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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

110 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 301
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%
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
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 301
Photo of snuffconformists
1.5/5  rDev -62.6%

DRAIN POUR!!! False advertising, this is not a winter ale as labeled, its an uber bitter palate destroying IPA, hopworks should be shamed for misleading unsuspecting consumers expecting a winter ale. Yet it rates outstanding on this forum? WTF? This is yet another overhopped run of the mill northwest IPA. Isn't it bad enough the market is flooded with slight variations of the same mediocre IPA, let alone try to pass them off as winter ales? I paid for a winter ale not for hop lock jaw. For those wanting something resembling a winter ale this beer is an astringent acidic light colored hop bomb drain pour. So why are all reviewers letting this slide? Other beers that don't fit the style get slammed, oohh but if its a trendy hop bomb it gets a free pass. The integrity of beer advocate is increasingly questionable. And heres the kicker, they want $4 a can for this gag inducing fraud. Pay up, lockstep trend following cookie cutter brewery hop drones, make yo mastas rich. (981 characters)

Photo of scootpolute
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
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!! (556 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split with rudzud but guess we forgot about it a while ago.

Very little head, little lacing, hazy amber reddish orange color.

Nose flat malts, reddish amber malts, very very light grassy lemon grass hop thing,

Taste is horrible, bad old malts, sweet mess, no real hops with flash of bitterness, sourness, cardboard, etc. Finish is mild earthy spicy hops bitterness but bleh mostly, sticky flat meh.

Mouth is med bod, little syrupy, decent carb. (448 characters)

Photo of LouZ
3.11/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer was fine - a dark amber colored malty brew more akin to a red than a winter warmer. When I buy a winter beer, I expect dark ... black. This is not that. At all. It drinks easy, but is nothing special. (205 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Collins Pub

A pours a copper color with a white head.

S some nice grapefruit notes.

T more bitter grapefruit and a bit of malt.

M mouthfeel was nothing special. I didn't notice anything particularly notable either way

Overall this isn't a bad beer. I think it might be mislabled was a red/amber as the bitterness and hop presence was more like an opaque. All and all I would drink this again. (413 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split with JLindros. Forgotten about in the cellar

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear amber hue with a thin one finger head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of next to nothing, caramel, old hops, ugh.

T - Taste is well, awful. So so sad...hops are gone, light bitterness, caramel. Just old hops...A shame that this was forgotten about.

M - Mouthfeel is alright, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer is a shame, had this for probably eight months...should never have waited this long for the beer. A shame. (552 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a copper color with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Caramel, nice and sweet with some spice

T: Not what I was expecting. Is this a winter beer an amber or an amber serving as a winter beer? As a winter ale I was disappointed. Some spice at times, hops..what else ya got? Fruits and green leafs. Grains.

M: Well carbonated and sticky at times

D: Easily enough to drink but not a Winter Ale I would find myself going back to. When I think of Winter Ale (475 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/16/10

On tap at the brewery apposed next to Kentucky Christmas. Appears much lighter than its barrel brother, more on the golden side. Small head is quick to recede. Hops are redolent of pine and somewhat floral, reminds me a bit of a noble hop bouquet. A touch of mineral is evident. Malt provides bread and caramel and does well in providing balance. Flavor is bitter pine with a little caramel and an unexpected bready malt influence. Finish is bitter and dry with some alcohol and astringency. An earthy quality is detectable, as well as grassy and mineral notes. Not like any other winter beer I've tried. Medium body. Upper moderate carbonation. Dry, sticky mouthfeel with some astringency and warming. Overall, an odd array of flavors and I wouldn't jump to drink this again. (786 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bfg75 for this bottle as an extra, which has since been resting in the fridge to slow it down. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife while watching my first Twins spring training game of the year. Yippee!

Pour is clear copperish red, & clean & clear as a whistle. Nose is nice floral, grapefruit, dash of sweetness, but one has to get out the shovel to dig much up.

Abominable Winter Ale could be renamed Abominable Biscuit Beer. Huge malty biscuitness jumps out of the woods & ambushes the palate; there's certainly plenty of hops, but the breadiness is ascendant. Hops kick in underneath the falling biscuit as bitter, mild grapefruit, but much more in the mouthfeel, which is very slick & neat. High point of the beer, though it's certainly easy to drink.

Eh. Just to the right of the middle of the road, this is a nice, inoffensive beer that's easy on the palate but without much in the way of character. Pretty good beer. (936 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

A: Amber with under a finger of off-white foam which is centralized with a cap. Excellent clarity. Spotty lace.
S: Semi-sweet caramel and toffee malts with an English tone and some citric and herbal hops. Nice nose
T: Sweet, malty, hoppy and woody. The oxidation on the beer is a bit off putting, but oddly seems to match the beer. A little too bitter.
m: Medium bodied with moderate mouthfeel. Semi slick finish.
O: Not bad for a winter beer. Appreciate the reservation to use a bunch of herbs or spices. Nice beer. (530 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at HUB in Portland, OR. Poured a clear amber color with a thin off-white head that left spotty lacing. Had an aroma of sweet malts, caramel and grains. Definitely reminiscent of a red ale...what threw me off was that this was supposedly a "winter ale." Nothing really "winter ale" about it IMO. Still an okay brew...I liked the sweetness of it and overall it was very sessionable.

Medium bodied with slight carbonation. Smooth. Makes more sense now that I realize this was actually a red ale and not a winter ale/winter warmer. (539 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean,clear golden red color with about1/4 inch of just off-white head that had low retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was predominately piney hops with some malt sweetness in the background.On the tongue the also are the most noticeable aspect of this brew, with some malt foundation in the background.

