Tasting: August 16, 2011
What is an India Pale Ale? â€“ or more familiarly, an IPA? Like a lot of other beer terms – the phrase “pale ale” comes from England. England’s vast empire included territories all over the world — including India. There was a booming trade business for exports and a hoppier variation of a pale beer was quite popular in India. Other English brewers were quick to also offer variations of this Export Pale Ale. These beer were also higher in alcohol content — which coincidentally helped to prevent spoilage when making the trip to India, Australia and the Caribbean.
Today, we have terms like Imperial IPA or double IPA. The meaning are interchangeable and really just represent another tier in the addition of more hops or malts. Brewers in California may lay claim to the double IPA, but like any success the debate on the first rages on. This IPA, however, comes from Colorado. The Great Divide Brewing Company to be exact. It’s described as an oak-aged IPA with an ABV of 7.1%. It is said to be brewed with northwestern hops – which as you may know are quite familiar to an American IPA. Pours a very interesting ruby amber in color. Caramel sweetness dominates the nose There is an earthiness to this beer presumably from the oak and yes it is very woody, but I also get this rich soil flavor with some pine lurking in the background. A crisp dry finish is quite surprising as I expected the hops to linger on a bit longer. I think this beer is okay and I’ll give it 84 points.