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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

112 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 307
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 43
Gots: 34 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Abominable Winter Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 307
Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid comes out a nice, light amber color. Looks clean with excellent clarity, you can practically read a book through this. Off white to a yellow/orange cream colored head that's about 2 and a half fingers thick after a hard pour. Decent lacing to the beer, all in all a really good looking beer, especially for the style.

Smell is good, nice and strong. Hops stand out the most to the nose. Pretty hoppy, the website indicates Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe hops, all are awesome! Nice bittersweet citrus (sort of like a grapefruit/tangerine blend). Don't be fooled though, this does not lack in the malt department as well. Plenty of toasted malts here, brown and pale, caramelized I would say. Smells really good.

Taste is equally as wonderful as the smell. Another great balanced between generous hops and generous malts. Initially starts sweet, brown sugar, plenty of sweet roasted (maybe even toasted) malts. Loving the hoppiness of this beer. Citrus and pine, strong on both.

Moutnfeel is again great. Texture is light to medium but with such huge flavor. Good carbonation level and no real bite from the alcohol. Not that 7.3% is high, but it's above average for the style. Great drinkability, any beer lover could polish off a bomber before they knew it. Well balanced full bodied, and just awesome.

HUGE props to googzoid10 for the killer extra. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of ericj551
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Abominable winter pours a deep red amber with a nice, slightly off white head. The aroma is piney, citrusy and grapefruity, with a nice deep caramel maltiness. More awesome grapefruity hops in the flavor with a really nice rich maltiness. The alcohol flavor is mild, and the sweetness lingers in the finish.

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Photo of SeattleReign
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 22oz bomber for 4.99 at the local grocery store.

Poured a rich copper-amber into a pint glass with 3/4 inch yellowish head. Slightly sweet aroma of caramel and i got a lot of floral scents... specifically, pine.

Moderate carbonation with sticky mouthfeel. Sweet carmely taste at the beginning and then finishes with a dry floral taste.

Very easy drinking beer. One of the best seasonal beers i've had in a while. I could drink 10 of these if my budget allowed.

overall- great beer.

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Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

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Photo of ccrida
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On draught at Bailey's, Abominable is clear dark bronze with an of-white head that leaves foamy lace.

Smell is a blast of hop resins, some cat piss and soapy notes, with toffee coming out as it warms.

Taste is great, a hop explosion for sure. The centennial notes from the nose, with some spiciness, somewhat balanced by the caramel sweetness and amber malt backbone, a very yummy, NW style winter warmer.

Mouthfeel is dry and spicy, resinous, with a medium body.

Drinkability is very good, a great winter IPA. Beers like this is why Portland is Beervana!

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at le glorious Eastside, the A Bomb returns!
Fairly clear amber with minimal head, and some pretty staining on the glass. Smells sweet with big citrus and mango.
The hops are big in this one, leading with a bitterness that plays well with the caramel sweetness. Little bit of toastiness to accompany the orange and mango flavor. Very hoppy, quite delicious.

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

Hopworks Urban Brewery--HUB--ABOMINABLE WiNTER ALE--ORGANiC BEER--2010. 7.30% ABV. 70 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Light tan big dense tight lacy lasting head. Enticing dark amber color. Huge floral pine citrus toasted hop front. Earthy sweet dry spicy hop resin zesty malty toasted caramel fruit body. Rich balanced smooth malty hop spice NW Winter Ale end. WOW! Abominable Hops! Sampled 10/25/2010 from 22 oz. bottle purchased at The Ballard Market, Seattle for $5.39 on 10/23/2010.

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

Bought this for a cabin outing in the middle of winter, snow up to the windows called for a winter beer and HUB obliged. poured out a light amber color with a thick white head that had great retention throughout. The smell was amazing, very malty, with some pine from the hops and a little bit of spiciness lingering at the end. The first sip gave way to a malty caramel beginning that soon gave way to a bit of hop bitterness. I was expecting more spice from a winter ale but was pleasantly surprised by its citrus flavors. I was out of town when I bought this and I had to get it even though it was at Whole "pay-check" foods. But I would gladly get it again if the chance arose.

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

A: 1/2" tan coloured head over cloudy deep amber liquid.

S: Strong smell of pine and citrus hops.

T: Very balanced pine and citrus hop taste profile with a toffee malt backbone and some spiciness.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: One of the better Amber Ales I have had. It is very well balanced, has a nice level of sweet and bitter, and isn't overly acidic like many of the style.

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

This amber poured a great burnt orangish color. Poured into a tulip it gave me a stunted white head that became more pronounced as it warmed and as I refilled. The nose was beautiful like a hophead's foyer dish of potpourri; Centennial, Cascade & Simcoe the label read. It tasted fantastic with a burst of sun-kissed citrus fruits from an exceptional trio of hops. It was wildly vibrant but I never once found it overbearing. The 6 organic malts rounded out the body of this very well, but it finished too quick leaving me longing for a little more of a linger... I wish I had another (and I wish that we could get this here in WI)

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Photo of boralyl
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, rich amber color which sits under an inch of soapy off-white head. The head has nice retention leaving behind plenty of lacing.

