1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

164 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 164
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
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 stumpyiliz
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of RandyBoBandy
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of thagr81us
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Rake who sent me this one in a past trade! 2009 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured reddish brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, very sweet alcohol, toffee, subtle brown sugar, and a touch of caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, wood, toffee, caramel, and subtle brown sugar. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly solid brew. The barrels really shined through on this one and made their presence known. I wasn't expecting this as the brew had been aging in my cellar for this long, but was pleasantly surprised what I did find. A solid offering from Great Divide and I look forward to trying the bottle of BA Old Ruffian I have in my cellar to conplete the set.

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of bellce0
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of kbnooshay
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of JMBSH
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of claspada
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 127/492 shared at a recent tasting.

Pours a murky moderate brown color with little to no head leaving minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with 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 certainly present and quite dominant.

The taste begin with a great deal of dark caramelized malts, sweet toffee and barrel. Lots of dark fruits, bourbon boozeyness and oaky dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes dry, oaky, fruit-forward with a bit of Bourbon pop.

The mouthfeel was ridiculously smooth and lacked nearly any alcohol presence. Low carbonation and a medium body.

Overall this was a nice offering, but lacked the overall quality I was hoping for with this beer. The whiskey barrel really overwhelmed the base beer leaving the flavor profile slightly one dimentional. While is was tasty, I won't be seeking out any more with great effort in the near future.

Photo of claytong
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mulder1010
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of Lunch
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

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 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 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 JohnGalt1
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Lookalive07
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mentor
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.