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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

240 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 240
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 32
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

70 IBU

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 12-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Abominable Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 240 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Wetpaperbag, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Jeriba
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Jeriba, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

Rutager, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

woemad, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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 JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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

JohnGalt1, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

John_M, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of corylew
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

corylew, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

ngeunit1, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of MURF0320
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

MURF0320, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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..

Reagan1984, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of snaotheus
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

snaotheus, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of CookstLiquor
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

CookstLiquor, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Mahlik
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Mahlik, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of MadeInOregon
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

MadeInOregon, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of msubulldog25
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

msubulldog25, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Braz
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Braz, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Fuzzycuffs, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

DOCRW, May 07, 2014
Photo of Kevlee722
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Kevlee722, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Hopmodium, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of tjcamm
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

tjcamm, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of danwho
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

danwho, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of SMITHAND
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

SMITHAND, Apr 28, 2013
Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.