18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA | Great Divide Brewing Company

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18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chugalug06 on 03-26-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 389
Photo of gpack
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snifter-from a bomber

A- Poured Great- two fingers of nice fluffy topping. stuck around for a while lacing in almost clumps

S- Nothing spectacular in the smell. muted vanilla. a little sweet in the back of my nose.

T- Unimpressed with first taste. Let it sit. I'm glad I waited. Good malty front end, finished a little sweet for my typical taste preference-but good.

M- Good carbonation, and I agree with the others, big and sweety sticky.

O- Very Good-Not where I usually choose to go with an DIPA, but I'm glad I did.

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Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber with two fingers of off white head that fades to a layer and leaves less lacing than I would have guessed.

Smell: More malt than expected with some fruity notes, I'm
getting some cherry. There are some citrus peel hops as well.

Taste: A strong sweetness from the malt. I'm getting the mild cherry along with some caramel and maybe a touch of coconut. The hops show up later on in the sip. Citrus peel bitterness along with a woody flavor. The finish is bitter and a bit hot from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is fluffy and the finish is quite dry.

Overall: I think this beer would have been a bit better at about 8%. I enjoyed it enough, but I don't think I would want another.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a medium to dark copper color with a moderately thick two fingered head the subsides pretty quickly and leaves a soapy, but dense lacing ring. Carbonation is gentle.

S - Toasted candy caramel biscuit malt, oak, light grapefruit, and some alcohol effervesence. The aroma comes through as balanced with the malt being a little more forward.

T - This one is a surprise because I expected more malt flavor coming through, especially up front. Instead, the sweet malt is there, nips the front of the tongue for a very brief moment before being drowned out by a (very) sizable wave of oak tannins, florally cedar, and earthy tobacco, then ends with a lingering woody grapefruit bitterness.

M - Thick, full bodied, and incredibly dry; in fact so dry it sucks the spit off your tongue.

O - I was surprised by this one (in a good way) because the nose didn't follow the taste, I like the element of surprise. But, on the other hand, the wood tannins are so in your face and with the bitter grapefruit bite, I feel like my tongue just got beaten by a oversized wood plank with a nail in it. Definitely one of the more interesting big IPA's I've had, but a little less oak would provide a little more complexity to this unique beer. Maybe take it off the oak sooner next time. (Just my two cents.) I couldn't finish the bomber by myself, ended up pouring it...too many wood tannins and it didn't blend well for an IPA for my liking. Would have been better in a barley, imperial porter, or stout. Would have lowered the score further because I didn't care for the blend but it is impressive, just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - just slightly hazy ruby brown, solid off white head retained nicely leaving lots of random lacing
S - big sweet toffee maltiness, light woodiness, just a hint of herbal hops
T - caramel and light leafy hops to start, some dry pine and general woodiness, and a mix of syrupy and alcohol sweetness, a half point deduction here due to the sweetness and maltiness getting the better of the hops
M - medium bodies and creamy start, gets a little dry from both hops and alcohol, the high octane is there but you would not guess 10%, late finish is warmth in the tummy
O - it is a big brew with the wood aging being subtle and complimentary, the only issue I have is that the 'DIPA-ness' of it gets lost somewhere, if i didn't know better i would have thought it was a barleywine, a fine brew none the less but just a little lacking on style

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Photo of SHODriver
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep orange that is almost red into a duvel tulip that is topped by a well retained and quite large off white head
S: pine and hop bitterness with a slight orange in the aroma, a bit of woodyness and a decent underlying sweetness
T: bitterness with a hint of pine, slight woodyness and herbal hop followed by a slight caramel sweetness. good underlying bitterness throughout. swallow brings flavors of wood and herbal hop flavor with a bit of residual sugar
M: soft carbonation with a slightly above medium mouthfeel, slightly astringent on the swallow from the hops and alcohol and a bit drying as well but not too bad
O: pretty solid beer, probably would have been better closer to the bottling date but it has some good flavors.

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Photo of Swim424
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into Great Divide pint glass

A-Pours a deep ruby red with nice head that falls slowly and leaves a nice lacing as it does. A nice amount of bubbles are seen rising.

S-Smells of thick toasted caramel malts and a hint of oak. Maybe a slight scent of hops mixed in a well. A bit of alcohol.

T-Tastes of very thick smokey, toasty, malt. More of a thick hop bitterness mixed in with the malt. Seems almost chewy. Quite boozy.

MF-Very thick. Pretty creamy. Leaves a nice smooth coating in my mouth. Has a nice bitterness on the finish.

