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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

248 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 32
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 12-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Holy_Hop_Head:
Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say which hasn't already been said?

Appearance is a nice clear amber with about a finger's head and low head-retention.

The nose hits you with a slight floral and heavy citrus, particularly a fresh, aromatic grapefruit.

If you swish a little around in your mouth, you become overwhelmed by the hops - clean, bright, bitter, citrus...heavy grapefruit. Then the winter spice hits you, subtly...a peppery clove is what I taste. The hops stay with you through the whole ride. Then it finishes with a caramel malt, not too sweet, and it seems to blend well with the other flavors. I agree that the yeast doesn't seem to add a lot to the flavor as far as I can tell. As the beer warms up a little, the malt comes out more which lends to slightly more balance. Very good!

Medium body. Definitely a hop-centric beer for a winter ale...so much you can feel the oily resin on your tongue. But it's nice...

I often don't like winter beers that much because they seem unbalanced - too sweet. This one is different - it's balanced to the side of hops, which is something that I can get behind. I would be curious what would happen if there was just a bit more spice to add to the complexity and bring out the "winter beer" more. Overall, very good...to be expected from such a great brewery!

Holy_Hop_Head, Nov 17, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a dlear rich copper with a billowing white head that settles into a frothy,sticky mass,a great pour.A big kick of citric hops hits home in the aromas,the Simcoes really play a big role with the vitric cascades,a little sweet alcohol shows thru as well.A true Pacific northwest hop driven ale here,peppery and citric hops overtop of a nutty malt base with some light booze makes for a very well rounded hopped up beer.I thought this would be good but it's great,I wish I had more...alot more.

oberon, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of NWer
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice semi-dark amber, one finger head, clear into a tulip glass.
Presents a nice malty aroma. Caramel notes.
Smooth taste. Yummy. Totally enjoyable. No cloy at all. Caramel follows through.
Another great offering from Hopworks Urban Brewery.
A winner.

NWer, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Decent sized froth turns to a thick sticky lacing down the glass, clear copper color. Sticky pungent hop nose of hemp seeds, grapefruit peel and black tea ... clean whiff of alcohol and the toasted malt rounds the aroma out. Hefty toasted malt character on a semi-lush smooth full-ish body. Hops ring in with a citric bite with a slight bitter back-end, more of a blond tobacco and rind flavor later on. Alcohol drops some light fruitiness of ripe pears and mango. Hoppy finish with some linger of malt as well as the warmth of alcohol.

A stellar winter seasonal here ... malt, hops and alcohol are all elevated equally for the most part in the PNW manner. Delicious.

Jason, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of nomoon
4/5  rDev -1.7%

nomoon, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of chossboss
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

chossboss, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of chickenm
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

chickenm, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Fuzzycuffs, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of switzer
3.5/5  rDev -14%

switzer, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev -1.7%

InfernoBoss, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Cheers to the monstrous, Dr. Suess-esque beast of the woods adorning this rather kitschy label.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some sparse rainforest tree-top lace around the glass as it gently seeps away.

It smells prominently of pine resins and pithy citrus rinds up front, with a solid bready caramel malt, followed up by a further tepid herbal hoppiness. The taste is fairly bitter right off the bat - pine, earth, and grassy herbs, whose initial edge softens greatly as the slightly late-arriving bready, somewhat sour caramel malt barges in anew. Right along with it, I also get a wee bit of metallic alcohol warming.

The carbonation is on the low side, yet a tad frothy at the same rate, the body medium weight, and generally smooth, but for a slight hop bitterness twinge. It finishes just on the perceptibly off-dry side - the moderately intrusive hops not giving up the game just yet, and the (apparently six kinds of!) malt doing a decent job of general clean-up.

A winter ale, sure, I suppose - though I would proffer that this is more of a hopped-up amber ale, the only spice being ground-up hops. So, given its origins, it could also be simply called a summer ale, or an autumn ale, for all the difference it would make. It still tastes pretty good, however, but don't expect anything that actually complements all that Christmas baking on which you've just gorged, eh?

biboergosum, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper/brown color with a small tan head, about one finger in height. Not much retention that reduces to a very thin cap on top. Streaky lacing down the glass.

S: Nice aroma, a combination of light grapefruit and orange with some floral notes. Lots of sweet caramel and bready malt on the backend.

T: Nice amber ale, with a nice combination of light tropical fruits, grass, and floral hops. More caramel and light toffee.

M: Medium to full bodied for an amber/red. Moderate carbonation.

O: A solid beer, like that it comes out in the winter, sorta like Celebration, but just a shade below.

mdaschaf, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of punkhim
3/5  rDev -26.3%

punkhim, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of GilGarp
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall boy can served cold into an imperial pint glass. 70 IBU, 17 Plato.

Abominable Winter Ale is a slightly hazy amber red color with thick off-white head. It has good retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

Aroma is nice and hoppy with a sweet fruity character. Fresh citrus and candied ginger come through.

Flavor is plenty hoppy but, at the same time, more malty than expected. It has a fair dose of bitterness from the hops but the big malt bill goes a long way towards balancing it. Bready with a hint of rye malt and a big citrusy, resiney hop profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very good hoppy amber rye winter (and whatever else you want it to be) ale.

