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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

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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 UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:06:24 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a dlear rich copper with a billowing white head that settles into a frothy,sticky mass,a great pour.A big kick of citric hops hits home in the aromas,the Simcoes really play a big role with the vitric cascades,a little sweet alcohol shows thru as well.A true Pacific northwest hop driven ale here,peppery and citric hops overtop of a nutty malt base with some light booze makes for a very well rounded hopped up beer.I thought this would be good but it's great,I wish I had more...alot more.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 21:21:23 | More by oberon
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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?

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 03:49:19 | More by biboergosum
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 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 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 Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Decent sized froth turns to a thick sticky lacing down the glass, clear copper color. Sticky pungent hop nose of hemp seeds, grapefruit peel and black tea ... clean whiff of alcohol and the toasted malt rounds the aroma out. Hefty toasted malt character on a semi-lush smooth full-ish body. Hops ring in with a citric 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 winter seasonal here ... malt, hops and alcohol are all elevated equally for the most part in the PNW manner. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:28:13 | More by Jason
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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 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 JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 07:49:45 | More by JohnGalt1
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 superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 06:48:19 | More by superspak
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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?

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 04:53:17 | More by Derek
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 wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip 2/2/12

A clear dark amber with a thumbs width of beige foam that hangs around long enough to leave a few partial rings of lace

S big citrus hops with some pine and caramel, a little rind and tropical notes, this is not at all what I was expecting but I'll take it

T spicy and citric hops play a big part but there's some malt keeping it from being a hop runaway, just a little earthy on the finish. I was expecting a spiced ale and got just what I was craving... a hop bomb

M medium bodied and bitter, a nice bite to it and it leaves just a little grit on the gums

O no mention of booze anywhere above should say something, I enjoyed this beer immensely what a pleasant surprise

not the spiced ale I was expecting but I'll take the spicy hops instead. I could drink another bomber of this stuff no problem, nice work Hopworks keep em coming

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 06:46:52 | More by wordemupg
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 06:51:24 | More by dirtylou
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 23:47:00 | More by beertunes
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.05/5  rDev -1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 17:10:43 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 03:06:44 | More by gford217
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 flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz tall can into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium red-orange hue with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy light-tan/ivory foam with a hint of a reddish cast. Quite good.

Smell: clean citrusy hop nose with a base of lightly caramelly malt. I like the composition here; hops are fresh and malt is free of biscuity aroma.

Taste: hoppy flavor with citrusy and lightly piney/resiny character. Malt is somewhat caramelly and somewhat bready with that definite crystal malt flavor. A good execution of a hoppy red!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very good carbonation and a concomitant creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a very good amber ale indeed. I'm usually not too keen on the style, but this beer is tasty and executed well, and I'd have it again in a pinch.

Serving type: can

01-05-2013 03:11:26 | More by flagmantho
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LiquidAmber

Washington

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: can

01-04-2013 03:27:48 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 01:54:18 | More by maximum12
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, almost amber colored orange with a nice light tan head that fades very slowly.

S - Hoppy pine, sweet malts, almost toffee like.

T - Sweet carmel and toffee, with a nice pine finish.

D - Perfect balance with a nice sweet finish.

O - I don't normally like the sweeter ipas, this one worked for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 06:53:18 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 18:26:38 | More by Reidrover
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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.