O-This is a pretty respectable beer. Doesn't resemble the DPA at all, but still pretty nice. One of the better oak/wood aged beers I have had. Not as bitter as many DIPAs, but thats more due to the high malt profile. Wouldn't mind getting another bottle of this one before it's gone.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a creamy 1/2 finger head that fades semi quickly with just a bit of lacing, over semi clear coppery reddish colored beer.

Nose brings lots of malts, coppery reddish malts, caramel galore, toffee, candy and candi sugar even, with some booze even in the nose. There are some hops but not a lot, mostly candied orange zest, fruity marmalade like, and a bit of earthy hop aroma.

Taste starts pretty sweet, with lots of syrupy additions, caramel galore again, toffee, reddish candy, etc. Malts bring reddish toasty malts, coppery malt flavors, etc, with a decent booze warmth and tingle even. There are some light toasty oak chip flavors, hint of vanilla with that but not much. Hops are more background, with light earthy flavors, lots candied orange marmalade, light fruity flavored hops, etc. The bitterness is fairly strong, but not a ton of overall hop flavor. Finish is quite bitter, earthy gritty hops, abrasive feeling, still quite sweet too and a bit sticky, lingering caramel and syrupy flavors.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, bit syrupy, some warming slight tingly booze.

Overall not bad. I remember the first time I had this I loved it, but I've grown a lot since then. Hops are fairly one dimensional and not what I would typically enjoy, earthy and candied flavors. Malts and syrupy flavors are more of an imperial red ale than DIPA, and the oak is very light overall. But still a decent beer with OK flavors, maybe not summer though.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Bottled 20 March 2012.

A: Two fingers of head (with excellent retention) top an opaque honey-brown beer. Very good lacing and impressive IPAppearance.

S: Lovely! Soft hops have mellowed from either age, wood, or general disposition. Fruity and round, with touches of caramel and butterscotch.

T/M: Interesting, and not my favourite. Perhaps it's mellowed too long. Bland, very little mouthfeel, and unusually fruity. I detect traces of English hops, but very little of the bitter citrus of American varietals.

O: I do so love Great Divide, but my fanhood set me up for a bit of a letdown. I would not recommend this beer in its present state. Try it fresher or try it more agèd, but not like this. Still, a nice beer!

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Happy 18! Bottled on March 21, 2012

A - A dark amber, red color. 0 clarity. Not much head or lace retention

S - Sweet and malty. Not much hops smell?

T - Malty and sweet! Oak aged is very prevalent. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Medium bodied. Well balanced.

O - A very good beer. But DIPA? Not really. Much more like a double red or double pale ale. But tasty none the less. But for a hop head like me, a little disappointed. No worries, 19 will be here before I know it

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very odd brew.

It pours a very amber/orange color with hints of brown and a thick white head.

The aroma is full of oak, vanilla, caramel and hops.

The taste has a TON of oak taste, followed by a slightly sweet vanilla and caramel malt and ending with the earthy hops and bitterness. In my opinion, way too much oak flavor as it overwhelms the rest of the amazing flavors.

Worth trying, but could have been better and less oaky ironically.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, MN.

Poured into a goblet a rich amber-orange with a thick cap of sisal foam that persisted with good lacing. It looks inviting and delicious.

Smell was rather sweet and oakey with subtle spice and hop oils.

Taste was sweeter than I was expecting with prevalent notes of oak. Hop bitterness was of a spice/earthy quality and the alcohol was a little noticeable. Vanilla appears as it warms. Dark dried fruits as well. As others have mentioned there do seem to be some Barleywine elements here.

Mouthfeel was smooth with decent carbonation, it holds together well.

I'm not a big fan of wood aging DIPA's. I have yet to try one that's spectacular and they all seem to be a bit depleted of hop and too sweet.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber with a massive head; sticks, impressively, and leaves shards of lace behind

Smell: Oak and caramel dominate the aroma, with piney and minty hops peaking through

Taste: The oak and caramel flavors lay down the backbone but by mid-palate the beer develops a piney bitterness that builds considerably, adding a little mint to the profile; the finish is bitter but the strong presence of the malts doesn't yield an inch

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: I keep coming back to these GD anniversary beers though I really don't care for them that much - don't think I will return again; love the brewery, just not this recipe

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's

A: Pours a deep amber with a soapy off-white head, good lace.

S: Oak, vanilla, pine and cedar.

T: Definite full oak character, sweet crystal, nice hop flavour, though I didn't find it as vibrant as last years. Cedar bark, melon rind, and grapefruit.

M: Medium to full-bodied, astringent a bit on the finish, resiny, sticky.

O: A solid effort, the price-tag isn't making me happy, but well made.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottled 3/20/2012.

Appearance: deep, rich orange with a nice effervescence and two fingers of frothy tan head with an orange cast. Nice.

