Beertography and Review: Great Divide 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA

Brewed by: Great Divide Brewing Company
Denver, Colorado USA
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%

Commercial description: Based on our most award-winning beer, Denver Pale Ale, 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 15 years – here’s to 15 more!

APPEARANCE   (5/5)

Pours a deep ruby red with nice head that falls slowly and leaves a nice lacing as it does. A nice amount of bubbles are seen rising.  Average lacing. This could be one of the most beautiful beers ever.

AROMA (9/10)

Some orange and grapefruit citrus up front. A decent amount of malt shows. A grassy/floral hop profile. Then some dank oak and vanilla show. Hoppy, woody and resiny tones. Wonderful!

FLAVOR  (18/20)

Lots of vanilla and oak characteristics in this one. Those flavors start right away and continue all the way through. It plays really nicely with the thick malt background and the pine/slightly citrus hops. The oak flavors really make this beer. Alcohol is kept in check quite well as the bitterness ensues on the palate and lingers a good while. Toasty malt comes through here and there but is pretty much overwhelmed by the bitterness and oak. Sweetness is balanced by copious bittering hops and the dryness of the oak. There’s a sticky fruitiness too, and plenty of warmth from the booze to round things out.

MOUTHFEEL  (5/5)

Full bodied, medium carbonation, lush and sticky feel.

OVERALL IMPRESSION  (10/10)

Great Divide impresses again; in fact I bought three bottles and look forward to see what a bit of cellaring does . This is my favorite beer of 2012 so far. The aging comes through beautifully, giving this one a drinkable, complex character. Happy anniversary, guys! Here’s to 18 more.

FINAL SCORE  (47/50)

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