Fresh Hop Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
1,603 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#2,886
Reviews:
694
Ratings:
1,603
pDev:
9.85%
Bros Score:
4.18
 
 
Wants:
158
Gots:
144
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,603 |  Reviews: 694
Photo of rarbring
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear light copper toned brew with a white firm head that leaves lots of lacing.

An abundance of citric and floral hops dominates the smell, dried grass with grapefruit and a dash of pine. But also some sweet malty tones.

A touch of sweet biscuit is quickly overrun by the bitter nuances of the hops. On the verge of being unbalanced.

Light carbonation, and a surprisingly watery feeling. Quite refreshing.

In all a good bitter ale.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Full 3 finger fluffy head. Thick lacing. Very good retention. Color is dark golden orange.

S. Hops. Citrusy, Piney hops. Touch of lemon zest. Very hoppy and floral. Biscuity malt smell.

T. Fresh hops up front. Piney Citus hops flavor. More biscuity malt flavor. Well balanced. A very tasty APA.

M. Medium boided. Medium carbonation. Pretty crisp.

D. Highly drinkable. This would be pretty close to my definition of what an APA should be. I like pale ales with a kick of hops, but not so much that it borders on an IPA. Damn good Pale Ale.

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Photo of unHipHopHead
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - lighter pale orange color with 3/4in head, very clear. Very nice lacing throughout.

S - citrus, grass, pine. smells very fresh and clean.

T - nice bitter hop flavor that lingers and lingers and lingers until it runs up your throat and nose and finally fades away. While I enjoy the bitter hop flavor that lingers it does feel a bit unbalanced, something is a bit off, too one-dimensional.

M - light and refreshing but also substantial due to the lingering hops.

D: As a usual IPA drinker I can appreciate the punch of hops in this pale ale. Good for a hop fix when you don't want the 6-9%ABV of an IPA.

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Photo of wchesak
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (bottled on Sep 23 2009)

The is a perfect orange amber color . Great off white head, a good 2 fingers worth, that is full of bubbles. Lacing begins almost immediately, leaving some circular designs.
The label states a grassy, citrusy designation, and I certainly agree. The citrus is grapefruit and lemony in smell and the grassy reminds me of a fresh cut lawn on a spring day.
The taste has a great amber male that stays around for awhile. Only as the beer reaches the back of the palette does the hop presence appear. The aftertaste is definitely astringent and dry but is balanced my the lingering malt. There is also this interesting earthy, garden like taste, like the lingering of a bite of fresh vegetable soup. Carbonation is nice and full. The beer is medium bodied and stays on the pallet; very smooth. It's been awhile since I'v had a pale ale that didn't have India in front of it. Love the restraint Great Divide had in this. Is a perfect example of an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of portia99
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle (bottled 9/29/09) received as winnings in the SNF squares BIF from kiltedtxn. Thanks. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a bright amber orange with a thick finger of cream colored head on top. Crystal clear - easily can see right thru this one. Head has excellent staying power, probably helped by the steady stream of bubbles coming off of the laser etching at the bottom of the glass. Good looking pale ale.

S - Rich and citrusy. Lots of oranges and grapefruit up front with notes of cut grass and some tropical fruits. A touch of pine in the background. Some sweet and slightly caramelly malt blends and balances nicely.

T - Nice and bitter first impression. Grapefruit is up front and stays throughout. Bitterness turns a bit and ends up being a bit medicinal like. The overall fruitiness in the nose is not really present in the flavor. A bit of bready/biscuity malt appears as the beer warms up a little. Overall, an enjoyable beer, but the somewhat harsh medicine bitterness detracts overall.

M - Medium body, perhaps a bit on the thin side. Carbonation is moderate as well. Bitterness coats the mouth entirely and just stays there forever...way after the last swallow, this one leaves something to remember.

D - The medicinal bitterness detracts from the drinkability of this one. This is about 4 months old, so maybe some of the fresh hop goodness has left this one. Not a bad beer, but one bomber is plenty. It's going down without any problem...I just wish it was a little bit smoother on the hop character.

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Photo of Intelligentsia
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Grassy" and "Citrusy" are on the label. I'm excited. As always, I enjoy the design of GD's brews. Hoping this one is as tasty as the others I've had.

Immediately things look promising with thick lacing and a bulbous head that doesn't fade much. Beautiful pour. The color is perhaps a little bit lighter than I would like, but it's a great thing to see go down.

The smell is easily the best thing about this beer -- it's absolutely wonderful. I absolutely expected more hops from this beer. With NW hops, I think it would be a much more rounded, complete beer. The hops do a wonder to the nose of this beer, and it just doesn't carry onto the taste. Caramel malt carries the day here, with some mild hop presence through the middle. Mild bitterness and a pleasant finish. Perhaps my expectations were unwarranted?

