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Belgica | Great Divide Brewing Company

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309 Reviews
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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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 396
Photo of rrski198
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very hazy straw yellow color. Looks very simiar to a hef. Average white head and little lacing.

S: Belgian yeast dominates. Good smell but I was thinking there would be some more hop presence. Not anything out of the ordinary here, jsut that great funky yeast smell.

T: I'm getting two main characteristics here. Belgian yeast again at the fore front and then a strong bitter back bone. Outside of the bitterness, I am not getting anything else from the hops. I am left desireing a little more sweet to balance that walop of hop bitterness at the end. Not bad at all, just being picky.

M: Average carbonation and a strong bite on the sides of my tongue (that lingers) from the hops. I again can say that it feels a little thin without some form of sweetness.

D: Drinkability is good. On a hot summer day, these would go down like water. Nice offering.

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Photo of morimech
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Jan 07, 2011. So this must be a year round beer and not a seasonal.

Just slightly hazy golden with one finger of head that held on for a short time. Nice amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma of pale malt, lemon peel, grassy hops, and a whole lot of phenolic yeast spiciness.

This is one dry beer. A little zesty lemon and peppery hops, but the rest of the flavor is dominated by the spicey yeast. Dry and slightly bitter finish.

Good body and carbonation. Not too light and not overly carbonated. Very good for a hoppy, dry beer.

Easy to drink thanks to its dryness. Maybe not a beer I would return to frequently, but I would have no problem by a sixer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a nice, inviting dullish orange in color with a good head that left pretty Belgian lacing on the inside of my glass.

Smell - There's a nice, easy pink grapefruit and light pear in the nose along with a touch of candied sugar and a delicate malt.

Taste - This one explodes at the taste. The hops are much bigger on the tongue consisting mostly of a huge but very smooth orange goo with hints of pine. The malt struggles to balance and leans towards caramel.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied and incredibly smooth with modest carbonation and a bitter character throughout. The malty sweetness plays well with the monster hops and together they create a dry/sweet combination that is like velvet on the tongue. This has the expert blending of a Bordeux only it's beer instead of wine if that makes any sense.

Drinkability - I couldn't sip this beer to save my life. It's not the most balanced Belgian on the planet but an excellent drinker that went down like water. I could easily tackle a keg of this until I passed out. Certainly one of the smoothest, most quaffable Belgian IPAs that I've ever had from an American brewer. In fact I'd say that the Carolus Hopsinjoor is the only BIPA I can think of period that I'd prefer over this.

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Photo of bobhits
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge white creamy head, lots of lacing, and holds decently. Clear golden color with a good amount of carbonation. Looks very much like a golden belgium ale. Not nearly enough IPA look for me.

The nose is sour, sweet, belgium yeast and hops. Some bubble gum and fruits. A very unique aroma. More malt than some other american hops in belgium beers. I'm expecting to be pretty disappointed on the hops.

Tart and tangy belgium pale flavor. The hops start belgium and finish with some almost dry hopped american flavors. Very citrus all the way through.
This somewhat reminds me of Duvel Triple Hop only with more malt and not as dry.

7.2% doesn't really jump out but there's a bit of a burn at the end that could be the alcohol or the hops.

Smooth from the carbination but a touch thin for the style

M/D 4

All and all good but not great. Over priced to top things off. Look for a single if you can.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From tap to nonic glass at ChurchKey on 2/21/11
*From notes

A: Clear amber. A great two finger head and reasonable lacing.

S: A typical Belgian yeastiness, with hints of mild, bitter hops and malt.

T: Bready and slightly hoppy. Hints of banana and mellow malt on the finish.

M: Forced carbonation thins this one out. I have a feeling this would be better from the bottle, as I would assume it'd be conditioned.

O: A middle of the road brew from one of the more consistant breweries. For the style, I'd say this one doesn't stand out. I wouldn't make a point of looking too long and hard for this one, though it is reasonably drinkable.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice, clear golden orange color, with a foamy 1/2 finger white head.

S - Kinda unique smelling. I'm definitely getting that distinctive Belgian yeast smell, along with a slight hop presence. as some have mentioned its a bit pilsner like with some citrus. I'm also getting some banana and cloves, and suspect thats due to the yeast.

