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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,245 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,245
Reviews: 1,065
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 98
Gots: 124 | 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: 2,245 | Reviews: 1,065 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fear025
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma:Malty, hoppy, alcohol.

Appearance:Amber, clear, foam is medium.

Taste:Very hoppy, lots of roasted malt, a little raisin. slightly nutty. A dry finish. Some alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel:Smooth and creamy. Alcohol warmth.

Drinkability:A little too hoppy to really enjoy, and the hops used are not the most flavorful.

fear025, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with only a swirl of brown, sandy colored head.

Aroma is dark and fruity, with strong notes of caramel and brown sugar. It's also very nutty, more nutty than any beer I can think of right now. It reminds me of almonds and hazelnut cream. This is a strongly aromatic brew that is well integrated and inviting.

On the palate, this beer is big and slightly syrupy, with carbonation intentionally low. It's actually a little lower than I'd like. The flavor is strong and sweet, like the nose. The brown sugar aspect is back, as well as the nuttiness, which comes in the mid-back end. Hop flavor and bitterness is on the low side, accentuating the big, strong sweetness it was going for.

This is nice, one and done slow sipper. I'm drinking this a little out of season, but I found the six pack on clearance for $5.

jeffthecheff, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled a recent tasting. I believe this one was provided by thirdeye11.

2006 vintage sampled in May 2010. The beer pours a nice brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the caramel, chocolate and toffee malts. The flavor is chocolate milk and toffee. The alcohol is faded and this is extremely easy drinking. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, May 31, 2010
Photo of Kaiser81
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I got this from Slasher007, not 100% sure though. If not, thanks to whomever sent this to me. I know it was an extra.

'07 or '08 vintage, as written on the bottlekneck in silver pen.

A - Brown with a red tinge. There is minimal head and nice lacing.

S - Dark malts, figs, and prunes. Hard exactly to pick this out, it's complex, but those are the ones I could identify.

T - Wow. Figs and prunes dominate. no alcohol, hops, or malts to speak of. The flavors are pronounced and strong, but they're just not my cup of tea...err...glass of beer.

M - Creamy with high carbonation.

D - Not bad, just not flavors I am big on. I'd love to try a bottle of this fresh to see how it compares to a 2-3 year old aged bottle.

Kaiser81, May 25, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 5/14/10

Pours a hazy dark brown with a slight red hue. Head and lacing are nearly non existant.

There is a large malt and earthy scent which reminds me of a barleywine. Lots of brown sugar, molasses, and a bit of wood appear in the smell.

A pleasant richness in the taste gives way to caramel malts and molasses up front. The finish yields a subtle hop which has a grapefruit overtone. There is a nice balance and the aftertaste reminds me of a typical great divide beer.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy. There is a touch of stickiness and some drying effects on the palate.

This is definitely a brew to be enjoyed in the dead of winter on a dark night. It is a nice warmer and fun to drink.

TCgoalie, May 15, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby-reddish brown, clear and topped with a nice inch thick coating of light brown foam. Beautiful aromas of toffee and caramel and nuts. Nice malty flavors on this one, caramel, toffee, cut nicely with a very pleasant spicy hop flavor. A very good winter seasonal, and another excellent offering from Great Divide.

emmasdad, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of mklinger
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass. This beers was a bit of a surprise in many ways. The first was appearance. This was darker than I expected -- a deep ruby with brown highlights. Thick, creamy head. It left so much lacing that was so firm that the next morning there were hard ridges of lacing left all the way down the side of the glass.

Aroma was full of dark fruits -- raisin, plum, figs with a strong toffee presence. Nice bit of hops to balance out all the sweetness. The best "winter warmer" seasonal I've had in years it seems. And . . . no spice additions, thank God! Another nice surprise.

Taste was just as complex and interesting. Maybe a smidge over sweet, but only a little & even so, it suits the style. Very nice whack of bitterness to keep everything complex, interesting and balanced.

Mouthfeel was good -- very thick & luxurious, very nice. Easy to sip this beer, though it's not a pounding style of beer. Great stuff. I'm not sure why I was so surprised -- everything GD does is very good, but I actually enjoyed this more than ?Yeti, Hercules, Hades, or any of the other GD beers I drink regularly. Great beer.

mklinger, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of Flashsp2
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Divide Hibernation into Stone IRS glass

Bottled Nov 11 08, sampled Sep 22, 09. Served at cellar temp.

