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Hercules Double IPA | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,573 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 1,573 | Ratings: 4,108
Photo of jwc215
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

According to label, bottled in fourth week of September (about 2 months before tasting).

Pours deep copper with a thin head that leaves trails of lacing.

The smell is of citrus fruits with a hint of nuts. There is an underlying mustiness.

The taste is of chewy, bitter hops upfront - orange and grapefruit, along with some breadiness. A sweet, nutty, slightly grains malt backbone is very subtle, but enough to give it a nice body and to tie the hops together. The assertive hop character stays well ahead of the malt. A slight alcohol kick along with the hops gives it a long, dry finish.

The feel is incredible - chewy, full, rich, creamy and smooth.

This is a very nice double IPA. I wasn't overly impressed by the smell, but the taste is delicious and the feel dream-like. At 85 IBU's, this one lets it hop presence known loud and clear. But, the slight malt is not forgotten and gives it some relative balance. Although there are traces of alcohol in the finish, the alcohol is well-hidden for the abv level. A very good "sip and enjoy" hoppy delight.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Biere Garden in Asheville

A - orange with a big, dense, white head that has great retention

S - bread, citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, oranges

T - bread, caramel, sugar, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple

M - medium to full bodied, warm, smooth, good carbonation

This is a pretty big, bold IPA. The alcohol is present but adds warmth and body. The hop character is not bitter and is very citrusy. It's malt forward and has incredible drinkability for the ABV. I will definitely have this again.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a hazy red shade of copper. The light brown head is very creamy and is of an average height. Retention is good. The aroma is of strong, citrissy hops with a smell most reminiscent of pineapples. An underlying malt sweetness is also present. Hercules has an excellent hop flavor, again pineapple comes to mind. Plenty of underlying malt flavor provides a nice balance and a bit of nutty flavor. Bitterness is ample, but doesn't seem unrelentingly harsh at 85 IBUs. The 9.1% ABV isn't noted at all. This is a great DIPA, the hop flavor is damn near perfect and the malt is well-matched. Highly recommended.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely, bright amber color, full, fresh head of froth, creamy as all-get-out, utterly delightful.
Aroma, smoooth, I meant to say, smooo-oo–ooth, and luscious, with touches of pine, and citrus, a forest floor at loose in the nose. Uplifting and well worth smelling!
Taste: full blast of hoppiness, and brash fruity flavor. A rewarding overload of juicy taste delivers on the palate again and again. Nice, and nice.
Not as punishing or as harsh as a Rogue or a Dreadnaught, but I imagine they weren't out to slay the uninitiated with this, but welcome some into the heavily hoppy fold. Despite that qualm, a big, brash IPA, well worth any ale-lover's tasting! Yum, I says, as the flavor still laps up and around the mouth and I keep thinking "yum, yum, and, again, yum."
Tastiness beerily personified!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No bottling date.

Off the pour sits a very nice uniform off white foam head of about three fingers. Body is clear, a perfect amber with little small slow rising bubbles of carbonation coming up from the bottom. Some sticky lacing.

Bouquet is a nice mix of toffee like malt, and sweet floral hop. Not jarring, but not small either. Smells a little soapy perfume as well.

Taste is a bit thick and syrupy, with good malt hop mix and very coating. The thickness kind of turns me off a little. Otherwise we got some real good flavor here and balance. Does feel a bit big and boozy though. Hop finish is quick and short.

Still pretty good drink from Great Divide here, good beer they make yes indeed!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Two fingers of pale yellow foam, with excellent retention and concentric lacing. The brew is a semi-transparent copper-orange color. There's a fair bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so make sure this sits for a while before pouring it.

S - Hoppy bitterness, tangerine, grapefruit. Surprising amount of malt, and I'm pretty sure the bottle is fresh as it has the new label. The smell isn't all that big, and it's pretty generic for a DIPA, albeit quite nice. There's a bit of alcohol present.

T - Starts with huge bitterness, but then mellows out to a nice caramel and citrus sweetness. Leaves a persistent bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden in the taste.

M - Medium viscosity with moderate carbonation. Lots of residual mouth-coating stickiness.

D - The bitterness has defeated me after one bomber. The ABV would defeat me if I had anymore. It's a solid brew, but not one I'd want very often.

