Great Divide 15th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA
Here I have what is sure to be a brilliant beverage from the skilled brewers of Great Divide to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Based on their most popular beer, Denver Pale Ale but hopped up to 90 IBU, aged in French and American oak and brought up to a serious 10% ABV with a solid malt profile. I can’t wait to indulge. Upon opening this 22oz bottle at close to room temperature plenty of carbonation built up in the neck and slowly continued to overflow until I simply decided to pour the beer filling the glass over a third with creamy tight off white head which slowly dissipated. Color is a deep red hue and incredibly translucent. Aroma is wonderfully full of floral and fruity hop notes as well as a good deal of sweet malt and just a dash of alcohol. Wow. Upon my first sip I can see how intensely the oak aging effected the brew as a nice smooth vanilla flavor is one of the first characteristics I notice. Further the malt profile of this beer is no joke providing a wonderful array of sweetness and gentle dark pitted fruit notes. In case you forgot this is an IPA and not a Pale Ale present is a bouquet of fruity and floral hop notes from hearty passion fruit to gentle pine. The more I drink of this brew the more I notice how well the various attributes of this beer play together. The malty sweetness is plenty to balance the hops and contrasts with the fruity notes very well. The finish of this brew is plenty bitter but is softened by notes from vanilla to caramel and a hint of brandy. Body is a bit heavy but the mouthfeel is very smooth and clean. Though there is no questioning that you can taste alcohol in this beer there are plenty of other enjoyable flavors to distract ones palate provided you are accustomed to drinking stronger brews. This is a limited brew so if you enjoy strong Pale Ales or oak aging and aren’t opposed to fruity and floral hops I would find a bottle of this brew quickly. Unquestionably a well balanced ale and a wonderful adaption of Denver Pale Ale that I would happily enjoy any day. I found my bottle at The Four Firkins but I would call ahead wherever you intend to purchase it to make sure it is available as most retailers received limited quantities. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
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