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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

204 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 163
Gots: 77 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  12.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 11-17-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 66
Photo of hardy008
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours murky brown with a two finger khaki head. The aroma has chocolate, toffee, caramel, and dark fruit. I am disappointed that I cannot smell any barrel characteristics, especially for such an expensive beer. Hopefully the barrel shows up in the taste.

There is very little of the barrel in the taste. A little whiskey, some coconut, and a little vanilla. That is it for the barrel. Otherwise the taste is much like the aroma with chocolate, toffee, caramel, and dark fruit. I can also taste just a little bit of tartness. There is not a lot of tartness, but I'm sure it would have been very noticeable if I kept this for a few more months.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. This beer is overpriced for what the consumer is getting. I would not recommend.

Photo of GregoriousMaximus34
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The best way to describe this beer is intense. Strong oakey and vanilla flavors with the high alcohol percentage makes this beer a little hard to drink. I love great divide but im not gonna spend 25 dollars on this one again.

Photo of Preluderl
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite BA old ales. Rating is for my first tasting, 2011 vintage. Second bottle, also 2011 vintage, was an oxidized drain pour.

Photo of Balvenie
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Really disappointed with this beer, expected better from GD.

Not a very complex beer for having aged for over 12 months in whiskey barrels.

Photo of Jjski
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review of fresh bottled 1/6/15. BTW it is labeled 10.5 % abv , not the above mentioned 12.4%

Brown semi opaque with ruby highlights

Aroma of brown sugar and whiskey

Flavors of roasted malts that render a cocoa background with caramel and blunted whiskey finish. Vinegar and soy sauce notes on the tail end. Alcohol presence is completely non existent, which at least is a vote in its favor. It is extremely smooth, almost to the point of blandness in the realm of big beers.

I am a huge fan of really big barrel beers: BCBS, Barreled Bigfoot, Berskerker , Old Stock Cellar reserve, double DBA, Bois, Sucre, etc. At this price, this beer will be graded with comparables of equal price.

This one is a yawn. brown sugar bomb, lacking defining character (IMHO) Not worth the $30. Boo, boo bummer. I have much less expensive barreled beers that exude more character and nuance than this brew. The only cellar potential I hope for with my other bottle is that residual sugar subsides. Not green, hot or rough enough around the edges to hope for more complexity to develop. Sweet and lacking depth, with cocoa & Kikkoman flavors

maybe if this years batch was 12.4% abv, the heat could balance the sweet. As is it now, enjoyable but underwhelming. It took me three days to finish the bottle, as I would have a small glass and then decide I wanted a better beer, so I'd grab a Backwoods Bastard or a Hopslam ( cork the Hibernation and stick it back in fridge)

Photo of maximum12
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This damn beer was on my wants list for almost five years & then I walk into a local shop & there it sits. $25? Who cares! Come home with me, sexy, I have been looking for you all of my life. 750ML bottle split with my wife, 2014 vintage bottle on 1/5/15.

The pour is a dark, bastardized reddish-brown mixed with clay pulled off the bottom of the Mississippi. Just enough carbonation to make this not look like churned-up water. The nose is lighter than Peeps, in fact, there’s virtually nadda flowing up my nose. Caramel? I wouldn’t know this had grazed a barrel if it didn’t say so on the label.

Hibernation – Barrel Aged reminds me instantly of Surly Eight. The barrel is not shy at all. Whiskey violates every inner surface of my mouth, reaching up behind my eyes, basting my brain pan, warming me all the way to my inner thigh. Trying to get past the barrel, one finds alcohol akimbo, but from there it gets pretty quiet. Mild caramel, reduced maple syrup, nice bit of drying wood. Nice & full, but pretty happy that I’m sharing this one.

Eh. This is a disappointment after Great Divide’s fine lineup & their world-class barrel aged treatments of Yeti & Old Ruffian, kind of like looking at before & after pics of Courtney Cox. Pretty good.

Photo of vic21234
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml poured into a snifter. Bottled on date is 2/6/15.

A- Pours a dark ruby color with a nice amount of khaki head that hangs around awhile.

S- Chocolate, dark fruit and oakey whiskey on the nose.

