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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,582 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,582
Reviews: 1,106
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 112
Gots: 250 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,582 | Reviews: 1,106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of masstransplant
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful dark amber with some reddish-copper. Almost no head though...this is inconsistent with some of the other review's I've read. Smelled like a typical Old English ale, lots of malt and some alcohol. Nothing remarkable. The same can be said for the taste. Alcohol comes off first which mutes the rest of the taste experience. Not bad, but not great. The taste did improve as the beer approaced room temperature. Good carbonation, and a somewhat crisp mouthfeel. All around average...glad I only bought two.

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

Into a snifter.

Very deep red-amber color with a bubbly, smooth head. Quite lively, lots of bubble streams created. Head doesn't last, but leaves thick lacing down the sides. Great color, great head. Smell is outrageously nutty; smooth peanut butter, caramel drenched hazelnuts, roasted pecans. Backdrop of creamy sweetness, some doughiness. Big, thick and rich smells. Very malty. Flavors follows aroma: smooth hazelnuts, soft bread-like malt profile, mild sweetness, fig-iness, coffee and finishes on a balanced hop note. Falls a bit flat in the finish, kind of mashes up and becomes mixed, but still quite good. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. No roughness or over-carbonation here! Big bodied, duh.

Great sipper to watch a Kubrick film to. Prost!

Photo of Bfarr
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, dark amber with slight red highlights, a thin tan head that's only big and fluffy after an aggressive pour but with poor retention and lacing. Deep malty spice aroma. Rich malt and spice character. Chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, slight alcohol, and an overall spicy sweet balance. Clean finish. Mouthfeel begins with a bite and ends with a lightly fticky and fuzzy mouthcoating.

This beer has everything in a nice balanced equation. An almost indescribable effect as flavors meld into one another weaving a taste tapestry. An easy drinking, wonderful concoction that left me very angry that someone had stolen one out of the last 6-pack available this year. I guess I can look at it the other way and say it was their loss for not taking them all.

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

Poured into a snifter, bottled on date clearly marked on label.

When pouring into my glass this beer looks thick and rich. I have to lift the bottle up pour from a greater height to agitate the beer and produce a head, which could easily foam over the glass if I wasn't careful. Body is clear and deep chestnut ruby. Lacing is some of the best I have seen, and head retention is wonderful. This beer is nearly as good as it gets for appearance.

The nose is also fantastic, with sticky dark fruits (figs mostly, but raisins as well) lurking under layers of rich strong malts. This concoction is crowned with hops that never present fully as it seems they are dripping in malty syrup. A little swirl brings up more hops, and it is evident that this was dry-hopped.

Deep caramelized sugar and chocolate malts pair with figs and raisins in the mouth. Enough bitterness is present from the flavorful hops to keep the malts from being cloying. Alcohol is present enough to enhance the flavors, but doesn't burn or detract from anything.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, with compact carbonation fitting in perfectly. I just love the carbonation in this beer, and would be fooled to think it was bottled conditioned if I didn't see a lack of sediment. Drinkability is quite good. Very tasty.

Conclusion: Great Divide rarely misses a mark, and this beer is no exception. Rich, well hopped (for an English style) and flavorful. In a blind tasting I might peg this as an English barleywine or maybe even an aged American barleywine. Whatever. This is a great beer, and one of my favorite offerings from one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is reddish copper. Weak head dissipates quickly to a thin ring, leaving little to no lacing.

Nose is faint, some sweet malt and some chocolate.

Tastes of malt, biscuits, some milk chocolate, brown sugar. Finishes dry and hoppy. Good balance of slightly bitter hops to the rich sweet malt.

Body is medium with just enough carbonation to produce a spritzy mouthfeel.

I am enjoying this, but the strong malt dominance would keep me from having another at one sitting.

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

A: Lots of carbonation. Rich red-brown [burnt sienna with red].

S: Hops and sweet malts, chocolate, lambic yeast, fruit.

T: More malts, a little chocolate, nutty hops at finish. Yeast and fruit.

M: Crisp and bubbly. Nice, but kind of subdued and unimpressive.

D: Very enjoyable. Great flavor, but it's not very intense.

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

A- Pours a beautiful, ruddy brown hue with light brown head.

S- Dark fruits, raisin, fig, brown sugar.

T- Really solid old ale. Lots of dark fruit, pronounced brown sugar, hints of roasted malt.

M- Medium/Thick with ample carbonation.

D- A very nice example of an old ale that is extremely drinkable. Nothing crazy here but a good example of the style.

Photo of Jesstyr
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this at Total Wines, and paired it with a great bacon-wrapped filet and broccoli.

