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Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,120 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2120
Reviews: 1061
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,120 | Reviews: 1,061 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. 04 version. Hazy dark brown with a large head. Brown sugar and chocolate aroma with dark fruits. Smells quite hoppy too. Dark malts with a caramel and toffee flavor. Some dark fruits and nuts. Hoppy in the finish. There are plenty of good flavors in this beer, but the flavors could meld together a little better. Full mouthfeel. The high alcohol takes away a little from the drinkability. This beer is pretty good, but there are plenty of better beers of the same style.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 21:03:15 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of pentathlete


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004. This is a garnet colored beauty. Minimal head and carbonation. Smell is coffee and alcohol-soaked dark fruitbread. Taste is a charming blend of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is medium, with a firm body and a wonderful burn in the finish. Tasty and easy to quaff for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 02:23:17 | More by pentathlete
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my last review, I stated that I thought the Hibernation wouldn't age well beyond 8 to 12 months. But the bottle I have in front of me is at least that old and still has a bright hoppiness.
I also noted oxidation in my last review, but there was none here. Very nice!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2005 22:55:34 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of tavernjef


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque-like glimmer of burnt reddish brown. Soft, medium-sized cap of dark tanned froth lathers the top. A residual light skim blankets the top once the cap fades as does a firm collaring. Small, wimsical fabrics of lace line the glass.

Aroma is quite nice. Very caramel loaded. Dark malt base mainly with a lisp of roast. Some controlled burnt hop edges are within lending some chewy pine sap, fresh leafy cones, and grain sugars. Smidgeons of chocolate, plum, and dark cherry snoops in as it warms as does a bit of black malted alcoholic vapor.

Taste has length with a long dark malt detainment of indifferent blackenedness. Caramel smooth underneath. Slight roast and heat attached sweetness trailing on and on to where smidgeons, as the aroma eluded to, of chocolate, plum, and cherry play its small part. Dark and peculiar. Bitterness holds off til late with a leafy roasted hop sap. Orange laced acids feather at the tonsils. It has a broad range of length, substantially so, but a bigger energy and character was needed to boost it to the next level of greatness for me.

Perhaps here is where the problem lies as its body is a bit low and not as full or bold as I thought it was gonna be based off its aroma. A somewhat weaker medium body makes it seem solitary and conserved. Carbonation is nice. Solid smoothness with just the right amount of give for the style, aptly rough enough in areas, and the right amount of hints to the alcohol. One nice aspect of the Hibernation is its gradual warming feel that slips across your memory as you decide to open another. That I liked.

So, as it goes, this brew is not fully impressionable but has that satisfyingly casual appeal that makes for a nice experience and keeps a favorably easy drinkability to its disposition worthy of Great Divides' reputation.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2005 02:58:52 | More by tavernjef
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite/tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is perfect. It has a warm and rich malty scent that is sweet with crystal malts and toastey with roasted barley. The taste is good. It has an earthy, sweet, and toastey malt flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and warm. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It has awesome aroma and flavor; a great drinker.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 23:38:15 | More by WesWes
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark caramel to orange hue, very foamy off-white film presents decent lacing as the norm wants with GD. Interesting caramel malt, earthy and slightly alcoholic. Vegetal and mellow hops blend in with ease. The aroma feels a bit soft. It’s not trying to impress you, it’s well contained, woody, earthy, well rounded caramel and fruits, bready with a growing green hops bitterness. A bit watery toward the ending, but medium bodied and creamy besides. Unexceptional, but another respectable GC offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 15:32:20 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a deep amber/red, light mocha head. Extra cloudiness when the last few ounces are poured in, making the beer a murky red color.

Aroma - malty raisiny smell with pervading, piny hoppiness. Settles to a pleasant malty nose.

Taste - heavily malted, sweet caramel and roasted grain. Hops check in post-swallow. Sweetness, coffee, and chocolate on the finish, would like to have tasted that sooner. Alcohol is completely hidden until well into this beer.

Mouthfeel - full-bodied, lightly carbonated, leaves a tart residual.

Drinkability - doesn't taste as potent as it is. Not as flavorful as I'd hoped, the coffee and chocolate arrive too late for me. Still, not many 8% sippers are this drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 15:52:25 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of dauss


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: standard 12oz. bottle, 2004 edition.

Appearance: Clear deep amber ruby. A light tan head forms, poor retention, but leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell: very sweet and strong toffee, caramel, and a touch of chocolate. A lot of spicy hop aroma and alcohol.

Taste: Very thick and full of rich malty sweetness. Light carbonation along with the slick mouthfeel gives it a wonderful sort of creaminess. A lot of roasty character, with a little bit of plums. Mild hop bitterness throughout the taste. Finishes sweet with hop bitterness, alcohol, and slick.

Notes: Still a little hot, nice hop bitterness, and tasty. Could use some aging, but its still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2005 04:11:07 | More by dauss
Photo of beertastegood


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle, 2003 production.

