkable Pale Ale. Not bad, but also not remarkable. I would probably buy this again because it goes toward a good cause and the beer is decent.

Photo of DannyDan
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a golden body with a thick white head that disappears rather quickly. The retention is very good, and has good lacing on the side of the beer. Has an earthy hops with a sweet malt in the nose. The taste starts out with some caramel malts followed by some floral, pine and citrus hops. It is a very crisp clean smooth creamy mouth feel to it that leaves the mouth slightly dry. A very smooth well made beer that has a great taste to it and one I can see myself enjoying for many years to come.

Photo of orangesol
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours clear amber orange with a bubbly one finger tall white head leaving small, sticky, rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, dulled citric hops, biscuity malt, and some dull citric fruit. Something tells me this is a bit past its prime.

T - Starts off with a good bit of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of chewy malt and dulled citric hops. The hops are nearly gone in this one as it seems to be well past its prime. Finish is mostly malty sweetness with just the faintest hint of hop bitterness, lingering for a short period of time.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Starts off with a nice creamy feel quickly fading to a dull, slick, feel in the finish.

O - I had one of these on cask a month or two ago and it was very good. Something tells me this one is from that same back, just much older. I still enjoyed it for what it was.

Photo of Wadsey
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Victory Headwaters 

Served in a Terry Abner Salon signature glass

A: Pours as shiny copper with decent head that sadly has poor retention. Still, a nice stream of bubbles rise through the beer. 

S: Hops smell pungent and lively, evoking citrus and tropical fruit, especially passion fruit. A little marijuana. Malts throw biscuity aromas.

T: Unfortunately, the above characteristics are not as sharp in taste. Cracker-like malts with a hint of steely caramel.  General fruity and a little spicy hops. Medium-high bitterness. The beer is dry. Weeds and citrus peels in finish.  

M: Medium-light body and medium carbonation. The beer would be smooth except somewhat harsh weedy finish. 

O: Victory Headwaters strikes me as a decent pale ale whose overall score is hurt by a relatively harsh finish. I will probably revisit this beer, particularly if I find it on tap. 

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