Victory Harvest Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Victory Harvest AleVictory Harvest Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Highly aromatic and sensual, this novel pale ale delivers a fresh hop flavor like no other brew. Its secret? Fresh hops piled into our boiling kettle just hours after their harvest. With many more of their essential oils intact, these ‘wet’ hops add glorious middle notes of juicy, fruit and tea-like bite to play off of its lightly toasted malt character deliciously.

Added by akorsak on 10-01-2006

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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 861
Photo of foggylovesbeer
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great fresh-hop beer. Have had this on tap at Victory twice in the past month and the second time around was better than the first. This beer has a wonderful, hoppy aroma and goes down really smooth. Both times I have had this on-tap, in a 22oz Willi Becher glass.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle hard-poured into a tulip glass. 2015 edition

L - Medium dark amber color with a hint of pink. Cloudy hue with some light coming through the sides.

S - Strong grapefruit and grass, like smelling fresh produce. Heavy scent of flowers also.

T - Soft grapefruit, tropical taste with a smooth spicy finish. Explosion of juicy hop goodness.

F - Not aggressive at all. Really smooth all the way through. Just about anyone can drink this IPA.

O - This is not just a beer, this is like hop juice. An absolute explosion of juicy hops right off the bine and into the beer. This rightfully has 5 across the board for me. Very good example of a harvest ale.

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Photo of bahafu48
4.96/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I was on the hunt for my favorite "Sours" & during my quest I was given a sample that was being used for a photoshoot & I loved the aroma and the taste was excellent! I ditched my sour quest & grabbed a NEW cool growler from them. BTW the Wings, Fries & Service couldn't be better either! I will be taking my wife back for a date very soon!

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Photo of RockAZ
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great smell, grassy a bit of orange aroma to me - but that is the fresh Citra hop. Had a sample last month of a very fresh keg and it was good. Got a couple bottles today to rate. Unusual to me mouthfeel on this one, very soft, fine carbonation - a little different from other IPAs, enough to really stand out from the rest. At first the sweet grassy taste hits the tongue quickly followed by a pleasing wash of the bitter hops. I feel this is a well balanced beer, one I would like to have more of.

Edit* read some other reviews, those people had a different batch / year. So, as the last couple of entries here state - this one is a winner.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The previous reviewer nailed this beer perfectly. Pungent cut grass, pine, and light citrus, burst forward in the nose, and follow down the hatch. This is the only beer I've had in recent memory that is in the same league as Elevated IPA, one of the best hop experiences you can have...

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Poured from a 12 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. ENJOY BY: 10 MAR 2015.

Appearance: Bright clear light amber to reddish orange body with a thinner white head. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Tremendous aroma of floral hops, sweet malt backbone plays the lightest complimentary role.

Taste: One of the juiciest ales I have had the pleasure of tasting. Dank floral goodness coats the tongue, top to bottom back to front. A hint of spiciness in the aftertaste. A touch of caramel malt sweetness for just the slightest balance. The wet Citra hops really shine here, reminding me why they are one of my favorite varieties.

Mouthfeel: Astringent is the only word I can put here.

Overall: I had this on tap at the Roasthouse Pub in Urbana (near Frederick) after a long day of hiking (which included my first stint on the Appalachian Trail!) I fell in love with this on tap, but was afraid the bottle would let me did not! My father, who tried a sip and is not fond of hoppy beers, asked if there were peaches in this. I told him that flavor just came from using juicy wet hops in the right combination. Almost a perfect 5 for me!

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Photo of Odysseyalien
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

This is probably as close to a perfect beverage or certainly the closest to perfect for an American pale ale as you're gonna get. There are certainly other excellent APA's out there but the really special brews move on to a higher category. Apples and oranges really -- none of the competitors are really better than each other. But each bring their own special attribute to the table.

Victory Harvest Ale is such a bew. It is a bouquet of flavors dancing on your tongue and without an exceptionally high ABV. Truly a work of art. Between this and their Dirt Wolf double IPA, Victory is becoming one of my top three favorite breweries.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A memorable wet hop ipa. When it seems variations are a dime a dozen, this simply tastes amazing. Fresh lemon and orange zest lingers, the malt balance is terrific, and it's just juicy fresh. At one point I'm reminded of a Torpedo ipa, but with a tropical fruity center, and no shortage of pine (especially on the dank nose if this beauty) The brewery's description is spot-on.
A pleasant surprise on a random single I bought. I'll have to grab a pack next time.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They kicked off New Beer Sunday (Week 610) just a short while ago & I am jumping in with some fresh/wet-hopped ales as they beg for consumption as early as possible. Not necessarily early in the day, but early in their shelf life. I submit this one with a heavy heart as rumor has it that this will be the last iteration on Victory's part after many years of annual production. Boo hoo.