S - The aroma has a nice balance between malts and hops (with the hops edging out the malts slightly). The boutique of hop flavors match the description perfectly. There is some floral, spicy, and citrusy components. There is also a sweet caramel malt presence throughout.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a creamy feel.

T - A mix of spicy and citrus hops meet your taste buds upon the first sip. It's got a sweet malt backbone throughout with some possible chocolate malt showing up near the finish along with some flowery bitterness.

This is an excellent winter ale, that I don't know fits into any one category. Imperial red, strong ale, whatever you call it, it's delicious. I love the art work too, courtesy of Martin Ontiveros.

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Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks, big ups and major props to msubulldog25 for having sent this to me in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Hopworks Urban Brewery [-] Abominable Winter Ale [-] Arr-R-Ganic"; "Illustration of Mr. Yeti by Martin Ontiveras (www.martinhead.com)"; "Certified Organic by Oregon TILTN"; "Certified Carbon Neutral"; "Drink Responsibly"; "Think-Drink-Smile-Recycle."; "World Class Beer, Sustainably"; "Aaarganic!".

Aaarrgh! The Crack! unleashed Mr. Yeti and I was not entirely ready for him to make his presence known. Drastic action was needed and so I employed an inverted Glug which resulted in a pseudo-cascade and him becoming even angrier. It was like the old adage of not being able to put the Genie back in the bottle, but here, I could not get Mr. Yeti back in the CAN! Ooh, I'm so frightened. The graphics on the CAN are MUCH better than what is pictured on the bottle and I am keeping this one for my own small CAN collection. Being a glutton for punishment, I CANtinued to empty the CAN, causing both a roaring noise and the formation of a finger of rocky, tawny head with undying retention. What have I done?!? Color was a slightly-hazy copper (SRM = > 17, < 22) and I could see Mr. Yeti peering out at me from within its depths. The nose was redolent with minty, evergreen hops, indicative of his living environment and I have to admit, my mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium, but cool and dry, endorsed by Marshall McLuhan, who believed that beer and television are a cool medium. Actually, my beer seemed colder than usual and my throat began to CANstrict from its icy temperatures. Mr. Yeti was doing me no favors. Seriously, though, it had a really cool, minty flavor and I was really digging this one. Finish was like good rye whiskey, smooth, cool and dry. Inhalation was like smoking a menthol cigarette. Phew. The extreme finish even produced a caramel sweetness and I was left with a lot of nice lacing in my glass.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip 2/2/12

A clear dark amber with a thumbs width of beige foam that hangs around long enough to leave a few partial rings of lace

S big citrus hops with some pine and caramel, a little rind and tropical notes, this is not at all what I was expecting but I'll take it

T spicy and citric hops play a big part but there's some malt keeping it from being a hop runaway, just a little earthy on the finish. I was expecting a spiced ale and got just what I was craving... a hop bomb

M medium bodied and bitter, a nice bite to it and it leaves just a little grit on the gums

O no mention of booze anywhere above should say something, I enjoyed this beer immensely what a pleasant surprise

not the spiced ale I was expecting but I'll take the spicy hops instead. I could drink another bomber of this stuff no problem, nice work Hopworks keep em coming

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw this bottle and thought the logo was pretty sweet so I had to have one.

A- Darker clear amber with a thicker sticky head.

S- Smells of hop resin and a bunch of it.

T- Tastes great, let this one warm up a bit and it is almost like drinking thick sweet hop juice. The malts are good with this too, caramel, but the hops are the star, forget balance who needs it!

M- Thick with the right amount of carbination for me.

D- Very drinkable. I wish I had more in my glass.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Jeriba
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at a grocery store on a recent beer-tasting tour of Portland, OR (also known as Thanksgiving vacation). I bought it because it was local, I loved the artwork, and it was priced suspiciously cheap for an organic beer: something like $4.50 for a bomber.

A - Copper and red-orange in color with medium cream foam.

S - The pine needle hop aromas pretty much dominate the nose on this beer.

T - Brown sugar and spice, cloves and orange peel, some cider-like flavors, light malt flavors, and vanilla creaminess.

M - Crisp and cider-like.

D - Excellent balance of heaviness and bitter hop flavors. This was a very pleasant surprise for me. I couldn't resist picking up a second bomber before my trip was over. This is the first organic brew I have REALLY enjoyed, and if I lived in the area it would probably be my go-to beer during the winter months.

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Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz silkscreened bomber given to me for Xmas by my brother, and pretty much forgotten about until now. Hope I haven't waited too long, but then again the weather hasn't changed much since it became spring, so lets just call it a really long winter and this beer is still in season. No freshness date on the bottle, but it does state it is made with "Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops and six organic malts." I like it when brewers tell you more or less what they use, instead of being all top secret about it.

