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Odell Isolation Ale - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

246 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 246
Hads: 725
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 19.85%
Wants: 65
Gots: 100 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Odell Isolation Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 246 | Hads: 725
Photo of NilocRellim
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of KajII
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Lager Glass]

The pour was a clear burnt copper with an average (1-2 finger) off white fluffy head that dissipated at a normal pace, down to a thin film with a small collar and had very good sticky lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted biscuit malt, light herbal hops and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel, dark fruit (raisons and plums) and a lightly mild spiciness.

The taste was lightly sweet and malty with a hint of caramel from the onset, becoming slightly bitter sweet and a tad acidic with a touch of dark fruit and a light spicy alcohol tinge at the end. The flavor lasted an average time proceeding the swallow with a slightly bitter spicy taste left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just under medium in body with a thin dry texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall this brew was a nice change from a lot of winter beers, possessing good malty backbone, a nice sweet fruitiness and just a smidgen of spice, giving it a really good drinkability...


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Photo of JamesMN
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber hue with a thin frothy caramel head.

Aroma: Caramel malt at the forefront. Some spicy/earthy hops. There is a nice malt complexity that I hope comes out in the flavor.

Taste: Nutty and caramel malt profiles. A moderate hop bite at the end with some bitterness probably around 25-30 IBUs. The nutty/toffee flavor really shines in this one and gives it that winter seasonal feel. Odell Brewing know their hops and give Isolation Ale a nice balance with their hop additions without stealing the show. Earthy hop flavors impart a bitterness that keeps the malt character from being too sweet. Pretty robust for only 6% ABV.

Mouthfeel: A tad over medium in body but feels more viscous than that. Very smooth with average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: One of my favorite Winter Warmer seasonal offerings. Odell Brewing proves time and time again that they know how to make a great beer. Would I drink it again? Yep, worth at least one sixer every December.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

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

A - Pours a nice amber colour, thumb of head with decent retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Scent is quite mild, but buttery caramel and grassy hops come through.

T - Although mild on the nose, the flavour is where this brew shines dominated with milk caramel and toffee. A buttered bread flavour lingers alongside a touch of grassy hops and musty cardboard.

M - Medium, smooth and wet.

O - I was expecting something with a bit of spice and was pleased to find a simple, yet perfectly balanced ale offering up a solid caramel malt profile with a lightly hopped finish. Easily sessionable and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of denver10
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery-amber with a nice foamy khaki head. Good lacing and lots of effervescence. Definitely malt forward; sugared candy, nutty, bread, and a little spice. Taste is better than I expected; bready, nutty, a little candied sugar, and some cinnamon in the finish along with just a touch of some hops. Leaves a dry finish. A nice medium body, some activity. Overall, Odell with another really good seasonal (should i have expected anything else from them?). With the shortening of the days and the weather beginning to cool, this beer hits the spot. Its become one of my favorite winter nightcaps.

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Photo of Megahertz
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Hoffman House chalice. Bottle dated 9/11/12. A winter seasonal at the end of September? Fine with me.

A - Pours deep red, crystal clear, with a large, tight tan head. Carbonation appears moderate. Much lacing.

S - Toffee, honey and caramel malts. No hop aroma to speak of.

T - Malt bomb. Reminds me of a Scottish ale in many respects. Certain cinnamon character in the mid-late. Finish is actually on the dry side, with a mild, slightly roasty bitterness cleansing the sweetness. Alcohol only becomes noticeable on close inspection.

M - Heavy body with mild carbonation.

O - A malty, drinkable, warming ale of moderately high strength. Up to Odell's very high quality standards. I would expect no less from them.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Mar 2011. Served in the 0.4 L Eichbaum snifter.

Medium sized orange tinged head. Well carbonated. Clear reddish mahogany in color. Aroma is earthy, malty sweet, almost dusty (in a good way), some fruitiness. Starts fairly nutty with a bit of astringency. Some caramel and toastiness. Medium body, lightly warming ethanol. Sweet and malty finish. Lingering earthy sweetness and a light bitterness in the aftertaste.

Decent and easy drinking.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's got to be tough for Odell. Living in the shadow of the much bigger and considerably more successful New Belgium Brewing (figuratively and literally, they're less than a mile from each other). Odell consistently turns out good to great beers yet they haven't had the same financial success as their larger compatriot. When I was living in Colorado, I favored Odell. They were the underdog. I believed they had a better variety. The quality of what they made was as good, if not slightly better than, New Belgium. I moved from Colorado four years ago, but I'm still pulling for the little guys.

