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Odell Isolation Ale - Odell Brewing Company

Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

496 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 496
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 496 | Reviews: 218 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alli4051


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark clear amber with a beige head. Head is about a finger high and leaves some faint lacing. Nose is full of biscuity malt with a faint whiff of hops. Taste is earthy malts up front with some diacetyl in the finish and a nice, faint hop crispness throughout. Medium bodied with a bit of a sticky finish. Not my favorite winter warmer out there but definitely a solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 02:57:33 | More by alli4051
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer pours a nice toffee-caramel scorched amber (how's that for color description?) and the cream colored head takes time to recede. Nice lines of foamy soapy lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is sweet and malty up front. A nice piny body comes through, with added spices. Faint toffee and caramel on the back end.

The taste is quite delicious as it follows the aroma. A warm, sweet beginning makes me think of spiced cider, warm apple pie, and any type of dessert featuring toffee. Before too long, a nice granny smith apple tang comes in to play nicely, as does a very subdued and perfect piny note.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly sticky.

2012's version is certainly a winner. Good all-around winter warmer with great balance and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 23:52:15 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of CamuMahubah


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 05:28:53 | More by CamuMahubah
Photo of Phelps


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter. Dated 1-24-12, which means this was bottled in September.

New copper, clouded slightly with visible flecks of yeast - this thing is like a snowglobe. A half-finger, grayish head of wispy bubbles evaporates to a moderately sized ring within a few seconds. Some thin, rounded trails of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

Mmm. A nose that could provide warmth on a cold night, cidery and rich. Raisins, maple, brown sugar, applesauce, caramel, alcohol.

The flavor doesn’t quit follow through from the aroma, but I couldn’t really expect it to. Begins with marmalade-covered toast, then apple, raisins and caramel hitting mid-palate. A thin layer of alcohol sits atop it all. It’s a brew that relies on the complexity of its malt and doesn’t seem to contain wintry spices, which is fine — it doesn’t need them.

Body is an airy medium that quickly becomes medium-light, expanding as it moves. Carbonation is light and tingly, breaking the brew into silky fizz. Alcohol fumes come off the liquid and flow through the nose.

Isolation is a malty, warming, rich delight of a winter warmer. Would be great on a snowy night, when the frost keeps you inside, isolated.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 02:45:27 | More by Phelps
Photo of iSip


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Odell Isolation Ale: This ale has a leather-brown color, very clear with some fine carbonation. The head is thin and off-white. The aroma hits you with lots of roasted malt. The flavor is similar, a big burst of malt tails off to some warming alcohol. This is a robust ale with lots of flavor, but still smooth enough to enjoy a few.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 14:59:01 | More by iSip
Photo of mastodonj


3.05/5  rDev -22%
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
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)

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 00:56:25 | More by mastodonj
Photo of MrKennedy


4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 09:28:52 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of Mdog


3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber, lots of particles in suspension, good head.

Smell: Bread, caramel.

Taste: Sweet caramel base, hint of pine in the finish.

Drinkability: Nice malty beer for a change of pace.

The winter warmer tour continues, this was very attractive in the glass and was pretty good on the tongue. Not super complex, but a nice sweet beer with a little pine kick at the end. Didn't notice much in the way of spices.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 13:46:53 | More by Mdog
Photo of lackenhauser


3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coppery color-small head with some decent lacing. Sharp and metallic aroma-moderate amount of maltiness. Malty flavor with a mild spice/bitterness to it. While not unpleasant it does nothing to enhance the flavor of the beer. Grainy sort of taste. Ok mouthfeel, somewhat thin for my liking. Rather ho hum. Lose the bitterness and more of a soft, malty flavor and I think I would enjoy it more.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 22:47:05 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Humulus85


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter for effect.

It produced a thick, 2 finger, cream head. Excellent retention and some of the best lacing I have ever seen. Deep amber/dark honey color, and slightly hazy. This is a fine looking autumn beer.

Smell is deep malt with a surprising amount of floral hop tones.

The taste is much more complex than the smell. Wonderful sweet and bready malt upfront followed up with (again) a surprising amount of fruity and spicy hops. Super balanced, like a reverse IPA.

Drinks very smooth. Medium bodied with just enough carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall this is a fantastic Winter Warmer and an all around tasty brew. Recommended to all. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 01:23:23 | More by Humulus85
Photo of quaybr


4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I looks like late autumn in a pint glass - medium amber color, very clear. One finger of head that is slightly darker than just white.

Biscuity malt nose. Cereal smell begins to creep out as it warms up. Subtle aroma hops throughout.

