1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

15th Anniversary Wood Aged - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
15th Anniversary Wood Aged15th Anniversary Wood Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

293 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 293
Reviews: 251
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 10
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 06-07-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 293 | Reviews: 251 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lukafer
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes I just found.

Pours a medium amber with 2-3 fingers of head. Smells malty, and I smell some dark fruits. Taste is sweet, then hops with a nice barrel finish. Mouthfeel is thick. This is a sipper, you should share it with friends for sure.

Photo of brdc
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Mike for this one.
Large capped bottle poured into a tulip.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the idea of a wood aged DIPA, but it did work out quite nicely.
It has a very nice presentation, dark golden, fluffy white head with average retention, some haziness from the sediment present only on the last glass.
As this is aged, not surprisingly, caramel maltiness is a big part of the aroma, but still some grassy and fruity hoppiness, vanilla and oaky notes.
Full bodied, yet surprisingly easy to drink for such a powerful beer.
the aroma translates well into the palate, with a predominant caramel sweet maltiness, but also bread, vanilla, multiple fruits including the obvious grapefruit, earth, oak, lots of citirc notes.
Very interesting, and the flavors of the strong malty backbone, fading but still present hoppiness and wood blended very nicely together.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a year, I'm hoping this is still gonna be good. Pour is a thing of beauty. Big, full off-white had that lets of amazing aromas of wood and bananas. There is more of an alcohol smell than hops. Surprisingly pleasant. There is still a lot off hops in the taste, as they have not all faded away (although I am very curious as to what this tastes like fresh). Hints of wood and whiskey alcohol. I'm definitely getting some whiskey on the palate. The aftertaste is a nice caramel/vanilla blend with a bit of bitterness from the hops. The mouthfeel is very full bodied and maybe a bit syrupy. Drinkability is fairly high, but may have been a bit higher when fresh.

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happy to be the 250th review for this underlooked gem. Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottled on July 2nd, 2009 into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

A: The best feature of this beer. Dark brown with a stunning white foamy head that lasts and has amazing retention as it settles down.

S: Malts, light citrus notes, and a little wood. Unfortunately the hop aroma has faded at this point.

T: Caramelly, oaky, and just a tad hoppy to create the perfect flavor profile. And if that's not enough, it finishes with a pleasant vanilla aftertaste.

M: The carbonation has not died down at all in this - not oily or slick like some DIPAs. Finishes nice and dry.

D: After a year this beer is perfect. I would say if you age it any longer it will drink more like a barleywine.

Overall, a great commemorative brew from Great Divide. Get your hands on a bottle of this!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 10.0% ABV, food pairings listed, Bottled on Jul 02 2009.

Thanks to Sweemzander for giving me one of these bottles!

A - I tried avoiding the ring of rust on the top of the beer as I poured it but it only resulted in a ridiculously vigorous pour, in turn resulting in a frothy bone-colored head with a solid three fingers in height. The sudsy head stays loose and foamy as it lowers leaving thick, intricate designs of lace on the glass. The beer itself is a lightly cloudy, dirty apricot amber color with good carbonation action.

S - Oak chips are big in the nose with a fairly strong presence but don't become overwhelming. This leaves the rest of the beer to explain itself. Strong caramel sweetness and vanilla follow up the oak and progress into a mildly hoppy floral and earth nose. The maltiness shines through though.

T - A strong caramel and vanilla sweetness bombards the tongue upon entry but it's quickly washed down by a bold oak wood flavor stronger than any other actual wood flavor I've ever experienced in a beer. It's short-lived though as immediately following the oak is another move which brings back more sweetness and an abrupt jab of bitter hops. All the flavors blend well in this DIPA.

M - The powerful but short-lived sweetness meets it's untimely demise at the hands of bitter hops. The sweet malts then rise from the grave and haunt with a lingering presence on the finish. It's medium-full bodied and strong but the alcohol only comes through in tiny spurts of sensation.

