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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,213 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,213
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 97
Gots: 119 | 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: 2,213 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of comat0se
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow... what a great surprise, a 2001 Hibernation Ale, a year later! Last year around this time, I bought this beer. I was holding on to some just to keep some around the house. Then, it came time for me to leave Colorado and head east so that I could spend the next 7 months walking the Appalachian Trail. 10 months later I'm back in Colorado, dead broke, examining my beer stash.

I had made some mistakes. One was leaving GD's St. Brigid's Porter here. I drank it and while the roasty flavors did its best to mask the souring taste of an old beer, it didn't quite cut it. Tonight, I pulled out what I thought was another St. Brigid's Porter, to drink it and be done with it. Thinking it was soured, I decided to just drink it straight from the bottle. As I opened it, I noticed that a strong chocolate aroma was pouring out of the bottle. I thought to myself, hmmm... it sure smells good for old, soured beer. Then I took my first sip. Woah... wait a minute, this is actually quite good, and it ain't a porter either. I turn the bottle around and wow, it's the Hibernation Ale. YES, a mistake in my favor!

This is a great beer fresh out of the store, but I really think it improves with even a year's time. It pours a nice deep copper color, with an ample, creamy, light tan head. The head retention is excellent... I had at least a quarter inch of head the entire time, which didn't just leave behind a lace. No, it leaves behind sheets of foam on the side of the glass. I would say the carbonation is medium to low, which is fine, because the mouthfeel is also quite impressive, being very thick, velvety and creamy. I think that a higher carbonation would detract from that. Flavor was sweet, and malty, with chocolate and toast, and some faint fruits. There may be a slight sourness as well, so I'm not sure how much longer I'd keep this beer around the house. The hops had really changed character from my memory of a fresh Hibernation. One year later, the hops plays a much smaller role, but is still present to help offset a cloying finish. Man, this was a great beer, but, my review may be somewhat biased since it came as such a great surprise not to be drinking nasty soured beer. Tomorrow, I'm going to go find some more and have a vertical tasting of this years next to the other '01 Hibernation .

comat0se, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of johnrobe
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

'02 bottle. A full-bodied, chewy and warming brew, this one doesn't disappoint as a true winter seasonal! It should please both hop-heads and malt lovers alike, as both components are in abundance here. This beer pours a murky (chill haze) deep amber with a light tan head that leaves copious amounts of lace. The smell is heavily of caramel malt that gives way to piney, citric hops. The taste is both bold and wonderfully balanced. Caramel, bittersweet chocolate and citrus, with a bit of herbal bitterness and touch of alcohol in the finish. This one has the alcohol strength and hop level to age well, and so shall the remainder of my supply...if I can keep my hands off of it.

1 yr. later: I'm disappointed in how this brew aged...seems to have lost something rather than mellowing nicely. Drink this one fresh.

johnrobe, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of ADR
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with a ruby sheen under the light. Nice 1/2 inch yellow-tan head with lots of bubble sizes. Beautiful appearance. Slight spice aroma with some sense of a burnished leather. Mouthfeel is medium with a little "burn" at the swallow. Flavor is peppery with unsweetened clove and nutmeg mixing with low carbonation to give impact. Piling on that is an impressive hopping, giving a flavorful bittering that struck me well. A challenging beer, if you like clove gum and a little alcohol warming, here's a beer for you. I'm going to cellar a bottle to see if it mellows.

ADR, Oct 18, 2002
Photo of beerluvr
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2000. Pours with a very sparse finely carbonated tan head over tawny, hazy reddish-amber liquid. Nose is well-aged maltiness with generous amounts of of dark fruitiness present as well. Taste is of dark fruits, sugary malt, coffee, roasted grains and a slight nuttiness too. The tremendous finish is where the hops are tasted...just enough to balance and dry out the heaviness/sweetness from the malts. Another beer that hides it's power very well. The 2 years of aging have mellowed this ale into something very nice, a great "sipping by the fireside" type of beer.

Thanks jaybeerman!

beerluvr, Sep 29, 2002
Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. Pours out to a dark brown with a tan head. Initial smell is that of plums. Taste is malty and rich with enough alcohol present to let you know its there, but blended in well. A fine winter-style offering that was enjoyed on an August night. A very, very good beer.

