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Beer Reviews

Hop Devil India Pale Ale

Victory Brewing Co.
Downingtown, PA
USA
http://www.victorybeer.com

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 7.0%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)


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I have to admit, when I spotted the hop leaf with menacing eyes and devil horns staring back at me amongst the many domestic micros at my local supermarket, I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. As a bonafide Hophead, I couldn't resist anything with the name "Hop Devil", and that logo sealed the deal. I had never heard of this Victory Brewing Co. (sheltered life perhaps?), and this was the only variety of their brews available anywhere in my area, so I was not sure what to expect, especially since it was tucked between the toilet water from Mendocino Brewing and the import section (dear lord, has anyone in Holland EVER tasted good beer???).

Holy shit! If the beer in Hell is anything like this, sign my ass up. Bell's, Dogfish Head, Stone, and Three Floyds, please welcome Victory to the list of craft brewers who have mastered the art of hops. The pour was typical—light head, very bubbly, with a very dark golden brown color. It was the first whiff that made me think that maybe this was going to be a good experience—very hoppy, but not that overwhelming smell that makes you think you're gonna pass out. First sip. Holy who-the-what-now, this is perfect. Very hoppy, very bitter, but also a good overall flavor that was well balanced with a fair amount of malt. The bubbles linger on the tongue long after each sip, and the aftertaste is more like a continuous taste—it doesn't get stale, you just keep tasting that orgy of flavor minutes after each drink. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement, as I now have a new brew in my all-time top 10. In the immortal words of Johnny Drama: "VICTORY!!"

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on November 17, 2006.
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