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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2119
Reviews: 1061
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%

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: 2,119 | Reviews: 1,061 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Benish


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: reddish brown in color. Moderate lacings around the glass. No head, just a little bit of foam at the edge.

Smell: picking up some sort of bitter herb, wood and roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate. Its very earthy and inviting.

Taste: very robust. It has a very roasted malt profile yet not so sweet. Taste some coffee and toffee with a bitter finish - kind of a woodsy or earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied mouthfeel

Overall: great beer, the aroma is very inviting. Overall the beer is quite earthy and I like it!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 03:34:06 | More by Benish
Photo of Qbdoo


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark amber
Smell - roasted, malty
Taste - chocolate, coffee, malty, with a nicely balanced hop bite
Mouthfeel - pleasant, light carbonation, slightly oily.
Overall - a tasty complex beer. The more you drink, the more you see in it. My first old ale and I quite like it. Seems to me like an Imperial Brown Ale. Similar flavors but packs a punch.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 03:14:18 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of dar482

New York

4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes a stout dark black with some brown and red coming through in the light. The head is mocha color, half a finger with tons of lacing.

The aroma is interesting with tons of robust roasty stout/porter character with rich chocolate with a bit of woodiness from the hops. Sweet molasses, toffee, some vanilla.

The flavor follows with a theme of robust porter roasty malt with some milk chocolate and tons and tons of coffee. The middle hits with toffee sweetness, caramel, molasses. The finish lingers with herbal hops, woodiness, tons of aggressive bitterness.

Absolutely in love with this. It's so interesting, so robust, so complex.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 03:26:25 | More by dar482
Photo of fourstringer


4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Aggressive hand. Bottled 08/28/13.

A: Dark amber with a ruby tint. Good clarity. Minimal head that quickly fades to a light coat at the edges of the glass. More lacing than expected, but pretty minimal.

S: Great chocolate and toffee! Roasted malt. Hint of dark fruit. Coffee and cream. Suggestion of spice. Really great mocha notes.

T: Rich, malty chocolate up front that ends with a mildly bitter, fairly dry finish. Dark chocolate lingers in the aftertaste. Pleasing nuttiness. Pretty minimal alcohol.

M: Low carbonation and moderate body makes for a nice, smooth quaff. Fitting for the flavor profile.

O: Impressive chocolate notes in this one. Very smooth. Could use a bit more carbonation, but overall this is tasty as hell. I had this last year and liked it, but I'd say it's even better this time around. Great Divide continues to impress.


Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 00:19:45 | More by fourstringer
Photo of 2Cents


4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A. It looks like weak coffee.

S. Caramel and mocha with just a hint alcohol

T. Like a Carmel, coffee, licorice and brown sugar liqueur.

M. Medium body with mild alcohol bite for a beer nearing 9% a.v.b.

O. I can't remember trying a beer with such a pleasant after taste, that really sticks around. This is a really good seasonal from Great Divide.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2013 04:40:31 | More by 2Cents
Photo of fitzy84


4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a six pack at Table and Vine. Beautiful dark, cloud amber brown appearance with some patchy lacing on the side. The aromas were very powerful to my nose. A very powerful, roasty malt smell mixed with dry fruit smells like raisins, caramel, and bread. Taste got better as I drank the beer over the evening. A very sweet, sugary flavor. Very hard to describe. Definitely some alcohol mixed with chocolate, cinnamon, grapes, caramel. Mouthfeel was excellent for this drink. Good balance of carbonation mixed with a silky cream body. Overall, man this was a great holiday drink for the winters.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 04:24:10 | More by fitzy84
Photo of Spikester


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear dark brown with ruby highlights. Small light tan head with modest lacing.
Smell is sweet molasses brown sugar and some funky yeast.
Taste is brown sugar molasses earthy funky hops.
Mouthfeel is full and medium dry finish. Carbonation is just enough.
Overall a tasty and powerful beer. Drink with caution.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 15:12:04 | More by Spikester
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with a dark ruby hue. Nice head of tan foam that laces well and has reasonable retention. Light nose of dark malt, molasses and piney hops. Medium body and carbonation level. The taste is complex and has dark malt (heavy on the chocolate), molasses and a hop undertone. Sweetness is present, but is almost hidden by roast malt bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. On the finish, a nice oak flavor comes through and lingers along with a light hop flavor. Very good, but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 20:12:47 | More by tillmac62
Photo of Shroud0fdoom


