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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

150 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 166
Gots: 47 | 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: 150 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

2008 vintage

appearance - ruby brown in color, minor bubbles with minor lacing and minor sticking.

smell - a variety of malts, old malts, roasted malts, brown malts, oak, vanilla, figs and chocolate

taste - same story with the malts, vanilla...past its prime i think, but good.

mouthfeel - thin and not much carbonation, yikes. heres where the age murdered the beer.

11-01-2011 06:14:18 | More by claytong
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

3.38/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

08-18-2011 15:40:54 | More by mulder1010
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

Bottle 431/429 received in a great trade with JMBSH, thanks!

Served in a Great Divide snifter because I can and I will. Pours fairly thick and I can already smell the Stranahan barrels. Mahogany brown in color with a light tan head that recedes quickly.

Smell is sweet malts with notes of brown sugar, toffee, caramel and oak surrounded in whiskey. Taste follows nicely with rich flavors providing a fairly sweet Old Ale that is thick with low carbonation. Glad I got a chance to try this one.

03-26-2011 18:17:38 | More by Lunch
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

Thanks to Andre for splitting this one.

Bottle 208 of 492.

18 months in a Stranahan's bottle and 18 months in bottle.

Cloudy brown body beneath a light tan head.

Aromas of rum soaked fruit cake, raisin, fig, a touch of oak and some oxidation beginning to develop.

Toffee, molassas, rum raisin, fruit cake, spice, more like rum than Stranahan's, light oak.

The body becomes thin on the mid palate and that's my primary complaint.

Darn good and yet, I am dissapointed. Maybe its past its prime. I don't dislike it, but its not as good as I was hoping for. A bit too boozy, a touch too thin, but still very good.

03-22-2011 04:18:04 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

This was shared by Paul (King of all that is barrel-aged) last weekend. Thanks man!

Bottle 431 / 492

The beer is dark brown and for the most part, transparent. The tan head stands in at 1/4" and leaves a decent amount of lacing in its wake.

The aroma brings sweet malt, alcohol, oak, caramel, toffee.

A very enjoyable brew, and a fine choice for sipping on the deck during the last days of winter. The beer is slightly sweet, with alcohol and barrel flavors prominent throughout.

The feel is creamy and smooth, remarkably so given the 11.1% abv.

Overall, a very tasty offering. I'm glad to have tried it and would certainly enjoy having it again.

03-22-2011 00:03:02 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

03-21-2011 19:44:21 | More by drabmuh
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

03-21-2011 18:21:45 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

03-21-2011 00:18:22 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.93/5  rDev -2.7%

Ditmier is again a badass.. 223/492 Very cool... Eric is a good guy... good taste in beer, and better in bacon.

Pours a deep clear amber with an okay off white head.. only okay retention... no lacing.

Aroma shows good caramel and a bit of bourbon... the malts seem restrained with a little bit of cocoa.

The flavors are nothing to write home about.. toasty malt is carried by the oak and vanilla in the barrel. cocoa is there toward the finish.... so is a little honest bourbon..

The big problem is there is not enough malt mid palate.. seems pretty damn thin for the brew that I was expecting and for the ABV... boozy goodness is okay, but the flavors in the middle are more malt extract with barrel presence t.

Thanks Eric.. again, another brew that I would never try and trade for.

3.5/4/4/3.5/4

01-16-2011 08:56:56 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Lookalive07
Lookalive07

Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +14.6%

Tried this beer at Donnelly's in Fairport, New York. Exceptional taste and surprisingly high in ABV, despite it not tasting like it should be. I would definitely recommend this beer to those looking for a very flavorful beer that's not incredibly heavy.

01-03-2011 03:01:03 | More by Lookalive07
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Pulled out of my cellar, Bottle 488/492. Pours a thin layer of dark tan head over a dark brown liquid. Smells wonderful. Nice vanilla, caramel oxidation, lemony-piney hops, bourbon and oak, and brown malt. Strong alcohol is clean and enticing as it carries some pear esters and fig newton cookie.

Tastes delicious. Great oak, bourbon, malt, and fruity in comparable intensities and somewhat complementary. Could use a bit more melding, but still quite nice. Malt is brown and some toast. Vanilla, caramel, waxy wood, and a dash of cherry. Esters are pear and fig with some fibery flavor to it. Finish dries from alcohol sting and a bit of bourbon zip. Aftertaste is a bit waxy with nice retro-nasal dry chocolate and hazelnut. Warming in the belly.

Creamy md-light in the mouth with mild carbonation. Great drinkability and this will improve in a couple years as the alcohol heat settles more and the flavors meld together.

10-28-2010 01:39:32 | More by mentor
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

06-28-2010 23:18:57 | More by largadeer
Photo of Kaiser81
Kaiser81

California

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

Thanks to Rye726 for this. I opened with Jerz and Vacax.

Bottle # 231/492

A - Dark brown in color, minimal head, and minimal lacing. Nice looking beer for a barrel aged old ale.

S - It smells like a typical old ale (dark fruits, some malts, etc.) mixed with just a hint of bourbon.

