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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

110 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 301
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 42
Gots: 30 | 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
Reviews: 110 | Hads: 301
Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.


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Photo of MURF0320
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at HUB brewery.
Amber colored with off-white foamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Great hoppy scent with a bit of spiciness. I wasn't expecting this winter ale to be as hoppy as it was, but that was a welcomed suprise for me. Just enough malt to smooth the edges of the bitterness and still let it dominate. Finishes dry with a nice bitterness and mild warmness. One of the best winter ales I've had the joy of.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split into two pint glasses

Pours cloudy light brown with a medium head. Smell is surprisingly hoppy, some spice.

Taste is nice and hoppy, surprisingly so. Nice thick malty beer, too. This is actually pretty darn good. Now I'm glad I accidentally doubled up on the bottle.

Mouthfeel is chewy but not heavy. Overall, I'm very pleased with this beer.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle. It's still winter last time we checked, so this arrived right on time. The nose is an amazingly enticing combination of citrus and sweet malt. Great hops/malt balance. The taste definitely delivers a similar experience, but with so much more complexity. There's plenty of sweet fruit, marmalade zing, ripe melons and a nice roundness to the malt. But a since so much of the fruit blast comes as a result of the hops, there's also a good clean, drying finish that saves this from being overly sweet. Hard to categorize this beer, except to say that it's delicious and is one of the better winter brews we've tried this year.

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Photo of Mahlik
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Mellow Mushroom in PDX. Poured into shaker pint. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a reddish amber/cooper with a frothy two-finer off white head. Great retention.

S - Big piney and herbal hops hit the nose first. Perhaps some citrusy notes as well. The aroma is rounded out by some toasty caramel malts.

T - Hops pop out again but yet the sweet caramel malts really help balance it all out a bit so you aren't completely overwhelmed by the hops. But there's no mistaking who dominates here: the hops. Pine and citrus notes along with some dank hop oils finish out the taste. Slight spice notes play in as well but nothing significant.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A spicy, bitter aftertaste lingers for a bit. Alcohol is pretty tame.
Finishes clean and slightly dry.

O - A pleasant surprise from HUB. I absolutely love the generous amounts of hops. A great winter ale.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Halfway through October...time for a Winter Ale! A 22 oz'er from the just-released first bottling, poured to pint glass.

Silk-screened label that tweaks the HUB 'bulls-eye' logo by superimposing across an icy blue version on the side label, a snowflake on the front above a growling 9-foot 'Abominable'. Note to designer, Martin Ontiveras: snowflakes are SIX-sided (hexagonal crystals)! Yours are pretty, but wrong [pushes glasses up nose...]. But your 'Mr. Yeti' rules!

"A-R-RR-GAN-IC!" bellows the Beast...

A: Clear copper/amber, a loosely-knit cavalcade of carbonation wriggles upward. A gorgeous color that screams 'AUTUMN!'. Sturdily-built cream topping, bone-white and pushing 2-fingers at its apex. Holds a pose then drops back to a thinner veil, leaving dropping webs of gooey lace. A very, very pretty beer.

S: Heady aroma of spice pine and flowers, mint and citrus. Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops all do their part to build a sweetly roasted and pungent scent that carries well beyond the glass.

T: Spiced fruit, oranges and apples, than a heap of hops; very green, sappy yet flowery. Plenty of malt, a biscuity and toasty mix of grains and complement a potent hop bill well. Orange and pine, meet spiced bread and cereal grain. very tasty.

M: Crisp upfront, with a spicy sparkle that mellows and warms soothingly. Medium body (a slight bit of thinning as the pour progresses) with some notable cheek-drawing. Dull roast bitterness, sticking malt and hop oiliness hang around - a long, l-o-o-o-ong finish.

D: Despite the surly character on the bottle, this is as welcoming as can be. Just a little brash with the bitter finish and, at 7.3%, a more burly 'winter warmer'-type monster. Don't be scared off by this creature, but be cautioned that he does have teeth. Where's Hermie the "I-wanna-be-a-dentist" elf when you need him? Fortunately, nowhere to be found...

I'll roar about this one: Strong recommendation.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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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Photo of Braz
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish color with really bubbly white head that sustains for at least a minute or so. Smells of caramel and burnt sugar, also citrus notes and pine resin. Great balance of bitter and sweet. Good dose of hops for an amber. Definate citrus flavors going on here too. Body is very good and is lightly carbonated. I'm not sure what is wintery about this, and think it could be offered year 'round.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this can as an extra in a trade. Deep amber colored body with a nice one finger off white head. Attractive beer that is made moreso by a solid piney nose. Strong hop punch on the front end with enough malt balance to be very drinkable. The abv doesn't appear until once you're finished and it "hits" you. Very well balanced and easily drinkable beer with plenty of hops to satisfy but enough balance to be a "winter" beer.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

appearance - pours with a generous head, good retention, some sticky lacing on the glass, amber/red

smell - hop nose with sweet malts

taste - very hoppy up front, resinous and nw tasty, followed by a big malt body and sweetness

mouthfeel - medium/heavy bodied, well carbonated off the taplines like most hopworks beers

drinkability - a heavy beer for 7.3%...the malt backbone punches and the hops are pungent and flavorful

