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Beer of the Month: Victory Brewing Helios

January 06, 2011|By Charles Perry
  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

This is Victory's makeover of its old Saison, and the nose does have a yeasty note reminiscent of many a Belgian or northern French saison. It's a big, mouth-filling golden ale with a fair amount of carbonation from bottle-conditioning.

The most impressive part is the suave balance on the palate. It's appreciably malty (though lager-gold in color) and also a bit hoppy, but creamy carbonation takes on part of the work of balancing the malty sweetness. This neat balance lasts through a fairly long finish, ultimately with a dry effect, magically accomplished without a very sharp bite of hops.

When it comes to food, Helios' particular degree of sweetness makes this the ideal beer for ham — anything from a ham sandwich to a baked ham with all the trimmings.

Quick sip

Style: Big but sophisticated, a rich ale that makes a long goodbye without overstaying its welcome

Price: About $5.70 for 22 ounces

Where to find it: Total Wine & More stores (Northridge, Brea, Tustin and Rancho Cucamonga), Beverages & More stores (for locations, visit and Wade's Wines in Westlake Village

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