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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,106 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,106
Hads: 2,636
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 123
Gots: 281 | FT: 3
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
Reviews: 1,106 | Hads: 2,636
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! (376 characters)

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! (1,033 characters)

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. (184 characters)

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 (793 characters)

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... (513 characters)

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. (659 characters)

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. (355 characters)

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. (169 characters)

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. (882 characters)

Photo of sundevil21
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the first Great Divide brew I've come across that I haven't truly enjoyed. I can't explain it, but it had an odd taste to me. Something I still can't put my finger on, even the next day. Perhaps just me at a bad time, or perhaps a bad bottle. I was surprised that it tasted the way it did, because I did not feel that it was a English Style Old Ale. I might try it again in the future just to be sure. (409 characters)

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into an Imperial pint glass.
Looks fine. Smells okay. Tastes meh.
Overall I can't find myself buying another bottle.
Confused by the high rating. (182 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Heavy Seas tulip (bottled on 8/27/14)

A: Dark brown with basically no head and only the slightest collar initially.
S: Weird, old malts and not much else.
T: Off-tasting and weird malt flavors. Tasted old, with no hops whatsoever.
M: Nice bit of carbonation, but it seemed at odds with the overall beer.
O: No idea what is wrong here, but this is supposed to be a darn good beer. I'm getting mediocre to bad. (444 characters)

Photo of Harvest06
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark reddish brown, thin off white head,
S: Robust, complex; big malty aroma with subtle sub aromas that increase as the beer warms; roasty malts w/ molasses sweetness, woody pleasant aromas, bread like smell, toffee, caramel and earthy hops.
T: Starts with caramel, bitter chocolate, middle is toffee, coffee, molasses, brown sugar, end is herbal, earthy & bitter with slight linger sweetness. Slightly too bitter of an ending.
M: Medium body, med carbonation, creamy, warming and slightly hot alcohol makes it a sipper Pleasantly complex, with a bitter end cleaning off the maltiness. Slightly too bitter. Slightly too warming. Better with hearty food. Nothing amazing but a nice winter warmer for a cold day. (716 characters)

Photo of Maloney1011
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: medium brown to dark copper, light cream colored head.

Smell: Carmel malts and raisins, alcohol noticeable but not overpowering.

Flavor: Sweetness, raisins, roasted malts, slightly nutty alcohol is much more noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium high carbonation, medium heavy body.

Overall: Great twist on an old ale. Earthy fruits make it a pleasantly drinkable strong brew.

Side note: Poured from bottle, bought in Oklahoma City, OK, I would definitely buy this treat again. Fun winter brew. (513 characters)

Photo of Kgoldsbe
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smell and taste do not match. Smell is balanced between caramelized malt and herby hops. Taste has too many things going on in it that are not complimentary: the herb profile does not mesh well with the coffee/chocolate note base. Not my favorite beer from this solid brewing company. (284 characters)

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
1.22/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A toffee coffee mess of a beer. I cringed with every sip. Absolutely disgusting. Drank at a reputed bar in NYC so I don't believe it was the tap lines. (151 characters)

Photo of NickTheGreat
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L (4.) – Nice dark color. A little lighter brown than Pepsi!

S (4.25) – Smells pretty good. Not quite coffee, not quite chocolate. How I like my stouts to smell, really.

T (3.75) – Interesting taste. I don’t get much chocolate or caramel or coffee. And I probably shouldn’t. I do kinda get a musty, raisin-like taste, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. Almost like a port wine, really.

F (4) – Not as thick as the color might make you think. Smooth, and easy to drink.

O (4)—I picked this one up on a lark, and I’m a big fan of Great Divide. It’s probably not in my top favorites of theirs, but it’s a nice beer. I’d drink again for sure, but maybe not a “must have” in my cellar. (744 characters)

Photo of 1angrydwarf
2.87/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks: dark brown very little if any light shining through. Smell: initially grains, bread batter after the pour. Later I only get floral herbaceous hops with minimal malt or grain. Taste: sad to say not my cup of tea. I don't like ale with this flavor profile. It reminds me of a doppelbock gone wrong. It has a nice balance of dark roasted malt with herbal hops. Might be the strong alcohol note. This would be good with a meal just not my preference for a sipping beer. YMMV. Mouth feel: very full almost syrupy. Overall: If you like old English ales with a darker roast malt and herbal hop and high ABV this could be for you. For me it is better to look else where Samuel Smith for example. (695 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Trails End.

Pours a deep dark mahogany. Nearly opaque with a thin tan head. Smell is very complex - some roasted malts, dark fruits and winter spices. Flavor is really interesting - hoppy fig newtons comes to mind. Definitely some subtle hops, but its really about the dark fruit and spiciness. Body is medium/full with ample carbonation.

