18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA
Great Divide Brewing Company

18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA
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American Imperial IPA
3.89 | pDev: 10.8%
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA
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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 389
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of off white foam on top of a clear, amber colored body. The head fades away slowly and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - A strong aroma of pine hops and caramel malt with oak and vanilla in the background.

T - Thick, rich malt up front with notes of caramel and toffee. Some spicy hop notes in the middle with pine and grapefruit. The beer finishes with more caramel malt and notes of vanilla.

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

D - Very nice, the base beer carries things nicely and the oak adds a subtle touch of complexity. It is very malty, to the point that it almost comes across like a strong red ale.

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Photo of Dope
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated March 21st, 2012. A little over a month old.

A: A very dark amber, almost ruby red pour. Clear with a good sized off-white head. Head fades slowly leaving thick lacing on the glass.

S: Pretty subtle aroma. Mainly of oak. Mild caramel. Hints of citrus and pine and resin but mostly overpowered.

T: Again, quite oaky up front. Big resin and pine hops (or is it just resin from the oak?), with just a bit of citrus. Strong caramel malt is present throughout as well. Drying oak and resin flavors in the finish and aftertaste. Once it warms the oak is even more prominent, it's like drinking wood (insert joke here).

M: Almost syrupy. Especially once it warms. A bit much for a DIPA.

O: A decent beer. The oak overpowers everything so it really loses a lot of IPA character. It becomes a thick oak and caramel syrup. Like an oak aged barleywine. Not bad but hardly your typical DIPA.

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Photo of macrosmatic
2.82/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a pint glass.

A: Golden color with just a bit of haze. Half-finger head.

S: Grassy & spicy on the nose. Hop aroma is certainly diminished with the wood-aging.

T: Spicy, hoppy, almost an onion flavor? The oak aging comes through in spades. Alcohol presence is hidden but still there at the end.

M: Medium body. Good carbonation.

O: This just didn't do it for me. I'm glad I tried it once, but there won't be a second time. The flavor that I can only describe as onion-like was off-putting. Not sure if that was from the oak or what, but I was disappointed.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed this one on a whim; first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to grab a fresh anniversary ale, so I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, a wood-aged IPA sounds great right now. Cheers!

Brewed less than a month before the date of this tasting (“BOTTLED ON: MAR 21 2012”). Wooo!

A: What an absolutely great-looking brew. To start, the body is an amber-ruby, shining translucently in the dullest light; gorgeous. The head is not as intense, appearing as a moderately-dense eggshell white that only gets to an inch or so in height – still, retention stays at about half that, though with that same lightness. Light pockets of white surround the glass in a web of lacing.

S: Starting with some resiny hops and alcohol spice, this nose is reminiscent of chili powder, fusel alcohol, pine needles, and an almost oniony heat. It reminds me of Founders Devil Dancer, but less intense; in fact, the whole thing is milder than expected. The malts, for instance, are roasty – getting a burst of toast and smoke every once in a while – but the main idea here are gentle caramel cream, cherry syrup, cake batter, and pumpkin pie aromas. The wood aging is tough to pick out, but there is a slight flavor to the whole thing that reminds me more of balsa wood or pine than oak. Quite smooth, though light for a DIPA.

T: Wood aging takes this palate by storm – love it – rounding out every flavor that ensues with a vanilla, smoke, and oak. This is what I really wanted from a wood-aged IPA. Some thick malt tastes, soon after: prune, cocoa powder, red velvet cake, lightly toasted barley, and buttered toast, combining in a much more unique way than I’ve tasted from a DIPA. Hops, though, are just as hot and peppery as the nose suggested, leading the subsequent bitter brigade of pine sap, lemon juice, and a near-saltiness. Loads of Dr. Pepper flavor, with some cherry in the background; just bitter enough to keep from being too syrupy. The aftertaste is salted caramel and cashew nuttiness, with a short, piney dryness over the very end.

M: Pretty damn thick – cream mixed with just a light champagne effervescence. It’s not as hot as the palate‘s hops demand, but the alcohol heat is certainly there. Actually, if it went further with the heat, it would probably infringe on the depth of the wood aging, so I’m glad it’s contained

O: Great Divide impresses again; I could definitely see myself drinking this again. The aging comes through beautifully, giving this one a drinkable, complex character. Happy anniversary, guys! Here’s to 18 more.

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Photo of mrelizabeth
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a few bottles from Bottlecraft in San Diego. Incredibly well priced ($8) for an anniversary ale.

a- attractive dark red/amber, cream head. Looks great in a glass.

s- very inviting. hops jump out with a touch of caramel sweetness. one of those beers that really sets you up for its flavor.

t- wonderful. good hops balance, some malty sweetness (caramel/barley), with a great vanilla edge at the end. by the bottom of the bottle, the vanilla was really kicking in for me.

m- easy to drink, no hint of alcohol (great job with that) a tiny bit of softness from the oak.

o- i love red ipa's, and i love barleywines. this one seems to bridge that gap very well. i am curious about how long they age this beer- the hops still taste incredibly fresh, but there is a complexity that belies a youthful beer. love almost everything great divide brews- this one is one of their best.

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Photo of alk3kenny
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark ruby color white cream colored head smell is sweet... more like a barley wine then a double ipa pleasant but not very strong... No hops on the nose for me but oak aging is obvious... hop bitterness is present in the taste right away leaves that hop stinging on the tongue but not unpleasant. def tastes like a cross between ipa and barley wine not sure it works for me. Going to let it warm a bit and see but at the moment not something I'd go back for.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a rough deep bronze that is almost amber in color as you look towards the middle of the body.