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

*12 oz. Bottle* I enjoy G.D. for their label art. I find it tasteful and sort of throwback US propaganda posters. Well, enough jibber jabber. Let's pour this beer. This pours a great deep cheery wood color. There was a finger worth of off white head, it didn't stick around too long. Ok I'm going in. The aroma on this brew is what I find is on the sweeter side. Roasted malt complexity gives almost a molasses sweetness. Nice mellow wood characteristics pull forth with pleasure. Way in the back there is almost a sour cherry presence. There is some spiced bread feeling in the aroma as well. Let's taste this beverage. The bottle says it's robust.. They are not lying. It's a wave of molasses with a hint of oak. Cocoa fills the taste buds. A subtle hit of sour cherry shows up but not offensive with a breath of spice. Brown sugar and musk makes this earthly sweet. The after taste is that of hops and toasted bread and dark fruits, very nice. Decent amount of bitterness finishes on time. The body on this ale is very smooth and medium-full with tickling carbonation.

Overall: this is my introduction to the Old Ale style. I am glad had the chance to try this one. This ale is balanced and alcohol is undetectable. This is on the
sweeter side, not a problem with me. If you like roasted malt forward ales this one is for you. This brew is Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 23:24:40 | More by Shroud0fdoom
Photo of micromaniac129


3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very clear copper amber brown. A small foamy head was produced as I poured which really didn't amount to much.
Aroma was rich and complex malts. Some leather and tobacco with hints of smoked peete.
The taste was very good. It was dry and bitter and sweet too. The smokyness or peete comes through well and balance th maltiness nice.
Feels just a tad thin on the palate with a dry and somewhat bitter finish.
Almost 9 ABV and no mention of alcohol. DRinks easy and good.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 17:15:52 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Aaron_Ramson


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a murky nut-brown, cloudy and dark with reddish amber hues around the edges. Nose is of coffee, roasted grains, cherries, dark fruit; lemony, piney, herbal bittering hops. Taste is of roasted coffee, unsweetened cocoa powder, cherries, apple, pear, lemon zest. Medium-thick bodied and medium carbonation; appropriate for style. Tasty and complex.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 18:34:03 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of Givemebeer


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Cola colored with a tan head and average lacing

S: Coffee and raisins. Great smell

T: Tons of flavor. Raisins, plums, other dark fruit, coffee, a little bitterness.

M: Pretty full bodied and creamy

O: An ideal beer for the winter. Full-bodied, heavy, and the dark fruit flavors are perfect for a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 01:11:04 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of Glennlawless

New Jersey

3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams Specialty Pint Glass.

A - Very rich mahogany dark reddish brown...nice thick off white head.

S - Smell coffee and black licorice.

T - bready toast like malt,chocolate, some earthy and spicy hops hidden off in the background but mainly im just getting some coffee and licorice and a slight warming after it goes down.

M - Super carbonated with a medium body.

overall, this is my first old ale per say, so I pretty much just told you how it is. Im still learning the style but i think its decent. semi drinkable, nice feel, looks beautiful....wasnt bad but wasnt great. still have more experimenting to do in this style.


Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 05:26:56 | More by Glennlawless
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a brownish mahogany color with hints of ruby red seen shining through when held up to the light. Upon pouring there is a small tan colored head that fades relatively rapidly, leaving some foamy islands on the surface of the beer and a foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big and malty with lots of sweetness. The matiness is a very nice combination of toasted malt, chocolate, and a more brown bread like smell. Mixed with these aromas are the sweet, which are heaviest of a toffee and caramel smell with other sweeter smells of molasses and candied sugar. Rounding out the sweet and malty smells are some aromas of spice accompanied by a bit of vanilla and some earthy and herbal smells as well as a little bit of a woody smell.

