Hercules Double IPA - Great Divide Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,383 | Reviews: 1,488 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -0.7%
Hercules Imperial IPA shows the craft behind this hedonistic subgenre of beer. With a rich caramel/peanut brittle malt profile that appreciably deepens as the brew warms and pure hop flavor in perfect -- yes, perfect -- balance, we've entered 90 Minute territory with this beer.
Forget the hop tea of Dreadnaught or the sheer intensity of Hop Wallop. Hercules is, indeed, a titan among IPAs. When cold, the nose reveal little and, as it warms, we get characteristic West coast hop fruitiness, but it's controlled. This isn't dry-hopped to infinity and it sees no fancy-pants "minute" hop additions. Hercules is an IPA made traditionally -- if a new style like this could ever lay claim to tradition.
The hop profile is strong, up front with an elemental licorice/grass flavor. This is what hops -- any hops -- taste like if you take a big bite out of them. And were this all, I'd be happy; the malts are thick, chewy even, but never cloying and the hops, for all their bitterness, are never intrusive.
Yet, Hercules manages what few beers can -- it develops with every sip. I don't mean it develops from cold to warm or that I can realize more of its inherent flavors as I go through the 22 oz bottle -- I mean the flavor changes in a single sip as the hop resins marinate on the tongue and the thick malt coats the roof of the mouth. They gain a fruitiness that isn't inherently West coast, one that even calls on British old ales, somehow.
By the time this beer hits 60 degrees, it goes the way of phenols, pure hop resin -- this brew really dies in the glass -- and what seems to me to be big fat fuggles hops (though the website says all four varieties in this beer are American). Honestly, the taste would get a 4.3 if it could, but I'll have to round down here. Never mind the ratings though; this beer proves the importance of a thorough review.
With perfect carbonation, so much malt character, a clean yeast, and mouthfeel and lacing that would make the Real Ale movement want to set-up shop in Denver (even if this is filtered), there's little to contend with in Hercules. Sure, the hops and alcohol become pressing after 18 ounces, but who's to blame for that? Me and only me; I'm young and need to work out more. Finally, I have someone to look up to.
05-20-2004 22:47:23 | More by ngandhi
3.73/5 rDev -9.7%
bottle poured into a snifter
a: nice amber brown hue, large off white head with pretty good retention.
s: piney hop aroma catches my nose, followed by slight citrus and biscuit
t: a nice piney and citrus taste followed by buscuit at caramel. Pretty well balanced , this DIPA is more sweeter than most.
m&d: medium body, little carbonation. Slightly slick and buttery mouth. Drinkable, but better DIPAs out there.
07-24-2009 11:26:53 | More by UDbeernut
4.63/5 rDev +12.1%
This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 650mL bottle.
This beer pours an orange with a frothy white head that holds beautifully and laces well. The smell is a fantastic mixture of citrusy hops and some sweet maltiness. Just a great aroma. The taste is also a major hop bomb. Again a fanastic hop flavor exhibiting some fantastic citrus (grapefruit) character but balanced out nicely with some good maltiness. There is a good thickeness to this beer and a nice carbonation. Overall highly drinkable, I just love a good DIPA.
05-29-2006 02:12:12 | More by MSchae1017
4.13/5 rDev 0%
This DIPA pours out a dark orange, almost brown. The head is a tall frothy layer of off white foam.
Aroma is of piney hops.
The flavor is of hops all the way, though it is most bitter in the finish. There is also a slight malt character throughout the entire sip. Some ripe fruit as well.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.
11-13-2005 05:34:06 | More by Naes
4.45/5 rDev +7.7%
Poured into a short chalice from a 12 oz bottle.
A- Looks very much like apple cider. Amber/brown with a haze to it. Micro bubble thin head, slight lacing, blotchy and thin across the top.
S- Sweet, grape, citrus, piny hops. Almost a berry smell.
T- Wow. This is really interesting. Very bitter and piny to start with a kick of warming alcohol in the middle followed by a increasingly sugary fruitiness. This is quite a dynamic beer. There is no real alcohol taste present, impressive for 9.1%.
M- Very dry at the start, but it dissipates into a well balanced feel of an american strong ale or a strong red ale.
D- This is great in taste, quality, and everything but it is so damn strong. If you're gonna have 4-5 of these stay in for the night.
11-22-2006 21:32:07 | More by Rudgers73
4.22/5 rDev +2.2%
I'm glad to find a one month old entry from Great Divide in Greater Boston. Some of their other hoppy offerings were almost a year old! I poured this 12 oz. single into a nice giant wine glass.
Appearance: Pure copper in color. Nice lacing on the glass as I drink. The remarkable aspect of the look is the pure, clear shades of amber in the glass at different points of thickness.
Aroma: Pine and citrus jump out first, but, as with a lot of DIPAs, there is a good amount of caramel/biscuity smells to balance things out. After a few drinks, the meld of hops and malt create an almost spicy scent as alcohol heat kicks in.
Taste: Nice variety of hop flavors initially that eventually finish with a nice, not too over-the-top bitterness. The same notes from the nose are here, but a nice addition floral flavors also enter the picture. Malt provides adequate sweetness, but nothing that gets in the way of the main attraction of hops. Finishes with a pronounced, but not to sharp bitterness.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: As medium-bodied as they come. Carbonation goes almost undetected with the exception that it keeps the body slick in the mouth. For a 10% DIPA, this one is rather drinkable. Be warned.
Overall: This is a very solid beer. It may not make my all-time greatest hits of the style, but there is nothing GD could do to improve what they were going for in this beer. It presents a great variety of hoppy flavors, keeps hop flavors and bitterness in good balance, and presents a great complementary malt that knows it is just a back-up singer in this band.
11-24-2010 20:59:42 | More by soze47
4.05/5 rDev -1.9%
I had this on tap at First Street Draught House. It was served in a snifter.
A-A nice amber with a thin white head that dissipated quickly. No real lacing to speak of.
S-Hoppy and slightly fruity.
T-Very hop forward of course, citrussy, fruity, with some caramel malt in the finnish. It tasted more like an American Barelywine to me than a double ipa.
M-Thick and syrupy, which was great.
D-A sipper for sure.
Overall, this is another solid beer from a great brewery. However, to me, this drank more like a barleywine than a double ipa. I will drink this again in the future for sure.
03-11-2012 22:25:30 | More by thegodfather2701
4.05/5 rDev -1.9%
It looks reddish-gold in the glass, with tiny bubbles everywhere rising to form a dense, off-white rocky head. Smell? Hops. Hops, hops, hops, hops, hops. Not surprising for an IPA, I reckon (we do that in Texas). The taste is peppery and floral. Maybe a bit of pine in there somewhere. It is strongly hoppy but not overpowering. A maltiness comes on after the initial hop assault, then more hops but a more delicate, slightly astringent version. It has a warm, ale-like finish. Mouthfeel is dense and satisfying. Drinkability is very good for a double IPA. I say that because hops really aren't my thing but this one manages to deliver a lot of hops without just beating you senseless with them.
01-04-2007 00:52:29 | More by roblowther
Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,383 ratings.