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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,153 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,153
Hads: 2,777
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 139
Gots: 350 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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: 1,153 | Hads: 2,777
Photo of maedhros09
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Deep mahogany with 1-2 fingers of tan head and a smidge of lacing.
Smell: Dark fruit, boozy
Look: Deep dark fruit, caramel, and a bit of roasted malt character followed by a pronounced bitterness that with the alcohol leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue.
Feel: full-bodied, smooth, fairly carbonated for style. Not as syrupy as a barleywine.

Overall: A densely malty beer but not quite to barleywine proportions. In this sense it's not dissimilar from Founders Dirty Bastard (technically a scotch ale), The main difference is a serious kick of hops bitterness. To my taste the bitterness is taken too far but it is close to the borderline.

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Photo of JWU
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a porter glass

A- a deep, slightly translucent red/amber with an ice light khaki, head, nice lacing.

S- some light floral hops and a big wallop of cocoa/chocolate and a hint of dark fruit

T- It's a cross between a porter and a barleywine. Big roasty chocolate notes, crossed with some dark fruit/caramel notes. straightforward.

M- medium-full, ample carbonation

O- An interesting offering from Great Divide. I'd certainly have it again.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is beautifully crafted beer... raisin, toffee, earthy cellar-y flavors abound. Malt notes are toasty, caramel, toffee, and just a hint of cocoa or coffee, probably brought out by the hop bitterness. Nice mouth-feel perfect level of carbonation. There's an earthiness as well as a touch of a metallic and burnt characters and a hint of gingerbread. It finishes with a port wine warmth and a clean resin licorice spiciness. Might try to age this and get more spices out of it. But I like it!

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, (dated at one year old). I did a mini vertical with a fresh can and the year old bottle.

Look: Both pour the same, dark brown with a beige head that lasts about 30 seconds.

Smell: the one year version has more complexity, including dark fruits and sweetness; the fresh one smells mostly of malts, and then alcohol.

Taste: both taste about the same: malty and sweet.

Feel: Both have roughly the same mouth-feel, medium, smooth (the fresh has an alcohol burn on the finish), and easy to drink.

Overall: I like both vintages, but I prefer the one year old, due to the more complex aroma.

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Photo of chase_cakes
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. can, crystal clear dark copper color, light tan head that stays through to the end of the class. Nose is malty with toasty, caramel scent with a touch of roasty, almost coffee, malt, no hops. The flavor is malty with a decent hop bitterness to balance but not much hop flavor (not a bad thing for a winter ale). Malt notes are toasty, caramel, toffee, and just a hint of cocoa or coffee, probably brought out by the hop bitterness. A very enjoyable drinker, I'm warm and inside but if I were outside (30 F) this beer would definitely get a bump for being such a great cold weather beer. Oh and I forgot: at 8.7% ABV its a great value, can't wait for the barrel aged version!

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First Great Divide beer for me!

Pours a muddy/nutty brown. About a 1 1/2 finger head, dissipates rather quickly. Interesting that a cluster of foam forms in the center and some larger bubbles sneak over to the edge of the glass. hmmm...

Nose: The first thing I smell is dark rum, which I was not expecting. I also get hazelnuts, cinnamon, honey, roasted marshmallows, and milk chocolate. It smells amazing.

Tongue: Toasty/Roasty grain-rye bread hits first. Chestnuts, cocoa, cream, and molasses come next. Its reminds me of a creme Brule, minus the lactose. I think the hops are what is hibernating in this ale, I'm only picking up the slightest hint that they came for the ride. I am getting a bit of a kick on the back end, like a light cracked black pepper?

Body/Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected for the style. Its sugary and creamy. A lot of stout qualities to this beer. Its balanced and masks the 8.7% fairly well.

