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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,154 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,154
Hads: 2,780
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 139
Gots: 352 | 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: 1,154 | Hads: 2,780
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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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark, nearly opaque brown brew with a touch of red, a light, off white head, forms up short and fades to a thin patina over the top. Lacing is moderate but present.

S - Grass, mint, menthol, alcohol, malt, and caramel.

T - Follows the nose, with a big burst of mint and menthol hoppiness, followed by a rush of sweet malts in the form of brown sugar and molasses, closing with a bitter turn, slight hint of aspirin. Over all, a strong punch of alcohol that muddles the senses.

M - Slick and cloying in the open, but quickly overtaken by the spiky alcohol and a moderate burn, drying in the close that lifts much of the blanket from the open off and keeps things from becoming immediately overwhelming. Impressive trick, really, given the hit by a truck nature of this brew.

O - Even with a full year to settle down, this one is a bear of a brew. Lovely malty caramel, and a nice combination of medicinal hops and stinging alcohol to balance off the sweetness. The finesse of this beer is well hidden by the bull in the china shop delivery, but surprisingly there is a careful line walked. Not necessarily my go to style, but this is a well crafted old ale.

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Photo of ARoman
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Transferred from previous notes - 1/4/2014 & 11/6/2014
12 oz bottle poured into brandy snifter. It starts out with the sweet smell of vanilla and chocolate, with a touch of butterscotch, with perhaps a note of earthiness to it. As the head recedes, the aroma morphs into something more similar to ripe, tart dark red cherries with some woody notes (maybe some raisin in there too?). A deep, dark cranberry coloring to the beer stands out (although it’s probably more mahogany, but the fluorescent lighting is playing tricks on me) with a tan head that sits atop the beer as a moderate to thin film with some sparse lacing. A moderate sweet-tartness is most noticeable, in moderate amounts, with some light toasty, woody notes. After a little time, some hop bitterness pokes through along with a touch of sour cherry. An average amount of carbonation keeps the beer relatively medium to light bodied, although it definitely has a slightly syrupy quality to it. There’s a mild aftertaste consisting mainly of toasted malt with some dark chocolate and floral notes. By mid-glass, this taste changes into a smooth caramel with some light spice - the floral notes are still present. There’s a pleasant warming quality to this beer at the finish.

One year later, this same batch take on more roasted notes of coffee, raisin, and cacao with some port wine alcohol, a hint of ginerbread, and grapes late. The color of the beer is now an oily dark caramel brown color with noticeable sediment floating within. The head thins out a bit with just a thin soapy ring and a wispy surface. The body gains some weight to it as the slick and slightly sticky beer is more full bodied with toasted notes and flavors of cacao. 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. The aftertaste is astringent and slightly metallic with note of spice, dark chocolate, dark cherries, and nuts.

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

Poured a rich, cloudy deep reddish brown body with a minimal lacing of tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of an Old Ale indeed, old looking and quite beautiful. Scents begins malty rich, with a massive amount of sweet burnt caramel, molasses, rich chocolate and light roasted malt and supporting notes of dried fruit, cherry and raisin mostly, and warming alcohol. Overall impression of aroma is of a very malt forward Old Ale, with rich supporting aromas lending a warming quality overall. Flavor begins malty sweet with notes of burnt caramel and toffee and nutty malt, balanced by a mild bitterness of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Middle middle opens up further chocolate and roast malt flavors, with a light smokiness and notes of dried cherries, evident, yet light warming alcohol and light notes of leather. Finish is lightly dry with flavors of roasted malt and dark chocolate mingling with notes of caramel, molasses and dried fruit and medium levels of warming alcohol. Aftertaste is lightly sweet at first, with notes of caramel, becoming gradually dry with notes of rich dark chocolate and roast malt. Overall impression of flavor is of a very old feeling Old Ale. It tastes rich, deep and malty, yet is also warming and tastes musty and old. A pleasant combination in this beer that lends it a warming, rich, satisfying quality. Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy and rich with light carbonation and a sticky feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a fantastic Old Ale. Overall this is quite the nice Old Ale. It feels rustic and warming in all respects, as the style should feel. A malt-forward aroma and flavor are aided by warming alcohol and a thick feel to make a rich, satisfying beer.

