Odell Isolation Ale - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

681 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 60
Gots: 85 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 681 | Reviews: 245
Reviews by mastodonj:
Photo of mastodonj
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Overall, this is a disappointing brew. There aren't too many winter warmers that bore me but this might be the first one.

The color is a fairly dark amber with ok lacing and a beige head.

Smell is difficult to to detect; maybe a little bit of spice, some maltiness and even citrus (?).

Nice alcohol on the sides of the tongue and good hoppy
bitterness.
No outstanding spices come to the forefront.

I bought a six-pack of it today so here's hoping that the next
bottle is better.

Updating this review after 3 bottles (over 4 days), it still does not
seem to even rate as a "winter warmer". It's a decent pale ale and very drinkable but not special enough for a seasonal. (I wonder if the recipe has changed in the many years since it was reviewed by the Alstrom Bros)

More User Reviews:
Photo of falloutsnow
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Beertopia, Omaha, NE
Date: Best by 2014-01-25
Glass: Founders snifter

In Odell's Isolation ale, the flavors are a bit balanced, the hops still placing somewhat above the malt, but the overall impression one comes away with is of little defining character aside from the spicy and woodsy hops over an amber ale recipe. Not bad in any way, just unremarkable for my palate; I don't think I'd return to this one again.

Poured into the glass moderately, this generates a 1.5cm tall head with average retention of about one minute. The head falls to a thin cap of lace atop the body of the beer, fading to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is excellent, with complex patterns and many dots and lines clinging to the walls of the glass. Body is a dark amber brown color, with light bringing out a dirty orange-brown hue. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, few in number and moderate in activity.

Aroma is very mild, perhaps a bit too much so, of balanced woodsy hops with lightly sweet pale to caramel malts.

The flavor palette for this beer is of woodsy and spicy hops, moderate bitterness, and mild toasted and caramel-like malt characters. Front of palate tastes mild toasted bread and light caramel malt sweetness, with woodsy, spicy hops in the background. Mid-palate re-arranges the order of the woodsy, spicy and herbal-like hops, pushing them to the forefront, while the toasted bread and light caramel sweetness is in the background. Back of palate finds hops retaining the forefront, with medium-low bitterness, the malt flavors mostly lost between the two. Aftertaste is of spicy and woodsy hops and moderate bitterness, a hint of caramel sweetness and bread in the background.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, leading to a foamy (2/3) and smooth (1/3) mouthfeel that is fine for the beer itself, the body a bit thin and the carbonation just about right for the style itself. Closes dry, with substantial stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

Photo of Beaver13
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Isolation poured a copper-orange with a thick and creamy white head that had pretty good retention. The aroma is kind of bready and toasted malt. It has a toasted malt initial taste with a very mild hoppy, piney finish. Overall, a very nice winter warmer that goes down very smoothly.

Photo of Jason
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a bottling date in the bottom left hand corner of the label. Label has a blurb about the beer and showing that this beer was brewed for the 2000-2001 season.

Appearance: Mild chill haze, slightly reddish hued amber. Pours to form a with a thick rocky head that takes forever to dissipate.

Smell: Hints of buttery diacetyl and earthy hops, cookie like malt aroma and suggestions of chocolate and toasted biscuits.

Taste: Medium body with a crisp and smooth mouth feel and an unobtrusive carbonation. Hop bitterness is clean and leaves a semi sharp bitterness all the way through the beer, an oily flavour hits middle to end. A sweet brew, lots of cake-like malt flavour with caramel and toasted grain flavours to boot. Great finish, some residual sweetness a mild herbal hop taste.

Notes: Well balanced and a more than decent “Winter Warmer” style brew, aiming more for a “I’ll have another one” winter seasonal brew rather than a monster of a beer that weighs you down after one. I’d happily drink this one all through a cold blustery night.

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown with thin off-white head.

Smell: Rich caramel malts, very spicy English hops, and a light fruitiness. Fairly dry aroma.

Taste: Just lightly sweet malt body with caramel, dark fruit and a touch of tea. Very spicy, floral and citrusy English hops are used to great effect on the finish. While not particularly bitter, the hop profile suggests it is higher than the listed 29 IBUs.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, smooth medium to full body, very dry finish.

Drinkability: Quite simply, this is one of the best traditional English-style Ales I have had. Drinkable, full flavored and delicious.

Edit: Lowered my taste score from 4.5 to 4, as by mid-November, the hops had faded somewhat. So this so-called Winter beer is best in October.

