17th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA (Great Divide Brewery)

I’ve had an affinity for Double IPAs for a while now, but it wasn’t until last year that I tried my first wood/oak aged DIPA. I was instantly hooked! Now add that to the fact that Great Divide makes some pretty good beers and have a great visual brand and I knew I had to purchase their 17th ANNIVERSARY WOOD AGED DOUBLE IPA.

17th Anniversary is a Double/Imperial IPA with a hearty 10% ABV.

Based on our most award-winning beer, Denver Pale Ale, this copper-hued treat is a celebration of everything Great Divide does best. Plenty of malty sweetness provides a backdrop for earthy, floral English and American hops, while French and American oak round off the edges and provide a touch of vanilla. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us for the last 15 years – here’s to 15 more!

*Sadly I didn’t realize until after the fact, but this beer was bottled 362 days prior to my opening it. If I had known how close I was I would have waited to pass the year mark before opening it. Oh, well.

The beer pours a thick garnet/orange color. If I was comparing the color to Crayola crayons I might call it a “burnt sienna”. Head is practically non-existent. It pops up, covers the top of the beer for a second and then quickly dissipates into a haze. Tiny bubbles ring the top of the beer.

Nose is sweet like dark fruit (plums and raisins). A rum booziness pushes through and I suspect that it has gotten bigger in the past 362 days. Danky hops appear when the beer opens up and it’s obvious that it’s been around some wood. Definitely gonna be a boozy beer.

The taste is booze and hops, then oak, before fading to a sweet sun tea flavor. I mean that literally. Bitter herbal hops pop up near the end to mellow out the almost cloying sweetness. Hints of roasted coffee appear at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium and fizzy as all get out. The stickiness from the hops appears once the carbonation fizziness dies down. Lots of hop residue is left behind.

I really wasn’t expecting this beer to be as sweet as it turned out to be. The flavors all balance relatively well, except the sweetness. Flavors really mellow out as it warms, making it much smoother and fluid (no pun intended). Considering the style and size, I expected bigger, bolder flavors. Still nice, though.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10

As an IMPERIAL IPA: 7.5 out of 10

FOR FANS OF: Great Divide 18th ANNIVERSARY WOOD AGED DOUBLE IPA, Southern Tier OAKED AGED UNEARTHLY, Grand Teton LOST CONTINENT  DOUBLE IPA – OAK AGED

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