Great Divide 20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale

The lawyer made a beer run for me last week. She picked up a bunch of things for me (which I’ve updated on the “Beers In Waiting” page. This was a brew that I couldn’t wait to have, so I popped it open that night. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 8.2%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This Belgian-style Ale is a golden example of our traditional bold character, but with a little something special to commemorate this milestone. Fermented with Viognier grape juice, 20th Anniversary is both delicate and assertive. Big without being brutish, cunning without being cloying, this is a grown-up beer for a big-time celebration.”

Random: It’s rare that I find a Great Divide beer that I don’t like. This will be the 20th beer that I review from them.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, light yellow color with very light carbonation visible. The nose was really fragrant. There was Belgian yeast and golden raisins with white grape juice. The taste was just like the nose. The dominant flavors were golden raisins, Belgian yeast, clove and grapes. There was some green apples as well. The body was dry and had low carbonation. The alcohol was really well hidden, as I’ve come to expect from Great Divide. It had a quick finish with Belgian yeast and clove. This brew was really, really good and well-balanced. Yet another standout from Great Divide.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Great Divide Lasso IPA

My other half is a shopper. I think I’ve mentioned this before, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, we recently bought these adorable bear coasters from some sort of crafty website and I have one on my side table tonight. The meow decided that he needed to stalk and attack said bear coaster. I caught him before he did any significant damage, but the other half is not going to be happy when she gets home. Anyways, let’s see how this beer went.


ABV: 5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “LASSO is the new frontier of India Pale Ale. Brewed with a robust roundup of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, its sessionable simplicity proves bigger isn’t always better. But make no mistake – the Wild West hasn’t gone mild. That same untamed IPA spirit thrives, and we reckon this’ll go down mighty fine.”

Random: I haven’t had a Great Divide brew since December 2013.

This brew poured with a three finger ecru color head that was slow to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on my IPA glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was just flat-out awesome. I got fresh grapefruit along with a touch of bitter grapefruit pith. There was also caramel malt present on the back-end with some pineapple and tropical notes. The taste was really good too. There was light grapefruit and some pomelo present as well, up front. The caramel malt came later and then a much-welcomed touch of mango finished the sip. The body was on the thinner side with high carbonation. It had a long bitter finish with grapefruit pith. This was a really solid, crisp, flavorful beer. I know that I wax poetic about Great Divide beers, but this is yet another outstanding one from them. Go try it!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale

As I’ve mentioned previously, my other half is not a football fan…at all. She is nice enough to let me watch the games when we get them, but does not understand why I get so into it. Once the game started, the yelling started as well. Although this game doesn’t really matter since we need to win next week, I still want them to win. As I was typing this, the Eagles just intercepted a Bears pass for a touchdown, so the score is now 47-11. Anyways, I picked this one up awhile ago after wanting to try it for a few years.

ABV: 6.1%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Fresh Hop is a labor of love meant to be enjoyed today. Brewed in the fall with wet, whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest, Fresh Hop is the embodiment of seasonality. Don’t age it. Keep it cold. Drink it now. Savoring this delightful pale ale during harvest season ensures that its unparalleled grassy, citrus hop brilliance will remain uncompromised.”

Random: I haven’t had a Great Divide beer in awhile. The last one that I had was in April of 2013.

This brew poured with a thick, two finger, cream-colored head that was really slow to dissipate. It also left a lot of lacing on the pint glass. It had a clear, amber body with light carbonation present throughout. The nose had a lot of depth with grass and pine and then caramel malt to back it up right away. The taste was very earthy and grassy with a touch of pine. The caramel malt came quickly but there was not much pine present in the taste. Despite being billed as a “fresh hop,” it wasn’t very hoppy. The beer was very balanced, maybe too much so. It had a thick body for style and moderate carbonation. The finish was very long with caramel malt. This was a good beer, but definitely not up to the level I’ve expected from this brewery.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Great Divide Orabelle

Somehow, I decided to go back to the gym today. I had a really good workout and now I’m heating up dinner. I picked this one up last week since it was a Great Divide brew that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve seen a few reviews about it, and they all seem to be good. Let’s see how this went.


ABV: 8.3%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “ORABELLE is brewed with barley, wheat, oats, and rye. This Belgian-Style Tripel is a golden beauty. Its two yeast strains, orange peel and dash of coriander impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale. Don’t let Orabelle’s demure nature fool you; this is one flavorful pour. Watch out, she’s a charmer – one sip and you’ll be in love.”

