Belgica - Great Divide Brewing Company
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 308 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +26.2%
I've been passing by this beer for over 3 months, I'm not sure why but I didn't think it would be worth much. Finally I bought a single 12oz bottle and I'm finding I need to get more of this beer. Quickly too.
The beer is crystal clear, pale golden yellow color, with a thin wet head. The aroma of spicy hops a la Belgique and yeasty esters, like Hop-It mixed with Hoegaarden. The taste is strong with the same elements, esters and wit spices and so forth with a bitter yet delicious hoppy character. The aftertaste is bitter but tastes good with a lasting yeasty bready deliciousness.
Totally recommended, I plan on getting more while it's fresh.
08-31-2009 02:01:39 | More by TurdFurgison
4.6/5 rDev +25.3%
It poured two fingers' worth of eggnog-colored head with excellent retention. Its color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity and lots of CO2 bubbles. The nose had an interesting mix of saison yeast-like pepperiness with Cascade (?) hops, very citrusy. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with all of the carbonation acting as a natural palate scrubber. The taste was bothj spicy and hoppy as if the "unique Belgian yeast strain" and the "generous amount of American and European hops" were battling for supremacy with neither getting the upper hand. The result, on the finish, was a dryness rivalling the zephyr winds blowing across the Sahara. Veddy dry. It was released in the spring, but I think that it would make a fine summer beer.
07-31-2009 20:12:38 | More by woodychandler
4.6/5 rDev +25.3%
Burnished gold with a generous splash of orange juice. Despite fitting the entire beer into the pint glass on one smooth pour, there's only a barely perceptible yeasty haziness. No matter, the absolutely gorgeous cap of alablaster colored cream more than makes up for any slight visual shortcomings. Finely stenciled stripes of lace look amazing as well.
This offering is a Belgian yeast-added version of Titan IPA, which is a fantastic beer to use as a launching point. It smells like there's more Euro hoppiness in this brew, which makes sense. It's primarily lemony, fruit peel musky and spicy. Right on the money for the style.
Belgica Belgian Style India Pale Ale is the real deal. The hoppiness is almost up there with most good American IPAs... and if I had been able to drink it fresh rather than 5 months along, it might have been. Sorry, but the yeast can't be the only difference between this stuff and Titan.
Belgian pilsner malt plays a secondary role (or is that tertiary?) in the flavor profile. That said, it contributes a sugary sweetness that is gangbusters in combination with the rest of the ingredients. Hops and yeast are the stars of the show. If this delicious and delectable ale was released in corked-and-caged 750s with 'brewed in Belgium' on the label, it would get much more love and respect.
Top notes include candided lemon peel, sweet grasses, warm clove, cardamom and white pepper. Whatever yeast strain the brewers came up with is a certified killer-diller. I would hate to think they filtered out some of that flavor, but clear beer doesn't lie. Since plenty of it survived, no complaints here.
When there's only one measly mouthful left to assess mouthfeel, you know that drinkability is stratospheric. The beer feels Belgianesque, which is the highest compliment that I can pay. It's silky smooth and has a sparkly sort of energy that is... well... perfect.
I feel like a broken record sometimes when extolling the virtues of Great Divide. To cut to the chase, this is a world-class craft brewery and Belgica is a world-class Belgian-style IPA. Highly recommended.
10-10-2009 14:34:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.58/5 rDev +24.8%
My 2nd review so a bit more editorial than detailed (haven't yet gained a good command of beerspeak)....
I rate beer on smell, taste, moutfeel and finish (all of which also add up to drinkability) so I won't bother talking about appearance.
Of the BIPA's that I've tried (Piraat, Raging Bitch, Le Freak, & N.B.'s Lips of Faith) this one has the most aromatic smell that is also quite unique - a lemony-hoppy funk indicative of its belgian yeast, but not tripel, roots.
The taste follows the smell fairly well with a an intense lemony/fruity/spicy character with some bready, nearly moldy, malts replacing the funky smell. Mouthfeel is medium (again it's not a hopped-up tripel) but is redeemed by a long spicey/hoppy finish that is refined rather than excessive.
