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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,246 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,246
Reviews: 1,065
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 98
Gots: 126 | 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: 2,246 | Reviews: 1,065 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Young's dimpled mug. This is a lively malty take on English Old Winter Ale, given a new world dimension by being dry hopped. And what a good winter ale this is. Bottled on September 8, 2010, the dry hopping gives this an orange chocolate note, rich and satisfying from start to finish. Plenty of depth to consider. The hops seem a bit more aggressive than in previous editions, but the luxurious malt presentation remains in focus.

thebeerdoctor, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of aepb1
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep dark brown body with a light head

S- Malty, sugary and some spices, wintery!

T- Malty caramel sugars, a lot like the nose and it's very full-flavored

M- Medium bodied and smooth, hides that abv very well

D- Good beer for a cool night. Those spices are great!

aepb1, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to taiyed for bringing a sixer of this over

This beer pours a nice dark ruby red with very little white foam on the top. The smell is pretty darn nice. There are aromas of biscuit, hops and I believe that I detected raspberries. The taste is rather woodsy on the palate. There are flavors of raisin predominately as well as some caramel and slight twinges of chocolate. This feels pretty good on the palate and drinks really nicely too. This is a damn fine Old Ale and it comes recommended from me.

Vdubb86, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once it is poured, I was impressed. Dark with ruby coloring. Nice head but great lacing.

As it warmed, I started picking off lovely old ale smells, which I guess is akin to toffee. Some sort of dark fruit flavors as well. Gives way to a hops aroma at the end.

Taste is mellow but somewhat complex. Fruit flavors. Toffee. A nice hops profile.

Highly recommended and great for winter.

GeoffFromSJ, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with a small, short lived, tanned head. Aroma is of bready malt, ripe fruit with hints of coffee. Full, smooth body. Rich caramel and bready malt, ripe fruit are balanced by earthy hops on the palate, some hints of coffee as well. Long, dry, earthy finish. Nice, after dinner brew.

mikeg67, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled oct. 23 so nice and fresh.
im rather fond of great divide beer so this is exciting to try. right off the bat i get chocolate and a little bit of booziness in the nose. it smells so pleasant i could really just sit and sniff. im a chocolate nut so this is right up my alley. mouthfeel is nice and creamy, and the carbonation is just right... enough to coat my tongue with chocolatey goodness. drinkability is good, however with the abv id have to stop after one or two of these. the first one would go down nice, but as with many winter beers for me, id have to move onto something else after just to give my tongue a break. cheers to oakedcanuck for this extra.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of velosuds
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on Nov 04 2010. Single purchased from John's Market for $1.69.

A-Pours a clear reddish dark amber with a one finger off white head with weak retention and scant lacing.

S-Malts dominate with some earthy hops. Smell is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread biscuits. Quite pleasant but weak.

T-Hop bitterness, caramel like malts, raisins, and hop bitterness.

M-Tad light and inadequate carbonation.

D-This is a nice winter seasonal but not an especially good Old Ale. Value is very good for such a big beer at 8.7% ABV.

velosuds, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of Mjoepp
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber, white head, some lacing but not much.

S: Alcohol and it's sweetness, Chistmas spices, dried fruits, raisins.

T: Mostly caramel malt, warming alcohol, raisins. Quite hoppy for a x-mas ale Aftertaste is a bit bitter from the hops and sweet from the malt. Spices are there as well.

O: Nice beer for this cold winter.

Mjoepp, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of cjacobsen
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red with an offwhite head that diminishes to lacing on the glass and top of the beer.

Smells malty, dark fruits, kinda of sweet and nutty.

Tastes of dark berries and fruit. Slight hop bitters and darker malt. A little bit of biscuit and spices. Very tasty.

Its smooth, not overly carbonated and well balanced.

This was my second chance to try Great Divide. Thanks to OakedCanuck for supplying this one as an extra. Awesome surprise and beer.

cjacobsen, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I expected at all. Beer is reddish / dark brown and mostly clear with a thin head, served in a RR wine glass. Head leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Here's where my surprise started. It smells mildly sweet but very roasty, almost like a foreign export stout but lighter. Interesting.

The lead off is not sweetness, although its subtly there, its almost grainy bitterness, it tastes good but I was hoping for some Treacle or some toffee or something but its just not there. Overall it comes off as a little simple. Old Ales are your opportunity to make a big, complex beer with dozens of flavors that will wax and wane as you age it for a decade, this was average, middle of the road, run of the mill big beer.

drabmuh, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of loren01
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color, nice sized head with great lace down the glass
S: Smell is great very earthy, tobacco.
T: Taste is much the same as smell earthy piney hops, charred taste but in a good way...charred as in a good bbq brisket.
M: Medium bodied beer, perfect amount of carbonation
D: This is a great beer, nice sipping beer as I watch the snow fall down.

loren01, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber with medium head and spiderweb lacing.

