Monday, March 16, 2015

Victory 19 Anniversary Session IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1303) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 16, 2015
Everybody is making a Session IPA these days and I don’t mind since most of them are actually pretty good. It’s interesting that Victory decided to brew one in honor of their 19th Anniversary Ale. That means it was probably a one-off, which is a bit of shame because this is a more-than-solid brew that would be great in their perennial portfolio.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date on the bottle, but the case had an expiration date of May, 2015 (that’s lame, Victory. Date individual bottles, not cases!). It cost $2.95 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale yellow color with high clarity and visible carbonation. Pours to a two-finger, white, soapy head that retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Initially very grassy hops, but seems to become more citrusy (especially lemon). Aroma seems to fade quickly, though.

Taste: The malt bill is pretty simple (base malt and one specialty malt) with three trendy hops: Simcoe, Citra and Chinook. There’s a strong grassy character to the hops, especially at the beginning. A slight herbal/earthy quality too, though mild enough that it’s not abrasive. Lemon is fairly strong as well; it comes through as both the fruit and the peel. Some residual piney flavor and dry bitterness on the back end to round it out. I have had other Session IPAs with more flavor than this. That being said, what’s here is pretty enjoyable to say the least.

Drinkability: It doesn’t matter how light in alcohol (and flavor) a beer is; if it tastes bad it won’t be easy to drink. Victory Anniversary 19 Session IPA is a rare breed in that it’s both flavorful and quaffable. A thin, crisp mouthfeel that’s refreshing while on the tongue and mostly clean after it’s gone (I do get some dry starchiness, though). I found myself gulping this down and had to pace myself for the sake of this review. At only 4.5% ABV, this is indeed a session beer and the kind I would love to have a lot of in the summer (especially in cans so it’d be more portable). 
Grade: 8/10

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