Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

299 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 42
Gots: 29 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 111
Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Braz
4.25/5  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.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which seems to have a little bit of retention. The head is an off-white/very light beige while the body is a dark amber which appears as a medium amber when held up to the light. The body is translucent. A good amount of lacing (mostly sheeting) has already been left behind.

Nose- It's no surprise that the aroma is warm and inviting with the big C's in use. Very heavy citrus- lots of orange and grapefruit (lesser notes of lemon). A bit of inviting mustiness mixed with nectar, floral scents, light honey and caramel. Tiny bits of matchstick. The first time I had this beer, I thought it was an IPA in the mold of Lagunitas Sucks. Swirling shows a lot of grapefruit and matchstick.

Taste- Shows a lot more pine and resin that I remember but it is well rounded. There is matchstick and grapefruit (and more pine and resin) on the finish as well. I remembered it to be juicier but that may have been because of the association I had made with it and Lagunitas Sucks. It is slightly juicy and the citrus (orange and lemon) aspects of the nose do make themselves known after a while. While it might not be that complex, the balance and integration are incredible. It doesn't hurt that the freshness lends everything a well rounded quality. Enough malt bill (mostly caramel) to counteract the (sometimes) rowdy hops. A good beer that I, unfortunately, remember as being better. Pretty much a red IPA when it's fresh but I can see it holding up even after the hops begin to degrade (at least, that's how I remember last year's). Some spiciness from the hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel- A little less than medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Normally, I would consider it too much but it works well with the vibrant hops and slight spice.

Drinkability- Very accessible for 70 IBUs. No heat. Reasonable price of 9-10 bucks for 4 pack of tall cans. I'm sure I'll get it again.

Overall- More than above average to good beer. My review might have been more glowing but I seem to have built this beer up in my mind. Definitely worth a try. Tastes great straight from the can as well.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" tan coloured head over cloudy deep amber liquid.

S: Strong smell of pine and citrus hops.

T: Very balanced pine and citrus hop taste profile with a toffee malt backbone and some spiciness.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: One of the better Amber Ales I have had. It is very well balanced, has a nice level of sweet and bitter, and isn't overly acidic like many of the style.

Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of doughanson78
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Spikester
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber with two fingers of plush off white head. Moderate streamers of lacing. Aroma is piney hop oils with a touch of citrus. Taste is resinous earthy hops with a mild but supportive malt backing. Three kinds of hops give a rich spicy bitterness. Almost like a bold IPA that was poured through a strainer of fresh citrus fruit. Good mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Medium dry bitter finish. Very nice Winter beer.

Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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

Photo of ericj551
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Abominable winter pours a deep red amber with a nice, slightly off white head. The aroma is piney, citrusy and grapefruity, with a nice deep caramel maltiness. More awesome grapefruity hops in the flavor with a really nice rich maltiness. The alcohol flavor is mild, and the sweetness lingers in the finish.

Photo of Bookseeb
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance has a slightly hazy copper amber color with a fair head that dissipates leaving spotty lace. Smell of rich malts that balances well with the citrusy aroma of the hops and having a slight bakery yeasty smell to it. Taste again of the rich malt balancing well with the grapefruit citrusy hops, bready with very little alchohol flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A very well build, enjoyable winter ale.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid comes out a nice, light amber color. Looks clean with excellent clarity, you can practically read a book through this. Off white to a yellow/orange cream colored head that's about 2 and a half fingers thick after a hard pour. Decent lacing to the beer, all in all a really good looking beer, especially for the style.

Smell is good, nice and strong. Hops stand out the most to the nose. Pretty hoppy, the website indicates Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe hops, all are awesome! Nice bittersweet citrus (sort of like a grapefruit/tangerine blend). Don't be fooled though, this does not lack in the malt department as well. Plenty of toasted malts here, brown and pale, caramelized I would say. Smells really good.

Taste is equally as wonderful as the smell. Another great balanced between generous hops and generous malts. Initially starts sweet, brown sugar, plenty of sweet roasted (maybe even toasted) malts. Loving the hoppiness of this beer. Citrus and pine, strong on both.

Moutnfeel is again great. Texture is light to medium but with such huge flavor. Good carbonation level and no real bite from the alcohol. Not that 7.3% is high, but it's above average for the style. Great drinkability, any beer lover could polish off a bomber before they knew it. Well balanced full bodied, and just awesome.

HUGE props to googzoid10 for the killer extra. Thanks Greg!

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice semi-dark amber, one finger head, clear into a tulip glass.
Presents a nice malty aroma. Caramel notes.
Smooth taste. Yummy. Totally enjoyable. No cloy at all. Caramel follows through.
Another great offering from Hopworks Urban Brewery.
A winner.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of hreb
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served cold in pint glass. Beer pours a deep orange amber with nearly no head. Bonus points for the painted label on the bottle with Mr. Yeti. Slight citrus hop aroma.

Flavor is big on C-hops. This is the amber of IPAs. A little darker and there would be nothing between this and a CDA. At 7.3% it rationalizes the "winter ale" monicker, but the folks at Hopworks seem to be saying "It's Winter, you should be drinking hoppy beer. Just like every other time of the year."

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of Magpie14
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Photo of philbertk
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hopworks Urban Brewery--HUB--ABOMINABLE WiNTER ALE--ORGANiC BEER--2010. 7.30% ABV. 70 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Light tan big dense tight lacy lasting head. Enticing dark amber color. Huge floral pine citrus toasted hop front. Earthy sweet dry spicy hop resin zesty malty toasted caramel fruit body. Rich balanced smooth malty hop spice NW Winter Ale end. WOW! Abominable Hops! Sampled 10/25/2010 from 22 oz. bottle purchased at The Ballard Market, Seattle for $5.39 on 10/23/2010.

Photo of spicelab
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of djbreezy
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of mabermud
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This organic winter ale from Hopworks was poured from a tallboy into a snifter. The body appears a deep amber with a reddish hue. The head recedes to a thin white film with a halo around the ring. There is an aroma of candied fruit and hops. This tastes like a watered down Hawaiian Punch with carbonation and some hops for bitterness. It feels somewhat flat, also smooth, with medium carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer from Hopworks. It gets better as it warms. Would I have this again, probably, it isn't bad. However, I will say, with the large selection of beer available to me, it might be awhile before I have this again.

On the plus side, it is organic.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.