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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
Reviews: 112 | Hads: 307
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I did not realize this was actually an IPA when I bought it I'm not disappointed as its a very tasty IPA! Shares a few similarities with Pliny the Elder in fact. I wish it was just slightly more carbonated, but overall it's hoppy, citrusy and goes down incredibly easy. Will definitely buy again

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Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/9/14 canning date.

A: Beautiful clear red pour. Tall, frothy off-white head. Amazing lacing, heavy, thick and continuous. Great head retention too.

S: Hoppy. Citrus and some dankness. Light hint of caramel maybe?

T: Yup. Hop-forward with a nice grapefruit and orange peel. Mildly herbal and spicy too. Kinda reminds me of a hoppy red. Maybe it's just the color that's fooling me. Nice mild breadiness peeks through and then it's more grapefruit and citrus in general into the finish. Mild wave of bitterness into the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, just sweet enough for a nice IPA.

O: I was expecting a winter warmer or something spiced due to the "winter ale" in the name but this is a straight-up IPA. Nice big bold hop flavors but not super bitter. In fact it's very lightly sweet in the finish. Just enough to balance it nicely. Great drinkability. This one hit the spot.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy rudy brown with a finger of creamy head, just a raft of mirco-bubble retention.

S: Sweet candy grapefruit and malts mingled with citrus and a pine resin. No hint of yeast or breadiness, alcohol absent. Smell reminds me of a caramelized grapefruit candied peels.

T: Up front with grapefruit and pine resins hop profile, but closely followed by well balanced sweet malts. I'm not getting the traditional spices that are present in other winter beers, however the skilled balance of malts and hops is the defining taste profile.

M: Carbonation presents some pin pricks but the creamy mouth feel is noticeable smooth and thick. I wasn't expecting this level of creaminess considering the hop notes on the scent, a nice surprise.

O: This is enjoyable and very drinkable, it could be labeled as a Imperial IPA or an ESB on account of the hops and malt mix. I don't necessarily think of a winter ale given that I'm not picking up an winter spices on the nose or palate. The skilled mix of malts and hops that produce a creamy taste and feel with tangy grapefruit and pine notes are especially enjoyable.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous gift from ramnuts. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a clear, reddish amber topped by 1" of off-white head. It retains well, collapsing into a thin collar and leaving a few spots of lace in its wake.

S: Pine, mint, spice, caramel, a touch of cocoa powder (it smells almost grainy). It's lightly floral.

T: I'm a little let down on the hoppiness. I like hoppy imperial reds; the contrast of caramel and citrus usually works well for me. Here, there's some pine flavor, but more straight bittering hops than anything else. Caramel and chocolate, or possibly brown sugar, combat the bitterness slightly, but it pulls into the finish and aftertaste for a sticky close.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is fine for the style, with some lingering bitterness.

D: I think it's a good imperial red; it nails the style, even if it doesn't satisfy my particular cravings. Thanks, Frank!

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful citrus/grapefruit aroma. Clear amber with thick fluffy head. Mildly bitter (again with more grapefruit) melds perfectly with the malt. This is a great beer. Slight alcohol warmth for those colder winter days, but doesn't impair the drinkability

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Photo of velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. Brought home from the brewpub earlier this week.

A-Pours a gorgeous copper-amber with a full two finger, off-white head with long lasting retention and copious lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-Assertive blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe provide a pleasant bouquet of floral, spicy and citrus hops with malty sweetness. Quite nice.

T-Hops are aggressive at 70 IBUS without being overpowering due to the nice malt backbone. Fruity, spicy accompanied by toffee like sweetness. Taste improves as it warms.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced.

D-Very nice for an amber ale. I think it also serves nicely as a winter seasonal. So smooth. 7.3% ABV is nicely masked.

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Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Deep, clear mahogany red with a fluffy off-white head and good lacing.

A: Big grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, and spicey hop notes as well as a caramel/bisciut malt backbone and some roasted notes. Very clean yeast profile.

T: Surprisingly smooth bitterness up front, followed by grapefruit rind, pine, and slightly resiny hop notes with a biscuit and caramel malt balance. Moderate carbonation and a smooth body lead into a clean finish.

Overall, a very tasty brew, but not what one would usually expect out of a winter ale. Much closer to a heavily hopped Northwest Red Ale, or a heavily hopped imperial german alt. With that in mind, this brew is definitely worth a try, especially for you hopheads.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of Libby pours a supa-clear copper color with a tight, frothy tan head. Nice retention and lacing...looks tasty!

Nose is resinously citric and floral hops with a toasty and slightly sweet caramel malt background. It actually smells a little like SN Celebration.

Taste throws down more sweetness than I was expecting, but that is preceded and followed by a rich hop flavor and pretty substantial bitterness. Pretty clean, the yeast does not contribute much in the flavor. The malt is rich and gives the body a nice, silky feel with plenty of heft. Hops are well done both on the flavoring and bittering side. This is a mighty tasty ale here, and my first Hopworks beer!

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Photo of suncrust
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Intrinsic
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me more of an IPA considering how hopped up it is. It's about the same colour as an Imperial (dark amber), with a nice brownish head. Normal retention, slight lacing. It smells great - lots of hops, slightly piney, a little citrus. Flavour falls along the same lines. The finish is slightly oily but not bad. Overall I like this beer. Why isn't stuff like this available in Quebec?!

