Hercules Double IPA - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hercules Double IPAHercules Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,839 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,839
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 236
Gots: 432 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: filabrazilia on 04-11-2004

HERCULES DOUBLE IPA is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, fit for the gods. HERCULES delivers a huge amount of hops from start to finish. Its hefty backbone of nutty, malty sweetness balances its aggressive hop profile. 85 IBUs.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hercules Double IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,839 | Reviews: 1,556
Photo of tectactoe
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Mike! Can't believe I put this one off for so long. Pretty damn close to complete opacity here, copper and orange-ish glowing from the core outwards, topped off with a silky and foamy, dingy white head. The creme top lasts for quite a while and leaves some pretty impressive lace rings down the sides of the glass. Always nice to see for a Double IPA.

The aroma... Oh, man. I can already tell from the very first sniff that I'm not going to love this beer. Lots and lots of malt. Malty sweet. Caramel malts, a hint of toffee, and quite nutty. Not to be a complete downer, however, as hops are still present. This is a Double IPA, after all. Floral, faint citrus, and some bitter orange peel with a touch of ashy pepper. It's got an impressive hop bill possibly, but I can already sense the sweetness.

Sure enough, the first sip is loaded with sweet caramel malts, the stickiness being exacerbated by the thick and viscous body of the beer. Some green and leafy hop notes play around on the palate, and possibly a touch of bitter citrus peel, but really, the malts are completely dominant in this one. Sweet and sticky toffee and baked bread and caramel. And it's not like this beer is too far over the hill - only about three months out. I have a feeling this sucker is pretty sweet during week one.

I will say, in Hercules' defense, that this beer handles the sweetness a little better than others I've seen. Many "heavy" DIPAs (or "T"IPAs as some might say) seem to be "accidentally" malty. An amped up malt bill to "balance" the hops. But it really just ends up drowning them out completely, and you end up with a messy beer and an unplanned, sticky malt bill. Hercules realizes that it's a big, sweet DIPA, and the malt bill, though it's not what I'm looking for in a DIPA, is at least somewhat pleasant to my taste buds.

There's also a bit of a phenolic and peppery flavor that waxes as the beer gets warmer, so you might want to drink this one on the colder side. As I mentioned before, it's not awful. It's drinkable, to a certain degree. But overall, it's disappointing if you're expecting a Double IPA (which you should be, because that's how it's labeled). Too sweet and malty, this could pass for a hoppy American Barleywine (Bigfoot, anyone?) and it might received a bump in ratings.

Photo of beerhan
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pours dark orange with a white head that sticks around for the ride. Smells syrupy with hints of the fruit section of a grocery store. Lots of fruits coming together. Tastes rather creamy with hints of spices it seems. Strong after bite. A very sticky beer. Liquid fine sand paper. Just sticks to everything. Way too damn boozy for a dipa. My second attempt at this beer and it is alright. Nothing to write home about but very good for a year round that would probably be more likely for me to purchase if I could not find something better or it was not almost fifteen a four pack.

Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy amber in color with outstanding head and lace. Even with a careful pour a bit of bottle sediment made its way into my glass, but not enough to take away from the great appearance of this brew.

Smell: The first whiff reveals big notes of grapefruit and rosemary. Malts do come out more as it warms, but they're more of a background character.

Taste & mouthfeel: Grapefruit again with floral and herbal undertones. Malt flavor is non-existent, serving as little more than a foundation, while intense bittering hops stick to the palate for what feels like forever. Alcohol is noticeable, especially in the finish, which detracts from both the flavor and mouthfeel a bit.

Notes: This is one seriously aggressive DIPA. It's not my favorite example of the style, but it's a decent beer.

Photo of robbrandes
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber dated dec. 2010.

nice slighty-cloudy amber color. aggressive pour yields a slightly disappointing initial head, receded to a thin film, some lacing.

smell is quite malty for a IIPA, carmelized sugars and breadiness. a bit of piney hops, but quite understated.

taste is a full-on malt bomb. good mouthfeel, nice carbonation.

not a bad beer, but there's better options out there. this strikes me as almost indistinguishable from an American Strong Ale. Lagunitas WTF is every bit the beer (or more) at half the price.

Photo of MiScusi
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is marked as being bottled in April of 2007.

Pours a clear dark orange hued and semi viscous liquid. With a tight white frothy and bubbly head. The smell is very sweet, the hoppiness that comes out is some orange citrus and sweet flower. The taste packs a large up front and lingering bitterness. A quite resiny hoppiness is comes out during the sip while a bit of floral hops comes through in the aftertaste. Alcohol is slightly present.

