Great Divide Brewing Company -- Fresh Hop Pale Ale.
This bottle was a bit of a paradox for me: Great Divide is a solid brewery, known for epic coffee stouts and barleywines. However, this pale ale was less than my union mandated 8% rule. But, like I said, Great Divide goes a long way for me and this bottle was good until late December, so why not?
As soon as I popped the top and checked under the hood, things became a bit apparent. A lacy, amber(ish) body with a hefty head. The hops were a bit indistinct, mostly the scent of a wet lawnmower. Which made things curious for me.
The taste was a bit off-putting at first, as the hops just washed over my senses and Chuck Norris'd them to next week. I got heavy influences of grapefruit, mango and pine, with the aforementioned wet lawnmower. A hint of caramel, but nothing too strong. This is hop heaven if one is a hop head. I found this to be stronger than the Stone 'Drink By.' It lacks the typical Stone over-sensationalized hop taste that dominates most of their brews.
The finish is bitter and dry, but far more refreshing than anticipated. Quite good, if a bit average.
Buy if: you can find it, and you enjoy the hops.
Overall: a solid, above average pale ale.
4 stars out of 5.