Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Victory Brewing HopDevil & Golden Monkey

Time for a review of a couple of beers from Victory Brewing Company out of Downingtown, PA.  This is another brewery that I had heard of and read about, but until I hit up the bottle shop in Gainesville, I'd never seen their beers available.  They claim on their site to distribute to Texas, but I don't ever remember seeing their beers available in Houston.  Maybe I just overlooked them?  Anyway... in true beer nerd fashion I grabbed a couple, and now a month or so later finally got around to drinking them!  

The first one I tried was the HopDevil IPA, one I'd read about and was really looking forward to trying!  For this one, I poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

It's a dark caramel color, clear with a finger worth of white head. There is a little creamy lacing and the retention is alright.  It's hoppy as it should be... more of a citrus hop flavor as opposed to a piney west coast IPA.  Makes sense considering this is coming from a Northeastern brewery.  One of the things I've really learned since I've gotten into craft beer is how different regions of the USA regard the same style. 

The flavor is similar... a little malt balance in there too almost like an APA. It's a good beer, an easy drinking IPA for sure.  It's not as bold as I was hoping for something called HopDevil, but I'm still a fan.  I think my tastes are just more geared towards West coast IPAs than East coast. 
My Rating: B

Up next was the Golden Monkey tripel.  I've always been a big fan of Belgian ales, so I'm always excited to see an American take on them.  For this brew I poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet... always a goblet for a dubbel, tripel, quad, or strong Belgian ale.  It's a cloudy beer with a gold color, befitting the "Golden Monkey" moniker, and a small white head. Not much lacing or retention to it, which would usually be present in this style.

It has a floral and honey smell to it, hints of coriander... pretty tasty. Typical for the style but right on point with how a good tripel should smell. In my opinion at least.  The taste is a great reflection on the smell... maybe a little more floral and slightly bitter with a little hop hit in there. I'm really enjoying this one, for an American brewed tripel it's one of the best I've had in recent memory.

The mouthfeel is a little harsh, with a slight hint of the alcohol content in the aftertaste.  This one is a pretty robust 9.5% alcohol so a little flavor from that isn't unusual at all. 

I'd still go for another one of these... if it was available in Louisiana I could see some Golden Monkey finding its way into my regular rotation.

My Rating: B+

So, check a new brewery off the list... that wasn't one of my resolutions but it's still nice to try new beers from new people! 

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