Fresh Hop Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
691 Reviews
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

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:
691
Ratings:
1,585
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
154
Gots:
142
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 691 | Ratings: 1,585
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Ciocanelu
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark golden color with off-white head. Aroma is slightly dank and vegetal with nice grassy hops. Taste starts grassy with fresh hop flavor but there is also a nice nutty malt backbone. Finish is quite balanced with just a light to medium bitterness. Light body but quite smooth on the palate and well carbonated. Overall it's a really nice, easy drinking fresh hop ale.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Here it is, approximately 5.5 years since my original bottle review and they have CANned this year's version. I have been solidly attacking my Bottle Backlog, but today is Thanksgiving, 24 Nov 2016 & I am thankful to be able to take a momentary respite to return (albeit briefly) to The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Brewed Fresh to Drink Fresh"; "Great Minds Drink Alike"; "Limited Release Tank Farm Series"; "Keep It Cold".

I CAN't adequately express my happiness in being able to CANduct a Crack! & inverted Glug! It has been far too long since the last one. The head was really coming up quickly as I pulled the CAN from the glass, so I left a little bit of liquid still in the CAN. It actually had a pseudo-cascade going before settling into two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both earthy and minty, like making tea with freshly picked mint leaves. Ahh, fresh Fresh Hop Pale Ale ... I just knew that something was missing from that old bottle. Mouthfeel was medium to full, not quite creamy, but big, especially for the style. The taste had that earthy mintiness that is the hallmark of a fresh/wet hopped Pale Ale. We have begun talking about terrior as it relates to beer, just as oenophiles have related it to wine for so long. Here, the earthiness revealed the freshness of the hops and the mintiness was an offshoot of that freshness. It was not pungent or overpowering, but just right for an APA. Finish was dry, but not overly bitter. It was the sort of thing that I would drink as often as it is available (fresh). Next, my original, bottle review, dtd 12 Feb 2011.

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. My original scores were 4/4/3/3.5/3 = 3.35

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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 Gagnonsux
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is copper with a large, off-white head. Retention is very good. The aroma is solely of strong, delicious, citrissy hop smell. Taste is more of the same, very flavorful, yet at the same time I was a bit disapointed because the flavor wasn't much different than standard dry-hopped APAs. Freshness was perhaps a little bit more noticeable in the flavor. Bitterness was moderate. Okay, this is a great APA, but I didn't find it to be as exemplary as most other reviewers.

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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 vfgccp
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best buy Dec 30th 2013, opened Nov 20th 2013.

A - Hazy orange marmalade body. Mixed bubble white head settles into a sable crown around the rim of the glass. Surprisingly stable retention. Low lace.

S - Soft citrus, pine, melon rind, and fresh pumpkin. The pumpkin note ebbs and weaves, but when it's there it's almost musky, like scooping out a fresh pumpkin.

T - Dry cantaloupe, orange pith, vegetable funk, honey, waxy resin, and pine wood. Feels like something is off - might be a bad bottle?

M - Dry, smooth, medium-full frame. Low carbonation

O - Not terrible, but there's something either in the execution or unique to this bottle that puts the balance out of whack.

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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 smakawhat
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid good orange/amber color containing excellent lacing. Off white antique say color head. Good cascading bubbles from the bottom to top as well. Huge lacing also.

Smell of hops come up primarily at first, then a good tangerine orange on the nose, slight hard to pinpoint but a sweet citrus tangerine in my mind. slight pine/resin but very faint. Great smell nonetheless.

Taste comes off as mostly a great hoppy finish slightly bitter, sweet tangerine in the palate, but with a very wet/watery body, kind of a floral and definitely grassy afterfinish that only comes through on the finish and nowhere else it seems.

Drinkability, sure get me another no complaints!

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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 feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful crimson/copper color, clear, with ample froth atop....very nice.

Nose is super-fresh hops, dripping with resins and oils, vibrant, floral, akin to rolling in the dirt of a pine forest in springtime. Can't tell you what hops they are, but they are shining bright, and screaming loud.

Taste: fresh, again, alive, and fairly forward with the hops, though they fade soon after boarding the palate. With each new meeting on the mouth, they storm the tongue anew, very alert and lively. Tas-tee!!

Medium-bodied, nicely textured, excellent balance (no, this is no punishingly hoppy beer, this has proper malt base, does not shred the senses with bitterness), long, fruity, moderately bitter finish.

Another very well-done beer in the Great Divide bomber series. And a fine example of the "style", such as it is...

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Photo of rab53
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear medium amber with a small even white head. Aroma dominated by grass and citrus pith. Not unpleasant, but not quite what I was expecting. Taste is biscuity malt and grassy hops. Very earthy overall, unlike the citrus heavy California IPAs. Easy-drinking, dangerous with the ABV. Not the best wet hop ale I've had, but one to revisit.

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

22 ouncer, notches on the label let me know this was bottled during the second week of Oct, '07 (nice to get this info) Pours typical almond amber, nice looking medium tan head, that sticks aroud for a bit then leaves tons os thick sheeting and lace on the glass.

Nose of a burlap sack of hops, with a hint of bready malt to boot.

Plenty of gritty, citric hops here, as a dedicated hop head, this one does it for me and lives up to its name. Nice! Grapefruits surrounds the taste buds and continues to the long finish. Sweet malt present but just enough for a pass at balance, ha....hops carry the freight here. Nice offering from G.D.B.C. Go get some and enjoy

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, copper-gold coloring, crystal clear with some carbonation bubbling, and a frothy, cling, off-white head that coats the glass as you drink. Aromas of wet, green hops, with cut grass, pine tassels, a subtle pepper spicing, and resinous bitter notes. Flavors are bitter forward, with a resinous background of pine pitch and subtle caramel notes, with piney, grassy, and subtle citrus highlights of lemon and grapefruit. Very well balanced and flavorful. Smooth bodied, but kept light and crisp with the carbonation. The aftertaste is resinous and bitter, and the caramel rich notes help to balance throughout. Awesome lacing left along the glass. The finish is slightly dry, crisp, and clean. Solid beer, and ridiculously easy to drink.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

01/09/06- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness information. Poured into a chalice like glass.

Appearance- Copper colored pour with a full 3/4 inch head. Nice light rim remains for the rest of the glass. Nice sticky lace trails all over the glass.

Smell- Nice pungent hop aroma. Scents of pine needles, grapefuit and sugary goodness. Nice roasted malt scent as well.

Taste- Wondeful sweet roasted malt background with bitter pine flavored hops. Nice grapefruit flavor hidden behind the malt and pine. Sugary sweet hops and malt make this beer mouthwatering.

Mouthfeel- Rather high carbonation, sweet and sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Not sure I could session a six pack of this because of the sweetness. But it's damn well one of the best if not the best pale ale I've had. Right up there with Alpha King. Borderline IPA.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,585 ratings.
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