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Victory Harvest Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

155 Reviews
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Victory Harvest AleVictory Harvest Ale

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

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: 155 | Ratings: 809
Photo of TheBrewo
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was served from the bottle at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Actually, we enjoyed this in our room, having brought it along with us to enjoy after attending to our business in Cleveland. We borrowed some house pint glasses, and poured a beer of ruby-honey hues. It held a finger and a half’s worth of eggshell colored foam, showing decent retention. This left doily patterns of lacing all down our glasses throughout the tasting. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma popped off white grape skins, freshly juicy citric and herbal hops, sweaty pale and amber malts, green corn husks, lemongrass, wet sage herbals, darker tea-like tannins, juicy pineapple and papaya fruitiness, raw and fresh honey sweetness, spicy white pepper, lightly fusel booziness, and a more sticky pine sap as the beer warmed. The flavoring followed with notes of surprisingly bittering pale and amber malt toast, sweet and savory herbal, floral, and citric hoppiness, hibiscus florals, aromatic sage and parsley leafiness, honey sweetness, bittering white wine grape skins, juicy pear and apricot fruitiness, potato starchiness, powdered chalkiness of ale yeast, lemon balm, bitter lemon zest, fusel alcohol, green twigginess, and clayed mineral. The body was medium to full, and carbonation was medium. Slurp and smack were nice off the top of the sip, while cream and froth were only okay beneath it. The feel was otherwise oily, sticky, and resinously drying to the tongue and palate, broken up warmly by just enough carbonation. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability was nice.

Overall, this was an extremely flavorful and dankly sticky beer. The wet hopping gives it all the zest and zip of its freshly-hopped brother, the American IPA, but tucked into the vessel of an American pale. We’ve been excited about this one for quite some time now, with all of our beer loving compatriots berating us for delaying our sampling of this fine beverage. We have finally found it, and the timing was right to drink it. We were not disappointed. This is just a wonderfully fresh and clean beer, with malty toast that easily meets the challenge of balancing such an otherwise hop-heavy deliver. On top of it all, it makes us really happy to see some of these “bigger”, or “classic”, craft breweries like Victory keeping things relevant, competitive, and innovative.

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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 beerbully
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into DFH IPA glass
Could not find a date on the bottle

L-Golden amber 1/2 inch white head mild to thick lacing that runs down the side of glass

S-Floral hops with some sweet tropical fruits (mango, papaya, pineapple) spicy herbal notes (sage, thyme) sweet bready malts

T-first impression is the spicy herbal hops that give way to the sweetness of the malts.......lingering taste of sweet tropical fruits and some orange or lemon peel that provides some bitterness in the finish.........this is a pale ale that meets a spicy, peppery saison........plenty of hops, malts, but has that spicy dry peppery notes of a saison.......great combination citrus, fruity hops, sweet bready malts, and dry herbal tea leaf notes

F-Medium body, mild carbonation with a crisp dry feel

O-Provides a variety of flavors in each sip as waves of hops, malts, and spices push through.........well done

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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 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 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 Brenden
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a medium-dark orange, bright and almost completely clear, somewhat coppery overall. The head is just a touch off-white, easing in at about 3/4 finger with moderate retention. It leaves a film on top with some foaming at the edges that achieves tiny but dense spotting with some ringing where it settles in the glass.
This is an aromatic one for sure, lots of hops pouring out when the bottle is opened. It's got lots of citrus, herb and pine with a spicy herbal note becoming prominent, maybe a touch of earth but mingling dank notes with brighter ones. Malts are notable for balance while letting fresh hops dominate.
Hop oils are fresh and delicious and seemingly plentiful in this pale ale that drinks like an IPA. Lots of the herb hits of the tongue first without diminishing while piny wood/dry notes strike. Malts hold up the middle just enough to even out the pithy-leaning bitterness and keeping it in check without lowering it. Spiciness remains strong in the herb as well as black pepper notes while a touch of fruits linger in the back.
Crispness is strong and remains extremely consistent, putting lots of bite on the tongue the whole way. Pepper, leaf and a tea-like dryness also contribute, each lingering on the palate after each sip.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours a medium to light amber, slightly cloudy with one finger of bubbly head.
Smells a nice balanced aroma of malts and dank hops.
Taste is a little more understated than I was hoping for. Less hop flavor than I wanted.
Finishes fine, with a decent amount of hop bitterness.
All in all, a good beer but disappointed given prices and hype. maybe I had it too far after it was best.

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Photo of DEdesings57
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Severing Type: Bottle
Glass: Tulip/Sniffer
Best By Date: Enjoy By March 10th 2015
Style: American Pale ale
Food: Thai, BBQ, Grilled Meat, but anything else really

Appearance: Crystal clear light copper/gold with all light shinning through. Absolutely filtered due to no yeast proteins floating around in the brew at all. Great looking brew!

Aroma: BURSTING with a complex hop aroma that consists of HUGE amounts of citrus, tropical fruit, HUGE dankness, pine, and even a little marijuana. All with a touch of malt sweetness in the form of caramel and toffee. (The aroma on this beer made me jump out of my chair in sheer shock and enjoyment!