Pours a dark color not unlike the color of an unpeeled potato, and about as clear. Things get a bit more rubyish when held up to light. Big off-white head that takes its time dropping, leaving lots of lace.

Spicy and floral in the nose. Lots of hops were used in this beer, I'm thinking. The aroma kinda reminds me of rye malt, but I'm not a supersniffer by any means, so take that with a grain of salt. In any event, lots of hops and malts were used here, and it smells like it was all to the good.

Big flavor to this! Spicy hops riding a big malt carpet kick in at first. Then there's some tropicla fruit, a little bit of pine, some tea and even some pipe tobacco in the background. Moderate dry note at the swallow. Tasty and complex, with a noticeable booze bite that seems stronger than it's advertised abv.

Medium bodied, with a fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Finally, a HUB beer I can get behind. I've heard others rave about their beers but I just didn't get it. This one I get, big time, but I'm glad I've onl got one for now, as it drinks like a fairly big beer. Tommorow will be another story, however, so I guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for this one in the future. The bro did good.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hopworks' Abominable Winter Ale is delicious, but as is so often my experience with "winter ales" I'm really not sure what this style is supposed to taste like because the variation from brewer to brewer seems to be all over the place. That aside, this is a surprisingly great beer.

Poured out of the 22oz'er the body is a light caramely red color (like sherry) and has frothy lacing like mad. Looks nice.

Smells of hops and malt, not much else. This is a big and aromatic beer. Excellent.

The taste is excellent as well. First taste makes me think I'm drinking an imperial IPA but then the sweetness from the malt kicks in. Think of a strong, extra malty IPA and there ya go, that is the Abominable Winter Ale. The flavor goes from sweet malt --> hops. It's very big and strong in both aspects, but still well-balanced (not too dry or too sweet).

The body is pretty light, but still very creamy due to all the head that sticks around after pouring.

This is a good one, it's just missing the seemingly requisite chocolatey aspect of every winter ales, winter warmers, winter seasonals, and anniversary ales I've ever come across. As a result, I just can't give it the 5.0 for taste that I want to, even though it is truly excellent tasting.

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Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Claudia's today.

The beer pours a lovely copper color with good head retention and lots of sticky lacing. The beer looks impressive, but even so, I was surprised by what I smelled and tasted.

This beer just reeks of hop perfume, with an impressive skunky hop aroma blast and a boatload of pine. The beer smells great, but I took one sip and immediately screamed "mama I'm coming home." No where but in the NW do you encounter winter hop bombs like this bad boy. There's just enough sweet malt to balance the tsunami of hoppy bitterness, but in the end, the tidal wave of hoppy bitterness wins out. This winter IPA is all NW/West coast, with a rich, dry, hoppy bitter finish. The finish is very long and persistent, and the bitterness just lasts and lasts. Mouthfeel is almost mouthpuckeringly bitter, but in an oh so good way. Drinkability is very good, but the hoppy bitteress wears on you after a while.

An absolute kick in the teeth hop bomb, this is why I love that NW IPA style. Just delicious.

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Photo of corylew
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper red with white foam that slowly disappears into a nice little ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell is mainly of hops. Nice piney citrus hops with a kick of roasted malt backbone.

Taste mainly is of the hop character with a small amount of malt and alcohol. This stuff packs a punch of flavor.

Mouthfeel leaves a lasting hoppy twinge. It's on the fence between a sipping and a gulping beer, which is great because sometimes it's nice to do both. Slow down, take in all the flavor, or drink a lot and not feel like there's a rock in my stomach.

Overall, I'm a big fan of this beer. I ordered it a few times, and will continue to order it. It's solid: from the big grain bill to the big hop schedule.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, pine, and citrus hops with with some sweet caramel malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit, tropical, and citrus hops with some bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some pine hops and a touch of spicy hops with more bitterness come through alongside some more caramel and lightly bready malts. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops, bitterness, and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice hoppy strong ale. Great malt and hop balance with a good hop profile.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a finger of foamy off white head and settles to a skiff of foam. A very bright/clear amber color.. Quite a bit of carbonation rising to the surface. Some sticky lacing remains.

Aroma is very nice. Very fruity with some citrus & floral notes. A nice balance here with some toasted malt and a slight sweetness to the aroma.

Very fruity and juicy. Love it. Perfect balance and balance for me tilts hoppy. There is a wonderful toasted/bready malt profile just below the surface. I need to use the word juicy again. A slight spice to it that's wonderful. A touch of sweetness that works... a hint of alcohol that is more warming vs. hot. You can tell it's there, but it's not an issue. Really nice beer. Wish I had more.

Medium body with a eye towards being sticky. Very slight carbonation.

Just a great beer. Wish HUB was in Boston... I'd mainline the stuff..

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.