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Hades Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hades AleHades Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

696 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.87%
Wants: 34
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ArrogantB on 06-11-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shaw
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled the second week of September 2007; drunk the third week of April 2008.

Pours a very nice light gold in color with a super-white head and substantial carbonation.

It has that nice Belgian aroma of biscuits and a wee bit of funk, coriander and other spice.

The taste is bready with notes of pepper and a bit of earthiness. The higher alcohol level is well-hidden. This isn't as sweet as other beers of the style, this is more funky.

The body is light and sharp. The heavy carbonation adds to the peppery and spicy quality of this beer.

Overall, this is a decent example of the style. It's worth drinking, but there are even better options out there.

Shaw, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Mostly clear, pale yellow in color. Large, rocky, white head. Some legs, decent lacing. Despite the head, beer itself seems rather still.

Aroma is citrus and coriander. Yeast and bread dough. Pretty mild overall.

Sweet more than bitter, apples and grapes (white). Touch of medicinal flavor. Candi sugar. Citurs. Herbal/grassy at the finish.

Light to medium in body. Medium carbonation, could be higher. Fairly dry.

I am a huge fan of Great Divide, but this beer doesn't do much for me. I expected more hops (not true to style, but true to GD). Overall, the beer is OK, but there are better efforts out there in this category.

, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Derek
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden-yellow, white head, very little retention, slight lacing. I expect a little more from a "Belgian".

S: Sulfur/mineral aroma with bread, caramel & toffee.

T: Bread, caramel, toffee, light spicing with a little tropical fruit. Alcohol is very subtle.

M: Moderate body and carbonation; smooth.

D: Surprising for its strength.

Derek, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one on the hopes that it'd keep up with the solid Great Divide beers I'd had in the past. Not quite, although nothing too disappointing. Poured a nice light straw color with a fairly weak finger of quickly dissipating head. Looks alright. Nose is nice and tasty; lots of spicy wheat and citrus, with some biscuity hints as well. Malt backbone. Flavor is similar up front, but it actually slips a bit as the beers gone on. The carbonation is too strong, and it combines with this sort of blandness that creeps into the beer. Sadly, the flavor just isn't that good, and the good nose can't disguise it. Overall, it's not terrible, just not terribly good either. A mediocre beer that might serve as an okay intro to the style. Interesting how a lot of American brewers that do some beers so well have a hard time with light Belgians.

soupyman10, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.48/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Slightly cloudy yellow pour. Light malt nose almost like the smell of a hot bowl of fresh white rice. Taste is rice-y, wheaty, and moderatley spiced in the style of a wit-bier. A bit sweet overall. Interesting beer, but not a favorite of mine.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of Norsebrew
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow bubbly brew. I used a goblet syle glass to bring out the aroma of bananas and belgium yeast. The flavor was light and sweet with a bananas and spice which, for me, slowly started to become less and less tasty. Highly carbonated. Overall, this beer is just OK and would probably be best with food and not enjoyed by itself.

Norsebrew, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very mild Belgian style Stong Pale Ale. Pours a cloudy golden color with a nice size white head. The head quickly fades to a covering. No lacing. The smell is fairly pronounced, cloves, bananas and astringency. Taste is mild for a Belgian style ale. The astringency, bananas, cloves, bubble gum are all there but not to the level that knocks your socks off.

Mouthfeel is suitably rich.

This taste would make the style very accessible for someone that has not had much experience with Belgian beers. This also raises the drinkability a bit. Between 7.3 abv and a mild, for a Belgian, flavor this beer is more drinkable than most.

I tend to like a more dramatic smell and flavor with Belgian styles, but this is not a bad beer at all.

