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Great Divide is probably best known for their robust IPAs and their utterly monstrous series of Yeti stouts: big, imposing beers that are anything but light drinking. What they are not known for is Belgian-style ales—but they do do them. Orabelle is one of their entries into the world of Belgian-inspired beers, and, like their other brews, it’s no light beer. Coming in at 8.3 percent ABV and featuring a subtle complexity that takes attention to peel back, this kinda-sorta-Tripel manages to hide the booze behind layers of wheat, rye and delicate spice. Tripels tend to challenge you with an in-your-face presence, but Great Divide’s doesn’t; it actually drinks surprisingly easy, more like a high alcohol witbier than a tripel. Shocking, considering how many of their other beers are loud and aggressive. Orabelle may be on draft at Bainbridge St. Barrel House.
PW's Year of Beer: Founder Dissenter