T - Again, unlike any beer I've had to date. Its dominating flavor is the sweet yeast, but in a good way. I'm also getting some slight hop bitterness as well as very gentle citrus punch at the end.

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. It has a great mouthfeel. The beer is very smooth and finishes really nicely leaving that distinctive Belgian presence behind.

D: Quite drinkable and rather session able. I will definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A great crystal clear pilsner tone with a clean thin white head. No sediment at the bottom of this bottle. Those are the malt scents I love so dearly. The malt presence come through in the instant rush followed by a soft hop undertow and repeating the order in the aftertaste with all good things more drawn out and lingering. There is a sweet sugar bubble gum taste to it as well. Tastes like a toned down well crafted triple, yum! Over all a good feel medium to light bodied with a slight sting of alcohol.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter...

A: cloudy marigold with a foamy white head with great retention. also levaes then strreaks of sticky lacing.

S: definitely picking up on the pilsner aspects of this one(butter, bready malts and saaz hops), and lemon peel. The belgian yeast is more difficult to pick up on, but there is a spicy and slightly floral aspect to this one. American hops are also present but faint.

T: Again, the pilsner characteristics are most present up front. The "big citrus notes" start to come through here, with lemon and orange peel, and a hint of grapefruit juice. Fades spicy, fruity, and pilsner-esque(bitter, grassy, and piney hops and a doughy maltiness)

M: This is probably my favorite characteristic of this beer. The mouthfeel is creamy up front with a low carbonation. An off dry, slick finish.

Overall, I really did expect something better and different out of this beer, although what i got wasn't half bad. I would rather call this one a Belgo-Czecho-Americo ale. Much more of a pils character than anything close to an ipa, especially an american ipa. Definitely gets points for its unique qualities.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Belgica pours a golden straw in color with just a hint of haze. A half inch of soapy white foam sits atop and leaves decent lacing.

Nose is a bit soapy with notes of lemony pledge and a bit of Belgian yeast. Some Euro hops are present and mix well with the yeast notes, which are more balanced with some exposure, yet limited in a sense by some stuck bubblegum notes.

Slightly sweet on the palate and with a notable lemon pepper spice. Sweet bready notes throughout and with a return of lemon on the finish. Offers a reasonably full feel but drink is limited by the unilateral sweet lemon bomb nature of the flavor.

More enjoyable than Titan but restrained nonetheless, my chances or revisiting are slim..

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Photo of BeenJammin
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Bomb

I can't say enough about this beer. I looked golden delicious from the start and had a nice 2 finger head. The aroma was of citrus hops and a hint of Belgian yea . The taste was a sweet Belgiumy nectar with a fairly assertive hop kick. I don't know why this beer is rated only a B average. I was not a huge fan of this particular style before this weekend, but I am definitely coming back to it in the future. This beer has shown me the potential of an American-made Belgian IPA. It was The Bomb.

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Photo of tronester
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden with a rocky white head. Smell is citrus and floral along with a bit of asprin. Taste is raw grain up front, with a herbal, mediciny, middle, and a tart, lemony mouth puckery finish, with some grass. Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation. Drinkability suffers a bit. This is an interesting beer, but somewhat overwhelming. Im glad to have tried it, but the wierd flavor combination makes it something I probably wouldnt buy again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
1.9/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: poured a translucent golden orange with yellow highlights and had a thin head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma was honestly of wet dog upfront with peanut notes, faint malts, hops, and hints of grains.

T: sad to say but the flavor was also like the beer was dry hopped by a big dirty wet great dane, with some hops, spices, grains, and ight citrus but really no belgian yeast character to speak of on the palate.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had spice, mild hoppy, and wet dogg finish.

D: I don't like to bash beers or beer companies cause I respect what they do but this beer has to be the worst one I've had in my beer tasting days.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. A golden pour, filtered and clear. Bone white head never rises over a single finger width. Heady aromas of Belgian yeast, spices and woody. Candy sugar and citrus. Medium bodied with a nice duality between sweet and perfumy verses bitter and grassy. Very drinkable with a overall smooth character. Medium hoppy back end leaves the palate clean. Crisp character but somewhat sticky texture. The ABV keeps me from really knocking back more than a couple of these at a time. This beer works for me. A great combination of two of my favorite styles. However, not as good as the best of either.