T- Smell carries over into the taste, with chocolate and dark fruits up front followed by the slight hints of whiskey barrel. Vanilla is noted as well.

M- Medium to heavy bodied, lighter on carbonation, decent barrel character.

Not a bad beer, but the barrel character is not as up front as I expected.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep dark brown in color with just the faintest trace of a fingernail of khaki head around the rim. A touch of light seeps through when held up to light. Light Brussels lacing. I smell plenty of sweet whiskey along with vanilla and caramel. The taste is packed with sweet whiskey and dark malt. The mouth is bone dry and sticky. There's a warming from the alcohol in the fade with a gentle burn. 2014 vintage.

Photo of Lucnifter
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage. Perhaps a bit past it's prime.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. 2014 Vintage with a bottled on date of January 05, 2015.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with hints of amber. About one finger of beige head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A rich, toasty, and nicely boozy malt forward aroma with good hints of bourbon, caramel, and chocolate. Good barrel presence with some upfront hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with bready hints of biscuit, toast, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar. A very good toasty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a nicely toasty, as well as a little hint of leather. Dark fruit hints of fig, raisin, and dates. Also some earthy hop hints rich, and boozy malt driven taste with good notes of whiskey, chocolate, and caramel. Good barrel taste with notes of bourbon whiskey, sweet vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with good bready notes of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, toffee, caramel, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Solid dark fruit esters with undertones of fig, dates, and raisin. Also some notes of leather and tobacco as well as some earthy hop bitterness. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side. Carbonation is moderate. Rich and slightly slick. Finishes dry. Alcohol heat is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good barrel aged version of an already good malty beer. Nice mix of whiskey flavors with the toasty malt and fruit undertones.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: brown ale, essentially opaque displaying low viscosity; a bubbly half-finger of tan foam rested atop briefly; clean shine left down the glass

S: sweet molasses and caramel and warm nuttiness, delicate airs of whiskey barrels; vaguely earthy and herbal with hints of vanilla

T: like light brown biscuit and bread malts with nuts and light brown sugar, distant suggestions of dark soft fruit like raisin and fig; whiskey gracing all the flavors; drying wood and chewy herbs throughout

M: slim-bodied and smooth, slips quick across the palate; not a trace of alcohol other than the airy vapors of whiskey and wood

O: super take on the style, which always benefits from barrel aging - stays light and easy to drink despite the decent abv - finely crafted and highly recommended

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011...750 ml bottle

Murky, thinned, oaky, vaniila and oxidized dark fruits. No reason to wait on opening these bottles.

Photo of beergoot
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle label info: BOTTLE NUMBER 2517

Hazy, cola-colored body with a thin but lasting head. The aroma blends maple, cherries, and licorice with a whiskey edge. The taste mimics the aroma along with additional twinges of caramel sweetness; an interesting sourness and boozy trait builds at the finish. Heavy body; rather thick with little carbonation on the palate.

One can't help but love a big beer with a multitude of aroma, taste, and textural elements. Depth and complexity hit you with every sip. The best point might be how well everything ties together and results in a great tasting, relatively easy drinking beer. Quite the find and worth the price of admission...

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 bottle.

A- Thin oatmeal-colored head fades quickly. The body is a deep dark brown. No visible carbonation but yeast is floating around. 4

S- Deep caramel flavor and something kind of funky and like feces. Odd, but not necessarily bad. 3.75

T- Still kind of funky and poo-like. Odd but the sweet malts give some redeeming qualities. There's tobacco and oak that I enjoy but this is still off. 3

M- Funky, thick on the mouthfeel, but there's some solvent quality. It's smooth but kind of scattershot in flavors and feel. 3

A disappointment because of the price and expectations.

Photo of seedyone
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

03/12/14 From bottle.

Where to start?

Let's go with the science. 12.4 ABV.

I have come across the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey barrels before. That was with the Breckenridge Well-Built which is a superlative ESB.

This bottle was dated 2011 & numbered.

There was a familiar aroma/initial taste that pulled me in. It was very different from my previous experience, but I cannot come to a preference without being side-by-side & better judgement dictates that I don't do that.

Bottom line: If circumstances allow, open the bottle & call a cab because this one kicks butt. It will be worth it, promise.