The body was decent, perhaps a bit thinner than I would have liked. Drinkability was good, if this were on tap locally to me I'd have several while watching a game.

Overall, a good, solid brew that's worth a shot if you see it. (582 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another abominable ale sent from ArchEnemyBrew, much thanks! Cool label on this one.

Pours an amber/orange with a bit of haze, off-white head retains nicely as a thick cap and leaves some lacing behind.

Faint smell, mostly malt and some hops. Toasty, some biscuit, spicy, earthy, piny hops. Really intense earthiness as it warms, kinda off-putting.

Taste is more enjoyable, there is some bigger hop flavor, but it's more about the malts, light bitterness. Hops are mostly spicy, herbal and piny with maybe some grapefruit. Malts match the nose, toasty and biscuity.

Fine mouthfeel, carbonation is medium-low, a bit of an oily feel, ABV sneaks up on you.

A good red ale, not a hop bomb as expected, a little forgettable. (724 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at HUB, Portland, OR

Poured a clear copper with a nice white head that receded to a patchy layer. I expected some sugar and spice in the aroma for a beer labeled as a winter ale, but instead got a blast of unexpected hops, more reminiscent of an APA or hoppy amber ale (which of course it is, I now know). Sweet pale malts were tasteable in the background, with citrus and pine hops taking the forefront, grassy with some light fruit tones. Medium mouthfeel, somewhat bitter in the aftertaste, a good-drinking beer overall, but I don't really get what exactly makes it a winter ale. (601 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to VoodooImpStout for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a herbal hop flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but smells better than it tastes in my opinion. (592 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from Roth’s Vista Market, Salem. $3.50 Clear amber coloured ale with a nice frothy,thick,cream coloured head. Very nice hoppy aromas..slightly resinous and spruce like. The 6 malts certainlly appear in the taste..chocolaty,roasty and are matched by the resinous hopping..giving a very nice balanced yet complex flavour. Under carbonated and actually quite thin for such a subtantial ale..but OK An OK beer but i get the feeling it lacks something. (462 characters)

Photo of coastiefish
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 poured into tulip

A- Great clear cherry ruby color. Light foamy head gathering mostly at the sides of the glass

S - sweet, fresh hops, (sweet) fruit and floral

T - Hops give off a nice floral perfume touch of spiciness too. The hop character makes this beer one of the edgier winter brews Ive ever tasted. The malt lends a little sweetness to round it out. The spice lingers a bit.

M - Very thin and clean, dries fairly quickly

D - I think the spice gives it meaning to be a winter brew, but I wish there was a bit more malt profile to give the body a touch more solidity. (580 characters)

Photo of Elimination
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A copper amber red with a little bit of white head that vanishes quick

Smell is sweet hops, a tad spice and Carmel

Taste is a bit more bitter than the smell slight citrus a bit of spice to it and some fused alcohol

Mouthfeel is light and filled with a good carb drink is good but I wasn't to wowed by this. (309 characters)

Photo of souvenirs
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (708 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (995 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep amber in color. Half finger off white head that immediately disappears and doesn't leave much for lacing.

S: Big citrus and floral hop mix. Lots of grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Big spiciness mixed in with the hops. Maybe the faintest touch of caramel malts. A faint dank weed aroma in the background.

T: Quick caramel sweetness upfront, immediately taken over by citrus and floral bitterness along with a big spiciness. Finishes very spicy.

M: Medium light bodied. Medium carbonation. Spicy.

O: I'd guess this is supposed to be a winter warmer also. Again not digging the style. The spiciness just isn't really for me. I can see it warming you up during a snow storm. (720 characters)

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A; transparent, amber with orange hints
S: nice citrus rind, fresh, not over-powering; can't detect any maltiness
T: very well balanced, rich full fresh maltiness; hint of bitterness in the finish; no big flavours but a very pleasant richness. Not overly complex or developing.
M: full-bodied
O: a solid cohesive likeable flavour that makes me want another sip ... but wishes it developed into something more. (409 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle like the one pictured here into an American pub glass. A "winter ale" according to the label but no other style info is given. This brew is a dark orange amber to light brown color, with a pretty pungent grapefruit/orange rind aroma from C-hops ... Cool, was not expecting that degree of citrus and pine on the nose. There is a dark malt undercurrent as well, with butterscotch, faint molasses, and dark fruit. Nice aroma that recalls a red IPA albeit rather less aggressive than some of these beers. Taste closely mirrors the nose, featuring a decent blast of orange oil, grapefruit flesh and rind, hemp resin, and spicy menthol coupled with brown sugar, dried apricots, and raisins. Not particularly toasty or roasted. Somewhat thicker than many red ales I've had, coats the mouth, leaving an oily residue that causes the IBUs to accumulate a bit as you go ... Again, very nice. The alcohol is almost completely hidden. Low to moderate carbonation and does finish more crisp and clean than expected. I've had a few scrumptious red ales lately and this one holds its own. (1,093 characters)

Photo of demuzik
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enjoyable winter ale on the hoppy, fruity side - just what you need if you've OD'd on too many spiced/flavored warmers.

The mouthfeel is almost surprisingly thick for an under 8% beer... but the flavor is very well done. Balance of a hoppy fruit basket with plenty of malt undertones; totally piny yet fruity, spicy, and bready.

The color is brown and clarity is a little below average.

Worth at least a try during the colder months. (439 characters)

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