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Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to Mike.

Pours a hazy amber with a huge frothy white head that shows excellent retention and sticks begrudgingly to the sides on the way down.

Aroma is hoppy up front with the C hops leading the way with some pithy citrus and spicy herbal notes. The malta are sweet with caramel and balance the hops well.

The taste is a bit sweeter and maltier than the aroma with the caramel malts and juicy citrus more prevalent than the bitter hops. The finish is lightly bitter and definitely more earthy.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and creamy with strong carbonation.

A top notch hopped-up amber from the Pac NW. Liked this one quite a bit.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich orange-amber into a pint glass with a finger of dishwater white head. Slightly sweet aroma of caramel and a little hoppy spice.

Moderate carbonation and a full, sticky mouthfeel. Sweet up front with caramel, honey, and biscuity malt followed by a spicy hop finish with a hint of boozy warmth.

Easy-drinking with some nice flavors going on.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparent copper amber color with a relaxed 2 cm white head that retains for a while before yielding to a ring of foam and some light lace. A relaxed look gives me an idea of what I am in for.

Smell: Amber malt, caramel, spices, some citrus and a ton of pine hops.

Taste: It starts out with a nice caramel amber malt backbone, getting spicier as the sip continues. It warms the stomach with a bit of alcohol as some cloves and general spiciness step in. A bit of citrus and a blast of sticky, spicy pine finishes up. Some bitterness lingers along with some malt sweetness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, starting dry and becoming juicier as the hops smack the tongue, with a bitterness that puckers a little bit. Lightly sticky, with a little more than medium carbonation and a medium body. My tongue tingles from a the pine hops.

Drinkability: A nice balance between the spice, grains, and hops. Somewhere in the range of beers that are nice to sip and savor without worrying about the alcohol. This was the first I had from Hopworks, and I would be happy to have this again.

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Photo of jdense
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask Conditioned on-tap at HUB 10/25 poured into HUB mug.

One finger creamy white head, ultra-slow dissipation with quite nice lacing. Deep clear amber body, no visible carbonation re cask. Nose is pretty malty, sweet, complex hop aroma, some citrus, flloral. Taste is more hoppy than the nose, crystal and caramel malts up front, citrusy hops in the middle, resiny hops on the backend. Medium mouthfeel, a bit sticky. Nice drinkability. A really nice winter warmer.

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Photo of spicelab
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Fred Meyer@Redmond, OR. Reviewed from notes.

Ruby amber with a thick-set cream head, about 1.5 fingers. Falls quietly, leaving respectable lacing and a raised ring.

Refined tea-like and piney hop aromas contrast with fruity aromas of mango tango, passionfruit, lemon and strawberry. Pleasant baked caramel and doughy malt character works in nicely with the hops.

Candied tangerine, bitter herbs, hints of dark fruit and an earthy pine bitterness. Plenty of intrigue.

Medium, sticky but lively mouthfeel thanks to zesty carbonation. Mild lingering bitterness. Pretty spot on.

Finely crafted. Draws together both subtle and blunt characteristics very adeptly.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby orange, some carbonation, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Caramel, nice malt, earthy hops, pine, grass.

T-Similar to the nose, caramel and earthy. Nice hop presence and some bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O-Not a traditional winter ale, more hoppy than spicy, but well balanced. Just a solid Red Ale.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, has a confusing date on the bottom along with "Happy 2013!" which is nice, so presumably this was canned sometime in 2013. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy amber copper color, topped with an inch of creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Lots of citrusy, piney, floral hops, some fruit, caramel malt.

T- Nice amount of citrus, mostly orange but also some grapefruit, some pine. Towards the finish a lot of caramel and bready malt takes over, with a mildly bitter, grassy finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, good carbonation.

O- A solid hoppy red ale, worth checking out.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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?

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Photo of jmarsh123
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with an off-white head, some retention & lace.

S: Huge american hop aroma, very leafy/grassy, pine and citrus rind, hints of toffee & fruit.

T: Hops are upfront and all the way through. The Simcoe really shines (very grassy & leafy), some citrus rind, nectarine and pine, hints of toffee, solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body... actually seems a little thin for the style & season.

D: Like hops?

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Photo of Kakaraht
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light amber color with a thumb of thick white head with good retention.

S: Very malty, a little bitterness from the hops, and a slight spice note.

T: Sweet caramel malt and a nice bitterness from the hops, this is more a red ale than a winter, it has no spice notes at all. The hops do give a nice range of citrus flavors.

M: Medium body low carbonation and a very sharp warm feel.

D: Good drink, will buy again.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a nice 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange rind, orange zest, pineapple, pine, caramel, floral, grass, bread, honey, and hop earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes; with a great hop/malt balance. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, pineapple, pine, orange rind, caramel, floral, grass, honey, bread, and light earthy pine spiciness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, pine, caramel, honey, bread, floral, grass, and light earthy pine spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop flavor; with a great hop/malt balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice red ale. Very nice balance and complexity of hop flavor with great malt balance; and dangerously easy to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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