Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale AleDecember 3rd, 2009 beckel
Here I have a bottle of this years Fresh Hop Pale Ale from the fine brewers over at Great Divide complete with their new lovely label design that makes me want to hop right into this bottle, no pun intended. Great Divide out of Denver, Colorado creates some lovely big brews such as their Hercules Double IPA and many varieties of their massive Yeti Imperial Stout, this ale however isn’t so big coming in at an average 6.1% ABV. Regardless I am sure it will be big in fresh hop flavors and aroma and I can’t wait to give it a try. This ale pours an attractive light amber hue that is very translucent. Over three fingers of tight white head was easily produced and lasts for a number of minutes leaving only a small amount of lacing around the glass. The bottle states the words “Grassy” and “Citrusy”Â which is a spot on description of the hop aroma reminding me a lot of lemon grass with a nice sweet gentle malt character to contrast. Quite unique. Flavor is quite refreshing. Initially I get nice pale moderately sweet malt notes, followed by grassy and slightly floral hop esters and a good dose of lemon, lime, and other citrus near the finish. While I expected a more robust nose on this ale due to the fresh Pacific Northwest hops it really is a deliciously hopped pale. Body is medium and mouthfeel is quite clean and smooth. Though I am of course a fan of massive hop additions I really appreciate that Great Divide decided to make this Pale Ale as approachable as it is. Hop notes are plentiful and delicious but contrast wonderfully with the mellow malt present creating a melody of flavors that are very palatable and not overly bitter. While no India Pale Ale I believe this ale will satisfy both hop lovers and those who are more weary of hops with a variety of delicate flavors I rarely get to experience living in the Midwest. While not realistic in any way, I would happily add this ale to my list of staple beers if only it were available in larger quantity at a more consumable price on a regular basis. If you despise hops don’t try this beer, but if your open minded you have no excuse. Cheers to Great Divide on another quality ale. Give it a shot and ride your bike.