Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

296 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 296
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 42
Gots: 27 | 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:
Beer added by: ElGordo on 12-24-2008

Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 296 | Reviews: 110
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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?

Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.37/5  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.

Photo of Magpie14
4.2/5  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!

Photo of hreb
3.87/5  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."

Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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

Photo of scootpolute
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
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!!

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.2/5  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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep amber, almost brown. Medium white head and a thin collar.

Smell - Nutty malts. Lots of caramel. Toasty. Some hops and a fruitiness that seems to come from the malts more than the hops.

Taste - Much hoppier up front. Grassy and piney. Toasty malts. Bitterness sustained throughout the drink. Sweet, slightly buttery malt flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate bitterness and medium carbonation. Not something I drank very quickly.

Overall - Categorized as an IPA here? It's much more malt forward. I don't know what to call it. It's decent, but not quite my style.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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

Photo of souvenirs
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of tone77
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cloudy, medium brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, spices, some sweetness. Taste is good, malty, spicey, a touch of hops, balanced and flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

Photo of jellikit
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: red. Slightly hazy. Medium, foamy head. Thick, persistent lacing.
S: slight malt. Low hop aroma (my can is 6 months old though). Sweet.
T: well balanced between sweet and dry. Bready. Malty. Alcohol (not too much). Medium bitterness at the end
M: medium carbonation. Medium body. Smooth.
O: this is a good imperial red ale. Will buy again.

Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep, clear copper with a nice and thick, pale yellow head.

Smell. Citrus fruits, a little caramel and some spicy hops.

Taste. Big citrus hops, some caramel, orange and grapefruit rinds, bitter finish. Just slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice beer here. I would describe it as an amber ipa ...and a pretty good one at that!

Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally grabbed up a bottle to try...

- Nice fizzy fluffy finger of head... leaves a bit of lace and a thin layer on top of a slightly cloudy caramel colored brew... rather murky and dark... certainly amber in color..

- Fruity citrus hops.. smooth grain bed of mixed oats, caramel, roasty almond, biscuit and a grassy earthy touch. Very grainy and husky.

- Mega hops... citrus, grassy, pine, and more fruity citrus... taking a ride down the throat balanced and smooth like with a great blend of grains... husky, caramel, oats... biscuit... and more grain... very well brewed beverage.

- Medium bodied, slightly drying because of the true 70 ibu bitterness.... bit sticky and chewy....

- Overall a great winter brew, and I am glad it is not too dark and spicy... the over spicing in brews during this season gets old... and this wouldn't. Very well done, and unique.

Photo of Spikester
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber with two fingers of plush off white head. Moderate streamers of lacing. Aroma is piney hop oils with a touch of citrus. Taste is resinous earthy hops with a mild but supportive malt backing. Three kinds of hops give a rich spicy bitterness. Almost like a bold IPA that was poured through a strainer of fresh citrus fruit. Good mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Medium dry bitter finish. Very nice Winter beer.

Photo of suncrust
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap poured to a pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy, coppery hue reminiscent of a dirty penny. This color really reminded me of the amber hue from the cane handle in Jurassic Park that held the epic mosquito. You know what I mean- that dark honey, amber color. Some sticky lacing as I drank.

Aroma: Very spicy, herbal hops. Lots of pine. Almost a dank marijuana with a citrus backbone of clementines and orange rinds. Mild spicy teas and fruit blossoms. Crazy hop spice for a winter beer.

Taste: Initially hits with a clean malt flavor, dominated by an herbal tea spice and a bold hop bitterness that numbs the tongue. The herbal hops smoothly balance a light bisquit sweetness combined with a very citrusy blossom character. A bit fruit-chewy like. The fruit blossoms and herbal tea flavors really stand out though. A little alcohol lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and drinkable, and nothing really overwhelms the palate. A bit different compared to a lot of winter beers. Lots of herbal and hops spice mixed with a juicy texture and a slightly dryer finish.

