Sep 13, 2010

Great Divided 16th Anniversary Wood Aged

I’m a sucker for anniversary related and barrel aged brews. Throw the two together and I’m sure to buy it.

This latest celebratory product from Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing sets off to commemorate the company’s 16th year in business in pretty grand fashion. Based on the brewery’s Denver Pale Ale, this double IPA is essentially a mimic of last year’s anniversary release, but with the addition of wood aging.

Great Divided 16th Anniversary Wood Aged label

I’m not sure how long the product is barreled or chipped, but the brewery uses both American and French oak to add a nice bit of woodiness and vanilla to the hoppy, 10% ABV brew.


The beer pours a rich amber in color, developing a full, light tan head that has a bit of an orange hue to it. The head left to decent lacing on the glass.


You can smell the woodiness and hops almost immediately upon popping the cap off this bad boy. Further inspection reveals earthy hops, light citrus, vanilla, a touch of pepper and a welcome hint of the higher alcohol content.


The flavors of this beer are right in line with its aroma. Earthy hops and the oakiness work well together, but hte hops take over in the lingering finish with a solid bite and citrus character. The oak on the beer imparts a wonderful vanilla and wood component without becoming too much of a distraction. There’s a moderate amount of malt sweetness that goes well with the slightly viscous mouthfeel and medium body. Served chilled, the 10% ABV doesn’t really make it’s presence known until the beer has had a chance to warm in the glass — and by that time, you’re already starting to get a little warm.


I prefer Great Divide’s line of stouts (really looking forward to some cellared Yetis I have), but they do produce a damn fine IPA (Hercules Double IPA), as well. And this latest, limited addition to that hoppy line is no exception. It’s big and packs a solid hop punch with the addition of a mellowing oak and vanilla character that really adds to the brew. I need to find some more of this one.

Rating: 4/5

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