Taste: Compared to the aggressive nose you might be inclined to deduce that it doesn't compare in magnitude but the truth is that this is an American Pale Ale NOT an American IPA and thus fits the style perfectly by being (yes hoppy) but balance by a malt backbone that ends in a Dry/Bitter finish. In my opinion the taste was just as enjoyable for the style!

Mouthfeel: Medium body at most with med-full carbonation.

Finish: Dry, clean, bitter, slightly sweet ( You burp hops! )

Overall: A great tribute to the American pale ale by using fresh Citra and Mossaic whole cone hops. I 100% recommend this beer!

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Photo of Kendo
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is coppery-amber with a small off-white head on top.

S: Big hoppy nose of grapefruit juice and pine needles.

T: Follows the nose, with loads of grapefruit juice and herbal, leafy hops over modest bready malt. Finishes with lingering pineapple/grapefruit juice bitterness that coats the palate and really stays.

M: Medium in heft, nice carbonation levels create a good sharpness to the hoppy bitterness on the palate. Too slick and this beer would've been a different animal; as it is, nicely carbonated, it's well done.

O: Solid wet/fresh-hopped ale; reminds me of Session IPAs at times, an APA at other times, a straight American IPA at other moments. Good stuff.

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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 DMXLOX22
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Picked up a 12 oz. of this little surprise at my local establishment, Civera's Deli in Drexel Hill. It's late in the fall season, so let's see how this brew matches up.

Appearance: Pours a deep, golden brown. Very juicy looking and totally inviting. The bubble show from the carbonation is quite impressive. Leaves behind a 2 inch froathy, creamy-looking, head that follows down all the way to the bottom. Incredible lacing.

Smell: The explosion of hop aroma is definitely noticeable as it sits in front of me. Very impressed in that department. Dry-hopped, West Coast hops are apparent in the beginning. Lemon-zest is the underlying aroma and citrus is also present. Very inviting.

Taste: Upon first sips, the dry-hopped hops are very present and apparent. Somewhat bready and fruity-citrus are also obvious in the sips. Upon further inspection, tealeaf's are also present in the flavors. Has a somewhat soft, caramel-like flavor. Ripe grapefruit is also on the aftertaste with a boozey-like flavor. Good and fresh, like the label says.

Mouthfeel: Medium to above-medium carbonation is present. Actually, with the boozy flavor, goes down quite easy and light.

Overall: Coming into this brew, I was a little skeptical. But a lot of Victory beers never fail to impress me. This brew was loaded with hop flavor and actually went down quite smooth. I would try this again if it were readily available. I would recommend to a friend. Cheers!

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Photo of patpbr
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Slightly amber copper with a white light head.
S - Its juicy and pine like with a bit of grapefruit.
T - Very fresh hops with the above aroma and adding in lots of earthy tones and lemon and lime.
M - Medium body and a slight bitter and dry finish
O - Very good, this stands with some of the best in class.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Appearance: Pours a clear amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that settle into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A very juicy and piney hop forward aroma with big hints of citrus fruit and resin. Upfront citra hops with juicy hints of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, lemon, apricot, and pineapple. Earthy and floral hops with hints of dank pine resin and grass. Background malt presence with hints of caramel, grains, cracker, and yeast. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a ripe, juicy, and earthy hop driven taste with big notes of citrus and pine resin. Very ripe and juicy upfront with citra hop notes of orange peel, mango, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and apricot. Earthy, floral, and spicy hop notes with some pine resin and grass. Solid backing malt presence with notes of caramel sweetness, grains, cracker, and yeast. A really good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, oily, and very drying on the finish.

Overall: A really good fresh hop ale. Good ripe and dank presence of citrus and earthy hop notes.

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Photo of HopDeezy
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

A - burnt orange/auburn color with a dissipating white head.

S - Fresh, grassy, piney with hints of lemon grass, spices, wild flowers. There was some there that was familiar but I couldn't figure out until I read Victory's description and it was the tea. Very prominent tea notes here.

T - sweet hops, again with the tea, syrup, fresh lemon grass.

M - good carbonation, fresh tea infused bursts of hops and citrus.

O - Unique and pleasant fresh surprise. I really enjoyed this beer. Not in the great class but very enjoyable nonetheless. WIll be getting this again.

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Photo of richj1970
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottle dated enjoy by 3/10/2015.

A: Pours a rich golden yellow with one finger head with decent retention and leaves a good amount of stringy lacing.

S: Bunch punch of citrus hits you immediately. Grapefruit, oranges, and lemon. Faint notes of pine needles and wet grass. The smell alone told me I was going to enjoy this one immensely.

T: Again some juicy citrus and a dank hop bite. Lots of grapefruit and orange peel.

M: Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Finish is crisp and dry with a nice hop bite and leaves a bit of oily resin behind.

