Helios (V Saison) | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Helios  (V Saison)Helios  (V Saison)

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Repackaging of V Saison

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

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Reviews: 451 | Ratings: 1,088
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Aged for several months. Pours hazy dark yellow with huge white head. Barnyard aromas. Mouthfeel on the creamy side, which supports very good drinkability. The taste includes the lemon and black pepper, and sweetish yeast that produces fruitiness, banana and orange.
I had this by growler recently and the brett was significant yet well integrated. Funkiness was nice.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazy golden yellow color. Two finger light off white head has good retention. Light lacing (streaking) left on the sides of the glass.

S- Lemon citrus is the main aroma in this one. There is a low lying malt undertone to the beer which comes in hints. Nice saison style funk on the backend of this beer. Some light grassy and alcohol notes as well in this one. Overall a average smelling saison...ok a little above average of most beers.

T- A tart citrus in the front end with a light peppery note. This rides over a light malt backbone toward the middle. Also, some light grassy notes overall in this one. Hops come in the finsh of the beer with some earthy tones to them. Overall, a good rep of the style flavor wise.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Lemon funk left on the palate with a earthy funk flavor left long into the aftertaste. Blended flavors with some easy to pick out individually. Clean overall in the flavor.

D- This beer is very very drinkable. Nothing over the top flavor wise but still bursting with flavor. Easy to finish a bomber and could crack open another one. I think the lower price I paid for this ($3.39) has something to do with a good drinkability score. Victory puts out good beers and this is no exception.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden yellow color with a thick head and visible carbonation and particles. The head gives way to almost no lacing. The aroma is of wheat, with hints of clove and a little pepper, there is also a smell of banana present. The taste has a wheat backbone with a nice banana taste over the top rounded out with a hint of clove. The mouthfeel is dry and moderately carbonated. Overall this is a very solid beer, it has a nice variety of flavors to keep you interested.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 22 from Victory's retail shop a couple of months back. Poured into a snifter. Appears a hazy copper yellow. Good carbonation. Towards the bottom of the bottle came the yeast. Smells a strong peppery with lemon hints. Spicy aroma. Bitter in taste. Clove and pepper-like in taste. Decent mouthfeel. Drinkability is so-so for me. I like this beer every now and again hut not one of my favorite Victory brews.

Remembered when I bought corked bottles of V Saison. For whatever reason, I still think uncorking a fresh bottle of beer felt a lot more magical and special than simply popping off a bottle cap. I guess I wish they left this as stronger Saison.

Update - 5/30/11: Popped open a bottle of V Saison that was aging in my cellar. Bottle date says May 30, 2008. 3 years to the day! Only sadness is this will be the last of any V Saisons I'll every see.

Smells & tastes of green apple. Slightly tart, yet acidic. Aroma hops have faded, and the Belgian yeast has smoothed out any complex malts into a nice smooth finish. Still some peppery notes & some clove like characteristics. Nice carbonation reminds me of a fine champagne. What a majestic brew after some waiting. Great on this hot summer-like day here in Philly.

Bought a couple of capped 22s at the brewpub retail store for like $6 a piece I think. Awesome deal for a great beer. Pours clear gold with nice steady carbonation and fluffy white head that fades to a thin lacing that sticks to the tulip glass sides. Smells peppery with lemon and a noticeable Brett character. Brett is a little musty but mostly barnyard. Taste is similar as the nose with a noticeable funk. Feels light and refreshing with some alcohol warmth. Overall, a very well executed beer that I've increased my appreciation for the more that I've grown a taste for Brett and funky beers.

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Photo of yesyouam
2.24/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Victory Helios is a very sparkling, pretty clear, pale golden ale with lots of particles. It has a huge, fluffy, white head that has outstanding retention. There are lots of bananas in the aroma, with notes of lemon and phenol. It smells fruity and funky. It has a lively, medium body that starts a little heavy on the tongue and becomes very light at the squeaky dry finish. It has a very phenolic flavor overall. There is a little herbal bitterness and something earthy in there, but it's hard to notice-- Everything is overpowered by the taste of Band-Aids. A long Band-Aid finish lingers. Yech. Band-Aid juice.