First off, this was a perfect pairing, and I strongly suggest this beer for grilling on a cold winter night. Pours into a chalice with very little foam, maybe a cm, but thats it. Beautiful red body, brown at its center, but a great reddish hue. Nose is very malty, but full of a very interesting sugary tone.

Body is sweet and roasted, full of malt, but with just a tinge of sugar. Tiny bite of hops, just underneath the rest of the more dominate flavors. Medium body, nothing overpowering, slick, etc, just a nice beer feel. Overall, nice and drinkable, and definitely think this is best paired with some good grilled food.

Photo of farrago
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presents two fingers of reddish tan foam, decent density with smaller, tighter bubbles, mild dimpling with good retention at the half finger point, thick streaks of lacing. Dark red-brown color, closer to redwood than mahogany, more translucent than opaque, clearer and brighter orange at the glass bottom. The nose emphasizes cocoa and mocha powder, dusty texture, dried oats, scones, Brazil nuts, concentrated cherry to plum fruit scents, as it warms the orange citrus spreads out, overall more of a gentle toast than deep roast, the hops linger in the background. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is in overdrive from the start, this churning helps to mask a lot of the underlying dryness. Again with the powdery cocoa, mocha, coffee, even the caramel seems this way. Well-baked pastry dough to scone, muffin flavors, well beyond yeasty. Mixed nuts, orange peel, here a little pine sap gets into the mix. The plum, cherry, blackberry fruit gets pushed off to near the finish. At the end gets more earthy with fallen wood notes, nothing close to herbaceous. Extra bonus points for the dryness, not taking the easy overly sweet route.

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

A- Very dark amber in color. A fingers worth of white colored head.

S- Sweet roasted malt up front with a good amount of citrus hops behind it.

T- Sweet roasty malts leave a great lingering flavor on my palate. Butterscotch flavors pour oyt of thia one. Great sweetness balanced with hops.

M- A pleasant mouthfeel that leaves a great aftertaste. The thickness off this one is almost perfect.

D- 8.7 %? wheres the burn on this one? Ill tell ya. Not here

Photo of rembrant
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Catching up my notes

Looks- Hamdsome,clear deep red brown with a substantial cream colored 2 finger head

Aroma Earthy,some yeast,toast,a hint of fruit in the back.

Flavor Different and interesting. Something in the malt side almost wants to do a coffee taste...but not quite. There's a base flavor that's mostly grain,bread,sweet rolls with a bit of brown sugar It does taste...like Ale,while not tasting much like any other thing. A bit of the dark fruit and oak/wood tastes are there but rather merged. The hops do their bittering in a good proportion with some woodiness but no pine resin. The Malts exhibit roastiness but not quite a coffee or chocolate note.

Mothfeel is quite solid,full with enough carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. It is a robust ale that's tasty and hearty and a bit unusual. I assume it's based on a traditional English ale that looks for a neutral flavor mix I'd say it's well executed because I kind of like it.

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UPDATE: Adding a vintage 2010 bottle, sampled Dec 2011. Everything was similar to the original except the flavors were much more melded and less "green". Hops have fallen out which I enjoy and I enjoy this more with some age on it than I did fresh. I plan to buy some soon and age it for next year or beyond...

Aromas of sweet and roasted malts, some chocolate and a lightly robust aroma. Really sweet and inviting with caramels and layers of toasted malts, yum.

The taste has flavors of sweet caramel malt, lots of toffee, some lighter coffee, earthy, a little alcohol (though not hot) finishing with some dark fruit. A nicely hopped finish that balances well with the maltiness.

The mouthful is full, creamy and smooth with adequate carbonation, a real joy to consume.

Overall, this is top 5 Winter beer on the planet in my opinion. It satisfies everything you want in a winter warmer, the high ABV limits your enjoyment but if you can pace yourself you will be rewarded with this seasonal brew from Great Divide.

Photo of shand
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.

This beer pours without a head. Really, there's nothing here. At all. Otherwise, it's a deep red colour, and all things considered, it lace decently. The smell is mostly sweet malts, there's some dark fruits and dark chocolate in here as well. The taste is rather good. The taste is predominantly sweet, but there's some bittering hops at the very end that really helps it from becoming cloying. It's really rather good tasting.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and lightly carbonated, and the drinkability is high enough for the ABV, but hampered by how sweet a brew this is. It's all together a pretty good brew, it's just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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

Consumed at Encinitas Ale House in Encinitas, CA on December 29th, 2010.

Medium to deep reddish brown beer with an extremely fine light tan head. Spectacular sheeting.

Smoky, woody aroma offset with notes of toasted malt. Unique combination of smells.

