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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,468 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,468
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 110
Gots: 187 | 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: 2,468 | Reviews: 1,080 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Atron67
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a crystal clear copper color with a slightly darker tan head that went about 1 finger thick and stayed for awhile. the lace clung to the glass as the head fell.

S- lots of spice up front, toffee scents, very malty. pretty delicious smelling.

T- very smooth maltiness throughout with a smooth earthy finish, nice spices low hops. For the intensity of the scents, the flavor is very smooth and low.

M- medium low body, medium carbonation, flows over the tongue well and doesn't stay stuck to the tongue as is fades

D- solid

Photo of baggio
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer that i've had quite a few times but never bothered to review...

A: Dark brown/red with a tiny head.

S: Hops, Spices, earth, caramel, wood.

T: Chocolate, biscuits, coffee, Hops, Nuts, Herbs.

M: Low carbonation and a nice dry aftertaste with plenty of hops.

I reviewed this only because i had a vintage-one last week and forgot to review it. This one was fresh. Cellaring this baby for a year does wonders but it is still very nice fresh. Give it a go!

Photo of pwoods
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew was purchased at Belmonth Party Supply. Tayner sent me one in my trade but I'm aging that one. Year brewed printed on label but no notch to determine which year.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep rusty color with a nice ruby tint. 1 1/2 fingers of light toffee head that hangs out for quite a bit. Decent lacing.

S: Mainly just getting a little sweet caramel malt. Maybe a bit of cola. Not too much going on.

T/M: Wow. I knew an old ale couldn't be too subtle but this gives a nice kick after a weak nose. A light cola taste for a split second in the beginning followed by a rush toffee and butter scotch malts. A hint of some cooked plums. Some alcohol phenols bring a nice bite and a pleasant warming effect. Some bitterness in the back that leads to a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Full bodied and very creamy.

D: Nice tasting brew especially after working in the snow all day. A very good night cap brew.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark ruby, caramel color with plentiful off white head, great tracing. Aroma is characteristic of the style, tons of chocolaty, toasty malts, with the addition of some great spicy hop notes. This has one of the best bouquets of any old ale/barleywine. On the palate, the chocolate malt flavor comes through with a rush. A medium-high body with lower than avg. carbonation finishes out with a sweet and yet burnt caramel flavor, a sign the hops are higher than normal. This was such a treat to get my hands on since moving here, I shall buy as much until it's sold out; and then I'll move the equally tasty Ruffian.
Would love to see how this holds up to some age.

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

Deep ruby clear body with a thin but lasting head and very good lacing.

Interesting and balanced aroma of roast and raisins and alcohol. Very nice.

Initial musty malt giving way to slight dark fruit flavor, then there is a metallic twang before a sticky bitterness finishes the swallow.

There is an attempt at mellow, low carbonation but there's just no wa to simulate cask ale. The CO2 bites a little too much, but good for being force-carbonated.

Pretty-looking, lacking a little in flavor and mouthfeel, but all in all, pretty good. There are others I'd rather have, however.

Photo of woemad
2.23/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle of 2007 vintage, purchased at the Rocket Market in Spokane.

Poured a clear, dark amber color with two inches of light tan foam. The head stuck around for a while, then slowly slithered down the sides of the glass, leaving sheets of lace.

A bit one-dimensional in the nose, with a big, sweet malty presence. As it warms up, a little bit of hoppiness is descernable, but the malts are in charge here.

This needs balance. The malts don't seem as sweet in the taste as they did in the nose, and don't meld well with the hops, weak as they are. There's a little bit of alcohol heat that also sticks out rather than melds. Basically, this tastes to me like what a vaguely tasty cough syrup might be like.

Medium bodied, with a slightly stick mouthfeel.

Tried to get through this, couldn't. Hopefully my last drainpour of 2007.

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

12 ounce bottle, states bottled 2007 (helpful, right?) $8.59 in a six pack at Gold Rush Liquors, Anchorage, AK. Bottle states 8.1% ABV.

Appearance: deep red to light brown, crystal clear. Medium dense, beige head. Limited, whispy lacing.

Aroma: Brown sugar predominates, toasted malt, toasty sugar, and a little more sugar.

Taste: Again, sweet brown sugar / toasted sugar, heavy toasty malt, limited hop presence. Sweet and full.

Mouth: Moderately to fairly thick and full. Just slightly warm with alcohol, especially given the high ABV content.

Overall: Decent to good, drinkable, interesting. A nice winter warmer, and worth drinking. While I think that Great Divide's high gravity beers are among the best in their respective classes, I have typically not been very impressed with GD's standards. Hibernation sort of straddles the line between the huge beers, and the lackluster standards, and does it well. It's not amazing, but it's solid, and I'd buy it again.

