A halloween scare...and what's scarier than the Devil? HopDevil, that is.
HopDevil has long been one of my favorite beers - indeed, it may be the beer that single handedly delivered me away from techno-swill permanently. It wasn't the first craft beer I ever had, but it was the first that became a regular quaff and not just "something different."
It turns out that my novice taste buds weren't totally naive--or, at least, I managed a strong case of beginner's luck. The beer has won rave reviews, including the 1999 Domestic Beer of the Year award from Malt Advocate.
The beer has a nice maltiness; not quite sweet, but definitely on the border. HopDevil uses German malts, and the grain bill might make for a nice Octoberfest if brewed with a lager yeast, a decoction, and a significant reduction in hop quantity. In fact, Victory is largely a lager brewery, so HopDevil may have originated from such a notion.
But I would by no means use "malty" as the primary descriptor for HopDevil. True to its name, the beer is undoubtedly hoppy. The brewers have opted for a spicy hop profile, as opposed to a floral and citrusy profile that some IPAs have. Yet the beer maintains a balance, and refrains from being mouth-puckeringly hoppy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy mouth-puckeringly hoppy beers. Somehow, though, this beer manages to marry both malt and hops irresistably.