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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,460 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,460
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 108
Gots: 183 | 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: 2,460 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Oregonfiresteed
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Drank straight from the bottle due to lack of glassware! a very English style malty beer. Not my preferred choice of beer. However it did have a well balanced hop flavor to compliment the strong malts. Very nice dark brown color. Really don't think I could drink but one of these beers, but thats only because of personal preference.

Photo of KidsDoc
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (Oct 2010) poured into tulip

A: deep amber with an full tan head - brief. sticky lacing and a thin, bubbly collar that sits on top

S: complex - initially some almond, toffee notes. Then picked up some semi-sweet chocolate reminded me of "tootsie roll" candy of all things. Floral hops more noticeable as it warms a bit.

T: Very well blended with sweet malt/toffee flavor up front (as it warms I get a slight sour taste). Middle throws in some light chocolate, roasted flavor. Finish in a nice blend of the floral hops and dark malt.

M: Heavier carbonation than I was expecting. Thins out as it warms. Light-medium bodied.

D: this is one of the more complex brews I have had. This is a sipper - partly to enjoy all it has to offer but also with the 8+ ABV. Very enjoyable but filling.

Photo of Genuine
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle in my Sam's Perfect Pint Glass.

Upon a slight cloudy reddish-brown body sat a very slight tan head.

Smell - I first picked up a good deal of citrus and pine notes, followed by roasted malts, some chocolate.

Taste - not knowing what to expect out of this one, it caught me by delicious surprise. Full bodied, hoppiness that is rounded by the dark roasted malts that create a very nice toasted caramel and toffee flavors. Very satisfying to the palate.

Mouthfeel - medium at best. Carbonation is there and will be noticed.

Drinkability - The more offerings I have from Great Divide, the more I'm liking this brewery. This is another winner for me in my book. I could have a couple of these in the evening and be completely content. Another awesome brew by Great Divide!

Photo of samie85
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a maroon/brown color with two and a half fingers of very dense, glistening, light brown head.

S-Some faint dark fruit notes, a bit of chocolate and roasted notes with some spice and a slightly floral hop nose.

T-A bit of bitter floral and pine notes with dark chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruit notes and finishes malty and bitter.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a rich sumptuous mouthfeel. It's chewy without being over the top thick.

D-I don't even think words can describe how easy drinking this beer is. I've almost gone through a six pack in 2 days... it's just almost regal in its richness but balanced by the pronounced, yet not scene-stealing hop notes. I kind of want to run out and buy a case of this. It really is that good!

Photo of PicoPapa
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date of Nov 10, 2010. Pours a rich dark brown with a medium head. Minimal lacing. Smells of coffee, chocolate, malts, and spices. Taste is hard to pinpoint. I'm picking up on a lot of spices up front with malt and chocolate after that. Somewhat boozey. Aftertaste of caramel. Overall taste is earthy. The strong flavors and higher ABV make this one not all that drinkable. It's a decent beer but I'm more interested in seeing how this ages, because drinking it fresh is a bit over-powering.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - mahogany, dark brown, 2 finger head,
solid lacing display.

S - mild ripe fruit, roasted nuts, toffee,
hint of chocolate, smokiness.

T - toasted nuts/toffee, mild sweet chocolate,
plum/fig/date in background.

M - med/heavy body, smooth structure, good carbonation balance.

D - A 6 pack of this will get you in trouble.
Very interesting beer, big flavor for sipping,
but goes down with ease.


Photo of Flightoficarus
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep, dark brown, with a nice, two finger tan head, with good head retention and thick lacing.

S - Smell is of roasted/bittersweet chocolate/coffee, nuts, dark fruits, and toffee

T - Taste is of rich, chewy chocolate/caramel and toffee malts, with hints of dark and citrus fruits (I'm getting plum, and just a slight hint of orange), and nuts. Yummy stuff!

M - This beer is full-bodied for sure. Smooth and creamy, mild carbonation.

