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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

2,212 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,212
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 97
Gots: 119 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hibernation Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,212 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

Tasty, well-spiced unique winter warmer. Without an x-mas and iverally snowy picture on the front. Body is a bit light, and a nice toastiness, all making it more drinkable. Carmel, nicely moderatley hopped. Must have again. This is 2005. Alcohol hammers by the finish.

Sammy, May 14, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.7%

t0rin0, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%

Bottled on 10/3/11.

Pours a clear brown color with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a thin film. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, roasted nuts, and some alcohol. Taste is of toasted/roasted malt, roasted nuts, and some very mild hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium body and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good old ale that is very toasty, roasty, and malty. A bit one dimensional in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.7%

djrn2, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%

Reviewed from notes.

Served into a snifter. Pours a reddish-brown color with an off-white head. A bit of lacing. The nose is fairly complex with some nice notes of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, and some light pine and citrus hops. The taste is a bit of a letdown after the nose, as there are some notes of brown sugar and caramel, but nothing like the nose. The feel is a bit heavy and nice with some really light booze. Drinks well enough, but there's nothing drawing me back for more.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

zestar, May 31, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

acurtis, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.7%

A: The beer is clear dark mahogany in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin dense beige head that quickly faded away, leaving only some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of plums and raisins are present in the nose along with notes of sweet malts and hints of alcohol. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The overall taste is rather malty and has complex flavors of raisins, toffee, caramel and brown sugar. There are some notes of sweetness and hints of alcohol and chocolate. A slight amount of bitterness is present, which helps to prevent any cloying sweetness.
M: It feels a bit shy of full-bodied and slightly syrupy on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There a bit of dryness and warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This is a nice easy beer to drink on a cold winter night – the alcohol gives some warming but is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%

2004 Bottling

Appearance: Pours a hazy tea brown color with a modest head that declines to a ringlet without leaving much lacing behind

Smell: A nice range of aromas from dark fruit to bittersweet chocolate to resinous pine

Taste: Starts out with a nice dark fruit profile that lingers for quite a while before being joined by a burst of bitterness; mid-palate, some graininess kicks in, along with a bright almost minty-hop finish

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy with a healthy level of carbonation

Drinkability: Very complex and enjoyable - now this is what a Winter Warmer should be

A revisit of a fresh 2010 bottling in 12/10 shows much of the same, although the younger beer was much better looking, with a clear color and loads of lacing

brentk56, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev 0%

Bronzed dark brown with fiery orange peel highlights. With backlighting, the beer becomes dim magenta. The head is a beautiful shade of golden beige and would look at home on the hoppiest IPA. Thick, rich and creamy, it resembles mousse, or even sherbet, as it falls. The lace display is impressive as well; thick, yet still intricately lace-like. Well done.

Since I'm drinking the 2003 vintage, I would have expected the alcohol to have matured by now. Perhaps it will have on the palate, but it's still a young whippersnapper in the nose. The aroma is malt-dominant, with chocolate being something of a surprise. There are earthy notes as well, which I guess I should attribute to hops. Unfortunately, the nose is somewhat medicinal and isn't as varied or as complex as it could be.

The flavor is a definite step up. Hibernation Ale tastes like a combination of several different styles. The principal elements are a roasted black and chocolate maltiness, along with an unripe fruit sourness that is kept in check by hop bitterness. There's a lot going on and it all fits together reasonably well. A good comparison would be equal parts porter and baby barleywine.

The fruitiness is more figs, dates and tart apples than the darker, richer raisins and prunes. I have no idea what sort of hops have been used. Hop flavor has been plastered over, even as the hop bitterness has survived intact. Unlike the nose, there's very little alcohol noted on the palate. The finish features a nice interplay between sweet, sour and bitter, and lingers for several minutes at least. The mouthfeel is roughly midway between a big porter and a barleywine, to keep the above comparisons alive.

Hibernation Ale has held up well during its 2 years of... uh... hibernation. Like many strong ales, it doesn't fit neatly into any one category. It is an enjoyable sipper, though, and one that would be good to have around when the thermometer dips into the single digits. Thanks to prAna for the bottle, although he's probably forgotten this long ago trade (the first one I ever made).