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Photo of Miketwolf21
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First Impressions: Fresh three week old bottle. Poured into my snifter with a solid single finger head. Brilliant clarity. The smell emerges of soft belgian yeast, pilsner malts, and a nice mellow but prevalent hop profile of tangerine and white pepper.

Taste: The flavor is surprising well integrated. You expect a belgian IPA to taste like a belgian pale ale with more hops. They used a very clean belgian yeast that claims your attention upfront and then melds right into a waterfall of hops. This is supported very well by loyal pilsner malts that stay in there until the bitter end. The yeast drys the flavor to balance out the sweet tangerine flavors coming from the fresh tasting hops. Furthermore, this hop profile is balanced by a healthy addition of clean, spicy noble hops. The mouthfeel is great, not too much carbination. This is one of the most refreshing beers I have had in quite some time.

They supposedly changed the recipe recently by modifying the hop profile. So maybe those who tried it years ago should try it again. Until I tried this I dispelled Belgian IPAs as a fad. Well alright A Little Sumpin Wild is great brew, but aside from that this has no competitors. I was beginning to write off Great Divide as nothing more than a popular tasting brewery. This is best fresh, I am afraid the hops will quickly loose their clean taste.

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Photo of MookieMoo
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice golden color you can see thru with a creamy white head.

S: Not very hoppy smelling at all, smells like a pilsner with some citrus on the end.

T: I'm getting the yeast flavor up front, with some hops next and a little citrus note on the end.

M: Feels good on my tongue with the yeast flavor lingering after i swallow.

D: This beer is very easy to drink.

Bottled on Dec 21 2010

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've tackled a Belgian IPA one of my prior favorite styles of all time somehow, but here we are again and the beer seems pleasant enough. 12oz bottle, bottled on December 22, 2010 served in a mini pint glass:

A: Pure and clear, golden russet yellow with a fluffy half inch head, really nice lattice work lacing through the drinking session.

S: Wonderfully Belgian nice and doughy with that background musty fruitiness, sort of like Matlida from Goose Island but a bit fruitier, particularly in the pear aroma department. Very inviting.

T/MF: Again, upfront with the doughy malt sweetness, a bit astringent then quickly moving into lemon, grassiness, and a bit of faint pear.

D: Good stuff, good stuff in Belgian IPA terms. Sad the see this six pack go.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated jan 3 2011 poured into a goblet.

Pours a clear golden color with a thin white head.

Smell is a funky, yet floral, spicy then biscuity malt.

Taste is a bit muddled. funky taste then slightly bitter biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel is good, but drinkability isn't great.

Kind of a let down from a great brewery. Different than the other bipas with the european hops.

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Photo of oline73
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Max's Taphouse.

Appearance: A very bright golden, almost looks like the beer is radiating. One finger of white head goes away fairly quickly.

Smell: Herbal hops with a fruity, almost tropical sweetness. There is also some Belgian spice from the yeast.

Taste: Just like it smells. Herbal hops with some citrus fruity sweetness and Belgian spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Good but not great. I'm a sucker for this style, so I'd have another, but there are better choices that I would make first.

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Photo of aepb1
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a tasting hosted by vapodge, many thanks my friend!

A- Bright yellow, translucent body, with a small white head.

S- Some fruits and I get a bit of yeasty funk.

T- Yeasty, bready and a bit of spice. No big IPA taste as there's not a lot of hop presence. Earthy.

M- Medium body, fine level of carbonation

D- Decent beer. Nothing offensive but nothing to really make me seek this out again. If I were offered it, I'd certainly not turn it down.

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

Picked up a 12 FL OZ bottle at Olive Tree Market here in OB for $1.99 and poured it into a tulip glass.

Bottled On: Dec 21, 2010

A: Pours a clean golden hue with a solid head and good amounts of lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Sweet cereal grains - like grape nuts and honey backed by a bit of floral hop and barnyard yeast.

T: Very similar to the nose, but the hop is much more prevalent - citrus and earthy moss, slightly peppery with trippy yeast and fermented fruit flavors - really well balanced.

M: Medium-bodied, slightly sticky but finishes dry and clean with a good amount of carbonation that lends to the quality quite nicely.

D: Very drinkable and enjoyable, especially for a 7.5'r - no trace of booze in the flavor what so ever. If you like Belgian Tripels backed by west-coast hops...this is your ale!

