Feb 1, 2011

Great Divide Hoss

The other weekend I had the place to myself. No wife. No kid. Just me and the dogs. So what better to do, than sit back and review a few tasty brews. The first in a line of beers was the Evolution Primal Pale Ale I wrote about last week. Today, we follow that up with a tasty Marzen-style brew from Great Divide Brewing out of Colorado.

Great Divide Hoss

Hoss, a 6.2% ABV lager, is brewed in the style of a Marzen, but with the nice little addition of rye to the recipe. Now, I’ve had my fair share of rye brews from IPAs to Porters to Belgians, but I’m pretty sure that this is my first lager brewed with the grain. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed what rye can bring to the table, but I particularly enjoyed it’s impact on this particular brew.


Hoss pours a clear amber in color with a dense off-white head that faded to excellent lacing.


Of the rye-themed beers I’ve had many of them had a nose that screamed rye. Hoss isn’t quite that pronounced with the rye, but it’s in there, mixing nicely with green apple, bready malts and a light sweetness. Smells like a really good lager.


The spiciness of the rye plays very nicely with your standard lager suite of flavors. It’s presence is felt right away as it slowly fades through the slightly sweet, toasted malt and a light, lingering hop component in the back end. Without the rye, Hoss would be a pretty tasty Marzen, but with its incorporation, Great Divide have created a nicely balanced, not-overly-complex brew that has a nice dry crispness and spicy character of the extra ingredient.


Hoss isn’t nearly a sessionable brew with the elevated ABV, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t want to sit down through a couple of these. It’s a tasty lager with just the right amount of rye to make things very interesting. I’ll be picking more of this up in the future.

Rating: 4/5

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