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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,585 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,585
Reviews: 1,106
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 112
Gots: 252 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,585 | Reviews: 1,106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark mahogany brown, slightly lighter brown on the periphery. Very solid one finger, off-white head forms up and reduces to a thin layer on top. Leaves nice sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Very malt, lots of caramel and some burnt sugar. A little molasses and some nuts.

T: Similar to the nose, heavy on the malt. Lots of caramel and nuts. A little bit of dark fruit (some raisons and grapes) and a slight alcohol presence right at the end.

M: Definitely fuller bodied and on the thicker side, but goes down smooth. Only a slight bit of alcohol right at the end.

O: Pretty good, my first old ale, and I like the heavy malt bill on this one. Its a sipper and I am enjoying it at slow pace, not something I would drink ovr and over again

Photo of Duhast500
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz.bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark maroon with a finger of foamy off-white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is roasty and is slightly mixed with a burnt matchstick aroma with some malty sweetness that is there in the background.

The taste is also a bit roasty with some bready toasted malt flavor. There is a creamy flavor that take coats the pallet in sweet malts. There is some earthy goodness that makes this beer an interesting winter type beer.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and is smooth going down but does have some interesting creamy feel to each sip.

Photo of beaker2651
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The deep, malty flavor of a porter, the hop bite similar to a black IPA and the drinkability of an english brown ale. Low to medium carbonation, as expected. Flavors blend extremely well to produce an overall exceptional beer. Not something to drink all night long, but if you're looking for a lot of flavor with a definite kick, this is a beer definitely worth trying, over and over again!

Photo of webbcreative
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version.

Dark brown mahogany color with 1 finger off white head.

S= sweet, chocolate malt, some dark fruits. A touch of alcohol present, but this is still pretty young also.

T=sweet! and chocolate malt is most dominate to me. Again the alcohol shows its head. no real hop bitterness to speak of.

M= nice medium mouthfeel, that leaves sticky lip smacking goodness.

O=Pretty good beer, I would like to see how this progresses with some more age to it thought. There is not one component that jumps out to me that makes me say wow, this is a great barley wine, there are many more I would pick up in place of this.

Photo of northaustin
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

reviewing the 09.

pours a solid, murky brown with ruby highlights. a fat finger of white head which settles quickly into an even head which leaves dotted lacing.

smell: super vanilla followed by mellow roasts. a sort of old grassy/dirty hop note is also present still.

taste: lots of toffee/vanilla type flavors followed by a nice caramel blast. rounded off by an earthy/woody finish.

mouthfeel: very slick in the beginning but over time builds up and leaves a filmy feeling.

Photo of zrab11
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a Nice Brown Ale with some ruby color showing through .Off white head

S-Smeels of malts and old yeast, with some hoppy and chocholate notes

T- HAs a nice sour malty taste at first then finishes with a smokey nutty ending.

M-Medium Bodied with good carbonation

D- This is a great beer by Great Divide. Like it alot. Will def. get this beer again

Photo of hickmancase
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Total Wine.

Electricity went out in my apartment, so I decided to make the best of the situation by cracking open a beer and playing my bass.

A: I can't really see it. It was difficult to poor. I think it's dark brown. I know there's a good two-finger head on it's top.

S: Brown sugar. Caramel. Malts. Nutmeg or allspice...or both. Whatever, smell has a hint of pumpkin pie.

T: It has bite. Not like the smell. Piney. Hopefully its better when it warms up. It does!

M: Thick and sticky. Good but too many bubbles.

D: Good brew, but would probably skip on it in favor of some other winter beers.


Photo of JamisonM
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany color with a tan head

S: cinnamon with brown sugar milk chocolate and plums wow this smells great! perhaps some nutmeg as well.

T: up front its deep sweet brown sugar with a more dry finish then you would expect I am also getting some wonderful chocolate notes plums and nutmeg too.

M: med to heavy mouth with med to low carbonation

D: very drinkable very nice to drink on a cold night by the fire

overall: one of the best winter seasonal's out there I will buy this again no question about it.

