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Fresh Hop Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
681 Reviews
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-07-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
681
Ratings:
1,546
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
151
Gots:
135
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,546
Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Amber color with a long lasting one-finger head. Leaves nice lacing.

S - Hops hops and more hops.

T - Grassy and hoppy with a hint of citrus. Also, a little malt flavor.

M - Crisp and dry. Medium-bodied.

S - A very good APA. The fresh hops make it quite good.

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Photo of oberon
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice offering found here in Greensboro,poured a rich copper with a fluffy 2 finger head that left a nice sheet of lace behind as it settles.The label says whole hop cones are shipped wet overnight to Denver to be brewed the very next day after being shipped and let me tell ya the aroma of this baby shows it.Intense grassy,piney,resiny goodness smacks you in the face and the aromas just continue to linger well after being poured.The big dose of fresh hops are not overpowering in this brew yeah its big and resiny but there is a sweet caramel malt backbone that holds up extremely well.At 55 IBU's its not insanely bitter but the freshness of the hops makes it immensley flavorful,I will be getting more of this very very soon for sure.

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Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of off-white head on top of a clear, orange body. The merangue-like foam settles slowly and leaves a thick patchwork of lace.

S - Citrus and pine hop notes with orange and cranberry. A sweet, bready background of toasted malt backs up the hops along with a hint of caramel.

T - Dry, toasted bread malt notes up front are quickly countered by resinous pine hops. Notes of lemon and juniper come out to compliment the tarry pine. Strong, solventy bitterness blows away any malt sweetness in the finish and leaves only a lingering grapefruit pith feeling on the palate with just a hint of tobacco.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - I expected a very hop foreword beer, and I was not disappointed. The hop aroma is very nice and fresh, but with a malt character that is more than an afterthought. The flavor is not quite as three-dimensional, with more of an emphasis on bitterness and a gin-like pine hop flavor that almost totally crushes the malt character. A good fresh hop beer, though it could easily tolerate more malt character (especially in the flavor) and perhaps a more varied hop profile with some floral or fruity additions to augment the pine and citrus.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy orange with butterscotch trim. I expected to see hop flecks, but the initial pour is as clear as a bell (perhaps the good stuff is hiding at the bottom of the bottle). The lovely looking liquid is topped with a thick, creamy cap of lemon mousse that melts into a semi-stiff mesa over time. Sticky bridges connect head and glass, leaving a wonderful array of lace when they break.

The nose is a citrusy symphony of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest. The brewery wouldn't divulge the hop bill, they would only say that the hops are all American varieties. I'm guessing Cascade and Amarillo... or Centennial and Simcoe... hell, I don't know. The very best thing about the nose is that there's none of that pesky malt to get in the way of the lupulin love.

I had little doubt that a fresh hop pale ale, brewed with some of my favorites little green cones, created by one of the best breweries in the country, would be fabulously delicous. Fresh Hop Pale Ale is exactly that. I also expected it to be more IPA-like than APA-like, but Great Divide managed to keep it solidly within the bounds of the stated style.

There's just enough pale malt to keep the mouthfeel from losing its composure and no more. Sweetness is at a minimum, other than a light stickiness on the finish. Fresh Hop's raison d'etre is citric hops and lots of them. This is one of the brightest, purest, most freshly hoppy pale ales that I've ever had (from a bottle). I'm glad that I got a chance to sample it while it's still young.

While it isn't quite a wrecker of palates, it certainly does scratch that hophead itch that is ever-present in my brain and on my tongue. I love the way that each mouthful explodes with citrus zesty splendor and leaves echo upon echo of sticky hoppy resinousness. Pine sap is becoming a bigger contributor to the flavor landscape as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite achieve IPA-like fullness, but then this isn't an IPA. It's most certainly a big APA though. I'm sure that it's difficult to brew a silky smooth beer with this much hoppy resinous and I'm not sure that I'd even want such a thing. A little mouth and tongue abuse goes with the territory when there are this many alpha acids flying around.

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale is pretty close to the beer that I thought it would be. It's a showcase for the (warning: bias ahead) best, most delicious hop varieties in the world. I can't think of one thing that I'd change about this ale; something that I don't say all that often. It's a damn shame, given the nature of the fresh hop style, that beer this good can only be released once each year.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear copper with a medium sized lather of off-white foam that stuck around and left some rather fantastic lacing. Aroma seems subdued at first but as it warms, some great tones of grassy, lemony fresh hops and a somewhat spicy smelling earthy maltiness come through.

