Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Great Divide's Rumble Oak-Aged IPA

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Oct 11, 2013 8:20PM

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We usually keep our Beer of the Week choices centered on Chicago and the Midwest but this weekend most of our local brewers are in Denver to attend the Great American Beer Festival in hopes that they might bring back medals for their beers, so we're going to bring a little taste of Denver to you.

Rumble is an oak-aged India pale ale from Great Divide Brewing Co.. In addition to oak, there are hints of citrus and pine on the nose and quite a bit of vanilla layered heavily over those hop tones. On the palate, this copper-amber colored brew has a hefty balance of flavors. Those citrus and pine notes are present but not necessarily front and center like they would be in a lot of IPAs. There's a big malty backbone in Rumble that's slightly caramelized, and the oak aging actually seems to subdue the hop tones a bit, which we're personally fine with because it also takes the beer to a whole extra level of complexity that we don't usually get from an IPA. At 7.1 percent alcohol content, Rumble is a full-bodied beer that's just on the verge of being a mammoth brew, but we find ourselves easily ordering a second round regardless.

Pairing IPAs with food can be quite a challenge, since their inherent bitterness doesn't tend to play well with a lot of other flavors. With Rumble, however, we feel that the barrel aging the beer undergoes actually makes it a little easier to pair since it scales the hop bitterness back a little and adds some richness. If you find yourself with a rack of BBQ ribs, Rumble would be a great choice especially if the sauce was a little spicy. You could even try it out with curry—red or yellow would work better than green in most cases. Rumble might even mix with a Thai noodle dish, as long as your sauce was of the spicy-sweet variety and not one that revolves around a hefty dose of garlic. Peanut sauce has the potential to be great with Rumble but it would have to come with a little bit of a kick.

Rumble is available on draft and in 12-ounce bottles, so check beermenus.com and keep your eyes peeled for it this weekend while we cheer on our favorite local brewers down at the Great American Beer Festival.