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Belgica | Great Divide Brewing Company

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397 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 04-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 |  Reviews: 309
Photo of BMoney575
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 8-14-09
Bottled on 5-5-09

Pours cloudy but pleasant yellow color, with a thin white head and big, clingy lacing.

Smell is very Belgian, a little banana and pineapple, slightly sour with big sweet fruitiness. Very enjoyable.

Taste is a little harsh, the sweetness takes a vegetable turn. The flavors are decent, just a little all over the place and way too bitter. The sharp bitterness lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is disappointingly thin, really bringing down the flavors and the whole experience.

Drinkability suffers from Taste and Mouthfeel.

Overall, a promising start, but goes nowhere.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear for a Belgian IPA. Color resembles a pale pale ale. I think the only thing getting my 3.5 here is the head. It's so frothy and bubbly looking.

S: Smells quite Belgian indeed, with a very strong Belgian yeast overtone. Very funky and bready. I am not a huge fan of Belgians in the first place so maybe I have mixed feelings. The hops almost seem muddled by the yeasty aroma. I can pick up some citrus and pine but it is not strong. It has a good kick of alcohol in the aroma as well.

T: Taste saves this beer for me. Very sweet with a hoppy aftertaste. Bananas and spices are right in front for me, pretty strong malt presence for me. The hops and citrus come later, with some zest flavors of orange and lemon. The citrus notes are bitter, not sweet.

M: Has a very creamy mouthfeel, but as the hops kick in, it lightens up.

D: Considering I am not a huge fan of Belgian beers, I found this drinkable. One and done for me though...don't think I'll be purchasing this one again.

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Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgica pours a golden color. It's very clear. Ordinarily, I like Belgian IPAs to have that hazy look, but this one's lacking there. Still very solid looking. It's topped with a foamy white head that stands over two fingers tall. Thick chunks of lace clung to the glass as it descended. Good stuff, but could be a little better.

The nose is a little lacking in strength, but is good. Belgian yeast is readily apparent throughout. That aspect is top notch. For a long time, I was skeptical of how well I'd really like the marriage of Belgian yeast and IPA qualities. But, it works incredibly well. In this particular beer, it smells like everything takes a back seat to the yeast. The hop profile has some citrus qualities. There's the usual grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. But, there's a floral aspect there, as well. It smells a little earthy and some light herbal characteristics. All in all, this is a nice smelling beer. More strength would improve it a little.

The flavor profile is a little more diverse and better as a result. Belgian yeast is the dominant flavor. It's absolutely delicious throughout. It blends very well with citric and floral hops. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are noted. They add a nice bitter, dry flavor to the mix. A few spices are noted that I didn't pick up on the nose. Pepper is the primary spice, but a little orange peel is most certainly present. Alcohol is blended very well and goes unnoticed. It is earthy, grainy, and a little herbal. But, all of the flavors work in tandem to produce a really nice Belgian IPA. Yeah, it's not quite as tasty as Urthel Hop-it or Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, but it's damn tasty.

Belgica has a medium body that's nice and smooth. Carbonation is relatively light. It doesn't quite reach a creamy level, but it's not far off. Drinkability is very high. This is damn tasty stuff that goes down way too quick and easy. Couple that with 7.2% abv and you have a very approachable Belgian IPA. Gotta love it.

I'm really impressed with the stuff Great Divide's rolling out these days. They make some high quality beer and aren't afraid to take some chances. Belgica is a very solid Belgian IPA that delivers. Yeah, I'd prefer it to be hazy and the nose could use some strength, but that's nitpicking. This is damn good stuff that I'm really happy to see here in Ohio. Keep rolling out the quality beer, guys. You're doing a hell of a fine job.

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Photo of far333
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale straw yellow colored, with a thin white head that rises minimally.

Aroma of strong yeastiness, musty malt, phenols and lemon.

Sharp flavor of yeasty funk punctuated with peppery spice and hop bitterness. Hop flavors are subtle, but emerge slightly toward the finish and seem to grow in the lingering flavor.

Even mouthfeel, but low to moderate carbonation, just a bit slick. Average drinkability, I'd like the hops to be mnore prevalent.

