I bought a six pack of Great Divide's newest six pack beer, Rumble, an oak aged IPA, last week. And I know I declared a month or so ago that I was done with oak or barrel aged beers, but I really like Rumble. Mostly because Rumble barely has any of that oaky taste that is so prevalent in barrel aged beers. It has just a hint of oak and if tasting it blind I don't know if I would be able to pick it out. But, Rumble has a much more complex taste than Titan IPA (one of my favorite beers). Where Titan is full of grapefruit and hop flavor, you can taste some malt sweetness with the citrus in Rumble and really makes for a richer, full flavored beer. While I can't say I'd rather have Rumble than Titan, I can say I'd rather have Rumble than the Great Divide 16th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA or Odell Saboteur or any of the other oak aged behemoths I've tried.
This leads me to believe that Great Divide Rumble is a secondary gateway beer, a gateway to the big barrel aged beers. Most people never buy the big bottles or bombers in liquor stores, many of which are the barrel aged beers. There just hasn't been a good gateway to the big beers. You had to be a bit of a gambler, constantly trying new things, to even get to the bombers section of the liquor store. Most people who read this blog have gotten there, but many never do. Rumble is a great gateway to the bigger flavors present in many of the oak aged beers. And that may be my problem with barrel aging, I was never eased into it, instead just thrown to the wolves with the huge bourbon flavor of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad or Bourbon County Stout. Maybe if I'd have eased into it with some Rumble I'd be all in on trying to find some Founders Kentucky Bourbon Stout.