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041315_00

Dirt Wolf Beer Review

It’s been awhile and a lot has happened over the past few months but more on that another time. Today I have Dirt Wolf from Victory Brewing Company. This bad boy rocks in at 8.7% ABV and falls under a double IPA classification.

Dirt Wolf
Victory Brewing Company’s Dirt Wolf

Dirt Wolf pours orange with a thin white head. A strong citrus and grapefruit hop aroma hits you right in the face. This isn’t a subtle beer, it means business. There is a slight pine but it is edged out by the other hop smells. There are some biscuit and malt aromas that you can find as the beer warms and/or you become used to the hop smell. The big take away from this one is hops. The hops are fresh, bright, and round. I love the smell of this beer.

On the first taste I was surprised that a mild malt flavor with light biscuit and bread lead the way. It was quickly followed by strong citrus hops and a round hop flavor from front to back. The hops don’t punch but build and bite, which is a really nice way of building an interesting hop flavor.  The hops end on a spicy note. I wouldn’t call the ending grassy, but it approaches that field. The most outstanding part of this beer, other than the hops, is that there isn’t any heat to speak of. The beer comes off feeling very balanced and drinkable. For better or worse, that’s what this thing does.

Really, really nice DIPA. Very clean and full flavored. Hops are solid and malt supports the hops. No heat anywhere to be found. Hops are bright, clean, and fully flavored. Outstanding DIPA

03-13-00

Beer Review #318 Old Horizontal

03-13-02It’s no secret that I am a big supporter of Victory Brewing Company. They are one of my local favorites and I genuinely enjoy the vast majority of their beers.  They are in the process of opening up a second brewery as they cannot expand anymore at their current spot and they also have been releasing some new beers. Today’s beer is not new, but it has returned to production after missing the last year because of capacity issues, Old Horizontal. I have previously reviewed the oaked version of this beer, Oak Horizontal. Let’s see how the original stacks up.

Old Horizontal, get name, is a barelywine ale that comes in at 11%. For some reason my bottle is a 22oz and not a more responsible 12 oz. The beer pours a nice burnt orange color with a light tan head. The beer is perfectly clear and looks great through the light. The nose is complex and deep. The first thing that I got was a nice malt sweetness. The malt quickly gives way to an array of hops. They are piney and earthy in smell and hit the nose hard. It’s not IPA hoppy, but it’s hoppy for a barelywine. I don’t get any heat on the nose.

The taste starts light but finishes with a punch. The malt is present in this beer with a nice caramel and biscuit flavor that is distinct  and enjoyable. A heavy hand of hops comes in and knocks out any malt sweetness whatsoever. The hops are bright and pungent. I mainly get pine from them along with some pine sap flavors. There are some dark fruits hidden in the back but the hops really mask them. I also get a good dose of heat mixed in with the hops. This beer lets you know that it is in charge and lives up to its name. (more…)

05-14-05

Beer Review #292 White Monkey

05-14-03I didn’t mean to do this, but today’s review also comes from Victory Brewing Company. White Monkey is a “malt beverage aged in wine barrels.” A little more detail is that White Monkey is Victory’s Golden Monkey, aged in white wine barrels, hence the name, White Monkey. This bad boy rocks in at 9.5%. Once quick side note, I plan on doing a side-by-side with this beer and its base beer in a bit to see how it changes fully.

White Monkey pours a cloudy light orange color. It has a thin white head that isn’t much to look at. The nose is has a bunch of oak in it with some white wine in the background. I’m no wine guru so my descriptors for white wine are going to be very general. Sorry. There are some Belgian spices in there as well which is what really makes Golden Monkey a winner.

This beer starts with a nice touch of light sweetness that eases you into the beer. As the beer malt flavors fade the wine really comes out. It has a slight acidity and dryness that really changes how the beer drinks. As the beer moves through the flavor profiles, some of the Belgian spices come through, but they are much more reserved compared to the mother beer. The wine dryness comes in at the end and gives a nice sharp ending to the beer.

This is one interesting beer. I’m not sure if I totally dig it but I am glad that I tried it. I’m really interested to try a side-by-side and see if my thoughts on this iteration change. I think that this beer will do well with some aged and develop really nicely. (more…)

05-12-03

Beer Review #291 Victory Swing

05-12-03We had our first set of warm days and it’s been pretty beautiful out for the last week or so. When it gets nice out like this saisons call my name. Swing brewing by Victory Brewing Company, is the first “session saison” that I have ever seen. It comes in at 4.5% and I believe that it is new to their line-up this year (though I’ve been known to be wrong before0.

Swing pours a cloudy golden color. It starts clear, but as the yeast get distributed, it becomes milky. A fluffy white head comes along with the pour and makes the beer look very presentable. The nose is really interesting as it has Belgian spices, sweetness, and some grassy hop odors. In addition, it has a touch of saison funk with some wet hay aromas. Really an interesting nose that draws you into the beer.

Upfront, this beer is super spicy with lots of Belgian spices, mainly clove, going on. Soon after a citrus hop flavor kicks in and adds a new dimension to the beer. The beer then transitions to include all three components of the nose to end out. I wrote in my notes that it has a “spicy/grassy/hoppy finish.”

This is by no means a traditional saison. It is much hoppier than you would normally expect out of a saison and doesn’t have a delicate body. It’s an interesting combination that works but it’s not something that I totally dig. Victory likes to hop everything and I think this beer would have been more enjoyable had it had less hops and more balance. (more…)

Beer Review #275 Oak Horizontal

03-01-01 I make no secret of my love for Victory Brewing Company. There are a number of outstanding breweries around the Philadelphia area, but I think that I would be most upset if Victory were to close down. Luckily, that doesn’t look to be in the cards as they are adding a second brewery. Oak Horizontal is another beer in their barrel aging series (not an official name). The bottle says a “malt beverage aged in bourbon barrels.” And this bad boy rocks in at 10.5%. Old Horizontal is Victory’s barleywine and this is a barrel aged version of it.

Oak Horizontal (I love the word play) pours a nice caramel brown color. It has an off-white head and is slightly hazy. The nose has a nice bourbon note, though not overpowering, along with some nice bits of vanilla. The maltiness of this beer is apparent in the nose but there are no hops to speak of. I’m not sure if they are washed out by the bourbon or if the additional aging knocked them out of the aroma spectrum.

This beer begins surprisingly with a light malt flavor. I was expecting big bold malt, but not so. There are bits of caramel and toffee mixed in but not to the same extent as the non-barrel aged version of this beer. The light malt folds into a bourbon malt flavor. The bourbon is very smooth and enjoyable. An aged hops flavor can be tasted on the back-end with some slight spiciness.

Victory produced a wonderfully smooth barrel aged beer with Oak Horizontal. It is very drinkable and bourbon and barleywine go perfectly together. This is a perfect cigar beer and a sipper. I drank this over the course of two hours and enjoyed every bit of it. The $15 price tag was a bit high, but it did live up to my expectations. (more…)