Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beereview: Victory HopDevil

I have a particular fondness for the first few beers I tried after learning about how different and wonderful they can be. For some unexplainable reason that fondness doesn't seem to extend to reviews.

If you've been to many bars in the Philialphia, New Jersey or New York areas you've probably seen the worlds dirtiest bathroom, an extremely large butt on a very small bar stool, and something from Victory on tap. Odds are pretty good what you saw was HopDevil, Prima Pils, or Golden Monkey.

Gene covered Golden Monkey in another post which is by far the best of the bunch (and it's a really good bunch) but HopDevil holds a special place on my table right next to a big steak, a pile of unopened mail, and my elbow.

Victory Brewing Company - Hop Devil

The aroma almost resembles some of the Belgian ales that I love so much. The initial smell is sweet honey and hops with a dry almost brandy like finish. This beer pours a deep amber with a pretty small head, although the head retention is excellent. The picture I got from their website shows the right coloring, but they would have had to upend the bottle to get that much foam (it's probably dish soap anyway, food photography is notoriously hard.)

The sip of this beer is bitter bitter hops with the aftertaste of grapefruit. It's literally spicy with hops. After you adjust to that, you start to be able to taste a subtle sweet flavor (but honestly this beer is called HopDevil, there's not much else.) HopDevil is clear and crisp and is definitely best served chilled. The best comparisons to this beer are probably Stone Arrogant Bastard and Hoptical Illusion; I don't think I could tell the difference between these three beers with a bag over my head (especially if that bag was filled with spiders.)

I highly recommend this beer; It goes especially well with a heavy meal. At 6.7% ABV it's on the higher end which doubles my recommendation for food. Hops being the predominant flavor, people are going to either love or hate this beer but you can't do much better than HopDevil.

Do you prefer hoppy beer or sweet? Let me know in the comments below!

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