Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Two Anniversary IPAs

I had a couple of anniversary IPAs in my fridge and IPAs are best consumed fresh.  I had a Great Divide 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double India Pale Ale (10% ABV) in the fridge for some time now and it had a bottle on date of March 20.  The Stone 16th Anniversary IPA (10% ABV and 85 IBU) had an August 2012 date and I knew this one was very fresh.  The difference besides age was the wood aged via the use of oak chips and an IPA brewed with lemon verbena and lemon oil.  I did not try these side-by-side as one of these is enough for anyone at 10% ABV, and I wanted to get in a mountain bike ride the next morning.  I enjoyed both of these beers and they are fantastic.  

I had a very fresh version of Great Divide 17th Anniversary last year and the beer was almost too “oaky” for my liking.  With a little age on the 18th Anniversary, I found that the oak had calmed down a bit and from my perspective, this beer tastes better with a little age.  I understand that the hop bitterness and aroma with fall out and the beer will be closer to a barley wine - I am fine with this for 18th and I very much enjoyed it.  

The Stone 16th Anniversary IPA is unique and I have never had anything like it before.  Stone uses Amarillo and Calypso hops with the addition of lemon verbena and lemon oil and you can tasted the ctirusy, lemony focus of this beer.  It is very good and Stone has been producing some very good double / imperial IPAs.  The Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA was fantastic and one of the best of the year.  

Both of these beers were very good and I would drink them again.  I think the a brewery’s anniversary ale should be something special and Stone and Great Divide provide excellent examples of some special with these beers.

Double / Imperial IPA - - BeerAdvocate
Great Divide -
Stone -

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