Smell: floral, citrusy, fruity hops on top of a rather biscuity malt base. The former help balance out the latter, but the malt character isn't really my favorite. The hops really are quite nice, though.

Taste: strong all-around and a bit on the rough side. Hops are citrusy but a bit muddled, alcohol is strong and bitterness is raspy in the middle but smooth at the end. Flavors are not bad, but could be cleaner and a bit smoother.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a somewhat low carbonation. With this body I'd expect more creaminess. Still, it's decent.

Overall: this is an OK DIPA, but frankly, I don't love it.

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Photo of babaracas
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark red-orange with one finger thick dense, creamy off-white colored foam. Settles slowly leaving a few thick rings on the glass. Smell: loads of caramelized sugars with vanilla, whiff of booze and citrus - orange / tangerine. Oak is there upfront but lessens as it settles. Taste: acidic pineapple + milk caramel, vanilla, slightly earthy. Orange and stone fruit (dried plum?) notes. A bit vinous towards the end, drying with tannin bitterness. Medium bodied, creamy but with that almost-overpowering finish. Better than decent, but, for me, this series might have run it's course. Maybe change it up for the 19th? Or just call it a barleywine to laugh at our reaction?

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Photo of Dope
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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 liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Sammy, 650ml into a tulip. Bottled March 20, 2012.

Reddish brown, with a dense cap a few fingers in height of cream colour. Solid retention and lacing. Oak and vanilla notes are prominent, a bit of butterscotch, some citrus and pine are mildly present in the background. Taste has a continued generous amount of oak and woody vanilla character, citrus and orange but more hop bitterness to contrast a fairly big sweetness from the malt. Some apple as well. Oaky sweetness well into the finish, surprisingly not alot of alcohol. Medium full feel, and low-ish carbonation. Not a big fan of oaked DIPAs, but this wasn't half bad.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Not my favorite style, but this is actually pretty good. One would even say Doom-esque. Reminds me of an American Barleywine, heavy on the tea notes with a super oak dry finish. Some carmel, a little vanilla and a hint of tropical fruit hops.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz, 3/21/12
Victory tulip

A: Pours an extremely murky copper color. Seems to be nicely bottle carbonated (?). Quarter finger off white head. Turns into a ring around the edges quickly. Definitely some alcohol feet. Lacing bits right away, and as I drink even more sticky lacing.

S: Lots of malts on the nose. Wish she was a little fresher. Still some hops. I think I get some of that wood too, as the soft vanilla is actually behind everything.

T: Taste is actually better than the smell. Not overly bitter. On the tip of the tongue, a touch of hop bitterness. Piney notes more so than citrus. Then the malt bill takes over to balance it. Drinks less than the ABV says. And the oak does show up, as it is a soft oaky vanilla finish. The close isn't overly bitter or dry.

M: Medium bodied with a good mouth coating.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Pours a deep copper color that is practically crystal clear with a few streaming bubbles. A crown of creamy bone head that disappears rather quickly to a white bubbly wake. 

S:  Sweet candied malts, molasses, floral hop aroma, old rustic oak and vanilla bean.  Sweet pungent alcohol stings the nose. 

T/M:  A creamy highly effervescent medium body that swirls in the mouth nicely.  Sweet candied and bisquity malts, astringent corn alcohol, a bountiful bouquet of floral hops, orange oil and a touch of grapefruit. Subdued hops compliment the aged toasted oak resin.  The finish is dry but smooth with oak infused plum and citrus alcohol.   White grapes fade in and out in the final linger.  Once warned the vanilla bourbon flavors really awaken and warm the palate.

O:  I love oak aged brews but sometimes the wood and smoke overpower all other flavors. That is not the case with this DIPA.  All floats are crisp and complimenting delivering a solid offering.  Great Divide knocked this out of the park. 