Photo of Phelps
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium tulip. 2011.

Murky burgundy, a thin amber at the edges. Almost no head, just a thin hint of bubbles rises after the pour and becomes a minuscule ring.

Great barrel character. Tons of toasted coconut, maple, milk chocolate, a little toasted bread, a hint of earth hops. Rich.

Mostly barrel in the flavor, too, which makes sense -- hibernation is a subtle ale. The mix of flavors is great -- toffee, subdued coconut, milk chocolate, toast. A bit of fig. Goes down easy.

Medium body, mild massaging carbonation. The alcohol content should be intense, but it's not. Lingering moderate bitterness.

Crazy that the beer picks up this much alcohol. The regular hibernation is around 8 percent ABV; the BA version is over 12. Great showcase of the whiskey flavors.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 750 ml bottle at Euclid Hall in Denver, poured 6-29-14. Pours dark brownish amber, slightly murky, with a small off white to khaki head. The head recedes quickly and there is just a rim around the edges by the time I take a sip. Aroma is big bourbon notes, heavy caramel malts, light molasses, vanilla, oak, and more bourbon. Flavor follows the aroma rather closely with a nice caramel molasses feel, supported by bourbon in the background. Light vanilla notes are there, but not as strong as when fresh I would guess. Body is thinner than expected--especially after loving regular hibernation so much--but maybe a slight nitpick. Still some decent carbonation in this one. Definitely a beer to seek out if you can find it. Not sure it was worth the $54 price tag at the restaurant, but hey, you only live once.

Photo of rand
2.77/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a 2011 bottle from KnB, decided it was aged long enough so I'm pouring it the next day into a snifter

A: An opaque mahogony in appearance, it's complexion seems light and effervescent for the style and ABV. A good amount of suspended yeast floats around the glass.

S: Strong, powerful aromas. Lots of burnt sugar, oak and caramel, driven by hot volatiles of alcohol. Vinous, hop essence around the edges gives the bouquet an earthy aspect. Notes of ripe cherry linger as well, perhaps some phenols.

T: A little more hop-forward than the nose, and boozy as all hell. Splashy flavor profile, with sugary, almost cloying malts driving ripe past the astringent and boozy aspects. The oak notes reflect distinct cherry phenols, a little too medicinal in tone. Alcohol is at the forefront throughout the sip, and carries to a long, sweet finish.

M: Strangely light in its feel, can't tell if it's the carbonation or lack of oily complexion.

This doesn't work on any level. Way too boozy, way to sweet. Flavor profile is disjointed and splashy. Hibernation is a decent winter sipper, nothing to get excited about but satisfying if you're in the mood for such a brew. Barrel-aging renders it almost undrinkable.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i always passed this one up because of the price tag, but thats been a mistake, what a wonderful brew this is, tasting not a whole lot like its original base beer, but becoming something entirely different, more like a barleywine than anything i think. deep rustic brown color, glowing amber, but deep and darker than that. think light khaki head on top caps it off. the nose on this is awesome, layers of sweet oak and molasses come out, warming alcohol, rich caramel malt, and of course bourbon, a lot of bourbon. the taste too starts off with a warming alcohol vanilla hit, followed by waves of sweet grain and old oak. i even get a little charred spice in there towards the finish. the alcohol is so subtle here, its there, but way back. a perfect winter beer, especially when its warm. it takes regular hibernation to a whole new level. the barrel has not only added flavor and strength, but a refinement of the feel. carbonation has settles, body has amplified, and this drinks like a glass of cognac. really special stuff from great divide. among their best.

Photo of sweemzander
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 Vintage. Thanks for sharing Matt!

(A)- Pours a murky dark mahogany color. Minimal off-white froth dissipated quickly.

(S)- Sweet yet oaky caramel meets leathery tobacco and toffee. Barrel is subtle but there. A sexy aroma for sure.

(T)- A little bit of fig meets caramel and subtle leathery oaky tobacco. Plenty of barrel on the finish.

(M)- A surprisingly higher carbonation level for the style sadly, which keeps this from being great for me; it gets in the way of the sweet and rich flavors this has. I do love the leather and tobacco notes this has. Gets to be a bit hot as it warms up.

