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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

563 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 563
Hads: 2,378
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 80
Gots: 374 | 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: 563 | Hads: 2,378
Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headwaters Pale Ale has the customary perfectly clear, toasty golden complexion. Its otherwise ordinary, standard sized head leaves intricate and unique patterns of lacing that would require the investigation of a blood-splatter analyst to make sense of.

This pale ale smells like it's been schvitzing for a month in some kind of hop bathhouse. The smell of actual hops - by which I mean the actual buds you pick from those tall vine plants - combines with the conventional smell of boiled hops - the more citrusy and floral effervescence found, not in nature, but in beer. Malts have been lost in the shuffle.

By using a blend of Citra and Centennial hops you're practically begging for fruity, citrusy, floral flavours to dominate your beer; indeed, they have. Notes of passion fruit, rose water, lemon and gooseberry prevail over an (all German) malt bill that is so clean and efficient that it hardly allows its dry, crisp, communion wafer-like taste to be noticed.

Despite the whole flower hop aroma and an ample dosage of kettle hops, this beer is considerably tempered; the bitterness doesn't get too out of hand and the hops brush the palate with the lightness of a feather, rather than falling on it like an iron anvil. The finish is expressly floral, as if I've eaten been eating flower petals all this time.

Victory Brewing is as constant as the north star. It's no surprise that their pale ale turned out as solid as everything else in their lineup. Its delicately floral, fruity hoppiness showcases that there is beauty in simplicity and that you don’t have to read Walden to find heaven in nature. This is definitely no ego-stroking anniversary beer - it's the kind of flavourful, characterful, quality brew this brewery made a name for themselves with. (1,777 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 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 akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle accompanying my sub from Zeek's.

A: The pale ale is pale, a lighter amber color that looks like tea. Quite clear, the condensation on the outside of the glass being the only impediment. A finger of white head disappeared quickly and left no traces behind.

S: The pale ale has a well-balanced aroma, equal parts biscuit and citrus hops. The hoppy grapefruit aromas are floral and sit nicely atop the malts.

T: Very piquant, the spiciness of the hops hits a surprisingly high note. The hops have grapefruit sweetness that flicks at my tastebuds, a sharp bitterness. Caramel and biscuit are nearly as flavorful, matching most all of the hops. An excellent pale ale.

M: Balance is the key, equal parts hop and malt, bready and biting. A comfort beer. I'm glad that Victory finally listened to the masses. (819 characters)

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/28/11
*From notes

A: Clean orange amber. A decent pour yields a 1.5 finger head and solid lacing.

S: Piney hops. A bit of malt too, though more then anything else, this smells exceedingly resiny.

T: Again, that piney resin comes through first. As it opens, there's a bit of that patented citra hop juiciness. The finish is packed with a malty backbone and really adds balance to the beer.

M: Richer then expected. Creamy and frothy, it feels like a beer twice it's ABV.

O: Victory's Headwaters Pale Ale is one of the better (albeit newer) entries into the APA style. If you like hop forward APA's, then I highly recommend checking this out when über-fresh, as the hops show significantly better. I foresee myself knocking off sixers of this stuff on the regs. Well done, Victory. (830 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

STOP THE PRESSES>>>This beer is F'ing A....F'ing awesome! A very nice flavored yet subtle pale ale. Victory hit the mark for me! A wonderful tasting pale ale that does not linger nor leaves a brutle bitterness and super elevated ABV. The color was copper in color...the white was very thin and not a lot of lace. The nose was heavy with grapefruit with subtle pine. The taste absolutely followed suit...awesome balance! Mouthfeel was great....SESSION!!! (462 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +1%
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. (946 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (254 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a soapy off-white cap, some spotty lacing, decent head retention. Intense hop aroma, fruity grapefruit rind, citrus zest, a bit spicy, with just a little toasty malt in the background. Hop bitterness was sharp, maybe due to the light body and mild malt sweetness. A little spicy, lots of fruity citrus, a bit earthy. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. Overall I liked it, but it did tread very close to being overly aggressive in hop character. (496 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a pale golden orangish color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is exactly what I expect for a good American Pale Ale. Pale malts with citrusy hops make up the nose.

T- The taste like the aroma is pale malts up front with a good dose of citrusy hops in the finish creating a nice amount of lingering bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I enjoyed this beer. It has everything I want in a Pale Ale. It is not going to knock your socks off, but it is a solid beer that is highly drinkable. (596 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (863 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 5, 2012.

The pour is about medium amber with lively carbonation and a head that diminishes quickly.

The aroma starts out with pale malts, caramel, and raising but the hops really penetrate the senses taking over the scent.

Medium body.

The taste is somewhat sweet but the hops tend to be thje dominating factor here. That is not a bad thing but I like my American Pales to be a little less bitter. (447 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with a thick head into my glass. The head recedes, leaving some lacing on the edges.

Aroma contains a slight hint of biscuit malt with some grassy hops. Very clean and basic.

Lots of grassiness upfront with very little malt underneath. Not much appeal otherwise.

Finishes clean with lingering grassiness. Meh.

My overall impression is that it's a very basic, yet unimpressive example of the style. I was expecting more flavor. (456 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, medium bronze color with good bubblng. The head on teh other hand is about one finger after the pour, and disappears before I take my first sip.

Faint grass and mild citric hop aromas of orange and grapefruit. Good toasted biscuit and bread crust sniff from the malt.