From the bottle: "Mountains for the freshest and juiciest hops are piled into our brew kettles just hours after their harvest to bring you this aromatic brew that's bursting with flavor. With more of their essential oils intact, these wet hops add notes of juicy fruit and a tea-like bite that will play perfectly off the lightly toasted malt character. For the freshest flavor of this wet-hopped ale, pop that top and taste freshness NOW! Cheers, [undersigned] Bill [&] Ron[,] The Brewmasters of Victory"; "Wet-Hopped for Freshness"; "Drink NOW. Do Not Store."; "Victory for Your Taste"; "Vine to Victory".

The Pop! of the cap was a bittersweet event, but the aggro pour was perfect. The foam rose up to create two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Speaking of great, the aromatic esters that were released were equally great and set my hophead mouth to watering. Bringing it up to my sniffer, I was met with notes of fresh-turned earth/dirt, black pepper, drying hay, light tobacco and a dank resinousness. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. I usually gauge color first, then smell, but I just could not inhaling the odor of this beer! It is fitting in that Victory Hop Devil was the beer that really allowed me to make the connection with hops in beer and reveal my latent hopheadedness. Mouthfeel was medium, but very soft and caressing on the tongue. The taste was less peppery than it had been on the nose, but the earthiness was accompanied with a light, pleasant tropical fruitiness that was definitely tea-like in its mellowness. Mango tea is a thing, but this was a bit sweeter, more like papaya. Finish was mellow, semi-sweet, very tea-like and extremely easy-drinking. It breaks my heart to think that this may be its final iteration. I can't even bring myself to savor it as it is just so tasty & easy-drinking that over half of it has already rushed down my gullet! 8=( Bring back, bring back, bring back my Harvest Ale to me, to me.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Golden orange with a think white head that leaves behind a lot of lace.

S- Very dank and grassy. I also pick up onion and tropical fruit notes.

T- Starts off slighty sweet with a lot if dankness and onion flavor. Grassy, berry, and tropical fruit flavors become prominent in the finish. You're left with a pleasing mild bitterness and grainy malt on the tounge.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- An amazing beer. It reminds me a lot of Hop Ranch in the flavor arena. It's kind of pricey and I've only seen it for sale directly from Victory. If you get a chance to try it don't turn it down.

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Photo of are_doubleyou
4.69/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: A bright, clear and rich orange color that is exactly maybe a tinge darker than I want an APA, but a brilliant color. It pours a decent head, but quickly dissipates into a mere ring of lace around the edge. I have to knock it down a bit for head retention.

S: The aroma is tremendous. Almost overwhelming with a complicated mix of hop notes. I smell mostly citrus and floral notes with some grapefruit and pine resin underneath. Very inviting for a hophead.

T: The taste follows up on the promises of the aroma. A very crisp start with great floral and citrus notes flooding the body before letting way to a more bitter grapefruit flavor. The grapefruit flavor dominates the finish and I only taste resin a bit after I have swallowed each sip. Once again, a true treat for someone who loves hops. The malt balance is a bit lacking, but there is an underlying toasty flavor if you can find it through the hops. Nothing too damning considering this is a showcase for the freshest hops.

F: The mouthfeel is very crisp and clear, but not watery. I actually would call it zesty because of the way the hop flavors and carbonation feel in your mouth.

O: I really enjoyed this beer and highly recommend it. I've been trying out pretty much all the wet hop beers that I can find right now and I think this might be my favorite of the bunch. I may even pick up another 4-pack before it is gone.

This beer was poured into a Blind Pig mug from a 12 oz bottle and enjoyed at apx. 55F

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Photo of Immortale25
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a clean, rubyish medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of wispy sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass.

S- Huge tropical fruit aroma brings to mind pineapple, guava and mango with resinous overtones and just enough cereal grain malt sweetness. Has that dank smell that some describe as oniony. It's perfect.

T- Big bitterness clamps down on the palate and stays, bringing with it lots of citrus and pine. Good malt backing provides some sweetness to balance.

M- Soft, almost creamy with a strong hop bite, medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- This is getting me pumped for Hop Ranch because that's what it reminds me of. If you don't get Hop Ranch in your area but you get this, it's a worthy substitute. Easily the best wet hop ale I've ever had.