Interesting - a sort-of belgian extra pale ale! While not a perfect or overly complex beer I think it may be great contribution to the still-emerging definition of a BIPA (vs. the west-coast IPA meets tripel approach that results in a thrashing of my taste buds). Thank you G.D. for marching to a different drummer!
09-19-2010 03:33:11 | More by rahtobeer
4.55/5 rDev +24%
A great crystal clear pilsner tone with a clean thin white head. No sediment at the bottom of this bottle. Those are the malt scents I love so dearly. The malt presence come through in the instant rush followed by a soft hop undertow and repeating the order in the aftertaste with all good things more drawn out and lingering. There is a sweet sugar bubble gum taste to it as well. Tastes like a toned down well crafted triple, yum! Over all a good feel medium to light bodied with a slight sting of alcohol.
02-24-2011 03:41:16 | More by JordanEllwanger
4.5/5 rDev +22.6%
Appearance was golden, cloudy, thin head, but nice lacing.
Smell was very malty, with some sweetness, & maybe a touch hoppy.
Taste was exquisite...sweet malts, fruity, not too hoppy in taste, but finished with a decent dose of hop bitterness (as expected with this style).
The ABV was barely noticeable.
Mouthfeel was a little clingy and sweet but the bitterness helped clean it up. Maybe a touch too low in carbonation but had an April 10 use by.
Drinkability was also above average...I am a little over the floral hoppiness in beers but still enjoy the bitterness & this ticked both boxes...yummo
VERY reminiscent of the 'Unibroue' sweetness...constantly reminded me of its malty sweetness.
Give this a go...
06-20-2010 03:26:02 | More by WHROO
4.45/5 rDev +21.3%
Pours a beautiful clear golden yellow with a fine-bubbled persistent white head. Fruity and malty flavor is somewhat sweet and inviting. Mouth-filling flavor is mainly fruity and has a good malty undertone. Texture is not smooth at all - strongly edgy and fizzy, it leaves a lively, tingly, malty, fruity and slightly bitter finish.
05-31-2010 00:16:46 | More by Cyberkedi
4.43/5 rDev +20.7%
Poured a deep golden yellow color. Immediately I could see a solid amount of carbonation coming from the bottom, the presence of which was also obvious by the +/- 2in head that retained well, reducing to a warm foamy coat only after 5 min or so.
Smell was sweet and citrusy, a lot like any other Belgian (surprise?). On first impression, the taste had the same malty sweet/sour Belgian taste as well, but then the hops! True to its name (the IPA part) the presence of those delicious bittering flowers was definitely prevalent and was maintained into the aftertaste.
I feel like I should say something about the booze here too - but thought it was terrifically balanced, not too boozy for sure. On the same note, its light, surprisingly thin mouthfeel gave it (deviously...) great drinkability. Needless to say, absolutely recommended, and will definitely have again myself.
05-31-2009 03:24:09 | More by GregPearson33
4.43/5 rDev +20.7%
A - A cloudy orange, yellow, a bit darker than a Hefeweizen...
S - Sweet Belgian Yeasty aroma, with some syrupy smells going on.
T - I really enjoy this beer. The hops don't overpower as they can in Flying Dog Raging Bitch (another Belgian IPA example), but are there to balance out the up front sweetness. Belgian Yeast flavors up front with the sweetness, hops on the back end.
M - really gets the saliva glands flowing with a dry finish. More carbonation than you would think, but not aggressive carbonation.
D - while not a session beer, I really do enjoy this every now and again as it's something unique- a hybrid of belgian ale vs. american ipa.
08-30-2010 00:53:12 | More by JWU
4.43/5 rDev +20.7%
Already reviewed this one once, but I figured I'd start round 2 of beer reviews and see if my palate has changed over the past few years. I'll just note what's the same and different, and you can use my previous review from 2/4/11 if you wish.
