Tag Archives: Victory

Pilsener Duel: De Molen Donder & Bliksem vs Victory Prima Pils

This evening I will be comparing two (quite highly ranked) Pilseners I just received in an order from Bierzwerg.

  • Brewery: De Molen
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Style: Bohemian Pilsener
  • ABV: 6.2%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Bierzwerg, ~3€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer


Our first contender of the night is ‘Donder & Bliksem’, a Bohemian Pilsener, brewed by the Dutch craft brewery De Molen. This beer has been brewed with Pils and Cara malt, and hopped with Permiant and Saaz hops to an IBU of 36. According to the bottle, this beer was bottled on 18.07.2011, so it’s about 5 months old now. De Molen have a reputation of brewing some tasty beers, so am looking forward to this one.

[easyreview title=”De Molen Donder & Bliksem” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a pale golden-yellow color and a fluffy white-colored head. The beer is just slightly hazy. The head collapses leaving some drapes of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is mostly malty, featuring some tones of grain and light honey, with a slight touch of floral grassiness from the hops.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with a light maltiness, but the grassy and slightly citrusy hop tones soon dominate. The flavor ends with a dry and quite bitter finish, while the quite high alcohol level (for the style) lends some warmness.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium-light body and a moderate-high carbonation level. The beer is crisp, quite refreshing and relatively easy to drink.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a good beer, and a really good Pilsener, but felt it lacked something to make it stand out. On the other hand, Pilseners should not be complex, and this was a crisp, tasty and refreshing beer, so it definitely does what it should. Unfortunately this one isn’t available from shops in Finland, but if you are lucky, you can find it some well-stocked pubs (e.g. Pikkulintu & Beer Hunter’s). Let’s see how it compares with the American.”]

  • Brewery: Victory
  • Country: USA
  • Style: German Pilsener
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Bierzwerg, ~3€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer


The second contender of the evening is ‘Prima Pils’, a German Pilsener, brewed by the American craft brewery Victory. I’ve had Victory’s IPA, Imperial IPA and Imperial Stout before, and they were all very good, so expectations are high for this one. It also ranks number 4 on RateBeer’s Pilsener list, so it can’t be awful right? The beer has been brewed with German Pils malt, and hopped with Northern Brewer and Saaz hops. I found no information on the IBU, but rumors say it’s quite bitter. My bottle has a best before date in March 2012, so the bottle should be around 9 months old. Let’s see how it does against the Dutch!

[easyreview title=”Victory Prima Pils” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The appearance is very similar to ‘Donder & Bliksem’, with the beer pouring with a pale golden-yellow color and a slight white-colored head. The beer is also slightly hazy, and the head collapses leaving drapes of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is stronger in this one, and the floral hops are dominating this time. There are some fruity (peach-like), grainy and honey-like tones as well.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor also begins with a light maltiness, lending some sweet tones, and is quickly joined by a floral hoppiness, featuring some grassy and grapefruity tones. The hop flavor was a bit stronger in this beer, compared to ‘Donder & Bliksem’. The flavor ends dry and quite bitter again.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”This one also has a medium-light body and a quite high carbonation level, giving the beer a crisp and refreshing feel. Quite easy to drink, a would be perfect a warm summer day.” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”This was a really good beer, and in my opinion, slightly better than the Pilsener from De Molen. I really liked the stronger hop flavor, and combined with the dry and bitter finish, this was a very refreshing beer to drink. Wouldn’t mind trying this beer at least 6 months fresher, but this still packed a lot of punch in it. Unfortunately this isn’t available from Finland either.”]

The winner of this duel is Victory’s Prima Pils! It was a close one, but I really liked the stronger hop flavors in the American brew!

