Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Victory Brewing Yakima Glory

Greetings all!  Lately, I have been getting more into beer history and the origins of the popular beer styles that are enjoyed in the present.  For Christmas this year I received IPA:  Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of the India Pale Ale by Mitch Steele, who is currently the brewmaster at Stone Brewing.  The book has lots of great information on the history of IPAs, and includes a section that attempts to clear up  confusion concerning the history of Black IPAs and Cascadian dark ales (a more thorough review of Mitch's book will be posted at a later date).

Mitch starts off the section on black IPAs by explaining how hoppy dark ales have been brewed in England starting at least 200 years ago.  He then pays homage to Greg Noonan and the brewers at the Vermont Pub and Brewery for developing a Black IPA in the early and mid 1990s.  According to Mitch, it wasn't until the year 2000 when hoppy dark ales started to be brewed in the Pacific Northwest.  He believes the future will evolve a greater divide between the definition of black IPA and Cascadian dark ales.  From Mitch's experience, Cascadian dark ales are more akin to hoppy porters and brown ales, while Black IPAs are more similar to "classic" IPAs.
Victory Yakima Glory
Victory Yakima Glory
Tonight I am drinking Victory Brewing's take on the Black IPA.  Yakima Glory (formerly Yakima Twilight) is brewed with four types of whole flower Yakima valley hops (not surprisingly) and dark, roasted malts.

Yakima Glory
Black IPA
8.7% ABV

Yakima Glory pours reddish brown with a finger width off white head.  There is good head retention, and plenty of lacing sticks to the glass.  The first aroma I find in Yakima Glory is citrus, including grapefruit and lemon.  I expected more of a roasted aroma in this beer, but I couldn't pick any out of the bouquet.  It smells like a regular American IPA to me, which means it smells hoppy and delicious!  As I take my first sip, the citrus turns into pine.  There is a slightly sweet caramel flavor in the middle, and it ends dry with a bitter finish.  Yakima Glory has a medium body, and average carbonation.  There is no presence of the 8.7% ABV at all in this beer, so be careful!
Victory Yakima Glory
Victory Yakima Glory
Overall:  Yakima Glory is a good IPA, however I prefer Victory's HopDevil and Hop Wallop.  Also, I am not sure how this qualifies as a Black IPA.  To me, no matter what ingredients were used, it comes off as a hopped up amber or red ale.  I noticed that Victory doesn't call this a black IPA anywhere.  In the beer description, they admit to using some dark malts, which, in my opinion, doesn't exactly make it a black IPA. All in all, Yakima Glory is still a good beer!
Victory Yakima Glory
Victory Yakima Glory
Have you had Yakima Glory?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments!

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