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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,218
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 96
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
Ratings: 2,218 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rfgetz
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with nice khaki colored head. Good lacing. Smell is of carmel malts, dark dried fruits, alcohol and piney and earthy hops. Taste is sweet carmel malts, strong earthy, piney, bitter hops with a good alcohol background. Minor notes of dark fruit and seasonal spices. Medium bodied but thin for the style. Smooth, not syrupy or medicinal like others in the style. Strong earthy, piney bitter aftertaste. Good beer, some notable flaws to the style, but ignoring that, its a decent brew.

rfgetz, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of MPLS
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found it naturally that being on an old ale kick I'd buy a 6-pack of this at a decent price. Bottled 09/09/09 @ 8.7% ABV.

A: Carmine colored that had a head that rushed up to fill the snifter glass quite nicely. Lacing 'n' legs a go go. The head is a nice ecru color that loiters around until I am finished drinking the beer.

S: Chocolate/dark malt, leather, cinnamon, alcohol, and a small hop profile. No big aromas here, but gratifying.

T: This beer is sweet and really dry with very little bitterness/hops added to it. I personally enjoy the sweet maltiness, especially chocolate. Initially the beer has a root beer like sweetness up front. Afterward it takes on a hazelnut and chocolate spice flavoring followed by dry slightly burnt toast that your aunt accidentally spillt a tiny bit of rum on.

M: This beer has a smooth mouf to it with carbonation that prickles the tongue.

D: This beer is a good winter beer, the burnt toast finish of this beer stands out with the layer of malty sweetness added on top. I am fond of this style of beer.

MPLS, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on November 12, 2009

Hibernation pours a deep ruby brown with a big foamy cream colored head which falls slowly leaving scads of sticky lacing.

The smell is rich and malty with hints of butterscotch and a touch of licorice together with a bit of hop presence as well.

The flavor is big and rich with a good hop attitude as well. The malt is dark bready toast with bitter caramel just a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy character and dark brandied fruit makes an appearance as well while the finish is as bitter as the malt is sweet. Alcohol is noted as a warmth and slight burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy and is firm, chewy and a touch chalky. Carbonation makes it a bit creamy.

Hibernation reminds me of a dark barleywine, which needs time to sit and sip. Definitely a winter warmer!

BlackBearForge, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of cdizinno
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass froma 12 oz brown long neck bottle(as pictured, except blue instead of red) with a "BOTTLED ON: NOV 05 2009" stamped on the side of the label.

A: Slightly hazy ruby red/mahogany color. Light tan head with moderate lacing.

S: The stong malty caramel scent hit me while I was pouring it. Fruity alcohol smell it also present.

T&M: Chewy full-bodied with a heavy malty mouth feel. Moderate carbonation makes it smooth. Toasted malt, caramelized fruit, and alcohol are prominent. Hops aren't really present until the flavor fades.

It is a good brew. I'm not a fan of Scotch style or Old style ales, but this is a fairly smooth and mild version that is tollerable This English Style Old Ale is not overly heavy on the bitter alcohol taste that I usually find in these styles.

cdizinno, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of drcarver
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown and with a hard pour produces a very nice fluffy head with lacing that clings to the sides of the glass and together in the middle of the glass

S - Smoke and oak. Sweet malt overwhelms any type of hop finding its way around.

M/T - Smoky with rich malts. A coffe like bitterness clings to the tongue. Creamy, full bodied.

D - goes down nice but the 8% holds you back to a nice slow pace.

drcarver, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been one of my favs. So this year I am going to take a stab at reviewing it.

Comes out with a sticky tan head over a dark brown/burgundy body.

The smell is mainly roasted malts with mild earthy hops and english toffee

The flavor is similar. Roasted malts are the first to strike. The hops pick up more than the nose lets on. There is a dark chocolate taste and also some nuttyness going on too. The finish is bitter and leaves a coffee-like aftertase.

