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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,459 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,459
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 108
Gots: 182 | 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: 2,459 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cloudy brown color - average head. The smell is malty and caramel….very inviting. The taste is malty and caramel. It is sweet and bold. The mouthfeel is thick and a bit chewy. Overall, it is a very enjoyable brew….and while I find it quite drinkable; it may be a bit thick for others. (But I say yum!)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lustrous red-copper with a massive tan head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is an exciting blend of rich caramel malt and robust earthy hops. Malt is bready, and slightly sweet with underlying fruit notes. Aggressive hops suggest a touch of spiciness. All this complexity and generous warming alcohol throughout.

Taste is big but balanced. Bready malt really shines with nice fruit tones- cherry, figs, and dates. Sweet, slightly syrupy with brown sugar and hints of molasses. Earthy hop is quite green and leafy. Nutmeg and pepper add a touch of spice. Finish is a little dry and woody. Alcohol flavor is strong but not out of place.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Slightly chewy.

I found this brew to be very enjoyable. Complex and interesting. The aroma is amazing. Flavor is strong but unified and balanced in a way that makes it quite drinkable in spite of the high ABV. An outstanding offering from Great Divide.

Photo of bashiba
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark red/amber color with a small light tan head, quickly turning into a long lasting sticky ring.

Smell is light and malty with hints of brown sugar and molasses.

The taste has a toasted malt grainyness with a nice bit of nut and molasses flavor, a bit of alcohol is present, and finishes with a strong junipery bitter hoppyness.

Mouthfeel is hot and oily.

Overall a decent drinking strong ale, nice for a cold winter day.

Photo of Nipitato
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Dark brown with amber highlights.

S: Strong chocolate malt nose.

T: Taste runs with the smell, a strong chocolate malt flavor underscored by dried fruit flavors (raisins/plums) with a nice hoppy finish. Big taste and complex.

MF: Full-bodied chewy and think. Limited alcohol warming.

D: Good strong ale, big and malty with nice hoppy compliments and finish.

Photo of theWrkncacnter
2.4/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle bought in 2006.

I tried Hibernation at a local beer fest and wasn't all that impressed. It had been long enough that I guess I forgot what it tasted like and picked up a six pack. It pours a very nice deep amber hue, almost opaque. Head is fairly thick and fades to some nice lacing. Smell is heavily malted with a little bit of hops and a good amount of alcohol coming through. Taste is not as good as I'd like. There's way too much alcohol coming through. The way the alcohol mixes with the malt just doesn't do it for me, and kills the drinkability. Mouthfeel is decent, but the alcohol ads a bit of a sting.

Overall not the great offering that I'd expect from Great Divide. And to qualify that, I absolutely love Titan IPA and Fresh Hop, and other Great Divide brews. This one just doesn't do it for me.

Photo of demcorhip
2.78/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark, mahogany bodied ale with a 1 finger tan coloured head. Very mildly carbonated, and thinly yet intricately laced. A few big chunks escaped during the pour.

Treacle toffee, red man plug, and leather. Hints of cherry and other dark pitted fruit. Alcohol, and earthy and woody hops also quite evident.

Hints of lightly buttered treacle toffee, cherry and other pitted fruits. Big tobacco flavour with lesser hints of leather. Pronounced woodiness and earthy hop bitterness.

Almost balanced, in terms of malts and hops. Fusel alcohol character predominates however with its woody alcohol heat and takes away all enjoyment from drinking this brew. Quite dry and medicinal in the finish, more unfermented sugars would have helped this one out alot.

Not very drinkable. Not sessionable. If this was a characteristic bottle not recommended.

Photo of ballenc
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt orange/amber/brown color. Nice clarity with some moderate carbonation. Off-white head that disipates quickly but leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Definitely a roasty malt nose on this winter ale. Hints of caramel and cocoa also. Little to any hops to speak of.

T: Matches the smell in terms of aggressive maltiness. Not as sweet as other winter ales but some sugars are noticeable. The relatively high ABV is most apparent in the lingering alcohol remnants.

M: Not as heavy as some winter ales or strong ales but thick enough to know you're drinking a decent seasonal.

D: A decent winter ale/seasonal that packs a bit of a punch in terms of ABV but definitely something I could drink 2-3 of in a sitting. As I haven't tried a lot of Great Divide's beers, this one is good enough to get me to try some of their others.

Photo of udubdawg
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. I always grab an extra six-pack or three of this beer when it starts getting scarce - plenty of cold weather still to come, and this warmer is a must-have each winter.

Not much of the tan head despite the hard pour, the lacing is decent. The color is simply gorgeous - a brilliant dark amber that I'll call a little redder than cola.