I am fortunate to go back to Colorado on a regular basis. Whenever I get the chance, I haul back as much local and regional beer as I can fit in my suitcase or in the car. On one of my more recent trips, I brought back a six of Isolation. Maybe it's me, maybe coincidence, but I'm finding it surprisingly like Fat Tire circa 2005. Amber, slight cloudiness ( a bit of a departure here), filmy head, it has a strong earthy aroma. Lots of malt and a nice medium body. I can certainly see where this would appeal to a budding beer enthusiast. Rich mouthfeel, medium to low hopping, and neither over or under carbonated.

I have since gone to the Odell website and found that Isolation is a seasonal. Any resemblance to beers mentioned previously are heretofore coincidence. That said, good beer is good beer, and Isolation, independent of the similarities I have discussed above, is a very decent drink. I wish the folks at Odell much success and hope to see them in my market soon.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odell is a great brewery, and I keep trying the Isolation Ale thinking I should like it and never warm up to it completely.

Thin white head with a lace over a copper colored ale that changes from gold to amber in the bar light. Strong malt, caramel and toffee in the nose--subtle spice from the hop and a hotness from the alcohol. Newcastle like malt taste, but much hoppier and it has a mineral twang over sweet caramel and toffee. Fruity and floral hop punches through the apparent alcohol (6% accroding to BA). Good beer, well brewed--I'm just not a fan of it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks go out to Lunch for providing this as an extra in our trade.

A: Pours a slightly hazy caramel color with hints of ruby. An inch of off-white head lasts for a while before settling. Thin, finely constructed lacing coats the glass.

S: Bread pudding with a fruit juice scent. Cherry and raspberry to be specific. Caramel, brown sugar. Good.

T: Caramel and toffee blend with cake and cookie-like malt tastes. A touch woody. Some rum-raisin and molasses. Distinct raspberry in the background. Fruitcake. Green, oily hop tastes start to go herbal and spicy after a while. Long, lingering finish of caramel, cake, and rum raisin.

M: Medium bodied. Full, creamy, and slightly silky. Light carbonation. Very slightly warming.

O: This is a great beer, plain and simple. The English malts really shine, and create a nice dessert-like impression. Proof that you don't need to dump a ton of spices into a beer to make a solid winter seasonal. Very drinkable to boot. Brewers take note, this is how you do a winter seasonal.

Notes: I'm probably the most critical person on the planet when it comes to Winter Warmers. This is one of the few that I can fully endorse. If only it were distributed here . . .

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – amber color, somewhat murky, with about half a finger’s worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – definitely a more malty or syrupy type of smell. I don’t notice a whole lot of hop in the aroma itself.

Taste – quite strong on the bitter side straight from the off. However, it’s more of a presence than a strength. The hops/bitterness don’t overwhelm. There is a slight calm that comes in the middle, probably due to the malts.

Mouthfeel – very well balanced, not leaning to heavily on the watery or creamier sides.

Overall – not terribly intriguing to think about, but very good-tasting.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a SA pint glass. Best by date is 2/24/12.

A - Pours a translucent coppery with a finger width light tan head. Appears to be well carbonated.

S - I detect caramel malt and some biscuity bread aromas. Some hops, but nothing too strong.

T - Bready malt up front, transitioning to more caramel notes and a bit of crisp, earthy hops on the back end.

M - Definitely medium body bodied with kind of a creamy feel. Moderately carbonation.

O - Very nice beer. A perfect fit for a cold January weekend afternoon.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 12 oz bottle to Isolation Ale glass. Date stamped on bottle: 3/29/11

A - Mildly hazy with a burgundy color. Solid 2 finger head which seemed to linger for a long while and thick bubbly lacing.

S - A blend of toasty chocolate biscuity malts. A hint of earthy tone hops.

T/M - It is a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel with medium body. It's clean yet the hops leave a noticeable bitterness from start to finish. The aroma transitions to the flavor in the middle when the toasted biscuit and chocolate malts enter the palette. Slight sweetness on the tail end with a hint of the earthy hops.

D - You can't have just one.

