Hop Ranch | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Hop RanchHop Ranch
BA SCORE
4.19/5
Exceptional
2,437 Ratings
Hop RanchHop Ranch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fully juicy in its citrus character with the pleasantly sharp, biting edges of tart fruit and bitterness, Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale traces its roots to Victory’s Ranch series, a unique and comprehensive study of hops in which Brewmasters experimented with different hop varieties to showcase a range of flavor profiles and celebrate the nuances and distinctions in the resulting series’ recipes.

Mosaic hops and Hop #483 (Azacca)

Added by StoutSnob40 on 10-30-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,267
Reviews:
387
Ratings:
2,437
pDev:
10.02%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
127
Gots:
543
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,437 |  Reviews: 387
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by: 5/24/15.

Pours a hazy yellow-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and slight earth aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet citrus fruit and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

 563 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

such a delicious big boy ipa, packed with a mosaic fruitiness and a simcoe oily property, not sure if those are the varietals used or not, but this beer exhibits very similar properties to both. very blonde beer, honey colored and clear with a nice white head. the nose is just dripping with fruity oily hops, and the grain base interferes little, despite the abv. the flavor too is a hop explosion, as fresh and as vibrant as any i can recall. notes of grapefruit, tangerine, cut lawn, and even green grape are all there for me, and the finish still comes on nice and bitter. the malt base never makes much contribution, as the body is light, appreciably dry, and leaving only a slight hop stickiness there after the swallow. fresh is the word that keeps coming to mind for me on this one. the alcohol can be felt but not at all tasted. i love this, even more that dirtwolf i think, one of the best east coast india pale ales ive had in some time.

 948 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out as a very nice yellow color with a white head on top. The smell has a good amount of hops to it. The taste is very clean but very hoppy. I really like the flavor of this beer. The feel is good, it's sharp and clean. Overall I really look forward to this beer each year, I think it's easily one of my top favorites from Victory.

 337 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, consistently leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and the sides of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of mangoes are present in the nose along with hints of funk, lemons, pineapples and pine resin.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is dominated by stronger flavors of mango hops with supplemental notes of lemon and pineapple. A light amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seemed to initially have strange aromas and flavors compared to other IPAs—cat urine immediate came to mind—but the smell and taste seem to grow upon you and become interesting, especially as the beer warms up a bit. I think this might have had something to do with this beer having a completely different hop profile that I wasn't accustomed to. Overall, it is very drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is very well hidden from the taste.

 1,150 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exploiting the hottest and newest hop varieties on the market with mosaic and azacca blends, no other style could have put them on better display than the imperial IPA.

Hop Ranch pours a mostly bright straw but with only a thin translucent film. With its wisping swath of foam coaxing the nose closer and closer, it does so with vibrant citrus, tropical and herbal blends. But with the light sweetness of caramel and honey seeping onto the tongue, a candied fruit flavor emerges.

With the hops and malt intertwined, the taste seems juicy, ripe and dripping with fructose flavors of mango, passionfruit, pineapple, pink grapefruit, lemon and gooseberry. As the malt sweetness bows out gracefully upon the middle palate, the hops intensify and develop the pungent character of chive, tomcat and cannabis just ahead of its finish.

Medium-bodied, but trending dry, bitter and with absolute cleansing properties. A touch of alcohol hides behind the hops and offer a mild acetone spice. Lingering with sassafras tea, sprucy hops and dried fruit peel, the beer begs for quicker drinks than a nine-percent beer should.

 1,113 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Got this one deeply discounted at a grocery store in NYC ($5.99 for a 4 pack).

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded blue and red pry-off cap.

"Imperial India Pale Ale." 9.0% ABV.

APPEARANCE: Murky pale copper body of average to above average vibrance. Seems filtered but it does have some chill haze (or maybe just oat starch?). No floating yeast/lees. Head is white and frothy, sticking around for an impressive ~7 minutes (not too shabby for a 9% ABV brew).

AROMA: Hints of berries/currants. Tropical fruit - the Azacca talking. Floral hop aromatics. I don't find the distinct blueberry aroma typical of Mosaic-hopped beers, nor do I find pungent citrus typical of Citra hops. But Chinook and Azacca are well utilized here.

Aromatic intensity is average. No off-notes, overt booze, or yeast.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Has some rind-like bitterness and white grapefruit pith, along with some quinine-like bitterness. Pale malts are present but can't withstand the hop assault, leaving the drinker with an imbalanced bitter beer that tastes overhopped and a bit boozy. I'm usually keen on Victory's hoppy ales, but this one is a miss for me.