JayQue, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of rajendra82
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured out a very pale shade of yellow and developed a steady head that was smallish when compared to the standard bearer Duvel which supplied the Tulip glass. The smell was clean, sweet, and floral. The hop notes typical in the other Great Divide beers were completely absent. The was too cloyingly sweet for a beer of this style. I prefer my Belgian Pale Ales bone dry, and the yeast strain they chose seemed not up to par to do the job needed. Pepper, vanilla, and pear notes were present, but candi sugar dominated them all. Mouthfeel was medium, but lacked that necessary crisp snap. Not a good choice if one needs to start on Journey towards Belgian style beers.

rajendra82, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While working at Bocktown Beer and Grill this one quickly become a go to when it was on tap during it's initial release. Appears a light pale slightly clouded bright golden hue matched with an egg shell foamy white head, dwindles rather quickly with large bubbles clinging to my snifter. Dissipating head forms fine sporadic lacing with each sip. Aromatics full of spicy yet soft characteristics matching the likes of vanilla and tropical fruit with herbal chamomile tea. Definitely a highlight of malts and funky yeast notes but like other Belgian style strong golden ales it finishes with a balanced slightly grassy hop profile. Flavor full of spicy clove with vanilla creamy light toasted malts, a touch of black licorice, tropical mellow fruits, mild citrus again finishing with that chamomile herbal tea hop profile. Mouthfeel is not cloying in anyway although medium bodied carbonation is light and effervescent enough to carry this brew with ease. Drinkability is insanely and dangerously high light and complex will keep you intrigued and refreshed with that mid grade alcohol creeping on you the entire session.

WVbeergeek, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale golden color with a very modest head for a Belgian style; some lacing, however

Smell: Bubblegum, floral banana and white pepper

Taste: Opens with a wheat bread flavor that becomes fruity (pear and apricot) and spicy (coriander and white pepper) by mid-palate; after the swallow, the yeasty/herbal elements build up in power, with the finish being dry and peppery

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Not quite as good as the devil himself, this beer is still deserving of its name

brentk56, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another."


Corn silk with less than abundant carbonation. There are enough bubbles, however, to have created an attractive alabaster crown that looks better and better as it melts. It's more than competent in the lace department as well. It doesn't look Belgian, but it does look good.

The nose isn't classic for the style, but it, too, is well done. The beer smells bright, fresh grain-like, lemony and a bit spicy-yeasty (the only true link to the style). I have a feeling the flavor will follow that same path: a good American craft beer that has no business being compared to the *real* Belgian ales.

If one holds Duvel up as the comparison, Hades falls considerably short. If one is simply looking for a well-crafted Belgian-style golden ale from a great American craft brewery, then this ain't a bad way to go. Other than the fact that it favors simple over complex, there aren't many chinks in the armor.

The untoasted, biscuity maltiness provides just enough sweetness to keep the hops from dominating and to keep the finish from being dry. Although I had no luck determining the hop bill, Saaz is almost certainly present. Its characteristic snappy lemony grassiness is a wonderful foil for the subtle clove spiciness. Actually, Hades tastes quite a bit like a (borderline Imperial) pilsener spiked with Belgian yeast.

The body/mouthfeel is better in the second half of the bomber because it begins to favor medium over what was initially light-medium. It's more American ale (lightly viscous) than Belgian ale (airy and creamy), and the bubbles provide enough zestiness to keep things humming right along.

Hades Ale is a moniker that belongs to something black and oily and grungy, like a high-ABV Russian Imperial stout aged in oak barrels. This beer is bright and sunny. It's also delicious and wonderfully drinkable. While this is far from their most impressive effort, Great Divide delivers the goods yet again.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of rallison
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale golden color with a 1/2 finger fizzy head that basically dies.

S: Yeasty and spicy. Not bad.

T: At first, it struck me as slightly skunky or something, but then I realized it was just yeasty spiciness. This flavor grew on me though, and I liked it. Light malt flavor with a touch of sweetness with a big spiciness. Relatively straightforward, but good.

M: Light body with medium to high carbonation. Crisp.

D: Very good. The bomber went quickly.

