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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,111 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,111
Hads: 2,670
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 136
Gots: 301 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hibernation Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,111 | Hads: 2,670
Photo of NickSMpls
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh yes! While not a winter warmer by style, this Old Ale does the "warm" thing very well indeed. Dark, rich brown and moderate carbonation. Aroma is bready yeast notes along with a hint of fresh hops. Very nice, complex taste...pick up the malts and subtle hint of some sweetness. The mid-range ABV is handled well. I'd take this over many others.

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Photo of MNJR
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Heavy duty, garnet colored brew with rewarding, strong flavors, and a dry finish. The dryness seems intrinsic to this style of beer and is a welcome change from the sweet and/or heavily spiced holiday beers that dominate the current market. This is beautifully crafted beer... raisin, toffee, earthy cellar-y flavors abound. The finish has a hint of chalk, as do most old ales I've tried. This is a solid beer for people who like a massive amount of character and flavor (and alcohol). A robust and superb experience. But, you have to "get" the old ale flavor profile, since it is very rich and unusual for the uninitiated.

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Photo of Dan_K
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: deep copper colored with 2 fingers of white foam
S: Smells sweet, with raisins and grain
T: Malty, fruity, slightly spicy, tastes like dried fruit in a boozy fruitcake with bracing bittering hops for balance.
F: Feels a little thin and well carbonated
O: A complex and tasty brew, but it doesn't wow me in any way. I am curious what a little more time in the bottle would do for the taste. Or trying the imperial/barrel aged version.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flavor is nutty with tons of toffee. Very English in that regard. Some fig, prunes, plum and even grape emerge. Also some slate or chalkiness. Overall, mild by American standards, but certainly a sturdy, interesting sipper.

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Photo of stompilator
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass (2014) into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep, ruby brown. Thin, off-white head.

S - A ton of caramel, vanilla, a bit of booze, subtle stone fruit esters, and classic old ale oxidation and mustiness.

T - Very heavy caramel from the get-go. Intense but smooth flavors that follow the nose, without the alcoholic warmth. Gives a barrel impression without a barrel. Not as musty as the nose, but has a warming, estery sweetness. Esters sneak up throughout the palate, and has a dry, vinous finish.

M - Medium body keeps it out of barleywine territory. Light carbonation, with a slightly dry, sticky texture.

O - A fantastic example of an old ale as a style distinct from barleywine. Not the richest or heaviest old ale I've had, but wonderfully complex.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aromas are chocolate and a nuttiness, almost resembles a candy bar. Taste follows, I'm follow the candy bar theme snickers almond and baby ruth. The malts are perfect, candy sweet while the hops add the needed bitterness. With a head that lasts the entire session how can I go wrong. This bottle is less than a month old, and showing no alcohol. Near perfection.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled Nov 3, 2014) into a pint glass, dark red brown colored with a short light tan head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing, clear

S: dark fruits, raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, wood, leather, tobacco, brown sugar

T: dark fruits as above, earthy, taste closely follows smell, huge malty flavor

M: thick and warming, low carbonation

O: complex malty beer perfect for sipping after a rich meal

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Photo of TH28
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled 10/2/14. Appearance: Dark brown and opaque with hint of ruby. No head. Aroma: Roasted coffee along with leather, toffee, and caramel. Taste: Deep rich malt sweetness with flavors of caramel and molasses, raisins, chocolate, leather, and a hint of peppery spice. Mouthfeel: Medium body with little carbonation. Not quite the viscosity and alcohol warmth. Finish: a slight roastiness and dry peppery spice lingers on the tongue. Overall: A really complex ale perfect for those cold winter nights.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled October 10, 2013. Poured into a wine glass

L- Dark garnet with an off-white head that dissipates quickly.

S- Roast, with raisins and nuts.

T- A little heavy on the roast for my liking, but the sweet malt and dried fruit is still there, on the finish in particular.

F- smooth, fullish body with a prickle of carbonation.

O- Good, but better at 12 months.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aged 12oz bottle dated from October 2014 served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: dark brown with hints of ruby. Protein coagulation in the glass, beautiful creamy head and curtains of tan lace.

Nose: roasted malt, aged hops, toffee, very barleywine like nose.

Taste: very smooth with almost no carbonation. Roasty, toffee, fruity, fig and hops. No bitterness and a bit on the thin side.

Overall: this old ale is a barleywine-light. I wish it had more body like North Coast Old Stock ale but I suppose that one is a classic example of style. Still, this is a great brew that is elevated by the roasted character in the malt. Probably won't age very well given the light body. I see this one thinning out too much and given the low carbonation it will be downright watery.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: brilliant ruby tinged chestnut under a 3” rocky foam collar providing ample thick lacing on the glass as you drink it.
S: Mid to dark malt aromas with a little dried fruit and a touch of herbal hops that also comes out in the taste.
T: This malt driven beer begins with rich, but not syrupy or cloying, malt tastes with the fruit rising a little in the middle and then relaxes into a pleasant, lingering malt aftertaste with a bitter hop accent.
F: Smooth, full bodied, medium low carbonation, creamy.
O: a very welcome winter ale.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark, nearly opaque brown brew with a touch of red, a light, off white head, forms up short and fades to a thin patina over the top. Lacing is moderate but present.