Taste – The taste starts out with a roasted malt flavor melding with some flavors of chocolate and caramel. The caramel flavors become more buttery as the taste moves on to the middle, taking on a more toffee like flavor. The chocolate flavor fades some from the tongue being replaced by flavors of coffee. With the coffee so too comes some molasses and brown sugar flavors as well as a bit of spice. Other flavors of an earthy hop and a bit of herb also come to the tongue, which when combined with the coffee, brings a bit of bitterness to the taste, unfortunately taking away from the wonderfully drinkable sweet and malty flavors a bit. With a little bit of warming booziness coming to the tongue at the very end, one is left with a slightly bitter, malty and still fairly sweet taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick in the front of the taste with it becoming more average more toward the back-end with a carbonation level that on the average side. While rather nice overall, a thicker body through the taste would have been slightly nicer for the sweet and malt, potentially holding them up in flavor to the end of the taste.

Overall – For the most part it was a very nice drinking Old Ale with an amazing aroma, and a good set of sweet and malty flavors. A little less bitterness may have suited the style and my preferences a bit more, but overall it was a very nice drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 02:06:17 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of TheChrisK


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Bottled on 8/30/13. Poured into a pint glass. I didn't get much of a head from the pour. The color is a rich and dark mahogany.

S: My nose detected hints of chocolate, toffee and roasted malts. The hich alcohol content is present as well.

T: After tasting this, I see why they call it "Hibernation" Ale. It leaves a feeling of warmth as it goes down. I tasted chocolate and a slight dry hoppiness with each sip. I also detected hints of coffee with a smack of the tongue.

M: The feel is a medium-heavy with a strong following because of the high ABV. The carbonation is low and the strong feeling goes away quickly which makes it easy to take another sip right away.

O: Very interesting combination. I could easily see myself drinking this by a campfire on a cold night or curling up on the couch during a snow storm. It definitely a nice winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 01:01:17 | More by TheChrisK
Photo of ISmith87


3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 4- The beer itself is a nice dark brown/reddish mahogany color that has a thick film of off white bubbles on top that leaves a nice lacing.
S - 3.75 - Nice roasty/smokey smell. Definitely some caramel/chocolate/smore smell to it too. That's really it for this one. Not as much of the bourbon/coconut smells that I get out of other old ales.
T - 3.75 - Same smokey/roasty/smore taste. Not as complex as I would hope for an old ale.
M - 3.75- It's definitely medium to heavy on the mouthfeel with the alc covered. Aftertaste is roasty malts.
O - 3.75 - Not that great for an old ale. Missing that certain aged, bourbon and vanilla characteristic I would want. At 8.7% ABV it's pretty strong but it was bottled on aug 30th this year. I'll try and find a bottle from last year at one of my favorite hole in the wall bottle shops, maybe that will be a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 02:30:24 | More by ISmith87
Photo of anarchia


4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head that leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is caramel with lots of smoke. Flavor of tobacco, yet more smoke, caramel, roasty finish balanced with some nice piney hops at the end. Leaves a taste in my mouth that reminds me of a camp fire. Had lots of winter beers but this one seems like a notch or two above all the rest.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 03:46:53 | More by anarchia
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours what appears to be a very dark brown very close to black. The head is small and off white in colour.

The smell is smoked malts,tobacco,earth and wood barrels. Very interesting and complex.

The taste is more hoppy than I expected. There are dark malts, coffee then a citrus hoppyness in the finish, tastes like oranges and lemons. This has way more hops than any other old ale I have tried.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, finishes very wet with low to medium carbonation.

This was a very interesting ale, I was expecting a more malty, sweet flavour but this to me tastes like a hopy stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 21:55:56 | More by Dave1999
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, a souvenir procured at the nearby King Soopers grocery during my visit to Denver for GABF last month. This past weekend's big dump of snow definitely has me thinking along the lines of this offering's moniker.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruddy amber hue, with one chubby finger of tightly foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some tacky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of musty, stale nuts - pistachios and oily almonds - grainy, biscuity caramel and pale malt, toasted whole wheat bread, a bit of dark cocoa, instant coffee powder, and a weak herbal, grassy hoppiness. The taste is more of the same - musty, dank cellar-stored and forgotten nuts, charred caramel malt, toasted bread, chalky milk chocolate, bittersweet coffee, dark fruit (dried cherries, mostly), and gritty, earthy, hay-like hops. A slight hint of alcohol warming is evident in concert with the elapsed time.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, just a faint hum as they go about their basic support functions, the body a wavering medium weight, and a bit oily in its otherwise straight-up smoothness. It finishes quite dry, the musty, nutty, cocoa, coffee, and roadside cuttings notes all culpable and laudable.