Photo of elinash
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a La Chouffe glass.

Appearance is cherry wood dark, though relatively translucent (no yeast). Lacing is sticking slightly.

Aroma is toasty, with cereal notes and (this is going to sound strange) fish food! weird. Though the aroma isn't as strange as I've made it out to be. It's fairly warm, and I'm getting some earthy aromas as it warms more.

Taste is malty rich with some smokiness. Mouthfeel is tight and smooth. I think I might prefer if it were a little more carbonated.

Finish isn' too lasting, but I'm excited that Hibernation isn't as hoppy as I thought it might be.

Very drinkable. Of all the winter offerings out there, I like this one quite

Photo of Redteketed
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(28-12-2007 BB 10-08)

A nice ruby colored beer, average lasting head.
Fruity, candy sugar, malty noise with an alcohol warm, spice touch.
Light sweet/bitter taste.
Alcohol warm strong/heavy body, malty and spice average aftertaste.
Truly a good beer. I think I get another six pack to enjoy it on a winters night (hopefully available in the Netherlands).

Photo of Squaretooth
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice roasted smell, pours with a translucent amber color and a thick long lasting tan head. Not overly carbonated. It is a bit boozy tasting with a slight hint of chocolate. While I cannot say this comes close to any of the better offerings from the Great Divide Brewing Company, I can also not say this is a bad beer. But something is definitely missing. The flavor just isn't there.

This is more of a beer to drink on a cold winter's night and not something you'd want to drink on a regular basis. Its name is very appropriate. I've had this on at least 4 different occasions; mostly from the bottle but once on tap. In each session, I started getting very sleepy after 3 beers. So...don't think this is a session beer, because it is not.

This will definitely put you in a mellow slumber like mood, so be prepared.

At 8.1% ABV, it can be overpowering and it definitely has a mood altering affect that will induce hibernation.

Photo of letsgopens
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on-tap at Vintage, This Olde Ale pours a very dark ruby brown with nice amber highlights. The sizable off white head leaves just a bit of lace. Very warm and inviting.

The aroma is primarily sweet and roasty with tones of malt and some subtle fruit character. Black cherry, spice, molasses, tart apple, dark fruit. Reminds me a bit of a caramel dipped apple you get at the fair.

Nice and roasty; warm and comforting. Nicely roasted malt, caramelized sugar, burnt raisin. cherry, molasses, dark fruit, a bit of milk chocolate, some booze, and a light coffee flavor. Complex and roasty.

Moderate carbonation and a relatively crisp texture despite it's heavier/roasty nature. Smooth with lots of warmth in the finish. A nice toasty, pleasurable cold weather brew.

Photo of taez555
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, tasted 12/04/07

This beer poured a ruby brown body with a thick off-white head.

Nose is light and at fist very non descript. Then there is some thick fruity caramel and little rips of ressiny hops.

This beer was thick and full bodied. An very interesting hop character. Big earthy and citrusy, but never in your face. Sort of like some rubbing sandpaper across your skin instead of stabbing you with a knife kind of bitter/pain. A huge wave of spicy hop bitterness flows from beginning to end. Chewy caramel, dark bitter and burnt malt. Just a huge undercurrent of resiny hops on top of a long lingering bitterness.

An american old ale? A nice attempt, but the hops seem to overshadow the malt bordering more on an American Barleywine. Good, but not my favorite from this amazing brewery.

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

2007 Version

Poured a deep, reddish dark rusty brown color in to a pint glass with a small ¼ head. The smell was a fruity/hop mix. The beer looked and tasted slightly under carbonated. The deep malty taste was balanced well with a lot of hops. The hops gave this yearly seasonal a slightly bitter taste similar to an ESB

This is a good Winter brew for folks like me who do not like the holiday spiced beers…but not something I would seek out year round.

Photo of prototypic
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a clear, dark brown color. Head is slightly off-white and about a finger and a half deep. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: Initially, it has a toasted, slightly burnt smell to it. Caramel malts are notable. Light notes of dark fruit. It has a bit of a yeasty smell. Hops and a light chocolate aroma round it out.

Taste: Caramel malts give it a sweet flavor up front. But, the toasted/smoky flavor comes follows it up. Almost has an oak-type flavor to it. Hops are slightly bitter. Very light chocolate and dark fruit flavors remain.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is good. ABV is pretty good for this beer. It's blended well and not very noticeable. Goes down pretty smooth. Drinkability is good for such a big beer. Overall, this is a very solid offering from Great Divide.