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Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hopcat. Yeast in aroma. Light yellow body with foaming head, and you an see the carbonation bubbles, with spidery lacing following. Above-average mouthfeel. Dry and very hoppy. Missing balance of good malting, a problem I often attribute to this brewery.

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Photo of JEdmund
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich straw yellow, lively carbonation, moderate white head

Belgian yeast mixed with some dough and a hint of fruit

Taste & Mouthfeel
Interesting play of flavors here as the Belgian yeast bananas and spice compete with mixture of hops; the start and middle flavors are smooth and sweet malts, but then the spicy hops punch their way through on the finish; medium bodied and medium level of carbonation (would like a bit more carbonation); I don't get a big presence of American hops, so overall it seems like a spicy Belgian style ale

I was underwhelmed by the first few of these I drank, but now I'm appreciating it a bit more for what it is. I'd prefer it to have a stronger American hop presence, like Chouffe's Houblon. It's enjoyable and certainly a break from the norm, though I don't see myself buying it on a frequent basis.

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Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured clear gold with some white head. It smelled like wild yeast and cereal grain, with some banana and coriander and lemon, and a bit of alcohol. It tasted like lemon and copper hops with some sour wild yeast and coriander. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a sour/bitter aftertaste. Overall this beer smelled and tasted pretty good but not great; I preferred the smell over the taste. It was lacking malt character, which would have added depth and balance. The body was nice but also not great. It was very clean and hid the alcohol decently, so it was reasonably easy to drink. Neither exciting nor terrible.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a thick, two-finger head of khaki foam. It left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, spice and sweet floral notes. There is a touch of caramel in the nose.

T - This has a spicy, yeasty flavor with just enough bitter hops. It has a nice burnt toast caramel flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied IPA.

D - Yet another great brew from Great Divide!

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Photo of mikecharley
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look is a crystal clear with a foamy ivory cap. Spots some lace as it recedes.
nose is musty belgian yeast. Very small amount of bitter hops detectable. The nose is much more belgian than ipa.
The taste is much more balanced between the two styles. Great belgian yeastiness up front, which is followed with some citrus, and moreso floral, hops on the back end of this brew. This is just what the dr. ordered for 85 on the deck after some landscaping.
The drinkability really suffered due to the belgian yeast coming on strong after a full glass. Couldnt see myself drinking more than one of these. Time to move on to a Dale's.

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Photo of froghop
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear yellow-orange with a small white fluffy head that dissipates leaving a good lacing.

smell is of fruit, malt, a touch of caramel, hops in the back, a little spice, and some bubble gum.

taste is tangy, some grain, malt, some fruit, and nutty, ends with a strange aftertaste, dry, and slightly bitter.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.57/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured two fingers' worth of eggnog-colored head with excellent retention. Its color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity and lots of CO2 bubbles. The nose had an interesting mix of saison yeast-like pepperiness with Cascade (?) hops, very citrusy. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with all of the carbonation acting as a natural palate scrubber. The taste was bothj spicy and hoppy as if the "unique Belgian yeast strain" and the "generous amount of American and European hops" were battling for supremacy with neither getting the upper hand. The result, on the finish, was a dryness rivalling the zephyr winds blowing across the Sahara. Veddy dry. It was released in the spring, but I think that it would make a fine summer beer.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange color, almost like an unfiltered wheat beer at first and then it clears up. The head is thick and there seems to be a good deal of carbonation.

The smell is the Belgian yeast right off the bat, its almost saison-like in aroma. Very earthy and almost musty. As it warms it gets a bit spicey and sweet. No major hoppiness in the nose.

Taste is a very unique combination of the sweet, spicey, earthiness of the Belgian yeast and the bitter, citrusy hops that definitely play a part on the palate. For me, it works quite well despite there being a bit of a sharp bit in the finish as well as some lingering dryness.

I enjoy beers like this one because it shows a brewery's willingness to push the envelope and try something new. I also really like the label on this one, its simple yet very artistic. Great job Great Divide!

