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
88
very good

67 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 67
Hads: 224
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 5.57%
Wants: 158
Gots: 89 | FT: 10
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 224
Photo of rand
2.77/5  rDev -29.9%
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. (1,219 characters)

Photo of pattermj
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
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. (1,204 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my friend for sharing and going out of his way to get this beer, which I am told is somewhat hard to acquire. Popped this bottle on Dec 3, 2012.

I love barrel aged beers. I really expected a lot more from the beer..expectations were high, but at best, this was maybe slightly above average and needs some work by Great Divide. A: cloudy dirt brown. S: nothing special. T: tastes were muted and bland, very average...I really really wished and hoped there were more, but it just was not there...it seems the barrel aging gave this beer a kinda musty taste. M: somewhat weird combined with the off tastes, not that enjoyable. O: a let down... (651 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.24/5  rDev -18%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
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. (1,262 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.27/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Pours a murky brown with almost no head (a vigorous pour produced a little frothiness that quickly went to a thin collar).

The aroma is chocolate and bourbon with dark fruit and molasses. Smells a bit like a decadent rum cake / fruitcake. There is a touch of fusel alcohol. I can smell the original Hibernation but it's been bourbonized.

The flavor is surprisingly subdued. There's some chocolatey bourbon and dark fruits leading to a bitter alcohol finish. As it warms, a bit more flavor comes out - but it still tastes like watered down Hibernation with a splash of whiskey. The mouthfeel is full with very little carbonation and is a bit watery.

Overall, this is not overdone with the alcohol like the bourbon yeti was. Both barrel versions I've had have been very lightly carbonated. I'm surprised by how subdued the flavors were for me, given how complex original Hibernation is. It's interesting to try, but regular Hibernation is better, and this is not worth $25 a bottle. (998 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

good, not great....trim tab old ale tastes just as good and pretty much the same and is way cheaper I'm sure there are regional equivalents that are equally valid (162 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 128/492 Poured into a Great Divide Globe ( Just had to)

Thanks to Rake for the In person trade

A-- Poured a deep, dark mahogany color. Just touches of ruby at the bottom of the glass. Very little carbonation showing. Light brown head that went to film and stayed at film through drinking. Lots of spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Rich and full smell. Buttery vanilla, rum, molasses,
brown sugar, and dates. Just slight bits of oak in this.

T-- Warm, melted brown sugar, butter, vanilla, rum, and dark fruits.

M-- Mid palate is very thin. Kind of sad really. Get just short bursts of what it was. A bit slick and sweet and and a rum spice finish but just lacking zest and too many gaping holes in this. Not much of the barrel though.

O-- Knocking off one of my biggest wants and realize I am getting to this about a year late. Flashes of how good this was does make this worth it for me though.

Edit: Really picked up with a lot of air. Thin gaps disappeared more but still evident, so a slight correction in rating. (1,047 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 190 of 492, 2009 bottling; sampled October 2011
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a one-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that disappears down to a thin ring fairly quickly. The beer is a murky, concentrated amber color, that shows more of the same just lighter in hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sweet, toasted coconut and raisins, and perhaps a touch of sherry at the first. A second pas reveals smooth whiskey aromatics, smoothly spicy oak that gets a touch more spicy once I move away from the kitchen were some food is braising. This beer is clearly dominated by the barrel influence, there are touches of caramel, which mix well with the ample barrel vanillin notes, there is a slight savory maltiness here, as well as touches of toasted whole grain character and even some grassiness / herbal character somehow; though this last seems mainly to be contributed by the whiskey barrel and actually becomes quite prominent after some time (though it also has an ample green, pepper like note)

Up front flavors of caramelized crystal malt, vanillin, toasted coconut, toasted whole grain, touches of toffee and caramel mix together on the palate. The finish is quite spicy, very woody, and even sort of has a green grassy or spicy herbal note to it; this morphs into a green peppery note as well as a lingering tannic bite.. The beer is fairly light bodied for its strength, though I am not overly surprised as that often happens with beers like this that get aged in barrels; there is some viscous character to this beer, and it even manages to linger a bit on the palate, but the spicy oak character ends up wiping the palate clean. After some time, the finish really starts to taste like a whiskey, spicy, somewhat hot from the alcohol, and it even has that sort of fruitiness that I get in a whiskey or bourbon.

