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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,262 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,262
Reviews: 1,065
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 98
Gots: 127 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,262 | Reviews: 1,065 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by joeack:
Photo of joeack
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice burnt orange and two inch fluffy white head. Smell was very piney and lots of sweat maltiness as well. Taste was well balanced between the hops and a nice sweet finish. This beer goes down very well for a higher ABV. Fist time i have tried a Great Divide beer but it is worth searching out after this delicious offering.

joeack, Jan 12, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich crimson color with a creamy off white head that stays put thru out the duration of drinking it,deep caramel aromas along with some milk chocolate quite sweet.Absolutely sublime creamy mouthfeel just glides down smooth,flavors of caramel and brown suger hit ya up front but there is a decent dryness midway keeping it from getting to sweet.I wouldnt say earthy maybey more herbal in the finish,its quite heavy a one or two and done for me.This is a doozy a great winter beer,it would real warm ya up,not that I need that down here in NC.

oberon, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -0.7%

aszatk01, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

t2grogan, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes composed on 12/3/10.

I'm f****n cold. It's time to hibernate.

Hibernation Ale pours mahogany-brown into a very large snifter. A dark tan, half-finger head looks lovely and leaves a full-covering film of retention. The lacing is nice - fine and sticky.

A musty, malt-heavy smell headlines the bouquet. There is a bit of an earthy, citrus hop profile that complements the maltbill. Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, freshly disturbed earth, orange rind, plum, and fig result from the beer's ingredients.

Right from the start of the sip, grassy, citrusy hops make their presence known on my bitter receptors, while that musty, caramel and brown sugar malt profile hits my sweet spots. After smelling the beer, I am a bit surprised at how hoppy it is. Contrary to my general love of hops, I actually think I would like a little less of the hop profile and a little more of the malt profile on my palate. I would guess that I would enjoy the flavor more after a few months of aging (bottled on 10/13/10).

A stinging bite from the hops, with a decent medium, rounded out feel in the middle of the sip when the sweet malts kick it up a notch constitutes the mouthfeel. The carbonation is on the low side, but is suitable for this beer.

This Is not really a memorable beer in my mind, but it is a well-crafted and pretty tasty one. I would like to try this beer again with a little more age on it.

TCHopCraver, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of 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.

JudgeRoughneck, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of hopsleeroy
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber with alot of reddish overtones. Smelled of mild vanilla and a touch of rum soaked fruit. Nice taste. Good diacetyl coming through mixed with milk vanilla and good malt flavor. Hops come through bitter on the end to balance out the sweet. Flavor coats the tongue and lingers then disappears with the hoppy bitterness coming though at the end. I enjoyed this beer. The alcohol comes through a little strong but I'm holding some back in the cellar/closet to age for a while. Should mellow nicely.

hopsleeroy, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Shakerman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Shakerman, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of explosivebeer
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a beautiful deep red color with a thin residual head. The aroma is full of toffee, grains, and malt. The body is full and tastes of malty goodness, with only mild bitterness underneath. It finishes with a malty, grainy aftertaste. This graininess isn't quite a barnyard wet blanket flavor, but a subtle form of that. The alcohol is slightly noticeable and contributes to the experience. Overall it's a very tasty, interesting beer.

explosivebeer, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of blackearth
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a very dark amber body with a rocky, light tan head. Aromas of caramel and chocolate make this beer very inviting. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Flavors of roasted caramel malt and nutty brown sugar lead to a burnt sugar finish that is slightly warming. Great drinkability.

blackearth, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of skybluewater
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rust color, with a fair amount of lace. Smells a bit musty with a bit of malty sweetness as well. Taste is fairly a malt explosion, with a little chocolate and maybe some fruit (cherries?). Alcohol is well-hidden, with only the barest hint of burn. Mouthfeel's a touch thin, but no big deal.

I haven't been too impressed with Great Divide's other 12-oz offerings, but this one is top notch, right up there with Titan, Hercules, and Yeti. Well done, GD!

skybluewater, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear mohagony body. Half inch white head on top which didn't stay around for too long. Aroma is caramel sweet with some chocolaty hints. A bit of dark fruit and floral hints with a touch of alcohol aroma, not much though. Taste is a unique blend of flavors. Comes across initially like an IPA with a sweet floral flavored hops and a touch of bitterness. Finishes with bits of chocolate. Alcohol is well hidden in the flavor. Mouthfeel is fairly full and coats well. Drinkability is very good. This is a super balanced brew that goes down easy. A nice dose of hops and some malts to round it out. Very nice.

blitz134, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

bulldogg915, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

markmo, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of JasonA
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Carmel pour with a beautiful, thick foamy head at least 2 fingers.

Wow. Earthy, ABV, carmel, med malt. Wow, smells like a Barley type wine, like the other old Ale's ive had. Im very excited.

Medium malt, little citrus, subtle hops. Something else sweet, not sure exactly but quite yummy.

Smooth, creamy, extremely well balanced. Carbonation is very well done.

Im in heaven. Im glad I finally found this. I will be trying to get it every year to see how it ages over time.

JasonA, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

danthehopslamman, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of elinash
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a La Chouffe glass.

Appearance is cherry wood dark, though relatively translucent (no yeast). Lacing is sticking slightly.

Aroma is toasty, with cereal notes and (this is going to sound strange) fish food! weird. Though the aroma isn't as strange as I've made it out to be. It's fairly warm, and I'm getting some earthy aromas as it warms more.

Taste is malty rich with some smokiness. Mouthfeel is tight and smooth. I think I might prefer if it were a little more carbonated.

Finish isn' too lasting, but I'm excited that Hibernation isn't as hoppy as I thought it might be.

Very drinkable. Of all the winter offerings out there, I like this one quite

elinash, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

DaftPatrick, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

csmartin6, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of Todd
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive creamy foam head, wonderful aromatics, sweet and malty with an assertive dose of spicy kick-ass hops. Mega chocolate in the aroma and flavour -- with the hops, a bit like those minty/chocolate Andes Creme de Menthe Thins. Pick up a bit of sherri too.

A most enjoyable and warming Winter offering from the folks @ Great Divide.

Todd, Dec 23, 2001
Photo of Beaver13
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The 2003 Hibernation Ale poured a deep mahogany with a creamy tan head that went to a thin skim and laced the glass the whole way down. It smells of fig and malts with hints of chocolate, caramel and some alcohol. The taste is comlpex yet well balanced and appealing. It has a sweet malt start with a lightly hopped, crisp, slightly acidic finish. There are also some woody flavors mixed with a fruity fig/raisin taste. It has a subtle alcohol warming as well. The palate was full-bodied and creamy. Overall, a terrific winter warmer found late in the season. This is up there with Anchor OSA as my favorite of the season.

Beaver13, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of renegadeburger
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

renegadeburger, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

SmellsofMahagony, May 22, 2013
Photo of VernonKell
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

VernonKell, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of Doomcifer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, very dark amber color with a big, creamy, tan head. Terrific lacing to boot. A nice foam ring is left in the wake of each sip. Smells fruity, dark fruits in particular, figs, sweet malts, and citrus notes. Taste is more sweet, dark ripe fruits, figs, cherries, malty, and finishes with a great dry hop bite. Mouthfeel is rich, full bodied, right amount of carbonation for the style, with a dry finish. Nice warming effects going on as well without any harshness in the flavor. Very drinkable on these cold winter nights.

Doomcifer, Feb 11, 2008
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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,262 ratings.