Photo of Transatlantic
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

A - Dark copper reddish brown. Crystal clear with an off white foamy head that sticks around for a while. No carbonation bubbles (to no surprise)

S - A dark malty sweet smell with a strong milk chocolate in the background presence. I'm not picking up any hop aroma but the smell is beautiful on the nose.

T - Oh wow, it's just like chocolate milk. A very tame but sweet sweet malty chocolate taste is the first taste you get and the last taste you get. I could say I taste some roasted coffee in the aroma, but i'd be lying. The taste of this beer is very straightforward. It's a milk chocolate beer and nothing more. (to which I love)

M - Medium to Full Bodied. Extremely creamy, hinting at the taste of chocolate milk.

D - If this beer weren't nearly 9% abv, it'd be drank like chocolate milk. Unfortunately, a pint or two of these will keep you warm enough to keep a smile on your face.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Reviewed December 2010.

A: Brown amber, but ruby when backlit. Light head, but decent lacing. I can just barely see through to the other side.

S: Funky old ale yeasts. Some malts. Nice, but generally mild.

T: Sourish at first before a nutty, malty richness sets in. Weird, but awesome -- almost fruity, almost smoky, completely delicious. The aftertaste is tangy and nutty-dry. I am frustrated by my inability to adequately describe this beer. You'll have to take my word that it's supremely tasty and try it for yourself.

M: Tart at times, but mostly smoothish and nice.

D: One of Great Divide's best beers. Simply wonderful.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a snifter. Bottled: 11/22/2010.

A: It has a mohogany pour with red highlights and a half-finger of whtie head that recedes quickly to the edges and laces well.

S: Molasses, raisins, dates, and brown sugar.

T: Raisins, caramel, candi sugar, vanilla, and booze.

M: The body is medium-thick with medium carbonation and some stickiness.

D: The raisin card is overplayed with this one. It becomes annoying about half way through and the rest becomes a struggle.

Photo of gnemesis
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz 2010 bottle poured into wine glass on 12/26/2010.
This beer pours a dark brown with a creamy, tan head. Smells sweet at first take. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, some toasty malts. Not much in the way of hops. The earthy hop flavor emerges slightly with the first few sips but this one is malty sweetness. The caramel and brown sugar dominate with a sprinkle of the dark fruit. The after taste is a strange one- herbal essences shampoo? This is a clean, hand-washed glass, rinsed well, and dried so I'm not sure why I taste this. It's not even terrible just not right or expected. I lowered my score slightly to reflect this oddity. Medium body with the right amount of carbonation present. A decent old ale style beer but the off-flavor threw me for a loop a bit. I will age a few and revisit in the future. Sip on a cold night.

Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/9/9. Interesting.

A- transparent amber with white lacing around the edges.
S-cannot pick up much smell from this. Maybe sweetness
T-tastes like sweet caramel. Lots of malt here. Very pleasant
M-medium body and crisp. Sweet after taste
D-very drinkable. Liked this a lot. Prolly throw a 4 or 6er in my cellar.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 year cellared bottle. Pours orangish yellow. a bit of head that dissipates quickly. Smells sweet and malty. Lots of almost buttery sweetness on the nose. Smells great! Tastes pretty solid. A good amount of booziness and sweetness on the tongue. Very complex malt profile. Some camel and maybe even brown sugar on the tongue. Thick almost syrupy. Could do with another year even. Very drinkable and pretty tasty

Photo of imagese
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smeared bottling date. Poured into tulip

A- Great ruby color with 1/4" tan head that faded fast and left soapy lacing

S- sweet malt, oak, toffee, and slight hops. Also picking up a little chocolate

T- bready malt sweetness, caramel, chocolate and hoppy bitterness

M- dry with a medium body. Medium carbonation mixed with the dryness really leaves a lot of bitterness on the tongue

D- as this beer warms up, the boldness turns it into a sipper. Easy to finish the 12oz bottle, but probably wouldn't do 2 in a session. I will enjoy this again for sure though

Photo of Retsinis
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

Great Divide just recently (last 6 months)started distributing to Southern California, so it's nice to start reviewing some of their beers.