The taste is just as advertised. An abundance of fresh, piney hop character with a nice dollop of lemon and grapefruit for good measure with bitterness that lasts the whole way through. A subtle undercurrent of sweet caramel maltiness seems to somehow glide under all that hop explosiveness. The mouthfeel is medium and crisp and feels oh so right.

Great Divide comes through again with this years batch of Fresh Hop. Bold hop character and a medium ABV make this easy drinking for not only Hop Heads but also lovers of fresh tasting APAs in general.

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Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handsome amber in the glass with a touch of burnt orange. Nice lacing and pleasantly carbonated.

Flavor and mouthfeel are more like a DIPA. Big and rich with malt. Tangy and winey. The hops are resiny and aromatic, but not as bitter as you might expect in a Pale Ale. Sweet and malty on the tongue, but it dries out in the aftertaste. A great mouthful of flavor and a bigger, better brew than most APAs.

On tap at Zero One in San Angelo, Texas [Transcribed notes from 11/13/2012 tasting].

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, caramel-hued body with a smallish, frothed, white head. Slight speckling of lace on the way down.

Smell: Pleasing, vibrant aroma of fresh-cut grasses, sliced pink grapefruits, and processed pine wood planks, all interspersed with rich, toasty caramel notes.

Taste: Pale and caramel maltiness with a meager handful of toasted bread crusts and sweet tastes of brown sugar and caramelized sugars, though, it's brief and sets up a nice launch pad to catapult the hops. Grassy, earthy, pine blossoms, citrusy (even citric) with a moderate amount of hop bitterness -- it's bold and assertive without becoming overbearing, instead maintaining a constant balance with the malts. A touch of acidity. As is the norm for me, the back half is predominately bitter, though the malts really do their best to counter-assault the hops. Finishes dry and bittersweet with the malts and hops still duking it out in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice treat! Paired well the Pinback tune "Offline P.K." and "Soaked". The beer presented a more than sturdy malt base and plenty of hop flavor and bitterness without the ponderous, heavy DIPA body and subsequent, downright bothersome alcohol content, which keeps this brew surprisingly drinkable. Of note, however, is the fact that though the Great Divide's Espresso Yeti and Saison I recently purchased had "bottled on" dates, the Fresh Hop Pale Ale is curiously missing it, though it is of the new label styling. Still though, it's one I cheerfully recommend.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice copper tone, with a good sized head that has some nice clumping and staying power as well as some decent lacing throughout. Smell is wonderfully hopped, like a pine cone dipped in orange juice! Fantastic full hoppy smell. Taste is right up with the smell. Full on hops from the gate. Piney, very grassy and citus, AWESOME. Very smooth with a nice dry aftertaste that begs you to come back for more.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The color is deep amber with an orange tint. It has a thick off-white head, which fades but not too quickly and leaves decent lace.

S: Strong hop aroma with a heavy dose of citrus along with it. You can also smell the alcohol a bit.

T: As indicated in the name of the beer, a very intense and decently bitter hops flavor hits you right away and remains dominant throughout. There is some malt and citrus that follow to help balance it out, but as sweetness fades, the hops return to stay in a bitter after-taste.

M: Very crisp, medium body with medium carbonation and the more you drink it, the smoother it gets.

D: As stated above, the beer seems smoother as you drink more of it. If you combine that with the fact that it’s not very filling, the beer is pretty drinkable as long as you’re down with the hop taste. I’m not sure how many I could drink at a time; since I only have the one 22 oz. bottle, but I’m sure I could put away a decent amount. Overall this is a good beer, but not for beginners. I find it a bit stronger than other beers that I’ve had of this style.

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Photo of superspak
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle with green foil over the cap, bottled on 9/30/2011. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap that lasts. Good amount of lacing clings to the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up from the bottom. Aromas of huge fresh orange zest, lemon, pine, grass, light caramel, breadiness, and light spiciness. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of big orange, lemon, pine, grass, biscuit, and spiciness. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, grass, pine, biscuit, and spiciness on the finish for a while. No alcohol noticed at all except for a slight warming after the finish. Great balance of bitterness and sweetness. Medium carbonation and body with a slightly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Overall this is definitely an excellent fresh hopped pale ale. Very drinkable with nice flavor balance.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Quick six Mt Rose Avenue -served in a tumbler

A beautiful semi hazed golden amber w/ thick creamy cap of ecru, the lace clings very well. The smell is sweet herbal hops with a slight lemony note, very faint grassy edge w/ generally fragrant somewhat floral in nature. The feel is excellent it is moderately bitter -perfect for the style, lots of resinous texture with medium carbonation and mild sweetness with a slightly creamy element.