The mouthfeel is outstanding -- pleasantly carbonated with some body to match. At 6.1%, it's eminently drinkable.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, coppery/light amber in color. Nearly four fingers of off white, slightly tan head rise with great retention. Lots of lacing as well.

S - Very leafy, "green" aromas emerge first. Grassy, somewhat earthy notes are most prevalent with citrus taking a backseat in comparison to similar brews. Lots of herbal and tea-like aromas, though hard to pin down specifics. Faint breadiness in the background.

T - Lots of herbal and floral flavors hit early palate. Grass, tea, and bay leaves all stand out. Mid palate reveals earthier flavors akin to bark and roots, though these are still somewhat obscured by the lingering leafiness. Late palate furthers these earthy flavors, at times becoming a little onion or chive-like. Some citrus is evident also, a mild mixture of grapefruit and lemon peel. Bitterness grows to a moderate amount in the aftertaste. There's a soft bready sweetness underneath all the hops providing a bit of respite.

M - Not bad, but a little lacking. Carbonation is somewhere on the light end of moderate. Fresh Hop Pale Ale has a medium-light body. There's a marginal "flat-ish" quality during some sips which makes the overall experience strange. In fact, as the beer has warmed, the sweetness pulls through more and there's no bubbly to cut through it. I vote to crisp this brew up just a bit.

D - Good drinking stuff. The hop flavors are noticable but they aren't overwhelming. Overall the beer is decently balanced and a pretty good showcase for hops.

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Photo of JohnL9013
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent beer, but not a contender for price to performance ratio.

A: Pours your typical pale ale pale orange color. Nothing crazy here, but a very nice, foamy and sticky head with decent lacing.

S: Immediately, I could tell that this was a wet-hopped ale from the taste and smell and looked at the bottle to find that I was correct. I don't know how to describe it, but wet-hopped ales simply have a different character than dry-hopped. It's not better or worse, just different. Expect more of a plant-heavy aroma, and a less intense aroma than similar dry-hopped beers.

T: The fresh hops and balanced perfectly with the malt to give an overall "IPA" feel to this beer but clearly much less dry than that style. The fresh hops will push the typical hop "grapefruit" citrus bite back and instead present more of a "tree" or "grass" (plants) taste up front. Great Divide does do one thing right, and that's make a really well-rounded beer and this beer really hit the spot for me.

M: The mouthfeel is average. Excpect something a little sweeter than you expected so you might not be quite as possessed to swirl it around.

D: Great Divide makes phenomenally drinkable strong beers.

If there was one thing I could add to this site, it would be a sixth category, "value". This beer, which I bought on closeout for $4 a bomber, was definitely worth its asking price and demonstrated more of a $6 beer quality, however, its retail price of $9 is simply excessive and this beer is not worth that much, simply put. My experience with this beer and their Hercules IPA is that Great Divide makes beers that are marginally better than the competition and charges an arm and a leg for the result. I would not buy this beer at full price, however, I will go back to the store tomorrow and buy more at the sale price!

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Bottled September 29, 2009

The pour produced a billowing 2 finger creamy and fluffy head that dies moderatly quick. Clear orangish amber in color. Outstanding lacing, and some great clinginess.

An intoxicatingly hoppy and slightly citusy fruitiness that almost overwhelms my senses as I take a deep whiff. Almost penetrates my sinuses.

Taste is nothing short of outstanding. Not a lot of hoppy bitterness. Straight forward hops and some cirtus backdrop. Find this even more enjoyable than other pale ales that I know and love.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy, nice light carbonation that is simply put just smooth and drinkable. Seems like a great anytime drinker.

Great Divide, great job as always.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick, dense off-white head into a snifter. the lacing was tremendous throughout as it clung to the glass for dear life. the body was a clear, bright and bubbly amber.
s - grassy, herbal and citrusy.
t - hops! hit you in the tongue hard that tasted of grass and pine.
m - surprisingly very clean with a medium thickness.
d - good beer, hop heads will be pleased.

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Photo of rgrholmes168
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass.

The beer is a beautiful orange clear, that has a nice crisp, clean look to it. From its appearance, the beer looks fairly tame, because of the clarity, with a massive amount of carbonation flowing to the top.

The beer poured a nice 1.5 finger head and the lace stayed on the sides of the glass. The nose of the beer is a sharp contrast the beers appearance. The aroma is citrusy with a strong dose of hops, more than many other pales ales that I have drank.

The beer shocked with a strong dose of hops. The refreshingly bitter taste is excellent. The beer is medium bodied, and has a complex flavoring to it. Very drinkable beer. Good for both summer/winter times. Outstanding product.

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Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to pint glass.