Photo of NilocRellim
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from the bottle with and amber/red colour. It had a sweet, malty, mellow nose with hints of vanilla, spice, and brown sugar. The ale was surprisingly hoppier than expected. It tasted briefly of malt, and then a citrus hop. There wasn't much of an after taste.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably not.

Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, NoSignsOfPain!

A slightly hazed amber and copper with a relatively large light khaki colored foam. The beer left the glass mess with sheets and spots of lace. Pretty, though a bit thin.

An above average aroma which includes caramel and toffee, biscuit, a touch of chocolate, and some mild spice components. Though I'm not usually a big fan of spiced beers, I thought this one could use even a bit more.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with the sweet malt and bready backbone dominating much of the flavor with a hint of fruit cake spiciness as well. Above average.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An above average winter warmer, but I was hoping for more spice character.

Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Label says 3/7/13B.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A malty and earthy aroma with subtle spicing. Toasted malts with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, and butterscotch. Also somewhat nutty with light hints of apple and dark cherry fruit. Very earthy with some good hints of grassy hops. Light hint of pine and other spice. A pretty solid balanced malty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a solid malt driven taste with some good subtle spice and fruit. Toasted malts with notes of bready biscuit, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, grains, and yeast. Fairly nutty. Subtle undertones of apple and dark fruits including raisin and dark cherry. Solid earthy backing of hops with some grassy and herbal hops. A nice balanced tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a moderate dryness.

Overall: A very solid winter warmer. Doesn't have the typical cinnamon and nutmeg type spices, but it has some nice subtle undertones.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had originally intended to drink this on the longest day, but circumstances conspired against me. Still, what could be better than a winter ale at the beginning of summer?

A 12 oz bottle; there is a date of Sept 2010 on the label although I presume this is the botting date rather than the use by date? I like the stylised image on the front.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A hazy coppery-brown with good carbonation. Produces a thick, creamy head of off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before collapsing to a surface layer. Aroma of rich, sweet malt with hints of grain, caramel, dried fruit and a whiff of alcohol.

Tastes of sweet biscuity malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, and dried fruit. A hint of alcohol in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, but a bit thinner than I expected. Sweet malty aftertaste.

Pretty good, although from experience I was expecting a 'winter warmer' to be slightly spiced. A nice balance of flavours with pleasant sweetness. Could perhaps have done with some subtle roasty notes to add character. The body seemed a little thin, but a very drinkable beer nonetheless. Worth sampling....

Photo of far333
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper caramel colored with a low off-white head that settles down quickly. Low aroma of toasted malt and toffee.

Flavor of roasted malt, marshmallow, root beer, caramel and toffee. Notes of brown sugar, fig and plum. Mild bitterness offsets the malty flavors.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Tasty beer, pretty drinkable. Thanks for BuckeyeNation for sending this over.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown pour, almost no head on it, maybe in the 1/4" range and it was on the downlow. Aroma seemed like it would have come from a stronger beer. Aside from the alcohol, it was earthy, toffee, imperial tea.

Taste, definitely has the warming side of this style down. More burnt toffee, still the earthy filling quality. Moderate hop crispness when fresh, yet the beer doesn't really pickup in sweetness when you age it if you wanted to do that with this beer, I've pretty much drank 3 saved 3 when I bought this beer on two different six pack occasions. Bitterness is about the same as well.

Tastes like an old ale, winter warmers are usually more sessionable for me, and this just seemed like a bigger beer than a 6% winter warmer should be. I guess that's why I age half of 'em, seeing if they grow into their big boy pants.

Photo of pwoods
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks mmtmatrix for this brew.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a Double Bastard tumbler(why not?). No dating.

A: Pours a ruby amber with good visibility. Decent pearl white head that's a bit fizzy. Carbonation seems high. Not much lacing.

S: Plenty of malts to go around. Smells of cinnamon bread. Other holiday spices but I can't really pick them out.

T/M: Spice galore. More muddled spices but I can pick out cinnamon with a super sweet brown sugar. A bit of cola on the side. Body is a bit light for my liking in a winter warmer.

D: Not a terrible brew, doesn't taste bad. Nothing spectacular.

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ummm...caramel and hops? Excuse me ma'am but am I on the flight to Aspen?

Yes sir I am! Big time Winter Warmer! A nice one. I usually don't go for WW's but this one is decent. I just cain't pair these with food. This beer is complex. Yet elegant. Simple. And it doesn't rely on such a high BAC to warm you up.

