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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,105 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,105
Hads: 2,641
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 127
Gots: 285 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hibernation Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,105 | Hads: 2,641
Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
1.22/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A toffee coffee mess of a beer. I cringed with every sip. Absolutely disgusting. Drank at a reputed bar in NYC so I don't believe it was the tap lines.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L (4.) – Nice dark color. A little lighter brown than Pepsi!

S (4.25) – Smells pretty good. Not quite coffee, not quite chocolate. How I like my stouts to smell, really.

T (3.75) – Interesting taste. I don’t get much chocolate or caramel or coffee. And I probably shouldn’t. I do kinda get a musty, raisin-like taste, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. Almost like a port wine, really.

F (4) – Not as thick as the color might make you think. Smooth, and easy to drink.

O (4)—I picked this one up on a lark, and I’m a big fan of Great Divide. It’s probably not in my top favorites of theirs, but it’s a nice beer. I’d drink again for sure, but maybe not a “must have” in my cellar.

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
2.87/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks: dark brown very little if any light shining through. Smell: initially grains, bread batter after the pour. Later I only get floral herbaceous hops with minimal malt or grain. Taste: sad to say not my cup of tea. I don't like ale with this flavor profile. It reminds me of a doppelbock gone wrong. It has a nice balance of dark roasted malt with herbal hops. Might be the strong alcohol note. This would be good with a meal just not my preference for a sipping beer. YMMV. Mouth feel: very full almost syrupy. Overall: If you like old English ales with a darker roast malt and herbal hop and high ABV this could be for you. For me it is better to look else where Samuel Smith for example.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Trails End.

Pours a deep dark mahogany. Nearly opaque with a thin tan head. Smell is very complex - some roasted malts, dark fruits and winter spices. Flavor is really interesting - hoppy fig newtons comes to mind. Definitely some subtle hops, but its really about the dark fruit and spiciness. Body is medium/full with ample carbonation.

Overall, another very nice beer from Great Divide. They consistently make fine beer.

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Photo of Pukstopper
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a deep dark cooper brown color into a pint glass from a bottle. Nice head that fades and leaves lacing and a thin head.
You can taste some chocolate and spice notes along with the maltyness. @8.7 %abv it goes down well on a cold winter day without making you feel heavy.
A very nice winter warmer.

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Photo of twosheds
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Moderate head which dissipates to a thin foam. Dark reddish amber in color. Almost can't see through the glass

Smells very sweet with some chocolate notes and a bit of a warming alcohol smell.

Taste is very similar to the smell with less chocolate and more brown sugar and dark fruit. It's balanced nicely with a dry finish and a lingering alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium with some carbonation

This is a nice beer for the cold weather. Really warming and inviting, but also a little complex.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a regular glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. While its creaminess is excellent, it doesn't seem to retain very well. Actually, the latter is a damn lie - a thin film retains for freaking ever. A small (but nice looking) ring of lacing is left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Immediately upon pouring, it has an aroma very similar to a larger brown ale. Notes of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and vaguely burnt caramel initially dominate. As it opens up, a gentle nuance of alcohol appears, giving it wisps of dark fruit and leather (the more it warms, the more dark fruits appear). Hell, I'm getting some hoppiness. Very likable aroma, one that displays craftsmanship over bells and whistles. (3.75)

Taste: The flavor seems slightly 'roastier' than the nose suggested, opening up with flavors of caramel, espresso, and pine. At times, it also seems gently smoky. More sweet caramel emerges on the finish, as well as an earthen touch. Hard to fault this beer: it's a malty winter brew, yet with a hop-laden bend. Plus, it's long aftertaste helps give it more depth. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Very soft and creamy in body - it just feels nice on the palate. After it goes down the gullet, it dries out well (partly thanks to its carbonation). So well, it seems lightly astringent, even. Meh, whatever, it's both rich and drinkable all at the same time. (4)

Overall: I have a soft spot for great beers that don't rely on quadruple barrel aging with civet coffee and a swaddling cloth from the baby Jesus - rather, they're just insanely well crafted. Something like Old Rasputin or Nugget Nectar, for starters. This too. To me, it's about an inch short of achieving total greatness, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy this beer. The way the malts and the hops coexist together just does it for me. This is a winter warmer done right. (3.75)

3.76/5: Delicious old ale with a slightly hoppy twist

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great Divide Hibernation Ale pours a deep dark brown, boarding on black. The color is accompanied by a murkiness, that makes it completely opaque. The smells coming from are deep and amazing, starting off with espresso, vanilla, and chocolate, but moving into more subtle notes of licorice, pine, chocolate covered cherries, and a vinous character. The smell is deep, complex, slightly fruity, incredibly malty, and powered by a good dose of hopping. There’s a very subtle notes of alcohol that accompanies the nose.