A: the head is much thicker and solid, pouring 3-fingers thick this time; otherwise, the same
S: much heavier and thicker than I remember; I detect sweet wild honey and fruity esters this time; no sweet citrus aromas this time; otherwise, the same
T: The "nectar" description fits just as it did last time; some characteristics of an IPA are detected this time (lemon zest and grapefruit citrus, crisp "fresh-cut grass"); no alcohol flavors here
M: the creamy smoothness of last time is here, but I am aware of the bitter hops cutting through, balancing the beer very well and counteracting the sticky sweetness; a touch of alcohol warmth (no spicy burning though); extremely drinkable, refreshing, and satisfying
O: A really, really good interpretation of an IPA done Belgian-style; characteristics true to both traditions are represented well, and their union results in a unique but familiar result; Great Divide still gets my vote of approval on the Belgica
04-17-2011 23:05:49 | More by boudreaux
4.38/5 rDev +19.3%
12oz bottle dated 5/26/09.
Appearance: Very strawlike yellow Pilsnerish. Nice head retention, even thru drink.
Smell: Very spicy, can't put my finger on what spice this resembles but very pungent.
Taste: Unique to say the least. Starts out with the Belgian taste of a Saison and ends on a hop bitter note of an IPA. What a great blend of styles and this is something that is very different.
Overall: Seek this one out as it is very distinct from other Belgian IPAs out there.
07-02-2009 11:53:06 | More by Kolsch
4.38/5 rDev +19.3%
New beer located at my local beer store in nowhere, NC
Poured a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Golden yellow/light-orange color. Very thin white head but sticky
Smells of awesome yeast and coriander blend. Sublte blended citrus hops with lemon and pepper deep in the nose.
Taste is sweet malt up front then overpowered by a great spice and yeast presence throughout the middle. Then from nowhere late in the finish the spice gives way is great citrus hops that lingers for nice, bitter balance.
Medium body and very smooth. Finishes very dry with tight hops bite on the end
Very drinkable but as with most 7-8% ABV beers, 2-3 is all I think I could handle.
Overall a GREAT offering from an excellent brewery. I think this beer is highly underated and look forward to grabbing a few more of these very soon.
10-11-2010 22:37:37 | More by KidsDoc
4.35/5 rDev +18.5%
12 bottle poured into a goblet
Fluffy white head leaves good lacing above the light gold body of this beer.
Aromas are orange and lemon zest along wtih sweet breadiness and clove spice.
The flavor matches well with not overly bitter hops in the finish.
A decent mouthfeel that isn't big, but solid enough.
I am loving that this isn't quite so high in abv and would consider a sixer of this.
06-08-2009 15:50:28 | More by rtratzlaff
4.33/5 rDev +18%
Belgica pours a golden color. It's very clear. Ordinarily, I like Belgian IPAs to have that hazy look, but this one's lacking there. Still very solid looking. It's topped with a foamy white head that stands over two fingers tall. Thick chunks of lace clung to the glass as it descended. Good stuff, but could be a little better.
The nose is a little lacking in strength, but is good. Belgian yeast is readily apparent throughout. That aspect is top notch. For a long time, I was skeptical of how well I'd really like the marriage of Belgian yeast and IPA qualities. But, it works incredibly well. In this particular beer, it smells like everything takes a back seat to the yeast. The hop profile has some citrus qualities. There's the usual grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. But, there's a floral aspect there, as well. It smells a little earthy and some light herbal characteristics. All in all, this is a nice smelling beer. More strength would improve it a little.
The flavor profile is a little more diverse and better as a result. Belgian yeast is the dominant flavor. It's absolutely delicious throughout. It blends very well with citric and floral hops. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are noted. They add a nice bitter, dry flavor to the mix. A few spices are noted that I didn't pick up on the nose. Pepper is the primary spice, but a little orange peel is most certainly present. Alcohol is blended very well and goes unnoticed. It is earthy, grainy, and a little herbal. But, all of the flavors work in tandem to produce a really nice Belgian IPA. Yeah, it's not quite as tasty as Urthel Hop-it or Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, but it's damn tasty.
Belgica has a medium body that's nice and smooth. Carbonation is relatively light. It doesn't quite reach a creamy level, but it's not far off. Drinkability is very high. This is damn tasty stuff that goes down way too quick and easy. Couple that with 7.2% abv and you have a very approachable Belgian IPA. Gotta love it.
