Great Divide 18th Anniversary

Okay, so this thing is a beast… JUST LOOK AT THAT LABEL.

Here’s what the label says it is:  It’s a Pale Ale Aged on Oak Chips.  Then it says it’s a Wood Aged Double IPA.  Those are two different kinds of beers.  That’s huge.  I haven’t even tasted it yet, and it’s intimidating.  Usually I like to know what I’m getting into when I try a beer.  But right now… no clue.

NO CLUE!

But hey, I guess when you’re a brewery celebrating your 18th anniversary, you throw it all against the wall and see what sticks.

Let’s take a sniff, shall we?

It smells like an IPA.  Sweet and piney, with that hint of citrus.  (Okay, now I’m reading the label.  It’s based on their Denver Pale Ale–great beer, pick it up–but this is different.  Smells different, looks different.).  It’s a dark, caramel color.  It’s heavy looking.  Oooh, this is going to be fun.

Take a sip.  It’s bitter.  Citrus bitter.  Like a blood red orange.  Covered in caramel.  OHHHHHHHHHH yes.  Once you get past the hops, the sweetness is there.  I think I catch some of the woody flavor too, which must be from the oak chips (duh, Dave).

There’s a reason this comes in a 22 and not a six pack.  You can’t drink more than one of these. You sit and sip and drink this over the course of an hour plus.  You let it build in your mouth, destroying your tastebuds one by one.  It is sooooo good.

I can see what Great Divide wants to celebrate their anniversary with this.  It takes the thing they do on the hop side and ups the ante.  It’s not a Stone beer, where they just try to overhop you.  It’s a complex beer.  Each sip adds a new flavor, a new sensation.

Good luck with this one.  You’re gonna need it.

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