S- Faint hint of chocolate, oak, and pine.

T- malts, Pine, hops, woody, nutty flavors. hints of mint, faint note of chocolate, toffee

M- Medium bodied, easy to drink. Nice hoppy finish.

D- Very well balanced and easy to drink.

JayS2629, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of TheSteiny
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured out a dark, dark brown. Head didn't have a very impressive size, though it did have a very good light cream color, as well as a good texture. Sadly, it dissipates into a thin film rather quickly.

S- A little hoppy, but sweet smell to it. I can't quite place anything specifically. That being said, I will admit to some level of disappointment that nothing popped out to me. I'm hoping it was a result of the pour, and I will update at a later date if my opinion changes.

T- Very solid taste. Started bittersweet, with a little nuttiness. There are malty tones towards the end, as well as what feels like mint. The mint is actually a very refreshing addition to the palate, given it's only a hint rather than something overpowering.

M- Carbonation was kept low. For this particular lineup of flavor and flow, I would've liked a little lower bubbly in my brew. Past that, it was pretty smooth and has a comfortable amount of weight going down.

D- Decent brew. It's a little high on ABV for being a session brew. Despite that, I'm a little disappointed my local beer shop didn't have any cases. It's definitely worth having at least two glasses to get the full range out of the beer.

TheSteiny, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a mahogany brown with good carbonation leaving a beautiful towering dirty white head

S: Old wood, chocolate mainly and some caramel

T: This 09 vintage tasted of old wood and Earth mainly, with a tannic taste to it throughout, some chocolate and caramel. Hints at some allspice

M: Sordove bitter, funky and medium to heavy bodied

D: It was good but I wont drink again

barleywinefiend, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of WorldWideStout
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dull brown, translucent body with not much head. Decent lacing.

S: I get two scents. One is that of malts, the other of citrusy, somewhat minty hops. Actually reminds me a bit of a few aged American barleywines I've had.

T: Starts off with a bit of citrus. Then the mintiness comes in, along with a slight sour note and a bit of must as well. The malt finally makes a bit of an appearance towards the end with some roastiness. A decently-long aftertaste features the bitterness and mintiness of the hops. After the beer has warmed up a bit, I get some sweet maltiness in the background of the middle of the sip, slightly bumping up the score.

M: No problems, but unremarkable. Medium body, not particularly thick or silky, strong carbonation at the start that is pretty much gone by the end of the sip.

D: It wouldn't be hard to drink a second one of these, if I wanted to.

Old Ale seems a fairly odd categorization of this beer to me. It seems much more like an American barleywine. Hopefully some aging will turn this into the rich, malty brew that I was hoping for, but I am not impressed by this fresh version of Hibernation.

WorldWideStout, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a muddy mahogany brown with a smallish khaki head that quickly recedes but leaves chunky lacing.

aroma of wet leather, dark fruits, and some toasted grains. meh.

flavor is very fruity with dates, plums, raisins, and other dried, unsweetened dark fruits. a bit tart with some apple peel. far on the fruity end of the spectrum.

a touch lighter than anticipated with generous carbonation and a tiny bit of alcohol heat and a slight acidity left behind on the palate.

drinks ok. not very harsh, pretty smooth drinking, but nothing memorable.

silentjay, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep burgundy hue, high clarity, with two fingers of creamy beige head. Retention low, no lacing to speak of.

Smell -- Cocoa, caramel, sliced plum, Citrus, gentle spice.

Taste -- Again, there's a prominent chocolate malt flavor that is really surprising with raisin and plum, gentle citrusy hop flavors. Finish is toasted malt and gentle grapefruit pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Malty, medium-full in body with an abundance of gentle carbonation. Feels pretty good, almost reminiscent of a Quadrupel. Alcohol presence is nonexistent.

Drinkability -- Truthfully, I'm not sure why this beer has such a high rating. Not that it's bad, but it's pretty middle-of-the-pack for an Old Ale. Nice flavors, nothing remotely offensive, but lacking the decadent and somewhat sweet character I expect from the style.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of Frosty80
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours golden, medium brown. sits clear, dark ruby. good looking thick, creamy, tapioca head with excellent retention and never totally disappears

Smell: rich, malty character with dark chocolate, some nuttiness, dark fruit/vinous character and roast. balancing hop presence

Taste: balance of complex maltiness and hop character. alcohol obvious throughout but never harsh. dark chocolate and fruit with a little nuttiness and roasted character. hops are very apparent with a low-medium bitterness. finish is dry with light roasted, dark chocolate flavor and a low, lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: low-full body. smooth with moderate carbonation.