D - Due, in part, to it's potency both in flavor and actual alcohol content (not perceived), it's a sipping DIPA I couldn't drink more than one pint of. I struggled to finish it at that. I really like the actual wood flavor, not boozy barrel aged flavor though.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to beerfmAndy for letting me sample this one.
12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a dark, hazy burnt orange with tons of tiny bubbles coming up from the side of the glass. The beer produces a finger's worth of head and some decent lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big hop burst and alcohol that stings the nostrils. Pretty surprising since this is over a year old. A good amount of oak is detected to go along with a little bit of molasses.

T- With a years age on it, this has pretty much turned into a barleywine. Hops right away that is washed away a big dose of oak. The alcohol is still pretty noticeable and heavy even though it has a year on it. Some vanilla as well with a touch of leather.

M- Medium to full bodied. Good amount of carbonation for being a double and plenty of heat on the throat from the alcohol.

D- I was glad to sample this beer. It had been aged a year and was still tasting pretty hot. I would not have been able to finish off a whole bomber of this though.

Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was not a bad beer, by any means, but I think it does demonstrate that not every beer is improved by time on wood. Distinct, woody, caramel notes predominate. A bit syrupy sweet and, while well-hopped, they seemed to have faded a bit and did not balance the malt and sweetness as they should.

Photo of BierFan
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big tan head on a clear red/orange body. Really good head retention and lacing.

Smell: The nose is primarily oak and malt. Not alot of hops making it through.

Taste: Malty with some piney hops and a more mild bitterness than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Kinda flat.

Photo of briman
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color, with a large cream colored head that retains very well. Thick lace coats the sides of the glass all the way down.

Aromas of orange and tangerine citrus upfront backed up with clearly evident notes of vanilla, oak, bourbon, and alcohol.

Strong flavors of oak, and caramel malt upfront, along with some mild citrus elements but quickly settles into a more bourbon like flavor and alcoholic finish. Some grapefruit rind bitterness sneaks out as well, and lingers along with the bourbon notes well into the aftertaste.

Medium body, with moderate carbonation. A touch thick, having a slightly chewy feel. A little more bouron-like than I expected, and this flavor holds on well into the finish and aftertaste. Alcohol is evident througout, and certainly provides some warming. I think the hop presence is strong, but is overpowered by the bourbon and alcohol character. I like this beer, but in terms of both aroma and flavor not sure it has nearly the hop punch I would really expect in a DIPA.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber with a brewed-on date of 9/20/09 into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a very hazy, bright burnt orange color with a massive head of tan color foam. Lacing is terrific and clarity is near-zero. Looks rich and mysterious.

S: Smells phenomenal! Loads of candied caramel malt, a good deal of whisky, burned wood and herbal hops. I loved just smelling the warmth of this beer.

T: Very rich and smoked malt flavor at first. Sticky sweet caramel malt and toffee flavors blend with the mellow smokiness of French and U.S. oak chips. Hints of vanilla and tobacco are noted as well. A slight alcoholic sting and zesty, floral hop bitterness flash up towards the boozy, bourbonesque finish. What a sipper.

M: Mouthfeel is full-bodied, sticky and sweet, but smooth and mellow as any brew I've ever had.

D: The 10% ABV goes essentially unnoticed, as time and oak aging on wood chips has mellowed the harsh alcohol compounds and hop acids. Just wish I could get my hands on another one of these guys; hope they brew a 20th-year as well! This was a real treat to sip on in the bitter cold winds around the campsite.

Photo of alleykatking
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks Justin for sharing this!

A- Pours a semi-hazy copper color. One and a half finger tan head dies down rather quickly. Light lacing at first turns into streaks as I drink the beer down.

S- There is a lot of caramel malts in this beer that burst in the front of the aroma. Some hops (both piney and citrus) come next in line. Some light vanilla and oak scream in the backend of this and take over the nose as a whole.