Given that this was bottled a little under 2 months ago, the 'old' essences are rather astounding, even if they're a bit different from those of the progenitors of the style. Nutty and toasty, this one is, and duly warming, in that 'don't know it 'til it hits you' sort of way. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 01:40:05 | More by biboergosum
Photo of crc1935


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - dark, dark brown/black. head is approximately 1/8". nice asymmetrical lacing resides after head has faded. deep amber areas around the edge of glass (i used a tulip) when held to light.

S - has a strong, malty smell; also slightly sweet and lightly toasted.

T - this is going to sound really strange, but it tastes like sweetened cheerios - which, is completely amazing. Higher ABV leaves a residual alcohol taste that is complimentary to initial sweetness.

M - punctuated by a light bitterness to give it a clean finish.

O - wonderful ale to sip on as temperatures start to drop.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 02:18:56 | More by crc1935
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good looking, dark brown but clear, light brown head started about an inch and settled at about a 1/8" creamy cap, with good lacing.

Aroma is more milk chocolate and coffee than I expected, tho I'm not completely sure what I expected. There's a notable hoppiness and some alcohol in the nose too.

Flavor is a mixture of what to me seems like elements of various styles, porter, barleywine, brown ale, even a little touch of IPA, as the hops give it a real good tang.. Coffee again comes through in the flavor, as does a nice bit of milk chocolate, and a solid, moderately sweet, solid malt base.

Body is pretty substantial, carbonation is medium-low, which seems like it suits this beer well. Finish is sweet malts and lingering chocolate.

For not knowing what to expect, the one thing I did expect didn't let me down: Great Divide makes great beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 21:10:50 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of inglebk

South Carolina

3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug

A- pours a muddy coffee brown with a small head that fades quickly. Leaves good lacing.

S- Burnt and charred sweet malts with a nice hop background. Coffee.

T- first comes the charred malts with coffee right behind. The alcohol only shows up when warmed. The hop bite is what caught me off guard. Crazy balance.

M- The flavors hit you hard but drop off pretty quickly which makes for a more thin easy drinking beer. Carbonation is perfect and it leaves that sticky sweet in the back of your mouth.

Overall- definitely down my alley of what I like in a beer. Not as strong as a stout and enough hops to balance it all out.

I would recommend this to a friend and would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 03:37:10 | More by inglebk
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated 12 oz bottle.
Murky, dark brown body is covered by a small head that manages to leave plenty of lacing.
Aroma: sweet malts with ome dark fruits and hints of hops and roasted nuts.
Taste: the mix of seet, bitter and slightly sour turns mildly bitter by the finish. A lingering taste of earthy, roasted malts with just of touch of spciy hops.
Feel: smooth, medium body wth soft carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 22:52:32 | More by chinchill
Photo of Jree261


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance-Opaque/Foggy brown to maroon with a tan foam.

Smell-Toffee, Chocolate, Mocha, Espresso, Coffee.

Taste-Follows the nose, lots of dark and bitter chocolate with coffee and some char.

Mouthfeel-Deceptively light bodied. Finish on the short end.

Overall-Looks and smells great. Drops off a little in the flavor and mouthfeel, I would've liked the finish to last longer.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 00:13:20 | More by Jree261
Photo of HattedClassic


4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice and creamy light tan head with a nice dark ruby with hints of dark Brown. strong roasted mt smell with hints of dark fruits and skight caramel notes. light dark fruit flavor dominated by caramel, toffee, and roasted malt notrs. silky feel with very little carbonation. heavy bodied but feels light as well. worth every penny.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2013 21:36:28 | More by HattedClassic
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,119 ratings.