Big time malt with a pumpkin pour...and hops. Nice! Makes me wanna go stand in the snow and smoke a cigar! I likey this brew.

It's not so cloy as some of this style are but it's there but balanced so well by the hops. Nice caramel malt. Maybe it's too fresh but the hops kinda take precedent. This beer needs some time. I might save a bottle for a month in the bottom of the fridge and review as I can hear the malts screaming but the hops balance a bit too well. Which I really like! I can tell this beer was made with love...

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a twelve ounce bottle into a snifter.

A- Caramel colored liquid with a brightness to it. Robust carbonation. Fluffy off-white head that remains well before forming a wall of sticky lace. 4.5

S- Floral and sweet like a lot of Sierra Nevada beers. There's a rich malt base and a biscuity aroma. Pleasant and straight-forward. 4

T- Are we sure this isn't Sierra Nevada's beer? Haha. Very similar taste to a lot of their beers. Like the nose, sweet and floral with a light hopping. Notes of caramel hit about mid-palate and the the finish is kind of biscuity, bready and crackery. 4

M- Great creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation and a low-key but noticeable bitter finish. 4.25

Tasty treat. Nice mouthfeel makes it good for this time of year.

Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, from a grocery store in mid-town Denver during GABF 2013.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy ecru head, which leaves some pleasant calcified layered lace around the glass as things slowly ebb away.

It smells of nutty, biscuity caramel malt, with just a subtle amount of roast, mild apple and darker fruit esters, brown sugar, ethereal seasonal spices - nutmeg and clove, mostly - leafy, earthy hops, and a touch of metallic warming alcohol. The taste is very much in line - more biscuity caramel malt, a slight toasted breadiness, wet ash, a browned drupe fruitiness, dark sugar, allspice, and decently peppy leafy, herbal hops.

The carbonation is quite low-fi, and generally keeps to itself, the body a sturdy medium weight, and rather smooth, with a shy touch of creaminess. It finishes a little on the sweet side, the bready caramel malt and sublimated fruity hoppiness holding off a minor boozy incursion.

A straight ahead enjoyable winter warmer - big, toasty, sweet, and just a little bit spicy and hoppy, with a gentle alcohol edge that would allow for a least a couple of these, after hiking through the snowbound woods, or an icy suburban street, whatever gets you to this.

Photo of GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful shade of copper-orange with a good inch of white head. It sticks around very well and leaves nice lacing.

Aroma sweet and tart like pears and apples. Hops are there too but it's mostly malts in the smell. Some yeasty aroma too but it's pleasant.

Flavor is sweet and bitter with a bit of tartness. It's unusual in that there doesn't seem to be any defining characteristic but it's well-balanced. There's a bit of spice to it but nothing that jumps out and screams it's name.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium bodied, good smoothness, and not overly carbonated.

Drinkability is good except that it's not exceptional in any way. Just good all around. I remember enjoying this one very much the last two years but this time it's not doing it for me. It does get better as it warms but I haven't warmed to it quite yet.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This one is a stunning shade of clear brilliant ruby like Dorothy's shoes. A one finger khaki head rises above the shimmering hues, and quickly fades to a collar, but leaves some spotty lace behind. A quick swirl brings back a full finger of creamy head.

S - Cherry hard candy, brown sugar, caramel, and Chic-O-Stix candy....remember those? Plump cherries are very prevalent, along with some gooey cherry and strawberry hard candies. Not a lot of "beer smells," but it's really nice nonetheless.

T - Earthy mud and 'shrooms with some underlying fruitiness. Jammy, gritty, lightly fruity, and buttery. I'm reminded of marmalade and toast. Its a little soapy and funky, but funky can be good!

M - Incredibly soft and supple. Velvety and creamy. Almost no carbonation here other than what creates the foamy full body in my mouth. The finish is neutral and earthy with a trace of muddy outdoorsy hops.

D - This is one odd brew. I'm not really sure what to think. I don't really think that I'd ever really buy a six-pack, but it's worth trying since it's so unique and earthy. I really don't like mineral flavors in my beer, and this has it in spades.

Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky ruby-amber, with a large head of tan bubbles. Extensive and detailed spider-web lace. Nice.

Nose is a malty caramel-toffee in character. Pleasing enough.

Taste is similar -- heavily malted, with tones of toffee and caramel, and a light hoppy finish. This one drinks like a heavier amber ale, and holds up well as a heavy-bodied night-time session brew for the colder months.

