Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,111 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,111
Hads: 2,670
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 136
Gots: 301 | 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: 1,111 | Hads: 2,670
Photo of murrayswine
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer was Recieved from Wolfsdenbrew in UTBIF
Pours a ruddy ruby/rust color with a nice display of head, thick with lacy sides. The smell is huge and rich with malty toffee, subtle mocha, earth, and robust hops to boot, this smell like a hell of a beer.
The taste is a bit acrid and I wonder if it's because the beer is Ice cold. Me thinks this beer would taste a lot more bodied and less Hopfensive if it were a bit warmer, but none-the-les, a developed ber with strong malts, masked alcohol and a ripping hop sense. Surprisingly easy mouthfeel lets it go down easy.
Dont turn it down.

 593 characters

Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep copper red colour, with almost no head. the slight rim of bubbles leaves a fine lace down the glass.

aroma is rich and malty, with a deep roasty smell and just a hint of sweetness.

taste is somewhat bitter with a nice roasty/smokey taste. bittersweet chocolate. maybe a bit of almond.

body is fairly beefy. i've only had 1/3 of the bottle and i'm already feeling full. the roastyness hides the alcohol well, and the slight sweetness i could smell is nowhere in the taste.

overall quite tasty, but i don't think you'd want to drink several as it's a bit heavy to me. it also felt like more than 8.1%, which could also be a problem for drinking more than one.

 682 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Don't fall asleep on me yet. Hibernation pours a mahogany colored brown with definite red tinge to the color. A limited head that remained around the edges and decent lacing.

The aroma is light overall but noticeable malt and traces of earthy and herbal hop tones.

The taste is much more noticeable. A good malty amber taste with a touch of roasted and maybe a touch of chocolate added in the mix. Some limited spices, more of a bready zest, with some cloves and nutmeg. A touch of nutty or woody flavors too. Good bitterness having a more rounded earthy flavor.
The flavor finishes smooth and creamy.

Good body and frothy texture overall. A good flavor and finishes warm but so easy to drink. I guess you can go to sleep now, just dont spill your beer.

 764 characters

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

A - Pours a clean dark ruby red, some carbonation, small head, nice lacing through out the drink.

S - Scents of roasted malts, hops, caramel, and toffee.

T - The taste was sweet, with some roasted caramle malts. The finish has a nice dry warm feeling.

M - Medium body. A well balanced brew.

D - Drinkable. This is a very nice brew from Great Divide, the alcohol content is hidden pretty well. Very tasty and would buy again and recommend to people.

 460 characters

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

Pours a ruby red, medium off white head, some nice lace and good retention. Smell is caramel, floral hops, chocolate, toffee, and figs, spectacular. Taste is caramel/toffee, dates, chocolate and coffee, some floral and vanilla in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Fantastic ale for the winter, would drink this all day. Thanks DrJay!

 360 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
2.86/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005. Poured out to a auburn orange color with a short lived head that calmed to a thin layer of white-ish tan foam over the beer. Lower carboantion, with some lacing. Aromas were very pronounced, with a strong plum and dark fruit notes. Flavors were way out of whack... maybe this should've been aged longer. Some dark fruits, stale and sour malt. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, slightly chewy. Fair drinkability at best. I don't think i'll be revisiting this one...

 465 characters

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

A return to this ale tells me that the malty rich substrate and its decorative spice delivers a sultry and stern taste that's both gentlemanly and boisterous.

Its dark brown hue is nearly opaque, except for a piercing penetration of highlight that's ruby in color. While a formidable head swells to medium-strong stature, its retention is unfortunately light. A broken necklace decorates the glass, yet the beer leaves me wanting more.

High chocolate, toffee and molasses set the tone in initial aroma and taste. Deliciously smooth, the scent of the beer strongly favors malt and only offers the slightest of wood and walnut-type bitterness. Lightly earthy, the ale's malty tone is balanced and robust because of the slight roast, toast, and medium weight.

Rummy, toffee, and warmly sweet, the ale is mid-full but heightened because of the lingering chocolate, alcohol, and sweetness. It nearly reaches semi-dry stature, but its maltiness can't help it- its a malty-dry closure.

 981 characters

Photo of swid
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer #12 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Great Divide Hibernation Ale pours a deep, dark ruby color. Atop the quasi-clear (when help up to a light) liquid sets a 1/4", cream-colored head. The head quickly collapses down to a soapy ring. Little carbonation, no lacing. The aroma is primarily a sweet caramel malt, along with a sweet and spicy alcohol aroma. Hops are present in a mild, herbal form.

The taste of this beer is dominated by the toasted and caramel flavors from the malt. A slightly nutty presence gives way a gentle spiciness from the alcohol; this beer is not afraid to show off its alcohol. Only a slight bitterness is evident after it rolls about in the mouth for a bit. Mouthfeel is exceptionally light for a beer of this ABV; finishes clean, with a slightly spicy alcohol aftertaste.

