Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great Divide Titan IPA

Great Divide Brewing is on the short list of my favorite breweries that I think consistently make great beer and I will always buy when I have the chance.  However, their beer was never for sale in California, so for years this has meant buying through ebay or making bottle exchanges with wandering beer gurus.  This past fall, Great Divide Brewing signed distribution deals with Stone and since that time Great Divide beers have been showing up on shelves in SoCal.  I couldn't be happier about this and it's just another reason why we should love Stone.

When thinking of Great Divide, I generally think of their big beautiful stouts and barleywines – dare I say Yeti...  However, they make some other interesting beers outside of the big category that are very worth talking about.  This week, I present you with Titan, their single IPA.  I love that they're putting suggested food pairing on the side of their bottles; it's fantastic, it helps you to drink the beer as they intended and aids people in the difficult task of beer and food pairing.

The color is deep golden and there's just the slightest hint of cloudiness.  A fairly miniscule head, with little retention.  I smell a decent whiff of piney hops, guessing cascade, with overwhelming sweet malts.  Seriously, the malts smell so sacrine and gentle, it conjures up mental images of powdered sugar.

The body is on the heavier side for a single and it definitely coats your mouth with its thick resinous hop and sweet malt flavors.  This beer has a hop bite arching all the way through the sip.  The bite is less floral and more resinous and grassy.  The malts are on the sweeter side leaving a little caramel that when mixed with the heavy hops produce a wonderful sweet mixture, not unlike tasting a piece of pineapple.  At times the finishing hop bite can be so strong it borders on a slightly fishy aftertaste.  It's a small flaw in this otherwise fairly perfect beer.  Despite being at 7.1 and being very bitter, I think the drinkability is off the charts.  Thanks again to Great Divide and Stone.

Titan IPA: ****1/2

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