Photo of Demosthenes503
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received via a beer trade. From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light amber color. Somewhat hazy. OK head retention (frothy at first, but did not last more than a minute of two)

S: Aroma includes caramelly sweetness, roasty malts and a very slight hint of alcohol

M: Quite fizzy mouthfeel. Medium-bodied thickness. Fizzyness lends itself to a frothy quality on the tongue

T: Sweet maltiness. Although some spices are present (cloves?) and there is a hint of smokiness, the malts really dominate the flavor and fill up your mouth toward the end. A hint of bitterness remains after swallowing a sip.

Overall this is quite an enjoyable beer. I feel like I could drink several in a row happily. Seems like it would pair well with a meal, but is good enough to stand on its own. Wish this was available locally to get through the colder months.

Photo of MrKennedy
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, thanks to mulder1010 for organising this in a trade! Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

Has a nice copper-amber appearance with a beige head of foam that poured at two fingers and turned into a ring after a little while, lacing on the way down.

Smell is enticing, a lot of bread, plenty of spice as well, a mix of allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Nice lot of malt coming through as well.

Taste has a mixture of wholemeal bread, rye bread, and the aforementioned spices. Consistent spicing all the way through and the bread and malt are there, playing a nice bit part.

Mouthfeel has no booziness, but there is a little thin wateryness there that detracts. Otherwise, the finish is good with the spices making there presence felt in a mild-mannered way.

Very good beer, nice to sip on slowly, but still quite drinkable. While i can no longer say i haven't had a bad beer from Odell (having recently had the infected Bourbon Barrel Stout, which, to their credit, they are dealing with amazingly well), this beer continues a very good run from this brewery.

Photo of plfahey
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Red-amber in color. Very clear. Moderate off-white head with moderately retention and some lacing

Aroma-Grain, toasted malts, and hints of caramel, roast, and nuttiness lay the foundation of the aroma. Moderate earthy/spicy/herbal hop aromas blend well and there's a faint whiff of alcohol in the finish

Flavor-Sweet toasted malt with light biscuity and caramel undertones is overtaken by powerful earthy/herbal hop flavors. The beer finishes with some residual sweetness, but the hop flavors have the upper hand throughout the flavor. Moderate to moderately high hop bitterness dries out the sweetness in the finish

Mouthfeel-Smooth, medium body is augmented and enhanced by moderate carbonation. Hint of alcohol warming on the palate.

Wow. While much hoppier than most examples of the style, this is extremely drinkable, yet still has enough alcohol to act as a winter warmer. I would be happy to knock back several of these.

Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with small head that dissipates to a fingernail but the lacing is quite good

S: There isn't a lot of aroma; some biscuit/malt smells; there is a subtle sweetness and hops that are nice but all in all there just isn't a lot of aroma going on

T: A lot more flavorings in the taste; the rich and dark roasted malts are the first characteristic; there is also a pleasant sweetness that pervades balanced by a subtle spicy quality

F: Very nice mouth feel; even with balanced carbonation

D: Very nice winter ale; I could drink a couple of these and watch the snow fall down; great beer

Photo of mikey711
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber to light brown in color that only had a quarter inch of head that did not retain well.

S: Nice caramel malt sweetness with subtle notes of cloves and cinnamon.

T: Starts out with some very nice caramel notes that transition into some subtle chocolate sweetness. A bit of pepper is present along with some cloves, coriander and some bubblegummy esters

M: A bit rough, but there is no heat to it and the body is pretty good

D: Drinks pretty easy and could be possible to have another or three

Photo of russpowell
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

Pours efferevescent copper/caramel with a 2.5 fingers offwhite head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Intense almost burnt caramel & malt & some alcohol

T: Smokey caramel & a little aclohol up front, then a hint of cherry& oak. Rich breadyness, vanilla & brown sugar follow as it warms. Finishes with dryness, a slight smokeyness & a praline sweetness

MF: sticky Rich body with excellent carbonation & balance

Drinks good, but 2 would be about my limit. Good winter warmer, would go good with ham or fruitcake

Photo of maddog13lb
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a good beer. I've been pleasently surprised by each beer from Odell's brewery. This one pairs well with a burger and wings.

Appearance - Copper, half finger head

Smell - Caramel, pine, hops

Taste - Tastes like it smells (caramel) with a slightly bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation

Drinkability - Quite delicious... I often have two. Would recommend to others.

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Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.