T - Dark fruits are mixed with some bourbon. It's clean and tasty, and the compliments of Hibernation and bourbon go well together. no alcohol bite for 11%

M - Heavy body with mild carbonation.

D - It's good. i could drink plenty of this.

05-25-2010 04:39:47 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -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.

04-16-2010 01:30:04 | More by emmasdad
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

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

04-06-2010 03:18:39 | More by russpowell
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

03-11-2010 03:20:17 | More by srandycarter
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +1%

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.

03-07-2010 02:05:51 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice. Bottle # 200 of 492.

The beer pours a watery dark brown with not much retention. The head is light tan, rises only about a half finger but then is gone right away leaving some on the outside of the glass. The lacing is light.

The aroma is medium and starts out very sweet. There are really nice notes of vanilla, caramel and cherry. At the end you pick up a bit of the bourbon.

The taste starts off kinda plain not a whole lot there. You get some sweet a little vanilla then a lot of bourbon to finish. For a beer that was 9 months in a barrell I'm surprised its stronger.

The feel is super watery, which is annoying with a light warm finish.

The drinkaility is ok.

Overall, this was pretty decent. The ale is a little to light and the flavor didn't really soak up the oak and the bourbon as much.

02-25-2010 02:37:51 | More by jrallen34
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

01-06-2010 03:20:03 | More by gford217
Photo of br3wmeister
br3wmeister

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -4%

A- Dark red/brown colored beer with a wispy light brown head pour retention and mild lacing.

S- Large oak aroma, vanilla, caramel, roasted nuts and toffee. This is a quite boozy smelling beer lots of spicy alcohol. Very complex and nice smelling beer.

T- Very boozy alcohol flavor, the malts, hops and yeast are really an after though in the flavor of this beer. With some age I hope the alcohol would calm down an make this an excellent beer. Mild charcoal, and roasted nut flavors manage to show through the alcohol a little.

M- This beer has somewhat of a harsh mouth feel up front full bodied and finishes smooth.

This beer really needs some age. It is drinking really hot and it is difficult to get anything but alcohol out of the flavor.

01-02-2010 23:08:53 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a dark mahogany with a silky tan head. Light lacing and nice retention.

Nose has nutty malts, chocolate, subtle spices, whiskey, oak, vanilla, pecans, dark pitted fruits, toffee and caramel.

Taste has bready malts, cocoa, plums, cherries, molasses, bourbon, wood, vanilla, roasted nuts and carmelized candy.

Medium body is well carbonated. A bit thin in the finish.

Drinks well for 11% and should age well for years to come.

11-30-2009 02:59:29 | More by rye726
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -20%

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.

11-25-2009 06:25:49 | More by Beaver13
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -15.8%

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.

11-22-2009 04:40:25 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Bardwashrind
Bardwashrind

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

Consumed at the brewery, lucky first day release. The first thing noticed was the slow forming head as it was poured into our goblet glass. Beautiful dark autumn leaves colored head building into a tightly beaded crown of bubbles. The aroma was a wave of comfort. Baking spices, ginger bread, subtle whiskey and an undeniable element of oak. One of those beers where the first sip is delayed because of the time spent just admiring the lovely smells.

The taste was full of graceful integration of wood and malts. A bold flavor of charred American oak was distinct and a bit sharp but a soothing, nearly blissful, combination of caramel, milk chocolate and toasty hops made for quite the long finish. One of the best parts of this beer was the delicious after taste. Warm and complex with a great luscious booze-soaked-bunt-cake quality. The beer continued to open and change a bit as we got through the bottle. The oak was still obvious and the whisky never stood out as being to 'hot'. I was amazed at how many regular Hibernation characteristics could still be found.

So many barrel aged beers can be a bit too 'rough around the edges' with their big punch of oak or bourbon. Using the local Stranahan's whisky barrels helped from over taking the soft subtle perks of Hibernation. Not too rich nor too sweet, Stranahan uses no corn for their spirt and I really think that helped infuse the whisky/beer qualities nicely.

An amazing beer that would be perfect for those cold nights by the fire. Or just any time worth remembering.

11-19-2009 17:21:20 | More by Bardwashrind
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Consumed at Great Divide tap room tonight. Pours dark caramel in color with ample tan head. If this is bottle conditioned, Great Divide did a great job ensuring it's properly carbonated. Beautiful aroma of caramel, toffee, vanilla, whiskey, oak, and a hint of tart dark fruits. Taste follows - all of the same traits as the smell. Somewhat sweet, but not overly so. Whiskey is not overpowering. This is a well rounded, focused barrel aged old ale. Reminds me a bit of Anchor Our Barrel Ale in that it's not a blow-out-the-palate whiskey bomb. Though this is definitely bigger than OBA. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Great brew overall.

Note: if you don't like barrel aged beers, or are expecting this to taste like regular Hibernation, don't bother with this one, as the barrel aging has completely changed the character of the beer from regular Hibernation. But if you like BA brews, you'll probably like this one a lot.

11-17-2009 03:59:01 | More by waltonc
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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.