GilGarp, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Magpie14
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: soft red with golden edges. Good sizable amount of lace and thin white concentrated sudsy head

S: huge hops: lemons, grassy, and floral. Malts subdued and yet noticeable paired with burnt sugars...it all seems to smell right

T: illustrious, bursting with hops (grapefruit, lemons, and pine). Leans toward the more tart, kind of spicy hops and yet it retains a good sweetness of caramel and light brown sugar. Pale malts are hidden but have the last bat and rounds the bases to keep things from being hop city...although it is close

M: well rounded, soft and slight dryness in the finish. Smooth and a great oily lingering finish on the tongue

D: great, just great! Solid beer and hop heads have to give this a try...ding ding ding!

Magpie14, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of hreb
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served cold in pint glass. Beer pours a deep orange amber with nearly no head. Bonus points for the painted label on the bottle with Mr. Yeti. Slight citrus hop aroma.

Flavor is big on C-hops. This is the amber of IPAs. A little darker and there would be nothing between this and a CDA. At 7.3% it rationalizes the "winter ale" monicker, but the folks at Hopworks seem to be saying "It's Winter, you should be drinking hoppy beer. Just like every other time of the year."

hreb, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The latest corny fill I picked up from Hopworks, after sampling the available wares in the pub last week. Pours a pretty reddish amber hue, crowned by a sizeable, creamy off-white head. Nice, thick, creamy lacing lingers on the glass the whole way down. Aroma is primarily spicy, floral hops, with a mildly sweet caramel malt base.
Palate is well-balanced up front, with pale and caramel malt blending with a spicy hop profile. The hops assert themselves a bit more after the swallow, leading to a mildly bitter finish. Notes of sweet biscuit, pine, and citrus pop up throughout.
Body is full and not too thick, and fits well as a winter seasonal. This gives Celebration and Wreck the Halls a run for their money as the top hoppy beer of the winter season. I may have to pick up a second corny, as this is just a fantastic, easy-drinking beer that has been keeping me warm during the Arctic Blast of 2008. Careful, though, it's quite strong and will catch up with you quickly.

ElGordo, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split while drunk-decorating the tree

appearance: served in a stone shaker pint, bright clear orange-amber body, filmy beige head.

smell: "winter ale" is a tricky vague category as every once in a while, someone sneaks in a bright hoppy concoction. grapefruit, tons of pine, bright orange citrus

taste: an amber perhaps, but very hop forward - clean, moderately bitter, and full of flavor - tangerine, grapefruit zest, pine. A really nice brew - and its no wonder, with the combination of cascades, centennials and simcoes

mouthfeel: clean oily body, moderate bitterness

overall: had no idea this was going to be a hopbomb, nice surprise

dirtylou, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of scootpolute
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.
A - Deep, dark-amber-red color, very light haze with a thin bubbly lace.
S - Spicy herbal and lightly pungent hop aroma, fruity and oily.
T - Medium crispness, hoppy palate with a big handful of malt. Big punch of oily hop pungent flavor, mild fruitiness and a malt sweetness that sneaks in towards the finish.
M - A bit of warmth in the end from the alcohol.

O - An OK 'beer,' but not the 'winter-type' beer I had in mind. I was hoping for a darker 'ale' with more interesting seasonal 'spice!' BAH-HUMBUG!!

scootpolute, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. into a standard pint glass a amber, almost copper color with an off-white head that left a ton of sticky lace down the glass.

The aroma was a floral and citrus blast with a bit of biscuity malt sweetness.

The taste followed the aroma but with the biscuit and bready malt followed quickly by floral, spicy, and citrus hop bitterness. The malt is just the right amount of malt to hold up the hop bitterness. This is a good tasting brew --- just right for a PNW winter.

This is a bit oily in the mouth and quite dry on the finish. It has a medium body that seems just right for the sweet and bitter brew.

BuckeyeOne, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

DOCRW, May 07, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes
A - Very light hazy brown, tall head retained at a solid finger, random lacing

S - Big juicy and piney presence with some pepper

T - Sweet toffee malt with pine resin hops, toasty and peppery notes

M - Big body with lowish carbonation, mild bitter finish 4

O - Reminds of a solid esb, full flavour and easy drinker, this is a must try

joemcgrath27, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of jason_nwx
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

jason_nwx, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of souvenirs
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, $5.99 + deposit at BC Liquor Store at 8th and Cambie, Vancouver.

A: warm golden brown with about a finger of head and good retention.
S: grapefruit and other citrus, plus a more general fruitiness. Some sweetness.
T: grapefruit, malt, moderate but not overwhelming bitterness.

Based on the name, I was expecting a winter warmer. I see the it's listed on here as an American amber / red ale, which is definitely more accurate. I think I need a beeradvocate.com app so I can check out beer info from the liquor store before I make my purchases! This wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't what I wanted.

Would I get it again? I wouldn't seek it out, but I definitely wouldn't turn it down either.

souvenirs, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of Samwize
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%

Samwize, Sep 28, 2014
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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.