Overall, another very nice beer from Great Divide. They consistently make fine beer. (443 characters)

Photo of Pukstopper
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a deep dark cooper brown color into a pint glass from a bottle. Nice head that fades and leaves lacing and a thin head.
You can taste some chocolate and spice notes along with the maltyness. @8.7 %abv it goes down well on a cold winter day without making you feel heavy.
A very nice winter warmer. (306 characters)

Photo of twosheds
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Moderate head which dissipates to a thin foam. Dark reddish amber in color. Almost can't see through the glass

Smells very sweet with some chocolate notes and a bit of a warming alcohol smell.

Taste is very similar to the smell with less chocolate and more brown sugar and dark fruit. It's balanced nicely with a dry finish and a lingering alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium with some carbonation

This is a nice beer for the cold weather. Really warming and inviting, but also a little complex. (545 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a regular glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. While its creaminess is excellent, it doesn't seem to retain very well. Actually, the latter is a damn lie - a thin film retains for freaking ever. A small (but nice looking) ring of lacing is left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Immediately upon pouring, it has an aroma very similar to a larger brown ale. Notes of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and vaguely burnt caramel initially dominate. As it opens up, a gentle nuance of alcohol appears, giving it wisps of dark fruit and leather (the more it warms, the more dark fruits appear). Hell, I'm getting some hoppiness. Very likable aroma, one that displays craftsmanship over bells and whistles. (3.75)

Taste: The flavor seems slightly 'roastier' than the nose suggested, opening up with flavors of caramel, espresso, and pine. At times, it also seems gently smoky. More sweet caramel emerges on the finish, as well as an earthen touch. Hard to fault this beer: it's a malty winter brew, yet with a hop-laden bend. Plus, it's long aftertaste helps give it more depth. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Very soft and creamy in body - it just feels nice on the palate. After it goes down the gullet, it dries out well (partly thanks to its carbonation). So well, it seems lightly astringent, even. Meh, whatever, it's both rich and drinkable all at the same time. (4)

Overall: I have a soft spot for great beers that don't rely on quadruple barrel aging with civet coffee and a swaddling cloth from the baby Jesus - rather, they're just insanely well crafted. Something like Old Rasputin or Nugget Nectar, for starters. This too. To me, it's about an inch short of achieving total greatness, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy this beer. The way the malts and the hops coexist together just does it for me. This is a winter warmer done right. (3.75)

3.76/5: Delicious old ale with a slightly hoppy twist (1,971 characters)

Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great Divide Hibernation Ale pours a deep dark brown, boarding on black. The color is accompanied by a murkiness, that makes it completely opaque. The smells coming from are deep and amazing, starting off with espresso, vanilla, and chocolate, but moving into more subtle notes of licorice, pine, chocolate covered cherries, and a vinous character. The smell is deep, complex, slightly fruity, incredibly malty, and powered by a good dose of hopping. There’s a very subtle notes of alcohol that accompanies the nose.

The palate doesn’t immediately explode surprisingly, but layers flavors. Great Divide Hibernation Ale’s body is thick, chewy, and robust, and has a nice amount of carbonation. The flavor starts with notes of coffee, chocolate, a touch of alcohol, and a bitter set of preserved black cherries and plums. As the flavor progresses, it move toward cigar smoke, peat, and citrus pith. As it ends the, smoke quotation bellies up to the pass, and hammers home a hit of cigar, dark cacao, and piney hops. (1,027 characters)

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

Pours a murky brownish orange with a tan head of foam that leaves lace and refreshes with each tip of the glass. Nose is toffee and bread. Crusty bread and caramel. Some brightness form hops int eh nose accents a touch of dark fruit. Figs and earth. If you inhale very deeply you can smell a bit of alcohol on the nose. If you don't you can't . Taste is rich and malty. bread crusts, toasty malt, brown sugar and toffee. Earthiness and those dark fruits that seem to have a surprising freshness. A bit of peat. Some raisin and nuts come to the palate as it warms. Mouthfeel is full. tasty and finishes dry with a slight bitterness. Light bit of warmth from the alcohol. (677 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at approximately 40 degrees F.

A: Pours a deep ruby brown, forming a relatively thin pale white head that recedes quickly to a ring. Holding the beer to daylight reveals an exceptionally clear red-brown brew with decent streams of carbonation from the bottom. Lacing is persistent, if a tad patchy.

S: Toasted, warm caramel-toffee malts, with the smells of warm peat moss and damp potting soil mixed in as well. There's a tinge of smoke, and some shadows of dark fruit.

T: At the start, this was smoky, earthen, and definitely peaty, a bitter brew to drink. There was sweetness present, but entirely subsumed by the soil, bark, and ashes, with something of a black licorice tinge to the finish. As it warms, the bitterness fades to allow more of a balance with the sweeter, breadier malts - entirely my fault, I should have started this one out warmer. Caramel and toffee play off of the smoky earthiness, and allow some faint undertones of dried dark fruit to skitter about the distant reaches of the palate. There's also more of a light coffee note to the finish.

M: Surprisingly light-bodied, with prickly carbonation levels.

O: With the first few sips, I was unimpressed with what seemed to be an unbalanced beer. That opinion changed upwards in correlation with the temperature. Would repeat, and at cellar temperatures. (1,366 characters)

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,106 ratings.