A moderate pour kicks up a dense head of tan bubbles that hangs around
for a decent length. The body is a very dark mahagony that allows the
carbonation to slowly trickle to the top. Nice lace on the way down.

Nose is chocolate, mint, floral, herbal, pine, light caramel. Dry hop
is still present after nearly a year.

Palette is like a minty, dry hopped snickers bar. Chocolate, mint
leaves, dark caramel, walnuts, faint citrus (orange) remaining from
the hops, a touch of roasted/hop bitter on the finish. Such an
incredibly balanced flavor, big and even in the bittersweet

Mouthfeel isn't heavy, but holds together well and has a solid
presence. Medium with a restrained carbonation

This is such a great beer. Easy to drink, but more fun to relax and
savor on a cool autumn night. This beer is wonderful fresh and aged.
Now its just a matter of figuring out which way is better. I love this
beer. At 9 bucks a sixer its damn near impossible to get more bang for
your buck.

Flashsp2, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of WeedKing4
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles pour a dark clear amber brown with a decent amount of foam forming in the sam adams perfect pint glass. The smell is of sweet dark fruits, but the taste doesn't quite follow. This is a decent beer, but I was expecting more. Its malty and has that dark fruit taste..but this flavour lacks a little bit. No hint of the 8.7% alc at all, so its very drinkable. Just I dunno, theres no wow factor here.

WeedKing4, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes, based on a bottle provided by sigma23 and also split with deltatauhobbit. Bottled in October of 2008. The beer has a great caramel brown color. There's a thick tan head and a tiny bit of carbonation rising with the beer. There is a sweet malt and raisin aroma. I can smell some of the alcohol as well. The Hibernation has a good malt taste. There is a dry, roasted grain finish and some brown sugar sweetness at the end. A little coffee bitterness lingers after swallowing. It's not too heavy of a body, but certainly above medium. There is still some carbonation left in this bottle. It leaves a modest coating. It's not the most drinkable Old Ale I've encountered (that may be the Old Engine Oil), but it is still fairly drinkable. I'd limit myself to one bottle though.

ToasterChef, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of stingrayvr6
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber brown into a bottle with a killer frothy cream colored head. Smell is full and malty, some caramel sweetness, smoky and woody notes too. Taste is bready and malty up front, sweet then smoky and bitter dry hops in the finish. Very warming alcohol presence. Everything anyone could need for a cold winter night, incredible beer. Will make sure to keep these in the fridge for cold nights.

stingrayvr6, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of craytonic
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, nice creamy head. Lots of malt, toffeeand caramel, with some hops and chocolate. In addition, on the tounge I find some fruits such as figs, dates, raisins and prunes, perhaps a touch of sherry (perhaps dark rum?) and molasses. Not a by the book barleywine. Mouthfeel is excellent. Bit of oxidation, but it adds to the beer. Good beer, not one to seek out, but not one to ever turn down.

craytonic, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of al3
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - as brown as a brown ale gets

S - Toffee/caramel with a hint of coffee

T&M- Molasses, roasted malt, toffee with coffee on the finish. I noticed some alcohol on the first few tastes, but it seemed to subside quickly. Medium bodied, smooth, feel fits the taste well.

D - Very drinkable, more than a few and then some..

Overall a great beer, good cold weather ale. Would probably pair well with a good cigar anytime of year, will try next time. This is the 2nd style I have tried from this brewery (Titan IPA) and both have been outstanding, looking forward to the next.

al3, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lightly chilled 2007 and 2008 vintages into separate glasses. Both courtesy of MiguelMandingo. Thanks Mike!

I'm only reviewing the 2008 here. Are these the same recipe? It was noticeably different between years. And the 2007 was a major gusher.

A: Pours a dark mahogany body with ruddy highlights against a lamp.

S: Toffee, caramel, dark fruits. Spice, floral aromas.