No blueberry from the Mosaic, but then it's just dry hopped with Mosaic so that explains the berry being present only in aroma. Chinook contributes some nice floral notes, but the hop bitterness eclipses the hoppy flavours to its detriment.

Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, boozy, coating, full-bodied, well-carbonated. Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. This texture doesn't elevate the beer as a whole or accentuate specific notes. Decent execution.

Not a gestalt harmonious whole of a brew, nor an ordered or cohesive one. Hop selection isn't ideal, they went too big on the ABV, and depth of flavour is lackluster. Average flavour duration and intensity.

OVERALL: Maybe I'm not having it fresh enough since I got this on sale, but based on this bottle it's pretty wanting stuff in an oversaturated style. I'll reserve judgement until I can have it on-draught and confirm it's not old, but as-is it's an Azacca-hopped boozy mess that is anything but approachable. The bitterness of it turns me off.

High D+ (2.50) / NOT RECOMMENDED

 2,197 characters

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/24/2014. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big mango, peach, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, white grape, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity of citrus/tropical hops and a light-moderate malt balance; with good strength. Taste of big mango, peach, pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon zest, white grape, floral, grass, pine, light honey, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, pineapple, peach, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon zest, white grape, floral, grass, pine, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops with light-moderate malt balance; with a nice crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding DIPA. Great complexity of bright hop flavors with a light-moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,426 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color capped by an impressive head that leaves multiple lace strands down the side of the glass

Smell: Tropical fruit forward with grapefruit underneath

Taste: The tropical fruits make a statement, at the outset, bringing pink grapefruit, papaya and mango flavors with just a hint of bready malt underneath; the bitterness builds, after the swallow and into the finish, with just a hint of residual sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: With Dirt Wolf and this beer, Victory has really lifted its IPA game

 605 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy pale yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and light to moderate pale golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy white head that reduces to a couple of small medium thick patches and a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of tropical/mango and tropical/pineapple hops along with lighter aromas of pine and citrus/lemon hops. There is a light aroma of slightly sweet grainy malts and a touch of cat piss.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with a touch of caramel. That is quickly overtaken by moderate to strong flavors of tropical/mango and tropical/pineapple hops along with a light flavor of citrus/lemon and pine hops. Hints of cat piss and a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively crisp.

O: Strangely for a beer that I describe as having a light cat piss smell and taste, this is actually a pretty enjoyable beer that really grows on you. Nice amounts of complexity and the alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the strength.

 1,288 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Victory "Hop Ranch"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 25 APR 2015 0437P"
$3.65 @ The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, PA

Based on how fond I am of Victory's "Dirt Wolf" I thought I'd give their "Hop Ranch" a spin, particularly as it uses a hop I'm not familiar with - Azacca.

Azzaca is the Caribbean God of farming, so it's not surprising that there's a tropical fruit character in the aroma, namely mango and pineapple. There's also grapefruit, some tangerine, pine, a hint of lemon, and a bit of spiciness. It's interesting, and refreshing; and as a winter seasonal, it's a fairly welcome ray of sunshine beneath the cold grey sky here in Pennsylvania!

Given the quality of the hops I see why they went with a straightforward Pilsner malt as it allows the hops to come through clearly, and also allows for some of that refreshing character to be transferred into to the flavor. Unfortunately that's all you're getting, it's not a complicated or 'dense' beer, and I'm not sure that it needed to be an "Imperial" IPA. I think it would have worked just fine as a standard IPA, or even a pale ale. The gentlemen of Victory are shrewd marketers, however, and I'm sure they didn't want to drop another entry into those already over-stocked categories. On the up-side, the alcohol that comes along with the "Imperial" designation, clocking in at a whopping 9.0 % abv., is surprisingly well-cloaked. Not unlike the "Dirt Wolf" this is a beer that does not overwhelm you with bitterness, resins, and alcohol - instead it's very focused and balanced, leaving it remarkably drinkable, and at 9%, dangerous.

So how to rate this beer? It delivers everything that an "Imperial" IPA should, sans the bitter punch and late raspy/resinous finish, the alcohol slap, and the overall palate-wrecking voluminosity. There are no defects of any sort (although I would like to see just a little more bristle in the mouthfeel), and in fact it's a really well-rounded and highly polished beer. What's not to love? But on top of that it's also quite unique, and innovative. Clearly a winner, and one that really needs to be sampled, any fan of hoppy beers needs to check it out!

 2,151 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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Hop Ranch from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 2,437 ratings