This is pretty good, but not in the class of other DIPAs I've had. If my selection were limited I'd be content, but it just doesn't stand out in a pretty crowded field. I think the 22oz serving size is also a little daunting.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Great color with a light haze. Deep amber ice tea. Fine white head has great staying power, but relatively low lace.

S - Apricot, honey, light booze, marzipan, warm woody hops.

T - Wow. Bright wood, warm mulled cider, bourbon, vanilla, bitter herbs. Stellar integration.

M - Super smooth with a full body.

O - An awesome DIPA, well worth the hype.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a bright, vibrant amber coloring with a slight haze, and a thin lacing of foamy head. Hops and hops and hops all over the nose, with a good blend of piney and citrusy-sweet notes, also. Bits of spice/pepper in the deep inhales. The beer is round, and fills your mouth right off the bat! Malty sweet flavors slip onto the tongue first, laying down a nice foundation for the aromatic and piney hops that follow. The spices continue to be present, and highlight the aftertaste as well. There are also some sweet grapefruit and grassy tastes towards the end of the tongue. Aftertaste is all hops, with the slight peppery spices mentioned before. Surprisingly, the finish is lingering and sweet, and the slightest bit bitter. My mouth actually watered the longer I tried to focus on the aftertaste and finish, so I guess that ranks high on the drinkability scale!

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Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, w/o freshness indication/vintage info. Allowed to warm quite a bit. Glowing auburn amber, with a creamy tan head, leaving lots of fine and whispy lacing. Nose is full of grapefruit rinds with malty undertones. This is an incredibly smooth DIPA, oozes hoppy goodness. Grapefruit, pine, also smooth honey and layers of malt add to this one's luster. Goes down/finishes with a tiny hint of gin and warming alcohol. Great beer, Hop lovers and DIPA lovers will love this one.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra with a trade, very excellent. Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Beer is heady, yellowish light brown head that falls away leaving little lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet with a definite hop character as you'd expect with high malt and high alcohol sweetness in aroma. A very inviting smell for an imperial IPA.
Beer is dark brown and cloudy. I have to object to this beer at this point and penalize it for CHILL HAZE. As I drank this beer it clarified. This is classic chill haze, this is a professionally crafted beer, add a protein rest for your product's sake.
Beer is plenty sweet with nicely balanced hop bitterness. Finishes nicely, plenty for the palate to analyze. Mouthfeel is nice and full. The alcohol content slightly cuts the mouthfeel a little bit, drinkability is decent. hard to have such a high ABV beer with such high hop and alcohol highly drinkable, but this is very good. I like Great Divide. I'm going to seek out their other beers. Watch the chill haze guys.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/31/06- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 22oz bomber bottle with no freshness information. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky amber in color. Nice fuller inch or so head with decent lacing left behind.

Smell- Wonderful scent of deep malt with a brown sugar whiff. Pine hops come through as well.

Taste- Toasted malt comes through hardcore with a roasted caramel flavor. Pine hops sear through the malt and make you take notice. Maybe a light touch of vanilla as well. Seems a tad more malty though. Still very well balanced.

Mouthfeel- A touch creamy with a heavier mouthfeel. Medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Seems to taste more like a barleywine to me than an IPA. Maybe even and English style barleywine. Very tasty. Starts out mellow but grabs your attention soon thereafter. If you are a fan of the heavier malted IPA's, give this one a try. Recommended.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on date of April 23, 2010
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark amber colour with some hints of light brown throughout and a finger of creamy white head.

S - Lots of hops up front - grapefruit, tangerine and a hint of pine. A significant sweet caramel malt nose in the background. Smells like a very well balanced DIPA.

T - A great balance of hops and malts. The hops hit you up front and are predominantly citrus with heavy grapefruit notes and some pine. At first the citrus is dominant but the pine becomes more prevalent as I continue to drink it. The sweet malts taste of sticky caramel with a spicy aftertaste. Very well balanced.

M - Medium body, sticky and a nice chew.

D - An excellent DIPA.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmm, I think this might be slightly shelf-aged from the Party Source in Syracuse, making it come off more like Rogue's Old Crusty than I remember. The hops here sweet, reisiny citrus in the aroma, more black pepper tastes comes out with taste and lingers with big-league citrus rind. There's some sweet bready malts in the aroma, similar to DFH 120, but lighter of course.

Overall, this is a big and fairly aggressive DIPA (but not too aggressive). What's not to like?

