Headwaters Pale Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
88
very good
601 Reviews
Headwaters Pale AleHeadwaters Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by thagr81us on 02-14-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
601
Ratings:
2,571
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
23.27%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
493
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 2,571
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a pale tan head that has just a tinge of golden amber. Aroma is rather hoppy, almost more like an IPA than a regular ale, with a malty underpinning and a hint of citrus. Rich flavor has a nice balance of malt and hops with grassy, fruity and honey hints. This ale is very drinkable! Texture is smooth and quite pleasantly fizzy. Recommended.

 375 characters

Photo of FLima
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Very few times I have felt such intense aroma of papaya in a beer. Also hints of sweet strawberries and white bread.
Bitter flavor with notes of tea bags, oranges, papaya, mango, peaches, caramel, grass, earth and floral and perfumy hops. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting perfumy bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation and an acid sensation.
A hoppy and earthy APA. Papaya with lemon drops and a handful of hops.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of Jul 8 2011. Pours a stunningly clear copper color with a modest cap of tan head. Fades fairly quick and does not leave a whole lot of lacing.

I really like the tropical blend of hop aromas on this one. Really nice. Some toasty malt is in the background, but the juicy hops are the main show.

This is a mighty fine Pale Ale. Succulent hop flavors are complimented by a shifting grass hop bitterness at the end. Not to be outdone, the biscuity and toasted malt flavors manage to shine as well. Mouthfeel is right at medium for an APA and it goes down very easy and smooth. I think Victory has a real winner on their hands here. I know I will buy more than a few six packs of this each year.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear carbonated orange with a one finger head

S-Malt, some citrus hops and buttery notes

T-Starts with malt and some spices, pepper-like, some citrus notes and a little bit of grass.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation

O-The best buy date was two weeks away when I had this beer, but it seemed to have started to turn. I'll look for another fresh one but so far I was disappointed.

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Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear dark amber in color. A soft and fluffy but dense head about one finger high retains itself moderately well and leaves a little thin lacing spotted down the glass.
The nose was strongly hoppy, more floral than anything but with some resin, complimented by a tangy lemon and citrus peel. There's a bit of dry malt balancing as well.
The taste follows suit. This is a very hop-forward pale that doesn't entirely throw out balance. This is a dry flavor given a lower sweetness and what seems like a dry malt base behind the floral, herbal and lightly citrus notes of the hops.
The mouthfeel is clean and crisp in a medium body. Fuller and more interesting than average, but missing something that would put it up there in my mind.
This is another very nice offering from Victory, who never disappoints.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear deep copper color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of freshly cut grass with a hint of grapefruit. It is a rather strong aroma. The taste is a nice balance of citrus and grass. Bitterness is firm without being overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best American Pale Ales I've had in a very long time. It has nice complexity. I can see this beer becoming a regular for me.

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Photo of jera1350
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Certainly looks the part with a thick cap of foam and a golden body.

Kind of a soapy hop smell. Liquid dish soap with some earthy and citrus hop notes.

Not the biggest fan of the hop profile, but I do like the overall flavor of the beer. A nice biscuity sweet malt that puts the earthy hops in balance.

Smooth feeling with very soft carbonation. The body is light-medium. Lightly dry finishing as well.

Overall, this is a very solid pale ale. The hops stand out in this one, but in no way overwhelm the whole of the beer. That is the way a good pale ale should be. Nice brew.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a hazy straw yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, and slight pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, and pine hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Definitely had robust 'in your face' flavoring going on in here. However, the flavors were not awe-inspiring. As the previous reviewer stated, I didn't get ANY citrus aspect in this one at all. I even mentioned to Cameron (regional rep) that it would have been much better with a citrus aspect. To each their own I guess. This thing did have a very nice aroma going on in it though. It is worth trying at least once, but that is about it for me.

 841 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow pine hop and a small malt. In the taste, pine hops balanced with a mellow dry malt. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine to clean aftertaste. Nice hoppy pale, nice and easy.

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Photo of morimech
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by Sept 19 2011. Amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Some lacing is left on the glass.

Hoppy aroma of citrus and grass. What malt is detectable gives some toasted notes.

The malt makes more of an appearance in the flavor compared with the aroma. Caramel and toasted malt lays a solid foundation for the hops to play on. The hops have notes of citrus, grass, and a little earthiness. Quite a bit of hop flavor from the modest IBUs. Just a hint of sweetness in the finish.

