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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,170 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,170
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 94
Gots: 109 | 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: 2,170 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rebel1771


3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark reddish brown with a decent off-white head.

Aromas of sweet chocolate malts make up the body of the smell with a hint of cherry thrown in.

The flavor is stuffed with chocolate and coffee flavors. This brew also has a distinct bready after taste not unlike pumpernickel.

All in all not a bad brew, but I doubt I could down more than two of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 02:05:15 | More by rebel1771
Photo of KyleVick4


3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Pours a nice clear brown color. Good head and tremendous lacing. Decent cascade effect which pleased me.

S: Chocolate. Overpowering chocolate. Then some hints of spice? I can't place the spices though... Alcohol is present in the nose as well.

T: Well, to folow up on the nose it tastes like a damn chocolate malt. A bit overpowering for my tastes, but not a bad beer if thats what you are going for. Hoppiness is present and lends a nice aftertaste which is actually noticable after the chocolate... No taste of the alcohol I smelled originally.

M: Wow, this is a chewy beer for its style. I do kind of like it though. Grows on me. I think the carbonation is perfect (which means it is probally undercarbonated for the rest of the world) and the feel is very heavy, but not extreme I guess (its no Yeti Stout)

D: Well this sucker is already almost gone... Is it because daddy started with scotch early? Well partially yes, but mainly this is an addictive beer. I still stand by the overpowering taste, but the mouthfeel seems to beg me for one more sip.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 03:35:10 | More by KyleVick4
Photo of terrabyte


4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut color with red tinge. Seems more amber than their amber I just tried. Medium light-yellow head that disappears quickly, yet leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is spicy with a floral hops smell on top of deep & harsh dark fruits. By the end of the glass as it warmed up, I can't really pick up any hops anymore. Closer to a winter warmer or doppelbock.

Flavor starts with a caramel base that is quickly flooded by dark fruits like raisins and plums. Really sweetened up as it warmed. The hops seems to be completely missing now. Finishes with a whisper of ashtray smoke.

Mouthful is excellent. Creamy and smooth, allows you to enjoy the beer with every sip. Only downside is a slight stickiness from the sweetness. Too busy enjoying the beer to normally notice.

Drinkability is excellent. Complexity and flavor is very enjoyable. Really has a range depending on temperature. I think it works at any temperature, but it's a different beer! This is the first single I've had in a long time that makes me want to buy as a 6-pack on a regular basis. Finally!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 04:57:30 | More by terrabyte
Photo of velo343


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

Appearance - Poured a medium brown with a large, fluffy off-white head.

Smell - Great bouquet of citrusy, piney hops and toasted, caramel.

Taste - A deep chocolate flavor with the hops adding a sharp bitterness, even astringency, to the beer. Toasted malts, some brown sugar. Thick, malty and sweet.

Drinkability - Tasty beer, especially in the winter months, as it has a very warming feel--would be perfect to sit down at night to watch some TV. Great, dark flavors with a noticeable hop aroma.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 04:50:07 | More by velo343
Photo of Hibernator


4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Divide Hibernation Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Year bottled - 2006
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown with amber highlights. A fluffy head forms and leaves webbed lacings all over the pint glass.

The nose is certainly malty with whiffs of prunes and dark fruits. Spicy hops in the background.

Thick and chewy malt richness with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate and toffee. A hint of chocolate covered cherries, sugary molasses and touch of dairy cream. A significant hop punch rounds out the sip. Nicely complex and definitely warms up the belly with a 8.1% ABV presence. A slick brew to say the least.

Yowza. Yet another killer beer from Great Divide. This is what winter beers are all about. Just wish the freezing rain outside would turn to snow on this early February evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 03:20:02 | More by Hibernator
Photo of SuperSpy


4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A clear toffee color with a tan head that dies down fairly fast and leaves a gorgeous foam ring behind.

S - Rich sweet toasted malt, hints of caramel and dark fruits.

T - All the toasted and dark malt that is in the nose makes its way into the flavor as well, but is much more pronounced, and balanced with a spicy hop bitterness that rounds out with cocoa and a nice dry finish.

M - This could afford to be a bit chewier but is still a fairly heavily bodied beer.

D - I could sip on these all night. If they weren't so high in alcohol that's exactly what I would do. Why are so many of the best beers not meant to be session beers?

