Hercules Double IPA | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hercules Double IPAHercules Double IPA
4,210 Ratings
Hercules Double IPAHercules Double IPA

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by filabrazilia on 04-11-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,210 |  Reviews: 1,591
Photo of BBP
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Approximately a 9 month old bottle.

A- Orange-brown with medium high carbonation and most of the time, a solid large head. Little bits of yeast follow the cycle of the carbonation, and enhance the look a lot.

S- Hops and malts, a bit of citrus, some grapefruit and pine, a bit of spice, and caramel.

T- Malt's lead this beer, with noticably large amounts of hops in the background. It gave a caramel hop and citrus taste at first. Later on it began to leave a bit of a coffee flavor behind. A bit of alcohol hits you in this one, leaving a small mark on the aftertaste.

M- Medium body, a bit lacking on the carbonation. Very smooth though.

D- Fairly easy to down. A bit of the ABV is detectable which holds you back, but the bold flavor takes it out of the light. It's a solid drink, and I'd love to try it fresh.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brilliantly clear copper color with an off-white head that retains excellently and leaves a nice sheet of lace

S- Loads of candy-coated, orange-flavored, hop nectar. There is some brown sugar and sweet potato making up the malt profile. Alcohol is cloudy and perfume-like.

T- The flavor is bitter in effect. Bitter in the start, bitter in the finish. Sort of mellow and sweet like caramel or butterscotch in the middle.

M- Thick and syrupy with a fizzy carbonation that bubbles around slowly

D- Intense, but recognizable enough to make it a quick sipper. Nothing beyond regular but really the best example of the regular.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Hercules coming out of a bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark and cloudy, thick orange, not much of a head.

S: Subtle for such a powerful brew, no hops come through on the nose, mostly citrus, some caramel sweetness.

T: Faintly hoppy, nice malts, dark citrus and orange, well-rounded, not too bitter.

M: Just rightly full, good carbonation. Some back-burn after sipping.

D: Drinks well for the style and ABV, but the strong alcohol does show up eventually. A sipper.

Hercules is one of my favorite DIPA's. In a bottle might feel a little harsh, much smoother on tap, which I prefer.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 17 2010. The beer pours a nice hazy copper with a decent tan head that thins to a film and leaves a small bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet carmel with plenty of bitter pine hop aroma, really great. The flavor starts with some malt sweetness and then hits you with some strong hop flavor. The hops I taste are pine and grapefruit. The bitterness is stronger than the sweetness, but not quite unbalanced.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick, but the carbonation lightens it. Overall it's very nice and drinkable.

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Photo of jsanford
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken on 6/14/10.

A - Pours a hazy amber with 2-fingers of intricate foamy head. Leave sticky lacing in the glass.

S - Toffee, grapefruit, biscuit malt and a tiny bit of what I affectionately refer to as "cattiness". Intense.

T - There's a lot going on for a DIPA ; caramel and biscuit malts, bitter citrus (grapefruit and orange), pineapple and white pepper. Not quite as balanced as I like and a bit too sweet for my taste.

M - Medium-bodied with a nice crisp level of carbonation.

D - This one got a bit cloying for me, I struggled through the last 1/3 of the bottle. Perhaps it was a bit old, I may have to re-visit.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip pint: 3 fingers of of foamy, sticky, parchment head over medium-amber body, hazy. Tiny, slow nucleation bubbles. Leaves resinous stripes of lacing.

Ruby red grapefruit, orange zest, with some toasty & caramel smells, a little floral. Nothing new but oh, so right.

Starts with some biscuity caramel flavors, maybe toffee, moves into orange juice & orange soda, combined with a woody, pine bitterness. Usually I don't like DIPAs with a strong caramel presence, but for some reason this is really doing it for me now. Nice, sweet aftertaste, almost like an American barleywine. Some dry lemon-tea comes into play. Booze shows up a little, but doesn't turn up the heat too much.

Starts off crisp & grows in body, plopping a little sweet stickiness right on the tongue. Ends a little sticky, too, but that bitterness is there to scrub it down a little.

Gotta say, I'm not usually a huge fan of the style, but this one really hit the spot. The hops seemed to keep the malt bright & lively, whereas a lot of the time I find the sweetness in DIPAs to be heavy. Refreshing, tasty, & hides the booze remarkably well (whoa, now I feel it) -- regardless, this one's a winner!