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance has a slightly hazy copper amber color with a fair head that dissipates leaving spotty lace. Smell of rich malts that balances well with the citrusy aroma of the hops and having a slight bakery yeasty smell to it. Taste again of the rich malt balancing well with the grapefruit citrusy hops, bready with very little alchohol flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A very well build, enjoyable winter ale.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Toasty, Citrus, Tea, Dank

Sticky pungent hop nose of hemp, grapefruit rind and black tea ... clean whiff of alcohol and toasted malt rounds the aroma out. Hefty toasted malt character on a semi-lush smooth full-ish body. Hops ring in with a citrus 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 American winter seasonal here ... malt, hops and alcohol are all elevated equally for the most part in the PNW manner. Delicious.

STYLE: Winter IPA | ABV: 7.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #96 (JAN 2015)

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle, love the enameled label design for this one. Pours out a brilliant clear coppery amber, tall loose-bubbled frothy head that slowly settles to a thick cap, decent retention.

Clean aroma with fruity, citrusy notes, perfumey hops, all rather well balanced out.

Dry toasty grainy malt up front in the flavour, sweet orange esters, citrus and floral hops round out the back end. All very refined and clean, no runaway hoppiness here.

Medium-bodied on the lighter side, creamy smooth texture at first that then turns silky slick, moderate carbonation.

Gets extra kudos for the smoothness and refinement of the hop content, this denotes skill and craftsmanship , as well for the balance with the malt. The charm here lies in the nuance and not any serious intensity. Definitely worth checking out, would make an excellent session beer if not for the advanced abv%.

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Photo of Spikester
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of draheim
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a frothy off-white head, good sticky clumps of lace.

Aroma is a great blend of bright citrusy hops and caramel malt. Smells delicious.

Taste is a perfect balance between dark, fruity caramel malt and clean, resinous hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp, and utterly drinkable. Medium body.

Overall a really great, understated beer. Reminiscent of Nugget Nectar or Red Chair.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a transparent copper hue, with a nice 2-finger off-white head. Retention and lacing are quite good.

S - Smell is of caramel malts, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), pine, and candied citrus fruits. Some really fantastic aromas coming from this beer!

T - Taste if of candied grapefruit, backed by biscuit-y caramel malts, various spices, and finishes with moderate pine bitterness (though not quite to an IPA level).

M - Body here is medium, which was slightly lighter than expected for it's ABV and the style, but pleasant nonetheless. Carbonation is light. Slight hop oiliness is present.

O - Overall, a tasty and winter ale with a slight emphasis on hops, and yet another good offering from Hopworks. Be sure to give this one a try if you spot it.

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Photo of robbrandes
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taster poured from a bottle @ Elegance - thanks Carl! reviewed from notes.

pours a nice light brown, impressive head. really big citrus nose on this one - gotta love those centennials!

taste follows smell with a big citrus punch, but the malt and alcohol balance is very good and make for a clean finish.

definitely enjoyed this beer. forget winter, this was just fine in the first week of june!

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Photo of South2NW
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber to tulip glass

A: clear amber color with about a 2 finger off white head with fair retention. Leaves sheet lacing.

S: Big citrus aromas, grapefruit and orange mostly. Hints of caramel and spice, too.

T: begins with big citrus flavors upfront with a medium amount of bitterness, finish is mostly caramel/malt. Quite pleasing.

M: very smooth. Medium carbonation, with a slightly dry finish.

O: HUB with another quality beer. $4-$5/bomber is a great deal. Will seek out again.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, listed as an IPA and poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pretty hazy dark orange/golden copper color, with a little lace left on the glass.

S: A decent amount of piney hops, herbal and sweetly bitter, with a hefty caramel malt bill & sweetness. Maybe grapefruit as well? Nice hop profile but not too overwhelming - good malt balance.

T: Balanced but still hoppy...pine needles, bitter grapefruit, starfruit and blood orange. Lightly toasted malt and bready sweetness.

MF: Thicker, almost medium bodied feel, not overly dry but it is a touch warm. Makes sense at about 7-8% alcohol.

O: A really enjoyable hop-forward offering...more like an IPA than an Amber.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can received as an extra in a trade from bfg75, thanks!

Pours a dark red color with a nice inch thick white head. The smell is mildly hoppy...but also a tad malty. not too big though. Taste is a good balance between hops and malts of a typical amber, but way more hoppy than normal. Its very good and i definitely get cascade hops mainly. Good drinkability...medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall just a real enjoyable hoppy red ale right here. Recommended!

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.