O: Very nice IPA and a welcome departure from the big stouts I have been drinking lately.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

A - Clear amber/copper body. Medium head leaves heavy lacing. Never fades completely.
S - Dank. I don't use that term lightly. This is a very dank ale. Smells like a packet of hop pellets.
T - Hop juice. Citrus, tropical hops. Some pine, but not resin. The malt is only there as a balance to the hops and not much more.
M - Light body, low/medium carb. Coats the palate. Bitterness lingers.
O - An excellent wet hop ale. Although I haven't come across one that I didn't like. Seek this one out.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Copper transparent body with a soapy white head. Fresh hop, pine aroma with a hint of spice. A touch of black pepper in the flavor with grassy and herbal notes as well. Hop forward with a light warmth in the finish. Gentle bitterness lingers. Tasty.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev -2.7%

When I think harvest ale, I think something brown, with a distinct maltiness, some hops, and possibly some rye or other grain, maybe even some dried fruits. Not being a hop head, I guess that's my naive take.

This is a pale ale made from the fresh hop harvest. It's hoppy, fresh, and delicious, with tons of essential oils coming through and lots of bite. The hopes are incredible clean and bright and they really shine. I wish all hoppy beers drank like this.

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Photo of cbutova
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best by March 2015.

A- 12oz bottle poured to a chalice with a translucent deep golden, copper body. A puffy cap rises to about a finger with decent retention. Sheets and webs of lace around the top with large spots following beyond that.

S- Intense passion fruit notes really grabs my attention right off the bat with a battering of glorious fresh hops beyond that. Tangerine, oranges, lemon zest, herbal and floral notes as it leans towards the citrus side of things. Light grainy and bread hints but the hops are the king here.

T- Follows the aroma, thankfully. A glorious passion fruit note is probably met at equal strength by citrus hop derived tones of orange, dankness, tangerine, lemon and clementine. Not much juicy hop character but some stone fruit hints beyond this. A bit more base grain character here and some yeast hints but the fresh hops are the star.

MF- Light overall body but a crisp edge to it with a substantial frothy consistency. Carbonation on the high side and it seems to really help accentuate the fresh hop character. Bitterness lingers in the finish moderately.

This is my first time having this brew. I had not really heard of it or seen it much until this year but I am very glad I discovered it this week. Hopefully I can find a full pack of it as I only bought a single; a very nice surprise!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Victory Harvest Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 10 MAR 2015 1421 P"
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Victory never fails to deliver, and just the aroma of dank, pungent hops coming off of this beer makes it all worthwhile! It's bright and full and complicated, and I can smell it at arms length. I could try to analyze the aroma but I don't think I could do it justice, so let's move on to the flavor.

Malt cuts right through, possible dashing your hopes of drinking sweaty hop juice, or perhaps not... they do remain, but not nearly as intensely as they do in the aroma. It's got an edge of sweet toasty bread, or even slightly burnt cake, and lots of gentle golden caramel. That then couples with a leafy, tea-like character from the hops and I instantly think of an English ale. But there's more, some fruits appear, giving it an almost orange marmalade character, which once again, makes me think of an English ale. Pine and pith, and other citrus find their way through as well, and it becomes more tropical and "West Coast IPA". It's solidly bitter, and in combination with the resinous hops it's quite dry in the finish, but overall the hop bitterness is balanced so that you can enjoy the hop flavors, and continue drinking without pause (although a bit of water might help to cleanse your palate and open you up to complexities you haven't experienced just yet). The soft caramel maltiness lingers long into the finish as hops flicker across it: pungent, spicy, fruity/citrusy, leafy, and even floral. Except for the possibility that some of the spiciness might be coming from the alcohol, it's entirely cloaked.

As far as hop harvest ales go, this has been one of the best I've tasted. The aroma is intense, and it's complex and full in flavor yet anchored and balanced. Each subsequent growing season will, of course, determine what the hops will give, but I'll certainly seek this out again. Along with the aroma of misty fields and piles of damp leaves, what better way welcome fall and ward off the chill than with a glass of this?

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Photo of orangesol
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden. Pours clear amber orange with a nice one finger tall white head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving sticky webs of lace on the glass.

Smells of mildly toasted caramel malt, some pine resin, bit of grass and a touch of citric find. Taste is mainly the caramel sweetness and sticky pine resin with some backing chewiness from the malt. Slick, bitter feel with a bitter-sweet finish that lingers long after consumption.

Overall a decent wet hop "pale ale" that has some decent flavor and balance but never really wow's me in any facet. Nice to try but they make much better hoppy beers than this one.

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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 larryi86
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottled poured into a tulip

A- A clear golden amber color with a two finger white head.

S- Pretty big, citrus, grapefruit, hints of wet grass, pine, slightly dank, nice toasted malt backbone.

T- Piney, somewhat dank, citrus, hints of toasted malts, well balanced.

M- Smooth, crisp, dry, medium body, high carbonation.

O- A great IPA from Victory, I am kicking myself for only buying one bottle. I need to remember to buy full 4/6 packs when Victory makes a new IPA because they are always good.

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Photo of denver10
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours orange-golden with an off white head. Aroma is oily, floral and sweet, juicy fruitiness on top of a toasted bread with a little honey foundation. Flavor follows suit with a nice moderate bitter finish. A crisp medium bodied active mouthfeel. Overall, phenomenal stuff here. Victory has been on a tear with their hoppy releases lately.

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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
91 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.
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