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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Abominable Winter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 110 | Hads: 301
Photo of beesy
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (1,034 characters)

Photo of sam_bliss
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

16oz tall boy can into New Belgium .47 L globe (both measures are one pint!)

A- Clear mahogany amber with some rust orange where the light shines through. Three finger creamy orange head with staying power. 4.25

S- Fresh hops and ethanol enter the nose first. Orange and grassiness make up the hop profile, which is highlighted over a toasty malt backbone. Not a super strong-smelling winter beer. 3.25

T- Delightful. Some understated spices bring the sweet toffee and strong dark malts to life while tropical fruits lighten the saccharine taste. The fresh-cut grass and grain alcohol from the aroma is almost completely covered by robust flavors. 4.5

M- Very syrupy from start to finish. Thick in the mouth with pretty light carbonation and some hop bite. A veneer is left on the inside of the mouth, especially on the roof, creating thirst for another drink or preferably an intermittent slurp of water. 3

O- Yummy winter ale. The smell is not great, but do we sit around sniffing our beers? No, we drink them (unless of course we are writing a review), and this one tastes like a campfire on a cold night. 4.25 (1,118 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 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 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 vkv822
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (432 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 hreb
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
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." (484 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 HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of demuzik
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (439 characters)

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A; transparent, amber with orange hints
S: nice citrus rind, fresh, not over-powering; can't detect any maltiness
T: very well balanced, rich full fresh maltiness; hint of bitterness in the finish; no big flavours but a very pleasant richness. Not overly complex or developing.
M: full-bodied
O: a solid cohesive likeable flavour that makes me want another sip ... but wishes it developed into something more. (409 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 doughanson78
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (995 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 Elimination
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (309 characters)

Photo of coastiefish
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.57/5  rDev -11%
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. (462 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)

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
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. (724 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 MsRif
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (582 characters)

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