S - Grass, mint, menthol, alcohol, malt, and caramel.

T - Follows the nose, with a big burst of mint and menthol hoppiness, followed by a rush of sweet malts in the form of brown sugar and molasses, closing with a bitter turn, slight hint of aspirin. Over all, a strong punch of alcohol that muddles the senses.

M - Slick and cloying in the open, but quickly overtaken by the spiky alcohol and a moderate burn, drying in the close that lifts much of the blanket from the open off and keeps things from becoming immediately overwhelming. Impressive trick, really, given the hit by a truck nature of this brew.

O - Even with a full year to settle down, this one is a bear of a brew. Lovely malty caramel, and a nice combination of medicinal hops and stinging alcohol to balance off the sweetness. The finesse of this beer is well hidden by the bull in the china shop delivery, but surprisingly there is a careful line walked. Not necessarily my go to style, but this is a well crafted old ale.

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Photo of ARoman
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Transferred from previous notes - 1/4/2014 & 11/6/2014
12 oz bottle poured into brandy snifter. It starts out with the sweet smell of vanilla and chocolate, with a touch of butterscotch, with perhaps a note of earthiness to it. As the head recedes, the aroma morphs into something more similar to ripe, tart dark red cherries with some woody notes (maybe some raisin in there too?). A deep, dark cranberry coloring to the beer stands out (although it’s probably more mahogany, but the fluorescent lighting is playing tricks on me) with a tan head that sits atop the beer as a moderate to thin film with some sparse lacing. A moderate sweet-tartness is most noticeable, in moderate amounts, with some light toasty, woody notes. After a little time, some hop bitterness pokes through along with a touch of sour cherry. An average amount of carbonation keeps the beer relatively medium to light bodied, although it definitely has a slightly syrupy quality to it. There’s a mild aftertaste consisting mainly of toasted malt with some dark chocolate and floral notes. By mid-glass, this taste changes into a smooth caramel with some light spice - the floral notes are still present. There’s a pleasant warming quality to this beer at the finish.

One year later, this same batch take on more roasted notes of coffee, raisin, and cacao with some port wine alcohol, a hint of ginerbread, and grapes late. The color of the beer is now an oily dark caramel brown color with noticeable sediment floating within. The head thins out a bit with just a thin soapy ring and a wispy surface. The body gains some weight to it as the slick and slightly sticky beer is more full bodied with toasted notes and flavors of cacao. There's an earthiness as well as a touch of a metallic and burnt characters and a hint of gingerbread. It finishes with a port wine warmth and a clean resin licorice spiciness. The aftertaste is astringent and slightly metallic with note of spice, dark chocolate, dark cherries, and nuts.

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Photo of Auraan
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, cloudy deep reddish brown body with a minimal lacing of tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of an Old Ale indeed, old looking and quite beautiful. Scents begins malty rich, with a massive amount of sweet burnt caramel, molasses, rich chocolate and light roasted malt and supporting notes of dried fruit, cherry and raisin mostly, and warming alcohol. Overall impression of aroma is of a very malt forward Old Ale, with rich supporting aromas lending a warming quality overall. Flavor begins malty sweet with notes of burnt caramel and toffee and nutty malt, balanced by a mild bitterness of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Middle middle opens up further chocolate and roast malt flavors, with a light smokiness and notes of dried cherries, evident, yet light warming alcohol and light notes of leather. Finish is lightly dry with flavors of roasted malt and dark chocolate mingling with notes of caramel, molasses and dried fruit and medium levels of warming alcohol. Aftertaste is lightly sweet at first, with notes of caramel, becoming gradually dry with notes of rich dark chocolate and roast malt. Overall impression of flavor is of a very old feeling Old Ale. It tastes rich, deep and malty, yet is also warming and tastes musty and old. A pleasant combination in this beer that lends it a warming, rich, satisfying quality. Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy and rich with light carbonation and a sticky feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a fantastic Old Ale. Overall this is quite the nice Old Ale. It feels rustic and warming in all respects, as the style should feel. A malt-forward aroma and flavor are aided by warming alcohol and a thick feel to make a rich, satisfying beer.

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Photo of scotorum
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed flute.

a: Clear dark ruby/copper with an inch thick tan head which receded to rocky surface foam and dense spotty lacing.

s; Mild dark fruit.

t; Follows the nose with a smoky malt chaser and a moderate hop bite. Buitterness lingers lightly at the sides of the tongue on an otherwise mostly dry finish. High ABV is well concealed.

m; Medium, very good body, some carbonation tingle.

o; A pleasant and rather meaty strong ale, approaching barleywine style. Fine winter warmer.

