Monday, January 19, 2009

Victory Hop Wallop Review

Brewery: Victory Brewing Co. | Beer: Hop Wallop
Style: American Double India Pale Ale | ABV: 8.5%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass

Victory Hop WallopOn my journey through the world of beer, I've gradually become more and more of a hophead. After developing a taste for Pale Ales, I moved on their hoppier counterparts, India Pale Ales. Luckily, there's one more step down the hop road: the Double India Pale Ale. As you can probably surmise from the name, a Double IPA is an IPA with the hop volume turned up even further, making it the hoppiest beer style out there (the malt also has to be turned up as well to keep balance). Also known as Imperial IPAs, these are high alcohol, hugely hoppy, massive beers.

After enjoying Victory's standard IPA, HopDevil Ale, I was quite excited to pick up a six-pack of Hop Wallop, their Double IPA. Hop Wallop is a limited release each year, available beginning in early November. Victory describe it as their "annual homage to the hop harvest, [so] expect loads of aromatic splendor and bitter beauty." The labeling features a cartoon character by the name of Horace 'Hop' Wallop, and a little legend about how he came up with Hop Wallop. His motto, "hoppiness is happiness," is something I can get behind.

Appearance: Hazy golden-orange body with a couple of fingers of bubbly off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Aptly named, this beer smacks you right in the face with citrusy and piney hops. Underneath, good malt and lots of booze. This is terrific.

Taste: Flowery, juicy, and citrusy hops explode right off the bat. Towards the end, a solid malt backbone takes command. Assertively bitter, yet balanced and smooth - everything just meshes right. Some booze towards the end, but the bulk remains hidden well. The aftertaste is of fresh hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a long, dry finish.

Drinkability: Considering the style (and alcohol content), this has superb drinkability.

Verdict: If you're a hophead, Hop Wallop is simply a terrific experience. While it's no doubt a hop-bomb, I find it relatively balanced and quaffable. I've only had two Victory brews, this and HopDevil, and I must say I'm already quite enamored with this brewery.

Grade: A+

1 comment:

Rob said...

Your review is spot on. From the citrus component, to the noticeable but not overwhelming alcohol, to the A+ rating. An extremely well-made beer that is a pleasure for hop-heads. I'm enjoying one right now!

I enjoy Hop Devil regularly, and hesitated at the $40+ admission fee, but it it well worth it.