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Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent honey color with 1+ fingers of fluffy ivory head. Effervescence persists throughout the whole 12 ounces; superior lacing & good head retention

S: Apricot juice, dirt, & banana

T: Follows the nose, along with dryness & green banana & cloves upfront. Lemons, grapefruit & slight breadyness fight through as this warms along with more dryness & mushroomy taste, plus a light honey flavor. Finishes dry with much green banana, honey dryness & grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, semi-sticky, soft carbonation

ABV is well hidden, but this one doesn't rate drinking more than one or two at a sitting, flavors aren't melding well at all, just a bit too funky for me. Duvel is my benchmark for this style, this isn't quite scracthing the same itch. Despite the close ratings, I'd rather have Stone Soup from NG all in all....

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Photo of praufs01
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clear Yellow with a frothy white head.

Aroma - Very floral... Almost like smelling potpourri.

Taste - The flavor was of sour citrus and a little coriander.

Overall - Unusual brew in aroma and flavor. I was not overly impressed with this one.

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Photo of farrago
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Even with an average pour the head froths up to over three fingers, slowly dissolving into dimpled white foam which steadily maintains a finger plus level, the lacing is thin but quite sticky. The nose does express a sort of split personality, raw grainy hops, pine and sour orange peel while also providing a leavening nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon spice with sweet yeasts and a hint of banana to the apricot, peach fruit scents, there's a strong drying sensation which perhaps ends things before the constitutive parts can knit into a whole. Medium-bodied, light foaminess more than a prickle. There is an ester-like sweetness, banana, fruit bread and fig alongside peach, apricot, yellow apple fruit flavors. Then the hoppiness steamrolls this with cut grass, pine cone, sour lemon and aspirin. White pepper accents build steam with each sip. While it is interesting, it never flows in an unconscious natural manner.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For whatever reason... maybe it was the nonchalant lable, maybe it was the lack of publicity: but I somewhat dismissed the credibility of this new beer. I should not have done that.

The beer barely begins to flow into the glass before strong corriander and floral aromas flow as well. Further examination finds heavy confection sweetness, citrusy orange peel, perfume, light grasses, and a pungent-fruity character as only Belgian yeasts can.

Nice appearance as well with a bright straw color that hinges on golden hues. A light sheet of foam covers the beer but never wows me, but laces and retains well enough to garner respect.

Flavors are even more bright, deep, and vibrant than the aroma suggests. Under-rippened berries, orange peel, grapefruit, nectar-like sweetness, white pepper, corriander, ginger, cumin... (the list of fruity esters and peppery phenols can go on and on) ...all this wrapped in a cotton candy-like confectionate taste. Super clean and crisp flavors could show more Belgian-y character.

In true Trappist Tripel fashion, the beer is very dry and spicy for its thin sweetness, making it very drinkable and sessionable. Spices and bitterness weave in and out of the well-attenuated pilsner malts for a varying complexity and layers upon layers of depth. The beer has great drinkability for its sharp bitterness.

The beer is very fresh and vibrant in all its profile. Very Witbier-ish with the heavy aromatic and flavor additions of corriander and orange zest. Consistent from scent to finish, this beer is challenging, juicy, and inviting throughout. Great brew Great Divide!

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a really pleasant Belgian ale, although I have to say that like other "Belgian IPAs" I've had, I find the IPA part of the equation to be missing. A nice beer, but I don't detect any of the hoppiness that I'd associate with an IPA.

Nice clear, bright, golden body with pretty average head. Aroma is a little mercaptan-y (vegetables), with Belgian yeast inspired fruity esters that I found pretty pleasant. Flavor is more of that characteristic Belgian yeast and spiciness (clove and coriander), and is pretty pleasant, although some of that mercaptan-iness remains. Mouthfeel is a touch sticky.

This is pretty good - I'd recommend it.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bought at Sams in Durham.

Appearance: Barely hazy yellow orange with a nice thick thats a little rocky and leaves some lacing as we go. Looks great.

Smell: The smell is mostly very grassy smelling hops. Going back for another smell, there is some obvious Belgian yeast smell and some sweetness. The smell is earthy and almost a little funky. Almost like the way old mown grass smells thats stuck to the bottom of your mower.

Taste: Very grassy hops bitterness up front. It does become a Belgian pale in the middle there-- spicy, peppery, a little yeasty, and a little sweet. The bitterness asserts itself again on the back. The taste is interesting, but not as weird and mixed up as the smell.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is just fine. Nice carbonation like you expect from a BSPA. Nothing to complain about.