Notes: very strong old ale with not as much fruit complexity as i was expecting. a little too much hop presence (flavor/bitterness) and could use a little bit of that light sour, aged character

Frosty80, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of rarbring
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clear dark red with hints of brown, a tan head with unevenly sized bubbles, some lacing and good curtains.

The smell is earthy, dried peas, hay, dark bread and brown sugar.

Initially sweet nuances from bread, dark syrup, burned crust, dates, nuts, then some short fruit acidity, pears and mango, and a bitter finish in the coffee bean area.

Medium carbonation, a thick oily feeling, a heavy body and slightly dry finish.

A solid slow sipping beer after dinner.

rarbring, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red, almost brown with almost no head but a small sticky ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel and a little bit of sandalwood which is enhanced by the hop resin tones that come through well in this beer.

T - Sweet and malty, toffee and sugar come through and are followed by a spice from the hops which also leave a deep flavor of their oils and plenty of fruitiness.

M - Light yet lingering. The carbonation seems a tad high, but I'd probably say that about most brews.

D - Great for a chillier evening, yet drinkable most times. GD made a fantastic beer that is very notable in my book.

LiquidCucumber, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of alli4051
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark, chrystal clear, garnet color with a bronze head. Head is of average size and leaves some thick lacing when it goes. Nose is a bit lacking, faint notes of earthy malt and hops with some fruit notes. Where the nose lacked the taste more than makes up for. Kind of a murky, earthy, dank balance of malt and hops, and I mean that in the best possible way. Some roasted malts with lots of citrus and fruity hop flavors with a hing of booze in the finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sticky finish. I've been on a bit of a hot streak lately, seems like everything I have picked up recently seems to live up to the hype. I should offer a warning though, the 8.7% is hidden well and can definitely sneak up on you.

alli4051, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light brown color with some amber hues. Provides a small off white foam head that quickly dissipates. Some patchy lacing.

S: Lots of roasted coffee, burnt toast, brown sugar, dark chocolate, dark fruit and some booze.

T: Tons of malt flavor up front and throughout. The roasted coffee and dark fruit mesh well with the cholocate and alcohol flavors.

M: Leaves a slightly toasty burnt taste on the palate.

D: A nice winter beer. Perfect to sip on.

IronCitySteve, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of SirRuss
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep, clear, varnished mahogany. Well formed head on the pour, although it doesn't hold for long, leaving a good lacing around the walls of the glass and a mottled skim of foam across the surface. Looks great, and the deep red tinge brings forth festive allusions.

S - The aroma isnt hugely complex, but it caught my attention the moment it hit the glass. Malts present caramel and mocha with a hefty backdrop of traditional vanilla ice cream. Dark fruits are also present, but somewhat veiled.

T - While the berry and fruit play on the tip of the tongue, this beer really is all about the inextricable interaction of malt and hops. Wonderful arrays of caramel expression, particularly medjool date; loads of coffee bean, and espresso; vanilla, and clotted cream; and a distinctive charred bourbon on the finish. The coffee performs an encore in the finish, tying the whole show together, and worthy of a standing ovation. The final impression is akin to an irish coffee with extra sugar.

M - fairly high carbonation for this style, but it helps cut through the malty thickness, and along with the 8.7%, a pretty good balance is achieved

D - The malty stickiness prevents it from being an all night event, but each sip provides a longevity that will see a whole glass outlast at least a couple of logs on the fire.

SirRuss, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of nickhiller
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: copper/leathery brown with a brief yellowish half inch head and a dash of lace.

S: nice sour yeast esters, dark roast coffee beans, alcohol of cognac variety, grassy manure smell (in a good way though), roasted grain.

T: leather and charcoal are prominent, asparagus (interesting, I've never encountered that flavor in beer before), bitter chocolate, whiskey. Finish is malty/grainy sickly sweet and throat coating.

M: medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation, a nice warming alcohol finish.

D: I found this really interesting. I can't think of a beer that I've had that is all that equivalent. It's kind of a blend of different styles, part American pale ale, part English old ale, part Belgian strong ale. I would imagine it would be hard to drink more than one of these in a sitting, but that's just because the different flavors and the overall strength of it are a bit overwhelming and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Perfect for a cold winter night--not that I get a lot of those in Austin, but still.

nickhiller, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,246 ratings.