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 05:12:10 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of dfried


4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown toffee color but still see through, thin off white head that's mainly a ring and film. Malty aroma, a lot of brown sugar and perfumy floral hops, some grainy hints as well. The flavor also has a lot of those perfumy hops but there neeeds to be to balance the waves of rich malty flavor that sotart comming. Toasted grains, rich chocolaty and buttery flavors, some nutty flavors creep in, caramel and molasses as well. It's kind of rough on the palate, sweet without a lot of carbonation, but the quality flavors make up for that. After a few sips the hops show some herbal/grassy qualities as well. Definitley a strong beer, but I never found the alcohol offensive or even belly warming.

Verdict: pretty good, big on hops and malt. I have heard some people speak of this beer as like you should be counting the days until the first batch of the season, I didn't find it to be quite that. Overall I was pretty impressed though, very original and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 04:19:50 | More by dfried
Photo of markgugs

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a wide-mouthed mug

A: pour produces a gorgeous, enticing cranberry red bronzed color, with a minor cream-colored head that disappears quickly and leaves barely any lacing.

S: smells of toasted malts, deep roasted caramel and sweet bread. In other words, delicious.

T: this beautiful strong ale tastes as good as it smells, with some robust sweetness up front that quickly evolves into a nice smoked finish. The beer is not as sweet as it smells but more balanced, which IMHO is a good thing. As it warms a bit, some savory fruit flavors appear, though they're not at all overwhelming. Just a bit of raisin here and there.

M: considering the beer's aroma and flavor, this is much lighter on the palate than one might expect, slightly chewy and just full-bodied enough to remind you it's a strong ale.

D: not quite a session beer (the 8.10% ABV sees to that), but a very easy to drink beer.

I'd definitely drink this one again. And again.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 03:06:00 | More by markgugs
Photo of cooncat


4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving from a bottle dated 2006, and reviewed on Jan. 23, 2007, so well within freshness period.

A vigorous pour into a pint glass produces a deep, dark bronze colored beer, with a thick foamy tan head. The head is not particularly long lasting, but it settles to a ring around the glass which sheets nicely on the swirl. The nose is restrained, but malty; light caramel and dark fruit (raisins and plums, perhaps). The taste is much bigger than the nose, and its here that you can appreciate the nice balance of sweet maltiness and tangy hoppiness. The further into the beer you get, the more noticeable the hops, which are crisp and piney in flavor. Mouthfeel is full, but not 'chewy'. A bit of alcohol warming in the tummy, similar to a typical "Winter Warmer" in feel. While highly 'drinkable', I think that perhaps two of these would be more than satisfying, so, imho, not a session beer.

Wonderfully satisfying and enjoyable. Highly recommended.


Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 23:43:09 | More by cooncat
Photo of foureyedgeek


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

12oz bottle, with the year bottled notched 2005. I got this winter 2006, do they age this one for a year? Checking their website, that seems to be the case, to some extent: http://www.greatdivide.com/thebeers/hibernation.htm
Maybe I got some of last years remains? I guess that puts it at being cellared for a year. Mental note to check the date of the other bottles

Moving on, the pour is a dark brown, with highlights of red coming through, fairly clear even with the massive body. A two finger plus head falls to a blanket of bubbles. Nice pinpoint lacing.

Smell is of figs and molasses sweetness, just a touch of alcohol in the nose.

Tastes like cocoa, the bittersweet variety, a nice spicy hop bitterness thats in the background. More dark fruits and a note of alcohol. I'm very curious now what the vintage is on this beer.

Mouthfeel is well bodied and actually quite dry.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice Winter Warmer (Wasn't it in under that style category in the past? Now an American Strong Ale?) and one I'll definitely pick up each year.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 23:20:09 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

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

Red body, good clarity, no carbonation streams, topped by two fingers of beige foam whcih coats the glass.

Enticing malty nose.Caramel, bits of bread, burst of licorice.

Thick caramel slathers across the tongue. Hints of licorice. Bits of bready yeastiness. Earthy hops that cut the sweetness and keep it at a nice depth. Somewhere the alcohol has slide on by because there is a nice warming afterglow coming from the belly.

Solid mouthfeel is past medium but up to overly heavy.

Fine drinkability for the style. Let it warm up close to room temperature.