T: Not nearly as sweet as expected from the nose. It has toffee, caramel, and dark fruit (plums, figs) in spades, but it's also pretty well attenuated and lacks the sugars that come with both. On top of that, the hops are still present and strong, so they provide a nice earthy and floral backbone (with a hint of spice in the finish) that compensates for any sugars there actually are. In trying the 2007, where the hops had almost totally faded out, I was able to see just how well-attenuated this beer is. It's full of sweet flavors without being sugary.

M: Medium-full body. Pretty high carbonation (2008). Lightly malty finish.

D: I thought this was ok; I was expecting more "old" flavors like leather and tobacco, but it came off more as a slightly hoppy English barleywine, and still lacking the complexity of better examples from that style.

Arbitrator, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy, deep red with a burnt sienna hue. Light, off-white head with a variety of different sized bubbles and good lacing.

S: Pale apple malt with distinct notes of maple candy, coffee and raisins. On the hops front, there is only a little to be detected.

T: A big blast of coffee and roasted malt to start things off. What follows is a light biscuit smothered in caramel and honey middle. Fades away into a dry, smokey finish. Mouthfeel could be a little more carbonated.

D: For me, this is not more than a taster. It did go down fairly easy though...

Value: A little pricey for what it is.

WeezyBoPeep, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of cratez
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle purchased by my girlfriend at Beer World in Largo, Florida. 2008 vintage. Ebony in colour with ruby hues, one finger of tan head, and threads of lacing on the snifter. Smell and taste are floral hops, caramel and chocolate malts, toffee, cocoa powder, plums, roasted nuts, and dates. English-style hops are peaty, earthy, and herbaceous. Sort of like an Imperial Brown Ale, with a warming but tasteless ABV. My only criticism is that, for an Old Ale, the body is too thin. Still, this is an ideal sipper for the winter time. Great Divide never fails me!

cratez, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A rich red mahogany color. Crystal clear, with fluffy tan head.

S: Carmel and brown sugar. A little tingle from the alcohol. Slightly bready with raisons, and a dark rum kick. Sweet and very nice.

T: Alcohol is definitely present. Boozy at first then the malt flavors accompanied by burnt caramel come in. The finish is hops with some more burnt sugar at the end.

M: Syrupy, it really coats your mouth, with good carbonation.

D: A good sipper, but not one I would drink a lot of.

Beejay, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of BeanBone
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A clear dark brownish-red body capped by a finger of off-white head that features good lacing.

Aroma: Rich, sweet, and toasty malt accompanied by notes of milk chocolate, dark fruit, and a few boozy notes floating around.

Flavor: A rich, earthy, and somewhat grainy roasted malt profile with black coffee, a hint or two of chocolate and dark fruit. Balancing the malt is a mild hop character featuring mild bitterness. Not much from the booze coming through.

Mouthfeel: A medium-full body with good carbonation and a drying finish. Just a hint of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Surely not a sipper, but something that still takes a little time and attention.

Verdict: Complex, tasty, and warming, Hibernation is a solid Old Ale, and it works well as a winter seasonal. I'm looking forward to seeing how this stands up after a year or two.

BeanBone, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of thain709
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a darker shade of amber with those ruby highlights around the edges...a light brown head sat on top and slowly settled into a spotty cap...some lacing

S - Sweet caramel and toffee notes right off the bat...a subtle earthy hop presence is in the background

T - A very interesting taste...this one is sweet up front...the caramel and toffee flavors are really pronounced...there is a touch of roasted chocolate malt in there as well to add to the depth of this beer...those hops definitely show up at the end...they aren't bitter but they are subtle and just linger

M - Medium bodied...very smooth and that sweetness hold on to your tastebuds

D - This was one interesting brew...I loved the sweet flavors from the caramel and toffee...the hops at the end added a nice surprise...overall a decent beer but it wouldn't be my go to winter beer

thain709, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of Seru1
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Daaaark reddish brown with a thin tan head and a decent bit of lacing around the glass.

Smell- Caramel notes and roasted hops with a slight spicy alchohol smell near the top of the glass. Some fruit notes I think, orchard or berry. They aren't pronounced but there.

Taste- A leathery sweetness. Almost like kahlua. Roasty notes abound with alcohol notes up in the end leaving a burn. Not complex but very reminiscent of a lighter roasted coffee with cream and sugar

Mouthfeel- The roasted malts really linger. for awhile, the alcohol burn can to. But not as much.