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Photo of jpro
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle dated Nov 2014 poured into a fat tulip glass... Body is murky brown - a shade lighter than expected, with about a finger of almond-hued foam that leaves a few strands and specks of lace. Aroma primarily of toffee, light cocoa and nutty. Taste follows the nose with some complex malt flavor... Rich caramel, toast, hazelnut, with some leafy hops / tobacco on the end - lends to the earthiness of the beer. A touch of alcohol in the finish, which aging would help diminish. Mouthfeel is medium-full with slightly high carbonation. Overall, a delicious winter ale!

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on Aug 2012; Poured on Feb 2015

Pours a nice rich brown with 1-2 fingers creamy tan head with nice lacing. Nice nose, rich in sweet malt, raisins and currents, plums, burnt brown sugar, almonds. The grains have really developed with age and come through full and round; heavy raisins, toasted grain, molasses and toffee. Good carb and a medium body. A great beer!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, very dark, almost opaque mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Tons of toasted and roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked bread, dark chocolate and dark molasses. I also get notes of clove and juniper.

Taste: Strong notes of toasted malt up front, like freshly baked dark bread, followed by some dark chocolate-like bitterness balanced nicely with some caramel and toffee-like sweetness and spices of clove and burnt orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and with some pretty good carbonation. With an ABV of 8.7%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a delicious beer! I love the strong notes of dark chocolate and toasted malt, beautifully balanced with toffee and spice. I’ll definitely get this again next Christmas!

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Photo of Jfn
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best fall/winter ales out there. Great divide makes many great beers but this is tops. Great color and very smooth. You want to take your time drinking, experience worth it.

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Photo of Bone53
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Mad Mex

Appearance: Brown with a two finger tan head

Smell: Toffee, chocolate, roasted and caramel malt, slight coffee notes

Taste: Up front i get a toffee, chocolate, coffee blend with a molasses and the slightest plum/prune character in the finish. A hefty dose of hops throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body; Pretty smooth and drinkable considering the abv

Overall: Iv had multiple old ales and this doesnt taste like one. It has a strange toffee/chocolate/coffee character that to me is more like a black ale or imperial porter of sorts. I dont get that molasses taste i love in old ales except for the slightest bit in the finish. Its different and fairly tasty, ill give it that. But as a old ale, it misses the mark. This is one of those beers on here that i feel is overrated

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Photo of beergoot
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Mildly hazy, deep copper red colored body with a thick, chunky, creamy head. Big roasted nut aroma mixed with hearty roasted grain scents; almost smokey; subtle caramel; woody; some subtle alcohol warmth at the end of the finish. The flavor amplifies the aroma characteristics with the addition of an intense bitterness. Creamy, silky mouthfeel; dry bitterness and finish.

A most impressive winter ale. Massive in flavor and aroma and with a most pleasingly soft and warm impression on the palate. A must try...

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Photo of uvachief
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Full finger of head that dissipated quickly. Nice lingering lacing. Pours a mahogany brown amber red. Smells slightly like malts, hops, spices like cloves maybe but only slight and little else. Thick in the mouth like a good winter warmer or old English ale should be. Tastes are malt, hops, something like tea, sugar and spice. Little bitter aftertaste but very subtle. Really tasty as it gets to room temperature. Can't place the fruit notes. I don't taste any espresso like some reviewers. Tea and maybe apricots? It's good. Hides the abv well. I could drink a few of these watching the football.

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Photo of Harleydls
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is fun and drinkable. It has a short 1 finger head but lingering lace. The nose is caramel and vanilla with hints of chocolate and spice. The flavor is sweet on the start and underscores the nose with a bitter finish that draws out some espresso notes. Mouthfeel is pleasant and very drinkable. I like it for a winter ale and will look for more.

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Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good strong winter warmer, high-alcohol and spicy for those cold snowy days. Another solid offering from Great Divide, who does big beers like this very well.

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Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Disclaimer: Drinking this bottle in January 2015, but was bottled in September 2013 (16 months ago). So, we shall see what this holds.
A - Medium dirty brown color; when poured I got about 4-5 inches of head; asit settled, it reminded me of sea foam and clung to the glass; it eventually settled to a lasting 1/2" head, tan with moderate lacing
S - Toffee, roasted coffee, malt, spice and alcohol; each whiff is a different experience
T - The coffee roast comes out the most and finishes with a bitter that lingers slightly; the alcohol is present, but not warming
F - Slick and full-bodied; good level of carbonation
O - Despite the 16 months of aging of this seasonal beer,it held up really well; I remember having this in December 2013 and it was good then; I wish the alcohol was hidden a bit better, but it was still good now; If I see this next year, I will gladly buy more.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.