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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,557 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,557
Reviews: 1,100
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 111
Gots: 232 | 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: 2,557 | Reviews: 1,100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, deep amber color with a good sized light tan head that fell after a while leaving sheets of sticky lacing on the glass.

S - sweet, roasted malt aroma.

T - deliciously sweet and malty, roasted malty flavor with hints of chocolate and some light bitterness on the finish.

M - medium/full bodied brew with good carbonation feel.

D - very enjoyable and easy to drink, be aware of the higher abv and enjoy this brew in moderation.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With two feet of snow outside, my driveway and court are completely covered...my girlfriend is off of work, and it's the perfect day to try Hibernation Ale from Great Divide!

A - The brew is a deep and dark ruby-garnet hue and lets some dark light through when I hold it to my now covered window. The prodigious head is dark khaki and about two fingers. Retention is excellent, and the foamy thick head looks like I could eat it with a spoon. Abundant lace made of fine cream is left on the glass.

S - Burnt cereal grains, wet stone, musty hay, and wet earth. Some caramelized sugar graces a big grainy and toasty aroma. This is really nice...lots of autumnal burning leaves and slightly burnt toast.

T - Toasted English muffins with butter and a cup of coffee. This has an abundance of roasted ans toasted flavors that I really like....like a walk in the woods in fall. Some woody and nutty flavors are present also, along with a vague black cherry jam fruitiness that dances off in the background while burnt sugar and blackened toast take center stage.

M - Medium bodied with an unreal softness on the tongue that is a result of the wonderfully understated carbonation. The finish is grainy, toasty and slightly dry with a long aftertaste of buttered toast and a hay-like hoppy backlash.

D - This is a really great beer. I really like all of the flavors presented here...they are quite a different tone than most beers. The alcohol is not noticeable, and the soft earthy and toasty notes are perfect for a winter snow day.

Photo of pershan
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a deep reddish-black color with a thin tan head into a 12-oz pilsner glass. The smell was of currant/black cherry, chocolate, and roasted malt - fantastic! The initial taste was of the currant/black cherry component, but transitioned quickly into a big roasted, toasted malt finish with a nice hop bite at the end. This seems more like an imperial stout than an old ale, but I'm nit-picking. An outstanding effort - great on a cold winter's day.

Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with a nice tan head.

Nice caramel and chocolate malts with some floral hops. Carmael, smoke, nuts and spices.

Roasted and smoked malts with more powerfull sweet flavors. Ripe fruits, dark sugars and some nice hops.

A full body and good carbonation suit this ale well.

A very smooth and malty ale for the winter months. Very good example of an Old English Ale.

Photo of NCBeernut
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fluffy creamy head sticks around for a few minutes before falling to a thin bubbly bone-colored layer, leaving lace behind. Deep transparent mahogany.

Aroma reminds me of a rich brown ale. Rich nutty toasted malt aromas, LOTS of chocolate. I also caught a whiff of cinnamon. Fruity esters and hops are hiding, but I can tell they are there, ready to kick me in the mouth.

Taste? Wow.... I can not accurately describe the wonderful complexity here. Reminds me somewhat of Terrapin's Big Hoppy Monster, but definitely not the same. Woody, fruity, caramelized sugars, chocolate, spicy, some tart apples and some raisins. Hop presence is definitely there but not dominant. Everything comes at you at once; a flavor explosion in your mouth!

This is going to be one of my regular winter beers. Don't miss this one!

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

Yet another reason why Great Divide was my brewery of the year last year. Had this over my Christmas vacation.

This was an excellent beer. The taste was very unique - almost like bread. The mouthfeel was the best part of this beer as it was almost chewy. A very warming beer and yet another great addition to the Great Divide arsenal.

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice sturdy head, with a vibrant blend between caramel and carmalized brown sugar. The taste starts with raisin and apples that fades into a silky butterscotch mid palate. some spicy hops come marching in at the finish to balance out this wonderful malty brew. One of the best winter ale's available.

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

Received this beer as an extra in a trade with jhammerly. Thanks man!

This beer poured nice and dark brown with a bit of a rosie hue. A bit of head that doesn't stick around too long, but long enough to look prettty, which is all that matters, right? Aroma is malty and hoppy. It is a nice change from the piney/citrusy american hops I am used to lately. It has an herbal and earthy quality that melds nicely with the fruity malt. Taste is sweet up front with a big bitter kick at the end. With the finish it has I would almost call this an IPA. But alas, there is a ton of fruit, raisin, plum action going on with a little bit of chocolate. It has a nice english hop character, and again, killer bitterness. The bitterness really saves the drinkability, as I am afraid it would be a little cloying without it. Mouthfeel is a little rich, but with a prickly carbonation. The bitter finish and carbonation really lighten it up and enhance the drinkability. All in all a great beer. Thanks J.!

