Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Hop Wallop Ale

Victory Brewing Co.
Downingtown, PA

Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 8.5%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Pair With:
Let me begin this review with a bit of a warning for all you readers out there: I, Nigel Aloysious Tanner, am buzzed. By the time I’m done with this review, I may very well be passed out with my forehead firmly implanted in the keyboard. Why, you ask? Well, let’s just say that all those high school assemblies warning us of the dangers of drinking and writing went completely unnoticed by yours truly. I’m proud to admit that I am drinking and typing, and dear lord, this Hop Wallop is … well … let’s just say it’s appropriately named. With each word my vision is getting a little more blurry, so if I wander off aimlessly, please understand. (As we all know, my reviews are generally short, sweet and to the point … right?)

You may recall that I previously sang the praises of Victory’s Hop Devil IPA in this very space, so needless to say I was absolutely thrilled to stumble accross Hop Wallop while finishing my Christmas shopping (us Beer Dorks are easy to shop for, as we only have three things on our list: beer, beer and more beer). Though I was at the fine wine and spirits establishment to purchase for others, I said to myself, ”Nigel, you’re sooooo good to everyone else, isn’t it time you treated yourself to something special for a change?” After wholeheartedly agreeing with myself, I eagerly awaited a Sunday evening that would be filled with football, Adult Swim and Hop Wallop. And meatloaf. So here we are.

Pop goes the bottlecap, as Nigel salivates at the thought of being walloped by the hops. Damn! If God were an alcoholic, this is what heaven would smell like (sidenote: Nigel’s sugar mama just asked what smells like fish—apparently, some people just don’t understand the fine art of hops, as I know the meatloaf didn’t smell like fish, so she must have been talking about the beer). The pour—slight head that quickly dissipates like an IPA should, but … oh no, what the hell? Is this Bud Light? I’m a little worried now. It smells hopilicious, but this is one of the lightest damn micros I’ve ever seen. What’s going on? Now that I’m a little skeptical, it’s time for the first taste. Remember when I said before if God were an alcoholic? Well, it’s no longer an if. God loves beer, and this is his brew. The hops flavor is absolutely incredible—hopefully it’ll wear off because I’d love to taste Mum Tanner’s homecooked Christmas dinner in a week, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be possible. Let’s just say, this is not a beer for amateurs. You’d better LOVE hops, and lots of them, because that’s what you’ll taste. Fortunately, the overwhelming hops flavor is surprisingly well balanced with a good tart citrusy flavor and a perfect amount of malt that helps ease the bitter sting—at least briefly. The aftertaste is, well, I’ll let you know in a week if it’s worn off. Christmas came early for Nigel this year, and it came in the form of Victory’s Hop Wallop.

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on December 17, 2006.
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