Odell Isolation Ale - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

238 Reviews

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Reviews: 238
Hads: 686
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 6.48%
Wants: 56
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 238 | Hads: 686
Photo of Suds
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Rich anber-brown in color with a thin tan head. The aroma is of malt and toffee. Sweet, but balanced with considerable hop bitterness. Full and enjoyable. This is a nice malty winter ale. (190 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a cherry brown color with a 3 inch tan head that recedes into a thin circle around the glass, leaving soap like lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is odd. Its a combination of a citrus IPA and a winter warmer. It reminds me of toffee and orange rind. Big citrusy notes up front - grapefruit and orange peel, finishing with caramel, toffee and chocolate. Kind of like a caramel orange. The flavor is very similar. The hops are a bit toned down, leading the malty body to take forefront. Caramel and toffee are big at first with grapefruit, tangerine and orange rind finishing. The mouthfeel is a bit thin. I wish it was just a bit of a bigger body. This is a great winter warmer and I will definitely be picking up another six pack soon. (811 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: New label and six pack match the new Odell's packaging line. No date listed. Bottle is also different, with aspen leaves on the neck and a ring around the top.

Appearance: Pours a dark red orange with a nice thick off white head. Nice retention, thick lacing.

Smell: Starts off spicy, then a thick malty sweetness. Hops are present in good numbers here. Very full-bodied aroma.

Taste: Very smooth mouthfeel - medium to full bodied. Very nicely balanced. The spice flavor is present but not overpowering - just enough hops to keep the malt from overpowering.

Overall impression: Highly drinkable - this is a nice warming winter brew. I look forward to enjoying this in quantity once the weather turns cold. (731 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Cheers! (962 characters)

Photo of MrKennedy
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (1,075 characters)

Photo of 1angrydwarf
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Upfront hoppy herbal bite dominates but as it fades a noticeably malty sweet note comes through at the end. It became more noticeable and enjoyable with my second beer, as with most beer ;). (192 characters)

Photo of Humulus85
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
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! (711 characters)

Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Labeled as "For the season of 2004-2005", procured through XMas BIF 2004. Bottled on 10/04.
Caramel colored brew with nice white head. Good retention and lacing. Chocolate and caramel laden aromas with some earthy hops thrown in. Same chocolate and caramel come through in a hefty medium bodied brew. Nicely balanced with some earthy/grassy hops on the back end. Nicely done, without all the sweetness and spicing normally reserved for holiday ales. Went down smooth and easy and worth several. (495 characters)

Photo of johnyeast
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in appearance with a quarter inch beige head. Sweet, nutty smell with a hint of hops. The strong tasted of a winter ale. One that has staying power if you should find yourself in the mountains. A fantastic beer from Odell's that seems to be the best of the Colorado seasonal winter ales. This one also reminds me of my friend Mike, who stated that he basically lives in that cabin on the front of the bottle. He visited FC in October and we isolated ourselves from my wife when we drank too much that night. (518 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 3/1/07

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a sudsy head that pancakes the liquid with lots of big bubbles; some lacing

Smell: Smells like the quintessential Winter Warmer; plenty of caramel malt, almost like a spice cake with hints of citrus also wafting through

Taste: Opens with a spice cake flavor that veers in an earthy hop direction by mid-palate (very English so far); there is also a mineral tone that adds to the Englishness; after the swallow, the malt and hop flavors balance nicely and provide a hint of a leathery tobacco finish; ultimately, the hoppy elements move in a more flavorful American direction

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Christmas in July; the aging on this bottle does it no harm

Thanks to Oxymoron (even though it took me a while to get around to it) and to googzoid10 and welosiped, so that I could taste a fresher, somewhat hoppier version (924 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into bowtie glass

A - Orange pumpkin brown with a 1/2 inch tan head that doesn't last long. Lacing is moderate and this beer is rather clear.

S - Sweet thick malt with a touch of raisins and caramel. Enticing.

T - Sweet chewy malt sensation with a smooth biscuity feel. Slight, sharp spice on the tip of the tongue and a caramel aftertaste make this a highly enjoyable winter warmer. Mild hop presence.

M - Chewy thick, yet smooth with a slight carbonation addition. Aftertaste is clean with a touch of bitterness.

D - So far this is definitely my favorite winter warmer, and a great beer on a cold day (and perhaps year round). If you can find it, pick it up now. (699 characters)

Photo of plfahey
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (985 characters)

Photo of tayner
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle as a trade extra.. sweet.. this is one Colorado beer that doesnt seem to make it to Arizona. perhaps soon (i hope)

Pours a ruby tinted amber with some haziness to it. a rocky, off white foamy head stays for half the glass then dissipates to a thick ring that continues to lace very nicely.

smell is of sweet maltiness with a touch of hop flower.

Taste is sweet, vanilla cake, caramel-ish, with a slightly bitter (but well balanced) floral hop to offset the sweetness.

This has enough carbonation to keep it from being cloying on the tongue with the sweet profile, but not so much it is any detriment.

