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Odell Isolation Ale | Odell Brewing Company

very good
260 Reviews
For Trade:
Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 260 | Ratings: 751
Photo of Humulus85
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

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Photo of quaybr
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of TheFlern
2.12/5  rDev -45.4%
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.

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Photo of syrupjoe
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
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!

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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....

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Photo of chugalug06
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
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.


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Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of maddog13lb
3.57/5  rDev -8%
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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Photo of ClarkPinnock
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of gregshead
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thick copper color w/ a half finger of head.

S: Sweet caramel malt smell w/ a nice hops smell in the background

T: Nice Caramel/Toffee sweetness with just enough bitterness in the background.

M: A little syrupy but some good/subtle carbonation

D: It comes close to knocking it out of the park for this style. A great beer for a cold night where I get snowed in. Unfortunately that doesn't happen that often here in San Diego

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Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received from readbaron in a trade recently. Thanks, Baron!

12oz bottle, best by: 3/18/11, printed on the side. Poured into a chalice.

Pours a deep amber with a thin half-inch off-white head on top. Minor lace left behind. The nose is fairly sweet, with notes of apple, brown sugar, maple, and light cinnamon. Not very potent though. I've really got to swirl this one to get any nose on it.

The body is moderate. Mild crispness; easy finish. This isn't your typical Winter Warmer, though what is? I guess this is a pretty all-encompassing style. This one is sweet with hints of honey, vanilla, applesauce, mild spices, and a bready finish. This isn't what I expected, but it's good nonetheless. Glad I have a couple bottles.

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Photo of Bizz88
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a light fluffy two finger tan head and alot of sticky lacing on the way out. Aromas of carmel malts and spice. Sweet malt and carmel on the palate with enough spicey goodness to make things interesing. A dry medium bodied brew with good carbonation. Exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of herman77
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Copper orange with an average off white head. Good lacing.

S: Light toasted malt, carmel, a hint of spices and pine.

T: Toasted malt, semi sweet nutty bread. Some light spices and pine hops after the initial malty flavors.

M: Medium to ligher body. Low to moderate carbonation.

D: Average at best. Not much else to say.

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Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in late October for $8.49.

Beer poured an amber orange with a two fingered head that has retained nicely and is leaving some lacing behind. Bottled i believe on 10-14-10.

Nose is biscuity malts with notes of roasted nuts.

Taste is pretty well balanced between the nutty biscuity malts with just enough hop action.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall drinkability is good. I understand this is the winter seasonal but this sure drinks like a better version of a Fat Tire!

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Photo of zhanson88
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hotel restaurant I was staying at in Minneapolis had this on tap. I had been wanting to try it and was glad to get the chance.

Appearance: Dark ruby color with less than a finger of light tan head. Results in some decent lacing.

Smell: This beer smells of caramel malts, slight spices and some resinous pine. Simple, yet still pretty appealing.

Taste: Malty, plenty of caramel, some spices, maybe a hint of roasted malts or coffee on the finish. Very solid flavor, nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Medium body and fine, limited carbonation results in a pretty smooth feel. This is certainly a drinkable beer overall, nicely done by Odell. I'd heard good things about this beer, and I wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer was a clear, light brown color, with a two-finger, thick, foamy head. Moderate carbonation and thick lacing around the glass.

Aroma was heavy caramel, malt, peanuts, biscuit and a touch of chocolate.

Taste was malt, caramel, nuts, light spices and hops. Good balance of spices.

Pretty drinkable, nice winter time brew.

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Photo of Chaz
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant copper-Amber in color, topped with a frothy pale tan head and plenty of lace.

Nose offers up equal parts biscuit-y malt and yeasty tang, along with the barest hint of bitter hop.

Smooth and creamy on the first sip, with a lightly-sweet character and just a hint of alcohol -- not a very big beer for the style, mind you (at least in the contemporary American interpretation), but the alcohol is there all the same.

Biscuit malt notes -and dry, cracker-like ones at that- work their magic here and add up to a very easy drinking, almost (too-easy) session-able beer. Reminds me of the classic American mis-understanding of the ESB style . . . a little different than what I'd expect of a Winter Warmer in other words.

Unfortunately, this is only an average beer for its style, but with an excellent, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and drinkability that "goes all the way to "11", it is definitely a cut above average for an everyday sipper.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Pours a red-orange-yellow mixture with a light tan finger of bubbly head. Dissipates quickly, laces well.

S - Rich and malty, with a nice milk chocolate aroma. Slightly sweet and caramel-like.

T - Malt forward, naturally, a bit of that chocolate sweetness like in the aroma. There is a hint of citrus. The finish is roasted malts.

M - On the rather high end of light in body, rather creamy. Little bit of carbonation.

D - The drink is good. Not problem having a couple.

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Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.