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Abominable Winter Ale | Hopworks Urban Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
123 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
123
Ratings:
339
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
17.66%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
38
For Trade:
1
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.

Added by ElGordo on 12-24-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 339
Photo of demuzik
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enjoyable winter ale on the hoppy, fruity side - just what you need if you've OD'd on too many spiced/flavored warmers.

The mouthfeel is almost surprisingly thick for an under 8% beer... but the flavor is very well done. Balance of a hoppy fruit basket with plenty of malt undertones; totally piny yet fruity, spicy, and bready.

The color is brown and clarity is a little below average.

Worth at least a try during the colder months.

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Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say which hasn't already been said?

Appearance is a nice clear amber with about a finger's head and low head-retention.

The nose hits you with a slight floral and heavy citrus, particularly a fresh, aromatic grapefruit.

If you swish a little around in your mouth, you become overwhelmed by the hops - clean, bright, bitter, citrus...heavy grapefruit. Then the winter spice hits you, subtly...a peppery clove is what I taste. The hops stay with you through the whole ride. Then it finishes with a caramel malt, not too sweet, and it seems to blend well with the other flavors. I agree that the yeast doesn't seem to add a lot to the flavor as far as I can tell. As the beer warms up a little, the malt comes out more which lends to slightly more balance. Very good!

Medium body. Definitely a hop-centric beer for a winter ale...so much you can feel the oily resin on your tongue. But it's nice...

I often don't like winter beers that much because they seem unbalanced - too sweet. This one is different - it's balanced to the side of hops, which is something that I can get behind. I would be curious what would happen if there was just a bit more spice to add to the complexity and bring out the "winter beer" more. Overall, very good...to be expected from such a great brewery!

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Photo of draheim
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a frothy off-white head, good sticky clumps of lace.

Aroma is a great blend of bright citrusy hops and caramel malt. Smells delicious.

Taste is a perfect balance between dark, fruity caramel malt and clean, resinous hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp, and utterly drinkable. Medium body.

Overall a really great, understated beer. Reminiscent of Nugget Nectar or Red Chair.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a transparent copper hue, with a nice 2-finger off-white head. Retention and lacing are quite good.

S - Smell is of caramel malts, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), pine, and candied citrus fruits. Some really fantastic aromas coming from this beer!

T - Taste if of candied grapefruit, backed by biscuit-y caramel malts, various spices, and finishes with moderate pine bitterness (though not quite to an IPA level).

M - Body here is medium, which was slightly lighter than expected for it's ABV and the style, but pleasant nonetheless. Carbonation is light. Slight hop oiliness is present.

O - Overall, a tasty and winter ale with a slight emphasis on hops, and yet another good offering from Hopworks. Be sure to give this one a try if you spot it.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, pine, and citrus hops with with some sweet caramel malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit, tropical, and citrus hops with some bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some pine hops and a touch of spicy hops with more bitterness come through alongside some more caramel and lightly bready malts. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops, bitterness, and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice hoppy strong ale. Great malt and hop balance with a good hop profile.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes
A - Very light hazy brown, tall head retained at a solid finger, random lacing

S - Big juicy and piney presence with some pepper

T - Sweet toffee malt with pine resin hops, toasty and peppery notes

M - Big body with lowish carbonation, mild bitter finish 4

O - Reminds of a solid esb, full flavour and easy drinker, this is a must try

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Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

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Photo of spicelab
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Fred [email protected], 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.

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Photo of ericj551
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +10%
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

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Photo of beesy
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this one!

A - pours a fairly clean, beautiful medium copper color with a one finger khaki colored head that disssipates quickly.

S - aromas of citrusy hops, some grassy notes. A slightly sweet aroma.

T - hoppy. slightly sweet and citrusy up front with a fair amount of grass. There is a a nice, slighlty coarse, firm hop bitterness that lingers slightly on my palate. There's a coarser hop bitterness that takes over mid palate that fights with the sweeter, more citrusy, cleaner hops up front, which makes this an interesting beer. Fairly crisp. A little bit of what I can only describe as an unusual yeast profile about 3/4 the way though.

M - A medium mouthfeel that is enough to stand up to the hops and abv, but doesn't become sweet.

D - fairly easy to drink, sneaks up on you!

Overall, a pretty nice beer I'm glad I was able to try. Fixing the yeast taste about 3/4 way through would go a long way in making this very good beer even better.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
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!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle, love the enameled label design for this one. Pours out a brilliant clear coppery amber, tall loose-bubbled frothy head that slowly settles to a thick cap, decent retention.

Clean aroma with fruity, citrusy notes, perfumey hops, all rather well balanced out.

Dry toasty grainy malt up front in the flavour, sweet orange esters, citrus and floral hops round out the back end. All very refined and clean, no runaway hoppiness here.

Medium-bodied on the lighter side, creamy smooth texture at first that then turns silky slick, moderate carbonation.

Gets extra kudos for the smoothness and refinement of the hop content, this denotes skill and craftsmanship , as well for the balance with the malt. The charm here lies in the nuance and not any serious intensity. Definitely worth checking out, would make an excellent session beer if not for the advanced abv%.

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Photo of Intrinsic
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me more of an IPA considering how hopped up it is. It's about the same colour as an Imperial (dark amber), with a nice brownish head. Normal retention, slight lacing. It smells great - lots of hops, slightly piney, a little citrus. Flavour falls along the same lines. The finish is slightly oily but not bad. Overall I like this beer. Why isn't stuff like this available in Quebec?!

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Photo of MsRif
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Cheers to the monstrous, Dr. Seuss-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 resin and pithy citrus rind 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. Riding side saddle 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 a decent middleweight, 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 an adequate 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?

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Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep, clear copper with a nice and thick, pale yellow head.

Smell. Citrus fruits, a little caramel and some spicy hops.

Taste. Big citrus hops, some caramel, orange and grapefruit rinds, bitter finish. Just slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice beer here. I would describe it as an amber ipa ...and a pretty good one at that!

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Photo of suncrust
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Mahlik
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another abominable ale sent from ArchEnemyBrew, much thanks! Cool label on this one.

Pours an amber/orange with a bit of haze, off-white head retains nicely as a thick cap and leaves some lacing behind.

Faint smell, mostly malt and some hops. Toasty, some biscuit, spicy, earthy, piny hops. Really intense earthiness as it warms, kinda off-putting.

Taste is more enjoyable, there is some bigger hop flavor, but it's more about the malts, light bitterness. Hops are mostly spicy, herbal and piny with maybe some grapefruit. Malts match the nose, toasty and biscuity.

Fine mouthfeel, carbonation is medium-low, a bit of an oily feel, ABV sneaks up on you.

A good red ale, not a hop bomb as expected, a little forgettable.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.