Mouthfeel- Medium. Tastes pretty similar to a lot of other DIPA's that I can remember.... Ballast Point Dorado, Avery Maharaja (kind of), Alpine Exponential Hoppiness.... all these are syrupy sweet DIPA's but the Hercules packs a little more bitterness to it. Not my favorite type of DIPA. Based on style I cannot rate this too low. Based on what I prefer in a DIPA I have to grade it a little lower.

Photo of Preismj
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: rich red/amber with a quarter inch head, good retention and nicely sticky.

s: smells of hints of floral, though I am getting a lot of malt in here and a bit of a turn off as I wasn't expecting nor was I in the mood for it.

t: more of a combination IPA and Red if you ask me. I get a tremendous amount of nutty toffee and the thick syrup taste...considerably more than any hops I taste. I am not a fan of reds and this reminds of a red with it's strong malt profile.

m: nice feel in the mouth, coats the palette and finished dry enough for me to be satisfied. good fizz to it too.

o: won't actively search this out again, again the malt was too strong for the style and not something I was in the mood for.

Photo of BostonHops
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a beautiful burnished copper tone; a moderately vigorous pour yields 1" creamy/foamy light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly... some lacing but below average for the style. nose is surprisingly malty, even for a DIPA with a malt backbone; there is a citric/pine presence but it's almost relegated to second fiddle; definitely not an aromatic hop monster.

flavor profile follows suit, to the point it's reminiscent of a barleywine and i'm questioning the freshness (can't find a bottled date even though my understanding is there should be one; was told at the store it's fresh.) don't get me wrong, it's drinkable and reasonably tasty, just nowhere near a top flight double IPA (at least by my own personal standards). medium-full mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall i have to say i feel hercules was a bit of a letdown. the thing is, i remember having it a year or two ago on tap and REALLY enjoying it; our renewing of acquaintances hasn't gone so well, unfortunately. don't get me wrong, i'll happily drink this any day; it's just that i could easily rattle off a couple dozen DIPAs that i'd prefer. will have to get my hands on some where i can guarantee freshness and have another go-round.

originally reviewed: 04-10-2011

Photo of BarrelO
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Amber body with a decent-sized head. Smell is of citrusy hops struggling against the nutty malt. Same with the taste. The malt is just a bit too prominent, and I don't think the nuttiness goes all that well with the hops. Honestly, this struck me as a poor man's 90 Minute. Not the worst DIPA I've ever had, but not even close to the best.

Photo of froggyfrog
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle served in snifter.

Pours an overcast orange with a meaty head that dwindles to an off-white swirl of melted ice milk. The glass is held together by pretty white lace that clings in all the right places.

Aroma is dirty C-hops rich with malt. You've definitely got your grapefruit citrus in the house, but the piney hops are more cone than needles.

Lots of slick acidic Lupulin. More malt presence than most American DIPAs.

Mouthfeel is cream-filled. Full and feathery soft fades to a slow acidic Humulene chemical burn.

This brew takes an interesting approach to the DIPA style shooting for a very active nutty maltiness in the forefront to bring equilibrium to the loaded hops. The result however I think emphasizes the somewhat unpleasant oil-like burn brought by DIPA level hop rate. By choosing to not showcase the hop aroma and flavor as prominently as others this beer has taken away from itself an important component that makes heavy-hitting IPAs so enjoyable.

Overall an above average Double IPA, but not my favorite.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a typical slightly hazed orange-amber color with two fingers of soft fluffy off-white head that lasts for about three minutes, leaving medium amounts of lacing behind on the glass. Medium body and carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes of caramel, toffee, pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, light amounts of herbal tea, and a touch of earthy dryness in the finish. Honestly, I was somewhat pumped up by the hype around this one before trying it, and I feel somewhat disappointed as a result. I still fail to see what all the fuss is about. It's just yet another typical well-made IPA in a market already over-saturated with the style with nothing in particular that makes it stand out above the rest.

Photo of mdcrouser
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Piling such a monster thick head would be a crime if not for the fact that it complements the devilish amber color of the beer so well - you could literally spoon it off the top if you'd like.

Freakishly heavily hopped, it actually goes down pretty easily, as the burn of the hops doesn't set in until long after the drink is gone.

Once it does, it rolls from the tip of the tongue to the back adn then to the front like a slow wave.