Overall: I really liked it. I can't wait to finish this review, light my pipe, and finish hibernating this beast. I love that there is a winter seasonal out there that isn't jam packed with spices. I like them in moderation, but they get overwhelming. This is a malt forward ale, and tastes like a stout. Its perfect for the winter and does it without anise and allspice up the a&%. If you're lucky enough to find this snag it up before it really hibernates.


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Photo of lastmango
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a reddish brown with thin cream head. Faint aroma of chocolate malt. Malty taste in the beginning fading to a lingering hop bitterness, which surprised me. This beer has medium carbonation and also surprised me as being a bit thin.

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

The nose is sweet, very malty. The taste follows, a slightly more hoppy old ale compared to others, but its not an IPA. The malt is the star and thats a good thing. Toffee and a hint of smoke, great beer!

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Photo of Hoss76
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I typically don't like many Great Divide beers so this was a nice surprise. Great appearance and slight caramel head. Weakness was aroma and GD beers seem to be nil for me. Nice taste with hints of chocolate and coffee even better as it warmed slightly. Nice mouthfeel perfect level of carbonation. ABV well hidden.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice warmer pours a clear reddish brown with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of moderate chocolate aromas, grain alcohol, and a good does of bright and spicy hops. Flavors follow the nose with chocolate and spicy herbal hops that fade to a light pine and herbal hops note on the back blending nicely with brown sugars and caramel notes. Smooth mouth feel, good carbonation, warming and sweet aftertaste with a grain background mingling with piney and herbal hops. Excellent.


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Photo of Strike00
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a dark amber red color. A head that dissipates quickly.
S: A slightly sweet, malty smell. a little spice on the nose. Nothing too strong.
T: Malty and a little sweet. Not much bitterness and a alcohol warmth that that doesn't rise to boozy.
F:nice and smooth. Medium body with medium carbonation.

O: A good beer for a winter night for sure.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very robust. I find this to be a different take than the many old ales that I have enjoyed. This leans more on hop bitterness and flavor than the typical malt complexity. This is the first old ale that I had that I did not think would improve with age.

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Photo of SFNC
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look; Deep garnet, very clear, small head that vanishes quickly minimal lacing.
Smell; Faint toffee smell, some red wine notes.
Taste; Bready, slightly sour, prune and molasses. Bitter hops in the back end. Alcohol very present.
Feel; Not much carbonation, but a full and thick feel.
Overall; I've had more enjoyable Old Ales. Not bad, but not feeling the urge to have another soon.

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Photo of NickSMpls
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh yes! While not a winter warmer by style, this Old Ale does the "warm" thing very well indeed. Dark, rich brown and moderate carbonation. Aroma is bready yeast notes along with a hint of fresh hops. Very nice, complex taste...pick up the malts and subtle hint of some sweetness. The mid-range ABV is handled well. I'd take this over many others.

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Photo of MNJR
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Heavy duty, garnet colored brew with rewarding, strong flavors, and a dry finish. The dryness seems intrinsic to this style of beer and is a welcome change from the sweet and/or heavily spiced holiday beers that dominate the current market. This is beautifully crafted beer... raisin, toffee, earthy cellar-y flavors abound. The finish has a hint of chalk, as do most old ales I've tried. This is a solid beer for people who like a massive amount of character and flavor (and alcohol). A robust and superb experience. But, you have to "get" the old ale flavor profile, since it is very rich and unusual for the uninitiated.

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Photo of Dan_K
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: deep copper colored with 2 fingers of white foam
S: Smells sweet, with raisins and grain
T: Malty, fruity, slightly spicy, tastes like dried fruit in a boozy fruitcake with bracing bittering hops for balance.
F: Feels a little thin and well carbonated
O: A complex and tasty brew, but it doesn't wow me in any way. I am curious what a little more time in the bottle would do for the taste. Or trying the imperial/barrel aged version.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flavor is nutty with tons of toffee. Very English in that regard. Some fig, prunes, plum and even grape emerge. Also some slate or chalkiness. Overall, mild by American standards, but certainly a sturdy, interesting sipper.

