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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,113 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,113
Hads: 2,674
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 138
Gots: 304 | FT: 2
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: 1,113 | Hads: 2,674
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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Photo of BierJager89
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Translucent ruby red with a tan ring of head.

S: Belgian-yeast-like fruitiness, some old malty smells somewhat typical of an old ale, but much more subdued, some floral, piney hop character and maybe a touch of orange peel in the nose.

T: Orange/citrus/citrus peel hop character is much more forward in the taste, accompanied by a perfectly complimentary malt backbone, not really reminiscent of an old ale style, though with a nice touch of caramel and vanilla.

M: Medium-full bodied, and not smooth. IPA-esque carbonation.

O: Pretty typical of an old ale. Smells a bit odd, but it tastes really good. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of dank203
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

the trusty tulip; pours a dark red, barely see thru. about a ivory head. getting a lot of roasty notes on the nose, coffee, a bit crackery, some of those dark fruits and chocolate. flavor is a bit roasty too, stouty. a little bite as well, slightly bitter. A strong note of spice, lemon peel. its a pretty complex one

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a reddish brown with a one-finger white head. Nice amount of lacing.

S - Heavy amount of toasted malts with some notes of coffee and chocolate.

T - Like the smell with roated malts right upfront. Nice amount of caramel sweetness with a nice hop presence in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Sicky moutheel with a dry finish.

O - A nice winter ale with big bold flavors. Very enjoyable.

 427 characters

Photo of jimmah120
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a bottled on date. about 3 months old at this point.

smell out of the bottle is musty leather and chocolate, not so appetizing. pours out a dark cola with a bubbly head, more stinky leather smell. smooth medium feel leads to chocolate malt powder and juicy dark fruits. the leather is in there as well.

 320 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/30/2013. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, roasted malt, nuttiness, toast, brown bread, herbal, wood, pepper, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and hop notes; with great strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, nuttiness, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, herbal, floral, wood, light pepper, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood, brown sugar, roasted malt, nuttiness, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark malt and moderate hop flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale! All around great balance and complexity of dark malt and moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,376 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a giant Duvel tulip glass bottled on 10/11/13. Pours a chestnut brown, with a beautiful light brown 2 inch head, that leaves behind lots of lace. Smell is toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, pecan, brown sugar, and caramel. Taste is all of that mixed into one, toffee may be most dominant, but really a well rounded beer. Body is medium large, plenty of carbonation, not really dry, and man it is going down much to fast. This is my 3rd bottle of this and it is simply a great beer.

 489 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 fl. ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Brown body with a red tint. A rather short light brown head caps the body off. Great sticky lacing throughout.

Smell: Toasted grains. Wood. Burnt caramel. Overall a very rich nose.

Taste: Great hit of toasted malts up front. Mild and creamy notes of caramel are also present. Slightly bitter floral notes from the hops break through the dense malts. Not necessarily my ideal balance for an old ale but it works.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Low-medium carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: Very bold flavors in this brew. I really enjoyed the way the malts and hops tried to counter each other. Certainly a great brew. I plan on trying one of these with a year on it... I will post my thoughts here when that time comes.

Give this one a try, it does not disappoint!

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Photo of Eisen
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark red with a light tan head that faded quickly with little lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, dates, and burnt espresso. Tastes like spicy chocolate, coffee, dark fruit. It's slightly musty like an old shoe (in a good way), and there is a touch of dirt. Mouthfeel is sticky and spicy and burnt; a bit dry. Over all a very good beer that is easy to drink and will warm one well in the winter months. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle bottled on 10-10-13

A - Dark amber, almost brown, with no clarity. A touch of lace left on the glass with little to no head

S - Brown sugar, booze, spices

T - Wow! Complex as hell...alot going on here. Caramel, chocolate, sweet, spicy, and with a huge unexpected hop explosion at the end. Well done.

M - Highly carbonated and sizzles

O - An interesting winter warmer. Well done!

 397 characters

Photo of Omnium
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Ruby dark brown with half a finger of head, small spots of lacing.
S - Big roasted malt, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, hazelnut, fig, dark cherry, vanilla, oak.
T - Really massive malt attack, lots of big roasted flavors, definitely some oak, slight hints of vanilla, a little spicy hop bite, bitter chocolate, dark fruits kinda buried underneath. Also there's definitely a large alcohol presence.
M - Alcohol burn, chewy texture, very sticky, coats your palate.
O - A great winter ale for sure, lots of big bold flavor, kinda like an imperial brown ale with more complexity. Definitely worth having.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark amber that shows a redish-brown color when held up to the light. It had a small head that left little lace.
S-molasses, malt, fruit, and some nut in the aroma also.
T-malt with a nut and molasses with a slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste that goes to a warming caramel malt finish.
M-seems full body with low carbonation
O-great winter beer to look forward to every year.