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Photo of Rayek
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the brewery. Served into a snifter via the vintage hand-pump they just installed.

A: Deep amber with lots of cloudy yeast on board. The soapy beige head is short lived and leaves only a little lace.

S: Lots of citrus and pine, with less grapefruit than in the past. A bit of caramel sweetness is present in the background. A light whiff of alcohol rounds things out.

T: The overall picture is smoother and less rough around the edges in this form. A rush of bitterness hits right away. The bitterness isn't over the top, but does have a bit of bite. Grapefruit, lemon and pine make up the bulk of the hop flavor. I tasted a bit of pepper too. Malt is there with a toffee sweetness that helps offset all that bitterness. I even picked up a hint of oak. Finishes with an extreme puckering tartness and light warmth.

M: The medium body is slightly doughy and has very little carbonation.

D: I generally avoid reviewing beers twice, but the cask conditioning really changed Hercules' for the better in my mind. Hopefully Great Divide's Tap Room will have it on cask again.

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Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed brownish oranage with nice cap of white foam, good retention & sticky lacing. Scent is of floral, earthy and spicy hops backed by a strong presence of citrus and sweet carmel. Taste brings a big bitter bite with spicy, earthy and piney hop charachteristics, notes of citrus blend in with a malty carmely sweet background, but the overall big bitterness keeps this in check. Medium bodied, coating, bitter sting, alcohol warmth. A nice dIPA thats all about the bitterness but lacking an overall great flavor profile.

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Photo of sellmeagod
2.78/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is 100% about the hops and bitters.

From the label (which is the whole Arrogant Bastard brag thing done in a slightly more tasteful way) to the extreme aftertaste - the only thing here is intense hops. It's not even too hoppy for me; it's just that that is all there is. I question this.

What I do not question is the amazing way they packed 10% abv into this puppy, which tastes otherwise like a regular old IPA that you'd always pass up. So, I'm conflicted, but there are cheaper ways to buy mega boozy IPA's.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown in color, fluffy off white head and lacing to tell all the time.

S: Earthy tones, chocolate, with a musk sense of hops thrown in the back.

T: Nice hop in the front with the back lined up with burnt malts.

M: Thick in texture, ABV noticed with some concern, moderately carbonated.

D: If you like hoppy beers with a lot of malt, this is the beer for you. For the style, I prefer all or nothing.

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Photo of begforme4484
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is very clear, seems to be a clean beer.

A very well mixed malt and hop scent thats inviting.

Taste is balanced with a clean hop finish that lingers pleasantly. Surprisingly bitter for only 85 IBU.

Dry and smooth.

GD hit another nail on the head with this one. It's a very straight forward IPA/DIPA. No extremes in one form or the other, which, as this beer shows, can be a good thing.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Growler from Fathead's Pittsburgh

A-pours a bright golden copper color with an off white head that is dense and creamy leaving a solid lacing.

S-the nose brings a fair amount of caramelized brown sugar and notes of caramel. pine sap takes over with light notes of citrus, pineapple and grapefruit.

T-caramel and caramelized brown sugar lay the malt base with an explosion of chewy pine sap, resignous and thick. citric notes, grapefruit and appricot in the back with an assertive hop bitterness in the finish.

M-extremely full bodied, thick and chewy, syrupy and coats the mouth, moderate carbonation, rather crisp finish and even slightly dry.

D-wow, this beer is huge! one of the biggest bodies I've had in any kind of ipa. the flavors are big, it is resignous, piney, chewy. the thick malt base adds some balance but this is a piney bitter hop lovers dream.

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Photo of btorsdog
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to admit,I'm a little bit confused by this one! Was expecting or maybe hoping for a more hop forward brew but that just is not the case. Now dont get me wrong this is an extremely good brew but just lacking somewhat in the hops dept.
Beautiful pour with a deep golden orangish hue, minimum headage but lots of lacing.
I smell mostly sweet malts touch of breadiness .
Taste is alot like smell with a good alchol bite.
Mouth is somewhat thickish but enjoyable, not much carbonation to speak of.
Old double herc went down pretty nicely with a pleasant warming effect as it happened, NICE!!!!
Have to note this bottle was slightly over 9 months old , could have been the reason for the hoplessness.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with good amounts of pine and citrus hop aromas. Hints of bready aromas waft out as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky and moderately sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off with hints of biscuit flavors. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of citrus and pine hop flavors, in that order. Midway through the sip the hops fade a bit and the malt flavors sweeten, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I was expecting an amped up version of Titan but instead got a mix between Titan and Old Ruffian. More malt-forward than I was expecting but still worth a shot.