The feel isn't bad but nothing to write your mama 'bout. Medium + sized body(lighter than I expected) and moderate carbonation.

This one is pretty damn tasty, and despite it's relatively high abv. it's pretty approachable. I am not quite sure that this should be classified as an Old Ale though.

bonsreeb85, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of homebrew311
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a dark red/mahogany with a very thin white head that forms and disappears. Heavy lacing.

S: sweet malts, caramel, molasses, dark cherries, followed by earthy/piny dry hopped goodness

T: The hops show up first on the tongue and are much more prominent than they were on the nose. Like nose, lots of sweet and rich malts, heavy on the molasses and the fruits and finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness. Everything is in great balance. The finish is nice and long.

MF: medium carbonation, medium body, I would have expected at thicker body on this one given the huge flavor

D: This is one of my favorite winter seasonals. Nice balance between maltiness and hops, very bold, a little lacking on drinkability due to its high abv.

homebrew311, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of Ryan011235
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 11/10/09

Bottled on 9/9/09

A - Dark hue of ruby. ¼ inch head dissipates quickly leaving a thin layer of retention. Swirling revives it, but the foam doesn't hold. Spotty lacing.

S - Malts & dark fruits comprise the majority of the nose. Raisins, faint dark cherry, caramel, cocoa, figs & a subtle dry breadiness. Notes of smoke. Brown sugar ghost note.

T - A soothing wash of malts greats the palate blending chocolate & coffee (though seemingly restrained) with dark bread; the latter helping to solidify the two former. Some alcohol heat in the front, too. Undertones of raisins & smoke. Notes of brown sugar & molasses. Modest hop presence around the edges.

M - Full-bodied with carbonation toward the lower end of the spectrum. Masquerades as creamy but has some grit when you dig in to it. Alcohol is bold for 8.7% - it's "hot" at the onset, eventually getting to "warming."

D - Despite its [somewhat] moderate abv, this is a sipper. Tasty & interesting, I'm glad I picked up a bottle.

Ryan011235, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of jsh420
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours ruby brown with a 1+ fonger head that leaves some spotted lacing

smells dark roasted nutty fruity malts malts with some spice

taste has every heavy malt profiles from roasted carmel fruity nutty cocoa malts then some hops -nice spiced bitter finish

mouthfeel is heavy - a little thick - very creamy but still with plenty of carbonation

drinkability - not a beer i could drink more then 1 in a session

jsh420, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is copper with a mild head. nose of old ipa with alcohol rum. oak bark ipa. citrus. palate is hot. peppery. woody. stale citrus zest but dry malt. not sweet. bit of thyme. a bit too young but overall not bad... better cellar temperture with some room to breath.

rtepiak, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of moosiz
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Nice fluffy tan head about 3/4 to an inch in height. When held to the light this brew is clear dark reddish brown with pretty decent carbonation.

Smells of dark musty malts and grain , caramel and toffe blend with sweet dark sugar backdrop.

Bitter sweet coffee and caramel with a solid malt backbone. I missed the coffee in the smell, but it is right up front in the flavor. This brew may be opening up a little with some room temp.

Sticky bitter in the back of the throat with a somewhat drying effect. Makes you want another sip. Upfront the mouthfeel is very slick.

For the style this brew is definetly above average in the drinkability dept.

moosiz, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light red-amber with light cream head and good lace.

Sweet caramelly malt, and some detectable alcohol in the nose.

Flavors are also of sweet, delicious malt, with caramel and hazelnut. A decent hop balance is present with a faint alcohol in the background. I can't get over this delicious, lingering flavor that reminds me of buttered toast.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a slightly syrupy texture and some decent, fizzy carbonation.

Delicious overall, and a great winter brew. After a few of these, I'll be ready to curl up in bed and hit the snooze until spring.

endincolorado, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Philabeerphia
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that I pour into a goblet on 11/29. Bottled on 10/28/09. 8.7% ABV.