T- There is a light citrus punch from the hops in the front but gets pushed aside right away from the caramel malts. Some light vanilla in this that gets taken over by oak as the beer warms. Light bitter hop bite in the end.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little off I think for the style. Sweet malts left on the palate with some light hop in the aftertaste. Flavors were clean but not very crisp throughout the beer. Drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This beer was a good wood aged IPA. Not the best I've had (Hand of Doom anyone?) but not the worst. I think this could have been a little more hop forward and not so malty. Glad to have gotten the chance to try this one.

Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a nice, rich coppery color, with some good white foam on top. On the nose I get some earthiness, caramel, vanilla and mellow hops. This is a good full-bodied beer, with the caramel sweetness and earthy hops nicely tempered by the wood. Much more British in style, a good solid DIPA. A very nice tribute to 15 great years.

Photo of camp0474
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy copper-red color. Thick creamy head. Good lacing left on the glass.

S: Loads of sweet malt and vanilla from the fragrant oak. Very faint notes of earthy hops barely come through.

T: Vanilla flavors from oak aging battle with the heavy malt and add some flavor balance. Some earthy hops but still masked by the other pungent flavors. Still hints of high ABV behind the malt and oak. Slight bitterness from ABV during aftertaste.

M: Thicker body with a slight silky texture from the oak. Good carbonation.

D: Probably would not drink this beer if it weren't for the oak aging. I think this beer could have used some more citrusy hops to balance the strong malts. But overall good.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mora2000!
Poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin tan head that stays. Dotted lacing at first, then plenty of wispy lacing, sticks.

The smell is of big hops - citrusy, piney, spicy with even bigger caramel candy. Vanilla/oak adds a unique layer of complexity that is done well.

The taste is of sweet resin, vanilla/oak, caramel. Hoppy citric/piney/tropical fruit, slightly floral flavors come through, but not much of the bitterness. Stays sweet with loads of caramel and vanilla/oak. Not too boozy, esp. for 10% abv, though some alcohol dryness comes through in the sweet finish.

Its ample, yet not fizzy, carbonation lends smoothness. It just hits full-bodied. Smooth despite high abv.

Dangerously drinkable, the oak is there but not overdone. Hoppy in flavor, with plenty of caramel, it is on the sweet side of things. According to the label, it is based on the Denver Pale ale, so has English and American hops. French and American oak chips are used. A nicely done, pretty complex, strong yet drinkable, DIPA - Congrats on 15 - Here's to many more!

Photo of Jayli
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 oz at Plaza Liquors in O'Fallon, IL

A: This beer pours a relatively clear copper color, some touches of haze to it. A one finger of off white head sits on top and retains nicely. Sheets of lacing are left behind on the glass.

S: Nose is of oaked wood, earhty and pine hops, and a malt presence.

T: Taste starts with a muted earthy hop flavoring. Caramel malts, hints of toffee, with a nice smoked wood and oak really fill out the middle. Although it's massively present, it's very light and inviting rather than overpowerings. Finish is oaked piney hops.

M: Medium bodym medium carbonation, creamy and and oily resin that completely coats the tongue.

D: Nice representation of the style, I really enjoyed the oak flavoring with the hops, it somewhat muted the power of the hops, but was well balanced.

Photo of dren
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

July 02, 2009 bottle on date. Poured into my Great Divide "IPA" glass.

Pours a reddish amber hue with a huge creamy head. Some really good lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, oak and vanilla with some floral notes.

Sweet malt up front, caramel, vanilla, oak and leather, lighter floral and spice hints. The aftertaste lingers long, tastes like lychee as someone else stated. That's where you get your bitterness, dry. The oak masks the initial bitterness/piney/citrus flavors you would expect. I don't get any alcohol flavor, but the aftertaste warms half way through.

The mouth feel is smooth, full but not waxy. A nice sipper.

I will have no problem finishing this one, but this is a sipper, a one beer night.

Photo of Tilley4
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up on a whim recently and decided tonight to crack it open...

Pours a very dark orangish brown... Quite murky with a very nice head... Thick and creamy... Looks pretty good...

The hops are very faded here and, while rather floral, don't jump out like they should... The oakiness of the barrel is present along with the sweetness of the malts and a dose of booze... Smells very barleywine to me...