Overal: An earthy, slightly syrupy beer with an excellent herbal spiced hop character. Drinkable, clean, and nice. A very Pacific Northwest take on the winter warmer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 shared with the brother... mine into the SN XXX goblet. Descent off-white head... good drapes of lacing atop a nice hop hazed orange brew.

Nose is juicy citrus with hints of caramel to provide just enough malty interest.

This is my type of winter ale... tons of hops with not that much bitterness... the bitterness actually shows late toward the finish as a pithy citrus bite... the lite caramel malt is a good counterpoint to the resinous hops... finish is measured in minutes.

Pretty solid medium body accentuated by the oily hoppiness... smooth lite/medium carbonation... very very yummy... I wish I hadn't shared.

This kind of "winter" brew can only happen in the NW.... and pretty much perfected.

4/4/4.5/4/4.5

Photo of jmarsh123
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy rusty brown with a small white head with just a touch of retention and lacing.

Smells like candied citrus with a good dose of pine as well.

Lots of that candied grapefruit up front in the flavor. A little bit of a bready sweetness in the middle. Finishes balanced with some pine resin to go along with the continued citrus presence.

Medium bodied and a bit sticky. Solid carbonation levels.

I would call this more of a DIPA or hoppy amber rather than a winter as I don't pick up many spices, but it's still a solid beer.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium copper amber with a healthy two finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hops, caramel malt and light stone fruit juice. Flavor a nice blend of caramel malt and aromatic citrus and pine hops, finishing with pine hops, malt and a hint of cinnamon. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very nicely made hops forward amber ale approaching an IPA, with good flavorful malt support and a light touch of seasonal spice. Well done.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy orange gold hue with a thick creamy finger-thick head that slowly recedes to snowflake lacing dancing across the surface that leaves fair amounts of lace down the glass.

aroma is pungently fruity, citrusy, and herbal hops. Pine comes through strong with a bit of caramel malt sweetness.

Hops!!! bitter, bitter, and more bitter. a bit of citrus, a bit of pine, and some herbal notes, but they somehow all cancel eachother out into an almost clarified bitterness. caramel malt yields enough sweet malt to balance (relatively) and there are hints of spices, vanilla, and maple sugar.

mouth is clean and crisp. a touch on the thin side but the ample carbonation makes up for it. solid mouthfeel.

All in all, this is one hoppy beast. The hop profile isn't quite my favorite, as it's so close to pure bitterness that my palate almost gets blown into oblivion. not that it's a bad thing. I could only drink one of these, but it's certainly a solid brew that's definitely enjoyable.

Photo of BeerZombies1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

The great guys from @hopworksbeer sent over "Abominable Winter Ale" for me to review. I figured what better place to drink this organic winter ipa than on the end of an amazing hike in Red Rock Canyon!

Abominable Winter Ale - HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery)
Winter IPA
7.3% ABV
70 IBU

APPEARANCE: Drank straight from the can. When I cracked it, a small amount of nicely colored beige head climbed out of the can.

AROMA: Got my nose right into the can! Very warm and inviting, fresh squeezed grapefruit comes screaming out of the can. Followed by additional citrus fruits mixed with a lovely piney hop profile. Slightly sweet aroma that fades into a nice floral end.

TASTE: Delicious juicy grapefruit and pine hop profile right off the bat. Followed by some really nice sweet carmel malts that bring the spices into play. Getting some muted clove, pepper and a bit of onion/garlic on the ending. Very balanced and delicious beer, super refreshing and thirst quenching!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, light lazy carbonation. Tongue gets coated by the oils from the hops. Finishes slightly bitter and lingering.

OVERALL: My first beer from HUB and I was not disappointed. A truly great, easy drinking winter IPA. Really like the layers in the flavor profile the spices are a great balance to the sweet and hopiness. It paired perfectly with my hike!

RATING: 4.2/5 Zombie Heads!

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.