Thanks to jaybeerman for hooking me up with this gem.

proc, Aug 13, 2002
Photo of Murph
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 1996. Pours a lighter brown color with a very thin tan head. Toffee, raisins, chocolate, and some light caramel malt dominate the nose. Caramel malts spring onto your tongue followed by so very nice, but subtle, hops, very mellow. Great toffee, chocolate, faint coffee, and raisins. Incredibly smooth and creamy and very drinkable. What an awesome beer. The years have been very good to this one. I would have preferred a bit more carbonation and head, but other than that there really isn't much room for improvement.
Thanks to Jaybeerman for the sample.

Murph, May 21, 2002
Photo of Pegasus
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mahogany brown with a modest slow-developing tan head, lots of sticky lace rings the glass walls.

Aroma: Mild hop aroma with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, sweet alcohol, and wood.

Taste: Opens with rich malty flavors that flow into bitter chocolate, caramel and finish with a burst of hops and coffee. A very strong beer with lots of character. Simply excellent.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, soft, and very pleasant, with slight carbonation.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a twist -off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass. The label notes that this sample was produced in 2001, with no month information.

Pegasus, Apr 13, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a strong beer. You can feel the alcohol as you get close to it. Has a thick chewy mouthfeel. Great warming sensation. Very solid showing for Great Divide.

Bighuge, Apr 01, 2002
Photo of cokes
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer on the fringe of greatness. Big time characters in every direction. Chocolate, sticky malt sweetness, raw hops flavors all are tossed into the mix, riding on a perceptable wave of alcohol. Additonal, stranger flavors pop up on occasion, varying from mint to wood. The results seem to vary from sample to sample as far a integration goes. Probably means this should be aged a while. Never too crazy to enjoy, but a little more consistancy would be a plus.
Overall, quite an enjoyable winter brew here. Warming and complex. I'll have to pick up some more to lay down.

cokes, Mar 04, 2002
Photo of Viking
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bit of a weak head, probably a little too cold when I poured it. An amazing combination of chocolate malts and hops gives this beer some true character.

Viking, Jan 25, 2002
Photo of Todd
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive creamy foam head, wonderful aromatics, sweet and malty with an assertive dose of spicy kick-ass hops. Mega chocolate in the aroma and flavour -- with the hops, a bit like those minty/chocolate Andes Creme de Menthe Thins. Pick up a bit of sherri too.

A most enjoyable and warming Winter offering from the folks @ Great Divide.

Todd, Dec 23, 2001
Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - huge chocolate aroma. Dense and chewy mouthfeel. Lots of choclate sliding along a spicy alcohol undercurrent. I got the barest touch of ammonia in the finish, but not enough to put me off the beer. Slighty syrupy, you could tell the beer needed some time to age and meld the flavors. I'm going to put a couple of bottles back and see how this holds up next year.

Brent, Dec 02, 2001
Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a “Year Produced” (Hint, hint) freshness date notched on the side of the label. Bragging about awards and a bit of info about the beer is also on the label.

Appearance: A hard pouring yields a fluffy cream coloured head that dissipates into a bubbly lace with interwoven rings of Brussels lace. Decent clarity with a mahogany reddish colour that is quite stunning.

Smell: Both astringent grain and hop try and claim territory though the fruity estery alcohol in not far behind at all. The hop aroma plays a little rough n’ tumble on the nostrils and makes a path for the toasted mildly astringent malt and fruity estery alcohol.

Taste: Fat and chewy full body with a slick malty mouth feel, moderate carbonation adds a nice smoothness and a well structured texture shows a full-hearted stab at trying to make this beer more quaffable. Overtones of toasted malt engulf the taste buds, in its wake explosions of caramelized fruit, ester alcohol and the beginnings of a slightly belligerent hop character. Hops flail around coarse flavours of bitterness and earthy leaf that border on astringent. Chocolate flavours come around middle to end while fumes of alcohol come from the mouth and warm the body. Hops kick in even more towards the end with an encroaching coarse earthy flavour some residual sweetness is leftover though is mostly blanketed by the hops.

Notes: This beer is a drop-kick to the tongue, lots of flavours going on with a multi-leveled complexity. Fresh and in the raw, aging this beer for a year could do good though if you are looking for a raw kick in the pants strong ale then drink it now.

Jason, Nov 26, 2001
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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,213 ratings.