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Review of Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager

13 May
Today’s review is from the Great Divide Brewery (greatdivide.com) located in Denver, Colorado.  This brewery produces over 20 different styles throughout the year, so it’s easy to find one that would fit most any occasion. 

I thought I would sample the Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager and see how it stacked up to the many others that I’ve had from the company.

The description from the brewery:

Hoss is based on the Marzen lagers of Germany.  Rich layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits, dominate, while the unique addition of rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character.  Hoss finishes crisp and dry, and its brilliant red-orange color is a toast to the sunsets that make the perfect backdrop for this beer.  6.2% ABV.

I’m ready.  How about you guys?


The Hoss comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 6.2% ABV.

The appearance was a nice amber/orange color with some burnt yellow highlights at the bottom and sides of the glass.  A somewhat soapy, off white head, about 1 1/2 fingers thick, grazed the top of the liquid, but it didn’t stick around quite long enough for my enjoyment.  Some thin, glistening lacing was left behind and it clung to the sides admirably.

The nose brought out a cordial sweetness of caramel paralleled by some fruity notes of both cherries and grapes.  I am getting the rye bread note, which was affable, but I was expecting it to be more “up front.”  Either way, it was present and gave justice to the name.  As the aroma developed it started to concede a toasted, buttered bread fragrance that, somehow, was integrated by a slightly sour note.  I’m not quite sure how the sourness was derived however.  The overall fragrance didn’t seem to be harmonized as well as some of the other Great Divide brews I’ve had, but it was still ok and amiable.

In the taste, I gathered tones of the caramel sweetness mixed with the toasty bread and a doughy biscuit profile.  The dark fruit (cherry) showed itself, however it seemed to be a bit more laid back in the flavor than in the aroma.  Some hop bitterness entertained the taste buds for a moment before fading away and bringing my attention back to the malty characteristics.  It wasn’t balanced too bad and, overall, it had a decent flavor.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin, which at 6.2% ABV, surprised me a bit.  I was expecting it to be a bit thicker.  It was mostly smooth, rather crisp and somewhat refreshing.  Truth be told, it became a tad watery as I moved down the glass.  The palate wasn’t left with an overabundance of flavor either.  Just a fraction to tease me into taking another drink.

Well.  This beer is mostly average I thought.  It’s not bad, erroneous or incorrect, but it just seemed to be a bit feeble in a few of the categories.  It was fairly easy to drink and could almost be sessionable with the thinner mouthfeel.  With this being a Marzen style, it would fit in perfectly during the Fall season.  The Hoss Rye Lager could be worth a try if nothing else catches your eye when beer shopping, but I wouldn’t go out of my way or make a special trip to pick this up.     

Thanks again for reading.

Please, if you have had this brew, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of it.

Score:  3.45 out of 5
Grade:  B- 

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