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an amber brown color with yellow highlights that had a half finger og head and left good lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was a combination of grassy pine hops and caramel style malts along with bready and citrus notes. There was also some faint underlying booze notes to it. Upfront on the palate I did receive a little hop bite but the bitterness was helped out by some citrus grapefruit character and had grassy pine accents. The caramel malt was definitely there to help out on the balance and add a touch of sweetness. The brew was medium to full in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a piney,grassy hop, citric, and mild bitter finish. It drank quite well with the alcohol nicely hidden but I have to say the titan for me had a better hop punch and that's what I really look for in a DIPA.

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Photo of Tone
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, amber/maize color. One and one half inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, and slight citrus. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops, citrus, sweet malt, slight raisin, and strong alcohol. Overall, a really good body, blend, complexity, and aroma.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark amber, almost glowing, color. Good one finger head that exuded hops aroma. Yes, hops, they're all over the place. Flowery and citrus hit the nose hard and dominate the palate. There are enough malts to bring the hops down to a good level of balance, but this is definitely a DIPA. A good bite that comes, goes, and then comes back in the finish. Served very cold at Falling Rocks (denver); perhaps better feel if warmer?
Could have drank plenty of these if not for the $$$.

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Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a sweet and rich, malty scent with a wonderful hop aroma that is floral. The taste is great also. It has a very bitter hop flavor laid over a rich malty base. It goes down smooth and finishes slightly warm with a bitter hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great tasting beer; a good drinker.

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Photo of Gavage
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thick 2+" head with several large bubbles that lasts quite a long time. Some moderate lacing develops. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising slowly to the surface.

Smell: lots of pinecones and citrus are easily detected by the nose.

Taste: nice malt backbone, caramel, orange sweetness, grapefruit tartness, pine bitterness, grass, and hints of alcohol. Well balanced as the flavor tones are all easily discernable.

Mouhtfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness at the start, with a smooth, lightly crisp finish. Aftertaste is long on the pine bitterness and citrus tones.

Drinkability: the bomber bottle was quaffed rather quickly and I was looking for another, but I only bought one. Insanely good, just a great beer. A must buy.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with a bottled on date of 10-23-08...let's hope it's not too late to taste the hops. On to the beer:

Dark, ruby orange color, hints crimson if you squint hard enough....with a creamy, froathing head on top. A little nutty yeast in the aroma, to go along with the powerful, yet fading hop aroma. A zest of squeezed citrus makes it interesting. To the taste...it's a good one. Pretty well balanced, hidden alcohol = potentially lethal. Faded, but resinous hops start off the journey. Burnt caramel and pinneapple notes add pieces to the overall flavor. Leafy. Some dry malt tastes of dried bread. It hints wood and tobacco flavors. Feels lighter than the listed 9.1% ABV, quite smmoth with an occasional zip of carbonation bubbles.

Hercules DIPA is not for the faint of heart (as the label says), but it is fit for me and most left coast beer geeks.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of tropical fruit. I get a lot of peaches and apricots with some orange notes also mixed in. There is also a little bit of bready malt in the aroma.

The flavor is also all about the hops. I get some nice bitter apricot and papaya notes as well as a little bit of pine. The bitterness is about medium and the beer is very easy to drink. The alcohol is noticeable.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber Pours a nice dark copper color, some carbonation, small head, very nice lacing afterwards. Scents of hops aplenty, citrusy, and some sweetness. Very nice taste of hops, and sweet. Medium body with a nice bitter bite at the end. Very drinkable at 9.1% ABV, the bottle also sez 85 IBUs which is the first time I've seen this on a bottle, what it means I'm not sure. This brew is highly recommend for sure, will be buying again.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at the Memphis Taproom in a cute little tulip glass on Sunday afternoon.