Cherry tinged oak in color. Possesses great clarity. My aggressive pour yields just a 1 finger head, but it looks appealing - creme brulee and foamed milk kind of affair. Certainly a beer that has me ready to dive in. Smells like cider, sweet grass, raw sugar. Just enough going on to let you know your dealing with a beast. I sip and the beer starts deeply sweet as it slips by easily on the lips. It stays sickly sweet, then opens up big time, arcing towards the back of the tongue. Notes of peat, bourbon, tobacco, cocoa and dryish grains are underlain by a caramel milky backbone. All of this is enveloped by a warm hoppiness. A great touch. The chewy mouthfeel is complimented well by the strong carbonation. Tobacco and peat compete, becoming more prominent as the beer warms - hints of smoke now appear. Alcohol starts to burn... things have fallen apart just a bit, but its expected with a burly beer like this. Its not a subtle affair. Very malten, earthy, smoky. A great beer for pairing (I drank as standalone).

Philabeerphia, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of CHADMC3
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany with reddish hues and a massive, thick, tan head that patiently gives way to a dense, sticky lacing.

Primary aromas consist of sweet malt, possibly something vinous, but also possibly milk chocolate, and other dark fruits. A second check as it warms reveals hints of earthy hops, and perhaps sweet nuts.

Flavor is not what I expected. Hops are more immediate to reach the palate, again earthy. The vinous characteristics carry forward, as well as the sweet nuttiness, and milk chocolate. The finish has just a touch of pleasant burn and wood-like aftertaste.

This is a pretty thick brew, robust as advertised, slightly drying, heavy, and medium in carbonation.

Good winter beer. Great for after dinner by the fire. Easy to drink, and a nice variety of characteristics for both the nose and palate. Quite good.

CHADMC3, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hibernation pours a dark Ruby red with a smallish head that fades to a nice sticky lace.
the nose and mouth are both a blend of warming alcohol and roasted coffee-like grains that give a nice warming effect.
the mouthfeel is a touch on the thin side with the perfect carbonation.
pretty easy drinking for the style. This is a good warming beer for the season.

grayburn, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of jkdrummer
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a weak thin head that quickly disappears into a thin thin lace. This a really really roasted malt palate and in way a bit unpleasant. A strong bitter bite and a lot of alcohol burn too. Better choices out there, not bad but not really recommended.

jkdrummer, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really nice cheastnut brown with some solid tanish head.
Smell is spiced with some malted undertones.
Taste is very nice, some hints of chocolate and light roasted spice.
Finishes strong with roasted chocolate resonance on my palate.
Drinks great at 8.1, very little bit, if any at all. Overall a high quality old ale.

ThaBobfather, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of degerbah
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark amber, but still fairly No head at all on this beer. Huge aroma of caramel, fruit, choclate, almost too much going on with the smell to describe. Huge malt taste up front with a little bit of boozey aftertaste. Definitely a winterwarmer/holiday type of beer. Feels very thick on the tongue which cuts down on the drinkability and makes it feel more like a wine or liquer than a beer. A solid addition to great divide's lineup.

degerbah, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of FickleBeast
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Vintage 2009

A - pours clear ruby red, abundant lacing on the one finger of head

S - sweet plum, candi sugar, and some burnt coffee notes

T - first impression is harshly astringent - bitter malts, roast coffee shines though. There is quite a hop kick on the back end - so it's malty bitter up front and hoppy bitter at the finish.

M - bitter, lingers on the tongue, sticky sweetness

D - This beer is quite harsh - this could stand to age a year or two to mellow out. Still tasty, though.

