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Headwaters Pale Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,215 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,215
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 61
Gots: 242 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Headwaters Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,215 | Reviews: 544 | Display Reviews Only:
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. 

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a semi-transparent golden orange with bright honey highlights. Not very hazy at all. A thick head with a slight orange frothy hue is born from the pour. The head retains its crown masterfully. Unreliable lacing dots the glass. Looks quite attractive.

S-There is a pretty strong hop character in the nose. The hops remind me of a dulled-down version of Titan IPA from Great Divide. I have read a few reviews about this brew before, and the word earthy is commonly used in the nose. I agree. The malts balance out the hops well but in the nose, I would sway this beer a bit closer to the side of the hops. But balance is very close.

T-A unique flavor. The hops have a bunch of citrus, more lemony than orange. I also get a strong flavor of cereal, quite like Corn Flakes. The interesting scents in the nose are expressed in the flavor. A long, clean grassy finish rounds out the flavor. There are some awesome hop flavors, but they're not very bitter. The flavor is bright, and the malt backs up the other tastes well.

M-Medium bodied. A bit slick and creamy too. Light carbonation. Only mildly dry, but quite crisp in the end despite the initial creamy feel.

O/D-I have heard mixed reviews both on BA and by those I know who have tried it. I must say that I think Headwaters is a damn good Pale Ale. I only bought a single, but would not have been disappointed if I had bought a 6-pack. High drinkability. Hoppy enough to keep me interested but not too heavy, which makes this a great warm weather beer. I would absolutely love this beer in a can. Not your average APA. Worth a try? Yes.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

I've somehow not yet tried this pale from Victory. How'd that happen? It pours a clear straw-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises dark greens, egg yolk, caramel, flowers, and light leek. Not sure where that egg-y smell's coming from, but it's not helping things at all. The taste holds notes of greens, flowers, toffee, leek, grass, and grapefruit rind. Everything tastes kinda dusty, kinda dirty... The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, I'm not sure what went wrong with this beer. It's still a few months before it's Best By date, it doesn't seem officially skunked...it's just not very good. Hm.

Photo of mjrod2142
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass

The beer poured clean with a bright, orange-pumpkin-looking color with a slight hint of haze. A soft, off-white head quickly formed and left nice lacings inside the glass as it dissipated.

The aroma offers an immediate burst of grapefruit. The smell is very crisp and clean, with some bite of fresh-cut grass.

The taste gives you exactly what the smell does: a sharp grapefruit note that softens out to a malty finish. The mouthfeel is excellently smooth and rich without being heavy. Perfect carbonation.

If you love good hops, this American Pale Ale is for you. Highly recommended.

Photo of Florida9
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoy by Aug 22 2011

A: Clear darker amber. Forms a weak bubbly head with little retention. Head sort of just clings to the side of the glass. Little lacing.

S: An odd stink. Eggy. Flat out unappetizing. This has to be one of the worst smelling beers I've ever had.

T: Thankfully better than the aroma, but not by much. Earthy, grassy, and dirty with a moderate bitterness.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. A little syrupy, but otherwise fine.

O: I do not know what is going on with this beer. It is just wrong. It is well within the "enjoy by" date so it should be fresh enough not to be skunked. But the aroma was horrid while the flavor just wasn't much better. Really just not a very good beer and not one I enjoyed drinking.

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 24 June 2011
Glass: Ithaca English-style pint glass
Type: 12fl bottle

Poured gently, brief 1+ finger head, reduces to a light cap, fairly nice draped lacing, color is clear amber gold

Aroma is wonderfully floral, paired with touches of pine, and a quick wisp of grapefruit.

Taste is incredible for a session beer 5.1% (at least I believe it's of session quality). Taste begins with a lightly floral bitter hops, a touch of pine, and a pale malt backbone. Possibly the slightest touch of lemon, but very brief.

Mouthfeel is extremely crisp, like a quick spike. Doesn't leave a bitterness on the palate. A lemony flavor lasts few a few seconds. Light-bodied beer, great for hop-heads that don't want to spend a lot of money, and want a sessionable beer. Good job again, Victory.