The palate doesn’t immediately explode surprisingly, but layers flavors. Great Divide Hibernation Ale’s body is thick, chewy, and robust, and has a nice amount of carbonation. The flavor starts with notes of coffee, chocolate, a touch of alcohol, and a bitter set of preserved black cherries and plums. As the flavor progresses, it move toward cigar smoke, peat, and citrus pith. As it ends the, smoke quotation bellies up to the pass, and hammers home a hit of cigar, dark cacao, and piney hops.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky brownish orange with a tan head of foam that leaves lace and refreshes with each tip of the glass. Nose is toffee and bread. Crusty bread and caramel. Some brightness form hops int eh nose accents a touch of dark fruit. Figs and earth. If you inhale very deeply you can smell a bit of alcohol on the nose. If you don't you can't . Taste is rich and malty. bread crusts, toasty malt, brown sugar and toffee. Earthiness and those dark fruits that seem to have a surprising freshness. A bit of peat. Some raisin and nuts come to the palate as it warms. Mouthfeel is full. tasty and finishes dry with a slight bitterness. Light bit of warmth from the alcohol.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at approximately 40 degrees F.

A: Pours a deep ruby brown, forming a relatively thin pale white head that recedes quickly to a ring. Holding the beer to daylight reveals an exceptionally clear red-brown brew with decent streams of carbonation from the bottom. Lacing is persistent, if a tad patchy.

S: Toasted, warm caramel-toffee malts, with the smells of warm peat moss and damp potting soil mixed in as well. There's a tinge of smoke, and some shadows of dark fruit.

T: At the start, this was smoky, earthen, and definitely peaty, a bitter brew to drink. There was sweetness present, but entirely subsumed by the soil, bark, and ashes, with something of a black licorice tinge to the finish. As it warms, the bitterness fades to allow more of a balance with the sweeter, breadier malts - entirely my fault, I should have started this one out warmer. Caramel and toffee play off of the smoky earthiness, and allow some faint undertones of dried dark fruit to skitter about the distant reaches of the palate. There's also more of a light coffee note to the finish.

M: Surprisingly light-bodied, with prickly carbonation levels.

O: With the first few sips, I was unimpressed with what seemed to be an unbalanced beer. That opinion changed upwards in correlation with the temperature. Would repeat, and at cellar temperatures.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a dark, almost black color with reddish highlights when held up to the light. There is a mocha one finger head which does not last long and light lacing.

The smell earthy, dank, peat moss, chocolate, sweet and roasted malts, nuts and spices.

The taste follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts mixed with chocolate then moving to a nutty taste with some bitter coffee in the background. The finish is bitter, roasted malts, chocolate and piney hops dominate the finish. Some bitter hop oil is left on the tongue after swallowing. Some of the alcohol leaks through in the taste.

Overall this would make a great winter warmer; try it.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 Month old

Appearance- Deep dark mahogony, muddy brownish red. Fairly transparent when held directly to light. Pours an off-white finger thick head, soapy and bubbly.
Aroma- Smoky, peaty malts, coffee and chocolate notes as well. Rich, caramel and toffee sweetness, maybe a touch of dark fruit as well.
Taste- Nice mix of roasted malt and smoked malt, real peaty smoke flavor. Big chocolate notes, subtler coffee notes. Thick rich toffee, caramel, big sweet malts. Woody earthiness present on the finish.
Feel- Medium mouthfeel, slight stickiness. Medium carbonation.
Overall- Beautiful rich flavors, stradles the line of several styles. Thick rich sweet malts pair wonderfully with peaty smoked malts, combines with chocolate and coffee notes. Everything comes together wonderfully. Nice warming quality to this beer, decadent and filling.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Dark mahogny, clear beer with a two finger beige head.

Nose: Dried fruit, plum, roasted sweet malt, raisin, coffee, brown sugar and herbs.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt, chocolate, pumpernickel and some licorice.

Body: Full complex body with a big a malty backbone. Medium carbonatet. Feels a little tickeling and spicy. Light bitterness at the end.