A: Incredibly huge off-white head that was both frothy and rocky. Huge mountain peaks that lasted and lasted. The lacing was very good and the body is clean and perfectly clear. The color of this brew is a light coppery-orange.

S: Not a complex brew. But who says everything has to be? The hop bill, consisting of pine, grass and citrus was huge, particularly for a pale ale. Light biscuity malts provide some balance but the hops are the standout feature.

T & M: Just a little alcohol comes through as well as some peppery notes and diacytel. Lightly sweet and lightly acidic. The bitterness one-ups these qualities as one would expect such a hoppy beer to do. Creamy texture, medium body mouthfeel. This beer has medium carbonation and finishes crisp and dry. From the aroma, taste and mouthfeel, there's no debate about the freshness, even from my bottled version, it's apparent. I'd love to find this on draft soon.

D: Fresh an refreshing. There is a cleanliness to this brew that you don't see everyday. Every once in a while, it's nice to take a break from the bigger beers out there and mellow out with the likes of an easy drinker like this.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours pale copper, slightly hazy. The white large rich head is sparkeling and sure takes its time to dissipate, leaving lots of lacings.

S: Smells of clean caramell malt and american floral hops; there's mainly citric notes but also a hint of pine. Some bitter hops in there as well.

T: Bitter and floral notes up front - same citric and piney notes like in the smell. The hops are nicely balanced by the malt.

M: The after-taste is not to short and holds a nice dry bitterness. The body is medium and the carbonation is rich with lots of small bubbles.

D: A nice APA with a little of everything nice. The fresh hops sure makes a good impression. I like the size of the bottle; 650 ml - a lot of liquid to enjoy!

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Photo of mikey711
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I dont remember when I enjoyed this but it was when it was fresh, lets say end of october

A: vibrant orance with an inch of white head. Lots of carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass and there is good head retention but no lace.

S: Nicely fresh and hoppy. The hops were mainly citrus and there was a light caramel note in the backgroumd

T: Bursts of lemon and pine followed by a hint of caramel sweetness. As it warmed it become much pinier

M: Decent amount of body with some creaminess and a bit of puckering bitterness

D: Goes down smooth and easy. Very enjoyable but it was missing that "it" quality to make it great

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Photo of beer2day
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber gold with very little head and of course nothing to retain. Laces well.

Pine nut hops in the nose. All pine with only a hint of faint dry citrus.

Hits extremely hoppy and bites hard after that. Sweet but tart and dry in the middle with a green piney finish. Very nice combination.

Medium body, just right for the style and taste.

Great drinker, especially for hops. If hops aren't your thing, then stay away.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

Golden yellow and clear with copious carbonation and a thick and lasting white head. Lots and lots of lace. Piney hop aroma. Hops in the middle and noticeable bitterness. A bit of honey sweetness to compete with the hops. More IPA than APA. Crisp dryness and light mouthfeel, making it very drinkable.

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Photo of bark
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The colour is pale amber with a tint of gold; the three finger head is compact and yellowish. Lots of lacing.

The smell is hoppy with a sweet note of citric fruits and a creamy bitterness. Some dough and a hint of cat pee.

The taste is hoppy with American notes of grape fruits, cream cookies, and a touch of barbeque meat. The bitterness is medium strong and a little sharp/sour. The aftertaste is a bit alcoholic with some citric chemical bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong, the bubbles medium sized. The liquid is a bit light.

An unbalanced and tired APA, perhaps not as fresh as the name implies.

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Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass mug. Born on Sept 23, 2009, stamped on front label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.79.

A: Clear rusty-amber with 2-3 finger beige head with good retention and craggy lace formations

S: A great-smelling brew with tons of C-type hops aromas that are mostly citrus, pine, and lightly leafy layered on a fair-to-style solid pale malt backbone

T: Hops are aggressive but not as moldy grassy as I thought (maybe that's 3 months in the bottle), and they deliver a nice palette of hops flavors including lemon, orange, pine, and leaf with a substantial but overmatched pale malt sweetness that just regulates the hops somewhat.

M: Tacky and sticky like an IPA but more comfortable drinking lack of dryness like an APA. Aftertaste is very bitter though.

D: High price tag but probably worth it because of the dedication to quality that Great Divide always devotes to its brews. I'm glad I tried it because it is excellent, but I would still probably buy an Arrogant Bastard if they were the only brews left on the shelf.

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Photo of number1bum
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with krisandajt awhile back. Poured a perfectly clear light copper color, good head and decent retention.

Smell was light and fresh, with earthy and leafy hop aromas. Not much in the way of citrus. Some pine too, and a bit of a biscuit malt component as well.

Taste also didn't have much in the way of citrus, instead showcasing the earthy, leafy and slightly piney hop flavors. Some lightly sweet caramel and biscuit malt flavor as well.