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Photo of jculler82
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a Duvel tulip.

Huge 4 finger white head after a standard pour. Head retains well, but leaves no lacing. Crystal clear orangey gold, the clearness became cloudyness when I poured the second half of the bomber, including yeast.

Smells is damp musty basement, with a background of lemon peel. Not overly complex.

Taste wise, Helios is not bad, not bad at all, but nothing jumps out of the glass at you. It puts me in the mind of a lemon zested American wheat beer, with a firm bitterness in the finish. The beer is so dry and so firmly carbonated that after the swallow there is nothing, which I mean as a good thing, readying you for the next sip. It is definitely easy to drink, but it is just kind of bland. I think it would make a great Saison for someone just trying the style. Again, not a bad beer, just nothing special.

The medium high carbonation and excellent dryness make this beer very drinkable, especially on a 90+ degree day like today. No sign of the 7.5% alcohol.

Overall, timing is everything. I was looking for something that was going to refresh me in today's heat, and Helios did. But, if I would have been looking for an over the top Saison, I wouldn't have found it.

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Photo of mstyne
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating present.

Caught a whiff right out of the gate and was taken aback -- there was a strong impression of fizzy yellow beer smell! This quickly parted somehow and I was left with a nicer wheat smell. Large, robust head but no lacing.

A sharp wheaty spicy flavor -- do I detect some alcohol burn? It's a big(ger) beer so I guess that could be possible. Ultimately this brew won me over. I'm going to continue to investigate this style and may re-review this one down the road.

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Photo of myrtlebeachbums
2.46/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I grabbed this on a whim at a local store. While I tend to like the Belgian abbey ales, I should probably know better than try the Belgian farmhouse styles. I always try them, and never really care for them.

Smell is was okay, as was mouth feel. Taste, on the other hand, left me less than happy. Honestly, I can' describe it as anything more than a "horse-like" flavor in the finish. It's okay up to that point, but there's something about it I just did not enjoy.

If I was at the brewery I might try it on tap to see if somehow it was mishandled between Philly and Myrtle Beach to cause the experience I had, but I probably won't try it in a bottle again.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes

A: Super clear light gold color with a half finger of white head. Good lacing. A little bit more clear than I like to see a saison but that it just nick picking.

S: Little spicy with a touch of black pepper. More spice comes through as it warms. The grain is quite crisp and fresh.

T: Spicy again. Black pepper. Very clean. Crisp. Not that much going on but it was enjoyable.

M: Light . Well carbonated and refreshing.

D: Easy going. Nice and refreshing. Would like it too be a little more complex for the ABV tax though.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: cloudt gold with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: nice earhty bredy aromas

taste: light tasting easy drinking summer ale.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: not a awesome saison, not sour like preferred. but a decent beer and a good beer for people learning.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into an 8oz sampling glass.

Pours a light hazy yellow with a nice fluffy white head. Nose is very funky, bandaids, citrius and fruit.

Taste is funky. It's sweet and tart, hard to explain, it's right on for a saison but there'. A bit of that hop bitterness as well as wet horse blanket. I'd say skip this beer but I'm not a big fan of the style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory Helios Ale. 22 oz. bomber.

Bright golden/ straw yellow coloration, highly hazed, Huge head, gorgeous and puffy, luscious and lacey, pure white as the driven snow, etcetera.

Aroma:ah,yes!Here's the zest, the spice, the citrus, the flowery and ethereal, lovely and uplifting air.Like a witbier, but just spot on for a saison. A llittle light.

On the tongue, continued zest, peppery spice spanks the palate, then fades back a bit, but not for long. The blast up front lingers, though, and the citrus-y character gets a bit pointed, a little sharp, shall we say. Still brisk, tasty, refreshing. Spiciness stays on top,until it drops off.

