I was fortunate enough to gain a “preview” of this beer at The Great San Francisco Beer Dorktacular a few weeks back, but unfortunately I had to “share” the beer with five other people, and thus did not receive what I believed to be my “fair share” – which was at least half the bottle. LOL, u guyz!! So I decided to drink a 22-oz big boy of WILD DEVIL from the celebrated VICTORY BREWING all by myself to compensate. I’d picked this up in Atlanta a couple of months ago at HOP CITY because I’d heard it was the b-o-m-b, and oh man, was it ever. It’s the finest Belgo-butterscotch IPA of all time. Please allow me to elaborate.
WILD DEVIL is the newest entrant in a newly-developing category, the “funky-fresh IPA”. To put it another way, it’s an India Pale Ale that’s been deliberately “infected” (I hate saying it that way) with the brettanomyces yeast, giving it a slight musty sourness that’s all the rage (and has been the rage in Belgium for generations). I love this beer for many, many reasons. First, the “brett” is by no means overwhelming. It is just there enough to make its presence known and to really mute a lot of the strong hoppy action of the beer formerly known as HOP DEVIL (in other words, this is a funkified Hop Devil). The hops feel akin to those you’d taste in a quote-unquote regular IPA, not a double. It has an enormous puffed head, and its smell and taste are VERY floral. Great notes of pepper and, would you believe it, butterscotch. Seriously, that was a predominant flavor outside of yeast, hops and barley. The yeast combination is out of this world – it’s apparent that there’s some serious brewing science that went into this beer.
VICTORY BREWING hit a massive homer with this one, and it’s one of the best beers I’ll drink this year. HBJ is proud to award a rarefied 10/10 to Wild Devil.