Victory Helles Lager | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
82
good
363 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Victory Helles LagerVictory Helles Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Victory Lager

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
363
Ratings:
869
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
20.78%
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
126
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 363 | Ratings: 869
Photo of JAXSON
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear light gold with a white head. Nose is fairly mild ,with a pleasant fresh grain and a light hop note. Mouth is snappy, bright, super fresh grain and a kiss of sweet malt. A touch grassy in its hop element. This was one I overlooked for awhile but it's just fantastic. Understated, extraordinarily well balanced. Of course criminally underrated. One of the best lagers I've ever had, up there with Victory's best pilsners. They are masters with this style.

 491 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC, into a mug.

A rising shiny fourteen carat gold, bright as all get out body, with a small collar of simple white. Classic singular straight rising carbonation that never stops. Looks like a solid lager.

Bouquet is small smelling, soft kind of malt but not much else with a little yeast.

Taste comes off with a heavily carbonated feel. Mild white bread and Wonder Bread light. Stupidly crisp with a mild herbal hop presence and even some butter. A bit gaseous but just tolerable enough.

Overall a good example of a lawn mower beer.

 576 characters

Photo of jizfiasco
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear goldenrod color that resembles a very watery American lager. The head is fluffy and white but disappears in a blink. Smells a bit more German than it appears with a little pepper and grain. The taste is so much betters than the look and scent. If I saw this beer in a glass not knowing what it was I would pass it by buy the flavor is on point. I get grainy breaded malts, herbal hop notes and that peppery feel that is necessary for the style. Carbonation is lower but very striking and the beer goes down easy buy it gets too sweet as it warms so it's a gulper. Overall a good representation but could be a little cheaper I'm my opinion for what it is.

 673 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours with one finger of loose, white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The head collapses quickly and leaves only light lace on the glass.

S - Grainy malt with some notes of honey. A bit of herbal hop character in the background as well.

T - Clean, grainy malt up front with some graham cracker character. A touch of honey comes out in the middle along with a little herbal hop flavor. Things finish up with more dry, grainy malt and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Clean and well balanced with a decent malt character. This is a drinkable Helles, but not as flavorful as some others that I have had.

 688 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.99/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Enjoy By: Sep. 29, 2011.

Appearance: Transparent, light yellow-hued body with a smallish layering of white suds.

Smell: Judiciously sweet-scented German malts supported by a pinch of finely-ground spice and a twist of lemon.

Taste: Moderately grainy-tasting, faintly bready pils malt with a drop of honeyed sweetness. Spicy, lightly lemony hop profile with ample bitterness to balance V out. Closes out dry with a small tingle of effervescent carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: A pleasant, likable all-malt lager.

 637 characters

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice, old-school aspect to this beer. Light gold/caramel color with good head retention. Moderate bittering with a bit of fresh grain popping through in the middle. Finish is even, with the barest hint of honey sweetness. Could be a little smoother around the edges, but overall quite nicely done.

 299 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is definitely better on tap. Had both on a trip out to allentown. An intense pride for victory out there. And they are the best brewery by volume in my opinion so i'm all for it. Few do it like then quality wise. Mass production worldlyness isn't easy. And with that said... This is a great brew with an american yeast augmentation... Or accent. Look is good. Some subdued head but i can't tell if it was due to the humidity. Gold clear pour. Nice hay and bubble gummy esters. Export sweet nose. Palate is dry... But not pilsner. Nice balance. apple rind, bubble gum and hay. Dry nice balence and some porter grape hopping but with a brisk finish that has hints of biscuit.

 678 characters

Photo of rebel1771
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pale yellow with little to no head.

S: Grainy aroma with sweet corn and honey. Just a touch of a grassy/hoppy note at the end.

T: Very similar to the smell, the taste is full of sweet grains and a notable honey flavor. Slight hop note at the end.

O: This is a very good brew, perfect for summer cookouts.

 318 characters

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. Enjoy by May 6 2011. Why do I keep finding such out of date Victory beers?? I guess I need to pay better attention at time of purchase.

Appearance: Cloudy yellow-golden lager color with a thin white head that all but disappears completely.

Smell: Very malt heavy aroma. Does not have the grassy, metallic smell of most helles lagers.

Taste: Wow, this beer actually tastes good. I hate to try it when it is not three weeks past the "enjoy by" date! I think I just found my summer go-to and my next case purchase. Very malt forward with just an slight hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately heavy mouthfeel with very little carbonation.

Overall: Again, I am very impressed by this beer. I just hope I can find some fresher examples!

 780 characters

Photo of PhageLab
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass with a Victory logo.

A - Nice 2 finger head tops off this bright golden brew.

S - Mostly subtle aroma, bread-like with a hint of lemon.

T - Grassy flavor with the perfect hop bite. Balanced, slightly herbal in tone, and ultimately refreshing.

M - Clean and crisp with a mild carbonation level.

D - Fantastic representation of the style, especially for an American brewery. Plan on enjoying this again in the future.