Victory Storm King mini-review (featuring William Bros Kelpie)

Had a Victory Storm King Imperial Stout last weekend, and here follows a mini-review. The beer poured pitch-black, with a fluffy tan head, that collapsed leaving some nice lacing along the glass. The aroma was roasty and hoppy, featuring tones of roasted malt, coffee, caramel, resin and citrus. The flavour was similar with lots of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate tones, together with some caramel and resiny and citrusy hop flavours. The beer features alot of bitterness, but it is well balanced with the roastiness and alcohol. Thought this was very tasty. The beer has a medium-full body and a surprisingly high (moderate) carbonation level (for the style). Mouthfeel was good, but not perfect, as I felt it could have been better with slightly lower carbonation. Overall, this Imperial Stout, packed with lots of hoppiness and bitterness to complement the dark and roasted tones, was very tasty and will definitely drink again.

My friend Artem had a bottle of William Bros Kelpie Seaweed Ale, which, as the name implies, was brewed with fresh seaweed. I only had a tiny sip, and couldn’t really taste any seaweed, but otherwise the ale was dark and malty.

Around the World in 1 day

Last Saturday my girlfriend had organized an ‘Around the World’-themed date for me. The day included trips to a lot of bars, and I was to have a ‘local’ beer in each one. The day began with some breakfast in France at home, and after that the first stop was Belge, a Belgian-styled bar. Here I had a Poperings Hommelbier (from tap; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer), while my girlfriend had a Lindemans Cassis (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). The Hommelbier was OK, with both fruity hop tones and spicy Belgian yeast tones, but it is not amongst my favorites. Belge is a cozy place, but a little on the expensive side. They have a (average) selection of Belgian beers on bottle and tap. We also had a waffle there that was tasty, though service was a little slow (we were one of the only customers in the bar, and it took them almost 30 minutes to prepare the waffle).


Lindemans Cassis to the left and Poperings Hommelbier to the right


After Belge, we travelled to (Bierhuis) Rotterdam, where I had a Dutch beer: Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). I was thinking about having a La Trappe, but since I knew it would be a long day and many beers I opted for the lower ABV beers in the first bars. My girlfriend a Magners Pear Cider, since she didn’t really find any beers she liked. The brown ale was also OK, with a taste that was malty, caramelly and slightly chocolately and roasty. Some Belgian yeast tones were detectable as well. It didn’t fit so well with the warm weather though. The label on the bottle featured a painting from “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. Rotterdam has a nice selection, a cozy interior, and great location, which makes it worth a visit (if you can fit in).


Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale in the front, Magners Pear Cider in the back.


After Holland it was time to travel to Italy. This time it wasn’t a bar, but we went to Cafe Java to have an espresso and ice latte. With some caffeine in the body we traveled to Africa, and went to Kiasma, where they had an African art exhibition. After some interesting art, we had lunch in Japan (Daruma Sushi in Kamppi). They had some tasty and reasonably priced sushi, so I can recommend the place! It is a little hidden in Kamppi, but worth the search. After Japan we traveled to China and with Nomads, when we visited Kulttuurien museo in Tennispalatsi. They had two exhibitions Värimatka Kiinaan (Colorful Travels in China) and Liikkuva Koti (Movable Home). The visit was free, and certainly interesting. After China it was time for another beer, so we traveled to nearby Australia, which meant a visit to Aussie Bar of course. Here I had a Coopers Sparkling Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). This is an Australian Pale/Golden Ale, featuring some honey and fruit tones in the aroma and flavour. Unfortunately I don’t recall anymore details on the beer (this was not because I was drunk, just because this beer wasn’t anything special). It was a good thirst quencher in the heat though.


Coopers Sparkling Ale


After Australia, it was time for a trip over the Pacific Ocean to the United States. It was a long visit in this country, as we first went to Chico’s, where we had some snacks and I had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo (you can read a review here). After this we went to William K Tennispalatsi, where I had a Victory HopDevil (taste notes here) and we played Kimble while waiting for our US comedy (Bad Teacher) to start at Finnkino Tennispalatsi.


Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Victory HopDevil


After the movie, we headed towards Spain and Bar Celona to have some Tapas, Cava and San Miguel. The beer was unfortunately, as I remembered, a quite typical and tasteless bulk-lager. Then it was time for the final destination of the journey: Siberia/North Pole/Some goddamn cold place. We ended the day with a visit to Arctic Icebar, a bar made out of ice and with an interior temperature of -5 degrees C. They had a very limited cocktail range, and it was expensive, but it certainly was a fantastic experience and a perfect end to a great ‘trip around the world’ here in Helsinki. I had a Screwdriver and a shot of Minttu Black (they had no beer, and only Absolut products), which helped warm the body up in the cold bar.





Thanks to Pia for arranging this fantastic day!

Brewdog Three Floyds Bitch Please and Victory Hop Wallop mini-reviews

Emptied the memory card on my phone and found some pictures I had taken in Oluthuone Kaisla and Oluthuone William K during the last month along with some notes. I won’t be making full reviews, but I’ll post my comments of these (those I remember).



First up is the collaboration brew between Brewdog and Three Floyds called Bitch Please. The beer is a Barley Wine, brewed with Laphroaig malt, and other goodies (such as fudge and shortbread), and has been stored in Jura single malt whisky barrels for 8 months. The beer has a massive 11.5% ABV and is hopped with Green Bullet, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka (all from New Zealand). The beer had a dark ruby-brown color with a cream colored head. The aroma was full of peat, smoke and malt, and thoughts immediately went to whisky. The taste was similar, boasting a lot of peat and smoke, along with sweet caramel and maltiness, ending with a bitter finish. The body was quite full, and I had some difficulties finishing the beer because of the strong smoky and peaty taste (I’m not that huge of a whisky fan). It was an OK beer, and definitely different from something I’ve ever tried before. It was a little expensive (think it was 14 euros for the 330ml bottle), and wouldn’t buy again. Maybe worth a try for whisky fans. Sorry about the extremely crappy picture, it was taken with my phone in very dark conditions.



Next up is Hop Wallop, which is an Imperial India Pale Ale brewed by Victory Brewing, that I bought at William K Tennispalatsi for 8.50€. The beer has an ABV of 8.5%, and is brewed with “imported German malts” and “American whole flower” hops (unfortunately no specific information about malts, hops or IBU available). The beer had a golden color with a white head. The aroma is full of fruit, floral notes, and citrus, with just a slight note of alcohol present. The taste is full of hop flavours, with tones of resin, citrus (grapefruit), and spices, with some sweet malt presence and a bitter finish. Felt that the beer was maybe just a bit too dry, and was wishing for some more sweetness. The beer had a medium-light body with moderate carbonation, and it was easy to drink. This was a good beer, but I feel that Victory’s HopDevil is a bit tastier and better balanced. Still a beer I’d drink again!

Tasty IPAs at Hilpeä Hauki

Had some good beers yesterday at Hilpeä Hauki, a beer restaurant in Kallio, Helsinki (part of the ‘fish restaurant’ chain (Kalaravintolat)). I noticed they had one of my all-time favorites, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, on the pricelist, so had to have one of those again. The bartender also revealed that they had some hoppy beers from Victory Brewing Company: their HopDevil (American IPA) and Hop Wallop (Imperial IPA). I only had time for one other beer, so went for the HopDevil (after reading many good reviews on it). I wasn’t disappointed, as it was fantastic, and will definitely have to come back and taste the Hop Wallop. Below are some short comments (won’t be doing any full reviews, since I had nothing to take notes on and was a little drunk).

This is an aggressively hopped American IPA (6.7% ABV), with a hazy amber color and an almost non-existing tan head. The aroma was citrusy and piney, and the flavour was also dominated by fruity, citrusy and piney hops. It had a very aggressive, but pleasant, bitter bite on the tongue. A very good beer, would definitely drink again. Unfortunately only available from restaurants.

This is also a aggressively hopped (Magnum, Crystal and Citra) American IPA (sometimes classified as a Double IPA), with an amber color. Unfortunately the bottle I received has its best before date a month ago, so this beer had lost a lot of its aroma and flavour. You could still get some of the fruity and citrusy Citra aroma and flavour, but I was very disappointed. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to drink a fresher Torpedo soon.