Friday, October 30, 2015

Victory Vital IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1489) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 30, 2015
Now that the “New England-style IPA” is an established sub-genre, we’re starting to see deviations from that style. Victory Vital IPA has similar qualities to those northeastern brews, but isn’t of the same familiar as it ops almost entirely for grassy spiciness with almost no pine or tropical/citrus components whatsoever. The result is a plenty flavorful and fun single IPA. 

I poured a 12oz can into a flared snifter. It had an enjoy by date of 3/6/16 and was sent to me by the brewery.

Appearance: Surprisingly bright gold/amber color with near crystal clarity. Slow and sparse carbonation bubbles are evident. Pours to a large, white, foamy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Huge zesty nose with prominent grass and spice rack seasonings. Deep down I detect a pineapple scent or maybe some lemon peel.

Taste: I find that the NEIPAs tend to smell tropical and taste grassy. In the case of this beer is both smells and tastes grassy. Brewed with German pilsner and Carapils malt, it does have a base palette vaguely similar to a traditional pilsner. The hop presence is noticeable immediately in the form of both dry, assertive bitterness and spicy flavor. A touch of rye bread or maybe black peppercorn can be found. No pine, resiny, citrus or tropical fruit flavors, though. Definitely the kind of IPA to wake up your palate.

Drinkability: At 6.5% ABV, Victory Vital IPA is right in that zone where it’s too light to be considered a big or heavy beer and much too strong to be considered anything in the sessionable range. The body is medium to full and the mouthfeel is a bit thick, and yet still crisp. The hops do linger on the tongue with a bit of a starchy/spicy aftertaste but it’s easily tolerable. No alcohol presence whatsoever, though it seems like a slightly lighter beer than it actually is. Ideal brew for dinner pairing.

RATING: 8/10

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