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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

220 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%


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
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman

Montana

4.05/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2013 00:21:31 | More by Siriusfisherman
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2012 16:57:23 | More by Rifugium
Photo of MsRif
MsRif

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2011 23:51:15 | More by MsRif
Photo of suncrust
suncrust

Washington

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2011 05:03:58 | More by suncrust
Photo of Mahlik
Mahlik

Oregon

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2011 18:48:53 | More by Mahlik
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2011 15:23:56 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of beerandcycling88
beerandcycling88

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -23%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 20:35:12 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of corylew
corylew

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2011 21:46:43 | More by corylew
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2010 19:08:04 | More by HopHead84
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2010 10:33:15 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of grittybrews
grittybrews

Washington

4.08/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2010 05:49:59 | More by grittybrews
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -23%
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

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 11:50:51 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2010 02:31:19 | More by djbreezy
Photo of MURF0320
MURF0320

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2010 04:53:16 | More by MURF0320
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 21:20:44 | More by ccrida
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2009 23:13:56 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2009 04:19:53 | More by Magpie14
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2008 06:27:15 | More by ElGordo
Photo of jellikit
jellikit

Washington

3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: red. Slightly hazy. Medium, foamy head. Thick, persistent lacing.
S: slight malt. Low hop aroma (my can is 6 months old though). Sweet.
T: well balanced between sweet and dry. Bready. Malty. Alcohol (not too much). Medium bitterness at the end
M: medium carbonation. Medium body. Smooth.
O: this is a good imperial red ale. Will buy again.

Serving type: can

04-16-2014 03:09:57 | More by jellikit
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cloudy, medium brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, spices, some sweetness. Taste is good, malty, spicey, a touch of hops, balanced and flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

Serving type: can

02-27-2014 00:06:22 | More by tone77
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.01/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 00:44:45 | More by rlee1390
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 01:03:23 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seriously sparkly in the mouth. Yipes! Try a big gulp of this. Attractive dark coppery amber color in the Ciney snifter. Lovely warm malty taste to start, with the carbonation giving it a sharp edge right off. Something like roasted parsnips and winter squash with that slightly sweet vegetable flavor.

The hops are fairly subdued. Just a touch of hop flavors, though this finishes with a fair amount of bitterness. More woody and yam tasting roasted malt flavors. This is definitely on the sharp side, but if you like a fizzier beer it's quite pleasing. Well balanced, and a different sort of winter seasonal. From the 16 oz can purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Serving type: can

01-10-2014 06:51:16 | More by mactrail
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: can

01-08-2014 00:12:14 | More by woodychandler
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler

Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: can

12-09-2013 14:57:17 | More by PHBoiler
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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.