Abominable Winter Ale - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

109 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 300
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 42
Gots: 29 | 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
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 300
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
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 IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
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%. (889 characters)

Photo of Intrinsic
4.04/5  rDev +1%
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?! (400 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
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 biboergosum
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Cheers to the monstrous, Dr. Suess-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 resins and pithy citrus rinds 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. 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 medium weight, 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 a decent 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? (1,489 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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! (391 characters)

Photo of suncrust
4.04/5  rDev +1%
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. (1,239 characters)

Photo of Mahlik
4.28/5  rDev +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. (897 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
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 DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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 (656 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
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. (530 characters)

Photo of boralyl
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (900 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
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 scootpolute
2.9/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.
A - Deep, dark-amber-red color, very light haze with a thin bubbly lace.
S - Spicy herbal and lightly pungent hop aroma, fruity and oily.
T - Medium crispness, hoppy palate with a big handful of malt. Big punch of oily hop pungent flavor, mild fruitiness and a malt sweetness that sneaks in towards the finish.
M - A bit of warmth in the end from the alcohol.

O - An OK 'beer,' but not the 'winter-type' beer I had in mind. I was hoping for a darker 'ale' with more interesting seasonal 'spice!' BAH-HUMBUG!! (556 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.16/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Collins Pub

A pours a copper color with a white head.

S some nice grapefruit notes.

T more bitter grapefruit and a bit of malt.

M mouthfeel was nothing special. I didn't notice anything particularly notable either way

Overall this isn't a bad beer. I think it might be mislabled was a red/amber as the bitterness and hop presence was more like an opaque. All and all I would drink this again. (413 characters)

Photo of corylew
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper red with white foam that slowly disappears into a nice little ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell is mainly of hops. Nice piney citrus hops with a kick of roasted malt backbone.

Taste mainly is of the hop character with a small amount of malt and alcohol. This stuff packs a punch of flavor.

Mouthfeel leaves a lasting hoppy twinge. It's on the fence between a sipping and a gulping beer, which is great because sometimes it's nice to do both. Slow down, take in all the flavor, or drink a lot and not feel like there's a rock in my stomach.

Overall, I'm a big fan of this beer. I ordered it a few times, and will continue to order it. It's solid: from the big grain bill to the big hop schedule. (720 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
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 doughanson78
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
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 vader
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this for a cabin outing in the middle of winter, snow up to the windows called for a winter beer and HUB obliged. poured out a light amber color with a thick white head that had great retention throughout. The smell was amazing, very malty, with some pine from the hops and a little bit of spiciness lingering at the end. The first sip gave way to a malty caramel beginning that soon gave way to a bit of hop bitterness. I was expecting more spice from a winter ale but was pleasantly surprised by its citrus flavors. I was out of town when I bought this and I had to get it even though it was at Whole "pay-check" foods. But I would gladly get it again if the chance arose. (681 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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! (399 characters)

Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz silkscreened bomber given to me for Xmas by my brother, and pretty much forgotten about until now. Hope I haven't waited too long, but then again the weather hasn't changed much since it became spring, so lets just call it a really long winter and this beer is still in season. No freshness date on the bottle, but it does state it is made with "Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops and six organic malts." I like it when brewers tell you more or less what they use, instead of being all top secret about it.

Pours a dark color not unlike the color of an unpeeled potato, and about as clear. Things get a bit more rubyish when held up to light. Big off-white head that takes its time dropping, leaving lots of lace.

Spicy and floral in the nose. Lots of hops were used in this beer, I'm thinking. The aroma kinda reminds me of rye malt, but I'm not a supersniffer by any means, so take that with a grain of salt. In any event, lots of hops and malts were used here, and it smells like it was all to the good.

Big flavor to this! Spicy hops riding a big malt carpet kick in at first. Then there's some tropicla fruit, a little bit of pine, some tea and even some pipe tobacco in the background. Moderate dry note at the swallow. Tasty and complex, with a noticeable booze bite that seems stronger than it's advertised abv.

Medium bodied, with a fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Finally, a HUB beer I can get behind. I've heard others rave about their beers but I just didn't get it. This one I get, big time, but I'm glad I've onl got one for now, as it drinks like a fairly big beer. Tommorow will be another story, however, so I guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for this one in the future. The bro did good. (1,714 characters)

Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.