100 Beers, 100 Days: Day #4

Posted on April 9, 2009 by Chris Lumens in beer.

Victory Hop Devil

Now here is a beer I am genuinely surprised by. I’ll admit to not being much of an IPA fan. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m not much of an Imperial Anything fan. This extends to IPAs because of the tendency among brewers to make ever bigger and hoppier IPAs. I like hops as much as anyone, but I don’t enjoy the feeling of eating a pile of lawn cuttings in my beer. So, I was a little surprised to enjoy Hop Devil.

It’s been sitting in my fridge for a couple months ever since getting it from my bartender friend Jared, who said I’d like it. He’s usually good about knowing what kind of drinks I’ll like, but he’s also offered me scotch before. So I was a little apprehensive about cracking it open, and it sat in the back of the fridge. Luckily, this 100 beers thing was just what I needed to open it up and give it a try.

I poured my single 12 ounce bottle into a free Magic Hat #9 glass I must have gotten at the homebrew store. It pours a deep amber color, similar to last night’s beer. Also like last night’s beer, the head is shortly lived. It didn’t even survive a third of the way through the beer.

The aroma is almost entirely hops, as you might expect. I can’t place the exact variety of hops, and the website does not say. They’re certainly not the grassy kind of hops found in a lot of IPAs (Harpoon, I’m thinking of you here). Not that I have anything against grassy hops - I’ve used them in my own brews. The flavor is similar - lots of hops, but also lots of maltiness to balance out the bitterness. This almost like an extra hoppy bock. There’s a little extra bite in the aftertaste, but nothing bad.

All in all, this is an extremely drinkable IPA. It’s not so ridiculously hopped as to be undrinkable, like some of the things I’ve had from Stone, but it’s certainly more aggressive than Sierra Nevada. I can’t imagine enjoying this as a session beer, but I’d probably reach for one in place of my other go-to IPA, Harpoon IPA, as part of a set of beers in an evening. It also doesn’t hurt that this is around 6.5%, so you could easily drink more than one if IPAs are your big thing.