Yes, I know I have been lax getting to this next post. Mainly its because I have been grieving. Last January I had my first Victory beer, it was called Hop Wallop, and I fell in love. It was exactly what I want in an Imperial IPA, and coincidentally, exactly what the label says. It was my favorite overall beer of 2011, a grand discovery, I savored and cherished the 12 I had. Had. Rhymes with sad, and the reason for my melancholy. This review is on the late Hop Wallop the Twelfth.
Victory Hop Wallop ABV 8.5%
Victory Brewing Company Downington, PA 12 oz brown bottle poured into tulip
A - Crystal clarity in this golden treasure. Big, fluffy cumulus cloud head with lacing clear down the glass. Good to the last drop indeed
S - Spring is dancing in my nose every time I smell this. Pine, floral hops, spice. Wet grass. Pine and grapefruit citrus with flowers. Yeasty malt essence must be a stalwart to keep up here but it does its job; there, but not hogging the spotlight. That is the hops job, and its doing it beautifully. Mouth watering, nose tingling. This is what my perfect beer smells like.
T - The opening sweetness of orange and grapefruit prep your mouth for the near instantaneous bath of hop (walloping) bitterness in all its glory. Some pineapple flavors sweetening up the brew here and you are immersed in pine cone paradise. Toasted, earthy hops kick in just at the right time to heel the bitter onslaught. The alcohol is greatly masked in this flavor carnival, so be careful, be warned.
M - Unctuous in all its hop wonder, it finishes clean and crisp, with a nice carbonation rinse
D - If you are a hop-head like me, this review should not need to be summed up, but let me try and pin it down. Last rites and all. Although this beer comes at you in wave after wave of hoppy love, it has such a wonderful balance--albeit skewed to the hop side, as a IIPA should be--that any craft beer lover will appreciate this. It may not be a stout drinker's dream, but he'd know what he had on his hands. That's something to be proud of; a beer with 90+ ratings on all respected review sites. I will never pass this by again, shelf, draught, street puddle, whatever. I look forward to meeting Sir XVIII, wherever He may be