The aroma is a definite prelude to the taste, malty. The covering malts lend to a quiet and complex spice, hop combo. Although the malts take this one home, the small amount of spices remind you of the beer's style.

This beer is carbonated so well - allows the malts to move across your tongue at the perfect rate, not too fast and not too slow. Well done here (bottles, too).

I like this beer a lot. I appreciate that Odell took the liberty of brewing a winter seasonal without dumping pounds of spices in the boil. I look forward to enjoying many more this fall and winter.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2011 02:05:56 | More by quaybr
Photo of TheFlern


2.08/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Alright, where to begin?....

Appearance: Well it definitely pours like a pale ale or even a little maltier IPA. Head is a slight off white. Lacing is good. Head dissipates to a thin layer but stays.

Smell: Ummm, I guess this is suppose to be a 'spicey' pale ale type winter warmer but to me it smells like malt liquor.

taste: confirms my suspicion from the smell, its tastes like malt liquor.

mouthfeel: fairly high carbonation which I tend to like in ales, which i guess this is one despite the malt liquor tendency??

overall: not impressed. apparently this is suppose to be a spiced type ale but it comes off like Midas Touch from DFH, which if you like would make this beer a sure trade/purchase. For me though it too closely resembles malt liquor.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 06:17:10 | More by TheFlern
Photo of syrupjoe


3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear light amber color with light caramel 1 finger head. No particulates.

Malty, bready, biscuity, slightly roasty nose with almost a cheesy aspect to it.

Very sweet, malty, slightly metallic, biscuity and slightly nutmeggy. Almost a hint of pumpkin in here too.

Moderate carbonation with a sweet and somewhat slick mouthfeel.

Overall a decent beer - nose really threw me off, kind of wondering if I had a bad bottle. Would drink again, but won't seek out.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 03:17:57 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of JohnGalt1


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up today at the COOP ... This is my 3rd or 4th of this one. I am pretty excited as it is not a traditional "winter warmer" at all.. instead a nice pale ale with a good nod toward England.

Great 2 finger off white head.... tons of lace and good retention.. clear orange amber..

Nose seems pretty mild... probably needs to really warm up.. toasted bread and lite caramel malt.. hops are there but light and seem to lean toward the earthy varieties..

Flavor mirrors the nose perfectly ... toasted malts ... bits of dry caramel .... and a lite estery fruitiness that plays great ... dry biscuity maltiness.. there seems to be some background citrus hoppiness that makes me think of lemon essence, but it is waaaay in the background.. very crisp and drinkable.

All 4's.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 04:52:35 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

not your traditional winter warmer per se, more of a prewinter drink. the lighter mouthfeel gives it more of an autumnal vibe, rather than a sit in your gut freezing night beverage. pours a maple syrup colored indian red, with a half inch head that hangs out the whole time. nose is balanced caramel malts and aromatic hops. smells english in that old and dusty kind of way. taste is balanced, with a heavy malt backbone. slightly dry. at 6.1% i would not choose it to get me through the dead of february, but its perfect for november!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 04:39:26 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of lonestar4lunch


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from last years batch poured into my Odell glass. The color is a deep reddish brown with minimal lacing that fades quickly. The nose is of biscuit malts, light caramel and maybe a hit of dark fruit. The taste is malts, sugars and some light hop bitterness at the end. There really isn't much hop to be found except right at the last breath the drink. The finish is a soft dryness and a touch of sweetness. There isn't any spice to be found which is nice for a change. A good, almost sessionable winter warmer for me. Odell is top 5 in my book for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 00:30:32 | More by lonestar4lunch
Photo of jmvecchio1


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours off the tap slightly hazy and amber in color with a thick rocky head.

The aroma was something that captivated my attention throughout the duration of the beer. Aroma hops are hinted at in the initial smell, but most prominent in the aroma were the biscuity malts. The malts aromas are sweet and buttery and reminded me of freshly baked cookies.

The buttery malt flavor is the power punch when tasting this beer. O'Dell does an truly excellent job of balancing the beer with bittering hops. The hops give this beer a very slight on the sip finish.

Overall, this is a well balanced, well flavored, and not overpowering seasonal beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 19:33:02 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of emmasdad


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my Christmas favorites every year. Poured a rich, dense reddish-brown color, with a generous tan head. Aromas of fruitcake, malt and earthy hops. On the palate, medium bodied, with flavors of dark fruits (fruitcake), earthy hops, sugar and malt.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 05:45:20 | More by emmasdad
Photo of jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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....