Although this beer isn't anything exceptional when you examine it closely, it's scary drinkable for its ABV; I was surprised how fast my glass disappeared. Not quite what I'm looking for in a strong beer, but it may be right up your alley, though.

 1,068 characters

Photo of stouty1
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hibernation poured a rusty red with an overal appearance of brown. Nice head with a lacy finish. Bubbles clinging to the side of the glass leaves me to think it is a heavy carbonated beer, however, the carbonation is a very nice feel, not overpowering at all. As I take my first sip a hint of sweetness touches the tip of my tongue and rounds out to a hop finish. Finishes strong with a slightly bitter finish, but definitely not overpowering. This is a very drinkable beer that goes down very smooth. I could easily drink 3 or 4 of these, but I would probably have to have my wife bring a pillow and blanket on whatever floor I passed out on!

 643 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall Wiezen glass:

Appearance: A dark red ruby with a cream colored head that rose and fell at fast pace but maintained a quarter inch for the remainder of the session.Huge laceing not much action in the glass.

Aroma: Sweet malts and a candied pear aroma.Slight alcohol in the nose .A floral scent of some sort but cant place it.

Taste: The flavors of oranges, carameled apples, the candied pears are still there as well as the slight alcohol.Not much floral or herbal in the taste.Mostly sweet malts and fruits with a very subtle bitterness in the finish.Good carbonation.

Mouthfeel: A medium to thick body.Has an oily,slick consistancy.Seems like a strong winter ale should be.

Drinkability: Maybe its just me but I like my winter ales to be higher abv.The beer in general was great, I could definitely put a few of these away and would purchase this one again.


 908 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear chestnut with a thin, rocky, tan head that quickly reduced to a ring. Lots of spotty lace. Toffee, chocolate, figs, floral and light grapefruit hoppiness in the aroma. Quite nice, not overdone. Moderate hop bitterness. Heavy toffee/malt flavour with nut and chocolate notes towards the finish. Lingering caramel and citrus hop character. Good carbonation and creamy texture, medium body. Quite a nice beer and another winner from Great Divide.

 449 characters

Photo of bennetj17
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is a cloudy brown, not that dark really, and it starts out with a decent cap of foam with some retention. It almost looks like an IPA that is very murky. The smell is very strong with a mix of chocolaty malt aromas and a scent of grassy hops. Sweet malt flavors prevail with hints of chocolate, and caramel, followed by just enough hop bitterness to balance it out. It has a medium thickness and decent carbonation. A very drinkable beer as the high alcohol disguises itself well behind the tasty malt flavors. Too bad this is only a seasonal...

 556 characters

Photo of nickss
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogony redish brown with a fairly small head. Nice lacing though.

Smells nutty, thick and chocolatey. Deep and rich.... wonderful.

The flavour matches the aroma: huge nutty flavour, some roasted malt and a generous heap of mocha. Mmm mmm.

Big thick mouthfeel.... perfect for this style of beer, being that it is a winter seasonal.... tight carbonation that prickles the tongue before it is overcome by the weight of the brew.

For the abv, this beer is dangerously drinkable... absolutely wonderful beer... another winner from Great Divide.

 566 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a clear ruby color with a creamy, frothy, tan head. Smells of earth, fruit, and herbs. I wish the aromas would come out at me more. Flavors of chocolate, berries, and smoky, roasted malt. Mouthfeel is rich and full without getting to the point of being too thick. The richness of this beer makes it an excellent nightcap, but I imagine it'd be hard to put away more than two of these in a night. Another great beer from Great Divide.

 444 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour is amber, not much head, just a ring left moment's afterward. Smell is very hoppy, rather IPA like.

Taste starts out with a hint of chocolate before giving way to a decent hop bite, which parks on the back of the tongue. A strong spicey character also becomes present, along with some lightly nutty tones. Very similar in many ways to a Porter.

Mouth has bitters in the right places, but didn't feel particularly thick to me. Drinkability, not bad given the content.

Overall, solid but nothing that special either.

 528 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a chalice to allow its nice aromas to open up. Said aromas include nice malt along with some chocolate. One knock however would be that while the bottle says this beer has been dry-hopped, I get no appreciable hop presence in the nose.

Dark malts are featured in the flavor, as well as sufficient bitterness to balance the malt and alcohol. In fact, as you make your way through the beer the hop presence becomes more notable, and the solid bitterness begins to take up residence in the aftertaste. The big alcohol (8.1%) isn''t revealed as much in the flavor as it is in the beer's warming effect. Almost makes me wish I were in the midst of a Colorado winter. Almost...

