Breakfast Beer Tasting: Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
It’s a long day ahead and what better way to prepare than with a quickie to wash away the Friday night blues. Or should that be the Friday night booze? Anyway, the beer randomiser has thrown up this little doozie by Great Divide brewery of Colorado.
It’s a 355ml bottle and tips the scales at an impressive 10%. Well, I suppose it is a double IPA. It poured a deep amber with little carbonation and a tiny tan head. The aroma was surprisingly subdued. Or more accurately, well balanced. There is plenty of pine hops here, but also caramel and toasted malt.
Taste wise, there’s the expected punch of pine and herbal hop: it registers 85 on the IBU scale, after all. But there’s also a complex, powerful malt backbone that complements the hops. The high alcohol content is masked incredibly well.
In a beer of half its strength, the smooth finish and balanced hop bite would be unremarkable. In a beer of 10%, it points to some serious brewing skill. This is a surprisingly easy to drink beer. And while lacking some of the characteristics I look for in my perfect beer; it remains an excellent tipple and a shining example of good brewing practice.