The taste starts with calcium rich water and then toasted mlats. Caramel, biscuits, toasted cracker, make up a solid bodied middle. The middle to the finish has the hops coming into scene with orange rind, grass, and cucumber skins. The cucumber just makes think of the slight bitterness I get when I take a bite into a cucumber slice with the skin still on.

Palate is a a nice dry and wet. Dry from the hard water flavor, and wet for the quenching finish. Not a bad session APA. (759 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a small pub in western Mass. This is a very clear and filtered beer, light copper color with a few fingers of foam. There's some light citrus on the nose, with a grain base behind it. And it tastes just how it smells, a touch of citrus with a pale malt backbone, in other words a very approachable pale ale. Light-medium carbonation, very drinkable. Recommended! (372 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Bookhouse Pub in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and floral hops with hints of tropical fruits all backed by a slightly grainy pale malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the hops aren't as robust. Slightly dry pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus hops. Midway through the sip the citrus hops fade a bit and allow sweeter tropical fruit flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another outstanding low-ABV beer from Victory. Well worth a shot. (865 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Clear dark gold colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/lemons mixed with some light pineapple. It ends with a sweet malty and fruity aftertaste with a touch of hop bitterness.

Overall – Really delicious stuff that I could see myself drinking a lot of in 1 sitting. It has a nice well rounded taste that isn't potent but remains interesting throughout. I'd buy it again. (733 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 5/9/11.

A - A copper clear pour with a one finger head which left nice side lacing.

S - Kinda lackluster here. Typical hoppy (grapefruit) notes with a little bit of sweet malts.

T - More of the same. Everything seems somewhat dull and muted. The hops are there, as is the malts, but theres nothing complex about it at all.

M - Its not bad, decent carbonation for the style. It still feels a bit watery though.

O - This isnt a bad example of an APA, just nothing to write home about. Enjoy a better APA for a better price. (568 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are initially bright and citrusy hops ; lemon and grapefruit are prominent. Lesser tropical notes with some biscuity and light caramel malt notes.
The taste begins with a decent biscuity maltiness. Bitterness is strong with orange and lemon hop flavors; some light floral and grassy flavors as you sip further.
The mouthfeel is surprising full for such a light ABV beer; medium carbonation and some hoppy stickiness before a crisp, dry finish.
Overall this is a very good pale ale from Victory. Nothing revolutionary or mind-blowing but a good sessionable Saturday day drinkin' and grillin' beer. Recommended indeed (622 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find it weird that I never seen a bottle. Got this as a free birthday beer at the Mad Mex during happy hour! I was so happy!

A - Poured glorious golden orange, darker than expected for a pale ale with a nice inch of head on top.

S - Smells pretty timid. I got some Amarillo hops, slight malt and a bit of grain. Doesn't smell too bitter so that's a plus.

T - It's weird but it's kind of like a lighter version of Dales Pale ale. You get a mild aggressiveness from the hops and bitterness from grains and then it finishes sweet with a gram cracker malt. Balanced and tasty.

M - I did find it a bit light bodied but it just might have been since I had a Mojo Risin before this so maybe it had a medium body but drank light.

Overall I really enjoyed this offering from Victory and to me it was the definition of a session ale. Moderate ABV, smooth taste and little bite with just enough to take another sip. Hopefully I can find six packs someday! (951 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light amber color and a somewhat hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A slightly muted smell of hops, malt, and a piney quality.

T: Tasted of pine hops, malt, and a little bit of citrus. A decent enough flavor, but a bit on the thin side. Granted, APAs aren't exactly known for their complexity. Still, not too bad.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Not a bad beer, and drinkable, but not really all that memorable. (555 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: sweet malts, hops, dry bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin / medium body

drinkability: was hoping for a bit more out of victory, this beer is just not doing it for me unfortunately.

cheers,

the CPJ (318 characters)

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

Maybe third time's the charm, like they say? Best by Aug 17, 2011

A crystal clear light amber with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a disk leaving patchy lacing. The nose has a rather unique hop profile. So catty I could swear there's Amarillo in there, along with some Cascade? A pungent grapefruit and citrus rind character is also present. The 100% German malt character is interesting with this hop schedule. Rich, bready and biscuit-like but still light and aromatic, I really like the combination.

Decidedly East Coast in its leanings, this beer is fresh enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. The combination of German malts and American hops is relatively unique, and this is very tastefully done. Pungent and bitter with grapefruit and citrus peel, there's a very nice balance of flavor as well with nice aromatics. The malt character is enjoyable, biscuit and toffee with a little caramel, all on a hearty but light on the palate base. Drying and bitter on the finish with some nice flavor hops, there's also a light sweetness that lingers, though the resiny hops do dominate. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is rather excellent. (1,170 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a clear burnt orange color with a few brighter golden hues. A one finger high off white head bubbles up and retains well with a nice layer of bubbled film resting on top, leaving some webs of lacing on the glass.

Nice edge of citrusy hops backed with floral notes. Slight orange sweetness followed by biscuity malt with toasted grain.

Burst of juicy hop flavor right up front with citrus and orange. Nice floral dryness as well before more of the fruit sweetness cuts through. Biscuity malt, toasted grain, faint dollop of caramel as well in the backbone. Some lemon and grassy tones. Finishes with some dry hop bitterness, slightly lingering flavor.

Medium bodied, higher carbonation, dry and tingly on the palate. Drinks smooth and easy, refreshing and pleasant especially for the season. A quality pale ale, definitely something I'd drink again. (896 characters)

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.