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Photo of Shrews629
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A hazy yellow/gold color with slight orange tints. Some lighter yellow highlights at the bottom. Bright white head with ok size, retention and lacing.

Smell - The first thing I noticed in the aroma was a spice reminiscent of pepper and coriander. Some fruity notes of orange. Smells similar to a "Wit" or a "Hefe." Decently balanced.

Taste - The taste showed some spice with a slight bready flavor followed by the citrus of orange. No alcohol flavor detected. No real bitterness to speak of either.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Crisp and smooth. Refreshing. Coats the palate in a so-so way. Not a real dry finish, which is ok.

Drinkability - This beer would be very nice in Spring and Summer. Refreshing. Maybe a bit much on the spicy side for me, but I could have a few no problem.. High ABV, so I would have to watch out. Definitely reminds me of the Belgian Style "Hefe's" and "Wits" more so than an IPA.

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Photo of Reaper16
2.82/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass

Pours a straw yellow color with touches of honey giving it some added definition. Not too hazy; certainly not pretty. Less than a finger of eggshell head at its apex, the foam doesn't retain whatsoever. This is a big ol' glass of meh.

The nose is not complex or challenging. I get some apple core aroma, some Juicy Fruit chewing gum action. For a Belgian "IPA," the hops are subdued. I'm smelling some Dandelions, some lawn weeds, coming from the hops and that's it. Lots of medicinal astringency in the nose, too. I worry about the amount of phenols in the beer.

Yup. First sip confirms my suspicions about the phenols being thrown off by the Belgian yeast strain. Total Band-Aid action going on. This is too phenolic. The plasticy, medicinal, Band-Aid like phenolic character (which is not in any sense an inherently bad flavor) dominates the appleskin and bubblegum flavors. What little hop bitterness is present in Belgica is masked by the phenolic character. This doesn't taste bad, but it is severely imbalanced (and not what a Belgian IPA should taste like).

The mouthfeel is pretty decent. It isn't heavy (though certainly medium-bodied), and there is more effervescence than the appearance of the beer had me believe. The drinkability is kind of alright, actually, if you like phenols (and me being a Saison fan, I do). But the ABV% is not in a session range, and the imbalance of flavor would prevent most people from making a night of this beer even if it had less alcohol.

Though I like Great Divide a lot, I've never been impressed with their Belgian inspired offerings. It isn't the brewery's strong suit. Belgica does nothing to change my mind.

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Photo of avalon07
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, quickly dissipating head. Good lacing.

S: A decent, if somewhat muted aroma of hops, citrus, and yeast.

T: The taste was much more vibrant than the aroma. A big hops presence, along with some citrus, Belgian yeast, and mild maltiness make for a solid flavor.

M: A well carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: This is definitely a beer with some deficiencies, but it is still drinkable.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance -- Pours a bright golden straw hue with a slim cap of sudsy, lily-white head. Moderate lacing.

Smell -- Beignet, pink bubblegum, abundance of clove oil, and leafy hops.

Taste -- Lots of clove oil and a hint of bubblegum, malt base is sweet and soft, evoking sugar cane and flaky pastry. The hop character is a bit unpleasant. While certainly bitter, the character evokes bitter spring greens, pea pods, and canned green beans.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate tight carbonation. Nothing spectacular, but solid.

Drinkability -- I'm shocked at how unpleasant this is! Great Divide is a brewery I'm accustomed to putting forth a good effort, but this is difficult for me to finish. The 'Belgian' character is lackluster and clashes with the malt base, and the hop profile is just terrible. With the influx of SO many Belgian-styled IPA's, it's hard to choose this over so many other better examples that are available year-round.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle bearing a label indicating it was bottled on 12/20/10. Pours a straw yellow with a white head comprised of compact white bubbles. Plenty of carbonation is evident.

Smells fruity, spicy, and slightly yeasty. The aroma drops off considerably after the initial pour.

Tastes yeasty, bready, and spicy, with a fair amount of earthy grains lying underneath. The taste is savory, with a leafy, herbal quality to it. For an IPA, the hops are almost non-existent. Honestly, it has more of a saison taste than an IPA.

Medium-bodied, this has an earth, smokey feel to it. No bitterness at all to speak of.

Fairly drinkable, though I wouldn't call this an IPA, or even a Belgian-style IPA.

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Belgica from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 396 ratings.
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