Each time I visit Denver I make it a point to visit the Great Divide Brewery Tap Room. The brewery's tasting room is open for just a few hours each day and offers a great opportunity to enjoy Great Divide beers. The beers are good and the people friendly. I posted about one of my previous visits here. Now that Great Divide beers are no longer being distributed in Virginia, a stop at the Tap Room is all the more important. I found time to spend several hours at the Tap Room this week, enjoying both the beer and pleasant conversation with the staff and other patrons.
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA is one of my favorite offerings from the brewery, and it was my first pick during my recent visit. So often Double IPA's end up being cloyingly sweet, with the malts overpowering the hops. Hercules keeps both flavor profiles in balance. Pine and citrus hops are present in both the aroma and flavor. At 9.1% ABV it's a sipper and a very enjoyable one.
Often you can find one of the Great Divide beers on cask in the Tap Room, but there was no cask on deck this time. There was however an Oak Aged Espresso Stout on tap. I was told this is a "Tap Room only" beer. The stout pours very dark, it's black except for the thin beige head. As to be expected the aroma is strong with espresso, along with some faint hop notes. Espresso predominates the flavor as well. There's a bit of a burn in the finish. I didn't ask but I'd guess the ABV in this is quite high. If you are in Denver I suggest heading over to Great Divide to try the Oak Aged Espresso Stout before it's all gone.
(When I return to Virginia I'll make a point to contact the distributor in Virginia and try to find out why Great Divide beers no longer grace our shelves.)