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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,595 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,595
Reviews: 1,107
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 113
Gots: 261 | 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: 2,595 | Reviews: 1,107
Photo of boralyl
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours 2 fingers of tannish head that has a great retention and leaves plenty of lacing. The beer is an earthy reddish-brown and is clear.

S - A big malty nose with a touch of earthy hops. A chocolate aroma becomes more apparent as it warms. There is also a faint alcohol smell.

M - A medium to full bodied beer with a smooth, creamy feel to it. Light carbonation.

T - A combination of roasted and sweet malts, followed by a blast of citrusy hops. It ends with a chocolate bitterness and an alcohol warming. The amount of hops work well with the malts to create a great flavor while still hiding the alcohol fairly well.

A great winter warmer, with an almost perfect feel and taste. It's one I wouldn't mind having again.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby highlighted brown with a frothy mocha colored head. Smells of lightly roasted chocolate malts and a slight lactic sourness. Hops are subdued, but provide mild support.

Smooth and silky mouthfeel slowly pushed forward by a lighter level of carbonation. Initially sweet and chocolaty giving way to a drying lactic acid and alcohol finish. The finish threw me initially, but I've since warmed up to its peculiarity. The mix of hops and sourness is odd. It should be noted that the lactic acid presence is not spoilage. Fairly drinkable old ale and not quite as sweet or fruity as some others of the same style.

Photo of johnyeast
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a slight copper in color with a thick beige head. A sweet and hoppy combination in smell with a slight vanilla. It is brown sugar with a bite in taste. The malt hits the 'buds' first and follows with bitterness. Leaves a little bit on the tongue. Not as drinkable as I would like. I like this beer, but, at this point I'm thinking that I may be a bit done with the Winter Brews. I have to admit, it warms the tummy as you drink it.

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

This was one of the first beers I reviewed, looking back at what I wrote then is kinda funny but shows how much i've changed - so here's this year's batch!

Drank on Christmas '08 - bottle dated Nov. 12 2008
12oz to mug, pours a nice whiskey amber brown, creamy tan head fades.

smells of alcohol, sweet piney hops, roasty barley, creaminess

tastes of roasty malt, biscuit, bready, toast, sweet citrus, pine, creamy, alcohol bite goes well with heavy hops, coffee, chocolate, bitter, excellent! fresh hoppiness is nice, dry, grassy aftertaste

mouthfeel is bitter, thick and syrupy, creamy, sweet, hop lingering, roasty, definately a sipper, dry lingering aftertaste is almost astringent this fresh, an excellent old ale fresh and with some time on it mmm

Photo of TheMistler
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a Bottled On date of 10/08/08 (a little less than three months ago). The pour unleashed a roiling storm of big CO2 bubbles that brightened the clear but dark brown, ruby highlighted brew. That storm formed a big ol' head, nearly an inch. Decent retention, good lacing. Settled to a very creamy cap (thick ring, too) with some speckled mountains of bigger bubbles.

A malty but definitely hop spiced nose. Hints of alcohol. Toffee and caramel intermingle with orange and grass. Peppery alcohol note. Chocolate becomes more and more noticeable as the beer warms, eventually becoming strong in both aroma and taste.

Caramel, chocolate. Grain notes intermingle with the sweet malty notes and hops. A strong tangy kick transforms the sweetness into something resembling soy sauce by the end. Before then the hops are evidenced by earthy, grassy notes and some citrus. Some ethanol flavor and a pepper note with some alcohol warming.

Medium body, creamy feel, with some buttery slipperiness. Light/moderate carbonation.

Photo of number1bum
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, slightly reddish copper color with a creamy two fingers of beige head. Retention is quite good and it leaves a good amount of stick, as well.

Smell is quite malty, with some caramel sweetness and even a hint of chocolate, with some toasted malt, as well. It's quite bready with a nice sweetness, and a rich and dense malt aroma overall.

Taste is quite malty like the smell, with a lightly sweet, breadiness to it. Deeply caramelized malt and again a bit of chocolate provide the sweetness, while there is some toasted grain, as well. There's just a bit of hop bitterness in the finish, along with some lingering chocolate flavor which gives it a nice aftertaste. Alcohol is barely noticeable here at all; it's well hidden.

Mouthfeel is a hefty medium body with pretty modest carbonation, giving it a smooth, soft mouthfeel.

I'm enjoying this right after a Southern Tier Old Man, and while that was a good beer this is definitely superior. It's more flavorful and drinkable, and is definitely a winter beer I would seek out again.

Photo of Bagman007
2.47/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark copper color with just a little bit less than a finger length head.

S- Not really a very strong scent, but you can smell a tad bit of malts and hops.

T- Very malty taste with a strong chocolate and caramel presence. Finish is a little bit hoppy.

M- Smooth, but the malty flavor is too much for me.

D- I think it's very drinkable if you like this kind of beer. I really don't so I could not have more than one.

Overall it's a good beer for this type, but I don't like this type so it's not really for me.