 452 characters

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant orange-tinted yellow with some yeast flecks and a small white head. Minimal retention and lace.

The nose is soft and delicate, with a vaguely chalky-lemon zest dusting over the creamy pear flavors. There are touches of corn and hoppy flowers lingering in the background too.

Palate is very smooth, with more malty and creamy flavors. I'm thinking the hops weren't meant to be too noticeable. It's almost too drinkable of a brew.

Overall, wonderful flavors but the delicacy and smoothness make this borderline too chuggable. Even when I'm looking to get trashed I want to savor a beer a bit. But still very delicious and a sure recommendation for someone who hates hops.

 690 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best if enjoyed by May 6 2011.

A: Sparkling gold, with small specks of yeast floating around in the brew. The nice finger or so white head was picture perfect.

S: Bready, yeasty, and with a slight hop crackle.

T: Bready... more like unsalted crackers, with little to no sweetness to make it interesting. Disappointing.

M: Crisp, well carbonated, but... whatever.

O: This one was in dire need of a little something special to make it interesting. Meh...

 457 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a nice looking light copper color. The head was fizzy and white. Kind of faded off after a few minutes. The aromas here are oh hops and malt pretty much. There might be a little wooden aromas too but not much. The flavor is pretty hoppy, there is a little bit of a earthy tone in the aftertaste. The malts leave some dryness behind as well. The mouthfeel is quite drinkable. This beer is pretty good and deserves a try.

 433 characters

Photo of ajfa531
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with best by May 6 2011 on the label.
-Poured into a Duvel tulip. (maybe should've grabbed a pint glass for this lager, but, hey... shut up.)

I didn't give it the most vigorous pour. So, literally no head. Ring around the collar bubbles. Very close to white foam when swirled. The beer color is mid-range yellow. Straw color. Looks refreshing. I had thought on the verge of gold, but, I take that back. Very clear. Some floaties (Maybe coagulated proteins. Makes me want to go to a brewery and have some unfiltered helles lager.)

Sweet nose. Makes me think of mead. Might just be the sugars, but, almost a honey quality to this aroma. Earthy hops. There are some hops that impart a honey-ness, but, they are English, if I remember correctly. The malt, honey nose adds to the refreshing qualities. A Helles should be refreshing... so, here come the points.

Definite maltiness upfront, but, the hops come in quick with spice and grass. I was expecting more malt sweetness and bread. However, the color isn't that dark. So, maybe I should've known better. Not bad by any means, but, it does leave maltiness to be desired. (Maybe I just want a bock.)

The mouthfeel is a little thin to me at this moment. The carbonation is fine for a session beer. There are watery feelings. This aspect make me wish that those spots were filled in.

Overall, a real good beer. I'm a big aroma dude and that part is great. On the other hand, I don't feel that it carried over to the taste. I've helped brew Helles in production and the Honeycomb qualities were strong on all fronts throughout. I wanted more in the taste. Then, again, I'm a day-to-day taster. I really enjoyed the first 5 bottles and this one fell short of those.

Future edit in mind.

 1,749 characters

Photo of bubseymour
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Yellow clear like a pilsner. Carbonated throught drinking yet very little head develops at all.

Smell - Lemony, grassy and strawlike but subtle and nothing really jumping out.

Taste - Very true to the european origniation and not an over-the-top American craftbrew style. Straw and grass flavorings present but like the smell, flavors are subtle and not overpowering making this a great session beer or summertime drinker. Has some similarities to the pils but there is no hoppy bite to it.

Mouthfeel - Slightly watery but this is a 4.8 ABV lager so I wouldn't expect it overly rich or buttery.

Overall - this is a very well made, true to Munich style lager. Easy drinker, with pleasant light flavorings. Anyone and everyone can enjoy this brew whether your a BA or not.

 787 characters

Photo of sturner26
2.39/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into normal pint glass.

A: Clear pale yellow, bordering on golden. Tiny bubbles and a 2-3 inch white head that fades quickly.

S: Smells like an adjunct to be honest. Some lemon and grass but the smell makes me think I'm drinking an BMC.

T: With the smell of adjunct in my nose, I couldn't help but find the taste to be slightly above BMC. Lemon overtone and some cereal or wheat but it had a distinct aftertaste, like sulfur and was not great.

M: Good (compared to an BMC, which has become my standard for this beer unfortunatly). Good zest and active carbonation similar to a pils.

D: Not great. Packaged in a mized case with Hopdevil, Prima Pils, and Golden Monkey, I know which beer will be my last resort every time I visit the fridge.

 772 characters

Photo of yesyouam
1.74/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Victory V Lager is a cloudy, pale yellow beer with a small white head that quickly dissipates. It has a soft herbal aroma. It smells a little sweet and corny and very faint. It's light bodied and foamy with a dry finish that's kind of chalky. It has hardly any flavor. There may be a touch of lemon and mint or catnip. There is no bitterness. Sorry, Victory, I've peed better beer. This is an obvious attempt to make a Superbowl beer and they nailed it.