D - It's a big beer, but the alcohol is very well hidden, boosting the drinkability score here.

Overall - A fitting name this beer has, as it makes for a great beer to sip on as a winter warmer, or as a nightcap. Another winner from a great brewery!

Photo of ocelot2500
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color with garnet highlights and a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and some sweetness.

Tastes of the toasted malts with plenty of character. Malts have a caramel and chocolate flavor with some brown sugar. Fairly sweet. Dark fruits make an appearance and add to the malts. A bit roasted bitterness and earthy hops round out the end. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Photo of matt062286
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep ruby red/ brown. Slightly cloudy. Small off-white tan head that dissipates quickly. Little head retention, minimal lacing.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, raisins, roasted malts.

T - Robust and strong. Sweet malts initially, followed by smoky malts and a touch of bitter hop finish. Bit of alcohol presence here as well. Nice warming sensation to this the further I drink it. Hops linger in aftertaste.

M - Minimal to moderate carbonation. Heavier body.

D - The higher ABV and heavier body make this more suitable to sipping versus drinking. Nonetheless, I could see myself having a couple of these on a cold winter night. Overall a pleasant experience that hits the nail on the head for a winter brew!

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

A: This poured a clear dark cherry with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like coffee and roasted barley, with a little brown sugar and a bit of pumpernickel.
T: It tasted like lots of coffee, with some brown sugar and roasted barley and copper hops. It had a fairly clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with some carbonation. Nice and full.
D: This was a very nice porter, but it didn't seem much like an old ale to me. The alcohol was hidden fairly well, so it was pretty easy to drink. It was enjoyable fresh, but I'm very curious to see what happens to it as it ages. So far it doesn't seem like anything special.

Photo of LanceW
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: A dark amber almost the color of dark autumn leaf.

Smell: I was not able to pick up much of a distinct aroma in this beer. Left me wanting more in this area.

Taste: Solid beer. I was able to pick up some coco flavors but the mild sent it did have did not match its flavor. I was surprised

Mouthfeel: I felt like this beer had great body and left you with a full sensation in your mouth. Very pleased in this category.

Drinkability: Drink ability is great The flavor is not faint nor is it overwhelming. I could have one or three in a single sitting.

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

Serving Type - On tap

APpearance - Dark tan/black with red tint. Average thick head

Smell - Roasted malts, alcohol, sugars, yeast, hops, some carmael and barley

Taste - Thick and hoppy with lots of roasted barley, very simular to barleywine but not quite as strong. Plenty of hops mixed with carmael to give it a sweet and bitter taste. Alcohol gives it a warm feeling.

Mouthfeel - Its pretty strong and fairly bitter, so mouth gets warm and tounge gets some bitterness from the hops. Thick and strong, a sipper for sure, i would drink a ipa or pale ale after this.

Drinkabilty - Its easier to drink then most barleywines since its not as strong and bold, but it is still 8.7% so its a one and done for me. If barleywines are too much for you, maybe give this a shot. Has the familar hop flavor from great divine, would recommend this for sure.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes composed on 12/3/10.

I'm f****n cold. It's time to hibernate.

Hibernation Ale pours mahogany-brown into a very large snifter. A dark tan, half-finger head looks lovely and leaves a full-covering film of retention. The lacing is nice - fine and sticky.

A musty, malt-heavy smell headlines the bouquet. There is a bit of an earthy, citrus hop profile that complements the maltbill. Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, freshly disturbed earth, orange rind, plum, and fig result from the beer's ingredients.

Right from the start of the sip, grassy, citrusy hops make their presence known on my bitter receptors, while that musty, caramel and brown sugar malt profile hits my sweet spots. After smelling the beer, I am a bit surprised at how hoppy it is. Contrary to my general love of hops, I actually think I would like a little less of the hop profile and a little more of the malt profile on my palate. I would guess that I would enjoy the flavor more after a few months of aging (bottled on 10/13/10).