S: A very low aroma for a double ipa, yet the pine and grass hops outweigh the deep malt profile

T: Holy crap, i have never tasted anything  like this beer. This IPA is unique, complex and brilliant. The grass hop flavor comes through smoothly as a significant oak character shines through hinting towards mellow vanilla and tasty earth (not sure how to put it into words) from the oak chips

M: Zero heat from the alcohol, and easy as hell to drink due to the dry body

O: I absolutely love this beer. It has brought about a new experience for my thoughts on craft beer. Complex, gentle, flavorful and freaking awesome. 

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Photo of isaiahcutright
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber, dark tan head nice lacing overall the appearance.

Smell: hoppy of course, with a nice floral aroma, a nice oak smell completes and nearly covers up the Alcohol.

Taste: malt sweetness, vanilla, a touch of heat from the alcohol, oaky, a nice punch of hops citrusy, its a complex brew.

Mouthfeel: sappy sweetness, oak spice, vanilla, a touch of heat, and a lingering bitterness from the hops.

Overall: Its a nice DIPA the oak covers up some of the alcohol heat I'm really enjoying the new experiments brewers are doing with aging different styles of beer in oak, and this is a good example.

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Photo of bump8628
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery. Clear amber-copper, sticky rings of lace ring the glass. Straddling the line between DIPA and Barleywine. Pine and resin tempered by rich caramel malt. Dry and clean enough that it barely falls on the DIPA side of things. Oak adds a subtle vanilla and wood note on the finish. Alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one smokes the 17th anniversary! that was way too sweet and did not make a great impression on me. this one however, is remarkable. pours a nearly clear copper color with a good just off white head. smells highly refined. oak is present right away, some caramel malt sugar gets picked up with a very complex earthy hop profile. flavor is rich and robust, wood and hops compete for palate dominance, but i think the oak takes it. english style malt characteristics tie it all together. feel is nice, very mellow carbonation and plenty of bidy without being heavy. the proportions and flavors work together infinitely better than last year's version. this is one of the best beers going right now in my opinion, and i chose it as the winner at the gov's park brewfest this weekend.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber, clear. Not much of a head but then again for 10%...fairly large bubbles forthe head that lingers.
Smell: very surprised here. The nose is well....tiny. Pleasant enough but almost not there.
Taste: that's more like it. Frankly a little...meh...but some character there. A little hop bitterness, a little malt backbone.
Overall: quite disappointed for an anniversary ale. I expect more from Great Divide.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a dated 22oz bottle into a Swiss wine snifter.

Pours with a clear amber body under a compact finger of white head that laces everywhere and retains well.

A soft hop-packed citrus nose is evident. There is a touch of more creamy hop aromas including a bit of vanilla, and this gives the whole nose a softer quality. Pineapple and grapefruit are both present. Smells wonderful.

Big hops and big malts go head to head in the flavor. This battle happens against a backdrop of slightly spicy wood notes and a more tannic feel than the average IPA. I was expecting more vanilla in the flavor, but right now I don't taste much. Possibly as this warms and opens up.

Carbonation is strong but not over the top, although I would prefer it be lower. The mouthfeel is big, and I think there is some added astringency and a tighter feel from the wood.

Conclusion: As with most Great Divide, this beer is big and full flavored. It doesn't quite behave, which makes it a bit more brash than the typical DIPA. I like this quality, and I like the way the oak livens up the already big flavors. Well done.

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Photo of avalon07
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: As expected, this beer had an extremely hoppy aroma, along with some citrus.

T: Tasted of hops (no surprise there), citrus (grapefruit, lemon), vanilla, malt, resin, and the advertised oak. The oak aging, as it does in some cases, doesn't take the edge off the flavor. This is a complex, flavorful beer.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a big beer that's surprisingly easy to drink and easy to like.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on March 21, poured to pint March 30. The beer arrives crystal clear and a rich ruby color with a nice 2 finger head with good retention and lacing. The nose is a pleasant mix of oak and citrus hop character with an underlying caramel malt. The hops aren't as dominant as you'd expect from a DIPA, though it is nice, the oak blends well. The flavor builds upon the character let on by the nose. The beer starts with a caramel malt sweetness upon which the oak and hop character builds, medium bitterness. Hints of vanilla and even a bit of roast. Very well balanced and inviting, especially for a DIPA. Finishes with a lingering malty sweet oak hop flavor. Well carbonated and medium bodied. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Not typically a fan of barrel aged IPAs but this is very good. Recommended.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Great clarity for a complex DIPA. Wonderful lacing. Deep ruby red color with lots of brown and orange. Head builds moderately slowly, it's pretty decently carbonated, but not overly. Slow bubbles rise to the top.

S - Nice light delicate hops, but very much on the underwhelming side. The Barrel Aging has taken much of the nose (hops) away from the brew.

T/M - Heat? What heat? This is one tame brew... Very mild for a BA DIPA. Very sweet, but not sugary. Wonderful sugars rise up and stand out. Vanilla is faint, so i'm guess the brew rested for only a few. Very wet and flavorful. Hops are mellow and gracious, not your typical DIPA. Perfect carbonation, medium body.

O - Awesome brew! GDB nailed this one! Highly recommended! I scooped it for $6, a great value. The nose and taste could stand out more, but all-in-all, a great brew.

O -

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18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 389 ratings