Photo of gdfan47
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a pretty dark brown/almost black with a little bit of a brownish white head
S- malt, fruit, brown sugar, almond, hops, alot going on
T- really nice, more subtle than the nose would indicate, malt, more so than hops, also some raisons, some overipe pear and a little bit of hops, not very sweet but pleasant
M- really smoooth , alot lighter than the color would lead you to believe
D- very smooth, but the 8% and change ABV would make it tough to throw these back all night

I liked it, as far as I know I have never had an "old ale"...im curious to see how the other ones are compared to this one

Photo of slatetupelo
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark amber with a thick tan head that fades quickly but leaves plenty of lacing, it's a good looking beer.

S - Can't really smell but what I do smell are malts.

T - After thoroughly enjoying the Great Divide Hercules I figured I'd give this beer a try. Maybe it's the style but this just isn't for me. It tastes too harsh and astringent and leaves a bad aftertaste. As I drink it it warms my insides and the alcohol is fairly prevalent. The taste does improve some as the beer warms.

M - Medium body and smooth.

D - I really didn't enjoy this much so I'd never drink more than one, it's just too harsh.

After I drank another one, I enjoyed much more and finished the rest of them so I'm going to up my ratings.

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

A - Pours a reddish amber with a thin, fleeting white head.

S - Fruity, malty, grainy, hoppy.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, sweet, spicy with some hoppiness on the back end. Delicious.

M - Medium/heavy body with mild carbonation.

D - A nice, solid winter beer.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a malt bomb.

Poured with a nice creamy head that had great retention. Some nice lacing remained after this dark clear brown beer was consumed. Really a nice looking beer.

The aroma was nutty and of chocolate. Really deep and inviting. A touch of fruit, but this was clearly subtle and played second fiddle to the toasted nuts and roasted chocolate malt notes.

I try never to say this because it's boring, but it really works here. Yes, the flavor does follow the aroma almost perfectly. A smooth well balanced flavor and one that is really nutty. Was like a bold dark bread. Also had plenty of chocolate notes. If you are in the mood to contemplate the depths of malt flavors this is the one for you. The hop presence did a nice job of balancing the bold malt flavors. Was not too sweet or cloying.

Mouth feel was medium bodied and silky smooth. The carbonation was subdued and allowed the malt flavors to settle on your tongue and stay a while.
Was an interesting change of pace from many of my hop focused brews.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark dark amber with a tan thick head that stays around for a very long time. Very nice lacing. Smell is strong of roasted, sweet malts. In fact, I didn't even have to put my nose to the glass to smell it. The taste has a slight hop bite that quickly blends to a strong roasted malt flavor. Alcohol is very evident, but doesn't take away fromt the flavor. Infact the alcohol adds a nice warming effect.

Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of light brown head, settles slowly and leaves nice, sticky lace in its wake. The body is perfectly clear, and a nice amber-brown.

S - Fruity ale yeast with notes of red apple and melon, lots of dark malt, toffee, and a slight plum note. There is a minor spicy hop note in the background as well.

T - Buttery and malty with toasted malt notes and toffee in the middle. Hops come in towards the finish with some nice, herbal flavor and more than enough bitterness to balance the substantial malt.

M - Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a nice, drinkable beer. The hop character is well done with some flavor and aroma but an emphasis on bitterness that keeps the strong malt character from becoming cloying. Overall, a very nice example of an old ale.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The body is crystal clear reddish-copper with a thin and lingering khaki colored head. The aroma is full of pinewood and toffee mixed with earthy spice.

There's a distinct chocolate flavor that permeates this beer, kind of a mix of very dark chocolate and cocoa. Lightly roasty with a hint of smoke. But a lot of toffee and fruity, oaky malt in here as well. A woody mouthfeel, if that makes any sense. A bit like having the reed of a saxophone in your mouth. Lingering sweetness and herbal hoppiness in the finish.

Really extraordinary beer. Get some if you can.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter. Bottled on date of Oct. 08 2008 printed on the label.

Deep ruby-mahogany hue with a half-finger of light tan foam that fades into a thin cap, leaving slight traces of lace on the walls of the vessel.

Nose is subdued and consists of sweet malt aromas and faint herbal hops.

The full, rich, thick body is accompanied by flavors of roasted and caramel malt, burnished brown sugar, dark fruits, and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Finishes somewhat bittersweet and fruity.

Fairly drinkable, with an alcohol presence that is well-hidden on the palate, but one that shows itself afterward. Delicious and balanced, though; a great companion for a cold night and a nice representation of the style.

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The winter ale poured a beautiful heavy mahogany, deep and dark with crimson fringe when held up to the light. The head was unbelievable, copious is a good word, bountiful, or extreme head. Super creamy and frothy looking tannish head, meringue like, well over an inch. I could go on and on, this beer is simply a beautiful pour!

Smell: The nose is greeted by dark and sweet malts, roasted nuttiness, and hints of molasses.

Taste: A nutty coffee, creamy malts, and a little alcohol on the finish. Very subtle, but a noticeable hop bitterness , and flavors of pecans.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and creamy. Chewy while in the mouth. The carbonation is very well maintained, its there but not gaseous. The alcohol is very warming on an empty stomach.