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Photo of scotorum
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed flute.

a: Clear dark ruby/copper with an inch thick tan head which receded to rocky surface foam and dense spotty lacing.

s; Mild dark fruit.

t; Follows the nose with a smoky malt chaser and a moderate hop bite. Buitterness lingers lightly at the sides of the tongue on an otherwise mostly dry finish. High ABV is well concealed.

m; Medium, very good body, some carbonation tingle.

o; A pleasant and rather meaty strong ale, approaching barleywine style. Fine winter warmer.

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

12oz bottle dated Nov 2014 poured into a fat tulip glass... Body is murky brown - a shade lighter than expected, with about a finger of almond-hued foam that leaves a few strands and specks of lace. Aroma primarily of toffee, light cocoa and nutty. Taste follows the nose with some complex malt flavor... Rich caramel, toast, hazelnut, with some leafy hops / tobacco on the end - lends to the earthiness of the beer. A touch of alcohol in the finish, which aging would help diminish. Mouthfeel is medium-full with slightly high carbonation. Overall, a delicious winter ale!

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

Bottled on Aug 2012; Poured on Feb 2015

Pours a nice rich brown with 1-2 fingers creamy tan head with nice lacing. Nice nose, rich in sweet malt, raisins and currents, plums, burnt brown sugar, almonds. The grains have really developed with age and come through full and round; heavy raisins, toasted grain, molasses and toffee. Good carb and a medium body. A great beer!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, very dark, almost opaque mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Tons of toasted and roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked bread, dark chocolate and dark molasses. I also get notes of clove and juniper.

Taste: Strong notes of toasted malt up front, like freshly baked dark bread, followed by some dark chocolate-like bitterness balanced nicely with some caramel and toffee-like sweetness and spices of clove and burnt orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and with some pretty good carbonation. With an ABV of 8.7%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a delicious beer! I love the strong notes of dark chocolate and toasted malt, beautifully balanced with toffee and spice. I’ll definitely get this again next Christmas!

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Photo of Jfn
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best fall/winter ales out there. Great divide makes many great beers but this is tops. Great color and very smooth. You want to take your time drinking, experience worth it.

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Photo of Bone53
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Mad Mex

Appearance: Brown with a two finger tan head

Smell: Toffee, chocolate, roasted and caramel malt, slight coffee notes

Taste: Up front i get a toffee, chocolate, coffee blend with a molasses and the slightest plum/prune character in the finish. A hefty dose of hops throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body; Pretty smooth and drinkable considering the abv

Overall: Iv had multiple old ales and this doesnt taste like one. It has a strange toffee/chocolate/coffee character that to me is more like a black ale or imperial porter of sorts. I dont get that molasses taste i love in old ales except for the slightest bit in the finish. Its different and fairly tasty, ill give it that. But as a old ale, it misses the mark. This is one of those beers on here that i feel is overrated

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Photo of beergoot
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Mildly hazy, deep copper red colored body with a thick, chunky, creamy head. Big roasted nut aroma mixed with hearty roasted grain scents; almost smokey; subtle caramel; woody; some subtle alcohol warmth at the end of the finish. The flavor amplifies the aroma characteristics with the addition of an intense bitterness. Creamy, silky mouthfeel; dry bitterness and finish.

A most impressive winter ale. Massive in flavor and aroma and with a most pleasingly soft and warm impression on the palate. A must try...

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Full finger of head that dissipated quickly. Nice lingering lacing. Pours a mahogany brown amber red. Smells slightly like malts, hops, spices like cloves maybe but only slight and little else. Thick in the mouth like a good winter warmer or old English ale should be. Tastes are malt, hops, something like tea, sugar and spice. Little bitter aftertaste but very subtle. Really tasty as it gets to room temperature. Can't place the fruit notes. I don't taste any espresso like some reviewers. Tea and maybe apricots? It's good. Hides the abv well. I could drink a few of these watching the football.

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

This beer is fun and drinkable. It has a short 1 finger head but lingering lace. The nose is caramel and vanilla with hints of chocolate and spice. The flavor is sweet on the start and underscores the nose with a bitter finish that draws out some espresso notes. Mouthfeel is pleasant and very drinkable. I like it for a winter ale and will look for more.

