Tuesday, January 26, 2010

210. Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Another day, another Great Divide. This puts the official tally at 10 for Great Divide, including Wild Raspberry Ale, Hibernation, Samurai Rice, Hoss, Oak Aged Yeti, Fresh Hop, Double Wit, 15th Anniversary DIPA, and Denver Pale Ale.

Hercules has a bready and biscuity malt nose with some faint grassy notes in the background. The color is a dusky copper with a creamy ivory head that laces well down the glass. The malt front is big and pronounced, with caramel and bready sweetness that gives way to hop bitterness and some fruitiness—mostly grape and maybe some raisin. There is also some slight metallic hop flavor in the middle bitterness, along with some grassiness and resiny; while that doesn’t quite perfectly describe it, that is as close as we can come in terms of descriptors. Hercules ends with lingering bitterness and caramel flavor; while it is dry, it is not dry enough to cancel out the sweetness. The body is medium to heavy and a little sticky, with a moderate amount of carbonation and bite. There is some astringency from the volume of hops in the beer, which could also be the source of the metallic-like taste in the middle. While the maltiness balances out the hoppiness, there could be a better fit between the two—the two are not integrated together. Hercules has many of the same profile characteristics as the other members of the Great Divide pale ale family (DPA, Titan, and Fresh Hop), but is not as smooth as its relatives—it is the unruly uncle who breaks shit and storms off during holiday gatherings.

From the bottle: “Hercules Double IPA is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, fit for the gods. Hercules delivers a huge amount of hops from start to finish. Its hefty backbone of nutty, malty sweetness balances its aggressive hop profile.”

ABV: 10.0%
IBU: 85


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