Drinkability: Extremely smooth and well crafted. Great Divide suggests pairing with aged hard Dutch cow's milk cheese, roasted chicken, and grilled veggies. Unfortunately, I had none of that. But I can see it going well with any hearty "meat and potatoes" meal. This brew is the perfect warmer on a cold wet winters night. Highly drinkable and enjoyable!!!

Photo of ericlawton007
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy brown in color, with a head that sticks to the side of the glass. Smells of roasted malt and alcohol. The taate is very robust, coffee and nut flavors balacing with the malts. Very malty, and almost a smoky aftertaste. The best old ale I've had to date, although it is not very much alike the others I've had. Even though it is not like many old ales, it is still an exceptional strong ale.

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

Brown/Ruby color. More visible carbonation than expected. Very thin, but sustained lacing

Nice roasted malt aroma. Bready, almost peaty.

Starts chewy malty, with a transition to spicy and hops. Nice coffee-esque finish. Nice balance of flavors.

Medium slick mouthfeel. A throat warmer.

Very nice, interesting beer from Great Divide. I do enjoy Winter Beers, but they tend to be one dimensional. This beer is more versatile and not just for cold weather hibernating.

Photo of mcowgill
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice clear ruby color with great creamy head.

S - Great sweet malts here with a slight hop aroma. I'm getting a nutty, caramel, chocolate wave.

T - Bam! This one is big and delicious. One of my favorite winter offerings. Malts right up front and hops a bit in the back. Wonderful.

M - Creamy, slightly carbonated

D - This one's a sipper and a damn good one.

Photo of Bananaman
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a real treat, and excellent beer from a super good brewery. Hibernation must be one of this years best Christmas-beers.

Smells nicely of some ginger snaps, some wineous notes and a nice touch of rosted malts.

Taste is even better! A real delicate taste of ginger-snaps, caramel, almost a date plum-ish sweetness. Really balanced, it's almost like this I've imagined that North Coast's Old Stock ale would become after some cellaring.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby with a frothy white head. Not a lot in the aroma, some light caramel malts and sweet bread, but not much else. The taste makes up for the lack of nose on this beer, sweet, but not cloying, sort of like a light brownie. Also some caramel and a bit of honey, brown sugar and figs in the taste. Chocolate is there, but more like mousse than anything dark. Alcohol is only noticed in passing, making this a very solid winter warmer in its own right.

A very good winter beer, the easiest drinking old ale I have ever had; tasty and worth going back for another.

Photo of sudsface69
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers you just sit back and marvel at once poured. It has a deep, copper/mahogany color with stunning clarity and a beautiful head. As you drink it, the head sticks to the glass in an array of little bubbles. Such a nice looking brew! The aroma gives off toasted biscuit, a touch of raisin, dried currants, a little wet earth, and a good blast of hops. On the tongue, this one is no lightweight - a lot of big, malt expressions and a liberal amount of hoppy bitterness - yet it is quite well-balanced. It has a nice full body, and a smooth mouthfeel. It is strong without being overly aggressive. After a couple, you're definitely feeling warm inside, which makes it a great beer to quaff down on a cold, winter's night. A big thumbs up for me.

Photo of hops4me
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very good. Great smell of cherries, plum, roasted grain, and slight mocha. Taste is sweet malt. Slight oaky flavor. Caramel sweetness. Medium body with warming effect. This is a nice complex beer. Great for the cold months. Could definitly have another but not too many more.

Photo of albern
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There is just too much alcohol with a slightly throaty burn for me to enjoy this beer too terribly much. That being said, it isn't a bad beer at all, and it pours a nice brown ruby color with a slightly rusty colored creamy head, lots of retention, and loads of lacing. The nose is very thick caramel malts, toffee flavors, an earthy and slightly musty big palate of malts, and some ABV lurking in the background.

The taste is just too dominated by the liquor. There is a strong chocolatey, caramel, toffee presence to the beer, just as the nose would indicate, but the alcohol just overpowers what could have been an interesting beer. This is a thick, full bodied, somewhat syrupy, sticky type of beer, with some carbonation. The aftertaste is the throaty burn, astringent bite from too much alcohol. Tis a pity but this could have been a better beer.

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

Bottle of 2007 Hibernation ale...
Received this from Chef Nash. This is available locally but I have never tried it. This bottle is now a year old so I finally decided to try it.

Pours a deep dark ruby color with a small tan head that disipated shortly after the pour.

Smells boozy sweet with hints of raison and dark fruit. Caramel and toast scents are present as well.

Rich and complex. Everything the nose has an more. Great chocolate and tobacco notes in the taste. There is a port like quality to it.

Medium to full boddied. Smooth mouthfeel while drinking but leaves you with a slightly sticky aftertaste.

Drinkability is solid. I could probably drink 2 of these. Not a session beer but not a task to drink either. Nose was much more boozy than the actual taste to me but perhaps it has mellowed a lot in a year. Really tasty complex beer I will have to try again.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,595 ratings.