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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,379 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,379
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 105
Gots: 154 | 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: 2,379 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
2.93/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled 9/2/10,

A: Pours a medium brown with a light finger of white head, average retention, some lace.

S: Malty, dark sugar, with a considerable hoppiness.

T: Has the dark winter malt flavours which I liked. The hops take over midway through the beer gets very bitter and earthy, with a cloying sugary finish.

M: Full-bodied, creamy, as I said before cloying residual sugar, aftertaste is not good.

D: This bottle is extremely young, the flavours are promising, but not coming together very well. It's an awkward beer. I find it too overhopped for the style, but it's something I would love to try again with 1-2 years on it, it's not really a fun beer to drink fresh. It's like drinking a really fresh Bordeaux or Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it's not really drinkable fresh beacause of the tannins, but one can see the potential (that's why I kept the taste at a 3, were it is a clear 2-2.5 currently). This is really what's going on here. The malt flavour is really good, and when the hops (which I wasn't a fan of in this beer) drop out with some age I feel this beer could be phenomenal at that time, so keep that in mind. But right now it's nothing special, C+, as I rated it.

Halcyondays, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
2.6/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Blue Palms. Poured in a goblet.

Quarter inch off white head dies down to a bubbly layer of foam on top. Good retention and some nice lacing left behind.

I actually could barely smell anything at all from this beer. At first I thought it was just too cold, so I let it warm up and it still hardly smelled like anything at all. I thought I was going crazy for a minute, but I could smell food around me quite well (as well as the beer I had after it). I barely got the sligtest touch of dark fruit and caramel malt, and I think that was mostly what I thought I should smell.

Taste is a bit of dark fruit and some light cocoa. A bit of tobacco resin and pine hops. Lingering resin/smoke aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is light for such a big beer, low carbonation.

Kinda lame in general.

billshmeinke, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Soonami
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle of Great Divide Hibernation Ale is one that I have been aging since last spring, when I found it on discount for $1/12 oz bottle (I bought all that they had--5). I remember it having a solid bitterness and a good aged, raisin flavor. This bottle, from the beginning of the pour had a very pronounced cognac aroma. This carried over in the palate with a full age liquor flavor that was a complex combination of toasted malt, port, oak, and alcohol. Tasty and it was not difficult at all to finish a 12 oz bottle.

Soonami, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cherry with orange highlights when backlit and a fine tan head that leaves blobs of lace on the glass. Buttery toffee, tobacco and piney hop notes in the aroma. Rich roasty malt flavors with notes of buttered rum and spicy hop flavors. Full bodied and slightly sticky with bright carbonation.
A really nice brew anytime of the year.

biggred1, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of DaveJanssen
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a large snifter. Reviewed 6/25/2010. Bottled Nov 24 2009.

Ar: chocolate, alcohol, light roast/burn, toasty, lightly ashy, lightly oxidized, grainy

Ap: light dense off white head, deep brown, clear

T: strong toast, mild roast, freshly burnt bread, nutty, oaky/earthy, dry burnt end, balanced towards sweet, mild dark dry fruit, too toasty/grainy

M: medium body, dry burnt end with alcohol warmth

O: unique but unpleasant aggressive toast/burn

DaveJanssen, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of berpwillie
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown opaque color with good frothy tan head that recedes at a moderate rate. good lacing and soft carbonation. malty caramel nutty hints in the smell. taste is much the same with bread and molasses hints. very very light hop hints. medium body and a slightly creamy sticky texture. average flavor duration with a light sweet bitter finish. very smooth.

berpwillie, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of BostonTriggs
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl/oz bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured the beer right down the middle.

A - I'm still not very good at naming the color, but this one appears to be a dark brown, and has nice amber hue in the light. The head lingers for a couple of minutes and has a creamy tan color. The beer seems to be clear for it's dark color.

S - A powdery milk chocolate (in a good way), with hints of acidity like a cocoa bean. Sweet, again like chocolate; reminds me of Hebert's. There's a slight kick of alcohol at the end of the smell. A dark roasted coffee scent comes through, most likely from a dark or chocolate malt. There's a decent yeast smell that lightens up as the beer settles. The slightest bit smoky. There's a lot to the smell of this beer, as it warmed up I got a decent kick of dried dark fruits.

T - A little on the acidic side. Very, very light on the bitterness (the more you drink, the more the bitterness lingers on the back of the palate). The beer is very sweet, but still somehow remains mostly balanced. I get the flavor of lactic acid in the aftertaste. This beer is milk chocolaty like in the smell, and is heavy on the malt side. There is no hop flavor other than the bitterness at the end. Oddly, the acidity and sweetness remind me of a Belgian dark ale.

M - Not overly carbonated, heading towards the light side of the spectrum. Oily and smooth, but not too thick. It sticks to the palate for a while.

D - One or two per session. The sweetness gets to me after a while. This is one of the more refreshing old ales that I've had. It goes down very smooth, similar to chocolate milk.

Enough reviewing, time to enjoy the rest of the beer.

BostonTriggs, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber red color with tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Leather, hay, some cardboard-y oxidation, and some raisin on the nose.

Taste is moderately roasted malt, some nuttiness, some darker (almost burnt) flavors. Rye bread, a hint of booze. I can't tell if I really like it or not. Feel is light and a bit flat for my tastes. I feel weird saying this, but I could use a bit more sweetness to it and maybe a bit more carbonation to puff up the mouthfeel and make it creamy.

For some reason I'm really getting a rye toast flavor out of this one. Drinkable-ish, but I'm reaching for other old ales, something in here just doesn't quite jive with me.

LordAdmNelson, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of nukem5
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Whoa, nothing prepares you for this one. Rich dark amber color with loads of tan foamy head.

S: Nice hoppy flavor and great malty roasty smells invade the senses.

T: Dry hopping really comes through but is then kicked out by the awesome malty flavors. A bit sweet fr me but a bit of warming on the end. Notice after I was drinking this one that brew was dated Oct 22 2009.

M: Medium to heavy on this one. Every thing you would expect from a high gravity beer

D: Would like to have this in the winter maybe after shoveling out after a snowstorm of maybe just sledding for a couple of hours, but did go pretty good with my grilled chicken.

nukem5, Jun 28, 2010
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
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,379 ratings.