This is a great Old Ale that fits perfectly at christmas (and you should celebrate christmas all year round!)

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Photo of teromous
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on: SEP 18 2014

Appearance: Very dark brown opaque body with a creamy off-white head that leaves great lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is this amazing coffee aroma that leaps from the glass. It smells fantastic. A slight note of charcoal on the nose as well.

Taste: It starts out with a rich coffee and a bit of wood flavor, touched by a slight burnt note and bitterness at the back. It finishes very clean, leaving just a bit of coffee on the tongue. I can taste the alcohol in this, but at 8.7% ABV (from the bottle) I wouldn't call that a deal-breaker.

Mouthfeel: It feels very thick and full bodied. Good carbonation for this beer. It has a nice coating presence on the palate.

Overall: It's a great beer, plain and simple. It has a lot of rich flavors but they are removed from the palate once the sip is done which leaves you ready to have another sip immediately. I recommend grabbing it and giving it a shot if you're a fan of higher alcohol stouts and porters. It doesn't taste like a lot of other Old Ales that I've had, but it's good in its own right.

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Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev -0.7%

This is my first old ale that I've had and I wasn't disappointed.

A - Dark brown color. Cloudy with color and has almost no head and very light lacing.

S - A very rich character with malt, some toffee, some noble hop, and some fruit present. This is a very complex aroma with some alcohol and caramel in the background. It has a traditional ESB, fruity yeast character but to the next level.

T - Matching the smells, the flavor is even more complex with tons of depth. I sense an ESB with just more of everything. The fruity yeast and hops are more predominant on the tongue with the malty, grainy, and toffee flavors mixing well together. I don't feel that one flavor rises above all others but you can decipher each individual flavor which to me is the hallmark of a delicious beer. There is a bitterness but it is in no way dominant and only lends a compliment to the malt character.

M - Medium mouth-feel with light carbonation. It's lightly syrupy but isn't cloying with some residual bitterness and you can feel that it's alcohol level and attenuation are spot on to make this beer a winner.

Overall, even though this is my first of this style I can tell that this beer is a great representation of this style. I'm sure that you could go bigger, try more base malt with less roasted malt, or maybe change the hop profile but all of those wouldn't make this individual beer any better. I would still prefer a nice DIPA or an Imperial stout but this is really a great beer that I would like to have once a year.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color. Smells like a brown ale. Fantastic beer that taste like a toasty malty brown ale some mollasis. Great medium body with medium carbonation. Fantastic old ale that I think taste like a brown ale.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Ruby/copper, hazy and even some distinguishable sediment, little head, a few lazy bubbles rise.

S: Smoke and coffee, caramel, something else akin to the smell of an old person's house, like raw wheat stalks; it's kinda endearing, but not something I want for too long.

T: Caramel, coffee, a little smoke, and.... something chemically, like vinegar. Stale malt perhaps? It's prominent, a significant blemish on this otherwise great beer. My score is lofted only because this is expected of the style, but my personal dislike will probably keep me from a return to this one.

M: Light, somewhat filmy. It would be very drinkable, were it not for that abrasive flavor.

O: I'll need to get used to the style before I can enjoy this one. Definitely has promising notes, and overall a perfect candidate for the style, but my personal aesthetic score would be noticeably lower.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint: color is amber to brown, head is tan, dense with fine bubbles and leaves nice lacing on the glass.
Smell is wonderful, great malt, aged wood and subtle flavors: not fruity but deeper malt notes and light oak or wood notes.
Taste is similar to the aroma as the malt has aged well and taken on some unique flavors, again not the deeper, sweeter malt flavors like a barleywine but balanced sweetness that has been aged a bit and lighter hop bitterness. Hops are earthy, subtle and not overpowering, maybe some grass.
Mouthfeel is one of the points that seem to be unrefined, its a bit biting, somewhat crisp; the malt flavors present nicely and rouned but theres a lingering biting flavor or feel that takes away from the aged aroma and flavor.
Overall, a very pleasant ale, unique in flavor and really hides the strength well.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 ounce bottle poured into a beer tulip glass. Bottled on date is October 2013, drinking April 2014.

Appearance: Poured aggressively and did not produce much a head. The beer is cola colored with a small head that has tons of tiny bubbles. It is not hazy or cloudy pretty clear.