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Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body was reddish copper in color, clear, and exhibited a two finger thick head. The smell was prototypical DIPA, with citric hops, pine, and tropical fruits. The taste is where the wood aging showed itself clearly, with a vanilla, oak, and wood tannin being quite evident. After the initial wood attack, there was some hop presence, but it was pretty muted for a DIPA. Very drying finish and a short one at that. Mouthfeel was medium thick, and not too sticky. A mild variation on the style due to the aging before bottling. I prefer my DIPA's green and more hop forward.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We crack the top and pour a brew of the deepest ruby-brushed copper coloring. It puts up an easily reproducible two finger head of caramel colored bubbles, showing nice retention. Geographic lacing is left around the glass as it slowly bubbles away, leaving a large aggregate of soapy bubbles to one side of the glass. Haze is thick, and large chunks of sediment are seen floating about. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is your typical malt bombed-DIPA, much thanks to the year of age we put on it, no doubt. The grain that comes in is thick, syrupy, and richly sweet, with toffees, caramels, light browns, and rich and metallic pales all coming through. Filling the gaps are notes of grassy and bitterly soapy hops, fusel booze, vanilla extract, chemically phenols, pencil eraser, Styrofoam airs, buttercream frosting sweetness, browned apples, rice starchiness, and warmed mossy woodiness. Our first impression is that the flavoring follows the nose as you would expect, but the oak chips come out very, very strongly, and dry the palate to the bone. As we sip, the taste opens with goose bump-inducing booziness, rich caramel and roasted toffee maltiness, massive metallic yeastiness, earthy dirtiness, soft vanillas, mixing sweetness of browned apples, and bittered, filthy herbal hoppiness. Rushing to the peak are mustard greens, biting plastics, bittered oak, continued fusels, puckering soapy hops, and more depth and bitterness of malts through dried straw bite, raw toasted barley, and salty pales. The end washes with light banana ester sweetness, vegetal sushi nori, nickel, chalked yeastiness, raw honeycomb, inky newspaper, warmed brown breadiness, caramel wash, moldy oak chips, green resin sappiness, and gravel. The aftertaste breathes of huge oaky bite, moss, dust and cobwebs, ocean water, vegetal metallics, soured lemon rind, magic marker phenols, steel, black tea tannins, peppery booziness, and dying echoes of herbal hops. The body is thick and full, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives pleasant slurp, smack, cream, and froth, with decent finishing pop and light stickiness to the corners of the lips. The mouth is left a bit warmed, two be quickly puckered and dried with booze and heavy woodiness, mopping up all available moisture. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks on the slower side.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its look, and the stark presence of the wood throughout the flavoring. As confirmed by both our sniffers and our first impression, this one is a malt bomb. Again, this can be partially explained by the age we ourselves put on it, but the malt bill is huge regardless, with rich and toasty caramels really revving up that Denver Pale Ale base to a whole new level. The hops are sadly diminished at this point, but the sheer woodiness of the thing will make you soon forget this discrepancy. This adds not only to the flavoring, with warmth, earthiness, vanillas, and depth, but contributes significantly to the mouthfeel, keeping things dry and astringently puckered. In the end, this beer falls in line with what we’ve come to expect from Great Divide’s anniversary series, and will certainly leave you thinking on a lazy night.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 to tulip. Served cool. 8 weeks old. Thank you for the very clear bottle date on the label, Great Divide. How hard is that, other brewers?

A - Dark amber, substantial off-white head that settles down to a film.

S - Some kind of lovely Frankenstein of honey, caramel, brown sugar, and candi. Vague fruit that's maybe a yeast thing. Smells great.

T - Rich. The wood comes through not so much as a flavor but as an instant and particular kind of dryness which you can tell is distinct from the hop kind. It's a bit like licking a board, though straddling good and too much in that respect. It's assertive. I'm having a hard time picking flavor notes out of this aside from a general sweetish malt flavor and some booze just starting to be noticeable. Not really getting hops. Slightly woody aftertaste with some sweetness.

M - Leaning towards sticky with a bit of tongue tingle and minor abrasion and finishing dry.

O - This is rich and robust and satisfying. I was definitely expecting more hops though. I'm wondering if the "aging" in this case is the kind of aging I'd do at home, which would fade hops and would explain things here. I would assume not. I think the wood is somewhat overdone and would give it a 4 if that were dialed back a bit.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had another one of these anniversary beers once, I think the 15th or 16th?, and enjoyed it. Glad to revisit this series, much thanks to Kevin for splitting the bomber. Bottle date was 3/21/12.

Pours dark copper/orange. Off-white head retains well and leaves great lacing.

Nice scent - big fruity and earthy hops, toffee and caramel malts, some toasted oak and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is good, not quite as solid as the scent. Starts out with big grapefruit and piny hops, with some citrus there too, and finishes with lots of sweet caramel malts. Oak and some vanilla more prominent with warmth. Abrasive hops and huge sweet malts make this a huge beer.

Nice full mouthfeel, proper carbonation, some alcohol.

Definitely similar to what I remember from their previous anniversary beers. Huge hops+malts leaning towards barleywine, nice oak presence. Good sippin' beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Potsdam NY IGA for $9 - Bottled March 2012

Appearance - Hazy amber colour with an average size frothy off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/butterscotch, light hops, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and grassy hops. There is also a bit of a metallic flavour and dark fruits and some vanilla.

Overall - Not sure if this was meant be drank fresh.. but it is after all already aged. Mayne there would be more DIPA flavours - instead it tastes like a barleywine. Still a decent barley wine, just not all that exciting. I couldn't really taste the wood.

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18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
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