head-to-head: Hercules vs. Double Dog

Being from South Carolina, I don’t really know if there is a heated rivalry between Denver’s own Flying Dog and Great Divide. Just for fun, let’s pretend there is. To fan the flames across the nation, I wanted to do a head-to-head comparison between Flying Dog’s Double Dog Double IPA and Great Divide’s Hercules Double IPA.

Let’s start with the tale of the tape. Double Dog measures in at a beefy 11.5% alcohol by volume, while Hercules comes in at 9.1%. Both brews claim 85 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). These stats capture the essence of the difference between the two beers. Both beers are crazy hoppy, but higher alcohol content of the Double Dog gives it a slightly maltier, and sweeter, character. (Perhaps in my next post, I’ll explain why a higher alcohol percentage can give a beer a sweeter flavor.) I feel that the maltier character of the Double Dog gives it a more balanced flavor, while Hercules accentuates the hop character more.

The difference is not only shown in the flavor, but also the aroma and color. The Double Dog is slightly darker than Hercules, and the aroma of Hercules is more floral (hoppy), while Double Dog has a sweeter smell.

Both beers are really good and very similar in many respects. I’m a hop-head, so I definitely enjoy the Hercules and I think it is an excellent beer. The floral aroma and lingering hop bitterness is a joy to my senses. However, if I were to pick a winner, I would choose the Double Dog. It is extremely intense, yet very well balanced. It has so much going on that it can satisfy hop-heads, yet brings enough malt to tone down the lingering bitterness of the hops. You can’t go wrong with either beer, and it ends up being a matter of personal preference. Both are excellent, but not for the faint of heart. They will knock you on your ass and won’t apologize for it.


About Brian

I like beer.
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5 Responses to head-to-head: Hercules vs. Double Dog

  1. Eddie Offord says:

    Man, I love this sort of feature. Really cool! Can’t wait to try them both.

  2. oneighturbo says:

    although we havent had the Hercules, we big fans of the Double Dog!

    Great review!

  3. Ooh, a Hercules in a 12-ounce bottle! I love both beers as well, but I normally only see the Great Divide in Bombers around here.

    Great post!

  4. nick says:

    hey guys, im a snake dog guy but i read about all these great beers on your website, well just specifically the double dog, double ipa and kerberos. only problem is i cant find it on the east coast. newark delaware specifically. i asked the liquor store guy to order me some cases of kerberos so he did. only the guy ordered k-9 winter ale (not the best thing for a warm summer day). anyway can you pretty please find a way to get some of these crazy beers out here. danka schon

  5. Brian says:

    Flying Dog moved all their production out to Fredrick, Maryland back in December. They have already been brewing in Maryland for some time, but decided to make the 100% move. You can read more about it here:


    I would imagine that they will continue to expand their distribution along the east coast given the proximity to their brewery. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before you get their complete line in Delaware. In the mean time, call or send notes to the distributors in your area and tell them to get on the ball!

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