Pleasing, but not exciting. Yummy, zesty/sour saison. Not too complex, but good with food,and great drinking on a spring/summer day.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.56/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slightly cloudy orangish golden color with a two finger head that bubbled up and dissipated rather quickly with no lacing. No stick on the side throughout the drink.

S - Smoething smells off on this. Slightly yeasty funk with a bit of a syrupy sweet smell and a grassy aroma. Also, there's some sort of rotten piss smell that's coming through on this.

T - A bit skunky, some grassy hops, a bit sweet and syrupy. It's not bad, but not great, not tons going on here, but I'm not a huge fan of the saisons either, so that might have something to do with it.

M - Syrupy, but pretty light, nicely carbonated, but doesn't seem to match the weight of the beer.

D - Just doesn't taste as good as it needs to to be drinkable.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer is honey gold, murky with lots of carbonation. Good retention and lacing.

The aroma is ok, but the weakness of the beer. Its sorta floral but in a generic way, slightly skunky.

The taste is ok a little grassy flavor and more skunk. However, its pretty easy to drink, not that you would drink a lot of it.

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Photo of speter
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy sunshine gold with a fluffy white three-finger head that fades to a thin layer of froth.

S: Warm malt with orange zest, hops, and that "funk" we love.

T: This one changes all over the place. Initially somewhat sweet, then pepper and citrus begin to shine through, and finally the pepper redoubles and adds hop bitterness. In the meantime, there's a hint of sourness as a leitmotif. Wonderfully complex.

M: As refreshing as it is, this has a full body. The carbonation remains lively for the whole session.

D: I had this with a spicy Chinese-Korean dish, and the pairing was awesome. Alone, this is a beer to be savored.

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Photo of azorie
2.12/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well if this is in the style of a saison I sure am fooled, more of a lemon pepper pale ale if you ask me.

A: poured into a mug at about 45F, nice off white head forms up, did not last long, color is pale off yellow, some cloudiness. claimed to be bottle conditioned. poured it hard in the glass both times to finish never really saw any yeast and I love yeast I always pour it into the mix, and NOT leave in the bottle, seems only Americans do that.

s: mostly hops and soap, no yeast no brett, no lemon, no pepper,no spices just off. and hops it seems victory is as bad as most west coast brewers if hops are good more must be better not really. One thinks if your going to brew in the style of a Belgian beer go to Belgium learn how to make one.

T: ok I try to keep an open mind and I usually try not to rate beers that don't do it for me, but since Victory is here in Florida I am going to give it my honest review. it tastes like ivory soap with hops in it. Ok its not really soapy, trying to figure out actually what I do taste. First there is a mineral water taste, plaster, sulfates. As it warms it gets worse: its a cooper bitterness, with a cabbage like taste, yuck its really a drain pour for me I will drink the last drop. its not dry or sweet, but its unbalanced hop wise, all I can say is so far every non stout from victory I had tastes at first like a pale ale and not in a good way.

m: thick and not much carbonation. its flat

d: well it came in a bomber, sadly is all I can say, would I drink it again NO FRIGGING way.

glad it was only $3.99 a bomber to try it. Never again.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle the other day on the recommendation of Brian, Ryan and Eric. Good call, guys!

Light golden orange, this beer turns a little yeasty on adding the yeast. There's a large white head that recedes slowly to a thin ring. Looks good so far.

The nose is just fantastic. A beautiful saison nose, there's a blend of light lemon and grassy hop character, a touch of Brett-based grassy funk, a moderate spice character with a little coriander and white pepper, some honey and a light bread note. Light floral character as well. Just fantastic. The palate is just as excellent, opening with a big, Brett character, just a fantastic, grass notes, blended very well with a light hop character, mildly German in nature, particularly on the finish. With a blend of honey and spices, this is the epitome of what a saison should be. Light and crisp on the palate, this finishes with a great drying, grassy, light hop character. Fantastic stuff, this is something I'm going to drink a LOT of this summer and after.

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Photo of TommyW
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, golden body with a tall, white head.

S- Smell of German malts is really evident with notes of lemon and a clean hop aroma.

