Thursday, December 5, 2013

Victory Brewing Company - DirtWolf

It's been a while since Victory has showed up on this blog. If memory serves me correctly, it's been about three years. Coincidentally, that was also the last time Victory did anything really noteworthy beer-wise. They've been really quiet for a while, but it may be that they were just biding their time before releasing something that would rock the beer world. And that beer was DirtWolf.

Pretty much as soon as DirtWolf was released, the threads on beeradvocate started popping up: "Is DirtWolf better than Heady Topper?" "Is DirtWolf the next Pliny killer?" "I'm trying to find a surrogate father. DirtWolf available?" Ok, one of those is made up, but the hype around this beer was incredible. It surged into the Top 250 List with a full head of steam. So let's check this one out and see if it's worth the hype. At #204, DirtWolf.

DirtWolf pours a slightly hazed golden color with a good amount of visible carbonation in the glass and a smooth, one finger cream colored head. The smell impressed me straight out of the bottle with notes of candied grapefruit, mango, menthol, pine, some musty and earthy hops and caramel malt. It wasn't as strong a smell as I was hoping for, but Victory chose some good hops to use in this one (Chinook, Citra, Mosaic (Hot Hop of the Moment Alert!), and Simcoe) so the smell is pretty solid.

The taste opens with some pine and floral hop notes with a sharp drawl of pine sap across the palate. Some mint, caramel malt and sticky floral hop resin show up next before another smattering of pine on the finish. On the first bottle, I didn't notice it quite as much, but on the next few, I started getting a decent kick of booze on the finish as well, which was a bit of a turn off. The mouthfeel is a bit heavy, but there's sufficient carbonation in here to break it up a touch.

Overall, this beer was good. It wasn't Pliny or Heady or anything on that level good, but I enjoyed it. Maybe I've gotten too used to all of the West Coast style IPAs, with all of their citrusy and tropical goodness, but this one just didn't blow me away. Does it deserve to be known as a good beer? Sure. Is it Top 250 worthy? Not so sure about that one.

Final Grade: B+

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 133

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