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Photo of IronLover
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with just the slightest haze Thick head that slowly dissipates leaving a constant cap. Lots of sticky lacings. Big floral hoppy aroma, but not as intense as some DIPAs that I've tried. Citrusy orange aromas with hints of lemon zest and grapefruit. Full bodied feel that lets just a bit of malt flavor sneak in at the beginning before the citrusy hops take over. Lots of flavor woth a little alcoholic heat at the end. Dangerously easy to drink for the high ABV. The best DIPA I've had to date.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Pours delightfully. A warm ruby-amber coloured brew glows from within. Semi-translucent, with beautiful clumps of bubble patterns on the surface. Nice lacing drifts down the side.

S: Hm...This smells like a strong American IPA, which is exactly what it is, I suppose. Strong, muscular hops with citrus-grapefruit topnotes; however, there is a malty breadiness underlying it all.

T: Very strange. Bready indeed, with a pervasive hop character that is chewy and supportive rather than bitter. The middletaste introduces a sweetness, perhaps from alcohol, that mingles with the hoppiness and wins out in the early aftertaste. Gradually the brown-sugar malt character fades, and a gentle hoppy dryness lingers.

M: Very full, chewy, bready, and dry. Good.

D: Man, this stuff is substantial. I nursed it for nigh on an hour before I finished it. Delicious, but hulking. Recommended.

EDIT: The following is a review of a bottle aged in a wine cellar for 14 months. Review on 19 November 2011. Bottled 2 February 2010.

4A: Two fingers of substantial head. Noticeable amounts of sediment. Otherwise, quite clear. A golden amber colour. Great lacing.

4S: More subdued than I remember. Hopped grapefruit. Vegetal, but strong. Some sweet malt. Hints of chocolate, of all things!

5T: Fan-fucking-tastic. Sweet, lingering, and, ultimately, bitter. The hops have persisted through the years! The maintaste is haunted by chocolate, and the endtaste is dry and hop-sweet. Noticeably alcoholic. Age has done absolute wonders to this beer.

3.5M: Bready, alcoholic, and fruity. Less dry than I remember.

4.5O: Of the half of my cellared six-pack I've opened, probably the best. VERY tasty. I recommend the aging. I would love to put a whole case of this away. I love it! Yum.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an ever so slightly hazy dark amber/orange. Good head with decent retention and good lace.
Smell is hoppy, citrus, woody with a good balance.
Taste is hops, citrus, evergree/resin, light malt and alcohol with a hint of grape after the rush. decent balance.
Slightly warming in the throat, full-bodied with medium effervescence. Quite a good brew. I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of Brewmiser
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this @ the brewery

Appearance: A light golden color

Smell: Hoppy, but not as strong as most double IPAs I've had.

Taste: Hoppy but not as bitter as I was expecting.
Mouth: kind of a oilyness to it but not in a bad way.
Drinkability: I could drink it all day.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: copper-amber color; good head, but carbonation dissipates relatively quickly; glass nicely laces
S: bouquet abundant: it's a case of grapefruits right in your hand
T: "one big grapefruit" said Calvano, and with good reason. Very little aftertaste. Not much beyond the hops, but if that's not why you came in the first place, you'd better look for a different beer.
M: Silky! How the head disappeared so quickly I'll never know.
D: One will most likely want another immediately after drinking.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at Uber Tavern in Seattle serevd in a standard pint glass.

A - glowing copper--an extrodinary color--with nice off-white head leaving really nice patchy lace all over the glass.

S - Peppery with sweet floral hit followed by toasted grain.

T - Fairly restrained for a DIPA, more in common with a common IPA in many respects. Bitter hops exhibiting white and black pepper with some pine sap spice with pithy citrus rind bitterness. Roasted malt foundation is surprisingly present for the style. As it warms more juicy citrus pops through with orange and grapefruit, and a squeeze of lemon.

M - fairly rich, though not overwhelming. moderate carbonation, bist right with a bit of drying on thw finish.

D - Pretty drinkable for a DIPA, the alcohol is well integrated...which necessitates a note of caution. To me it was fairly tame at first, this one seems pretty subtle for the style to me, but it reveals itself more and more as it warms.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Nice lacing from this dark amber beer.