BuckeyeNation, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

Bottle courtesy of BeerandBlues2: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of rich caramel malt with some medium sweetness. Taste is mix between good caramel malt with a medium bitter finish. I thought the body was a bit too thin for the style and alcohol was very well hidden. Overall, I thought it was interesting but lacking a little something to bring to the next level.

Phyl21ca, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%

A return to this ale tells me that the malty rich substrate and its decorative spice delivers a sultry and stern taste that's both gentlemanly and boisterous.

Its dark brown hue is nearly opaque, except for a piercing penetration of highlight that's ruby in color. While a formidable head swells to medium-strong stature, its retention is unfortunately light. A broken necklace decorates the glass, yet the beer leaves me wanting more.

High chocolate, toffee and molasses set the tone in initial aroma and taste. Deliciously smooth, the scent of the beer strongly favors malt and only offers the slightest of wood and walnut-type bitterness. Lightly earthy, the ale's malty tone is balanced and robust because of the slight roast, toast, and medium weight.

Rummy, toffee, and warmly sweet, the ale is mid-full but heightened because of the lingering chocolate, alcohol, and sweetness. It nearly reaches semi-dry stature, but its maltiness can't help it- its a malty-dry closure.

BEERchitect, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%

Pours a dark coffeee color brown, with a thick, rich cream color head, that laced the whole class. Great Looking for sure.Smell was hops, but alot of roasted caramel smells, nutty as well. Smells like a winter ale should. Taste was umm, nuts and caramel, with a hop finish. Very well rounded. Just the right amount of carbonation on the way down. This is a good beer. Full of flavor, and feels like a meal. You will not be dissapointed with this one!

mikesgroove, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Texasfan549, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%

A: The pour is a clear, dark mahogany color with a minimal off-white head forming that quickly dies away.

S: Mildly sweet toffee, brown sugar, and molasses come through up front. Some mild hints of dark fruits, namely plums and black cherries. Not really any alcohol, which is good.

T: Not quite as impressive in terms of the flavor. Toffee and molasses, with perhaps a hint of nutty bread. Not really sweet, or bitter, or fruity. Sort of boring.

M: Medium body with a low carbonation that is somewhat smooth.

D: The aroma of this beer got my hopes up, but the flavor was certainly a let down. Maybe a little age would help this one out.

womencantsail, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

GRG1313, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

Single finger off white head. Cloudy amber body. Aroma is mostly a light milk chocolate. Lots of lacing. Flavor is more mile chocolate. It's actually very good and unexpected for sure. The aroma is overll light whereas the flavor is bold. Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Overall a very good beer though I am not sure what genre it should actually be listed as. I will be having this one again.

kylehay2004, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

jaydoc, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

Appearance: Pours a rather good-looking burgundy body with a creamy, off-white head.

Smell: This beer definitely has a hugely sweet aroma! Candy sweet caramel with a dusting of cocoa powder. There's plenty of alcohol esters present, along with some subtle citrusy hops lurking underneath.

Taste: Rich maltiness through and through. Toasted caramel and brown sugar as well as the distinct taste of dry cocoa. There's a slight ripple of fruitiness along the way. Lastly, some pine hops and smokiness rounds out the finish. The result was a beer which retained the luscious flavor of the malts, but which still imparted enough hops and spice that I felt I had really LIVED this beer, and not just chugged it down.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but further fullified by its syrupy texture.

Drinkability: Truly, this beer is an enjoyable malt-forward ale and a solid winter release.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of Knapp85
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%

This beer poured out as a deep brown color with a nice looking cream colored head on top. The head fades into just a ring around the glass. The smell of the beer was nicely balanced between soe hop, malt and some spice aromas. The taste of the beer has a caramel base with some wooden flavors in there and a light spicy bitterness. The mouthfeel was decent I though, drinkable and medium bodied. Overall It's not a terrible beer, worth checking out.

Knapp85, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev 0%

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 westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,212 ratings.