Recommended if it's not too expensive. A solid, easy drinking, spicy Belgian pale. Would go nicely with lighter meats and whatnot.

rallison, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just finished installing a new garbage disposal and felt the need to celebrate.

Bottled in the first week of August 2007

A - Poured out a clear, golden/yellow color with a bubbly, white, one-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left a little lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit, grains and alot of yeast.

T - It tasted of tons of yeast. There was also noticeable clove and dried fruits complimented by a light maltiness.

M -It was crisp and sharp. Fairly fizzy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This a pretty good American representation of a Belgian. Really, though, I'd rather have one from Belgium.

zeff80, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of DrDogbeer
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a chimay goblet. Very light golden color, and fairly clear. Good 1"white head. Smells of citrus and spices, similar to a saison or spiced tripel. Very silky, with not too much fizz or crispness. Does not seem to bite at all like I would like. Very drinkable, but not too flavorful, almost dulls as I finish the beer.

DrDogbeer, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of HombreWing
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber...glass...piraat

Eyes: HAzy golden pure white head ...falls quickly but does leave a little trail

Nose: Nice lemony citrus hop smell ..some yeast spice...bready malts as it warms.

Tongue: Slighty sweet...bready malts balanced by citrusy hops and spicy yeast ...hand in hand w/ it's aroma.

Mouthfeel : a bit more full bodied than for style or at least what I prefer.

Overall experience: I like this better than some other American made Belgian Golden/Strong Pales. I forget what I paid but would buy it again.

HombreWing, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a goblet.

Pours a somewhat clear gold (some suspended solids were noted) with a rather large white head that then died down but left very minimal lacing. Aroma is sweetness, citrus, spice, and yeast.

Taste is malty sweet and yeasty. Orange and lemon citrus stand out. Lively spices (pepper, clove) dance throughout. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. That over 7% ABV is detectable but covered up very well by the flavors.

All in all, not a bad attempt by Great Divide at the style. There are better out there but you won't be too disappointed opting to spend some time with this guy.

Kegatron, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of tastybeer
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale yellow golden color under a big dense head. Head fades to a 1/4" of tight bubbles leaving patches of lace behind. Aroma is packed with dry, brisk spices. Light flowery scents, bright citrus, grass, and nice wild? yeast smells also. Tastes refreshing and uplifting. Nice delicate hops and malts combine into an interesting concoction of happy flavor. The spice goes well with the fine and steady carbonation. Feels creamy and fairly subtantial for its pale color. Not a bad attempt. The carbonation was real nice but its become a bit too mellow as I've been drinking. I don't think I'm drinking this to slow either.

Anyways, not bad. All in all nothing very negative to say. I'm not blown away by this but I could certainly enjoy more.

tastybeer, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of wedge
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale yellow with evident strong carbonation and a frothy pure-white head. Pale, spicy yeast and herbal perfume aroma...lager-like in its cleanness. Fruity esters and peppery, herbal phenols. A little sweet, with a pale malty presence. Medium-light mouthfeel, well carbonated at first. I get a little burn in the throat with each swallow. Nothing I would get again since there are many better.

wedge, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pale, somewhat hazy yellow color-cloudy BUD? Nice aroma-somewhat grassy and sulfury with a hint of spice. Well balanced malty and spicy flavor. Lemony and quite citrusy. Decent body- very crisp and clean. Great beer all around. Most of what Great Divide does is good so chalk up another.

lackenhauser, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy timid pale yellow color. Some lacing present as the big stiff white head fades. The smell is primarily Belgian yeast, lemon, spice with a doughy malt base. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied with a tangy spice. The flavor is similar to the nose with lemony notes. A reasonable drinker; had fun with it.

jjayjaye, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of ruckzuck
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – golden, clear, beautiful, white head, lovely bubbles floating to the top

S – citrus, hops, malt

T – citrus, some malt, hops come through at the end nicely

M – medium-light, nice carbonation, nice aftertaste

D – pretty good, gives me pleasant thoughts of Duvel, nice and strong, this is from a bomber and I’ll definitely be finishing and enjoying it. Would drink again

ruckzuck, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger white head that goes slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nearly clear pale amber color. Nose is very slight spice. Flavor is like a unsweet honey, smooth with a clean finish. $7.70 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

jdhilt, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of warmstorage
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$5.59 for a 22 ounce bomber at Gold Rush Liquor, Anchorage, AK.