Smell: I am not sure if its the beer's age, 6 months, but I am not getting much of an aroma. Malt, wood, toffee, no alcohol on the nose.

Taste: Malt up front, some toffee on the backend, the alcohol is barely noticeable for an 8.7% abv. There is a kind of mellowed wood flavor that lingers, the malt is prevalent. Some bitterness, really smooth, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Not a lot of carbonation, bitterness on the tongue, dry on the palate, the alcohol while not noticeable in the flavor is warming the mouth, throat, and stomach. Nice warming feeling.

Overall: Good beer, malty, dry flavor, the warmth would be great for a cold night, has that warming effect on the body, very drinkable for an 8.7% beer. I would like to try this one fresher.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a dark woody brown color. a small half finger tan head that sticks around forever and leaves a lacing on the sides. hazy and almost opaque.

Smell: first thing i notice is and earthy hop aroma, a little bit of an herbal note as well. darker malts come through as well, mostly chocolate but perhaps some roasted malts too.

Taste: opens up with dark malts, a strong chocolate mixed with lighter roasted malts. strong earthy hops and a little bit of an herbal finish. very subtle crystal malts gets lost in the middle. low to medium alcohol strength

Mouthfeel: fairly heavy. bitter and warm

Overall: fresh this one is good, but I'd say it ages very nicely. good age sets in in the first year. well worth stocking the cellar here.

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Photo of jellikit
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark autumn with an auburn hint to the light. Thin head. No lacing.
Smell: toasty roasty. Dark caramel.
T: roasty. Malty. We'll balanced. Burned caramel hints.
M: low carbonation. Big body. Think Jessica Simpson.
O: great big beer. We'll balanced dark beer. Big malt balanced with the alcohol and hops. My thought of an old ale.

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Photo of glass_house
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Dark mahogany-amber that has a ruby glow around the edges. One finger of tan head leaves a nice thin collar and patchy lacing. Aroma is cocoa powder on dark coffee, with some grass and charred wood notes in the background.

Taste is full of toasty dark malts. Dark chocolate and coffee are there, but share the spotlight with some bitter earthy hops. Roasted vanilla beans, pecans, molasses, licorice, toffee, and caramel all come through as well. Wow there is a lot going on here. Gets slightly boozy as it warms. A little heavier than medium with fairly mild carbonation. Full and creamy. Coats the palate and leaves a lingering mild coffee bitterness.

This is good. Such a complex array of roasted and burnt malt notes, with just enough hop bite to balance it out. Reminds me of a tasty coffee porter mixed with a sticky barleywine. Can't wait to see how it ages.

Edit (3/20/15): Ages beautifully. After about 15 months in the cellar, the flavors of toffee, caramel, fig, molasses, and bittersweet chocolate meld even more seamlessly with a silky smooth feel. Will definitely be putting some more of this away to hibernate.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle dated 10/11/13 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours a red with copper tone and a thin beige head. Great lacing.

S-Nose is a bit green, strong messy malt and some malt sweetness. Not overly strong nose with a hint of booze.

T-Taste is more green, malts are a bit unorganized with sweetness battling toasted almond.

M-Mouthfeel has booze in the finish with a medium to full body and lots of carbonation making it feel a bit thin in the finish.

O-Overall a great old ale. I love this beer I look forward to it each winter!

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Photo of FLima
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown reddish color with a two finger caramel aired head with good retention and leaving laces.
Nice balanced aroma with bold malty and earthy hops notes. Hints of cocoa powder and spiced American yeast.
Strong multiple hoppy flavor backed by a good malty based. Notes of spiced yeast, earthy hops, subdue citrus and muffled dark fruits, grapefruit, pine, vanilla, bitter cocoa, licorice, caramels, charred wood, almonds, a bit of roasted coffee beans and smoke. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Medium body with good carbonation. Alcohol of 8.7% abv is quite disguised, it is just a perfect addition to its flavors.
I was impressed with this beer. Excellent Old Ale with bold flavor and aromas. Great tasty complexity and incredibly balanced. I am going to miss you darling until we encountered again (hard to find overseas…). Highly recommended.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is red with copper tone and a thin beige head. Nose is a bit green, strong messy malt and some malt sweetness. Not overly strong nose with a hint of booze. Taste is more green, malts are a bit unorganized with sweetness battling toasted almond. Booze in the finish with a medium to full body and lots of carbonation making it feel a bit thin in The finish.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,105 ratings.