Random: The Phils don’t look as awful as I expected…

This poured with a two finger white head that hung around for awhile and left a white crown and lots of lacing. The body was a hazy light orange color with light visible carbonation. The nose was some coriander, Belgian yeast and citrus, but was relatively light for the style. The taste was much better. I got heavy spice with nutmeg and coriander and cinnamon. I also got Belgian yeast and mandarin orange and a touch of apricot. The body was thicker than I’m used to for the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and spicy. This was really, really nice. I would definitely have this again. As usual, Great Divide never lets you down.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Great Divide Nomad

Finally, we’re down to the last beer review that I was backlogged on. I came home today to see all of the goodies that my parents got me from Massachusetts. You can see what they got me on the Beers In Waiting pager. Let me tell you, a lot of interesting beers that I’m really looking forward to trying. Anyways, here’s a beer that I tried yesterday from a brewery that I love.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Czech Pilsner

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “NOMAD is our spin on the classic Bohemian Pilsner style. The journey starts with German malts and Saaz hops that offer a lively floral nose and crispness, while a full 5 weeks of lagering time ensures that Nomad is eminently balanced. This Nomad may wander, but it’s got some serious roots.”

Random: I started watching a few episodes of The Real L Word. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Hilarious, yet ridiculous.

This one poured with a one finger, white head that took forever to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, yellow color with heavy carbonation. The color was very odd for a pilsner. I’ve never seen a cloudy one. The nose was just as odd. I got a huge nose on it with lemon and grass. This definitely didn’t make me think this was a straight up pilsner. The taste was a little bit more like a pilsner. It had a mineral quality with grass and lemon which was more subdued than the nose. The body was thicker than I’m used to for the style with medium carbonation. The finish was quick with the same mineral characteristic that I found in the taste. This was a decent brew, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I wouldn’t rush back to have this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Great Divide 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA

I had one of my EMT recert classes today. Since I have a year until I have to officially recert, I’ve been breaking them up. I did have all my elective credits done within a year of getting my new cert though. So, after being stuck in class all day, I’m home to enjoy a brew or two. This is one that I’ve really been looking forward to.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “18TH ANNIVERSARY WOOD AGED DOUBLE IPA is a copper-hued treat in 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 18 years—here’s to 18 more!”

Random: I love watching Jeff Dunham on tv. I crack up every time that I see him.

This bad boy poured with a huge, three finger tan fluffy head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a clear mahogany with moderate carbonation. The nose definitely had an oak presence with some hops and a little bit of malt. The taste wasn’t exactly what I expected. The oak presence while not being obnoxious was the most dominant flavor up front. The hops were there, but were not intense and mostly manifested as mild grapefruit. The malt came up next with some nuttiness. The oak aging was apparent throughout with some wood and smoke really adding to the beer. The body was medium with moderate carbonation. The booze presented with a bit of burn on the end, but nothing intense. The finish was long with some smoke. When I got this beer, I expected it to have some aggressive hops, but they were definitely subdued by the oak. Although this beer wasn’t mindblowing, it was an enjoyable sipper that I’d have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale

Today was a crazy day at work. I actually worked some overtime and jumped into an ambulance. I think it’s been about 5 years since I’ve done an ambulance trip (I did work the hurricane in an ambulance, but we didn’t get any trips). So, it’s definitely beer time and this is one from a brewery I have a total love affair with.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Colette is our homage to the beers that Belgian farm workers have enjoyed for centuries. Brewed with barley, wheat and rice and fermented at high temperatures with a special blend of four different yeast strains, Colette is fruity and slightly tart, with a dry finish that makes it that rarest of treats – a beer as refreshing as it is complex.”

Random: The Rangers looked pathetic during this game. Ugh.

The brew poured with a one finger white head that took awhile to dissipated and left some nice lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with a huge amount of active carbonation on it. The nose was just wonderful. I got some lemon, pepper and Belgian yeast. It was really fragrant, yet not overpowering. The taste was even better. It had a generous dose of citrus that was followed up with Belgian yeast. There was also some pepper and spice and a little bit of bread to it. The body was on the thinner side with lots of prickly carbonation to it as well. The finish was quick with lemon. I absolutely loved this beer. It was well-balanced and flavored and really easy to drink. This will definitely be a go-to summer beer for me. I think I’m in love.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0