First thing noted about the flavor is wood - oak? Rich on the palate: caramel malt, juicy fruit notes in the midtaste (pitted fruit), controlled bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick with somewhat low carbonation.

This is the kind of beer I love - a sipper to savor.

Photo of LeftyEtc
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep reddish brown body with a thin tan head that quickly recedes leaving sticky lacing on glass.

S - Sweet roasted malts, brown sugar offset by strong stinging hops.

T - Ginger, cinnamon and malty sweetness balanced nicely by bittering hops that grab your attention at the end of each sip. Slight alcohol bite with lingering sweet after taste.

M - Sticky and chewy body carbonated just slightly. This is a warming and comforting beer great after just shoveling snow or a post-snow hike. I find it to be a complex and joyful beer easily accompanied by a few more due to its excellent taste and intriguing aroma.

Photo of thagr81us
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of bitter malt, hop, spices, alcohol, and caramel. The flavor was of bitter malt, bitter hop, clove, spices, caramel, and slight banana. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Definitely a welcomed change for most winter seasonals out there. Nice hop profile going on here in the both the aroma and flavor. Can't wait to try the -bal version (hint hint traders!)...

Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer bottle brown (really, I compared) with garnet shades. healthy head of two fingers, very good retention and a nice amount of lace. Smell is toffee and pine with a touch of toasted malt. Some yeasty esters and a touch of earth. Taste is sweet with a big toffee front that gives way to a pine and citrus hops. Finish is long and dry with a lingering grapefruit and and a bit of mocha/coffee. A bit of warming from the alcohol but it is well integrated and does not really draw attention to itself. Some tea, leafy hops and a hint of mint. Feel is slightly syrupy with a mild carbonation. A nice winter sipper that goes down nicely.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice clear brown body with ruby highlights, topped with a puffy tan head. Good head retention with spotty lacing with a lot of visible carbonation.

S: Initial thought is a very malty nose. Sweet caramel malts, candy sugar, dark fruits, and perhaps toasted chocolate malts are in the aroma. Barely any noticable hops, but one can pick up some floral notes.

T: A wonderfully balanced old ale with earthy hops, caramel malts, and a subtle sweetness from some dark fruits. In the middle I got some toffee notes, and it finishes with a slight bitterness along with some warmth from the booze.

M: Full to medium body, medium carbonation, and although smooth to drink, it has almost a chewy texture.

D: Really easy to drink, but I can only see myself drinking 1-2 at a time. Would love to sit on this one for a year and let it age a bit.

Photo of HOPPYKC
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12oz. bottle and poured into a pint glass. Poured a dark amber and caramel color with a thick appearance. This is one of the first old style ales that Ive had but i like a lot of GD ales. The smell is of coffee, hops, and malt. Taste is also of malt and chocolate, with a hops character. The drinkability is great for a beer with abv. 8.7%. its almost unnoticeable, and make it easy to get carried away with a beer like this. Great beer!

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

pours a deep, dark copper/mahogany in color, crystal clear with a thick white puffy head.

sweet malty aroma. notes of dark dried fruit (plums, raisins), caramel malts and a fantastic biscuity backbone. subtle floral notes indicate there was a small amount of dry hopping, but it wasn't enough to stand out. fantastic.

flavor imitates the aroma in the fact that it is insanely sweet. not sugary sweet, but sweet from the massive amounts of malts used in this brew. aforementioned flavors of dark dried fruit, caramel and biscuity malts are all there. no hop character. A-Mazing.

slick and smooth mouthfeel; good drinkability

one of my favorite styles by one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of heebes
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Hunkered down, fitting day to try this beer.

Pours a clear dark brown amber. Thin off white foamy head. Nose is phenol, malty, dark licorice. Taste's similir to the nose, bitter licorice warming to a strong alcohol presence on the palatte. Medium bodied, dry mouthfeel. A sipper for me, only picked up one bottle to try. Not nearly as much malty/hop presence as I read about. About as good as an Old Ale should be I gather. Allright to try, perhaps not a repeat purchase here.

Photo of DPhillips1027
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber to reddish in color with a thin creamy head that dissipates quickly. Fairly transparent, with a little lacing around the glass.

S: Malty sweetness with a hint of caramel, a whiff of citrus towards the end. Definitely something fall like in the nose.

T: Very well balanced, malts first followed by just the right amount of hops. Slightly sweet but finishes well. Nothing seems to be to overpowering.

M: Smooth and buttery, slight carbonation.

D: A great winter brew for us here in Ohio. Warms the belly along with the spirits on a cold dark NE night. Probably could finish the whole growler myself but will share. Wonder if it this good in bottles?

Photo of Oregonfiresteed
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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
4.17/5  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
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,582 ratings.