The Fresh Hop pale has a nice light toasted malt flavor w/ herbal lemony tinges and mild slight floral quality from the hops. The flavor is subtle with citrus bitterness and the gentle caramel malt provides a great backdrop to the wet hop goodness. The finish is semidry and keeps you coming back - the drinkability is very high, one of the best fresh or wet-hop beers out there. I was glad I got a taste, but the keg blew so no repeats. The bottle I had was good, but trying this on tap was great. This sample was incredibly fresh and tasty!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour continues! This stop pours a clear straw-amber topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises pine, lemon zest, light caramel, light biscuit, and grass. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more biscuit and some light celery (or some form of cellulose, anyway) in the back. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a solid, if not wholly distinctive, fresh hop brew. Good times.

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Photo of Jason
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with a bottled on date.

Clear and beery appearance of amber color and bubbles, lacing on the glass is extraordinary. Smells of fresh mint, wild herbs and soft pine with some bread crust in the back. Creamy medium body. With no warning the taste buds get smacked with a heavy hammer of hop character. Yeah, this is a very hoppy beer. As for the bitterness, yes ... The bitterness is there but the flavor clearly dominates. Lots of spice, orange rind, tobacco, hemp, pine, mint and leafiness from the hop flavor. Hint of lightly toasted malt and alcohol middle to end. Finishes hoppy as well, a little raw but very flavorful.

I'm certain to get my hop fix here. Exceptional.

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Photo of russpowell
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a honey-hued bronze with loads of effervescence & 3+ fingers pillowy pearl-colored head. Superior head retention & lacing

S: Grapefruitty & metallic hops, plus some breadyness as this warms up.

T: Grapefruitty & lemony hops, slight honey notes & bit of cakeyness up front. As this warms, I get bready notes, caramel & then more grapefruitty hops. Finishes with a bit of boozey warmth, grapefruitty + lemony hops, & dry bready notes

MF: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, & very good balance

Drinks easy, not as impressed as the last 2 vintages, but nothing to sneeze at, one to look forward to every harvest!

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Photo of orangesol
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a standard pint.

A - Pours a pale copper with no head whatsoever leaving no lacing at all. It appeared to be served far too cold.

S - Hints of piney hops and faint citrus fruits but both were fairly muted. Lots of sweetness from the roasted caramel malts.

T - Similar to the nose. Muted flavors of citrus fruits and piney hops. Strong roasted caramel malts that overpower nearly all other flavors. Is this one a little past its prime? Looks like it. It is a borderline malt bomb at this point in time.

M - Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Slight hop bitterness on the finish with more and more malt coming thru as it warms.

D - One of these was enough for me. It seemed to be a little bit old. I think I might revisit this one down the line when I know I can guarantee the freshness.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium copper in color with light notes of orange and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall sudsy off-white head that slowly reduces to medium sized area of very thin film and a thin ring of large bubbles at the edge of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine/resin hops with some lighter notes of grassy hops. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the smell.

T: Upfront the beer has a light flavor of caramel malt sweetness that is quickly overtaken by the strong hop flavors - pine/resin, followed by light amounts of grassy, and moderate amounts of orange/citrus in the finish. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness but they fade quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Pretty well balanced making the beer fairly easy to drink - also, it is not overly bitter. Enjoyable.

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Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy with an orange-amber color. Steady head that remains throughout the tasting. Lace is left as a ring after each sip.

Excellent fresh malt flavor with an aromatic flowery hop background. Attractive.

Strong peppery hop flavor. The only demerit comes from the thin body. The carbonation is okay. Spicy aftertaste that lasts a long time.

This is one of GD's best beers.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bentwookie for this one! Bottled 9/30/11

A: Pours a clear copper color with a two finger white foamy head on top. Pretty good retention and sticky lacing left behind on the glass.

S: A little bit of citrus and some pine. There is a heavier caramel component than I was expecting. Some lemon in the front.

T: Maltier than I was expecting and hoping, possibly due to age. Lots of caramel with a little bit of lemon and a hint of pine.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinks pretty smooth, slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad, would have loved to try it a bit fresher. Will look for it next time it comes out though.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 11/17/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fresh citrus hops, pine hops, and fruity malts.

t - Tastes of pine hops, citrus hops, fruity malts, and tropical fruit. Lots of bitterness up front in the taste.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation, very easy to drink.

d - A very drinkable, enjoyable APA. At 6.1% I felt I could drink a few of them, and I enjoyed the pine and citrus hops in the smell. Would order again.

