Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

166 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 164
Gots: 48 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  12.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: waltonc on 11-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  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 djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks for getting this one out to me. I had been trying to track it down forever. Served as might nightcap last night, bottle number 319, served in a snifter (which incidentally my wife broke today), this one was consumed on 03/05/2010.

The pour was decent, though I admit I was looking for a little bit more. Nice even caramel brown in color with a small, fleeting head on top. Quickly left bare there was really not much left to it after a few moments. Aroma is dominated by bourbon and wood. Sweet vanilla notes, hints of oak, a light caramel touch. Not as strong as I have seen some BA beers, but it worked still, nicely done. Warming, soothing taste. Light oak and vanilla caress the palate and warm into an earthy and bourbon filled flavor. Not overpowering, subtle with the alcohol very well hidden leaving it to be consumed a bit faster then one had anticipated.

Overall a nice change up for me. I thought it could have been a little bigger, for the time it spent in the barrel it was very mellow and nicely done. Maybe with a year or so on it it will really start to flourish.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.26/5  rDev +6%
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 JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is courtesy of Schmittymack, cheers Dan!

Bottle 138 of 492 pours ann effervescent brown/chestnut with 2 fingers of tan head. Nice oily sheen, average head retention & lacing

S: Bourbon notes & figs

T: Follows the nose with nice toffee & vanilla notes, plus dryness, figs & leafy hops up front. Figgyness, bourbon boozeyness & oaky dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes dry, oaky, fruitty & with a bit of Bourbon twang

MF: Hefty & sticky with minimal carbonation, carbonation picks up a bit as this warms

Great drinkability, a luxury that alas may not stack up to many other Old ales, barrel aged or not; if you are seeking value for your dollar. Thrilled to have tried this, but was expecting more to be honest

Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch at a recent tasting, been looking forward to this beer for a while. Thanks Paul.

Beer is brown and dark with a slight haze to it. There is a weak head of medium brown / tan bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass. Carbonation is steady.

Aroma is really nice, sweet caramel, toffee, mild liquor and booze, smells great.

Beer is medium in body and quite sweet like candy on the front. There is a nice bourbon presence in the midpalate and the finish is appropriately heavy and not dry. There is not much bitterness at the back, less than I expected which shifts my focus to the front half of the beer, leaving me with nothing to linger on in the back. The flavors of toffee and caramel are a nice counterpoint to the booziness of the midpalate and booziness is not out of place for the overall experience of the beer. I really enjoyed, a sleeper beer for sure, people should be more excited about this one. The base beer is also quite good.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Thanks to Lunch for providing this one, another want to mine. Bottle 431 of 492, served in a tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of an off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, oak, dark fruit, oak, and vanilla. Light bourbon, but not much in the nose.

t - Tastes of caramel, oak, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, and toffee. Much more bourbon than the nose, and a big step up in my opinion.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body. Not too hot and pretty amazing. A little more carbonation and this would have been perfect.

d - Overall I thought this was a really great old ale. I loved the taste and would have liked a little more bourbon in the nose and carbonation in the mouthfeel, but still an awesome beer. Would love to try again sometime.

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.