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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 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.

Photo of UA8
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep burnt ruby with a huge burnt cream colored head from aggressive pouring.

S- Leads with scents of heavily roasted caramel malts with subtle notes of lightly sour yeast and touch of herbal hops.

T- Leads with a slightly warming touch of alcohol wrapped by complex duality of toffee sweet and smoky malts. Finishes with a herbal and piny taste combined with a touch of biscuity yeast.

M- Robust and full with a medium amount of carbonation. very nice for the style.

D- This is not a style I have regular experience with but I have to say I a very large fan of this beer. Its a perfectly warming winter beer.

Photo of Gehrig
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm so glad I grabbed this from the great Neil St. Piccadilly this evening, one of the few from Great Divide that are locally available that I have yet to try. Beautiful presentation, laying out a rich brown-plum body topped with two dense fingers of tan froth. With excellent durability, the thick lacing on the Yankees pint glass give this an outstanding appearance. Good but understated nose, with lots of dried fruit dominating--dates, figs, and raisin--with a distinct tobacco scent.

The rich, complicated taste is very enticing--dried fruit to be sure, but also apple, some molasses, and a bit of tobacco--excellent. Smooth and malty, it has plenty of heft and never flattens. The 8.1% ABV catches up near the end, not a bad thing. I anticipated that this would be more of a sipper, but I found it easier to consume than many an Old Ale. This has a definite Winter Warmer quality to it--heavy to be sure, but it was just great by the fire as the temperature has dropped into the teens.

Just outstanding, and every bit as good as Sam Adams Winter Lager as a Warmer. My next move is to grab a sixer for cellaring this winter. Don't miss it.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage picked up from Liquor Max in Loveland.

A: Poured a hazy deep red and brown. Almost no head at all, just a few white bubbles.

S: earthy, boozey, and raisins are there, some cinnamon as well, definite biscuit/bread smells too. the most noticeable thing though is the earthiness.

T: almost chocolatey at first, nice earthiness in there as well, nice bready, whole grain feeling to it as well. very much on the malty side, not a whole lot of hops if any. the earth like tastes are really overpowering. nice boozey after taste too.

M: relatively thin, but nice and warm when it goes down, nice dry finish as well.

D: not particularly sessionable, but a fine beer nonetheless. its warming me up quite nicely on this cold winter night.

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

What a sensory smack. Very complex. And not for everyone. The beer pours a very deep mahogany with ruby accents. Rich creamy 2 finger head fizzes to a dainty ring and some lacing. Very clear. Aromas of chocolate, port, and citrus from the hops. As the beer warms alcohol becomes more pronounced. Flavor starts a smack in the face of chocolate, toffee malts and definately some sherry. A very abrupt waft of hops usurps everything almost shutting down the flavors for a moment. Finish is warm, malty and somewhat dry. In the mouth a full bodied beer with decent carbonation. Tootsie roll chewy and thick. Presence of diacytal. Low drinkability as the alcohol character really develops in the glass and become a bit intense. Overall? A challenge I'm up to again. A great beer for a miserable cold night.

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

Label says bottled 10/29/08, tasted 11/30/08. Poured into standard pint glass. Pours a rich dark amber, with about 1/4" of smooth head that slowly dissipates leaving just a ring around the edge of the glass. Not getting a lot of strong aroma, a little bit of caramel and a little earthy hops. Taste is rich and complex. Roasted malt, a little oak, spicy, earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium-full, creamy texture, just enough carbonation. Drinkability is good, having no problem sipping this at a medium pace.

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

A: Poured a beautiful caramel-bronze color with a thin moderate tan head. Carbonation was noticeably soft.

S: oaked aged notes, darken caramel, spicy alcohol and a lightly burnt pine woodiness.

T: The flavor was malty and rich, with a big warming roasted character, dark burnt caramel and pine woodiness. There were subtle underlining hints of dry citrus peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg as well coming through. The hopping was bitter with dry pine. The beer finishes with a dry citrus bite and a slight burbon barrel woodiness. There is a great complexity of caramel and woody notes blending nicely together giving this beer a full hearty body with a syrupy and viscous nature. Theres a nice smoked burbon alcohol lacing on the tongue for a finale.

M: warming with spicy alcohol notes and dry spices lining the tongue along with a caramel nuttiness.

D: Truly a outstanding beer full of warming alcohol (8.1%abv) and woody complexity.

Photo of stephens101
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always love me some Old Ale's. Pours dark brown with cherry hues and is blanketed by one and a half fingers of bubbly tan head that hangs around for a couple of minutes before retreating and leaving a thin, pocked, curvy lacing behind. The initial whiff reveals big hops, and almost nothing else. On a second whiff the complexities open up with some sweet bread, dark fruits, yeasts and medicinal notes, which all come together to form an almost perfect aromatic experience. Tastes of sweet malts, yeast, caramel, and spice, with a timely hop bitterness thrown in for balance. This one's not too highly carbonated, and the mouth-feel is crisp at first, but finishes with a creaminess that helps it go down smooth, with a little alcoholic aftertaste behind. This is another exceptional old ale to add to a too-short list of old ales that I've tried and must return to.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A-Deep amber with low head and decent lace.

S-Exceptional very rich and malty, carmel notes with sweet cinnamon also some nutty undertones

T-Again very high marks everything in the nose is very boldly revaled again in the flavor.

M-Silky smooth medium body near perfect carbonation level.

D-This may be the best winter seasonal I have had this year as far as warmers go It does not get better than this for me.

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

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with an amber hue, nice frothy tan head that settled into a solid ring. The aroma is of milk chocolate, a slight mint tingle, and a subtle dark fruit undercurrent. Nice rich milk chocolate aroma. Big chocolate in the flavor, a bit more of a bitter chocolate, the hops are bitter and noticable but not necessarily specific. Some light honey and perhaps a fig sweetness. Not sure I get Old Ale from this, definitely malty strong ale. The feel is well and chewy, with enough of a tingley carbonation to keep the malt honest, finishes with a bitter malt and hop bite. A very nice super malty beverage with bitter hop bite; some nice chocolate flavors.

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

On tap at the Brickstore Pub, Decatur, GA. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Comes a filtered, transparent ruby red, vibrant, with a mere one finger of off-white head. That one finger packs quite a wallop, though, as this head has some really great stick and leaves a fair amount of lacing for a good long while.

Aroma: Very unique, and very, very hoppy. Tree like - woody, earthy, resinous, almost sap like in places - and with an absolute crapton of mint! A few fruity notes poke their way through the malt foundation, which is mainly comprised of chocolate, cocoa powder like, and roasted bready notes.

Taste: As highly hopped as you anticipate from the nose, and very strange - I actually disliked it until it warmed and I was able to place what it reminded me of. It's still incredibly minty (go on, smell my breath), and though it has a slight bitter edge to it, what it really tastes like in conjunction with the milky chocolate is a York Peppermint patty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bubbled but even. A little on the thick side, but s decent amount of carbonation balances it out nicely.

Drinkability: A strange but delicious brew, and one I'm glad I got a chance to try. The peppermint thing is really offputting at first (at least, it was to me), but once I recognized what I was tasting, I got into it and really enjoyed this one.

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