Not bad, but I was expecting a bit more; the barrel character runs a bit roughshod over the base beer. If this had a lot more caramelized maltiness and quite a bit of a richer, hell even sweeter, body that could stand up to the barrel influence, this would be a much better experience. The beer actually seems to do well in very small amounts; if I come back to it after a while I can take a small sip or two that maintains a balance to it, but it ends up getting thin, somewhat too spicy, and a bit too hot after any more than this. (2,407 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #376/492 $25. I am a big fan of the regular version so I gave up the $25 for this one which I will say is not as good as the regular version unless you really like whiskey. It might be a shade darker than the standard version or maybe its just hazier. It smells like whiskey, alcohol, really an interesting smell. The flavor is really overwhelmed by the barrel-aging to the point that I can barely tell its Hibernation any more. Whiskey, wood, alcohol, vanilla, intense but just doesn't do it for me. (507 characters)

Photo of Way2drunk
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Eh! I had this on my wants list and was gifted 2! I am not a fan! Smells like coffee And taste like citrus! I thought I was drinking a bad version of Starbucks reserve clover cofffee! Maybe n 2yrs the other bottle will be better. I don't think I want to finish this bottle!! (274 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

All whiskey, all the time. Soda taste, cola, liquorice. Wood barrel, tangy around the edges, astringent. The taste follows the nose, but a little weaker. Very one-dimensional. Mouthfeel is thin, low carbonation.

Very drinkable for 10.40% (not 12.40% like BA says), but far from exciting. Reasonably priced at $20 at a bar but I will not revisit.

I enjoyed Barrel Aged Old Ruffian a lot more (394 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this to last night's tasting. I have now completed the GD BA trifecta, mostly thanks to Paul. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a moderate brown color and is slightly murky. Nose contained a good amount of toffee as well as some light caramel. Some brown sugar and light barrel character there as well. Not super complex, but the barrel character was seriously nice, coming through particularly well in the finish, which was exquisite. Taste was caramel and bourbon. Nice. Mouthfeel was ridiculously smooth and lacked nearly any alcohol presence. Low carbonation and a medium body. A nice offering, and the mouthfeel was really killer. Big highlight for me. (689 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, #316/492, poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark hazy mahogany that shines through as a dark amber with a decent head that's made up mostly of big bubbles that linger around the edges after a while.

The aroma is dominated by wood and bourbon...and not a whole lot else. There is a hint of dark fruit and toffee but it's tough to find under the barrel character. There is also some stale, cardboard-like aromas coming through that puzzled me.

The taste is just more whiskey - tons of vanilla, oak and bourbon, which leaves a big burn going down. I'm finding a hard time getting the underlying Hibernation - no chocolate or brown sugar sweetness to speak of. Maybe some dark fruits as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very slick with a subtle, soft carbonation. It feels and burns almost like a whiskey.

I'm a big fan of the regular Hibernation and, to me, this isn't quite as good. It's completely dominated by the barrel character, which overshadows the solid beer underneath. I'm hoping (and expecting) this one to age well and get better with a little time. (1,087 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bifrostguard opened this one last week. Thanks, Cameron.

Dark crimson-hued amber, murky, close to opaque in the glass. A small cream-colored head sits on top the mahogany body and shows good retention.

Smells like a pine forest. There's a solid backbone of earthy, leathery oxidation and mild whiskey barrel. It has more unusual herbal notes as well, mint perhaps, and faint toffee.

Very oxidized on the palate. Leathery, earthy, spicy. Some pine, mint, pepper. Full-bodied, but not exceptionally so - it's as viscous as you would expect an 11% Old Ale to be. Tobacco and leather flavors are prominent, and there's a strong hop character in the finish along with drying tannins.

Certainly a strange barrel-aged old ale, the whiskey barrel didn't impart much of the caramel and vanilla sweetness I've come to expect from this type of beer, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a leathery, tannic, fairly oxidized and complex sipper. (943 characters)

Photo of vic21234
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

352/492 bottles.

A - Very dark cola, almost black. Not much off white head, runs to ring fast. Not much cling lace.

S - Toffee, sweet malt. Pretty much the dominant smells.

T - Boozy, but follows smell pretty well. Bourbon present and is not cloying in the finish.

M - Not as carbed as I would have hoped, lighter in body than I would have expected, but fairly well balanced.

D - Unique beer... nice to try. Not for the session. (433 characters)

Photo of GregoriousMaximus34
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (225 characters)

Photo of Jjski
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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) (1,470 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thinnish looking brown color, with a light brown head that doesn't stick around for long. Huge bourbon aromas dominate, but there is also vanilla, toffee, oak and dark fruit. Huge boozy palate, with loads of bourbon. Eventually I get a little caramel, toffee and brown sugar before the warming alcohol takes over. Totally different from the original hibernation. (370 characters)

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.