Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blazing Hopfire: Victory Hop Devil IPA

This beer needs no introduction. If you even have the slightest interest in micro brewed beers, you have heard of the mythical Hop Devil India Pale Ale, from the Victory Brewing Company, of Downingtown, PA. I consider myself very fortunate, I have easy access to this beer in bottles and on draught, and it has become a staple beer for me. So much so, that I actually pass it up sometimes, something I never imagined I would ever do when I lived in Hop Deviless Rhode Island. When I lived there, I would literally stock up on cases when I made my treks to PA, and visited the brewery in Downingtown.

Not much of a problem now for those in New England these days, as Hop Devil can now be found in CT and MA. I wish you could find Victory beers where ever you go like Sierra Nevada, Anchor, or even Sam Adams. The day might come when you will, and I suspect Hop Devil will remain Victory's biggest seller. This beer must be born of original sin, as it pretty much seduces anyone and everyone who has ever had the pleasure of tasting it. I have had this beer hundreds of times now, but each time is almost identical to my first. This is one hell of a good beer.

Hop Devil pours to a beautiful deep amber/burnt orange color with a nice white head, and a lively carbonation. The nose is the first thing that draws you in. Very piney/citric waves of zesty and spicy hop aromatics flood the nose. There is a nice underpinning of malt in the nose, but hops take center stage. The palate is very firm, and this is what makes Hop Devil a little different than other American IPA's, and why it is so loved. There is a sea of smooth maltiness on the palate, good biscuity and caramel malt flavors coat the tongue. The finish is what takes you straight to hell. A blistering, long, dry, resinous, piney and citric hop bite tattoos the tongue, and lingers for an eternity.

What more do I need to say? This is an incredible beer from one of America's best breweries. Hop Devil goes very well with spicy fare. I love to match this beer with volcano hot buffalo wings, or with spicy Thai dishes. For more information visit Victory's site at:

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