Solid pale ale body. Good carbonation and texture.

A lot of flavor from relatively low IBUs and low ABV. Why can't more brewers do this.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a thin head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is mild fruit: apricot and some grapefruit.
The taste has a solid moderate bitterness throughout with some balancing malt in the middle to end. It finishes with a little sweet note.
The texture is crisp with a good fizz.
It's enjoyable and on the more bitter side.

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Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear toasted straw color with a small tight off white head that dissipated into a light cap.

The aroma is of a light fruity and peppery hop, slight metallic twang. Pretty standard APA aroma.

The flavor is of a sweet bready malt base with fruity hop flavor, a bit grassy at time, with hints of pepper. Light metallic notes in the finish. The hops seems to be more for bittering than flavor. Again, standard for an APA. Solid but not spectaculiar.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Some sweetness on the palate but finishes with a slightly dry bitterness.

A very standard APA, I'd prefer a bit more hop flavor. A good outside drinking beer during a bbq.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.0 A: Faintly hazed light orange color. Just half a finger of frothy off-white head with average retention, but no lacing.

4.5 S: Lot of aroma in this. Jam packed action for the nose. Quite hoppy with floral and dank resiny, cat pissy hops. Maybe some citrus and pine underneath. Grainy with a light caramel and a light toastiness. Solid neutral malt aroma. Not entirely complex, but powerful and more importantly, exceedingly pleasant.

4.0 T: Good balance betweent the hops and the malts. Hops are again floral, resiny, and dank with just slight cat notes. Grainy malts with light toast and caramel. Solid flavors that are big and bold. Well done.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and could use some more, but good enough overall.

4.0 D: Tasty, well rounded pale ale. Super drinkable and easily classified as an "anytime beer."

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Photo of KTCamm
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from twelve oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours copper with some foam that settles out. No lacing. Piney hoppy smell. Malty taste. Up front hop bite oily through the middle fades out. Smooth. Watery in a good way. Thin carbonation some grapefruit notes. Overall good beer.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - typical IPA/Pale Ale clear golden orange with 1 finger head. Little retention.
Smell - Pleasant light apricot smell with slight hop scents
Taste - Mild flavorings, well balanced. Nothing too impressive but yet a nice easy drinking ale none-the-less. Slight hop flavorings but no aftertaste.
Mouthfeel - a little watery

Overall - This is a nice, light Pale Ale. Definitely not world class by any means, but its pleasant and light for an easy drinker when in the mood for a mild style Pale Ale, with slight apricot flavorings.

 538 characters

Photo of argock
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a clear nonic pint at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Clear amber with 1/2-finger tightly bubble oatmeal colored head with good retention and lacing.

S: The hoppiness seems a little tempered compared to the bottle I had last week. Still orange dominated with a rich biscuity malt presence.

T: The hoppiness and maltiness don't have the profound snappy quality that the bottle version had. Still an enjoyable brew with smooth orange and pine hops qualities and generous caramel and pale maltiness.

M: Carbonation is medium as is the body.

D: A nice session brwe from Victory -- I would order again, but I thought the bottle was sharper and more distinctive.

 689 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Bright amber with a creamy white lacing. Sweet floral, herbal and fresh, with apple skins and fresh grain in the nose. Firm body, creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. Citric hop bite up front with a mixed bag of floral, herbal and spicy notes, followed by a small dose of malt sweetness (cereal grains, biscuity, bready), and apple-y fruitiness rounds things out. Chalky, bicarbonate, and dry with sticky and spicy herbal flavors lingering on the palate. A very solid addi- tion to the Victory lineup. This will no doubt become a benchmark APA in years to come, if they keep it consistent.

 648 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear light amber body with an inch of pillowy white head. Great retention, spotty lace. Very nice indeed.

S: Floral and piney hops on top of dry, biscuity malt. Simple, and good.

T: Hops are up front, but quickly give way to toasty, biscuity, bready malt. Cleanly bitter finish. I'm impressed by how substantial and complex the malt notes are without adding too much sweetness.

M: Substantial body with moderate, initially sharp carbonation. Enjoyable.

O: While this wasn't anything to write home about, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable APA. I'd be more than happy to drink a few of these on a cool summer evening. I'm certainly in the minority to say this, but this is by far my favorite of Victory's hop-forward offerings - granted, that says as much about how much I dislike Hop Devil and Hop Wallop as it does about my admiration for Headwaters, but so it goes.