Appearance: slightly hazy deep yellow/golden. Limited white head dissipates rapidly, leaving minimal lacing.

Aroma: Sugar, lemon, grass, fruit, bubblegum.

Taste: Honey, saffron, bubblegum, fruity esters, cane sugar. A lot like Duvel and other Belgian golden strong ales, but somewhat unremarkable.

Mouth: Crisp and slick and full, nice, lingers long with light to moderate alcohol warmth. Perhaps the beer's best selling point.

Overall: A drinkable beer, a good beer, but far from a great beer, and somewhat disappointing from a brewery whose other big beer offerings I'm a huge fan of. (Hercules, Yeti, and Ruffian are all favorites of mine in their respective styles.)

This will likely irritate people who canonize Belgian beers across the board, but as an interpretation of a basic Belgian golden ale or "strong pale" it's really quite good. I just think that many of those beers (I've tasted over 200) are significantly overrated due to beer geeks being obsessed with Belgian beers.

[Don't get me wrong: if I was going to die and go to beer heaven somewhere besides California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, or Alaska, it would be Belgium. I just think that Belgium gets passes without regarding to intrinsic quality from beer geeks much like many Stone, Sierra, Victory, etc., offerings do.]

warmstorage, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of MiguelMandingo
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle at Broudy's in Jacksonville while visiting my sister. To me, Hades Ale is to Great Divide, as Golden Monkey is to Victory - a so-so American attempt at a Belgian Style.

Poured part of a bomber into an oversized wineglass.

Appearance - Ttransparent yellow, almost like a macro. It produces a 1 finger quickly dissipating head. It doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Smell - Very subdued smell. After digging really deep I was able to detect green apple skins, honey, a bit of banana, yeast, biscuit and a slight peppery note.

Taste - It has the typical characteristics that are found in most Belgians. It has a slightly sweet flavor that is very fruity - flavors of apples and bananas. Yeasty in flavor. It also has a peppery flavor and perhaps some clove. It tastes like it uses pale malts, and has a biscuity quality. It has a larger hop profile than is typical for the style, IMO. While it contains flavors that are characteristic of Belgians, the flavors aren't in balance with each other. It is too heavy on the pepper notes.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied. It has a good level of carbonation to help cut through the thin body.

Drinkability - The beer goes down okay, but the flavor detracts from the overall enjoyability of the brew.

While this isn't an all out terrible beer, it is the worst offering I have had from Great Divide. If you are interested in having a decent American interpretation of a Belgian, reach for an Allagash.

MiguelMandingo, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was a bit of a thrill to see a bottle of Great Divide brew on the shelf that I had not heard of before.
Upon pouring one will witness a lovely gold color, but none of the GLORIOUS crazy head that one would expect from a Belgian strong pale ale. Very clear gold fluid in my Chimay goblet; maybe an indication of not enough yeast?
The scent is sharply sweet up front. Belgian yeast scents are clearly in there; esters that tickle the nasal passages. Could use another layer or two.
Flavor has more depth than the scent would lead you to believe. Top notes are fermented fruit sweetness with a crackery, bready base. This aspect leaves a pleasing texture on the tongue. Hints of pink bubble gum here and there.
Not too shabby all in all; reminds me of a more polite version of Golden Monkey. I'm thinking either some age or some tinkering with the recipe would serve this brew a world of good. Don't expect a world beater out of this bottle but do sit back and enjoy.

ommegangpbr, Nov 23, 2007
Hades Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.