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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

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

249 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 33
Gots: 14 | 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:
Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 12-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeriba
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at a grocery store on a recent beer-tasting tour of Portland, OR (also known as Thanksgiving vacation). I bought it because it was local, I loved the artwork, and it was priced suspiciously cheap for an organic beer: something like $4.50 for a bomber.

A - Copper and red-orange in color with medium cream foam.

S - The pine needle hop aromas pretty much dominate the nose on this beer.

T - Brown sugar and spice, cloves and orange peel, some cider-like flavors, light malt flavors, and vanilla creaminess.

M - Crisp and cider-like.

D - Excellent balance of heaviness and bitter hop flavors. This was a very pleasant surprise for me. I couldn't resist picking up a second bomber before my trip was over. This is the first organic brew I have REALLY enjoyed, and if I lived in the area it would probably be my go-to beer during the winter months.

Jeriba, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Wetpaperbag, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

dragonWhale, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of vkv822
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours an amber-hued orange, with fair off white lacing. There is a light amount of carbonation slowly rising up.

The aroma and flavors are of strong and slightly juicy citric and spicy hops, with a pleasant caramel malt backing.

The mouthfeel is a fairly average medium body with decent carbonation.

I would really like to try more by this brewery as what I have had so far has been quite well done.

vkv822, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Docer
4.05/5  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.

Docer, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a finger of foamy off white head and settles to a skiff of foam. A very bright/clear amber color.. Quite a bit of carbonation rising to the surface. Some sticky lacing remains.

Aroma is very nice. Very fruity with some citrus & floral notes. A nice balance here with some toasted malt and a slight sweetness to the aroma.

Very fruity and juicy. Love it. Perfect balance and balance for me tilts hoppy. There is a wonderful toasted/bready malt profile just below the surface. I need to use the word juicy again. A slight spice to it that's wonderful. A touch of sweetness that works... a hint of alcohol that is more warming vs. hot. You can tell it's there, but it's not an issue. Really nice beer. Wish I had more.

Medium body with a eye towards being sticky. Very slight carbonation.

Just a great beer. Wish HUB was in Boston... I'd mainline the stuff..

Reagan1984, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of SeattleReign
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 22oz bomber for 4.99 at the local grocery store.

Poured a rich copper-amber into a pint glass with 3/4 inch yellowish head. Slightly sweet aroma of caramel and i got a lot of floral scents... specifically, pine.

Moderate carbonation with sticky mouthfeel. Sweet carmely taste at the beginning and then finishes with a dry floral taste.

Very easy drinking beer. One of the best seasonal beers i've had in a while. I could drink 10 of these if my budget allowed.

overall- great beer.

SeattleReign, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. Brought home from the brewpub earlier this week.

A-Pours a gorgeous copper-amber with a full two finger, off-white head with long lasting retention and copious lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-Assertive blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe provide a pleasant bouquet of floral, spicy and citrus hops with malty sweetness. Quite nice.

T-Hops are aggressive at 70 IBUS without being overpowering due to the nice malt backbone. Fruity, spicy accompanied by toffee like sweetness. Taste improves as it warms.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced.

D-Very nice for an amber ale. I think it also serves nicely as a winter seasonal. So smooth. 7.3% ABV is nicely masked.

velosuds, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. into a standard pint glass a amber, almost copper color with an off-white head that left a ton of sticky lace down the glass.

The aroma was a floral and citrus blast with a bit of biscuity malt sweetness.

The taste followed the aroma but with the biscuit and bready malt followed quickly by floral, spicy, and citrus hop bitterness. The malt is just the right amount of malt to hold up the hop bitterness. This is a good tasting brew --- just right for a PNW winter.

This is a bit oily in the mouth and quite dry on the finish. It has a medium body that seems just right for the sweet and bitter brew.

BuckeyeOne, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of jdense
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask Conditioned on-tap at HUB 10/25 poured into HUB mug.

One finger creamy white head, ultra-slow dissipation with quite nice lacing. Deep clear amber body, no visible carbonation re cask. Nose is pretty malty, sweet, complex hop aroma, some citrus, flloral. Taste is more hoppy than the nose, crystal and caramel malts up front, citrusy hops in the middle, resiny hops on the backend. Medium mouthfeel, a bit sticky. Nice drinkability. A really nice winter warmer.

jdense, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
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.

grittybrews, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
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

barleywinefiend, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of Elimination
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Elimination, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous gift from ramnuts. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a clear, reddish amber topped by 1" of off-white head. It retains well, collapsing into a thin collar and leaving a few spots of lace in its wake.

S: Pine, mint, spice, caramel, a touch of cocoa powder (it smells almost grainy). It's lightly floral.

T: I'm a little let down on the hoppiness. I like hoppy imperial reds; the contrast of caramel and citrus usually works well for me. Here, there's some pine flavor, but more straight bittering hops than anything else. Caramel and chocolate, or possibly brown sugar, combat the bitterness slightly, but it pulls into the finish and aftertaste for a sticky close.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is fine for the style, with some lingering bitterness.

D: I think it's a good imperial red; it nails the style, even if it doesn't satisfy my particular cravings. Thanks, Frank!

Arbitrator, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of philbertk
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

philbertk, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -17%
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.

beertunes, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.22/5  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

djbreezy, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Halfway through October...time for a Winter Ale! A 22 oz'er from the just-released first bottling, poured to pint glass.

Silk-screened label that tweaks the HUB 'bulls-eye' logo by superimposing across an icy blue version on the side label, a snowflake on the front above a growling 9-foot 'Abominable'. Note to designer, Martin Ontiveras: snowflakes are SIX-sided (hexagonal crystals)! Yours are pretty, but wrong [pushes glasses up nose...]. But your 'Mr. Yeti' rules!

"A-R-RR-GAN-IC!" bellows the Beast...

A: Clear copper/amber, a loosely-knit cavalcade of carbonation wriggles upward. A gorgeous color that screams 'AUTUMN!'. Sturdily-built cream topping, bone-white and pushing 2-fingers at its apex. Holds a pose then drops back to a thinner veil, leaving dropping webs of gooey lace. A very, very pretty beer.

S: Heady aroma of spice pine and flowers, mint and citrus. Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops all do their part to build a sweetly roasted and pungent scent that carries well beyond the glass.

T: Spiced fruit, oranges and apples, than a heap of hops; very green, sappy yet flowery. Plenty of malt, a biscuity and toasty mix of grains and complement a potent hop bill well. Orange and pine, meet spiced bread and cereal grain. very tasty.

M: Crisp upfront, with a spicy sparkle that mellows and warms soothingly. Medium body (a slight bit of thinning as the pour progresses) with some notable cheek-drawing. Dull roast bitterness, sticking malt and hop oiliness hang around - a long, l-o-o-o-ong finish.

D: Despite the surly character on the bottle, this is as welcoming as can be. Just a little brash with the bitter finish and, at 7.3%, a more burly 'winter warmer'-type monster. Don't be scared off by this creature, but be cautioned that he does have teeth. Where's Hermie the "I-wanna-be-a-dentist" elf when you need him? Fortunately, nowhere to be found...

I'll roar about this one: Strong recommendation.

msubulldog25, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of coastiefish
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

coastiefish, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of MURF0320
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

MURF0320, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of ccrida
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

ccrida, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

John_M, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
4.22/5  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!

Magpie14, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

ElGordo, Dec 24, 2008
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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.