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Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

112 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 307
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 43
Gots: 34 | 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: 112 | Hads: 307
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 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 mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper/brown color with a small tan head, about one finger in height. Not much retention that reduces to a very thin cap on top. Streaky lacing down the glass.

S: Nice aroma, a combination of light grapefruit and orange with some floral notes. Lots of sweet caramel and bready malt on the backend.

T: Nice amber ale, with a nice combination of light tropical fruits, grass, and floral hops. More caramel and light toffee.

M: Medium to full bodied for an amber/red. Moderate carbonation.

O: A solid beer, like that it comes out in the winter, sorta like Celebration, but just a shade below.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I did not realize this was actually an IPA when I bought it I'm not disappointed as its a very tasty IPA! Shares a few similarities with Pliny the Elder in fact. I wish it was just slightly more carbonated, but overall it's hoppy, citrusy and goes down incredibly easy. Will definitely buy again

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Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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Photo of Spikester
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium copper amber with a healthy two finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hops, caramel malt and light stone fruit juice. Flavor a nice blend of caramel malt and aromatic citrus and pine hops, finishing with pine hops, malt and a hint of cinnamon. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very nicely made hops forward amber ale approaching an IPA, with good flavorful malt support and a light touch of seasonal spice. Well done.

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

taster poured from a bottle @ Elegance - thanks Carl! reviewed from notes.

pours a nice light brown, impressive head. really big citrus nose on this one - gotta love those centennials!

taste follows smell with a big citrus punch, but the malt and alcohol balance is very good and make for a clean finish.

definitely enjoyed this beer. forget winter, this was just fine in the first week of june!

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Photo of South2NW
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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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 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 BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
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)

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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 Magpie14
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.