Brewery and Country of Origin: Great Divide Brewing Company of 2201 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO, 80205, USA

Date Reviewed: 1-02-13

As we know from the Disney movie, Hercules was one of the sons of Zeus, who was The Father of Gods and Men as well as the Ancient Greek God of Thunder and the Sky. As Greek (and Roman mythology would tell you, Hercules was famous for slaying a number of mythological beasts and accomplish various feats (known as The Labours of Hercules) which saw Hercules steal some apples, find a three headed dog, and clean a horse stable. Ok, so it was a little more than that. And though you may have no idea what these labors were, there is something that everyone knows about this guy. Hercules was gifted with incredible strength, and he used that to his advantage. And though he basically could get any Athenian woman he wanted, his life wasn't that glorious. His aunt, Hera (sister of Zeus, Queen of the Gods, and The Goddess of Marriage, Women, and Birth) hated Hercules. His mother was a mortal (which made him half mortal) who mated with Zeus (her great grandfather). Hercules bascially did nothing but hard work and killing, and ultimately, he killed his mortal half himself after being poisoned with a bloodstained shirt, by setting himself on fire atop a funeral pyre. Fortunately, the only thing people really know about him is that he was really strong... and a dopey lady's man. And that brings us to this Imperial IPA. This, with a two digit ABV percentage, is quite a strong beer. Surely after a bomber of this you wouldn't want to perform open heart surgery, or fly the Space Shuttle. This is also not the most refined beer we've ever come across. Of course, with a high ABV, you'd expect this beer to have strong sides to its flavor (either in the form of alcohol, or a real flavor which masks this), yet none of these things really exist here. This beer's appearance, aroma, and finish are also questionable. So perhaps brewer Great Divide did a really good job getting at authenticity here: Strong, but without the proper wherewithal to tame it.
Date Sampled: 12-21-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: American Imperial IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 10.00%
Serving Type: 16.9 oz Bottle, 20 oz Pint Glass
Rating: 2.87

Some hazy sediment with chunks at the bottom. Moderately choppy pour with a half inch foam head with lower retention and lower density. Lighter amber color with a glow. Rather weak aroma with a good skinny of hops and slight malt. Some alcohol and no fruit. Relativelyweak aroma. Medium bodied with a good warming effect. Medium carbonation and a lingering slightly dry Finish. Bitter finish. Hoppy dominated flavor with a good amount of alcohol and a some hops.


Hercules has a somewhat hazy appearance with a moderate amount of fine grit like sediment which settles in chunks at the bottom of the glass. This beer pours moderately choppy with an above average amount of carbonation action. There is a half inch foam head with a lower density and a short retention. This beer's color is light amber which glows fairly brightly in light.


This beer's aroma is rather weak with a good amount of hoppy bitterness along with a small amount of added malty presence. There is a moderate amount of alcohol smell detectable throughout. A very subtle amount of nuttiness is noticeable, as well as some earthy notes. No fruit or citrus present.


This is a medium bodied beer with an average level of carbonation and a matching weight, giving this beer a bit of an easy going presence with some substance. This beer has a lingering and slightly dry finish. A fairly high alcohol content gives this beer a definitely noticeable warming effect at the close.


This beer starts off slightly malty, mostly caramel sweet but then quickly shifts to nearly overwhelmingly bitter flavors as the hops take shape. A higher than most level of alcohol definitely alters this beer's overall flavor, which ends with a bitter, lingering aftertaste.

Our Take

If kids learned anything from the animated 1997 Hercules film, its that its title character sometimes went a little too far with the whole strength thing. His sometimes building crushing clumsiness distracted the Greeks from the good things he did for people... if it really happened of course. Now, we know this beer isn't A God, Godly, or even A Beer Of The Gods. Hercules never asked anyone for his strength, and neither did this IPA. But that doesn't take away from the fact that its overpowering flavors and alcoholic strength put this brew's proportions severely out of whack. Yes, some of the more hoppy flavors are good, and this beer does feel like it should. Unfortunately, this beer's head, much like Hercules' isn't very big, and this helps lead to a rather lacking aroma, which is in a considerable part, characterized by an alcoholic smell. So there you go. If you want something unrefined which can knock you out with one finger, either go back in time, or buy a bomber of this.