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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

118 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 328
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 17.71%
Wants: 44
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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: 118 | Hads: 328
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +3%
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 +17.2%
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 +1%
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 +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Fred Meyer@Redmond, 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 +14.7%
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 +10.2%
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 -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
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 +14.7%
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 -12.7%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +3%
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 +0.7%
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 -16.5%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +11%
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 +8%
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 +0.7%
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 +6.7%
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 -13.7%
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.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split while drunk-decorating the tree

appearance: served in a stone shaker pint, bright clear orange-amber body, filmy beige head.

smell: "winter ale" is a tricky vague category as every once in a while, someone sneaks in a bright hoppy concoction. grapefruit, tons of pine, bright orange citrus

taste: an amber perhaps, but very hop forward - clean, moderately bitter, and full of flavor - tangerine, grapefruit zest, pine. A really nice brew - and its no wonder, with the combination of cascades, centennials and simcoes

mouthfeel: clean oily body, moderate bitterness

overall: had no idea this was going to be a hopbomb, nice surprise

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Photo of snaotheus
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split into two pint glasses

Pours cloudy light brown with a medium head. Smell is surprisingly hoppy, some spice.

Taste is nice and hoppy, surprisingly so. Nice thick malty beer, too. This is actually pretty darn good. Now I'm glad I accidentally doubled up on the bottle.

Mouthfeel is chewy but not heavy. Overall, I'm very pleased with this beer.

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Photo of harrymel
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

A: Amber with under a finger of off-white foam which is centralized with a cap. Excellent clarity. Spotty lace.
S: Semi-sweet caramel and toffee malts with an English tone and some citric and herbal hops. Nice nose
T: Sweet, malty, hoppy and woody. The oxidation on the beer is a bit off putting, but oddly seems to match the beer. A little too bitter.
m: Medium bodied with moderate mouthfeel. Semi slick finish.
O: Not bad for a winter beer. Appreciate the reservation to use a bunch of herbs or spices. Nice beer.

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Photo of boralyl
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, rich amber color which sits under an inch of soapy off-white head. The head has nice retention leaving behind plenty of lacing.

S - The aroma has a nice balance between malts and hops (with the hops edging out the malts slightly). The boutique of hop flavors match the description perfectly. There is some floral, spicy, and citrusy components. There is also a sweet caramel malt presence throughout.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a creamy feel.

T - A mix of spicy and citrus hops meet your taste buds upon the first sip. It's got a sweet malt backbone throughout with some possible chocolate malt showing up near the finish along with some flowery bitterness.

This is an excellent winter ale, that I don't know fits into any one category. Imperial red, strong ale, whatever you call it, it's delicious. I love the art work too, courtesy of Martin Ontiveros.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.