Friday, July 16, 2010

381. Great Divide 16th Anniversary Wood Aged DIPA

And just like that, we’re rolling through the latest versions of anniversary beers we drank last year. Thank you, time, for continuing to march on and make me feel old. Having made a rather solid run at Great Divide last year (we ran through ten different beers last year, including Hercules DIPA, Wild Raspberry Ale, Hibernation, Samurai Rice, Hoss, Oak Aged Yeti, Fresh Hop, Double Wit, 15th Anniversary DIPA, and Denver Pale Ale, making this beer number eleven), we’re been reduced to the likes of anniversary beers. I guess we could plumb the depths of all of the various Yetis, but we haven’t been quite reduced to that yet. Big yet.

16th Anniversary DIPA is a soft, orange caramel that is clear but lightly hazy; the nose is caramel, toffee, & butter—this has all of the opening hallmarks of a British-style beer. Flavors pick up where the nose left off—the front is caramel and toffee sweetness coupled with dry biscuit malt and a healthy helping of buttery-ness. The middle is creamy with a slight bitterness—and I do mean super slight—that does increase with warmth, but is still very mild on the palate, and there are no readily discernable hop flavors to be found. The finish is rather dry, which is helped out by the oak and acorn flavors that emerge to close out the beer. 16th Anniversary DIPA has a soft, chewy, creamy, buttery mouthfeel, although there is some dryness via the oak—cut the doughy-ness out of a mouthful of bread dough made with acorns, and there you go—with a medium to heavy body. There is no boozy or alcohol flavors, but it could use more hop flavor and bitterness to better fit the IPA part of the DIPA. While this beer is very English, the lack of a hop presence leaves this beer bordering on being an English barley wine. The big toffee and creamy butter across the profile is a bit off-putting; it is good, but not stellar. And it certainly ain’t no 15th Anniversary Wood Aged DIPA. Maybe it will get better with age, but as it currently stands, color me disappointed.

From the Great Divide website: “This copper-hued treat is a celebration of everything Great Divide does best. Plenty of malty sweetness provides a backdrop for earthy, floral English and American hops, while French and American oak round off the edges and provide a touch of vanilla. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us for the last 16 years - here’s to 16 more!”

ABV: 10.0%


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