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Photo of billab914
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber color with a large white foamy head. Lots of grass and grapefruit in the aroma. Taste is also dominated by the grassy and citrus flavors of the hops with some pine coming through as well. The malt is there but the hops are clearly the star of the show. It wasn't bad by any means but I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of the other Fresh hop & IPA's I had this weekend. It had too much of the grassy flavor for me.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Copper amber body with a fine bubbled off white cream head leaves wide bands of lacing evenly down my Duvel chalice as the head floats above the rim. Aroma: Great pine cone and citrus hop aromatics also packs some floral tones mixed with a sugary slightly fruit malt base that pair well with the grassiness of the hop additions. Taste: Hop bitterness very welcoming grapefruit and grassy hop flavors are streaking across the palate semi sweet bready notes help balance finishes with a touch of caramelized citrus peels that reminds me of well done Orange chicken from a chinese restaurant. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slight oily texture from the lucious loads of wet hops used may be the best pale ale I've tasted yet. Drinkability: 22oz. is effortless loads of flavor very refreshing brew, Great Divide has found a friend in the hop.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with an off white head. Nose is reaching out to me even as I pour. Just getting it anywhere in the vicinity of my nose is giving me something. Upon close review, it is - surprise - very strong with the hops and that expected pine-like fragrance. Flavor is a strong, bitter hop influenced ride. A hopheads liquid paradise. Feel is thick from the high amount of hops and it holds a decent carbonation. Even though it is so pungent with the hops, it is still extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, light orange. The head is small and generates a bit of random lacing.

S: Very fresh aroma of hops and pine.

T: Really tasty and fresh. Not too sweet, a little bit sticky with a pine resin flavor. Bitterness is minimal, but this is an APA, not an IPA or DIPA.

M: Very smooth drinking with any alcohol flavor masked by a fresh hop profile.

D: Excellent beer. I'm glad I was able to sample a fresh bottle. This would certainly be amazing on draft.

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Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazed orange/amber with a fairly thick head that descends to a lasting cover.

The smell is grassy, piney, citrusy.

The taste is of slight sweetness soon overtaken by oily, fresh hops. Fresh-cut grass, pine and orange citrus run the show. Sweet malt lies underneath to keep it all together and balanced. The fresh leafy, piney, citrusy hops seem just ripened. Medium bodied. Pushes the hop limits of an APA - could be confused for an IPA.

Fresh, tasty, crisp and very smooth. If you like hoppy pale ales - this one's for you!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Say, since when did it become customary to leave this beer on the shelves for so long? I had stopped in at one of my up-and-coming bottle shops to score some CANs for a CANTrade and snagged this while I was there. I now notice a "Bottled On OCT 14 2010" stamp on the label! WTF, over?!? It's not the bottle shop's fault, per se as they are just recently stepping up their game, but their master distro must have decided to unload some outdated beers on them. Fooled me once, shame on you. Oh well, I like beer.

From the bottle: "Fresh Hop Pale Ale is brewed with fresh whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest. We ship these "wet" hops to Denver overnight and brew shortly after harvest, imparting an intensely grassy hop aroma and citrus hop flavor in a medium-bodied ale."; "Suggested Food Pairings: Grilled trout, grilled bratwurst, garlic/ginger sweet potatoes, Epoisses (a rich, washed rind cow's milk cheese from France.)"

I loved the visual aspect of this beer! I got two-plus fingers of tawny head off of my pour, and the color was a deep-orangish/ coppery amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a very earthy, grassy, hay-like aspect underlain by a caramel/biscuit sweetness. I'll bet that this would have been killer, had it been fresh. I was reminded of summers in my youth, when my maternal grandparents were still largely surrounded by farms and the meadows were freshly mown and left to dry before raking. Mouthfeel was medium with an initial hit of grassy, minty hops before allowing a caramel sweetness to pop up like Whack-a-Mole. Finish had a slight hoppy bite, and again, I wept for what might have been. It was as if the Volume knob had been turned to "2", vice "11". Awww, man. The sticky lacing that appeared looked like it was going to require a jackhammer to remove later.

If it is still on their shelves on my next visit, I am going to bring this to their attention. This travesty is on their distro, not them.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.
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