T- Malty upfront but not overly sweet or bready; it really lightens up with the addition of some lemon and a bit of pepper. The yeast lend a nice mineraly quality as well.

M- Medium body with a medium carbonation.

D- One of the lighter saisons in terms of flavor; I steamed some mussels in this and had a glass to go with them, and it was awesome, but I'd easily drink this on it's own as well.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta let the giant white fluffy head settle down a bit. Maybe a bit too aggressive on the pour. Somewhat hazy straw gold colored body. Lace sticks all over. Sweet malt nose decked out with lemon and spice. Light malts backed by lemon, spicy alcohol, pepper, touch of barn yard. Almost want to call the mouth "harsh," very active on the tongue. Pretty complex brew.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Duvel tulip

A - Hazy orange yellow with a huge white head. I'm not sure if I didn't let this one cool down enough after picking it up at the store today or what but the head is out of control.

S - Funky smell. I pick up the lemon orange scent. Reminded me a lot of some of the sour beers I've had.

T - Hints of lemons and oranges with some Belgian yeast flavor. This is the first time I've had the style so it is kind of hard to pick out the individual flavors. Pretty tasty and refreshing however.

M - Well carbonated with a light to medium body

D - I would pick this up again at this price point. This is a refreshing beer and has plenty of flavor. This is my first Saison and I will definitely seek out this style in the future.

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Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a faintly hazy golden orange with a surprisingly sturdy light cream head. Excellent retention and nice lacing.

Nose brings to mind more of a Belgian pale than a farmhouse. Strong malt presence with lemongrass. Weak banana bread and a little nutty texture sneaking in. Fairly complex.

Not as sour as I expected, but sour is definitely one of the main characteristics. Slight hop burn in the end. Creamy and fizzy at the same time. Decently spicy, too, with corriander and lemon peel.

Pretty nice drinker for a farmhouse style.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P- Al's of Hampden

A- golden yellow color with a 3 finger head. Frothy and carbonated. Nice splotch lacing on the glass.

S- citrus,lemongrass, clove and banana.

T- a unique lemon.orange type of carbonated taste. Very bubbly, almost like champagne.

M- bubbly and a bit tart. Coats the inside of the mouth easily.

D- the carbonation in the beer hinders this from being a beer you can drink in 20 minutes. Overall not bad but different.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a chalice

beer pours a clear straw colour with huge fluffy white head

aroma is pleasant - ginger, cloves, citrus, lemon, grapefruit

taste - this is good, somewhat similar to the nose, a little spicy upfront, ginger, cloves, belgian yeast, some funk

mouthfeel - this is farily light and refreshing, low to medium carbonation, goes down fairly easy

Drinkability - I could definetly polish off this bottle, for the ABV, extremely drinkable

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased for $3.99 at Hoosick Beverages in Troy, NY. Poured cold into a chilled pint glass.

Bright lemon yellow brew with rigorous carbonation clinging to the glass. Billowy eggshell head flares up and then settles readily to just a few wisps. Nose is moderately thick with light malts, lemon, some light caramel, candy sugar. Taste is green apple, spruce, lemon peel, cinnamon. A good well-rounded hoppy bite, but not a hop bomb. Just enough malt background to support the hoppy flavors and provide mouthfeel but not enough to play a huge part in the flavor. Almost like a blend of IPA and blonde. Good with pizza after a hard day in the garden.

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Photo of Sam21
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into tulip. "Bottled December 10th 2010."

Appearance - Pours a hazy orange with yellow around the edges. Lively white head that leaves some lacing. Very lively carbonation. Alive and inviting.

Smell - Clove, yeast, lemon peel, and some banana sweetness.

Taste - Lemon peel, some very slight banana sweetness, and a spicy black pepper finish. Mellow funky character and some earthiness. Good balance between malt and hops.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied with lots of filling carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability - Very refreshing saison. Great balance, although nothing that makes me say, "wow!" Overall, a great American saison at a great price.

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Helios (V Saison) from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,088 ratings.
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