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

This is a good strong winter warmer, high-alcohol and spicy for those cold snowy days. Another solid offering from Great Divide, who does big beers like this very well.

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

Re-review 2/2016 on can dated 10/2015 (original was on tap):
Pours a deep amber with reddish tan head, one finger. Cap lasts well with curtains of lacing. Clarity of the body is noticeable (+.5)

Nose is caramel to chocolatey, malty for sure.

Taste is also malty, with a chocolate caramel note with a little bit of peat. Bitter balancing is clean, but is definitely there. The malt flavors dominate, but the malt sweetness does not. A smidge high on carbonation, and the ending has a lightly bitter coating to it.

Overall a wonderful beer to my tastes. Malty flavors while remaining balanced to even a tad bitter in the end.

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

Disclaimer: Drinking this bottle in January 2015, but was bottled in September 2013 (16 months ago). So, we shall see what this holds.
A - Medium dirty brown color; when poured I got about 4-5 inches of head; asit settled, it reminded me of sea foam and clung to the glass; it eventually settled to a lasting 1/2" head, tan with moderate lacing
S - Toffee, roasted coffee, malt, spice and alcohol; each whiff is a different experience
T - The coffee roast comes out the most and finishes with a bitter that lingers slightly; the alcohol is present, but not warming
F - Slick and full-bodied; good level of carbonation
O - Despite the 16 months of aging of this seasonal beer,it held up really well; I remember having this in December 2013 and it was good then; I wish the alcohol was hidden a bit better, but it was still good now; If I see this next year, I will gladly buy more.

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Photo of sundevil21
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the first Great Divide brew I've come across that I haven't truly enjoyed. I can't explain it, but it had an odd taste to me. Something I still can't put my finger on, even the next day. Perhaps just me at a bad time, or perhaps a bad bottle. I was surprised that it tasted the way it did, because I did not feel that it was a English Style Old Ale. I might try it again in the future just to be sure.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into an Imperial pint glass.
Looks fine. Smells okay. Tastes meh.
Overall I can't find myself buying another bottle.
Confused by the high rating.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Heavy Seas tulip (bottled on 8/27/14)

A: Dark brown with basically no head and only the slightest collar initially.
S: Weird, old malts and not much else.
T: Off-tasting and weird malt flavors. Tasted old, with no hops whatsoever.
M: Nice bit of carbonation, but it seemed at odds with the overall beer.
O: No idea what is wrong here, but this is supposed to be a darn good beer. I'm getting mediocre to bad.

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Photo of Harvest06
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark reddish brown, thin off white head,
S: Robust, complex; big malty aroma with subtle sub aromas that increase as the beer warms; roasty malts w/ molasses sweetness, woody pleasant aromas, bread like smell, toffee, caramel and earthy hops.
T: Starts with caramel, bitter chocolate, middle is toffee, coffee, molasses, brown sugar, end is herbal, earthy & bitter with slight linger sweetness. Slightly too bitter of an ending.
M: Medium body, med carbonation, creamy, warming and slightly hot alcohol makes it a sipper Pleasantly complex, with a bitter end cleaning off the maltiness. Slightly too bitter. Slightly too warming. Better with hearty food. Nothing amazing but a nice winter warmer for a cold day.

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Photo of Maloney1011
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: medium brown to dark copper, light cream colored head.

Smell: Carmel malts and raisins, alcohol noticeable but not overpowering.

Flavor: Sweetness, raisins, roasted malts, slightly nutty alcohol is much more noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium high carbonation, medium heavy body.

Overall: Great twist on an old ale. Earthy fruits make it a pleasantly drinkable strong brew.

Side note: Poured from bottle, bought in Oklahoma City, OK, I would definitely buy this treat again. Fun winter brew.

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Photo of Kgoldsbe
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smell and taste do not match. Smell is balanced between caramelized malt and herby hops. Taste has too many things going on in it that are not complimentary: the herb profile does not mesh well with the coffee/chocolate note base. Not my favorite beer from this solid brewing company.

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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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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,154 ratings.