Overall this is a well balanced brew that doesn't annihilate your senses with too much alcohol or hops or malts. I look forward to this release every year and 2010's offering was very good. A great offering and represents the Winter Warmer style well. I would easily recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-19-2011 04:23:45

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Photo of jedtheavenger
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle into a tulip glass.

A--pours a hazy ruby-tan color. Silky 3/4 inch head looks gorgeous!

S--grass, butterscotch, and molasses. A little bit of alcohol is evident as well.

T--rich malt gives way to a flavor that can best be described as similar to pear cider, then finishes with subtle citrus from the hops. It almost reminds me of a variation on a Belgian dubbel.

M--smooth and creamy. The alcohol cuts through and tingles a little on the tongue, which seems to be a pretty ideal characteristic for a winter warmer.

Overall: due to the availability in a 6-pack and the reasonable price, this is definitely NOT a one-and-done beer. It's an excellent seasonal beer that isn't trying to be pretentious.

Edit (1/19/12): This one definitely grew on me as I got more accustomed to the style of winter warmers. It's balanced in such a way that it seems like a way bigger beer than it actually is. Although it's only 6% ABV, Isolation has an excellent warming quality to it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has dark bronze colored body with average head and lace. A little bit cloudy towards the top of the body.

Smell: It aroma is a bit spicy.

Taste: The flavor is toffee like with tones of caramel and coffee. It has some fruity bitterness form the hops. Herbal flavors come through as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with some carbonation bite.

Overall: It is a good beer. I like it better on tap of course but even in the bottle it is pretty good.

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Photo of pigc
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours light brown with thin one finger head that fades quickly.

S - Sweet malt, caramel, toffee.

T - Toffee, caramel, slight citrus hops.

M - Somewhat thin with average carbonation.

O - Another solid brew from Odell. Just not my favorite. Nice beer to curl up with by a fire and enjoy a few without putting your lights out.

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Photo of mothman
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a finger of beige head. Fades to a ring. Color is a amber copper.

Aroma: Mainly all malts. Very English forward. Bready malts. Caramel. Some biscuit. A little toffee and some spice.

Taste: Much like the nose, except there is a little grassy hop profile. There is some orange peel mixed in with the sugar. Some molasses and brown sugar flavor. All the same malt flavors mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little roasty and dry.

Overall, a decent winter warmer. Nothing crazy spectacular, but I have gotten through a few of these this winter.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, sampled 1/2.

12oz bottle poured into a Ram Mug Club Mug.

A: Pours golden and clear, much lighter than I expect for a Winter Warmer. Fluffy off white head. Carbonation visible, decent lace.

S: Again, not what I expected. Light fruity esters...banana? Is this Belgian? Caramel, bready...some hop crispness but no bitterness really. Nutty, light light spices.

T: Again, light yeast, caramel, light spices & dryness. Bready & nutty.

MF: Light-medium feel, decent carbonation.

O: Not what I want in a Winter Warmer, this thing has light Belgian notes and even reminds me of a maibock or helles bock. Lager-ish in a way. Just not dark, spicy, malty or hoppy enough for me.

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Photo of intensify
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting and review.
smells a bit hoppy, some biscuit and getting some tang somwhere in there. Maybe orange. Pours an amber color with no head, and very little lacing. Taste is a tad bit hoppy, biscuity, and tangy. Finishes with an odd tang. Not a bad brew.

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Photo of TCMike
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Put put a 1.5 finger, off-white head. The color is a mdium copper color.
The aroma is nice. Bready, malts, orange.
The taste was similar, but with a little pine hop taste. A light bitter hop finish. Medium mouth-feel.
Nice beer, easy drinking. I'd get it again.

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Photo of siege06nd
2.51/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a clear, light copper hue. Two fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Very nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S. Very nice. Bready malt, some light caramel, mild bittering hops. Not getting a whole lot here.

T. Heavy malts with roasted biscuit, caramel, and a bitter hop finish. Not a lot of depth on this. Has a real odd, tangy, and bitter finish. Meh.

M. Carbonation is fine but flavors are all over the place. Very thin and dry.

O. Seriously disappointing. None of the depth or spice I enjoy in my winter warmers. What you have here is a beer that doesnt know what it wants to be: hop or malt forward. It is quite an exercise in mediocrity. Hello, drain.

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Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.