Thursday, October 29, 2009

Victory Vista Harvest Ale

While on our way to a fantastic wedding in the Downingtown, PA area, Alex, Jimmy and I stopped in for lunch and a few brews at Victory Brewery. First off, if you haven't been and you live even remotely close, I highly recommend it. They had 4 beers on cask and a whole bunch more on tap, along with an awesome menu. Secondly, if you have about half an hour to get to a wedding that's ten minutes away, and its on a busy Saturday both at Victory and on the roads, we don't recommend filling up your growlers. Chances are, you'll have to break a few driving laws in order to make it to the church just before the bride gets out of the limo. Totally unrelated, I have a growler of the Vista Harvest Ale that I would like to review for you all now.

Appearance: This has been sitting in the fridge for a while, but I am still shocked at how much carbonation there still is, with a good couple fingers of head, however it recedes fairly quickly. There is a light golden color, very clean and clear.

Smell: Mmmmm, great grassy, herbal, and floral hop aroma, but that is pretty much it, maybe a little sweetness. Not necessarily a bad thing, it is a very pleasant smelling beer.

Taste: What an interesting mix of flavors, with your grassy and herbal hops and definitely more noticeable yet still light nutty malts. It is as crisp as the appearance suggests, and has good balance for a seemingly lighter brew.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied (more towards light), a tiny bit thin, but a great oiliness texture that coats your mouth, followed by a gentle bitterness aftertaste.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day out on the porch one summer day. It is extremely easy drinking, and even though I don't have an exact abv on this, I have to imagine it falls below 6%. I would rate this comparable to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but with a little bit cleaner finish and a little bigger bitterness bite. I wish this was released in bottles so I wouldn't have to lug my growler down to Downingtown, but I guess that's what makes it special. Like I said before, if you have the chance to go to Victory, do so, because you will find great stuff you can't get in stores, along with their entire selection of craft brews. For this style, it is very close to being the gold standard, and in my humble opinion, that is not an exaggeration. 9/10

Serving type: Tap/Growler
Glass type: Sam Adams glass

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

I would also like to reiterate that you really should go to Victory Brewing, at least once a week, if you live remotely close to Downingtown. Great atmosphere, food and of course beer. My favorites from Victory include Hop Wallop, Storm King and the newly released Yakima Twilight.

How long are filled growlers from draft supposed to last? Glad your Vista Harvest was still tasty and smelling like a peaceful hop field. This review made me put some other seasonal fresh hop ales in my fridge so that I can bask in the glory of resinous hoppy oils coating my savory taste buds!