A Lovely Dance With the Devil
A Review of HopDevil by Victory Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/2/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
                   
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During our recent Victory round table, we could think of no other beer to place right in the middle of the tasting lineup, than the Victory flagship itself. The HopDevil stepped up, front and center. For those of you who aren't familiar with the flagship tag on a beer, its a designation assigned to the beer that is either the first beer a brewery ever made, or the one that they are most proud of. After getting one of these in your hand, you can see why they would hang the flagship label on the HopDevil.

The color of this beer was very nice. It was a dark copper color, and left a good head that dissipated pretty quickly. A lot of aromas were immediately jumping out of the glass. The first thing I picked up on was hops galore. One should expect that from any American IPA, and this one is no different. But after getting past the hops, there were some pine and grapefruit notes in there as well. They came across very nicely. Once you get past the usual suspects, you pick up on the even more interesting notes of malt and caramel in there. To be honest, there's a lot more of the malt and caramel aromas than I'm used to in an IPA, but I really like them being there. And to be quite honest, there was one more aroma that came through to me. I brought it up at the round table just to see what everyone else would say about it. After you let all the major aromas pass you by and settle down a bit, this beer smelled like a really good southern ice tea. I'm serious about this. I know it sounds very odd, but to me that smell was totally there. It really gets your taste buds excited.

There's a typical upfront blast of hops in this one that comes standard with the style. But this blast comes with a bit of a twist. In the case of the HopDevil, its not the overly aggressive and bitter hops blast that you would normally get. Instead you get a lot hops flavor that is more smooth than anything else. Then as the hops subside you get a hefty dose of malt and caramel flavors through the backbone of the beer. I really liked the way these flavors stepped in and out in a orderly fashion. There wasn't much of a mixing or colluding at any point in this brew. It was just nice and easy. The mouthfeel was a bit of a dry, but nothing too offensive.

To say that this is a good IPA would be doing it an injustice. Its so much more than that. Its a great representation of what all American IPAs should aim to be. Its not so overly aggressive that a beginner couldn't enjoy it if they opened their minds just slightly. And the veterans should have had this one by now. If you haven't, then make this one the next on your list. Yeah, its that good.

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HopDevil by Victory Brewing Co.
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