Faded floral hops hit up front and bring in the barrel with the hints of oak and vanilla and earthiness... Rather sweet and a bit boozy in the finish...

Not a bad beer but I'm guessing that I should have got hold of this 6 months ago and it would have been a different animal...

A sipper for sure but not one I will get again..

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled September 2009
Bottled July 27th, 2009; Sampled September 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass quickly produces a four-finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is a nice rich red color that shows a concentrated red-copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of oak and hops; notably there is a soft vanillin note & some buttery oak up front that mixes with floral and citrus hop note, while a spicy, woody note mixes with the more herbal and pine hop notes towards the end. The oak actually tends to mute the citrus components of the hops and instead accentuates the more floral, herbal and pine like notes. Notes of orange blossom, herbaceous tangerine, some lychee and bergamot are noticeable here though.

Somewhat rich feeling as it first hits my tongue, there is an unmistakeable viscous heft to this beer that sees it clinging to the palate after each sip. Toasted oak flavors linger in the palate after each sip as does an herbal hop bitterness. This has a nice bitterness throughout, though it is not at a huge level like some Double IPAs; the ample bitterness that is here plays well with the other flavor components. Lots of sticky malt notes contribute to the overall palate presence of this beer, but aside from a touch of crystal malt caramelization don't end up being too overwhelming with all the other flavor notes found here. The mix of spicy oak and herbal hop notes towards the finish can get a touch hot at times. Despite being so thick and viscous feeling this beer really doesn't taste very sweet at all; somehow the mix of flavors produce a richness, but not a lot of sweetness (which is definitely nice). As the beer warms a touch more of the citrus / fruity hop notes start to become more noticeable; orange zest, some lychee, as well as candied tangerine notes.

Not a bad beer, the oak actually manages to integrate itself pretty well with this beer. I do feel like it could stand to be a bit more hop focused, which makes me wonder how much hop character this has lost in the two months since it was bottled.

Photo of hoplover82
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am so glad to have had the oppertunity to try this wonderful beer.

It pours a beautiful foggy copper color with a huge, creamy off white head that has great retention and lacing. The only reason it's not a 5 on -A- is that it's not clear. But nonetheless a very appealing beer.

And from an arms length, you get wofts of oak wood and a huge complex hop aroma. It's mainly very pungent resiny floral notes with some earthiness. And I love that oak wood I'm getting. I also get some pine aromas as well from the hops. And you definately know this is wood aged. Very well done.

And the flavor reflects that of the nose. With tons of floral and earthy pine hops mixed with oak, but with a huge caramel sweetness that balances the beer a little too much for me imo (according to a double ipa) The only reason it's a 4.0 and not a 4.5 or 5 is because it is a double ipa and it should be way more hop foward than this. Granted that this beer is aged and the hoppiness will decrease a little over time, but... It reminds me of Bigfoot in the taste too much for a double ipa.

This wonderful beer has a HUGE, sweet, cream, chewy body with a lingering bittersweetness that lasts forever.

And I could session this beer all night long! LOL, just kidding! lol It's too high in abv to do that, but this beer goes down very smooth without much detection of any fusal alcohol at all.

A very very good beer by GD indeed. Thanks for this offering.

Photo of blakesell
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the 22oz bomber into a beveled pint glass.

Appearance- As soon as I pop the bottle, thar she blows. A gusher, quick with the glass for the save, the beer is overactively foamy but it doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it. Ample white foam, an equal ratio to the pour. It clings and is impressively white. Beer itself is clear and amber colored.

Smell- Smells pretty nice, lots of hop character, American oak in there, smells to be a good balance. Almost a cracked black pepper smell in there that I actually find favorable as I sneeze away from the glass of course.

Taste- Well, all great things must come to an end. Now I'm tasting a decline and this is entirely subjective judging by me considering the previous reviews on this beer. It's not the freshness or being out of date, it's just that American oak and IPA's don't mix for me. The IPA flavor is intense and mouth coating which is great at first, then soon, almost immediately after the oak comes in and destroys what would otherwise be an enjoyable experience, scrubbing off every shard of that piny hop flavor that was there before. There are no off bacteria from the barrel, it's just the nature of the beast here and I'm sorry to say that I've never had an oaked IPA that really did it for me yet.