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Photo of trygelski1
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass:

Look: Pours a nice copper color with about an inch of head and plenty of lacing present.

Smell: Hoppy juiciness, grapefruit, citrus, pine, grassiness, this thing smells dank.

Taste: Same as the smell. This is one tasty brew! Lots of hints of grapefruit and juiciness but very well balanced with the malts. Thing thing tastes dank!

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: This beer is solid all around and on point! Tons of hop flavor well balanced by the malts. Might be my new favorite harvest IPA. Job well done by Victory on this one!

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Clear copper hue with a fluffy, one-finger, cream colored head. Complete rings of lacing left behind with every sip. Appealing.

S - Powerful aroma of hop flowers, grapefruit, tangerine, spruce, and fresh hay.

T - Man, this IPA is juicy. Big grapefruit/melon fruit flavors forward. Also light pine and a hint of scallion. Toasted bread malts provide a sturdy foundation in the mid-palate. A long finish provides yet more hops in the form of mint and herbal tobacco. Superb.

M - High side of medium carbonation. Body would best be classified as "medium" but with a rounded fullness. Dry finish. A perfect delivery for the flavors.

O - Ok, this pretty much blew me away. While it would be a stretch to call something this hoppy "balanced", the malt and hop bills layer perfectly. Just super solid all around. If I could get this year around it would become my "everyday" IPA. Great job Victory.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.64/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: This looks like a shiny, copper penny…well, one that you can see through…and with lots of bubbles. The head is eggshell white and about a half-inch thick. It does not stick around too long, but it also doesn’t settle all that much. The cap is more like a gradually sloping valley with the lowest point inside the rim being the exact center of the glass.

SMELL: The fresh cut grass on this is as intense as I have smelled since the first time I stuck my nose into a glass of Half Acre Daisy Cutter. Dank, piney and citrusy as well; this beer smells absolutely amazing.

TASTE: Earthy, herbal, “tea-like” (exactly like the label says) and citrusy. This is a largely bitter beer with just a hint of malt for balance. This is what I imagine (or wish) hops would taste like if I just put them in a juicer and squeezed.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation provides a strong sparkle, but with tiny bubbles, not quite a soda water-like sparkle. The body is medium to light and while a touch of sweetness provides balance, this beer is on the dry side…and pretty bitter.

OVERALL: This is what I remember the first few IPAs I fell in love with tasting like. I was going for as bitter as possible and beers like this were the reason why. The juicy, earthy, intense hop flavor is why I drink hoppy beers. This beer is still well within it’s ‘enjoy by’ date of March 10 and it seems to have been stored perfectly, but my only regret is that I did not pick it up when it was fresher. Not sure how much better it could have been, but I would have liked to have known for sure. Amazing beer.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden color with moderate head that disputes quickly.

Smells of very strong hops of every kind. Fruity hops, floral hops, piney hops, grassy hops, and with a hint of citrus. And did I mention it smells like hops?

Tastes much like it smells, but with some noticeable bready malts and maybe a hint of caramel. Also, do I taste a hint of tea?

Goes down rather smoothly, with medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is an exceptional brew. It seems to have an identity crisis, as it's a pale ale, but has the hops of a double IPA.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%

2014 Vintage. Mosaic and Citra hops.
12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Golden amber with a short head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with medium-light carbonation.

Pineapple, peach, passion fruit, tangerine, mango, pine sap, and candy sugar.

Sweaty pineapple, musky mango, and pine sap. Lesser notes of peach and passion fruit. Light maltiness of candy sugars and lightly toasted bread. Finishes dank and slightly drying with green florals, pine needles, and a touch of onion.

Medium bodied, juicy, and smooth with a light bitterness.

A lot of tropical fruits and dankness. Juicy and flavorful. Victory did a stellar job on this one!

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Photo of tgbljb
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed fresh from the tap at the brewpub.
Served as a very deep amber colored beer with modest slightly off-white puffy head.
Smell is strong for malt and caramel.
The taste is absolutely fantastic. It is dominated by a caramel-toffee malt and a pronounced hop flavor, without the bitter dryness.An absolutely perfectly rfefreshing beer. The 7.7% alcohol is totally concealed by the smmoth sweet malt.
One of the best beers I have every enjoyed. The alcohol keeps you from having too many, but the drinkability is superb.

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Photo of ZAP
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Burnt oak colored...minimal head...decent lacing

S-Love how this aroma just bursts out of the glass...blueberries, papaya, strawberries,blackberries, melons, grassy, oily....great aroma.

T-Very pleasant fruit cocktail like flavor.....big on the blueberries as well as strong notes of papaya. Lesser notes of pineapple, strawberries, and melons. Malt never gets in the way but adds a light caramel touch.

O-Great beer. Probably the best fresh hop beer I had this year. Blows Sierra celebration out of the water. Not even close and I like Celebration.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Victory brewpub.

Presented in an imperial pint glass a deep copper color with about a 1/2 inch of off white head. Smell is of fresh hops and citrus. Taste is piney and full of grapefruit yet the level of maltiness seems nearly perfect. One of the most balaced beers I've ever had the pleasure of trying. Medium bodied and crisp. An outstanding beer. I could see myself returning very often to enjoy this brewpub exclusive beer.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange with a light 1 finger head with big soapy bubbles that lingers for a while. The smell is outstanding. It's a great mixture of mango, tangerine, orange, and other citrus fruits. The smell follows the nose. Mango, tangerine, etc. right up front. Mid palette turns a touch sweet with the caramel malt showing it's face. The finish is bitter grapefruit/pine mixture. The bitterness lingers on the tongue for a while while the finish is dry. This is easily the best harvest ale I've had and its absolutely worth seeking out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tapped recently by the Sharp Edge Creekhous definitely not a Strong Ale more so one of the most balanced harvest wet hopped ales in the nice. Appears a clouded amber with hop particles a floating froms a large tightly bubbled cream head that leaves even lace all around the imperial pint glass as it dwindles. smells like a bouquet of fresh hps with grassy, citrus (grapefruit), and pine cone scented hops to it. A bit perfumey and seductive all at once with sweet caramel malts that leave a bready spice component there. Taste is awesome albeit not over the top like some brews that claim to have fresh hops...this brew knows how to bring the fresh hop flavor with a substantial bitterness with grassy citrus peel flavors and a touch of floral effervescence and the lucious not sugary but sweet caramel malt profile truly balances so well with the prickly wet hops. Once again a mild spice character is noted within the malts but it's warming yet the alcohol flavor is so hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft gentle carbonation goes down so smooth can't wait to try more of this or something similar from Victory. Drinkability is so sessionable the true pinnacle of Harvest ales, thanks for the great brew bring more to the Burgh please.

Update 2014 version

Dank bitter aggressive fresh hops!

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Poured into a Riedel tulip. The liquid is a transparent golden straw color with plenty of tiny bubbles rising quickly. The pour kicks up a wonderful fluffy off-white head that leaves tons of lace on the way down. Exactly what I wanted this to look like.

Aroma is glorious wet-hop goodness. Grapefruit, tangerine, oranges, weed, hints of pine and mint. Totally clobbers you with amazing hop aroma even as it's sitting on the table next to you. Just the slightest hint of a sugar cookie malt presence.

Taste follows the nose. Clobbers you with tart, aggressive citrus off the bat, followed by an undertaste of weed, cat pee, and onions. The malt makes itself known mid-palate, with hints of slightly toasted bread and sugar cookie. The beer is pretty bitter overall, but the bitterness is well-backed by some incredible hop flavor. Finish is citrus, with a more noticeable pine and mint flavor, with some lingering bitterness. There's an oddly crisp note on the aftertaste, which is pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with lots of soft, silky carbonation.

Overall, really great hop flavors here - awesome showcase of citra and mosaic, and they work so well together. I just wish I could drink it all year. The fact that it comes in 12 oz bottles is just the icing on the cake!

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a clear amber with a small head. nose; citra hops, light pine, orange zest and syrup. taste; big caramel malt, piney hop, herbal citrus (grapefruit & orange), and melon sweetness in the middle. aftertaste has an almost farmhouse ale peppery bite on the end as well as the advertised tea notes. very nice! medium carbonation and slightly thin mouthfeel. a great example for wet-hopped ipa's!

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Photo of rjd722
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a relatively clear light amber color, slight copper. Big, foamy white head that leaves significant lacing and a solid white film across the top throughout.

Aroma: A well balanced aroma of juicy citrus and floral notes, definitely get the light grapefruit and grass along with some pine. Everything about this beer is extremely fresh.

Taste: Floral and faint citrus, again those more grassy notes coming through towards the end.

Feel: Crisp and slightly bitter with a mild malt accompaniment, this is an excellent brew overall. Really clean, drinkable, and refreshing, it's easy to see why the label reminds you to DRINK NOW. Victory comes up big yet again.

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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.11 out of 5 based on 861 ratings.
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