First off, I freakin’ love Victory. If you love your hops, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you miss anything in their lineup. Like many Pennsylvania brewers, the crew at Victory are classically trained in the German tradition so it’s surprising to see their purely American take on many styles. Their Yakima Twilight is the perfect example of an American Ale, something that I don’t think is replicated anywhere outside of our borders. Call it a strong ale, call it a double IPA, I really don’t care. Just drink it and all will be right in the world.
The appearance is darker than I would have expected, but once those roasted malts smack you in the face you’ll know where the color comes from. This is a strong ale (Hence the American Strong Ale category) at over 8% but it really doesn’t seem overwhelming on the nose. Even the first few sips seem restrained in terms of pure alcoholic intake. That’s where the restraint ends though, as this is one hell of a hopster. They dumped a ton of Pacific NW Yakima hops in this bad-boy and every piney, resiny, oily bit lingers on your tongue after every tip of the glass. The variety doesn’t lend some of the citrusy notes that I like, but it counteracts most of the malty sweetness that could be crushing with their absence. As McHops would say, the mouth-feel was wet. I guess I could comment on the fantastic carbonation and head retention that lends to the overall quafability, but nah. Wet works for me.
Overall, I’m giving the Yakima Twilight a solid 3 Hops. I’m a huge fan of their Hop Devil and an even bigger fan of the Hop Wallop so I’ll throw this one right in the middle of the two.