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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
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 301
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Toasty, Citrus, Tea, Dank

Sticky pungent hop nose of hemp, grapefruit rind and black tea ... clean whiff of alcohol and toasted malt rounds the aroma out. Hefty toasted malt character on a semi-lush smooth full-ish body. Hops ring in with a citrus 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 American winter seasonal here ... malt, hops and alcohol are all elevated equally for the most part in the PNW manner. Delicious.

STYLE: Winter IPA | ABV: 7.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #96 (JAN 2015) (721 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/9/14 canning date.

A: Beautiful clear red pour. Tall, frothy off-white head. Amazing lacing, heavy, thick and continuous. Great head retention too.

S: Hoppy. Citrus and some dankness. Light hint of caramel maybe?

T: Yup. Hop-forward with a nice grapefruit and orange peel. Mildly herbal and spicy too. Kinda reminds me of a hoppy red. Maybe it's just the color that's fooling me. Nice mild breadiness peeks through and then it's more grapefruit and citrus in general into the finish. Mild wave of bitterness into the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, just sweet enough for a nice IPA.

O: I was expecting a winter warmer or something spiced due to the "winter ale" in the name but this is a straight-up IPA. Nice big bold hop flavors but not super bitter. In fact it's very lightly sweet in the finish. Just enough to balance it nicely. Great drinkability. This one hit the spot. (895 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 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 BeerZombies1
4.25/5  rDev +6%

The great guys from @hopworksbeer sent over "Abominable Winter Ale" for me to review. I figured what better place to drink this organic winter ipa than on the end of an amazing hike in Red Rock Canyon!

Abominable Winter Ale - HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery)
Winter IPA
7.3% ABV
70 IBU

APPEARANCE: Drank straight from the can. When I cracked it, a small amount of nicely colored beige head climbed out of the can.

AROMA: Got my nose right into the can! Very warm and inviting, fresh squeezed grapefruit comes screaming out of the can. Followed by additional citrus fruits mixed with a lovely piney hop profile. Slightly sweet aroma that fades into a nice floral end.

TASTE: Delicious juicy grapefruit and pine hop profile right off the bat. Followed by some really nice sweet carmel malts that bring the spices into play. Getting some muted clove, pepper and a bit of onion/garlic on the ending. Very balanced and delicious beer, super refreshing and thirst quenching!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, light lazy carbonation. Tongue gets coated by the oils from the hops. Finishes slightly bitter and lingering.

OVERALL: My first beer from HUB and I was not disappointed. A truly great, easy drinking winter IPA. Really like the layers in the flavor profile the spices are a great balance to the sweet and hopiness. It paired perfectly with my hike!

RATING: 4.2/5 Zombie Heads! (1,381 characters)

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 mabermud
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +2%
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 (254 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 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 jellikit
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (343 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.97/5  rDev -1%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (337 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 mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (1,970 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev +5%
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. (426 characters)

Photo of South2NW
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber to tulip glass

A: clear amber color with about a 2 finger off white head with fair retention. Leaves sheet lacing.

S: Big citrus aromas, grapefruit and orange mostly. Hints of caramel and spice, too.

T: begins with big citrus flavors upfront with a medium amount of bitterness, finish is mostly caramel/malt. Quite pleasing.

M: very smooth. Medium carbonation, with a slightly dry finish.

O: HUB with another quality beer. $4-$5/bomber is a great deal. Will seek out again. (485 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can received as an extra in a trade from bfg75, thanks!

Pours a dark red color with a nice inch thick white head. The smell is mildly hoppy...but also a tad malty. not too big though. Taste is a good balance between hops and malts of a typical amber, but way more hoppy than normal. Its very good and i definitely get cascade hops mainly. Good drinkability...medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall just a real enjoyable hoppy red ale right here. Recommended! (474 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (2,139 characters)

Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (707 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 WillCarrera
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, has a confusing date on the bottom along with "Happy 2013!" which is nice, so presumably this was canned sometime in 2013. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy amber copper color, topped with an inch of creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Lots of citrusy, piney, floral hops, some fruit, caramel malt.

T- Nice amount of citrus, mostly orange but also some grapefruit, some pine. Towards the finish a lot of caramel and bready malt takes over, with a mildly bitter, grassy finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, good carbonation.

O- A solid hoppy red ale, worth checking out. (605 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 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)

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