 383 characters

Photo of Act25
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just found the best winter warmer from a great, favorite brewer.

A: Hazed mahogany with lots of sticky lacing from a creamy, off-white head.

Smell: Forward! Candy, roasted chesnuts, nutty, wood fire, and some spicy essense of winter christmas home.

Taste: Follows the smell with that original soaring woody/nutty wood fire flavor. Very original, chocolatey, distinct. Must try! All atop a rich maltiness dusted by dry cocoa. finally there's pine hops and smokiness in the finish. Complexy, smokey, estery, well... wintery!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with syrupy texture.

Drinkability: A best winter warmer. Might age well too.

 635 characters

Photo of evanforbeer
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

pours a deep almost black but brown with off white head. Bonus points (not really) for some of my favorite beer bottle art

nose- warm vanilla with cheap coffee, dark chocolate, wood. very robust

taste- surprising initial earthy hops and dark roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, cocoa, subtle dark fruit. Notes of wood/oak and earthy hop spice emerge in the middle palate, finishes woody, roasty, and a bit grassy/bitter. As it warms things smooth out a bit and you get a little rounder, coffee/roasted profile that's not quite as brash- very nice.

feel- robust, protruding carbonation, drinkable, full-bodied, a little harsh lingering bitterness

I am not very familiar with the Old Ale style, but I have always enjoyed this beer. The hops jump out of this more than I expect, with some nice classic roasty undertones. I think I probably drank most of this a little too cold, as it warmed things smoothed out and the hops weren't as over-powering. Definitely let it sit a little bit.

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Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a very deep amber with a tan head with nice retention
S-molasses, coffee, roasted malt
T-rich molasses and coffee flavor followed by heavy roastiness and hop bitterness
M-medium-full bodied with low carbonation
O-really nice beer, would like to grab another bottle and see how it ages

 292 characters

Photo of South2NW
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint
A: clear, dark copper/brown with a light khaki head that leaves gorgeous lace rings.

S: really interesting and not what I was expecting. Brown sugar, coffee and sweet caramel malt.

T: nice and malty. Definitely some taste of roasty coffee with creamer of some sort. Finish is slight hop bitterness

M: medium body, lighter carbonation. No boozy burn.

O: really nice ale. Perfect winter warmer. I'll definitely buy more.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this every winter a few times now, A very nice old ale and usually priced well for an 8.7% beer. 12$ a 6 pack

Looks tasty on the pour with a half finger off white head, dark ruby , brown in color.

Smell is sort of faint, but its mostly caramel and roasted malt, with a smokiness and a sort of oak smell. A little bit of raisin and prune.

Taste is a smack of charred malt and bread, with a long bitter after taste of coffee and hops. Tasty as long as you like darker or brown beers, as this is quite flavorful , coats the mouth with the malt and dark fruit flavors. It's not very sweet, but rather dry and robust

Plenty of carbonation and a slick mouthfeel lets this one prick your tongue with beery goodness, very nice beer over all , but its not some perfect style, its just about right for a winter beer or old ale. I prefer this over sam adams winter lager, sierra nevada celebration, or widmer brrr.

 916 characters

Photo of Joshpu
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

A: Poured a dark brown with a red-brown tinge with no head. The tiny ring of lacing that was there was beige.

S: Primarily coffee, roasted malts, a slight smokiness, toffee. Dark chocolate once it warms.

T: Coffee, black licorice, nutty, roasted malts, hops on the end. The cocoa comes out when it warms. I would definitely recommend letting this beer warm.

M: Light to medium bodied. Very easy to drink, can't taste the alcohol. Actually a pretty thin mouth feel. A bitter finish, coffee/hops bitterness. No sweetness.

Overall a better than average beer. This was a unique beer for me, primarily tasting like coffee (I'm assuming from the malts). I love drinking coffee, the only problem is that it tastes like cheap coffee, therefore kind of leading to a cheap taste. The mouth feel was the let down on this beer for me, just felt too thin, almost watery at times.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,113 ratings.