A stinging bite from the hops, with a decent medium, rounded out feel in the middle of the sip when the sweet malts kick it up a notch constitutes the mouthfeel. The carbonation is on the low side, but is suitable for this beer.

This Is not really a memorable beer in my mind, but it is a well-crafted and pretty tasty one. I would like to try this beer again with a little more age on it.

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Mahoghany color, very clean. Head a bit sparse.

Very dry, somehwhat smoky aroma. Tastes like a really dry porter with a kick. Pairing fantastically with some oatmeal taken cookies. Oat & cinnamon & nutmeg really bringing out the flacors in the beer.

Every year I pick up this beer, I end up wishing I had gotten more.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Blood red/brown, transparent, with a creamy light brown head and no lacing.

S - Lots of sweet and roasted malts, some chocolate, and an over all robust aroma.

T - The taste is malty sweet, with some hints of hot chocolate, no noticeable alcohol, a lightly hopped.

M - Medium in body, but on the somewhat lighter side. Creamy and smooth though. little to no carbonation.

D - The drinability is good. I could drink another. The alcohol is tame, it smells great and it's a nice robust old ale.

Photo of artcurtis
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my Great Divide Tulip.
A - Pours beautifully, with a small, light, white head. It fairly quickly dissipates down to a fine, white layer of bubbles. It is a very dark reddish brown. When held up to light it shows to be perfectly clear. Leaves a light bit of lacing.

S - mmmm....this smells so good. Rich and roasty. Definitely some hop presence here. Carmel malts and the slightest bit of alcohol finish off the nose.

T - Man, this is easily my favorite winter ale, and one of my favorite beers. Great Divide does a lot of things great, but this is the one they do best. The first is a wonderful, deep roast, quickly followed by a nice spike of warming alcohol. The booze doesn't overpower, and is perfect for a winter warmer. It follows with a nice kick of hop bitterness. Again, not overpowering. This Ale is wonderfully balanced. Everything blends into a wonderful whole.

M - Nice and smooth, fairly light bodied for how big a beer it is. A nice small bit of carbonation really seals the deal

D - Amazing. Not really a session beer, at least not for me. But two definitely hit the spot. And this beer is absolutely wonderful with food. Try some blue cheese, trust me, its perfect.

Photo of rrski198
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Fire red and deep brown colors. Translucent with a big off white head. Outstanding lacing

S: Great roasted caramel malt with hints of cherries, plums. Alcohol is present but welcome.

T: THere is a bitterness I can't put my finger on here. It isn't quite welcome. Alcohol is nicely present. Slight metalic taste as well. Besides the lingering bitterness, its quite good.

M: It coats my mouth nicely and the hops and alcohol provide a log lasting tingle/burn. Average carbonation.

D: A quality offering. Although, with all the seasonal beers out there, it would be tough to purchase again. Not a great session beer but the spice makes it quite pleasant when its 10 degrees outside.

Photo of chickenflea
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy amber-tan colored head that is a finger thick. The beer is a clear deep amber color that shows a deep ruby color when held up to the light. Loads of lacing. The aroma is quite malty with notes of caramel and toffee up front moving to a dry lightly roasted note. Tastes like a toasty brown ale with more alcohol and malt. Perhaps there is a bit of cherry like fruit character and cocoa powder as well, but this is fairly subdued.

The beer has a medium full heft to it, but does not really coat the mouth too much. The beer is sweet with notes of toffee and a light molasses. The finish is a mix of toasted malt notes, a bit of coffee, and a roast grain character. There is a combination of the sweet malt notes and the slight alcohol heat in the finish.

This beer is actually quite nice. The malt character is rich, and makes for a great sipping beer.

Photo of beertunes
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very attractive, clear, reddish-mahogany color, with less than 1/4 inch of dark khaki head that had decent retention and lacing.

The beer had a solid malty base, not as sweet smelling as I might have expected, with some hop aromas floating in the background alongside some yeasty spice scents. The flavor was about what you'd expect, solidly malty, a bit sweet, some hops and spice and a touch of alcohol heat on the finish.

