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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,106 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,106
Hads: 2,636
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 123
Gots: 281 | 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
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Reviews: 1,106 | Hads: 2,636
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. (633 characters)

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 (317 characters)

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! (835 characters)

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. (429 characters)

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. (636 characters)

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. (981 characters)

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. (453 characters)

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. (908 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- poured a deep ruddy brown. A short-lived creamy tan head leaves some decent lacing.

S- rich malts with at times chocolate, coffee and roasted nuts eventually giving way to dark fruit

T- same rich dark malt with nutty overtones. Some enjoyable sweeter alcohol esters also float in towards the end

M-slightly slick and little thinner.

O- a rich and robust Old Ale. Full of great and complex malt flavors. (409 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From: Beertopia, Omaha, NE
Date: Bottled on 2013-08-30
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Great Divide's Hibernation is a sweet, cocoa and coffee-influenced ale that also makes use of some herbal and spicy hop character to balance interest across a variety of facets. The beer did not show its nearly 9% ABV at all, and was quite pleasing during this first major snowstorm of 2013 in Illinois. I would get this again if locally available.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of beige colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, giving a fairly frothy appearance. Retention is slightly above average at 1.5 minutes, fading to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a small island of foam atop the beer's body. Lacing is moderate, with a modest scattering of dots and lines clinging to the sides of the glass. Beer's body is a dark amber brown color, with light bringing out a brighter shade of brown and orange highlights. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, low in number and activity.

Aroma of cocoa, coffee, minerals/iron, herbal/spicy hops, and old leather.

Flavor of mild, sweet, and well-blended cocoa, sweetened coffee, herbal hops. Front of palate pulls in flavors of roasted malt (cocoa, coffee). Mid-palate detects continued sweet coffee and cocoa with additions of light minerals, herbal hops, and soil. Back of palate tastes moderate bitterness from hops and acridness from roasted malt, ethanol, herbal flavors. Aftertaste is richly malty (think Munich-like toasted grains flavor) mixed with light cocoa, coffee, and herbal hop flavors.

Beer is medium bodied, with medium-low carbonation, leading to a mostly smooth (4/5) and slightly foamy (1/5) mouthfeel that feels a bit wrong for the style and flavors: more foaminess and thickness would be appropriate. Ethanol is well-masked by the malt, with little hint of it being noticeable on the palate and in nostrils. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate. (1,955 characters)

Photo of Benish
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
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! (549 characters)

Photo of Qbdoo
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (647 characters)

Photo of fourstringer
4.35/5  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.

Prost! (924 characters)

Photo of 2Cents
4.81/5  rDev +19.4%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (597 characters)

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,106 ratings.