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 00:44:22 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of chugalug06


4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would like to preface my review with the fact this is a "best fresh brew" that's now nine months old.... But, I would like to review it nonetheless, so I can reflect on it's abilities once aged. I also feel it's good for others to know if a brew will age well or not.

A - Pours a great, not overly aggressive, tan head. Slightly soapy at first, but settles to a foam quickly. Head reduces nicely and leaves great lacing. Brew is cloudy mahogany color with orange tannins.

S - Very malty and spicy. All normally dominating hops have died off by this point... Almost a sour scent with a kick of cinnamon.

T - Very bubbly and slightly sour (?). Great caramel taste with kick of chocolate and pine.

M - Great mouthfeel even with the strong carbonation. Light bodied and elegant feel. This one could stand to age another nine months...

D - Not quite as great aged as it is fresh, but still quite good.

Don't try it aged, unless you've had it fresh.


Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 00:23:19 | More by chugalug06
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to jmkratt for sending me a bottle of this as an extra in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured red-orange with a two finger bone white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, nutmeg, coriander, and clove. The flavor was of sweet malt, coriander, nutmeg, and enise. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew, but was far from awe-inspiring. It was actually decent for a winter warmer but just not very memorable. The flavor was pretty heavy on the spices as one would expect, but it just didn't have any sweetness to really balance it out to the degree of the spices. Pretty much the same story for the aroma as well. Worth trying but that's about it.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 19:39:37 | More by thagr81us
Photo of weizenbob


3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle received in a trade with jmkratt. Thanks for tracking this down John; it seems oddly difficult to locate winter warmers by time January rolls around (now that all of the Spring seasonals are already coming out). Enjoy by date of 3/29/11. Poured into a goblet. The pour yields almost a finger tall head that quickly recedes. The brew is a dark hazy copper hue. There is no visible carbonation. Lacing is minimal.

This beer has a really unique aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel, marshmallow and toasted coconut. The malt appears to be roasted and has a subtle earthy character. A sweet lingering alcohol scent comes on somewhat strong in the back end. It's not incredibly aromatic, but it is very interesting.

The flavor also has some interesting things going on. Though the label tells me I'm drinking ale, I could swear this is a bock. It also seems a bit out of balance, but my tongue is having fun unlocking the puzzle. It's a little watery on the front end, with a good amount of sweetness that doesn't seem to be paired with any other flavor. Slowly, subtle earthy malts emerge and build to a sweet raisin-like note. The alcohol begins to rise up, not in a boozy way, but in a "there isn't anything else going on here to cover up the alcohol" kind of way. All 29 IBUs manifest in the finish with a surprisingly bitter hop kick.

In the mouth this is neither wowing me nor offending me; it's right in the middle of the road. The body is on the low end of medium. There is a mild prickly carbonation to tickle the tongue and agitate the flavors.

All of this adds up to a beer that is pretty drinkable as it is inoffensive to the palate. But all in all it's not that memorable. It drinks really well for 6.1% ABV but I don't think I would tip them back one after another if I had other options. Still, I'm thankful that I was able to try this and to have a winter warmer to enjoy during the actual winter months.


The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't really give a Schlitz about Isolation Ale. It's not bad, but there is better to be had.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 03:43:17 | More by weizenbob
Photo of maddog13lb


3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2011 11:20:24 | More by maddog13lb
Photo of ClarkPinnock

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Onenote81 for this bottle!

Pours a rich amber color with little to no lacing. Nose is brown sugar with a nascent form of maple.

Vestiges of malt and caramel are evinced in the slightly sugary taste. This is certainly illustrative of this winter ale style, which seems to be predicated on a robust, if somewhat spicy, flavor.

This beer makes me wish I lived closer to Colorado, very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 02:55:03 | More by ClarkPinnock
Photo of Bubba83


3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle at around 45 degrees into a New Belgium Globe. An off-white two finger widths head tops a dark amber body. Clarity is good. The head is fluffy looking, and has good retention and lots of lacing.

Smells like an amber would, sort of a toasty bread character, along with traces of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of spruce on the tail end.

First taste I got was like panettone, a sweet, bready, dark fruit kind of experience. It's a bit watered down or something though. The flavors are there, but they need to be a little more apparent. A little bit of spice finishes things up.

The carbonation is about right, and the smoothness is nice, but the consistency is quite thin. It feels a bit watery as a result. I'm looking for a little bit more texture from a winter warmer.

Overall I liked this beer but wanted it to be a bit bolder in just about every way imaginable. A six percent winter warmer is definitely on the low alcohol side, so it drank easily, but just wasn't quite what I was expecting, I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 04:04:55 | More by Bubba83
Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.