Pours a dark amber with a creamy inch-high tan head. Smells of dark fruits, raisins and plums, alcoholic aromas and spices with just a bit of hop aroma apparent as well. Taste: big malt flavor with cloves and peppery notes, fruity overtones and just the right amount of hop bitterness. Finish is slightly sweet and clean. Chewy body with little carbonation. A very well done winter warmer.

This bottle is a little old, but it appears to have aged pretty well. I would like to try a fresh one, but this is the only time I have ever seen it at the local Spec's.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2005 04:46:21 | More by beertastegood
Photo of GeoffRizzo


4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 winter edition. Light shoe brown hue with some red wine highlights, bubbling tan head that creates a ¼ inch clasping ring. Fresh hops, caramel malts and some tender estery alcohol make the presence on the nose. First impressions are important, no? Creamy, big and bold – a chewy, full bodied explosion right from the first sip! Some caramelized sugars, rich dark roasted malts, coffee beans and mocha are all to be found. Oh so smooth and inviting, flavorings obviously increase with warming; cherries, vanilla beans and a smidge of hops grace the palate, chocolate and mint offerings come and go towards the finish. A true winter winner and a great catch, absolutely wonderful! Massive flavorings along with a true-tummy warming affect; perfect for winter nights, o.k. perfect for any night!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 03:49:02 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of nomad


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a strong burgundy color with a thin off-white head. Well-retained appearance with delicate, pervasive lacing. Unlike many old ales which look dead in the glass, both clarity and lacing are strong with this beer.

Smells toasty with whisps of light molasses and light roasted coffee, but more along the lines of cocoa. Quiet malt backing is peppered with the zip of citrusy/piney American hops.

Tastes of burnt caramel and a large and assertive toasty flavor, all covered in a light cocoa powder overlay. Hops are just enough to balance in a drying finish (no true hop flavor shown), and the alcohol is relegated to a mere hum in the throat. Mouthfeel is moderate and none too slick or round, rather moderate in fact.

Not a beer I would cellar for a time, but I do prefer this beer with some age - like, say, around mid-summer or early fall. The large toasty wallop and dry cocoa notes calm some into a smoother malty beer. Regardless, a good English-styled Old ale and a seasonal to which I always look forward.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2005 13:44:03 | More by nomad
Photo of maxpower


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark red with a decent creamy light brown head that leaves good lacing in my glass. Fruity dark cherry and plum aromas. Bready, nutty, chocolate-caramel and fruit flavors, full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden, finishes with a pleasant bitterness, well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2005 21:11:12 | More by maxpower
Photo of Gagnonsux


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage. Hibernation is dark brown with a ruby glow in the light. Head is light brown; and nice and creamy. Pretty good lacings around the insides of my glass. The aroma is strongly malty. Chocolate and coffee smells are noted. A nice hop bite is also in the mix. Taste is fully malty with a nice touch of hops. Chocolate tastes are followed by that of coffee in the finish. An ester taste is noted too. Body is full and chewy. The 8.1% ABV is only noted by a warming feeling. This is another enjoyable beer by Great Divide, I've always enjoyed their brews that I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 03:26:59 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of Bierguy5


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004. Chestnut color with ruby highlights. Thick tan creamy head, which stayed for a good period of time. Some patchy lace on the sides. Wonderful roasty aroma along with alcohol, and maybe some chocolate. Spices too. Caramel and toffee-like malt. Not very sweet. Robust. Big amount of spicy hops. Not too bitter, and somewhat smooth. Alcohol presence noticable. Medium to full body, low carbonation. This is a very solid strong or old ale. Probably ages fairly well.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2005 02:56:46 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of sweethome


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big piney nose with the alcohol present. Starts lighter than the nose suggests, but kicks it up nicely. A big, hoppy, complex stew. Figs, toast, and pine flavors come through. The piney hops tend to dominate - but I like it! Just enough alcohol to ward off the cold. Very bitter finish. Nice job.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 03:13:14 | More by sweethome
Photo of Tballz420


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, swampy brown color, nice tan head topping her off. Sheets of lace follow it down. Big bad malt/hop/alcohol scent lets pussies know to keep away. Nice big chocolate/caramel malt front, back by a bitter hop twang. Some alcohol evident as the beer warms. Pretty sticky mouth. This is quite a tasty treat.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 02:28:42 | More by Tballz420
Photo of gbontrag


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Without any details I could put away a half dozen of these on any given day and be quite jolly. I mean, this is delicious! Calling winter warmer lovers: I dare you to find another better... Call it a strong ale, whatever, it's released for winter consumption.
Regarding specifics: Polished cherry wood, splippery on the glass, excellent on the palate, and quick on the wit. Short on aroma, but long on the finish. Mucho maltiness, great divide on the palate with appropriate hoppiness. I love what Great Divide does for me in the winter time. Check out their old Ruffian, too. After one sip this beer sits in the glass like a fine lady standing up and inviting you into the bedroom. You gonna enjoy that just once? Come again, I want it 6 times repeated at least. Get yourself a sixer too.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 17:12:17 | More by gbontrag
Photo of rowew


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with notched label for year produced. This one definitely seems to be made to age. A short description of the beer and the awards it has won are also on the label.