(O)- Overall, it has alot of rich rustic flavors to it, but that really high carbonation level gets in the way of total enjoyment for me. Glad to have finally tried this one.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottle # 2411.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and shows some solid bourbon barrel aging along with the base beer.

Photo of pattermj
2.95/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I grabbed this even knowing the price as I love standard hibernation. Grabbed a bottle at the brewery, 2011 at $27 +tax + tip so not a cheap beer.

It pours a very nice hazy beer, not dark but definitely a beer which should have flavor. Noticed the same color with other barrel aged beers, not quite the color of unfiltered beers but close. The smell was of oak, bourbon, and dark fruits. I was somewhat hopeful but wondering where the malt and spice had disappeared to from the original hibernation. Some bourbon but honestly not huge compared to the strait barrel. The flavor to me was just flat, very little from the olfactory sense and nothing from the original beer. I was hoping for more and sadly disappointed. Barrel, bourbon, small dark fruits, and nothing else, Mouth feel, it had a little carbonation. Upon pouring a slight head appears but nothing stuck. Could feel it in mouth which was nice but didn't help with the lack of depth in the taste.

Overall I am disappointed. I love hibernation and plan on buying another case when it comes out. Price to flavor I would say this falls flat and I would recommend against it. Maybe with just 1 year on it, it would maintain but not what I had.

Photo of Rutager
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 bottle, thanks willandperry!

Appearance. Pours a hazy chestnut brown with half a finger of off white head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Whiskey, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, tobacco, chocolate.

Taste. Brown sugar, whiskey barrel, caramel, light and dark fruits with a slight tangyness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, below medium carbonation.

Overall. A good big beer. Nothing amazing going on, but solid and drinkable.

Photo of FTowne
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: huge head with a mild pour, however it dissipated quickly. Darker shades of brown with dark red highlights on the edges.

Smell: dark fruits, vanilla, bread, and slight liqueur.

Taste: bourbon soaked vanilla wafers! Yum! Followed by a slight tart cherry/plum aftertaste. You can definitely tell that this spent time in a barrel. Right in my wheelhouse, even though I'm not usually a fan of the dark fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: the huge head that I seen on the pour scared me in to thinking that this would have a very thin body. Not the case whatsoever. While its not "chewy", I wouldn't categorize it as thin in any way. I'm not well versed in this style, but I'm assuming that it shouldn't have the heavy feel of a BA stout.

Drink ability: FTowne cannot give a proper rating in this category, because everything up to and including Black Tuesday is highly drinkable to me. I will try to pace myself and enjoy this bottle for more than an hour.

Overall (with minimal knowledge of the style) I'd rate this at a 4.5.

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml foil-wrapped and capped bottle. Thanks to doktorzee for the Mile High hookup...er, that sounds a little weird, eh? 2011 edition, enjoyed while spending my first Father's Day at the homestead with my Dad, looking out over the rolling Southern Alberta prairie.

This beer pours an opaque, orangish-brown dirty dishwater colour, with one skinny finger of thin, bubbly beige head, which leaves little beyond some sparse islet lace around the glass as it weakly checks out.

It smells of semi-sweet rye whiskey - spicy grain, vanilla, and caramel - musty toffee, wet ash, an oily nuttiness, aged black fruit, some dusty cellar, and a yeasty cracker essence. The taste is reservedly sweet caramel, musty dank wood, of the aging rye whiskey sort, bittersweet cocoa, middling, muddled dark fleshy fruit - plum and cherry, predominantly - a bit more sodden, mouldy ash, and a subtle flinty, metallic alcohol edge.

The carbonation is fairly understated, just a wee fuzziness throughout, the body medium-heavy in weight, and generally smooth, in a bridled boozy sort of manner. It finishes rather sweet, the caramel, vanilla, wood, fruit, and sublimated alcohol all present and glad-handing each other.

A rather pleasant barrel-treated old ale, the big selling points of each side hefty, but agreeably integrated. This took a long time to put back, familial interactions and all that, so rendering the big ABV a surprisingly moot point. If you think your typical old ale could use a bit more booze and grainy wood, then this is the beer for you.

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.