Picked this one up as part of a mixed six pack at Total Wines (new to our area, much better than Bevmo, anyhow)

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.

The beer pours a clear ruby red with a nice inch or so of tan colored head. ok retention and lacing.

The Aromas are of sweet malts, maple syrup, toffee, some hops, and a little bit of toast. I get maybe some spice, maybe nutmeg.

The flavors in the taste are of roasted malts, earth, a bit of wood, some chocolate, dark fruit, along with some coffee notes as well.

The Mouth feel is full, with perhaps a bit too much carbonation, but this is still quite a robust and chewy brew.

Overall, the alcohol doesn't show through much at 8.1%. Well balanced and pretty drinkable.

Looking forward to try more of their offerings.

Photo of GregPearson33
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber brown with a thick frothy 1-finger head, almost entirely opaque.

S: Big, sweet malty smell with hints of chocolate, oak, black cherry and other dark fruits.

T: Taste is much better balanced than the super sweet smell. All those great flavors from the nose were present, but there was a unique complexity when those were juxtaposed with its chewy mouth feel and a little bitter hop nip. Aftertaste is like a semi-sweet chocolate.

M/D: The mid-low level of carbonation and sticky consistency make it a little thick to drink, but that's not such a bad thing given such complexity (and booze).

Overall: Perfect to sip on a cold winter night, but would probably move to another choice after just one.

Photo of felipe2toes
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish brown with tan head. Good amount of lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, caramel, and malt. Not much in the way of hops.

Tasty beer. Tastes of fig, raisins, caramel, and maple syrup, but not overly sweet. Slightly bitter finish. Just a rich and delicious and complex beer.

Not much carbonation, but slightly chewy mouthfeel. Alcohol not very noticeable or overwhelming, can definitely drink more than one.

Photo of dmfrench
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sweet, spicy, and flavorful, spoiled by on odd finish

A: Deep pumpkin brown hazy body with a half finger somewhat persistent yellowed white head

S: Candied prune, a bit of spice, and maybe a hint of diacetyl. Not very fragrant, simple, but pleasant enough.

T: A lot more flavor than I expected from the nose... plenty of drying hops going around... the sweet spiced prune takes a back seat. Malt foundation is unfortunately fairly weak, and there is a slightly odd metallic taste, apparent most in the finish.

M: has a nice heft to it with pleasant carbonation, but something about the metallic taste seems to be affecting mouthfeel negatively.

D: Tasty while in the mouth, but the odd finish wears on you.

Photo of JMad
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

It comes out a dark amber color with a thin tan head.

The aromas consist of caramel malt, buttered rolls, and a hint of cinnamon.

I tasted sweet fig, slight bitterness on the back of the tongue. There was a hint of chocolate, and tasted like cookies.

It has a medium-thick body, very smooth with soft carbonation.

I can't believe this is 8.7% ABV, the alcohol is hid very weel, this could be tricky. It was very complex I just couldn't single out all the individual flavors.

Photo of fdw3
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red-tinted brown with a relatively thin tan colored head with little retention but laces nice dots as it recedes.

Smells of roasted malts contrasted with flowery hops. Lighter notes of sweetness and dark fruit is also noticeable.

Tastes of bold, sweet malts and finishes with a bite of hops. Sweetness mimics a molasses/caramel flavor and alcohol is moderately disguised -- noticeable but not overwhelming.

Body is significant and feels sticky with lower carbonation; perfect for warming up.

Drinkability is moderate but high for the style as the ale is well-balanced. I really enjoyed this beer although two would certainly be my limit at a sitting.

Photo of sendsilk
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

$12 for a 6 pack.
Picked this up at a hole in the wall liquor store in Tampa, FL (hence the high price I guess). I haven't even seen this beer offered at Total Wine or ABC.