I'm really impressed with the stuff Great Divide's rolling out these days. They make some high quality beer and aren't afraid to take some chances. Belgica is a very solid Belgian IPA that delivers. Yeah, I'd prefer it to be hazy and the nose could use some strength, but that's nitpicking. This is damn good stuff that I'm really happy to see here in Ohio. Keep rolling out the quality beer, guys. You're doing a hell of a fine job.
08-10-2009 02:53:42 | More by prototypic
4.33/5 rDev +18%
Reviewed on 5/28/09
Poured into a pint glass. Well carbonated, crystal clear golden body. 1 finger, white head that holds. Good lacing.
Smell has a slight bitterness, nice sweetness, fair amount of fruity esters.
Taste was crisp and clean w/ a mild lingering citrusy bitterness. Good fruity esters, slightly sweet, mild belgian-type funkiness with a faint spiceness in the finish.
Mouthfeel was light and crisp. Excellent carbonation.
Drinkability was good. Very crisp with a nice finish. Hides 7.2% very well.
Overall this was a very tasty Belgian IPA. Nice and funky with a mild sweetness and bitterness. Great for warmer weather.
06-01-2009 01:25:57 | More by riored4v
4.33/5 rDev +18%
Bottled On: 24 Apr 09
Pours a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, with some slight malts, very slight yeast note, some citrus. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, slightly yeasty, woody, fruity, sweet, one damn complex brew for an Belgian IPA. Medium body, nice dry/bitter finish, not hot like other Belgian IPAs, very nicely done. Drinkable, a very tasty brew.
08-16-2009 20:21:11 | More by Wasatch
4.33/5 rDev +18%
$13.99 for a 6'er in Dearborn. 7.2% ABV. Brewed with "Belgian pilsner malt, a generous amount of American and European hops and a unique Belgian yeast strain". Bottled on May 26,2010.
Pours out to a hazy orange, requiring a stuff our to achieve a modest head which quickly recedes into a thin layer of bubbles leaving a trace of lace and mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma reminds me of the Duvel yeast strain, with honey, crisp wheat crackers, subtle hops (Saaz?) and pineapple with a touch of funk. The mouthfeel is clean, crisp, smooth, soft and medium bodied. The taste is a recap of the aroma, opening with pineapple and lemon, honey, followed by a nicely balanced malt body and a firm, but pleasant bitterness. Lingering aftertaste of bitter crackers and white pepper.
This is a really nice brew, and very easy to drink. A wonderful mix of balanced flavors. I would easily buy this again, and recommend trying it. I've been impressed with this latest line-up of Great Divide stuff. I haven't had one bad bottle yet.
11-24-2010 21:30:14 | More by Mitchster
4.3/5 rDev +17.2%
On tap at Cole's. Arrives a really light yellow, light soapy head on top. Leaves nice lacing all down the glass.
Nose is citrus fruits, yeasty esters, grass, lemons.
This has honestly got to be one of the better Belgian IPAs I've had. Drinks more like a heavy wit IPA. Light graininess, lemons, oranges, pineapple, esters as in a light tripel, slight spiciness, nice hop bite, balanced, lightly drying finish. This was refreshing, plenty of hops without overwhelming me with the Belgian-ness of the brew.
Would gladly drink it again, tasted really fresh on tap. Light summer breezes, fresh laundry - that sort of thing.
09-28-2009 02:25:30 | More by ritzkiss
4.3/5 rDev +17.2%
A-Pours an slightly hazy gold. The white head dissipates fast and leaves only the slightest lacing.
S-Very Belgian on the nose. Belgian yeast stands out the most with some hop presence as well.
T-Much like the nose, the Belgian flavors dominate at first and then the hops come in the finish. It is not as hoppy as I expected, it has a very nice balance between hops and malts. I was expecting it to be very tart like another Belgian IPA I had previously, but it wasn't at all, which was nice.
M-Carbonated and crisp.
D-Extremely drinkable. One could easily down a 2-3 with no problem before the slightly high abv. came into play.
Overall, this is another solid offering from Great Divide and I highly recommend this beer.
06-19-2010 02:01:44 | More by thegodfather2701
Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.