Good winter warmer. Another fine beer from Great Divide.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 01:34:26 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Melchizedek


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich ruby-brown with a good-sized tan head that subsides into durable lace.

Aroma is rich and strong; a very prominent chocolate-and-cherry scent comes through, along with notable toasted malts and some resiny textures. Fairly rich and velvety in the mouth, which is a good counterpoint to the strong hop bitterness that pushes to the fore. Hops turn somewhat to the citric as well, and a roasted malt flavor is challenged to match it; some of that chocolate is still detectable, and a somewhat nutty bitterness lingers in the finish.

I'm very fond of this brew; it's a deceptively strong perennial favorite. A little too aggressive in flavor to have more than one at a sitting, but a lovely sipping beer for cold nights like tonight.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 02:28:55 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

The beer pours a hazy orange amber with a thin head that settles into a ring for the duration. The smell is rich and fruity with a backbone of dark malt. There are aromas of dark fruit, spicy hops, and some alcohol. The taste is surprisingly dry with restrained malt, some bitter orange, pronounced hops, and almost a bourbon flavor. The finish is almost like braised beef in its meatiness- maybe a little licorice there as well. The mouthfeel is very dry and even a little woody. Very much an after dinner sipper- no sweetness, but it hits the spot like a cognac.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 02:02:12 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2006.
This is weird to me.
There are some burned flavors in here, french roast coffee, bitter chocolate, and something that's very nearly salty. Something is going on in the odor and flavor that I can't pin down but is probably attributed to the hops.
It grows on you.
Kinda fungus like.
Not for newbies, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 08:09:28 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of scooter231

New York

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

Deep ruby color with a tannish head that goes quickly. Quite clear. Smells spicy and sweet, with a pretty big bang of chocolate and sweet maltyness. Tastes is full of chocolate and a bitter hint of coffee. Some smokyness comes through. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Mouthfeel is chewy, a tad bit thin. Overall this is a pretty drinkable brew, not quite dessert, but close to it. And the alcohol content is extremely sneaky. Another good one from great divide.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 07:42:26 | More by scooter231
Photo of ndekke39


4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle that was bottled in March 2006. Pours a clear ruby red/brown with a thin white head. Very little retention - a tiny bit of sediment. Bold aromas of dark toasted malt, nuts, caramel, alcohol. The flavors center on the savory character of the malt, nuts, some dark chocolate, twinge of alcohol, balanced nicely with a lightly-hopped finish. Mouthfeel is moderately thick, perfect for a good Strong Ale. A very warm, inviting beer. Lovely to drink. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2007 05:34:02 | More by ndekke39
Photo of plaid75

New York

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

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger off white creamy head. There was good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel malt coupled with a strong oily citric hop and a fruitcake spiciness.

The taste was upfront sweet malts that gradually blended with the earthy oily hop flavor. Some dried fruit and nutmeg spice made an appearance.

The mouthfeel was full yet clean.

Overall a tasty and very quaffable strong ale. A solid winter brew for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 02:01:30 | More by plaid75
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-deep ruby-ish color with a nice haze to it. about a 1/4 inch of head, that held much longer than expected.

S- very earthy aromas, which was expected from the style, especially from a seasonal strong ale.

T- WOW!!!! such a unique taste for the palate. this beer tastes like how a winter beer should taste. kind of sweet, very hoppy and malty and it is very hard to describe it. you can taste its bold strong flavors, as well as the high alcohol content.

M-my mouth feels a little dry after drinking it, but that is mostly due to its high alcohol content, in addition to its earthy/piney winter aromas.

D- in my opinion, i think that this beer is amazing. it brought flavors to my palate that i have never tasted before from a beer, and for me it was real esy to drink, but i don't think that it will be for everyone. this beer seems to be for the true fans of strong, winter craft beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 21:45:48 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of BlindPig


3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- About a 1/4" tan head on a pretty clear deep amber body. Bit of a lacing with a collar which sticks to the side of the glass.
S- Some toffee malts with citrus hops. Maybe a touch of alcohol. The malts and hops are well balanced and make a nice complex smell.
T- A well balanced blend between some toffee malts and citrus hops. Light fruit flavors are in it from the citrus hops. The hop flavor fades away and the malts build up and the aftertaste is a pretty big coffee malt flavor with a medium bitterness to it.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation (maybe even scratching on the high side).
D- It is good. A bit to coffee flavor left in the aftertaste for me but the more you drink the bitterness and hop flavor build up and help block it so it's not as strong. The carbonation is a bit high for this beer IMO. Other than those few things it is a nice solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 00:21:45 | More by BlindPig
Photo of Chaz