Because it is so heavily hopped though, it is difficult to discern any other flavors, just smmothe and hot hops.

The 9.1% abv begins to settle in after a bit - drinkable, but not great.

Photo of Hautacam
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and brilliantly orange. Head is foamy...laces and sheets down the sides of a pint glass.
The smell is surprizingly faint...floral and piney hops.
Super sweet, heavy caramel candy malt gives a backdrop for the punch of the sprucey hops. There's also a lot of mint and menthol flavors from the hops.Super bitter too. There's a whack of sharp metal..that doesn't work so well. An almost hot spicy acidic aftertaste and I notice the alcohol mostly when exhaling...weird. A little harsh.
Mouthfeel is heavy and a bit cloying. A minty hop aftertaste.
Not a real standout IMHO, but definitely an interesting brew.

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#66 on my Beers of Fame list!

Pour is amber. white head floats in little sections.

The best words that come to mind about the smell is IDK. Semi sweet malt backbone, leafy dried hops, but no fresh hop flavors. hm.

Full body. Sticky sweet malt reminiscent of Hopslam and Two-Hearted. it feels so thick, like literal honey. Now enough with the malt, lets get to the hops, or the lack of. Theres a nice bittering hop presence which makes an attempt at balancing out the sweet malt, but it loses. Theres no ry hop flavors. What I get is very slight hints of pine, but its faint. Too faint.

Photo of tylerprince
3.52/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle dated 2/7/12, admittedly a tad older than ideal.

A: Quite a bit of yeast floating around the bottom of the bottle - pour this one very softly. Pours a beautiful hazy orange-copper. Unfortunately, no head or lacing whatsoever, and yes, my glass was clean.

S: A well balanced citrus/grapefruit with a caramel/biscuit malt profile. Well balanced. Some yeast throughout. Wish this had more of a head so I could describe it more accurately.

T: Yummy. Starts with gobs of citrus, clear grapefruit and lemon zest. Not a heck of a lot else going on here. A nice round malt finish, but very weak and hardly noticeable. Yeasty, non-bitter finish. Citrus lingers.

M: Crisp, albeit a tad watery. Resinous. I don't say this much, but this could use a tad more carbonation.

O: This is disappointing - I'm a huge fan of GD and was really looking forward to trying their DIPA. I'll have to try a fresh batch to see if it lives up to the hype.

Photo of ehammond1
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A deep orange and auburn with a 2.5 finger bone-white head that stays and stays. Tons of lacing left down the glass.

Somewhat sweet aroma dominated by caramel and toffee, as well as some alcohol, and some muted aromas of old orange flesh and peel.

Extremely bitter, along with some alcohol harshness, coupled with sweet flavors: caramel, toffee, and bread crusts overshadow most of the pungent citrus hop presence.

Medium to thick bodied.

Not one of my favorites DIPAs. It's too sweet and boozy for my personal tastes.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Deep orange color with a thick foamy head with tons of lacing. The brew is more opaque than clear.

Smells of citrus and pine hops and biscuit-like malt. All the flavors that go along with those aromas plus a spicy alcohol kick and a semi-bitter finish. The mouth feel is meaty and carbonated.

A nice DIPA that any self-respecting hop head should try. The highlights are its fantastic looks and excellent mouth feel. There are other DIPAs that I prefer for taste, but Hercules is hard to beat for an all around brew.

Photo of denjen
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dennis: The aroma off this is misleading, almost barley wine like, certainly not dry hopped. But that doesn't really reflect the true body. Pouring thick, almost like apricot nectar, this delivers with a high bitterness that hides the 9% alcohol very well. By the end of the glass though, it will sneak up on you. Very well done, enjoyable and hoppy in substance, but not show. The only real issue I have with this is the amount of sediment in the bottle was excessive.
Jen: This is a bitter, hoppy beer with a mild malt backbone, only to end with a smack of hops in your face! I don't really taste the alcohol, translation: goes down fairly smoothly. It has a dry finish with a nice light carbonation. Definitely drinkable!

Photo of orangedive
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber-orange color - 1-inch head

S - Citrus, hops, little bit of alcohol

T - Bitter, orange, alcohol, not too complex, not too syrupy like some double IPAs

M - soft, good, medium bodied

D - easy and nice drinking except for a little alcohol burn

Photo of Mistofminn
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 2010 bottle, bomber into Celebration pint glass.

Pours redder than I expected. A slightly off-white cap sits on top with great retention and extremely sticky lacing.