Mouthfeel was a light medium body, quite crisp, but not altogether as creamy or smooth as I like.

This is a pretty solid fresh hop ale, although the hop profile is not my favorite and the flavors were almost too subtle. Still a tasty brew though.

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Photo of ATraurig
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright copper/orange appearance with a white head when poured.

S: Smells slightly on the malty side yet still hoppy. Also has earthy notes.

T: Nice flowery, hoppy taste when it first hits your tongue. Then has a bit of a malty taste, though, after the hops run their course. Slight hint of citrus but if I had to desribe the taste in one word it would be earthy.

M: Good but a bit shallow. The hops hit your tongue quickly but then leaves you hanging a little (as compared to the top tier APA/IPAs).

D: Very smooth. Lighter than I'd expected.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is indeed pale, but not to say colourless. Its lucid, brassy tone catches the light and reverts it in even brighter, sharper rays. Small spurts of lackadaisical bubbles do just as much to catch the eye. Its well lathered head is both filmy and bubbly; despite the apparent weariness of the carbonation the bubbles turn out to be surprisingly industrious.

This smell of grassy, vinous hops has a curiously sedative quality to it. There are, I'm told, sound scientific explanations for this - none of which interest me. All I care is that this bouquet has enough citrus to give it a dynamic tang (it does) and enough sweet, biscuity maltiness to engage the other half of my beer-related appetite (that too, it also has).

Similarly, the taste also satiates both my penchants for solid, sessionable pale ales. It has a sufficient amount of lightly herbal, citrus smacked hops to satisfy my itch for lupullin, while at the same time it has plenty of caramel and biscuits to gratify my affection for malts. The hints of lemon grass are equally appreciated as those of toffee. Yum!

Perhaps the most important aspect to a successful pale ale is balance - Great Divide has struck a resonance between yin and yang that would impress any Chinese zen master (maybe that's where the brewery get's its name?) One person could call this ultra hoppy and another super malty, neither opinion would be wrong. It's like an Escher painting.

Fresh Hop Pale Ale would make a great girlfriend: it looks nice, it smells nice, all its parts are well proportioned and it's incredibly easy to get along with. The only problem would be that, given the nature of the beer and the fact that only freshly-harvested hops are used, you'd really only get to see her once a year. Hmm, perhaps then she'd make a better affair!?

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured some of a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Clear, bright amber orange color. The light tan head rises fast and furious, then slowly dissolves over the course of minutes turning rocky and clinging to the glass with confidence. Nice!

Big citrus hop aroma, with an earthy quality to the hops and malt background. Flavor has a citrus and pine quality to the hops. There is a light sweet caramel malt background but this baby is all about the hops. Finishes bitter and tingly, it lingers for a bit.

Medium in body, with a very smooth mouthfeel. Definitely an easy drinking big hoppy beer.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint from a 22oz. bomber.

A - Pours a beautiful light copper color with a nice 2 finger head that is very dense and active. Nice clear hue. Recedes slowly and leaves some nice lace behind.

S - Extremely floral and hopy smell. Awesome and very fresh. Pine, some citrus and some sweet grapefruit. Some spicy notes and mild malty sweetness in there but hops all the way.

T - Hops, hops and more hops. Could be called a APA/IPA. The fresh hop taste is very prevalent. Flowery and earthy with some nice citric notes. There is a nice clean and dry bitterness right at the end. Very hopy beer but very delicious with great pine and great grapefruit citric flavors.

M - Carbonation is pretty active.

D - Very drinkable stable ABV.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle dated Sep. 29, 2009

A: Pours a rich golden color with slight haze. The head is thick and fluffy, with excellent retention and great lacing.

S: The smell is almost all hops. Citrus, pine and spring meadow dominate the nose, while a sweet, honey-like malt aroma takes a back seat.

T: Like the smell, only alot more powerful. Citrus, pine, and grass are most prominent, with a very bitter edge. The finish is somewhat sweet, yet has a leafy floral character.

M: Medium bodied, yet not as viscous as I would have imagined. Crisp and dry, and also very refreshing.

D: Overall, this beer is very easy to drink. Great on it's own, but would be great with spicy dishes, fish, or even wild game birds.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Divide's Fresh Hop Pale Ale, poured on tap into a pint glass. A clear orangish color with a soapy off white head and alot of lace.

Aroma pretty hoppy as one might expect. Just a hint of the underlying malt.

Flavor is marked with an intense bitterness. Grapefruit-like, but much more bitter and less sweet. Has a juiciness to it as well, though quite bitter. Earthy stinging hops steal the show.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied while being semi-viscious. Hop presence feels like the enamel on my teeth is being stripped away. Dry.

Drinkability rates pretty good. This beer is a palate crusher and very hop-forward. More like an IPA than an APA.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1,603 ratings