Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,187 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JudgeRoughneck:
3.23/5 rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1
NOTE- This is two reviews, one with fresh beer and one with 2-year-old bottle. Score is for fresh bottle.
2006- Fresh...This a reddish plum colored barleywine with a minimal tan head. It leaves no lacing in my globe glass. The nose is a delicious mix of yeast, alcohol, and Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.
The taste starts deceptively smooth for a barelywine. The base is a rich, thick, caramel. As it sits in my mouth I taste citrusy hops, light brown sugar, clove, nut, cherry ester. The end is where the catch comes. The alcohol comes out of hiding and attacks viciously with strong vapors wafting into the nose. This, combined with that slight estery cherry I mentioned, land this brew in my "tastes like medecine" file. I like barleywine, but a few of them have this medicinal quality I just can't get past, and this is one.
The mouthfeel is very interesting with a surge of carbonation that doesn't seem to be released until the beer has rested in the mouth a moment or two.
Though this is a well-built barleywine, its just not my style, and anyone who can take more than one has my respect.
NOTE- 2006 vintage, tasted March '08
A- 3 fingers of espresso cream head die to a thin layer and leave an arched lace. Impressive show of carbonation for an aged beer. Beer is clear, and a deep, dark, lovely rosewood color.
S- raisins, brown sugar, pepper, plum, luscious fruit bouquet,rich malt aroma, faint earthy hop, amazing nose here, except I get not even a whiff of alcohol.
T- Beer is overall, suprisingly lite on the palate. Does not have the overwhelming malt of many high gravity beers, nor the alcohol burn. What I get here is a firm, fully attenuated crystal malt base with some depth but very little residual sweetness. It is simple, you can tell it had a terse grainbill. Some very soft fruit esters,maybe a cherry note, and a peppery Belgian-esque quality from the yeast/ alcohol. Earthy hop flavor comes out a little in the finish and the beer shows a perfectly balanced bitterness.
M- While the alcohol escapes being hot at any point, it makes itself very known in the finish through an odd numbing sensation, and soft but abundant vapors. Nice soft, low carbonation helps fill out the light mouthfeel. This is one of the lightest high gravity beers I've ever had.
This is an elegant and balanced beer, but it bores me a little. It lacks big, bold, flavors but is a little too rough around the edges to pull off "refined", which I'm afraid relegates it to the realm of the mediocre, despite the obvious skill of its brewer.
Interesting to note that I recall this beer as being a drainpour when fresh. After consulting my previous review, which sadly, is about to be deleted, I can say this beer mellowed and changed significantly in aging. It has obviously benefitted a great deal from a few years in the bottle. I would like to taste a 4 or 5 year old bottle, to see if things finally come together.
Serving type: bottle
02-20-2006 05:02:55 | More by JudgeRoughneck
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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,187 ratings.