Drinkability- One a night for me maaaybe two if it's very cold. Thats not a slight to this beer, I don't think it's designed to be drunk 6 at a time. I could take this in the place of coffee easily. It's a slow sipper, nice winter beer. Sort of heavy.

Seru1, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of jcnd9803
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful dark ruby red with a sizeable foamy beige colored head that lasts fairly long. It leaves behind a nice wall of lacing.

S- Dark fruits with caramel and toffee malts. Also, some booze.

T- Very roasty. Also some chocolate, which I didn't expect. And then finishes almost fruity. Very unique, but works.

M- Medium to full bodied. Leaves a slight warming feel from the alcohol, which ends the sip dry.

D- I can't think of a beer that smelled and tasted more differently. However, it's a great beer and I'll easily enjoy the remainder of my six pack.

jcnd9803, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of travduke
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep dark brown, 2 finger foamy head that quickly dissipates leaving decent lacing.

Smell: This one is very sweet. Caramel, toffee, chocolate and malts.

Taste: Just like the smell but with a little bit of hops. This isn't bad at all.

Mouth/Drink: Creamy and smooth this one is dangerous at almost 9%abv.

travduke, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of seedsofchaos
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a glass chalice / tulip

I had meant to try and cellar two of these for next fall but a cold Valentine's Day had me reaching into my cache. :P

A- Pours a deep dark-honey, chocolately brown with hints of vanilla yellows and hard-candy oranges and reds. Carbonation is slow but steady, rising through the middle. Head dissipates quickly but lacing is playful.

S- I'm immediately reminded of roasting crystal malts, robust smoked nuts and caramel. Perhaps there's a tad bit of vanilla in there mixed in with coffee.

T- The first taste is of rich malts. Second taste is a rounding of hop bitterness with a bit high of an alcohol bite. I don't remember this finishing so flat... perhaps I've been storing it too cold...

MF- Feel is right on. Just a tad thick and syrupy but with no negative consequences.

D- Careful with that high ABV. I tried pretending this was just another session beer this last New Year's Eve and ended up passed out on the armchair in no time. On a cold winter's evening, though, one could put a few of these down with no problem.

seedsofchaos, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of Pahn
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled on Nov. 5, 2009.

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a half-inch frothy off-white head, which dissipates quickly leaving streaks of lacing. Color is a deep, translucent red when held up to light, and almost black when not.

Smell: Sweet cake, notes of toffee and chocolate, with a faint dark fruity note (plum/raisin maybe). Strong and good.

Taste: Similar to the smell, but the deep, roasted malt coffee/chocolate flavor goes a lot further in the taste. Also not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Some hops up front and dark chocolate/coffee bitterness near the end. Finish is mostly warm alcohol with some roasted flavors sticking around as well. As the beer warms, some more sweetness emerges as caramel and toffee notes. That hint of dark fruit is also present in the flavor, but just as subtle and hard to specify.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, at times sticky, which is appropriate with flavors this strong and good. Carbonation is only felt as a mild prickle near the end. Finish is a bit hot.

Drinkability: Excellent. Hibernation is a go-to beer on cold Winter nights, when I want a heavy-hitting but deep and malty beer. Also, despite the noticeable alcohol presence and 8.7% ABV, it drinks very easily.

A beautifully crafted beer. I've tried not to be without a 6pack of this in my fridge for months now.

Pahn, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Doodler for this bottle.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 12/1/2009 into a Liefmans tulip glass.

A: I like it. Bronzed, translucent amber with a rolling "tight 'n' tiny" bubbles foamy head that dwindles to the likes of algae.

S: Smells almost like mothballs - but I guess chestnuts, toasted almond, and a wee bit of toffee.

T: Changes dramatically from the smell and rather complex. I get honey and the pinyness from the hops followed by buttery caramels and finishes with a woody bitterness. The alcohol comes through a bit.

M: Creamy and rich and complemented well by it's carbonation.

D: Pretty filling - I'll attribute it to the malts. Good choice with putting it in a 12oz. bottle.

Overall, I liked this beer. I would like to try one that's aged about a year to see if it mellows out any.

hoppymcgee, Feb 10, 2010
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,245 ratings.