Maybe I'm a little behind sometimes. I hadn't even heard of Great Divide until I saw them on the shelf of my favorite local beer seller but apparently they're pretty respected and make a great product. Because of my deep liking towards IPA's it's the style I always go for first (if available that is) when it comes to trying any brewery I haven't sampled before. I figure that if I dig the way they make one other styles the brewery has to offer will be worth trying in the future. If the IPA doesn't appeal to me it makes me not in much of a hurry to try whatever else they have to offer.
Slightly cloudy and copper in color with a pinky finger thick and quickly fading head it looks like what anyone expects and IPA too look like. Looks nice-no surprises. The scent is a quite well balanced mix of grapefruit & floral Centennial hops and a sweet & butter biscuity malts. Neither of them dominate the nose and though maybe a little understated compliment each other nicely.
On first sip the hop profile is more pronounced and right up from. A nice citrus bite that could be compared to that of blood oranges and lemon peel. It's not super bitter though because the malt backbone mellows a lot of that out but pulls both characteristics together in the finish of this silky textured brew.
A fine balanced, easy drinking and good solid tasting IPA.
Hercules Double IPA
Being a DIPA the Hercules is, obviously, much bolder in it's approach. An easy pour brings out a a thick and hearty cream colored rocky head on top of the brews clear rusty amber color that hangs on tight and leaves quite a bit of thick lacing when it fades. The scent is that of bright lemons, a bit of pine oils and pinch of alcohol.
When the brew first hits your tongue there's a tart sweetness similar to peach or apricots quickly followed by a dry and bitter bite. The malt profile takes some of the edge of with a candied sweetness. As it warms some in the glass these two main characteristics seem to meld together a bit more which still give keep the tongue prickling hop bite but smooth it out some with some creaminess. It finishes with a peppery hotness but the 9% alcohol is still well hidden. Nice characteristics and balance all around.
Great Divide has piqued my interest and I will be trying other of their beers down the road for sure.