Photo of mooselvlt
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Very clear deep gold color with a nice 2 fingers of off tan head. Excellent retention with nice lacing.

S - Subtle, good citrus hops mixing with malt backbone. Neither overtake the other.

T - A nice mix of malts and hops, much like the nose. The hops are there but leave a very light lingering bitterness, not overpowering

M - Medium bodied, very smooth with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable. I could see having this as a session brew. .

O - Very solid, drinkable pale ale. Really glad I tried it. This was the last one to go into my mixer 6er today.

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

A - Pours an amber color with moderate carbonation and a very thin white layer and lacing ring covering the top of the beer.

S - For an APA, the aroma is very nice, up front, and has some pungency to it which is refreshing after having too many pale ales with nothing going on in the nose. Light caramel malt and spicey citrus, the hop aroma is almost vinous in nature.

T - Earthy with some floral citrus bite, balanced, and there's a little bit of pine mixed in there. The malt comes through in a biscuity kind of way.

M - Light medium body, somewhat creamy, a little grainy, and lots of prickly carbonation on the tongue.

O - Of the APA's I've had, this one stands near the top. The style isn't one of my favorites, but this one is very solid.

Photo of Stanhagen
2.28/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited when victory released this pale ale as its one of my favorite styles. the beer pours, looks, and smells nice, however, there is a funky aftertaste that I can't get around. I can understand that it might appeal to some but in the eastern pa/philly area there are some great Pale Ales being produced (troegs, yards, philly brewing, etc). while i'd still list victory as one of my favorite breweries this was a serious let down.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is a copper color, with a thin, foamy head, white as snow. The aroma is wet, green hops and semisweet caramel malt. Flavors are roasted and toasted caramel sweet, with peppery hops and loads of cedar green characteristics. The aftertaste is syrupy sweet, with a bitter hops presence. The beer's finish is semi-dry and bitter. Very tasty.

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

Poured from twelve oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours copper with some foam that settles out. No lacing. Piney hoppy smell. Malty taste. Up front hop bite oily through the middle fades out. Smooth. Watery in a good way. Thin carbonation some grapefruit notes. Overall good beer.

Photo of HosP
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TroyG for this beer. Poured 12 oz into pint glass.

A- Pours a nice shade of dark orange, almost amber. Very clear. Nice white head caps it off but does not stick around.

S- Very nice citrus hop aroma right off the bat. Some floral hop notes mixed into the nose. Smells a little sweet.

T- Taste is sweeter than expected. Balances nicely with the bitterness from the hops. Subtle citrus and floral hops throughout. Don't come through as the nose would believe.

M- Lighter beer with moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

O- Very nice, easy going beer. This is a very good summer beer. Flavors aren't as bold, but very easy to drink. Low abv would allow to put down a few of these at once. Thanks Troy!

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

Malt is quite pronounced. Smell of multigrain bread - think there's some rye in here.

Nice balance of malt and hops - the latter of which are 'standard fare' (by that I mean not floral, citrusy or otherwise).

I think this is a nice mix between an American pale and English pale. Not sure if this is because I'm drinking it on cask, but it definitely seems to affect the overall experience!

Photo of thomasdlynch
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured out of 12oz bottle, really nice copper color with decent lacing

S: grapefruit, citrus scents but otherwise couldn't pick up much

T: hoppy taste balanced by malt won't make you pucker with a slight bitterness at the finish

M: crisp and clean, not too hoppy or too sweet

O: very drinkable and with a relatively low ABV great for enjoying a few on a summer afternoon as I did

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Light caramel colored pour, good clarity, good head. Best by Sep something 11 date. Nice hoppy aroma, not picking out the specific hop varieties, but whatever the meld, it was enjoyable and even keeled to not be able to say it leaned pine or citrus wise.

