Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Victory Hop Devil Ale

So after four straight macro lager request for "All Viewer Request Month" we FINALLY change it up a bit and get to an IPA. Actually, people have been asking me to review Victory Hop Devil and/or Hop Wallop for a long time, but for whatever reason I never really get around to reviewing them. Well the time for an IPA from Pennsylvania is here thanks to http://youtube.com/xpoweruser who requested this beer to be reviewed. Jeremy - when you coming back to BeerTube, man?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - SEP 12, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Quite dark for a single IPA: dark copper/orange hue with a noticeably haze. Little carbonation visible. Forms a small, yellow, soapy head which retains and laces about average.

Smell: Thick sappy pine tree with a slightly sweet floral aroma.

Taste: Victory Hop Devil epitomizes the East Coast IPA style and then some. Just like the aroma it’s sticky pine bitterness up front, with a quick burst of tropical fruit juice in the middle, finishing with a dry, sappy hop bite. This is what a balanced IPA should be. The bitterness is pronounced throughout the palate, but the malts hold their own with a mild, caramel and butterscotch sweetness all along.

As it warms the beer becomes even sappier and the fruity flavors and sensation that were present at the beginning fade away quickly, leaving a dry, bitter palate. The sweet maltiness is still there, but just less pronounced. This is a tasty palate to be sure, but not necessarily a creative one. I don’t mind if a beer plays the same notes repeatedly, but Hop Devil doesn’t finish quite as strong as it begins.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and tepid. Aftertaste is slightly dry, but easily tolerable.

Drinkability: It’s very rare that I would consider a beer to be "too drinkable," but I think Victory Hop Devil might be just that. The body is a little too thin and flat and seems to subtract from the genuine hoppy flavors and bitterness. It’s quite smooth and easy to get through the mouth, although at one point all the CO2 got backed up in my throat at the same time. The 6.7% ABV is impressive since it seems to have a little more energy than that, and dare I say this might even be sessionable? A great beer to have with sports bar fare.

Overall, Victory Hop Devil Ale is a good beer and a good IPA that is just a tweak or two away from being great, in my opinion.

Grade: 7/10

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