Great Divide – 17th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA

Tasting: May 10, 2011
Style: Double IPA

Back when I used to brew my own beer, I remember looking longingly at the french oak wine barrels at Corrado’s that sold for $500 and up. I always wanted to lend that “oaky” quality to my beer — dry, earthy, slightly bitter — but, with my budget, I was destined to just buy brewing wood chips to add to my wort. Reading the label, I was surprised that Great Divide took the wood chip route, but as I rationalized to myself way back when – it’s just an additive for flavor. However, I’m always concerned that wood will overpower a beer — i.e. Cigar City’s Humidor Series IPA.

Aroma of oak is all I really get up front. My first few sips, the oak dominates. The sweet malt is a bit understated — the label says “plenty of malty sweetness” — I was really counting on sweet malt – bummer. Subtle citrus, combine with toasted malts mix in behind the ever present oak.

I’m enjoying this more as get to the bottom of this bomber — but I’ll just call it okay. 85 points for me.

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