Taste, starts off good, carbonation, hops, mild sweet caramel malt, average bitterness. Swallow. Wait for it, ugh, what is that aftertaste in this? Slightly off flavor. Not horrible, just not pleasant like everything else about the beer. Its fresh, it still has 3 more months on it before the best by date, and the hopping is there. The only possible descriptor that came up was like, you know those biscuits that come in the pressurized metal containers that pop open when you depress a spoon on them? This had a like, stale, metallic bitter, biscuit aftertaste really ruined an otherwise pleasurable beer.

Photo of philbe311
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A billowing pour that leaves to fingers worth of uber fluffy cloud like pure white head... The color is a caramelly amber... The carbonation doesn't rise as much as it sticks to the sides of the glass... Loads of lacing cling to the glass all the way around...

S - The aroma is very muted... Some caramel... Some bready malts... Some earthy hop aromas... Some citrus... Simple and straight forward...

T - The palette follows closely to the aroma... Nothing too surprising here... Just enough flavor to keep it interesting... Bready malts... Citrus... Some caramel...

M - Uber smooth... Light to medium bodied... A bit creamy... Delicate... Delectable... Very nice...

D - Very quaffable... Very sessionable... A very easy going accessible American Pale Ale for most with just enough flavor and character to keep it interesting for beer geeks... Will gladly welcome into the beer fridge in the future, but not more than 6-pack form...

Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown twist off bottle served into a pint glass. Pours a copper golden with half an inch of white foam and a hint of haze. Decent retention and lacing with a steady boil of carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Nose of citric hops and some balanced graininess along with some background earthy and floral aromas particularly with agitation. Offers some mildly odd aromas on occasion.

Taste is smooth with a citric finish and a light balancing bitterness. Finish is a bit tea like with citrus and flower notes, though a bit short and watery in the delivery, constraining the overall experience.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$8.50 sixer from Liquor Outlet, Boonton.

Appearrance is just classic. Crystal clear bold gold body, topped by two fingers of snow white various sized bubbles.

Pleasant citrus aroma, not at all harsh, very inviting.

Firm semi-sweet caramel base coats the tongue. A good blast of bitterness follows with an undercoating of juicy fruit. Nice clean finish with just a slight malt/hop mix trading off in the afterglow. Extremely well balanced.

Overall, highly drinkable. Victory celebrates its anniversary by going to the style that built the craft beer movement and makes a dandy.

Photo of Stunner97
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- typical of the pale ale style with good crisp carbonation and thin white head quickly faded,

Smell- very nice hop smell really dominates the smell profile

Taste- its certainly has a nice firm hoppy finish but this beer does have good balance of malt up front and that really makes things balanced, in terms of flavor i really enjoyed this beer its got a alot of hops but really the balance is perfect

Mouthfeel- good light to medium bodied and quite smooth, all in good balance

Drinkability/overall- overall i think this beer was extremely drinkable and the keyword here was balance , they managed to use to the right amount of hop ratio to malt and just perfect balance, this to me would make a great session beer that I will probably go to from time to time, just a beer i think a beer that is complex enough yet simple enough to make you want drink it through the night, good showing by victory for a solid pale ale

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

Amber color with nice carbonation. Rich hoppy aroma and light citrus and fruiy sneak through. Initial taste is smooth and hoppy like a mellow IPA and then your palet quickly clears. definitly a very unique pale ale. Great beer for warn spring or warm sunner day.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice clear copper with a bright-white head. It's a little rocky and there's a touch of lacing, but nothing serious going on here.

Smell: Faint touches of bread crust and a slight earthiness blend with some citrus notes from the hops. Caramel malts sneak through as well, adding a touch of sweetness to everything. Very clean with no lingering bitterness or sweetness.

Taste: Matches the nose with some apple notes creeping around the edges. A nice damp earthiness is complimented by the slight citrus note of the hops. Bread crust lingers while the sweetness fades. Definitely a stronger fix on the malts as they provide most of the flavor, with hops adding a harmonizing note in the overall taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body holds a solid carbonation. Nothing crazy going on here, but that's exactly what I expected.

Overall: Nicely drinkable and refreshing. It's a nice take on the style from Victory. Very clean and balanced.

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,215 ratings.