And it’s true, Hercules has all of that. With a bitterness level of 85 IBUs and 9.1% alcohol by volume, you know this is a big beer. But here’s the thing. Adding more hops and more malt can be a zero-sum game, since the one works to balance the other. Here, though, you have a lot of both, and all the malt starts to put this out of the range of an IPA.
That said, this is a great beer. I love the thick, chewy mouthfeel and the bitter, lingering hops. Sometimes, beers can start to blur stylistic lines, and this one does that. But it’s great all the same, hedonistically speaking, and I’d be hard pressed to turn one of these babies down.
Hercules Double IPA pours to a tawny reddish orange color with a very
thick and creamy head formation and an extremely hoppy nose. A thick layer
of Brussels lace forms on the side of the glass, and follows the liquid all
the way down.
The palate is thick and full of mouthfeel with a big chewy caramel presence. It feels full and rich with a little swirl around the tongue. The hops quickly emerge, a tad peppery at first, then slightly citric and increasing in bitterness. In the finish, they become intensely so, depositing a long lingering bitter dryness. A piney, resiny character is also present in a big way too.
Great Divide offers some cheese and food pairings for this one on their website. It likely would go well with pungent cheeses, I think, but as for matching with cuisine, I think this one is best served before a meal to arouse the appetite or after one to aid in digestion.
Great Divide Hercules IPA, 10% ABV, $7.75. Kudos to Great Divide for not making this a wimpy 11 ounce pour. A beer to enjoy on a night like tonight when I'm not driving. Had this in the bottle a number of times but on draft it's the bomb.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.