Monday, October 15, 2007

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

This bottle came via a trader on the East Coast. It's a bummer that some Eastern states can get Great Divide beers, which hail from Colorado, yet CA can't. The first beer I tried from this brewery was the Titan IPA, which I really liked. Hercules Double IPA is 9.1% ABV and the side of the label states, "Hercules Double IPA is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, fit for the gods. Hercules Double IPA delivers a huge amount of hops from start to finish. Its hefty backbone of nutty, malty sweetness balances its aggressive hop profile."

Upon pouring from the bottle you can tell this thing is going to be a bit viscous. It glides down into the glass and begins to form a frothy white head when poured aggressively. As I noticed with Titan IPA, this head is great looking and has great retention. The initial smell of the beer is an orange citrus type of hop aroma as well as some sweet floral hops. All is pretty much as expected at this point, and unfortunately the taste was as I expected as well. You see, based on the viscosity I could see it pouring with and the syrupy sweet aroma, I could tell this fit into the sub-style of double IPA's I don't normally prefer. I'm talking about some great beers, but also ones which I just can't wrap my head around. To name a few I would say this was like Alpine's Exponential Hoppiness, Avery's Maheraja, Ballast Point's Dorado, and Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA. Every one of those is renowned by beer geeks all over, but I just can't get into the syrupy alcohol, malt, hop soup mess. On the other hand, just for reference, I prefer double IPA's that I don't perceive to have these characters, but still pack a huge hop punch (Victory Hop Wallop, Pliny the Elder, Port Hop 15, and Stone Ruination to name a few). Getting back to the Hercules, the taste was a barrage of thick malt, resiny hops, and pronounced bitterness. Maybe on another day I could have finished this bottle...

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