Nose: Piney. Floral notes. Slight citrus
Mouth: Medium body. Malty and very hoppy. Bitter but crisp. Finishes with a mix of malt and hops, piney and chocolate.
Victory kind of makes apologies for this brew by saying it was an accident. It’s not really an apology but it comes off that way. Victory is known for making big beers with lots of flavors and in-your-face profiles. They are a love them or leave them kind of brewer.
This Headwaters Pale Ale is a big beer. They started this brew out with a test to make a pale ale that would use a different American hop each time they brewed a new batch. When the brewers hit the Citra hop variety, it stuck. I can see why too. This has a robust hop flavor with pronounced pine and citrus flavors with hints of other tangy tropical fruits like a mango. You can read all about the Citra hop here. It’s a double duty kind of deal with a very fragrant and strong aroma but due to it’s high alpha percentage and low cohumulone it makes for a good bittering agent too.
It is bitter too. It is, without a doubt, present and accounted for! The malty flavor is a bit more quiet in this giving more of the stage to the hops. Which is fine. It compliments it well. The malt is nutty and has a hint of chocolate. It’s mostly present in the after taste where it calms the tumult of the Citra hops that comes as you full force.
As Pale Ales go, this is robust. It’s more like an IPA than just a regular Pale Ale. If you’re a hop head, this is your pale ale. If you’re expecting something a bit more mellow and refined, this is not your pale ale. Well, it’s not that it’s unrefined. More like the flavor profile is brash. Like your loud neighbor with the motorcycles. Not like the elderly couple who prefer their peace and quiet.
This is a treat though. I gave it a 7 out of 10 just because I think it’s on the extreme end of what a more mellow Pale Ale typically is. However, as a beer, it stands up well. Still, though, it’s hoppy and there are those who will pucker at this. That’s what makes Victory, Victory though. Not everyone is going to enjoy them but they are what they are and they are happy with that. That, like this Pale Ale, is just fine with me!