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Photo of stompilator
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass (2014) into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep, ruby brown. Thin, off-white head.

S - A ton of caramel, vanilla, a bit of booze, subtle stone fruit esters, and classic old ale oxidation and mustiness.

T - Very heavy caramel from the get-go. Intense but smooth flavors that follow the nose, without the alcoholic warmth. Gives a barrel impression without a barrel. Not as musty as the nose, but has a warming, estery sweetness. Esters sneak up throughout the palate, and has a dry, vinous finish.

M - Medium body keeps it out of barleywine territory. Light carbonation, with a slightly dry, sticky texture.

O - A fantastic example of an old ale as a style distinct from barleywine. Not the richest or heaviest old ale I've had, but wonderfully complex.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aromas are chocolate and a nuttiness, almost resembles a candy bar. Taste follows, I'm follow the candy bar theme snickers almond and baby ruth. The malts are perfect, candy sweet while the hops add the needed bitterness. With a head that lasts the entire session how can I go wrong. This bottle is less than a month old, and showing no alcohol. Near perfection.

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

Overall very drinkable winter/seasonal brew,,,

Love the deep amber/brown hue; poured into a chilled glass, head dissipates with haste.
Very mild smell, I'd describe it as a malty winter spice. Picking up a bit more spice upon drinking the beer, with a nice malty finish. I was expecting a bit more flavor or a noticeable edge from the Hibernation Ale (it being 8.7%) and was a bit disappointed due to said absence...I'll just blame it on the can, and hopefully will have a in the future, to have the brew on tap!

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled Nov 3, 2014) into a pint glass, dark red brown colored with a short light tan head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing, clear

S: dark fruits, raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, wood, leather, tobacco, brown sugar

T: dark fruits as above, earthy, taste closely follows smell, huge malty flavor

M: thick and warming, low carbonation

O: complex malty beer perfect for sipping after a rich meal

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Photo of TH28
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled 10/2/14. Appearance: Dark brown and opaque with hint of ruby. No head. Aroma: Roasted coffee along with leather, toffee, and caramel. Taste: Deep rich malt sweetness with flavors of caramel and molasses, raisins, chocolate, leather, and a hint of peppery spice. Mouthfeel: Medium body with little carbonation. Not quite the viscosity and alcohol warmth. Finish: a slight roastiness and dry peppery spice lingers on the tongue. Overall: A really complex ale perfect for those cold winter nights.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled October 10, 2013. Poured into a wine glass

L- Dark garnet with an off-white head that dissipates quickly.

S- Roast, with raisins and nuts.

T- A little heavy on the roast for my liking, but the sweet malt and dried fruit is still there, on the finish in particular.

F- smooth, fullish body with a prickle of carbonation.

O- Good, but better at 12 months.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aged 12oz bottle dated from October 2014 served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: dark brown with hints of ruby. Protein coagulation in the glass, beautiful creamy head and curtains of tan lace.

Nose: roasted malt, aged hops, toffee, very barleywine like nose.

Taste: very smooth with almost no carbonation. Roasty, toffee, fruity, fig and hops. No bitterness and a bit on the thin side.

Overall: this old ale is a barleywine-light. I wish it had more body like North Coast Old Stock ale but I suppose that one is a classic example of style. Still, this is a great brew that is elevated by the roasted character in the malt. Probably won't age very well given the light body. I see this one thinning out too much and given the low carbonation it will be downright watery.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: brilliant ruby tinged chestnut under a 3” rocky foam collar providing ample thick lacing on the glass as you drink it.
S: Mid to dark malt aromas with a little dried fruit and a touch of herbal hops that also comes out in the taste.
T: This malt driven beer begins with rich, but not syrupy or cloying, malt tastes with the fruit rising a little in the middle and then relaxes into a pleasant, lingering malt aftertaste with a bitter hop accent.
F: Smooth, full bodied, medium low carbonation, creamy.
O: a very welcome winter ale.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,153 ratings.