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

Pours deep ruby-amber in color, and produces a very respectable, very promising sticky tan head. While always a consistent brew, Hibernation shows plenty of variety in the nose each year given the hop availability, and yet it has resisted becoming overly-hoppy as has been the trend for many brewers. Plenty of zip to the aromatic hops used, and if you were to pour it side by side with a Full Sale Amber a newcomer to craft ales wouldn't make the connection until the alcohol kicked in. Notes of toffee, citrus, and fruitcake / fresh bread. Roasty malt notes are also a highlight, and there's some of the oily viscosity I appreciate in a wee heavy. Finish is clean and farily dry, with a touch of rum aromatics toward the end. A substantial, warming brew at 8.1% ABV, and the one brew from GD that I really missed when we couldn't get 'em for a couple of years once way back when. A great beer to stock in the cellar for a year or three.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 23:09:46 | More by Chaz
Photo of RevDru

New Mexico

3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown with a good quarter-inch of foam which doesn't seem to break down. Excellent carbonation.

S - Woody and herbal.

T - As high as an ABV as this beer has, the alcohol esters are actually faily mild. Hints of cream and light pepper.

M - Smooth, but quite heavy.

D - I can definatly feel the effects of the higher ABV after just a couple of these. This is not a beer for drinking in mass quantities.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2007 16:27:39 | More by RevDru
Photo of SaCkErZ9


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

Bottled in 2006.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A murky brown beverage, the color of brown sugar, emerges and is joined by a two finger sized head. Nice stiff head, foamy and thick. Head stays around for quite awile, although no lacing is lefto n the glass.

Aromas are chocolatey and caramelly. Smells like chocolate candy, maybe like tootsie pop. Caramel as well. A very nice aroma. Alcohol esters. Notes of butterscotch and kahlua (otherwise known as a buttery nipple). A pleasant smelling beer to say the least.

Loads of caramel and chocolate in the flavor. Sweet coffee and hazelnut. Some citrusy hops in the finish but hardly noticeable. Tons of hazelnutty flavor.

Medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Slight warming effect form the alcohol, but the drinkability is pretty easy. A wonderful beer. Certainly a nice beer to enjoy on this rainy Sunday, about 50 degrees (which is way below the record breaking 75 degrees we experienced yesterday). I am not sure how age will change this one as it seems pretty good right now. I have extras and will revisit this for two to three years to come.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 19:59:57 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of kingjames1

South Carolina

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

Pours a dark amber with a light tan head. Good lacing persists. Smells rich - chocolate brownies, fruity hops, and a bit of brandy. Taste is...wow. A lot going on here. Hop-citrus, a cornicopia of fruits, sweet bread, caramel, chocolate, and rum-raisins. Good stuff. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, but not too thick. Very drinkable, especially for an American Strong Ale. I am impressed.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 02:39:45 | More by kingjames1
Photo of bearrunner44


4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The color is a deep amber red. Similar to the color of a well-aged bourbon, only much darker. Fluffy, cream-colored head formed after a moderately hard pour.

Smell: Pine aroma from the hops, balanced with some astringent grain notes in the background.

Taste: Velvety, rich sweetness coats the mouth with subtle hints of caramel and butterscotch. The flavor becomes a little more nutty just before a big dose of hops hit the tastebuds. The hops are assertively herbal, yet somehow they don't clash with the sweeter flavors in the beer. Balanced, reasonably complex, and quite tasty.

Verdict: One of the better seasonal winter ales around. Satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 19:34:03 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of ZAP


4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very similar to past years....but I have finally identified the unique flavor..reminds me of drinking a liquid tootsie roll...also smells that way....I know that doesn't sound enticing but it is subtle...great beer..

6-1-03-Unique chocolate aroma and taste...not sweet or heavy, but more like wintergreen chocolates...very interesting robust strong ale...hops balance but don't overwhelm. This one will warm you up...excellent strong ale..

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 07:43:32 | More by ZAP
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,170 ratings.