Photo of wagenvolks
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a bright copper/ruby red body with stratified carbonation supplying a well-retained, custard head. Sticky lacing is left behind on the upper half of the glass. Intoxicating, floral hops (reminiscent of Harvest ales) waft atop a heavy backbone of toasted toffee, caramel, and chocolate malts. The balance is nearly perfect.

Tastes of sweet, sugary malts with fruit, alcohol esthers, and lots of hops, which pull through especially well on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thick & viscous on the palate with some sticky alpha acids that make for a puckering finish. Hibernation is definately a sipping beer: it's heavy and laden with flavor and complexity. I'll be back for more next winter.

Photo of HopDerek
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for about a year.

Pours a very cola like color, hazy ruby/brown mixture with 1/2 inch off-white head that dissipates quickly, little lacing. Smells are amazing, lots of oak and vanilla, as well as caramel, chocolate, cream, dark fruit, earthy hops, and alcohol. Tastes just as good as it smells, lots of vanilla and toffee, dark fruits such as cherries and raisins, maple sugar, and bitter chocolate, with pine and alcohol in the finish. Medium in body with medium carbonation and a nice dry finish. The alcohol is noticeable, and gives off a very warming feeling, definitely a nice beer for warming up from the cold, or as a nightcap.

Photo of Durge
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark root beer color with a big tan head that settles and lots of clumpy lace. There is a sharp chocolate aroma with odd citrus hops overtones. It's a very unusual smell that is not immediately recognizable or even obviously attractive. The taste is smooth and heavy with charcoal, chocolate, plenty of alcohol, a bit wine-like. I wouldn't call this highly drinkable but it has a real quality feel in its body. It's a bit too heavy for my tastes but it is good. Recommended to those who prefer some weight to their brews.

Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a goblet from the 12oz bottle.

this beer pours with a decent sized cappuccino like head that dissipates to wisps leaving some bubbles of lace on the side of the glass. The body of the beer is a fairly clear dark amber. The smell of the beer is up front with chocolate notes with very subtle fruit and hop aromas. The taste is very much as would be expected; up front with the chocolate, followed with a subtle fruityness (cherrys) and bit of hop flavor. You can also taste a bit of the alcohol hotness as it goes down your throat. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of dryness (from the hops). This beer is low in carbonation and incredibly smooth for a 8.1% beer. Overall, a nice winter seasonal, it will be interesting to see how it ages.

Photo of PBoegel
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a duvel tulip glass, served at approximately 45 degrees.

The beer pours a maple sap like deep deep amber with cherry skin red highlights. Little head to speak of, off white, faint and recedes quickly.

Sniff, sniff...WOW! Oak, honey, vanilla, leather, milk chocolate, fresh cream, tons of aromas are dancing out of this glass. Some perfume hits of warming alcohol, then Bailey's Irish Cream. The complexity of the nose on this beer is wild. The hops have completely worn down in aroma leaving only well aged and nicely oxidized malt character to mingle with the alcohol notes.

The tongue is coated with flavors from french vanilla ice cream to warm maple syrup. Hints of freshly made caramel, rich coffee and coffee ice cream. Distinct tastes of Bailey's Irish Cream lingers on the tongue with the alcohol in the finish. After a few more sips chocolate, both milk and bittersweet, hints of dark rums and raisin and dried cherries.

Mouthfeel rides a little toward cloying but not distracting or off putting, the hops of faded considerably with age, there is a peek of bitterness upfront that is overwhelmed by the flavors and alcohol.

HOORAY! I have 3 more bottles of this left.

I have only seen this in my neck of the woods once and grabbed this six pack in late 2006 with little to no question. This was probably not aged entirely properly in the store, but has been kept cellared properly since. An amazing aged brew.

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

Dark ruby brown appearance. Off white head falls to some sticky lacing. Aromas of carmel, toffee, green leafy hops. (Kinda has a herbal smell.) Tastes of chocolate, malt, carmel, roasted nuts, spice, and has a nice earthy piney hop finish. Slight alcohol warming after each sip. Mouth feel is medium bodied and sticky. Drinkability is fantastic. I couldn't put my glass down. If I have the will power, it will be interesting to see how this one does with some time in the cellar. Another solid brew from Great Divide. Highly recommended!

Photo of Atron67
4.02/5  rDev 0%
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 -7.2%
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
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
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
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
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
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
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
2.31/5  rDev -42.5%
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
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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
3.89/5  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 +0.2%
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
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
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 -1.7%
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.

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,557 ratings.