Pilsner/IPA Hybrid? — A Review of Victory Hopdevil
I haven’t done a text review in awhile. Let’s see if it’s really like riding a bike.
Pour rich orange-amber color, likely all that German malt. Rich off-yellow thick creamy head that leaves a ton of lacing as I drink the beer. Aroma is strong with rich caramel malt, tons of biscuity quality. Hops are a bit subdued for an IPA, but it’s an older bottle (but still in code, so I feel it’s a fair review).
On the tongue I get a ton of the rich German malt with a nice crisp whole-hop bitterness. Victory is one of the only American breweries I know (the other is Sierra Nevada) that only use whole-cone hops, no pellets. Definitely gets a nice crisp bitterness and I’m a fan of the flavor. Some spicy notes are definitely present — I can’t find it based on a few minutes’ googling but I’d guess there are definitely some Saaz hops here, or some very similar variety.
Overall, this beer is ridiculously smooth and very enjoyable, but it’s hard to judge it as a straightforward American IPA, as it has a lot of characteristics you’d expect from a malty German or Czech Lager wrapped in an American hop profile and an ale yeast. It’s definitely something that inspires me to thoughts of homebrew, which is definitely a good sign. Very nice beer. I’d love to try a super-fresh bottle and see if the hops are more on the IPA side — for now I’m not going to let that affect my final grade.
Beyond the Pour grade: A-