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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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

Great Divide Hades Ale

Another review…trying to chip away at getting 731 reviews done by the second anniversary of the blog. I’ve been trying to get out my comfort zone lately with the beers that I choose to review. This one is definitely not out of my comfort zone. I love Great Divide beers. In all of the breweries that I’ve sampled beers from, Great Divide is #9 on the number of beers that I’ve reviewed from any given brewery (I’ve reviewed 12 so far). Every time that I visit their website, I shocked at how many beers of theirs that I haven’t tried. So, let’s pop this one open.

ABV: 7.8%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hades is a Belgian-Style golden ale brewed with a rare Belgian yeast strain that gives a complex spicy flavor and aroma. Noticeable hops and medium malt character make it a very well balanced, crisp ale.”

Random: The label shows a silhouette of a person walking a three-headed dog which is Hades according to mythology.

This brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head that lingered for awhile and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with lots of active carbonation visible. The nose had golden fruits, a bit of lemon, pear and Belgian yeast. The nose itself was light, yet fragrant. The taste was not as nice as the nose. It had some sweet malts and Belgian yeast. The fruitiness that I got in the nose was missing in the taste. At the end of the sip, it almost has a pilsner-like taste to it, which didn’t really work for me. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick and unremarkable. I hate to say this, but I really didn’t like this beer. This is probably one of the worst brews that I’ve had from Great Divide.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Great Divide Denver Pale Ale

Training is over and the weekend is here. I started my weekend by ordering some homebrew stuff (after I get the first two out of primary, I think I’m doing an IPA and then a Sea Dog Blue Paw Wheat Ale clone). I’m currently watching a few episodes of The Tudors before getting ready for dinner. What’s better than a brew to go with some tv?

ABV: 5.4%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Historically Great Divide’s flagship beer, DPA’s record speaks for itself. By continually garnering national and international recognition, DPA has risen to become one of the most award-winning English-style pale ales in the world. Sporting a brilliant copper hue and an assertive floral hop aroma, DPA is known for its smooth, malty middle, which is expertly complemented with hearty and complex hop flavor. DPA’s extraordinary hop finish is marked by crisp yet moderate hop bitterness. Its well-balanced profile makes DPA the perfect beer to accompany a hearty mountain picnic or a night on the town. For those who seek beers characterized by excitement, flavor and distinction, Denver Pale Ale is the natural choice.”

Random: They were very big on beheading during the time of the Tudors…

This brew poured with a barely-there white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with lots of active, visible carbonation. Honestly, really not much on the nose. For an English Pale Ale, it didn’t smell like one. The taste was spot on. It started with some biscuity malt and transitioned into a bit of hops, although not overwhelming. The finish was quick with a bit of bitterness. This was definitely an easy drinker and very enjoyable. Another good brew from a great brewery.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Great Divide Titan IPA

What a day. I had a training class for work, so I got to work from home. But, it ended up with me doing data entry for about 10 hours straight. I didn’t know that your arm could actually go numb from being on the computer so long. But, to break up the data entry, I made a quick trip to the beer store. My sister was complaining that she had no beer in the house and was a little impatient about waiting for the homebrew to finish. So, I got her a six-pack and picked up some stuff for me. More drinking beer than reviewing beer, but it works just the same. So, onto tonight’s selection.

ABV: 7.1%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Traditionally India Pale Ales, the hoppiest of all pales, were brewed with more alcohol and large quantities of hops in order to survive the lengthy ocean journey from the U.K. to India. Unlike our brewing forefathers, Great Divide enjoys the modern benefits of refrigeration and we don’t have any plans to ship Titan IPA to India. Instead, we brew Titan IPA for hop disciples – independent beer drinkers seeking out robust, flavorful beers characterized by their abundance of hops flavor, aroma and bitterness. As a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale, Titan IPA fills this bill – beginning with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishing with a rich, malty sweetness that is carefully balanced with crisp hop bitterness. Titan IPA weighs in at a considerable 65 International Bittering Units (IBUs).”

Random: After watching Black Hawk Down, some of the scenes look exactly like levels from C.O.D….hmm, wonder where they got their inspiration from, especially the “Crash” level.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no real lacing on the glass. The only thing that was left was a hint of head that lingered for awhile. The body was a clear, amber color with moderate visible carbonation on the glass. The nose initially started with grapefruit, but then some caramel malt came to the forefront. The taste was almost exactly the same as the nose. The grapefruit hit initially, but then transition into some serious malt. There was also a little bit of nuttiness that came across with it. Definitely a well balanced IPA. The booze really didn’t make an appearance, which at 7.1% ABV, could be a little on the dangerous side. The finish was quick with some malt and a hint of bitterness. This was definitely an easy drinking IPA and yet another wonderful offering from Great Divide.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0