This thing pours gorgeous for an Ale. Nice head and serious lacing. I am a stout guy so ales aren't usually up my alley but this thing looks damn good and smells great. Reminds me of a Bells Two Hearted Ale smell but a little thicker. Honestly, I could just chew this son-of-a-bitch up by the smell alone. Ales usually don't smell this intense. This smells pretty promising.

T- Blah Blah Blah, heres where the hoity toity's say "it erupts on my tongue with its fragrant malty hoppishness". Whatever, this is a solid, bold tasting ale. Actually, I am almost tasting chocolate on this brew. Maybe the malts are so bold, but it tastes like chocolate.

One of the best I have ever had for the style. I try to keep in mind the style because if this brew was an IPA I would have a hard enough time approaching any IPA but this would sit me down and say "drink me" (or was it eat me?).

M- Fantastic for an ale....you gotta try this bitch. I mean hell, $2 for a single of this (okay $3 if you are buying a single) but well worth it. Shit, I took my wife out to a Sushi bar on Monday and the Yeungling drafts were $5 a pop (for THAT swill nonetheless) so makes $3 beer of this character seem cheap.

D- Bring this on all night long! I have 6 and this is the first. Probably knock out another 1 before trying something else.

Seriously, BM if you have any questions on this bad boy as I am seriously impressed this.

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label dated 2010, the month/day are illegibly printed, looks like "Nov 13" possibly.

Bright garnet tone in the light, with a full head of tan foam when first poured. It dissipates after a few minutes to a broken skim, with an intricate ring of lace around the edges.

Smell is lightly medicinal, earthy, sweet and malty. Bready too, with a twinge of perceptible alcohol when swirled. Some vanilla comes through at room temperature.

Very malt driven, slightly sweet at first becoming dry in the finish with very mild residual bitterness. Multigrain bread, walnuts, leaf tobacco, and some mild hop herbals in the aftertaste. Light feel, the 8.7% ABV isn't overwhelming, but certainly one to respect and take time with. Not sure that i'd get more, but wouldn't turn one down.

2014: Fresh bottle, less than 3 weeks old. Lots of roast and puffed wheat in the aroma. Roasty malt flavors, tobacco, walnut, and a lingering earthy hop bitterness. Hops are a little more noticeable in the fresh bottle. Thanks to Bob for this one!

Photo of bum732
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Floral and earthy hops, hoppy mineral note, some caramel maltiness.

L: Light tan head that dissipates, mostly clear brownish red. Nice lacing.

T: Leafy hoppy semi-sweet light caramel malt. Low herbal bitterness leading to a more mineral like hoppiness with a touch of toffee. Finishes semi-dry with some more earthy hoppiness.

M: Medium-full bodied, low carbonation.

Surprisingly hoppy for the style, i suppose it'll fade with age. I think it was dry hopped a bit too much as there are prominent mineral notes that taste odd.

Photo of r0nyn
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my oversized snifter. Bottling date is 9/2/10.

Pours an orange-ish amber with red highlights. Translucent, with a thin, fizzy head that leaves isolated spots of sticky bubbles all along the inside of the glass. Not very much head retention. Nose is initially sweet and malty, but transitions quickly into some spicy notes and a lot of dark fruit. Little bit of alcohol can be detected on the back end, along some slight hop aroma. Smells quite a bit like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and that's definitely points in this brew's favor.

Initial sip is sweet and malty just like the nose, with a little bit of chocolate undertone, which is surprising, but welcome. Gives way to dark fruit along with some nuttiness, followed by some light hoppy bitterness.Some bready and caramel notes lead into the slight alcohol warmth at the back end. Mouthfeel is a bit drying, with a medium body and quite a bit of carbonation. I would have liked a bit more smoothness.

Drinkability is fairly good. Looks and tastes quite a bit like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which is a very welcome characteristic. Seems like an American take on the style, with hops playing a bigger part in the flavoring as well as the varied malts. Not bad for a cold winter night.

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,585 ratings.