Review of Victory Helios Ale

08 Apr
Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be drinking the Victory Helios Ale produced by the Victory Brewing Company located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Again, I want to thank Ryan Hudak ( for sending me this brew.  This is one that I’ve really been looking forward to trying.

Let’s see what kind of information we can find out about this beer from the website,

(Re) Introducing Helios Ale. We’ve rebranded and repackaged the former V-Saison and now introduce Helios Ale. This bottle conditioned, Belgian-inspired ale remains the same refreshing ale that you enjoyed as V-Saison, however, in a more approachable, less expensive 22 oz capped bottle. Helios Ale has an earthy, aromatic hop start and shifts into aspects of lemon peel and black pepper. This is a quenching, invigorating ale, despite its substantial strength.

I’m ready.  How ’bout you?

This brew has an ABV of 7.5% and it comes in a 22 oz. bomber.

It poured a wonderful looking, but predominately hazy, yellow to golden color.  The crown was bright white, fluffy, frothy, billowy and rocky, although slightly creamy as well.  The size was outstanding and the retention time was excellent.  The lacing looked pretty good too as it hung onto the sides of the glass for several moments before falling.  A few bubbles were noticed streaming to the top from the bottom, which helped in the overall aesthetic appeal.     

The nose provided a very, very nice burst of “barnyard funk” at the beginning.  Some lemony citrus came through, which gave it a touch of sourness, and Belgian yeast components intermingled with some well balanced notes of peppery spice to add a bit more complexity.  Finally, flowery hints encompassed the entire fragrance to create a very bright, lively and fresh bouquet.  Very nice I must say.

The “funk” really pops on the initial intake, but it became more streamlined as flavors of lemon citrus, herbal hops and the Belgian yeast/bready components came into play.  Cracked black peppercorns gave off a spicy bite, but the palate adjusted nicely once a sip or two had crossed the palate.  The bitterness seemed a little stronger than what I had been anticipating, however I still really enjoyed it.  This brew really mellowed and became quite earthy as it warmed and settled.  The sourness seemed to be kept at a minimum as well.  A good all around flavor I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/light bodied.  It was very crisp, refreshing, thirst quenching and dry.  It was mostly smooth, although a slight bite was felt at the very front of the tongue.  It seemed highly carbonated, but it was more of a smooth carbonation as opposed to the stinging type that can be associated with brews of this type.  A lot of flavor was left behind on the palate as well after each swallow.

Overall, we have a very, very nice beer right here.  I could easily see myself indulging in this as I sat underneath a shade tree in the Summer on my families farm.  It was super easy to quaff and it was full of aroma and flavor, but still relaxed enough for a refreshing and mind numbing experience.  If you guys are looking for a solid, sturdy and worthwhile Saison/Farmhouse Ale to try this Summer, give the Victory Helios Ale a try.  I think that you will like it very much.  I may have to see if I can find it again myself.  I don’t know that it’s the best Saison/Farmhouse Ale that I’ve ever tried, but it’s not one to be taken lightly.  It can definitely hold its own and it should not be overlooked in my opinion.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really, really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A-      

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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Country: USA, Victory


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