Appearance: Dark mahogany color with a nice thick head that disappated to leave a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Spicy aroma with a nice balance of hops and caramel also showing through.

Taste: Nice thick mouthfeel that is still very smooth. Caramel and roasted flavors seem to dominate, with hops showing up at the end. Nice finish of bitterness provided by the hops. Slight taste of the high alcohol content, but it meshes well with the other flavors.

Overall Impression: Great winter beer. Nice balance of alcohol and great mix of flavors. Probably would be great to age, but no way it will survive long enough in my house!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 22:58:30 | More by rowew
Photo of karengarys


3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm not a correander winter brew person - the correander spice doesn't make a lot of sense to me for a beer... ...maybe someday I'll understand this more...

This pours very nice. Hazy reddish brown with a head that sneaks up on you (get ready to hold it over the sink). the head then remains, the outside having an organized uniform arrangement of bubbles, with the inside being a fluffy light brown cloud-like foam. Lots of lacing.

This tastes rather thick (which I like) but heavy in the correander (as explained earlier, I don't). It also is a bit maybe peppery, plus a touch of.... nutmeg? Included is a dark odd sweetness I can't describe. To me, this is too much Christmas tea and not enough beer.

I was fighting between 3.0 and 3.5 on the taste scale. 3.5 because it is flavorful and rich. 3.0 because I feel the flavors were too spicey. if you really really like that spiceyness, and the correander, the taste category could easily go to 4.0. Since what I am drinking here is not quite how I would like this style interepreted, I'm rating it at 3.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy, and stays that way throughout the drink until the very end.

When done, there is a bit of an ugly spicy aftertaste I do not like.

I could drink a few of these, but I wouldn't call it a session beer.

It is worth trying, but unless you really like correander (sierra nevada or anchor winters, for example) try to get only one. If you really like the correander, grabbing a 6 is recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 22:04:20 | More by karengarys
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Christmas is always reserved for only the best beers . As good a day as any to review this awesome ale my sister in Estes Park sent me. Pours dark mahogany brown with a creamy oatmeal-colored head. Aromas are caramel and chocolate malts, cinnamon, oak, and citrus and evergreen hops. A sip reveals a hearty, delicious brew worthy of Christmas day! Sweet malty flavors of butterscotch and oaky vanilla, leather, dates, and light holiday spice give way to a flash of grapefruit citrus and sprucey hop notes. Mediumish in body with a nice and aggressive piney hop finish that lingers. A very nice ale, I wish I had another. Worth checking out it you live in CO, or know someone who does!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2004 22:26:50 | More by AlexJ
Photo of TastyTaste


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep maroon cola color, translucent, with a massive creamy, tan head. Smells strongly of alcohol and a raisin and biscuit smell. Taste is very intersting. Strong alcohol presence, with woody and a slight coffee tinge. Mouthfeel is slightly grainy, with a sizable amount of carbonation. A very interesting beer, that I would definitely recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 19:00:08 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of skybluewater


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rust color, with a fair amount of lace. Smells a bit musty with a bit of malty sweetness as well. Taste is fairly a malt explosion, with a little chocolate and maybe some fruit (cherries?). Alcohol is well-hidden, with only the barest hint of burn. Mouthfeel's a touch thin, but no big deal.

I haven't been too impressed with Great Divide's other 12-oz offerings, but this one is top notch, right up there with Titan, Hercules, and Yeti. Well done, GD!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2004 05:10:46 | More by skybluewater
Photo of sulldaddy


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a bottle that I bought at the brewery during the BA GABF pub crawl. Great job on that day Todd!!
The bottle is notched as a 2000 bottling. I am drinking at room temp in a snifter. THe brew pours a cloudy dark mahogany with no lite passing through. A small beige creamy head foams up and fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is sweet and fruity with plums and raisins leading the way. Also some pears and a mix of floral and piney hops. I also get a little sweet malt like brown sugar. Nice robust body with very faint carbonation. Flavor is a bit of piney hops to start than all sweet malt with plums toffee and molasses careening across my palate. The finish is slightly warming in my belly. Overall a well made brew and easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 03:38:58 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of cncbofh


4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark mahogany color with a decent foamy head which quickly dissappeared.

I could smell floral hops and a very sweet bread-like malt.
The taste was incredible. Great combination of citrusy hops and chocolate (minty?) malt. The alcohol is well hidden. A very warming drink with hints of sherry and port.

I'll be picking this up a few more times during Winter Season.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 06:54:56 | More by cncbofh
Photo of mntlover


2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a dark dark red with brown highlights a tan head that is gone mighty fast no lace. Sweet fruity malt raisins plums sugar drops dance threw my head very light on hop aroma. Taste is lightly carbonated sweet malt flowing with fruity flavors great start. Goes all to hell has a strange sour finish? Beer was fine smelled good even tasted good until the lingering sour aftertaste . Is it bad and if so wouldn't it be worse if contaiminated? If anyone knows beer mail meI can't believe that was whta they were going for. Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability is of course not good do to sour taste. I will have to try this again to be sure some day.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2004 19:17:31 | More by mntlover
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,120 ratings.