Hibernation is lightly carbonated and not too thick on the palate, resulting in a smooth, pleasant drinking experience. Great Divide further gets points for crafting a winter seasonal that's more than a brown ale loaded with "holiday" spices. Another winner from Great Divide.

 979 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a deep, dark ruby/mahogany color with a fluffy tan head. Nose is potent and earthy - peat, oak, wet hops and herbs. Taste is caramel malt sweet with notes of wet tobacco and nuttiness and port - lots of barleywine in this stong ale. I was expecting more winter wamer, but was pleasantly surprised by this beer's unique earthy character. Hides the alcohol exquisitely as well. Seek it out if you can still find it.

 469 characters

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish ruby, with copper highlights. Not so much head, but what there was was tan.

Mellow malt nose, a touch of alchohol.

Mmm. Fruity, hoppy, coffee, deep and rich, complex. A bit of everything in this one.

Crisp, with a little tang from the hops, a little bit from the coffee. A very nice brew.

 306 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clean dark brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a nice creamy dark beige head and good lace. There is a sweet nutty malt aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee and a bit of spicey hops in the background. The flavor starts with a bit of sweet chocolate on the tip of the tongue. Followed by a roasted malt bitterness at the back with a quick sharp hop nip to dry out the finish before the tummy warming effect kicks in. Yum.

 427 characters

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- The beer has a deep reddish-brown body with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a medium size creamy light tan head that has some big bubbles popping through.

S- The smell of earthy dark chocolate and biscuit malt with some faint green hops are all balanced.

T- The taste of chocolate malt with some fresh pale malt has a hint of crystal and biscuit malt. This burst of malt flavor is quickly overpowered by a floral green hop flavor and a nice juicy bitter hop finish with some notes of alcohol. As it warms the chocolate malt really takes on a dark roasted coffee bean quality.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with some creamy qualities in the texture. A very soft alcohol warmth is in the finish.

D- This beer has some nice big flavors that I think will really smooth out yet keep there complexity with some time.

 893 characters

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

Appearance: Ruby, deep amber. Small head of a beige hue. Short lived. Falls to an incomplete surface coat. Snail trails of lacing decorate the vessel. Speedy and small, if not tiny, bubbles stream up through the shadowy murk.

Nose: Floral hoppiness amidst a huge malt sweetness. Concentrated caramel and brown sugar scents of nearly overwhelming proportion. Somewhat bready. Distinctive Great Divide house aroma traits are evident.

Taste: Rich and sweet. Nicely bittered. Grainy and roasted appeal. An estery aura similar to that of a barley wine. Great Divide house flavours are notable. Seems to vacillate between palatable flavours and a sickening sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Drinkability: Possibly suffers from the often overwhelming sweetness. This is surely not a session brew by design. This feels like a one and a half india pale ale. Missing hops that would offset some of the cloying aspects. Alas, it is only just a nondescript strong ale. Fair to good.

 981 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium golden copper body, small head and little lacing left behind. The aroma was of mild floral hoppiness, roasted malts and some dark fruits. Possibly some caramel tones.
Bitter hoppiness hits you right away but balances out with some roasted sweet malts and very mild fruits. Alcohol taste but not very overwhelming. Warming, with little carbonation. Very pleasant and very drinkable.

 389 characters

Photo of kmcnair
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2005 vintage. Pours a dark tan to red hue and makes a thin off white head. Aroma is very rich with sweet malts, loads of medium roast caramel, and a hint of flowery hops. Flavor starts with a spiced bitterness on the tongue, strong complex malted backbone and assertive hop flavor, I seem to taste quite a bit of chinook. Finish is bitter chinook hops. Medium bodied, light cabonation goes down creamy and gently coats the palate, finishes dry. Not bad, a nice winter brew.

 486 characters

Photo of Naes
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one is a dark brown ale with some orange hues around the edges. It has a small tan head that quickly retreats to just a few bubbles.
Its aroma is not much to speak of, but has a dark malt sense.
The flavor is of dark malt, dark fruit and has a bit of an alcohol warming. It is also quite roasty. Though it is dominated by the malts, there is a slight hop presence as well.
Mouth feel is full bodied and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is low.

 449 characters

Photo of NClifestyle
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

from the looks and the smell, you would think i liked this beer more. appearance was extremely dark amber, medium creamy head of tiny off-white bubbles that left a nice, tight layer on the beer. smell was warm bread, spicy hop, and malty goodness. so far so good. taste was over the top sweet, chewy, spicy hop. there was quite a bit of malt in there, and what malt was there, sugary cinnamon bread, was quite nice. however, it was continually overwhelmed by the hops, in the front and middle of the mouth and in the aftertaste. this beer wasn't terrible, far from it, it was not bad at all. however, maybe it was just tonight, and i was in a porter mood, because i couldn't have another one. i'll give it a try again soon.


 736 characters

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.