Thursday, June 14, 2007

Victory Hop Devil Ale - The Devil Made Me Do It!

Grabbing a nice cold 12 ounce bottle of Victory Brewing Company's Hop Devil Ale out of the vegetable crisper bin of the ole spare fridge tonight, I knew I would be in for a special treat just based on the awesomely, cool label design of this fine IPA microbrew.

The bottle label features a wonderfully conceived likeness of a smiling devil's face cleverly crafted from the image of a perfectly harvestable hop. Smiling, devilish and oh so tempting! I just had to drink it. And I did!

Victory Brewing Company, is an awesome pony in the stable of Pennsylvania microbreweries which I've been blessed enough to have the often opportunity to sample, having them located conveniently in my own Pennsylvania backyard, so to speak.

Pouring this baby into an unchilled 16 ounce pub glass, this microbrew foams to the max and featured a billowy two finger head in all its majesty for a good two to three minutes before settling down into something a little more manageable.

A golden rusty copper color burned bright in my glass, clear and crisp and full of bubbling supremacy. I just had to take a sip, and quick!

This is refreshing folks. If you've seen any of my other reviews on A Microbrew Review Blog, you probably know I have a soft spot in my heart for the India Pale Ales. I love them and they're one of my favorite microbrews without a doubt.

Victory Hop Devil Ale takes the IPA to a whole new level however. This is a far more than solid craft beer here. It features the typically hoppy bitterness and a citrus grapefruit tinge as well. But adding to that, I sense a certain heavier "spiciness" of some sort that I've just never placed in a previously sampled India Pale Ale. What that spiciness is, I just can't put my finger on it, at least not just yet. Maybe I'll have to try another bottle or two to narrow it down. If you can place it, please do let me know. Maybe it's only my imagination but I get the impression that it's a unique style of IPA, almost like a "winter warmer" with its spiciness.

All of this goes against anything I've ever sampled in an India Pale Ale making it a little bit alien and strange, but at the same time, making it extremely unique and a standout amongst the other IPA's you'll find out there in the craft beer world.

I've sample several of the Victory Brewing Company's offerings over the past couple of years and all of them I'd have to rank as outstanding or at the very least far beyond average in my microbrew rating scale. This beer is not a lightweight however. Coming in at 6.7% alcohol by volume, this is another that you'd want to keep track of your intake with. It's wonderfully good and very easy to drink without filling you up. But more than two or three in a sitting, and you'll have the "devil inside" you and at that point, he sure isn't going to be happy.

I recommend going out and trying Victory Brewing Company's Hop Devil Ale today if you have any access to it in your region. It's definitely an out of the ordinary experience in the microbrew review arena!

You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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