Mouthfeel- More of that overwhelming oak coating the tongue. Cloying, overdone, full bodied, highly carbonated, almost creamy from the barrel, not smooth, astringent.

Drinkability- I'll have a hard time finishing off this bottle and I'm afraid the rest may find it's way into the sink drain. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would call this blasphemy, but I've had that one too, and the oak is a bit overpowering on that one as well. Extreme beers have their place, and barrel aging the american IPA is not that place for my mouth.

Photo of Xul
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a two-finger creme colored head, which leaves an immense out of lacing down the glass as it recedes. Body is translucent enough to reveal a steady stream of bubbles making their way towards the head.

S: Some oak up front along with smokey notes, backed by a big caramel base. Vanilla and brown sugar poke through as it warms. Some earthy hoppiness comes through but at this point, it smells more like a barleywine than an IIPA.

T: Big caramel and toffee base is complemented by oak and vanilla. Earthy bitterness comes in on the back of the tongue but doesn't make itself know in an aggressive fashion. Hints of oxidation, but they don't really detract from the taste.

M: A bit thin for the ABV and flavor profile, carbonation is good but a bigger body would've been beneficial.

D: Goes down easy but takes a bit of a hit due to the aforementioned thin feel.

Photo of ABOWMan
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like DIPA's and this one from Great Divide was no exception. My bottle poured a nice two fingered head of fine off-white foam with good clarity and a light caramel color. Lacing was good and made it all the way to the bottom of the glass!

The aroma is single malt bourbon up-front with vanilla and a slightly hoppy pine finish.

The flavor is much like the aroma. Bourbon, sweet alcohol, malt and vanilla. No hop bitterness to speak of for a DIPA.

I'd by another, but not if I was in the mood for for a DIPA. This is closer to a bourbon barrel aged ale than a DIPA.

Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Magnum's in late September for $8.89. Bottled on July 27, 2009.

Beer poured a copper color with a nice white head initially. Nose is an interesting combination of hop flower and oak. Taste is big on vanilla oak, big malts, and big hops. Mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth. Drinkability is good. Initial sip produced alcohol warmth but the high abv was well hidden after. The oak effect is an innovative twist on my favorite style but not necessarily one that enhances the overall experience. But I am definitely happy to have the opportunity to try!

Photo of KalH
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I initially read a lot about this beer when I had first heard of it and was wanting to try it more and more with every review I read. I was fortunately able to get my hands on one of these via a trade and was not let down in the least bit.

I'm just going to go ahead and say that I love this beer. I was pleasantly surprised by its incredible flavor and balance. Definitely going to be on the lookout for more of this.

This beer pours a clear amber with a nice, foamy, creamy head. I noticed off the bat the aromas of vanilla, whiskey, toffee, and flora. Great combination of smells.
The first taste blew me away. It had a powerful flavor of oak and all the flavors of the aromas I had previously mentioned. The finish was dry but the mouthfeel was great. A complex taste but one that is definitely unforgettable. Its a bit boozey at 10% ABV but the alcohol is not overwhelming.
Its malty but has a nice wood and hop balance to it that allows this to be pretty drinkable. Overall, the body is light and the carbonation low. The texture was somewhat slick going down, but it certainly warms your throat!

Do yourself a favor and try this if you want a good DIPA.

Photo of nickadams2
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on July 02 2009

A_ Dark amber with a thick frothy almost cinnamon colored head. Decent lacing.

S_Strong oak smell upfront. Can just pick up hops in the background.

T_Strong vanilla oak flavor. More oak than I expected but rounded out nicely by piny hops and sweet malt.

M_ Thick and creamy finishes just a little bit dry.

D_ Drinks very well especially cosidering the ABV and amount of oak.

15th Anniversary Wood Aged from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.