Hercules looks like a double IPA, a deep orange hue with some faint traces of well orange, it looks real pretty. A nice white head above as well, how about that!!! Faint traces of falling lace, not that sticky. Smells include your standard tropic fruits with some grapefruit, mango and papaya. Taste include a layer of hop resin oil with liquid grapefruit a enormous amount of malt, without the over sweetness sometimes accompanied by it. It seems well balanced but the tropics don't hit me as hard as the malt backing, it's a double I so take that for what it is worth. Feel is a big medium and oily, slick with a small sting of alcohol at the end that fits quite nice for this 10% beast. I would not drink this all day but would go for it on tap again. Worthy of the double title, this is big and it will lay you out son. It does not seem as big as it is, caution while drinking.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First Sample
Pours a lightly hazy, ruby-copper color. The beer is topped by a creamy tan to amber colored head. The aroma is most strongly of candied citrus fruits, and pine. This is a nice fully hop-flavored beer. I get notes of grapefruit, lychee, pine, and a nectar that is made up of hop Lupulin glands. There is a nice mouth coating bitterness in the finish. The taste reminds me of candied orange peels, but also has notes of sweet caramel, toasted biscuits, heady malts. Overall this beer is quite chewy with a medium bodied character that is derived from the residual malts that help carry and accentuate the hops. This beer finishes with a citrus hop zing that definitely lingers on the palate.

Second Sample
Pours a clear copper color that sits under a foamy, thick tan head. The aroma is redolent of piney hop aromatics. There is a thick mouthfeel to this beer that definitely lingers. The taste is dominated by pine and it is quite bitter in the finish. There are definite notes of candied orange peel, but the flavor is dominated by the pine notes and the intense bitterness in the finish. As my palate adjusts to the harshness in this beast, it gets tastier and more in balance. I can't really taste it, but there is a serious malt backbone here, which helps to carry the over-the-top level of hopping that is in this beer. This tastes quite fresh, but, oddly not nearly as good and balances as when I first had this. I think that this needs a little bit of age on it to mellow out.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz picked up at Belmont Station over the weekend... poured into my Chimay goblet...

1" head drops very fast.. some ribbons of lace.. and the cap is pretty nice... but what catches the eye ... is this is one dark DIPA.. very amber.. with deep orange highlites when held to a lamp.

again.. even the nose smells dark... caramel... toffee... toasty grains... maybe even some nutty/cocoa components.. west coast hops.... grapefruit and pine.. but the malts seem way out of whack in my mind.

big bitterness moves quickly into the expected darker malt components.. nutty.. caramel.. and again darker toffee.. too sweet IMHO (for the style) .... resiny pine and lemon zest hoppiness.... some yeasty fruitiness.... and then a looong piney and bitter finish.. the body is fairly thick... and carbonation levels are pretty much spot on... the bitter finish would probably get to me after more than one glass.

despite my above negativity.... this brew is pretty damned tasty... I just prefer DIPA's that have more of a singular malt bill.


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Photo of biegaman
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wine drinkers will recognize this orangey colour from the label of the illustrious Veuve Clicquot champagne; beer drinkers know it best as the American IPA. It is a toasty golden tone that welcomes the light with open arms, becoming a much brighter, much glassier (and slightly more transparent) tone. A sandy brushing of head blankets the surface and cakes the glass in layer upon layer of droopy, eccentric patterns of lacing.

The aroma is certainly Herculean. The way this thing smells it sends out a message saying: 'I am; I am here; I am now'. It doesn't so much as say 'hello' as it does smack you upside the head. It is a budding orchard, it is fresh cut citrus fruit, it is mysterious herbals, it is nectar serum, it is... an utmost amazing, tantalizing thing.

With Hercules DIPA you start to see hops, I mean really, literally start seeing hops. Your field of vision goes green, your eyes water up with resins and your tears taste of a stinging citrus. The malts may also be deserving of some mention, but with a hop spectacle such as this there just really isn't the room to spare to write about them.

I find Greek mythology pretty interesting to begin with, but find a way to write Great Divide somewhere into that lore and hot damn sign me up for that class (it would certainly be a popular course)! I'm sure Greeks everywhere have already started claiming credit for this beer; certainly it is worthy of its own saga and mysticism.

I swear, one day they'll find something in the water in Bolder, something that should account for why every Great Divide beer drinks with such polished finesse and unequaled quaffability. Even with all its backbreaking bitterness (85 IBU) and almighty alcohol content (10%) this drinks with an intense level of gratification and refreshment.

Hercules has a gargantuan hop profile, colossal strength and mighty character - it is well deserving of its namesake. The write up says something about this beer not being fit for mortals, but suitable for the Gods. And once you finish it, you do kind of feel like one - either because you made it through a titanic 9.1% bomber or just because the 9.1% itself! Whatever the case, this is certainly a heavenly, divine experience.

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Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.13 out of 5 based on 4,108 ratings.
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