Photo of dickroop
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I scored a bottle of this at a store selling singles, so I was spared having to deal with a six-pack - maybe a good thing, or maybe it woulda grown on me. There was dating on the label, but it only seemed to indicate 2007 (or maybe late in 2007, if the location of the notch between years means anything).

This brew was coffee-dark with a dark beige thick, coarse head. The nose was rich, in which toasted malt and hearty traditional hops were evident, also a touch of alcohol. Tasting however was less promising. Sweetness and alcohol dominated over malt and hops. It had a gently bitter, but grainy finish.

Mouthfeel was very average. Lack of a good hop presence decreased my interest in having another, so I downgraded the drinkability.

Photo of shivtim
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, a deep red/dark brown brew with a slight skin of head that clung to the surface for a while. Nose was biscuits and malts. Taste was nutty, maybe hazelnuts, malty, and slight hops on the end. Not too shabby. Slight alcohol as well. Mouthfeel was good.

Photo of bigeyedfish
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. On one side of the label there is some information about the beer 'since 1995 this has been our celebrated winter tradition...' on the other are four years ('05-'08) with a notch under the '2' in 2007 to indicated when this was brewed.

Really nice dark brown color with a nice finger and a half of off-white head that progressively, steadily and loudly leaves, leaving a minimal ring of white around the outside, some islands of bubble+white in and around the center of the glass and some lacing on the sides. The brown almost reminds me of wood furniture. Color-wise, it could blend into my dining room table. Very nice though. Wish the head stayed a little longer though.

Again, the wood comes through on the nose. There is some nice, subtle oak (this isn't one of those big oak+butter charddonay's that are flooding the market and claiming to have 'nice light fruit complexity' it's a real subtle, balanced oak) along with some malt on the upfront of the palate as well. To be honest, the oak reminds me of the scent if you ever try to bite some oak furniture or chess pieces or those oak-made tic-tac-toe balls that some people have. That is the smell this beer has. Maybe a little candied sweetness thoughout as well and even the faintest hint of strawberries. Nice nose though. Really nice nose.

Really nice, complex taste going on with this beer. There's a lot of malt in the mid-palate, but it finishes with a really nice bittersweet cocoa. Unfortunately, the bittersweet cocoa slowly fades, at least in respects to the cocoa, and the finish is left with just bittersweet, which is not as really nice as it was at first. There is some hop in the transition from the malt to the cocoa, and I wasn't really expecting it, despite the bottle saying it is dry hopped; Great Divide did a really nice job of sneaking in the hop profile. No real offensive alcohol flavors, it's only 8.1%, but still, high enough where you get into the realm of noticeable booze. A little hint of dark chocolate on the tongue, but this beer is one of those one's that start in the mid-palate, have another flavor change and have a long lingering finish. Nice though.

Not a very full beer; front to back, with some grip on the top of the mouth, toward the mid-to-rear. Some carbonation to fuss with on the outer-front edges of the tongue, but it's there and it's gone- you almost have to look for it.

On one hand, the warming alcohol of this beer is perfect for a cold night like tonight, but on the other hand, the hops after awhile tend to become the dominant flavor from this beer, and for some people that might become a bit too much to handle. It's not a session beer, that's for sure. Is this a beer that you could have one or two whilst sitting in front of a fire, reading a book, watching some late night television while it is cold outside? Of course it is. But I think there are a lot of winter-specific beers that are better suited and not as possessing in hops; I would probably rank this above the overly-sweet barley wines and over coffee'd/roasted malt'd stouts because it most certainly is a nice and unique interpretation of an old ale; it just goes back to the adage of why mess with a good thing. I almost find myself wishing that Great Divide had kept the recipe a little closer to the classic style with this one. This is my first Great Divide beer, and I'm nothing if not excited to see what they do with their other styles. Nothing if not a beer that makes you think.

Photo of whynot44
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear mahogany color with a yellowish tan head that slowly retreats leaving some decent lacing.

The aroma is rich, sweet, caramel and biscuits with a hint of spice and piney hops.

The taste is malty, caramel, raisins, plums, chocolate and fresh biscuits. Malty sweet, but balanced somewhat by the spicy pine needle hops. Finishes a bit dry with a definite alcohol warmth.

Full bodied and silky smooth, very easy to drink, but a session of this would probably live up to the name. Keep a six pack on hand for the next snow/ice storm.

Peeling labels did detract a bit from the appearance of the bottle, but don't let that stop youi.

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

A: Bought a 6 pack for under $10. The bottles themselves all had the labels peeling off. Not a great reason why to dock a half point or so, but I'd appreciate the label staying on. Anyways, poured into a pint glass. Dark amber, slightly hazy, with a 1.5 finger head. The head lingered for awhile, and a good amount of lacing was left on the glass.

