903: Hercules Double IPA

Name: Hercules Double IPA
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Denver, Colorado
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 10%
First Brewed: 2004

Tasting Notes
A massive hop hint of resinous pine, citrus fruits, and grassiness balances out what could be an overwhelming sweetness if this big boy got in the wrong hands. But Great Divide handles Hercules with finesse. A slight booziness rounds out the flavor experience.

Ricky’s Thoughts
I played 18 holes of golf today, so I wanted to celebrate. Nothing beats celebrating with a BIG bottle of beer with a TON of booze. This beer is 10% ABV, and is just loaded with flavor. I have had it before, but it was a LONG time ago. Why am I using so many CAPITAL letters tonight? Who cares. I am ready to drink.

In the Glass: This is a healthy looking IPA. It is rich in copper color and produces a very thick head. The head is white, and sits on top for a LONG time. There I go again with the capital letters. I will stop. No more. Anyway, this looks like a good strong IPA. A double IPA perhaps! (It is fair for me to put IPA in all caps… that is the point!)

Nose: For a beer that has this much booze and is loaded with that many IBUs, I expected a more overwhelming nose. But it is weak. Their Titan IPA smells a lot better. But I am hoping the aroma starts to come out when this beer heats up. We pulled this from the fridge, so it is ice cold.

Flavor: The flavor is also not what I expected. As the tasting notes say, it is very well balanced. The flavor is never overwhelming and slides from the front of the palate and into the aftertaste without much focus on hops. I am surprised that this beer is just exploding with flavor… but maybe that is the point. They focused more on the overall enjoyment rather than making this a “knock your socks off” kind of beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is quite boring. There is a subtle hint of hops on the back of the palate, but is is quick and isn’t obvious. You can smell as you drink to get more of the citrus notes that you expect… but the flavor is just polished (it makes sense when you drink it) from the start to the finish. This is like a domestic for a fan of IPAs.

Aftertaste: There isn’t much of an aftertaste. It is smooth all the way through, and the aftertaste is pretty boring. Now, having said all that… the beer is good. It is solid. It is… you got it, polished. It doesn’t have to be a big punch of hops that knocks me over. I wanted that, but the beer is good. The booze isn’t obvious either.

I like Great Divide, and while I had higher exceptions, this one is still a good IPA from a great portfolio of beers.

Hercules Double IPA – The bottle says: “HERCULES DOUBLE IPA is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, fit for gods. HERCULES delivers a huge amount of hops from start to finish. Its hefty backbone of nutty, malty sweetness balances its aggressive hop profile. 85 IBUs.”

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
The first thing I noticed about tonight’s beer is that it is really foamy.  Ricky poured it out into the glass, and we had to wait for the foam to go down before pouring the entire bottle.  The beer smells pretty good, though.  There’s a very hoppy, almost cinnamon smell to it – all the spices of a hoppy IPA.  It’s a nice red-orange color that is appropriate for a good IPA.  Time to find out what it tastes like!

Once you get past the foam, this beer has a solid flavor.  It tastes spicy, hoppy, and almost… has a bit of pumpkin flavor to it.  I’m sure I’m imagining that, but it’s what comes to mind for me.  It’s a good IPA, but I keep comparing it to the Dogfish Head 90 Minute that we had this week already.  And it’s just not as good as that.  This beer is a nice IPA, has a good hop taste, and is very flavorful.  I might give it a higher rank if I hadn’t had the 90 Minute not long ago.  This one’s just not as impressive compared to that.

This beer has a decent balance, and if you’re an IPA fan, you’ll enjoy it.  But it’s not as much as I was expecting.  There’s just not enough special about it.  If I was looking for an IPA, depending on the price, I might buy this again.  Or maybe I’d look for a 90 Minute instead…

Rating: 3/5

902 bottles of beer on the wall…

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