Sunday, July 5, 2015

Victory Summer Love Ale (2015 original review)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1389) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 5, 2015
Sometimes a beer can be generic for the style, but at the same time a solid example of it. That’s how I feel about Victory Summer Love Ale – which is a prototypical summer seasonal with a light body and mild palette. However, there are commendable traits to this brew that earns it a decent score from me. 

I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.29 ($0.19 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale/white gold hue with a slightly cloudy body though carbonation is consistently visible. Pours to a small, white, frothy head which laces and retains amazingly well.

Smell: Simple nose of pale malt and a hint of spicy hops.

Taste: The catch-all “Golden/Blonde Ale” style is one of my least favorites in all of beerdom. It’s rare to drink a brew that has any real nuance or creativity or distinctiveness to it. Thankfully, this beer is not the boring brew so many others tend to be, though it’s not exactly re-inventing the wheel, either. Imported German 2-row seems to be the only malt (according to their website), which gives it a familiar taste of pale malt. It does have a surprising amount of hop flavor, though. Spicy Noble hops emerge quickly creating for a bit of a rye-like taste. Simcoe gives it a bit of an earthy/herbal character and Citra creates for faint trace of lemonpeel. There’s also a trait reminiscent of dill somewhere in here, which is interesting (but not necessarily good). The palette doesn’t develop beyond these repetitive flavors, which is fine considering what this beer is and what it’s trying to be.

Drinkability: Any beer with “summer” in the name better be easy to drink, sessionable, and refreshing, right? I’d say Victory Summer Love Ale meets these requirements… mostly. The body is light to be sure with the right amount of carbonation throughout. It’s not what I would consider refreshing, though, due to the spicy/earthy/herbal character and residual aftertaste. At 5.2% ABV it’s arguable sessionable, though I don’t see why they couldn’t get the same taste out of an even lighter weight. I think this is available in cans, but if it’s not it most certainly should be.

Score: 7/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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