Drinkability: I mean, I like it. I think the idea of a Belgian IPA could make the perfect beer. This is not it however. Its not Belgian enough (I want it sweeter and breadier) and the hops is weird-- I like the bitterness, but the old grass smell/taste is not great. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I wanted so much more.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear, pale gold with a thick puff of white foam. Great sheeting lace clings to the glass.

Soapy, floral hop aroma with sweet, candied belgian pale maltiness. Fruity and estery, with a bit of spicy phenols. Kind of a strange combination, because the peppery hops don't exactly meld with the peppery yeast aromas.

The flavor opens with a bit of toasty, caramelized malt, and moves almost immediately into floral, peppery hops with a good bit of bitterness. Spicy yeast flavors, with some clove phenols. A good bit of estery fruit. Somewhat of a pilsner quality, with the saazy hops. Medium bodied with active carbonation. Feels pretty light on the tongue, and has a light, summery, refreshing quality despite the abv. Unusual, and tasty.

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Photo of dino213aa
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours clear and golden with a rocky head and even, clingy rings of lacing. I was hoping something hazier with the belgian yeasts involved.

S: Sour belgian yeasts. Nothing more, nothing less.

T&M: works out to be sort of a mild IPA. The yeast sourness cancels out some of the hoppiness. The IPA part could be more interesting.

D: Overall this one goes down okay. Love some belgian yeasts.. nice on this lighter platform.

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Photo of argock
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled-on date on front label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.10.

A: Crisp, clear golden hue with 2-finger nearly white rocky head with good retention and lacing. A very attractive package.

S: Musty and slightly funky with earthy, leafy hoppiness and a hefty dose of pale malts

T: This is a style I just can't get into, as the flavors don't seem to blend well with fruity and musty Belgian yeast flavors playing off of loads of pale malt sweetness and spicy, herbal, earthy hops flavors. While this is plenty palatable, the blend of flavors is not smooth but rather jagged and not a composite.

M: Crisp and dry with medium-full body and higher-than-IPA carbonation.

D: Belgica's crispness and better melded flavor and aroma profile is a better one than average for the style, I still can't really say that I am a fan as the sweetness and light funk of the Belgian yeast doesn't play all that well with the earthy, spicy hops.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amazingly pale golden crystal clear hue with a bright white thick foaming head. Aroma had a large amount of Belgian yeast notes workin' with a spicy clove fruity character. In addition I could smell some seriou green raw herbal and citrus hops. Flavor was a clashing with the yeast strain and those American hops, but this one is the closest US versions I've had to Houblen Chouffe, really grassy citrus hop bitterness throughout each sip. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a dry bitter finish. Drinkability overall was solid but not one that I will be searching for in number, a nice every once in a while kinda brew.

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Photo of cdpike
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pours a fairly hazy golden with modest foam. Nose is fruity and spicy, definitely Belgian. There's a touch of banana and clove with just a bit of hop aroma. Medium light body, and very crisp and refreshing. Pretty carbonated, but just right for me. The taste is predominantly Belgian with a nice dry bitter hop finish. The flavor not nearly as robust as many American made Belgians are. This is a very nice looking beer that didn't blow me away but I will definitely be getting it again soon! Furthermore, it's a great way to satisfy the hophead in me while also making for a crip lighter-bodied beer that's great for the summer months.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a typical pint glass. Pours a transparent yellow color with no head... not the appearance I was expecting. Very spicy smell. Taste is decent - sort of an incomprehensible combination of Belgian yeast, hops and spices. Not terrible, just not great either. Well carbonated and has a good mouthfeel. Overall, a decent beer, but I've definitely had better Belgian IPA's.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Crystal clear with a one finger white head that ends up as a rim along the glass.

Spicy phenols mixed with a good amount of herbal and bitter hop aromas.

Very clean malts, only adding a touch of bready sweetness. The hops add a little bit of a citrus touch under the phenols. A little bit of a peppery flavor is in the background. Full bodied, high carbonation.

Not the hoppiest BIPA but still a good wone, well rounded. Very enjoyable. Recommended.

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Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 397 ratings
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