 453 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to ChrisPro as part of the Blind BIF Round 4. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear golden-straw color with a short white head. Carbonation bubbles are apparent. Head does not stick around for all that long. The nose is a bit grainy with some pilsner malt and a bit of floral and herbal hops. The taste brings a bit more of the hop components of the nose along with some grain in the background. Light body with good carbonation and a dry finish. Drinks quite well; very quaffable. This is a nice session brew.

 520 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe last night in a blind taste test. We had to figure out what beer this was and we all pretty much agreed that this was a pilsner, turned out to be a helles. We were close.

Beer is yellow and clear with a thin white head that tries really hard but just can't quite make it work. Carbonation is a little low and there isn't much lacing, still looks fine.

All pilsner all the time. This is a nice crisp bright pilsen sweetness to this beer that is very awesome. I love this aroma. Mild sulfur but it's not detracting.

Beer is thin and wet with a decent finish with a mild acidity that I kind of wish wasn't there. I think this is more like a Czech pils than a Helles. It has nearly nothing between the lead off sweetness and the finishing acidity. No middle ground flavors. It's definitely not bad and since it's a German lager not only would I have more of it I would drink a case one day.

 914 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass; nice pale straw color with thin white head, decen lacing and light carbonatation.

Smell is grainy, with slight hint of corn. hops come through nicely, light citrus notes that mix well with the grain.

Taste is light, good malt sweetness and crisp with a bit of hop citrus.

Mouthfeel is great, nice and crisp with the flavors sticking well throughout.

Very drinkable, though i could see some of the flavors sticking around too long for more than a few.

 489 characters

Photo of beep71
1.38/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was given a few of these at a family dinner over the holidays. This brewery is local, but I've never had this before and was looking forward to it. I popped the cap and poured, and was instantly disappointed. Very little head, and a cheap beer color. The smell wasn't all that pleasing, and the taste was worse. easily the worst microbrew lager I've had. Thank God I didn't have to pay for it. I never will, not when I can buy Yuengling for less and not ever be wishing I didn't.

 481 characters

Photo of random846
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a translucent straw color with a short lived white head.

Smell: Light smell of sweet malts with some yeast and light hops.

Taste: Crisp, the sweet malts and yeast are still there. Hops are more evident than in the smell but are still fairly light.

Mouthfeel: Between light and medium body, quite smooth/creamy. What I typically expect with a lager.

Drinkablity: Very good, could drink this all day. Does not have any offensive qualities.

Although I typically drink hoppier beers I'm always happy to see this beer in my fridge on a hot day.

 564 characters

Photo of adamette
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I was generously given by my friend Bruce (thanks Bruce!) into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. "Enjoy by Feb 12 2011" stamped on the left side of the label.

A Glowing straw yellow translucent body under an all too brief light white head. Kind of a standard look for a lager but not displeasing. 3.0

S Barley centric smell of a classic lager with an emphasis on corn. Again here, somewhat standard and unadenturous. Repeated sniffs revealed an even more grainy, pleasing presentation. 3.5

T Good tasting lager. Sure the barley malt (not sweet, more grainy) is primary in the taste but there is also a depth to the barley taste that I do not always find in lagers. 4.0

M Rather thin actually. Sure lagers are mostly thin but this was really too thin for me. 2.0

D Very, very good indeed. 4.5

Notes: If it had more body and had a better look and smell I am sure my ratings would have been higher. This is a reasonable alternative to other lagers but I think that there are better ones out there in the craft beer world. Thanks again to Bruce for seeing to it that I was able to try this one tonight!

 1,167 characters

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

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

Smells of absurdly crisp light malts with sharp light citrus aromas. Also present are hints of leafy and spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though note quite as robust. Smooth light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by bright citrus flavors - more lemon rind than anything else. Midway through the sip the citrus influence fades a bit and the flavor profile becomes more bitter with the addition of earthy hops. Very slight hints of breadiness come into play before fading out to allow the hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

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

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

Overall this is another very good lager from Victory. Very smooth and I wish I had access to this more regularly. Very well worth a shot.

 1,045 characters

Photo of paulozanello
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a Bottle into my SA Perfect Pint Glass.

V Lager has a egg-yolk yellow color, with lots of sendiment being almos totally hazy. The white head is about 1 cm and falls very quickly to a thin membrane on the surface. Not good looking at all! I would expect my Helles to be a crystal clear beer with creamy white head.

Aroma starts with pale malt and bread/biscuit with faint fruity/floral hops towards the finish. Smell is very discrete and it sure could be stronger.

Taste is muuuch better! Lots of bready and malty sweet flavors upfront finishing with delicious and delicate fruity/floral/grassy hop notes. Nice subtle bitterness that goes well with the malt profile. Finish is dry and pleasant. Aftertaste is mildly bitter at first, progressing to mild malt sweetness.

Body is very light and carbonation is high as well as drinkability.

Despite its flaws on appearance and smell I still enjoyed this beer. It still loses to the better German Brands and Stoudt's Gold Lager but I'd definitely session this one.

 1,027 characters

Victory Helles Lager from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
82 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe