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 jwhancher
2.55/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 Version:
For whatever reason, I think Victory missed the mark on this one. After tasting numerous other harvest styled ales, this one comes away with no real hop character and an odd taste I can't quite put my figure on.

A: Pours a gold color.

S: Rather subtle hop hints, mostly grains.

T: Misses out on the hops. Again, mostly a grainy taste.

M: Seems like it should fit more in a lager category. I'm not one to dodge beers in my fridge, but this one seems to be the red-headed stepchild.

D: There's almost no beer I cannot drink. This is certainly drinkable - just not one I'd reach out for or actively search out to taste. There's much, much better Victory beers to try well in front of this one.

2014 Version reviewed on 10/17/14:
Enjoy by date reads 3/10/15. Pours a clear light copper with nice frothy head and gives off luscious tones of pink grapefruit rind. A sweetness prevails in the nose, likely mostly from the wet hops. A certain grassiness lingers throughout. Tastes predominately hoppy with very smooth hop bitterness. Orange and tangerine along with pink grapefruit flavors. This 2014 kicks some butt. Apparently much better than when I tried this back in 2009.

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Photo of Mojoman8561
3/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had thison tap at my last Craft Brew Club meeting. Victory was the host and learned a lot about their process.

-L- Golden yellow. Light head.

-S- Lemon Zest and hops.

-T- Definately a creamy lemon taste with a distinct hops flavor. Apprently this comes from the wet hops process they use on this brew.

-F- Light in body. The hops really put a swift kick on the end of this mouthful.

-D- Not bad. Different. Wouldn't buy it by the case but wouldn't say no if someone offered.

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Photo of Stroget
3/5  rDev -27%

The bar was high and it didn't meet expectations. Too much grapefruit. Nice scent, color and aftertaste (after a while) but the bitter grapefruit taste was too much. Won't buy again.

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Photo of emerge077
3.16/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BBD: 3-7-16 Not good, and not that old either.
Dark amber orange, lasting surface skim. Spotty flecks around the edges.
Initial aroma is rough, burnt rubber, cabbage, onions. Swirling gets rid of some unpleasantness, but it's still there. Malt sweetness starts coming through, tea, greens. Just not that good at all.

Taste is malty and tea-like, lightly piney bitter greens in the aftertaste. Lingering bitterness, somewhat bland, the hops aren't very present. Not something i'd revisit unfortunately.

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Photo of corby112
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a very hazy, dark copper color with burnt orange edges and a two finger pillowy white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy floral hop aroma with a strong malt backbone.  Some resinous grassy notes but the sweet malts are a bit too strong, overpowering things with hints of caramel, bread, toffee and nut.

Full bodied with a dry earthy hop presence that's countered mid-palate by a sweet malt backbone.  Dry and resinous with pine needle and spruce tip flavor followed by sweet caramel malt, toffee, bread and hazelnut.  Decent but hop profile is boring and the malt presence are too strong for my liking.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at irish pol in philly - review from notes

Pours a deep amber color, froth of white head fades into faint film. Tons of ringed and patchy lacing are left behind.

Pine hop bitterness in the nose with some lemon peel and citrus. Plenty of bready malt with light caramel sweetness.

Decent pine bitterness, a little sticky and resiny. Larger malt backbone than expected. Caramel and bread crust with light toasted notes. Some residual sweetness towards the finish, which is bitter and lingering.

Lighter medium body, decent but higher carbonation, sticky and dry on the tongue. Drinks alright, but nowhere near the top of the harvest ale category. More hops needed.

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Photo of rab53
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Was looking forward to this one (bought 2 4-packs). Probably past its prime, but flavor was quite vegetal. Medium body. Will update on future bottles.

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Photo of david18
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The fact that this is a strong ale explains a lot. I thought I was ordering a wet hop pale ale and was surprised then when it came as dark and as strong as it was.

Overall, this beer did no knock my socks off but it was ok. Carmel color with a nice hoppy aroma and a light colored head. The flavor was quite bitter but the dark malt also came through. I'll try it again now that I know more about it but overall I wasn't all that thrilled.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by 3/10/15. Pours slightly hazy copper gold with a medium creamy white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is bready malts and grassy piney hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and a little fruit with grassy resiny hops that leave a good bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, one of the better wet hop beers I've had - they are usually too grassy.

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Photo of ronricorossi
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Juicy, with a strong bitter finish. The bitter is the dominant flavor aspect, in fact, and lingers a little to long for my tastes. But that's a point of preference. Good beer overall.

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Photo of jpro
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this one on tap at the Oak Barrel Tavern - a new place that we stumbled upon this evening. Served in a standard shaker pint...

A: Dark copper, with an off white head; not much lacing to speak of as the head quickly dies down to the thinnest layer of wispy foam.

S: Resinous hops... herbal and almost woody. A faint hint of crispy malts lies underneath.

T: Big time hop character is noticed first, as the slightly piney / resinous flavor dominates the palate; behind the hops, there is some roasted malt character that smooths things out. Lots of good hoppiness, but unfortunately not that well rounded.

M: On the high side of medium-bodied; lower carbonation, but the finish is really dry...

D: Interesting, this one... The dry resiny- ness makes this one rough to have a few of... Not the most interesting beer, but worth trying if you're into fresh hopped stuff.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer smells lovely. Full of citrus and herbal floral grassiness. The taste is a nice balance of sweet malts and earthy hops followed by some herbal tea-like flavors. The finish is a bit disappointing. Overall my expectations were not met. nb

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Photo of Mikus
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The more I sip this brew, the more unfolds. 12oz bottle poured into my Spiegelau. Enjoy by 3/10/15. Nice deep amber hue with a 1/2 finger of off-white head (little retention). Light nose, but an APA so can't compare to the Head Hunter I finished earlier. Some bitterness, clean nose, with some interesting dank notes. Lemongrass. Tea? Odd grassy taste on the front of the palate, finished clean and slightly bitter. Overall decent body and good malt profile. I wouldn't compare this to other fresh hop favorites (Celebration, Hop Stalker) but not sure it should be. Something missing? Not sure. Definitely worth a try. Victory. Indeed.

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Photo of DIM
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, coppery color. It was served to me with a small, fizzy cap.

s: Caramel malts and a hint of pine.

t: Light caramel sweetness up front with some fairly strong bitterness at the end.

m: Crisp and fizzy.

o: Not bad, but kind of lifeless overall.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker orangish golden color with off-white head. Grass, pine, floral notes and some light fruits on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes very flowery, floral notes mainly, some grass too.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%

12 ounce bottle - Barrel & Barley in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a darkened copper body, though quite clear, with a slim, near white head.

Smell: Peppered citrus, mainly grapefruit but also some lemon, black tea leaves. Subtle pale maltiness.

Taste: A spiciness akin to fresh-ground pepper, a tea-like herbal quality, as well as gentle floral and citrus rind flavors overlayed atop the base pale maltiness hinting lightly toasted bread with a little sweetness. Medium bitterness overall. Crispish, bitterish finish with more of them citrus accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's okay, it's fine, and, while I have had better, it's by no means a bad beer.

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Photo of Matthew315
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

They say juicy fruit and tea like bite on the bottle. i'm getting more of a tea like floral aromatic and slight flavor. Some caramel malt flavors. Great golden/bronze color. very clear and seems filtered. great lacing. Teku glass. Decent head that spins nicely back on a swirl. Hoppy character at 38 degrees around 40 it gets much more malty and sweet. Feel is very smooth throughout.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on tap once and wasn't sure what to make of it so I tried it again after seeing it described as a pale ale.

The color is amber with good clarity and white head. The smell has a mild herbal hop quality but seems more noble in hop scent than American. The feel is decent yet a little on the light side with moderate bitterness and mild sweetness the alcohol is not apparent.

The taste reminds me more of a pilsner than a pale I am not sure if that is based on the malt or hops but the flavor is not necessarily bad, it just does not seem to fit the style as well as it could. I would drink this again it is not bad as I said before it just doesn't stand out compared to other pales/harvest ales

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Photo of cdizinno
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear copper color with a finger+ of off-white head. Fluffy lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: Mild hop scent with some grainy, malty sweetness in the background.

T&M: Heavy pine and floral hoppy flavors at first. Very dry and fluffy. Almost like the muthfeel of a Sam Adams lager. Quite grainy.
Medium body; Almost too chalky and dry; very subtle carbonation

Not the most drinkable brew I've had by Victory. It's just odd with the lager flavor against the a non-fruity hoppiness.

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Photo of baldmasterflex
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought a cold, crisp fall nite in the middle of WCU's fall break would be a great time to pick this up.
Pours a really rich pinkish-orange-red color with very little head at all it. My roommate asked if i was drinking wine, which makes alot of sense because it definitly reminds me of a pink sangria. As i stare at the beer there really isnt much carbonation other than some that builds up around the rim that lightly sticks to the sides of the glass.
I have a cold which is killing my senses but the nose of the beer definitly has a sweet aroma with easily detectable very citrusy hops, similar to the kind used in Hop Wallop if my memory is correct (the release of which is about a mere month away).
The taste is very much like the smell, but the hops dont bite the way i expected them to. They really seem to fade very smoothly into a malty sweetness.
The body is medium and the lack of carbonation makes it very smooth going down without any detection of alcohol bite (even tho i know 7.7% isnt dangerously high).
I can see how the use of malt sweetness in this could possibly classify it as something other than a type of IPA or DIPA as the Strong Ale catogorization suggests. But, for clarification and comparison for people who wont have the opportunity to try this brew, i find it to be somewhere halfway between Dogfish's 60 and 90 minute IPAs.
After im finished with the next 50 ounces, Im gonna find the person that stole my victory growler.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, about 2 weeks old

Hops: Citra

2016 version, first time having this. Pours much darker than I like my hoppy beers. Not a good sign. No surprise that the aroma and taste are malt driven. Disappointed, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of thebeers
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange-copper color with a finger of tan-tinted white head and heavy lacing. Grapefruit and pine duke it out to dominate the aroma. They both continue to the taste, along with a strong green pepper note, some orange crush, slight pepperiness and a sweet malt backbone. Relatively little hop bitterness for the style. Medium bodied. Fresh garden vegetables aren't what I'm looking for in an IPA. Not my thing.

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Photo of Kennethzelljr
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper nothing crazy on the appearance.aromatic presence is huge grapefruit,Orange peel,slight dank.taste is bitter fruits and citrus fruits,slight pine and dank resin.dry,refreshing,a lot of aggressive complex flavors in this beer.mouthfeel was pretty give this one a B possibly B+.dont think I'd buy a full four pack but very nice I recommend seeking this out for an enjoyable wet hopped ipa.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

2014 version - pours a dark orange amber color with a frothy two finger head. There is a lot of carbonation and the beer is very clear. The odor is strong, IPA like, tropical fruits, guava, pineapple, grapefruit, resin, thick, sticky, slightly floral. The taste is bitter, grapefruit, pine, herbal, grassy, some fruits, tea. Bitter throughout.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

This one is about the same price as Founders. However, it is much easier to find. Or at least it was for me. This beer was not my favorite harvest, thus far. I have read some reviews where people refer to hops as tasting like cat piss, some like this others don't. I am on the not big fan or feline urine side of the fence. I will say this is the first beer I have had that I would refer to as tasting or even more so, smelling like cat piss. I assume its the hops. Oddly enough its really not a bad beer just kind of caught me off guard.

Color: Amber, with nice head retention.

Aroma: Maybe some malts, but definitely the aforementioned cat piss. Sour hop aroma. Maybe this one is off somewhat? I could also be me.

Taste: Similar to the aroma. Some resinous taste earthy not unlike Dirtwolf in that regard. I do detect the floral notes, but it coated my mouth with kind of an odd film. I will try to get one colder and see if that improves things. I don't believe that will make that much difference. Its definitely drinkable, but its a sipper for sure.

Overall: I was interested in trying this one. I bought this alongside Founders, which I lucked up and was able to purchase a four pack as well. They were both around the same price. But to me Founders was a much better tasting and smelling beer. Don't get me wrong, I generally love beers from Victory, but this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. Its not Hop Devil, but it is good. Don't let the cat piss deter you, you may enjoy that. I know a lot of people do!

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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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