Nose is my least favorite part. Definite chocolate, and something I can't define that isn't very appealing. Alcohol wasn't present when I poured it a little cold, but it is increasingly noticeable as it warms. Some hop spiciness gets through too.

Taste is very good, and very complex. Some sweet and slightly burnt toffee, some fruit, some chocolate, more hops than expected even comes through...am I noticing vanilla, tobacco, cherry, and?...look, there are too many flavors to name here!
Nice body, and really feels great in the mouth as you try to identify the 108th flavor present. Some sweetness the whole way through and bitterness at the finish. Very nicely done.

Drinkability is quite high, but the alcohol is noticeable by the bottom of the glass. Two is enough...did I get enough to make it through the winter?

Photo of cabsandking
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark ruby brown with a tight, creamy beige head and good retention. The nose a terrific depth; nutty, dark cherries, chocolate malts, oaky, and caramelized brown sugar. Taste is just as deep with semi-tart dried dark fruits, cocoa powder, roasted figs and a great hop balance. Hops reveal some spices up front and some perfumy florals in the middle that gain ground in the end. More buttery caramel tones smooth out some of the alcohol that was bigger at the beginning although never really a problem. Full bodied and a chewy, slightly syrupy mouthfeel reveals hints of carbonation around the edges. The finish starts off with a twangy citrus but fades to dry, earthy, cocoa powder and lingering dark fruits. Mmmm...must have another.

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

--2006 Vintage--

A: Dark red/amber color with decent clarity. Thick off white head that leaves nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet caramel and roasted malts with strong aroma of chocolate. The faint whiff of alcohol hints at the brew's strength. Hops are barely perceptible.

T: Assertive malt flavors of caramel and chocolate. Sweet, but not cloying. Hop spice rounds out the flavors quite nicely. Finishes with a pleasant warming alcohol character.

M: Chewy and full bodied. Nice rounded mouthfeel, but on the heavier side.

D: Its heaviness and high ABV make this a sipping brew for sure. But, its hearty, warming character makes it perfect to have around all winter long. One of my favorite winter seasonals.

Photo of mac56
2.42/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

One of the prettiest beers I've had. Rich, brilliantly clear, ruddy amber in the glass with a tan colored head featuring moderate lacing.

I gotta say, though, I really wanted to like this beer a lot more than I did. Overpowering, almost medicinal flavor just about floored me.

Just didn't work for me.

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

A - this Great Divide offering pours a dark brown with crimson highlights and a thin tan head, streams of swift carbonation rise to the top

S - vanilla/toffee aromas are predominant in the nose, with an alcohol twang as well, all above a strong support of roasted malts, a rather warm nice aroma

T - dark roasted malts provide the backbone in the flavor as well, with strong coffee grounds and chocolate flavors appearing, the vanilla and toffee from the aroma are still extant in the flavor, a very layered flavor, quite good

M&D - highly drinkable due to its mellowness, a very comforting semisweet flavor, with a nice mouthcoat, a very easy down beer with a high drinkability

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

A: A clear, dark mahogany with a thin off white head. Nice lacing can be found around the edges.

S: Nice helping of caramel and roasted malts as well as some citrus hops. Chocolate also comes in the nose, though not too strong. Alcohol is there as well, but pretty subtle.

T: Roasted and caramel malts along with a nice balance of citrus hops and dark fruits (figs and plums, maybe even some sour pears or apples?) A nice chocolate/roastiness in the end with some slight bitterness on the taste buds. Overall, not too shabby.

M: Mouth feel kind of lacks in my opinion. It has a medium body with low/medium carbonation.

D: Pretty good. A nice balance of hops and malts. Even with its 8% abv, I could drink a few of these.

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

Pours a magnificent shade of ruby-orange. The stunning clarity showcases an abundance of tiny, effervescent bubbles rising to meet a creamy pale tan head that raises just over two fingers. Thick and lasting retention leaves a stubborn coating of lace. Impressive aroma of Dark crystal malt, roasted chestnuts, chocolate, and a strong peachy grapefruit rind hop volatiles. Darkened caramel strikes the tounge first, followed by a mellow charred taste and a slight grainy flavor- almost nutty. Toasted crystal sweetness follows over into the semi-dry aftertaste, which is then dominated by citrusy, piney and grassy american hop flavor. Bitterness is acidic enough to balance the powerful malt profile, but does not linger as long and the malt is allowed to dominate. The mouthfeel is full, and rich with tannins and dextrins that threaten at cloying, but are broken up by the fine carbonation. Finishes with residual notes of chocolate, roasted barley, and caramel, and fairly matched by resinous hop oils that gently fade away. The depth of character here suggests a higher alcohol level, but despite the viscosity and robust taste, the last swigs seem as sober as the first.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

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.

Photo of markgugs
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.

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.


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.

Photo of RonfromJersey
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.

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,459 ratings.