S: I didn't really know much about this beer before I bought it. Was happy to have a great hops smell to a winter ale. Sweet smelling with mixed malts were detectable as well.

T: Somewhat sweet, caramel tasting with a bitter coffee/ hops drying finish. Very solid.

M: Medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation. The drying finish is very nice, and actually refreshing.

D: Hmm, under $10 for a six pack of this? That makes it extremely drinkable. The taste is also wonderful for a seasonal offering. One of the most solid winter offerings.

Photo of Foxman
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a rivetingly clear mahogany with ruby intimations. Two fingers of fluffy yellowish tan head inch up and then slowly down. Loopy scoops of lacing circle the inside of the glass.

The aroma lofts a mack-daddy classic malt syrup profile, dusky and sweet. A bit of cherry and dried fruit join a dark biscuit note and a light hops spiciness. Alcohol is airy and well-voiced.

Upon sipping, there's a densely brown sugar sweet roasted malt earthiness and a concurrent mellow char balance. Dark fruits join molasses and a grassy hops spiciness that is itself a willing foil for a warm draft of alcohol. Oven baked biscuit and residual grain sweetness are crisped by a comely, dry bitter finish. It's a big earthy malt bomb with flair.

Full bodied, it's a sticky syrup that seeps and creeps with a savory glow in tow.

It's easy to make a big, malty brew. It's not so simple to craft a blended, balanced, down to earth mondo ale, but this is sparkling evidence that it can indeed be accomplished. Make no mistake, the ABV is a snippy bitch, but well worth bearing for another one or two, should the next morning permit it. And if I make it to a third or fourth, well, I'll likely live up to this beer's name for a day or two.

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

Poured into my pint glass from the 12 oz brown bottle (2007 edition). The pour resulted in a perfect 1" head of beige foam that lasted quite a while. As it dissipated, it left pretty good lacing down the glass. The beer is a clear, dark brown in color with reddish highlights.

The nose is kind of like a stout to me. Lot's of coffee and dark chocolate and a woodsy nuttiness that I like.

Taste: Nicely balanced brew. Lot's of coffee.... like a smooth, creamy latte. Also a nutty hazelnut flavor. Smokey bitterness lingers. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Nice and rich.... thick and chewey.... not as much as an RIS, but still nice and robust. Appropriate carbonation. Nice mouth coating and aftertaste.

Drinkability: I like a malty beer that is on the sweet side. This one fits the bill.... good solid OLD ALE.... Drink this one all day long....

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Pours a clear dark copper with a slight tan head. Malty caramel aroma. Huge malt flavor, full bodied.
Lots of toffee, some dry cocoa in the middle. Nice amount of hops to balance it out. Long lingering dry malt finish.
I really like this beer, it is like an American interpretation of an Old Ale, very much to the malty side.
A little too much alcohol to be really drinkable. After a couple you really start to feel it. This has been one of my holiday favorites the last few years.

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

As I watch the inches of snow piling up outside, this seems like an appropriate beer for the occassion.

2007 Bottle

A: Pours a reddish caramel color with a moderate foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: A nutty, toasted malt aroma with a hint of vegetal hops.

T: Smooth flavor. Nutty malt flavors combine nicely with a solid hop character. A bit of alcohol in the taste.

M: Light in carbonation and somewhat heavy in body. Smooth and soft on the palate with a gentle warmth.

D: A solid offering, and definitely a great selection for winter drinking. If I could find this in my area, it would be a regular in my fridge.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very deep amber with a light tan head. The head thins to a patch, but leaves rings broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel, citric fruits and some alcohol.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with a chocolatey touch. Malty but with bitter hops weaving in and out. Finishes sweet, but with a glimpse of a somewhat awkward hop bitterness. Tasty despite hops not quite fitting in as well as they should.

It just hits full-bodied and is mostly silky.

Interesting - tasty - Appropriately malty with a glimpse of bitter, leafy hops coming through. A good one to sip on in the winter weather.

Photo of Iceman77
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part three of a night of Great Divide, this is the 2007 edition of the Hibernation seasonal. This ale has a very hearty appearance, fairly opaque, dark amber with a thin head. The aroma is crisp, with hints of hops and spices mixed together. Within the flavor you get chocolate, brown sugar along with a spice that I couldn't quite put my finger on. The texture is nice, with a sense familiar to "winter warmers", and there is a sweetness to the aftertaste. Definitely a good example of a winter ale, good thing I have another bottle stashed away for the holidays.

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,468 ratings.