FickleBeast, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of mudbug
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish/ruby color with a thin head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice lacing chasing the quickly dropping fluid level
Let this one warm up a bit to experience the roasted malt smell, I don't detect much hops at all, but I'm a Big DIPA fan so my perceptions may be a bit off.
Taste is Malts all the way, sweet up front with a burnt aftertaste thats well balanced, very nice!
Not overly thick, easy drinker if malt bomb is your preference .

mudbug, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Oct. 28 2009, fairly fresh.
Pours a nice brown with reddish highlights. Very dark and gloomy looking, quite nice. Head retention was fair with very small bubbles. When I poured it I could already smell the roasty aroma, quite intense. I haven't smelled an old ale that smells quite like this. Smells like my morning coffee with some chocolate and toasty bread. I can also pick up the hops, which is nice. Usually find old ales to be quite malty. Wow, tastes phenomenal! Roasty character lasts throughout, while you experience the underlying flavor components. I get a nice caramel and brown sugar flavor, with some nice malty backbone. The hops maintain a nice bitter balance. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, yet this is a very different old ale than what I am used to. This beer is exceptional and drinks very well. I'll have to pick some more up to put some age on it.

kiddynamite920, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Next on my list of winter beers up for review, comes the Gread Divide Hibernation Ale.

A: Nice frothy head rises up in the glass to almost 2 fingers, with lots of big bubbles and doesn't want to disappear. Very clear rusty brown maroon color.

N: Mmm, toasty brown malts, slight brown sugar and other sweet malts. Some light hoppy aromas also come out a little bit. Some faint roasted malt aromas dance out of the glass. A slight caramel aroma and toffee almost are also very light. Perhaps a faint detection of chocolate malts.

T: Wow, lots of nice roasted malts, and tons of chocolate milk flavors. Creamy with chocolate malts add a nice touch. A slight toffee and caramel flavors sneak out as well. Pretty rich and thick. It has a nice mellowed malt flavor almost as if it was aged. Some light spicy and earthy hop character finds its way through as well.

M: Thick and creamy, decent carbonation, don't really even detect the presence of alcohol.

F: A slight bitterness comes out. Still pretty creamy, and the roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, and rich creamy flavors linger for a short while. It has a nice clean finish as well, with a touch of bitterness that doesn't really build, but touches the senses nicely. The alcohol presence is still pretty much nowhere to be found, they hide it very well. This is a dangerous beer!

jlindros, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Divide Hibernation Ale purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
Bottled 10/23/09
appearance - Deep reddish brown with a full creamy head. This is a beaut'.
smell - Sweet, and buttery balanced with spices...cinnamon or nutmeg? Very nice.
taste - More or less as the nose advertises but I'm thinking this needs some age.
mouthfeel is nice and silky.
Nice sipper. I'll revisit after these guys have some age on em'.

Edit - Christmas Eve 2012. Pulled my last saved 09' out of the cellar. Have been enjoying these since discovering them 3 years ago. Oh so smooth and velvety after 3 years. Thank you Great Divide.

cindyjeffsmith, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of ugaterrapin
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Seemed to pour a deep brown color, but when held up to the light a strong red hue was noticed. Had about a finger of off white head that didn't last too long.

S - It has such an inviting smell of roasted malts with a strong coffee presence.

T - Strong coffee taste up front that is balanced very well with hops. The finish has a strong roasted character that leaves a nice aftertaste.

M - Not as heavy as originally expected by the complex smell.

D - This is not the most drinkable beer. The flavors although very good are fairly intense and would keep me from knocking back more than one in a sitting.

ugaterrapin, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of noslenwerd
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Color/clarity is almost exactly the same as if you were to look through an empty brown beer bottle, with a light reddish tint to it. Little to no lacing.

S: Buttered toast, Caramel, alcohol smell... very inviting.

T: Sweet at first, mild hoppy when it hits your throat, roasted flavor the whole way through, and sweet aftertaste. Very complex taste. Mouthfeel is a bit flat, would be better if it had a little more carbonation. Tastes similar to a belgian dark

Summary: Overall I think the hype behind this beer psyched me out a little bit.. If I would have tried this without any premonitions I probably would have been more impressed. Overall still a very good beer and would drink again, but I prefer a few other winter warmers over this one.

noslenwerd, Nov 23, 2009
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,218 ratings.