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The Sixth Bottle. Victory Brewing Co. Yakima Twilight

February 4, 2010

The sixth bottle. The time has come to crack open the last bottle in a craft beer six-pack. For me this stirs up all kinds of emotions. First, I’m saddened due to the fact that my pursuit for new beer means I’m very unlikely to revisit the beer I am about to deplete. I may never see this beer again. The sixth bottle also brings a rush of joy because I now have one more excuse to run out and buy even more beer. Lastly, as a beer blogger, the sixth bottle means it is time to put this brew under a microscope and see if it has a fighting chance of gracing my lips again.

The sixth bottle tonight is Victory Brewing Company’s Yakima Twilight. Having tried Victory’s Moonglow Weizenbock draft back in Novemer I immediately knew I needed to sample more of their offerings. As it turns out, Moonglow was actually one of the rare beers that I tried in a pub and actually went out and purchased a six-pack of for myself. I rarely try the same beer twice so close together.

Since I was eager to try another Victory product I picked up this six of Yakima Twilight for $12 at my local Friar Tuck. $12 was a bit high, but having enjoyed Moonglow so much I didn’t hesitate. Yakima Twilight is categoized as an American Strong Ale on most websites, but a video interview with the brewers catches them calling it an IPA (or perhaps even an iPad, oops, I mean DiPA). iPad jokes aside, no matter how you categorize this beer the fact remains that it is strong, 8.7% ABV, and hoppy. According to their website four whole flower Yakima Valley varieties were used in this brew. The name glorifies the end of the hop season and the beer is released just as the last of the Yakima Valley hops are being harvested.

Lets See if Victory can go 2-for-2 and wow me with another one of their seasonals.

THE BEER

Beer: Yakima Twilight

Brewer: Victory Brewing Company. Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Style: American Strong Ale, IPA, Double IPA

ABV: 8.7%

Serving: 12 oz bottle pour into Schlafly pint glass

REVIEW

Yakima Twilight pours dark ruby red, clear, and with a tall tan head. Lacing is present, but not in the realm of some Belgians. It is still quite a pretty dame.

The aroma is a strong citrus grapefruit geyser. These Washington hops mean business. Another deep inhale brings a spicy woody note, reminiscent of cedar. Pine aromas are wonderfully present as well as some fruity notes that come in late and leave my mouth watering.

A lightly sweet entrance in the mouth is followed by a slow bitter crescendo that finishes bitter and pleasantly dry. The only malt comes in a timid, but tasty apple fruit blip. An earthy, bitter mouthful of hops is easy imagine when imbibing on a fresh Yakima Twilight. The aroma would lead you to expect a much sweeter base, but hops are king here.

The mouth is rather heavy. Not thick like an Extra Stout, but like a big, thick, juicy, ale. The 8.7% alcohol by volume only really shows itself a few seconds after you swallow and the warmth begins to penetrate your gums. The finish is long and bitter. It doesn’t prevent me from rushing to the next gulp, however.

At 8.7% ABV you won’t want to rush in finishing a bottle, much or less a six-pack. If sipped and enjoyed as a Strong Ale should be then Yakima Twilight can hold a spot in one’s fridge for quite some time. I know this sixer has been encamped for about about 5 weeks. I was saving the sixth bottle for a night when I could give it the blog review it deserved.

So, as my pint glass begins to show more and more of what lies behind it I am sad to say that the twilight of my Twilight has come. There is no mythical “seventh bottle” hiding in my fridge. The sixth bottle is all she wrote, and next November cannot come soon enough. Another victory for Victory.

Cheers.

THE MATH

Appearance: 4.0/5

Aroma: 4.5/5

Flavor: 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: 4.2/5

Drinkability: 4.0/5

Overall: 4.24/5

Chance of Craft Beer Epiphany: 60%

This one is hard to estimate. It’s hoppy and not all beer novices appreciate that out of the gate. However, the citrus notes could be enough to dampen the earthen bitterness that exists within Yakima Twilight. I can see hop-heads enjoying this, but it is lacking on the malt side of things. It’s got the attitude to sway some non-believers, but it might be just a tad too brazen to appeal to those accustomed to the blandness of many pale lagers.

LINKS

Victory Brewing Company

Beeradvocate

Ratebeer

Beernews.org Press Release #1

Beernews.org Press Release #2

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5 Comments
  1. Loved the intro for this review, mainly because that’s how I always feel when I open the last beer in my fridge. Such bittersweetness!

    And this one sounds good. Still need to try more Victory.

    • Bittersweet just like a well-balanced beer 🙂 I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything Victory does. Prima Pils is a rather good example too.

  2. Indeed! I’ve heard nothing but good things.

  3. I just had almost the identical experience. I loved this beer and was drawn to it, as were you, by my good experience with their Moonglow. Good review, I can relate to the sixth-bottle-blues.

    • Yeah, my first two experiences with Victory were quite stellar. I’ll be keeping a much closer eye on them from now on.

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