The nose starts out with a earthy bitterness, very resiny. A light sweet malt backbone comes out on a good swirl.

The taste starts out with a dry astringency, followed shortly by a very dry resiny hop bitterness. Intense sweet malts come out next, followed by an ethanol burn I haven't experienced in some time. This tastes like fresh Bigfoot, with more malts and more alcohol, but worse.

Mouthfeel is heavy, with a smooth feel and lingering bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is ok, nothing special.

Overall, I'm kind of disappointed with this one. I was expecting something floral and citrus like from a fresh IPA, but I definitely didn't get it. Either the store I got this at lied about it being a "fresh 2010" bottle or this just isn's as good as I thought it would be.

Photo of OldYoda
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with no dating into my Troeg's pint. Comes out a semi-hazy amber with a minimal head and some lacing.

Smell is dominant with piney hops and a whiff of grass and malt, but primarily and overwelmingly hops.

Taste follows smell, hops and more hops with enough malt backbone to support this hopbomb.
Alcohol is present but well disguised

Mouthfeel is good, velvety and smooth.

Drinkability is limited at this ABV but one was very enjoyable. A durable and drinkable DIPA.

Photo of Dave128
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Sept 30 2010.. Enjoying Feb 13 2011...

A - This beer has a beautiful way of making the bubbles fill the glass. I'm using a standard unetched pint glass and bubbles are just slowly kinda drifting to the top not necessarily racing indicating a nice body. Head is DIPA ish. Not much oomph initially but has lasting power. Very pretty amber color.

S - Not really that much going on in the aroma besides some piney/floral smells its clearly all hops. There is a slight metallic smell thats hard to put my finger on.. Maybe it will come through on the taste.

T - Very bitter. Maybe my palate is not quite ready for this beer. The metallic (for lack of a better descriptive word) smell was just the alcohol which is pretty evident in this offering. I feel like I'm not actually getting much flavor. It seems like its all bitterness and alcohol. I know some people are into just that combination but it seems just a little imbalanced to me. Tastes like pinecones.

M - Excellent body and carbonation. Exactly how a DIPA should feel in your mouth.

D - Ehh... idk.. this is a tough call for me. I don't want to call out a beer that may not be the freshest of its kind... but I was not too impressed by this offering. I would certainly try it again given the opportunity... but I won't be seeking out Hercules IPA as my DIPA of choice.

Photo of Keith238
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Rich thick head and tight lacing. Caramel colored with strong floral and citrus aroma. Very malty in my opinion for a double IPA. It was like a Scotch Ale mixed with an IPA. I would prefer a little less of the malt flavor but overall it was pretty well balanced. 1 more bottle in the fridge so I'll give it another shot and update if necessary.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Off tap into a tulip glass. One finger of head on a dark copper body.
It has a strong smell of orange and lemon, which it nice.
The taste is solid bitterness and a little sour orange. Bold and in your face.
The mouthfeel is normal moderate carbonation and medium body.
Overall a nice drink and I liked the orange scent and flavor that came through.

Photo of shbobdb
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks ColoradoBobs!

This beer reminds me a lot of Double Crooked Tree, or, to a lesser extent, Ruination -- it has a lot of hops, but it also has a lot of alcohol hotness.

The beer looks wonderful, a nice creamy heady and a delicious brown body, The head collapses all too quickly, but a faint ring remains.

The smell is resinous hops and alcohol heat. The taste is essentially the same. The alcohol hotness fades as I drink (no surprise! This is hoppy enough to cause major tastebud fatigue).

A very good DIPA, but IMHO, it is a touch too dry. The heat makes an interesting (and quickly becoming traditional) partner to the hops, but I dunno.

A solid, good beer. Essentially everything their Titan IPA offers, just more, more more. Less gymsock then their Titan as well.

A good representation of the style.

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle bears a "bottled-on" date of April 11, 2011.

Hercules has a strong, resinous aroma, with healthy doses of yeast, alcohol, and malt, with hints of pine.

Intense in flavor, with alcohol, resin, yeast, malt and pine combining for a wallop of hop. The bitterness is cut by the malt, but is still quite prevalent with a dry finish.

Medium bodied, the resin from the hops gives this a sticky, almost tacky feel.

This was one of the first DIPA's I had when I began my craft beer quest, and was a favorite at that time. While exposure to other breweries has widened my interests beyond simple hop monsters, I will always have a soft spot for this brew. Still, in my opinion there are many better DIPA offerings out there that you should consider before buying a four-pack of this ale.

Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,839 ratings.