S-Malty hops are present but not overpowering.

T-normally I am dissappointed when I drink an IPA and its not super hoppy. This beer is more malt than hop. Almost not an IPA but... Still delicious. Has its own specific taste. hops come through in the end but definately a different take on the IPA style.

M-Pretty thick and chewy. Alcohol makes an appearence.

D-quite drinkable. 10.00% is high and somewhat noticeable but the brew is unique and tasty.

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Photo of TeeCee
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quick review - lives up to his name and not even Hercules will stand up to several of these.

My Hercules was poured into a 10 oz globe with not much head. The head I get from swirling the beer is light colored with tight bubbles that don't stick around, but leave a foam lacing. In the dim light of the Saucer, I see a reddish transparent beer. In good light, this beer is probably more of a deep amber.

Smelling this beer, I get an interesting hop note and some black pepper which is a first for me. There's some malt in there also, but not a lot that I can detect. Overall, this beer does not have a strong scent that I can detect. Might be my sinuses though.

The taste is hard for me to describe. While it's between an American Strong Ale and a double/imperial IPA, there's something catching me off guard as much as that black pepper on the nose. Plenty bitterness almost in a Czech pilsner way, but not as malty as I like my double/imperials (Harpoon Leviathan, Breckenridge 471). The flavor itself is rather strong, much stronger than the nose.

The mouthful is somewhat rich. As the pour was light, there's lots of bubbles when I swish. This beer holds its CO2 well.

Drinkability is good for the style, but you won't be throwing back a bunch of these on a hot day.

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Photo of MysticRuler
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very nice beer. Less of an IPA than a double due to the inherent sweetness and high alcohol. Those of us who are looking for the refreshing hoppy bitterness of an IPA will not be satisfied, however, for a particular evening this beer offers a nice compromise of sweet double combined with a robust IPA undertone, although at 10% ABV you won't be drinking a lot of it.

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Photo of salvo
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had the privilege of the first tulip glass off a new keg at Black Sparrow Pub. Appearance was opaque new copper with a beautiful inch of foamy light brown-to-orange head that persisted through the drinking, leaving thick clingy lace and piny residue all through, with islands of head persisting through the drink. And that's all good stuff.

The aroma is pine, herbal, with sweet malt. Very well balanced and almost dry: the nose is sweeter than the taste (and I'm wondering both at the reviews that call this beer "sweet" and those describing the beer as "clear" -- mine let almost no light through at all, let alone being called clear: perhaps a tap/bottle difference?).

The taste is pine first followed by the malt. Nothing too sweet: well balanced with a full mouth feel and dry alcohol finish: not overpowering but certainly revealing its 10%. The finish shifts from pine and malt to citrus and lip-smacking bitterness with hints of black peppercorn. Satisfying, and the hops stood up well against a hot-pepper and sausage pizza. A big, assertive beer without being particularly "extreme."

Drinkability is a little limited due to its big alcohol content, but I'll soon get back to Black Sparrow and I hope they still have Hercules on tap ... unless they somehow find something better.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wiseman Justin Reporting from the great divide brewery on July 26th, 2010.

Appearance: Very clear, very burnt honey. When held to light the color changes from honey to blonde at the thin part of glass. The head was two finger and very nice. Head retention is low but a nice ring is allowed to remain for the ride. Lacing is average.

Smell: There's the hops, I was worried the brewery didn't know what an I2PA were supposed to smell like from my last encounter with their other I2PA. Very woody, slightly meety smell. A "Roasted" smell that reminds me, but in no way actually does, of cooking popcorn. A sweet smell hangs out in the background which Wiselady natalia says smells like cotton candy. A lot going on here but not always in a good way. When we drank about half the glass we started getting Mangos on nose. Thats the fruit rocking out. (4.0)

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very meaty, hoppy taste. I love it. First and second I2PA I've ever liked found right here at this brewery. This one is much more aggressive which scores points. Slightly chewy in the mouth. The alcohol is untastable but I noticed a slight numbing in my lips. T (4.5) M (4.5)

Drinkability: Highly Drinkable I2PA. Something tells me in the future I might, (Maybe) grow tired of it. I liked their 16th anniversary I2PA better. Right now I'm loving both though (4.0)

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Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 4,210 ratings