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Aug
17

Great Divide Titan IPA

By Andy Murphy
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It’s IPA Monday, so let’s start with the bottle description of tonight’s IPA:

“Titan IPA is a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale brewed for hop disciples. It starts out with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishes with a nice rich, malty sweetness that is balanced with crisp hop bitterness.”

Hey, that sounds pretty good. But I’ve heard lots of boasting about hops, and only rarely does the actual beer come through on those pre-built expectations.

I’m pleased to report that Great Divide’s Titan IPA has a fair amount of hop taste — but by no means will this beer induce a hop-attack. Instead, the emphasis in the description should be placed on the word “balance”; flavorful hops and robust malt push against each other like some sort of team-building, trust exercise.

The green label includes a silhouette of a Roman Guard. He’s standing above the adjectives “assertive” and “aromatic” — but I ardently hope that last description applies more to the beer than the soldier.

Alas, ours is not to reason why — ours is but to drink or cry. (I believe that’s from “Charge of the Light-Beer Brigade”.)

Titan pours a rich honey-amber that glows and shimmers in the light. This IPA created a fluffy, off-white foam that soon formed a thick, resinous collapse of bubbles and tenacious lacework. So far, so good — many of my favorite IPAs have formed heads that practically solidified.

The label insists the aroma will be filled with piney hops, but caramel malt is the dominant scent. I’m detecting herbal hops with a hint of pine. The combination of malt and hops smells warm and inviting.

Sweet malt slathers across my tongue, but the delicious hop taste is abundant immediately. I’m used to being disappointed in IPAs with a ton of caramel malt, but these hops almost overpower the malt. Alternately citrusy and piney — with a bitter herbal base — the hops expand as the malt grows sweeter. By the time you’re midway through the glass, that piney bitterness becomes husky and begins to burn at the back of your throat. The sensation is almost like a whiskey, and I wonder how much of the burn is aggressive hops and how much is the almost 7% ABV.

Don’t drink this beer looking for a tooth-tingling IPA. It’s not. But there’s a good deal of hop flavor and a strong, sweet malt — and there are very few IPAs that seem to strike that balance well.

It’s about 9:30 in the evening and my house is still about 84 degrees. A light, citrusy beer would have gone down well, but I’m enjoying this IPA quite a bit. It’s a medium bodied beer with lots of flavor — though I may be most pleased by how well it’s helping to ward off this summer evening heat!

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday

1 Comments

1

A full IPA, not quite as robust or hoppy as their Hercules IPA , but also not as expensive. All in all a good brew.

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