The body was full, smooth and well rounded, pretty much what you're looking for in this style. Drinkability was very good, very easy to consume, especially at this strength.

Overall, a very nice brew, I might have preferred the flavors to be a touch bolder, that is certainly worth trying if you haven't. If you have, I suspect you probably have a couple in the fridge already.

Photo of Ambiorix
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark coppery pour, ruby highlights, dense foamy tan head with really good lacing.

S: Earthy, spicy, caramel, raisins, malty.

T: Flavor is sweet caramel malt, coffee, earth, alcohol (though not hot), dark fruit. Nicely hopped finish that balances well with the maltiness.

M: Medium, nicely carbonated.

D: Very fine old ale. An extremely well-balanced brew that compares well with others of the type. Very enjoyable.

Photo of jamex
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On draft at Pizza Port, Ocean Beach.

Had an amazing beer before this so maybe my sights were set too high. Wasn't that into it.

Strong malt and some hint of some spice, but the sharp taste was too bitter/sour for me. Had trouble getting this one down. Almost tasted like something "was wrong" with the beer. Regardless, I won't be seeking this one out again.

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

Poured into a snifter glass. Color is a deep rich mahogany. Aroma is very sweet and chocolatey, almost like a rich chocolate syrup. Has a somewhat earthy, woody character in the nose, kind of like coffee and cream. First taste is full throttle, with the richness of the beer slamming you back in your seat. Rich chocolate starts, before giving way to an amazing roasted caramel character in the middle. Mild spicy alcohol warmth finishes the beer. A very unique beer, almost like a scotch ale minus the peat, or something like a cross between a robust porter and barleywine. Very complex, but never muddled and quite enjoyable.

Photo of bobhits
2.65/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is just about perfect appearance. The deep dark red, 3 finger off white cream head, lacing, lots of bubbles, just well done.

Amber and caramel malts that aren't doing much. I have a feeling this will get better as it warms so I'll come back.

A very malt dominated beer. The hops work to add a touch of a bite at the end but they really don't make much of an effort to be a part of this beer. Some cherries, alcohol esters, very complex flavor. That said it isn't exciting.

I find this beer dull to drink and it's not overly fun to drink. The body is fairly heavy but well carbonated. Just doesn't drink exceptionally well.

I'd recommend buying a single if you can. That said the price is pretty reasonable.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hibernation on tap at Max's B'more, MD, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A close-to-perfect head, very fluffly and white. Dies quickly, though. Unexpectedly, almost no lacing or retention- just bubbles. Chestnut color, slightly transparent.

Smell: Spice, cardamom, nutmeg. Some vanilla. This is like the whole spice rack in one whiff. Comes strong after pouring, then smooths out and becomes a hushed nose.

Taste: Carbonated chestnut flavor right away, followed by some hoppy carrot cake. Bunch of fallen leaves gently lying on the forest by the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, something is cooking on the old iron stove and is coming out nourishing and warming. Definitely wintery!

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body and flavor. Nice bitter kick at the end of the sip. A tad thin, though, and yet enjoyable nonetheless.

Drinkability: High. 8.7% but drinks easy, just as nice as, say, the 5.50% Anchor Christmas Ale. The spice becomes, as this beer warms up, a tad too much. Drinkability then suffers, but still notable.

Not a fan of warmers in general- but this one is really well-played, just like Paladino's horse.

Photo of mkorpal
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2010 bottle poured into a brandy sniffer.

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a head and some facing.

Smell is of sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, figs and the dry hopping.

Taste is really nice malty notes of caramel and toffee, along with dark fruits, and a bitterness which rounds out the beer.

Somewhat dryer than I thought it would be. Probably could use a bit of weight to it.

Nice and drinkable. The hop character isn't exactly old ale like, but it's still good. I'm going to store a bunch of bottles for next year. I think this beer is much better with some age on it.

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,460 ratings.