Cheers!

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Photo of cokes
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours toasted golden with a large stack of off-white foam. Retention and lacing are both moderate.
Oily, orange rind and mint nose, backed with herbal snappiness, and tangerine and apple butter-smeared toast.
It begins with a taut, crackery maltiness that unfolds towards honeyed Golden Grahams as it warms. Some tangerine fruitiness frolicks in the middle, then a solid slap of minty, herbal, citrus peel bitterness shoots it down the throat.
It's light bodied, with steady, percolating carbonation. It's an absolutely refreshingly quaffable, and with enough character to stay interesting throughout the session.

 614 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of these on draft at Armby Abbey. The sample I tried sold me immediately with it's great aroma. Two visits and two pints later, Victory reminded me why they have been one of my favorite brewers.

Pale Amber in color with some gold/orange tones and nice clarity. Nice finger of creamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is fruity, fresh and full of grapefruit and topical notes.

Nice little beer here. Great balance, nice fresh hop flavor with an explosion of grapefruit. Toasty malts play a nice supporting role here.

Really refreshing and bright in your mouth. Carbonation pops an brings forth the hop character.

Really enjoyed this and will look for the bottled version (which I am told exists)

Well done!

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Photo of MDDMD
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-medium amber color with a nice white head and some lacing

S-lemon zest, pine, grassy aromas

T-nice grapefruit flavors with slight sweet biscuit, pine, and a nice bitter finish

F-Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a good pale ale, nice session beer

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of March 14, 2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Victory that just arrived in my area. Victory really seems to be cranking them out lately. Expectations are decent.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice bright coppery orange with excellent clarity, and just over a finger of soapy bubbly off-white head. Some thin strings of lacing. Looks very prime.

S - Very floral hops really shine here. Flowers, grass, lemons, pine, and some crisp leafy earthiness / yeast presence. A touch of grainy pilsner malt sort of smell.

T - Taste follows the nose with the addition of woodsy caramel malt. Grainy pilsner malts, leafy herbal earthiness, floral hops, resinous pine / spruce, and some bitter grapefruit. Nice and all, but I feel like it falls a bit short somewhere.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, and even refreshing. Light grainy malt and some resinous hops chilling on the palate.

Overall, a nice pale ale, but hardly distinguishable from many others in the pack. It is bright and floral with excellent balance, and a solid sipper with a moderately low 5.10% abv. I would have it again if the occasion was right.

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: chalice serving, the beer is a light caramel amber in color, floating a frothy off-white head that falls back to a thin layer

s: herbal and citrusy hops accompany a biscuity pale malt body, grapefruit rind, light caramels, hops even provide a little resin while staying firmly within pale ale territory, there's nothing unnecessary or out-of-place - skilled execution really makes a great product from only a few ingredients

m: moderately carbonated, light-medium in body, satisfying and crisp

t: great structure of biscuity pale malts allows the dried citrus and grassy herbal hops to assert themselves, slight caramel sugar adds body and depth, nice grapefruit rind bitterness, finishing quite dry, clean and refreshing, outstanding balance, just a top notch pale ale

d: a superbly crafted pale ale not too far off from the hallmarks of the style produced by SN - not much of a surprise from Victory, glad to have another worthwhile, drinkable beer readily available

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Photo of notchucknorris
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color with a 1/2 finger cream colored head.

S: Some pretty nice floral hops and a touch of caramel. Not fantastic, but pretty nice.

T: Some good floral hop flavor upfront followed by some biscuity malt and a touch of breadiness and malt sweetness on the finish. There's nothing about this beer that blew me away, but it's a tasty pale ale and I'd definitely try it again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

870th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Best by: 10/25/11

App- A dark orange/amber with a good solid one finger white head. A good sheen and cling of lace.

Smell- A lot of caramel with some malts and a slight bitter note behind it. A little bit earthy and citrus.

Taste- A pretty straightforward brew. A lot of malt behind its profile with some earthy tones. A slight citrus component with a small dampness behind it as well.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with a paired medium carbonation. A good earthy and juicy residual flavor.

Drink- Not as refreshing as I had hoped but still tasteful. A bit fuller than most pale ales and a tad darker and more layered.

 662 characters

Headwaters Pale Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.91 out of 5 based on 2,571 ratings.
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