March 31, 2008

Brew Review: Victory Hop Wallop

Cool name, cool label art, intense taste.

I tried a 12oz bottle of the Downington PA's "Very Hoppy Ale" tonight, poured into a standard pint glass. The aroma reminded me of Bridgeport's IPA, as it poured a cloudy, pale-yellow/gold color with a clumpy but otherwise standard head.

Ok that's getting into too much inside baseball when it comes to description and that's something we'll discuss down the road.

My impression? It tasted like a watered-down Oggi's Hop Juice which isn't a bad thing. The southern California natives in the readership should have an idea what I'm talking about. This is a strong, hopped-up ale, although the flavor still came across a bit faded/light. The bottle had been sitting in my fridge for ~6 weeks so that might have had something to do with it. The taste improved after a few sips, which is ideal and sort of wine-like in its ability to improve with some oxygen and warm air.

The alternative is an increasingly bad-tasting beer the more sips you have, which is never good so we're headed in the right direction here. This isn't exactly something you want to have on an empty stomach (guilty), so throw some food in the gullet before having a taste. Overall I enjoyed this beer, and was swept in by some of the bottle art and well-chosen name. However, it wasn't a great beer experience either.

Verdict: can't complain, an above-average extra-hopped beer from a well-respected, Mid-Atlantic label. By comparison, here's a review from BBG's good friend, Summer of Beer Steve.

For my handful of readers out there, what do you have to say about Victory's Hop Wallop? Beer Advocate readers have given it a 4.08, which rates an A-/excellent. In other words it is not all that far from classification as a world-class beer.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I'm thinking that my tastes have evolved significantly since I had it first in March '07. I thought it was super unbalanced (in a nice way) with intense hoppiness (which I was looking for). But this last time, well, I've had pale ales that have better hop character, which makes me think you and I are tasting the same sorta thing here. Anyway, I would drink this fresh if I could. Maybe next year I'll try to get it as soon as it comes out.