I could session this winter warmer all night, and would consider making it a winter staple in my fridge if it was available locally. Perhaps i will have to work on my beer guy next winter!

a very good winter warmer.. a sleeper in the category. (868 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark ruby with some head. Nose has syrup tones with heavy malt edges and a sweet edge. Flavor is robust. Hops present, but not powerfully there. Sweet edge is present and is slightly syrupy on the tongue after it dissipates. Feel is smooth with a touch of bubble. Extremely drinkable. An excellent winter warmer. (326 characters)

Photo of jedtheavenger
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (995 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
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 (537 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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 . . . (1,243 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a healthy 2" sudsy cream colored head. Recedes slowly leaving decent lacing. Color is deep amber, slightly cloudy, with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: strong malt presence with raisins, caramel, and whole wheat bread. A bit of earthy hops in the background.
Mouthfeel: standard fluffy English ale mouthfeel, fairly light bodied with a somewhat dry finish. Flavor: a hearty brew. The malt dominates (as expected) with those raisin, caramel, and whole wheat bread (toasted) flavors leading the way. There is also a moderate hop presence in the middle and finish and a bit of lingering alcohol burn with the swallow. Delicious and well made ale. (660 characters)

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is quite dark and has good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers of dark tan fluff and leaves very good lace.

The smell is faint yet evident of a nice roasty malt.

The taste is great, roasty malt and a very good toasted caramel flavor, nice and rich. The hops lend a very nice finish.

The mouthfeel is very good as well better then medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, you need to try this brew to be sure. Prosit und Zum Wohl., MK (514 characters)

Photo of Megahertz
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (737 characters)

Photo of Powerturn11
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is simply fantastic. A malty beer with good hop forward flavor. This beer hits what I love, malty, slighty bready, with a blast of hops as a finishing flavor you dont really expect. Odell brewing is always dead on. I love all of thier beer and this one is no different. Don't skip this one. (300 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-brown, tawny to be exact. The head is orangish ecru in color and creamily sturdy in constitution. All the hallmarks of a quality cap are present: staying power, fine pits on a rocky surface and sticky lace. I've seen better winter warmers, but not too damn many.

The aroma is heavy on carmel malt, easily twice as evident as citrusy-earthy hops. It's a very nice nose for the style, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Even without the knowledge provided by the label, I'm easily able to tell that no spices were used in the brewing.

Isolation Ale is good stuff. I like spices in my winter warmers and Christmas ales--if they're done right--but this beer doesn't seem to need them. The flavor is a carbon copy of the nose and I'm glad of it. Sweet, candied caramel provides the bass notes (perfect for the style) and hops add balance, depth and complexity. I love the taste of brown sugar-crusted grapefruit, lemon and orange peel that is on display in this beer.

Come to think of it, Isolation Ale tastes like a mulled, cider-based winter punch. That Odell managed to get it to taste like the holidays without the addition of spices is pretty impressive. The finish retains a good deal of sweetness and remains balanced throughout the long, lingering decrescendo. The body is full without being heavy and the mouthfeel is as smooth as the winter nights are long.

According to the date on the label, this particular bottle is approaching its second birthday and is none the worse for wear. I wish that I had come across a sixer instead of a single because I'd love to have plenty of this beer on hand throughout the winter. Every so often a good old-fashioned Midwestern blizzard comes howling across the plains. What better time could there possibly be to sip and savor an Odell Isolation Ale? This is beautiful beer. (1,837 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer was a reddish, amber color. It had a thin, tan head that dissipated quickly and left hardly any lace on the glass. Not the prettiest beer I've ever seen.

Smell: A light malty aroma that had a roasted hint to it.

Mouthfeel: While this beer was fairly smooth and full, it could have had more body for my tastes.

Taste: Damn, this was one good beer. It had a crsip, refreshing hoppiness to it that I wasn't expecting, especially since I didn't detect much hops in the aroma. It was balanced almost perfectly with a wonderful maltiness. This glass went down smooth and fast, leaving me wanting more.

I really loved this beer. It was my first tasting of this brew, and I plan on picking up more sometime soon. It was different than other beers I have seen labeled as a winter ale. It was lighter in color, had less malty sweetness, and had a much more pronounced crisp hoppiness than most other beers that I have tried in this style. But, man, was it delicious. (990 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is exactly the kind of beer I'm really digging at the moment. Smooth, malty, not overly sweet. Pours a dark amber color with an inch tall off white head that left some light lacing. Aroma is malty, lightly sweet, toasty, and just a hint of chocolate. Yum... This tastes delicious. This beer doesn't overload you with huge malty sugars, but the malts are the dominate aspect. Toasty, bready, lots of caramel, and like the aroma, there's just a touch of chocolate onthe long finish. Medium body, super easy to drink. Wow, I can't get enough of this. It's a malt-lover's dream without going overboard on the ABV and sweetness. I'll be drinking A LOT of this over the winter months. (683 characters)

Photo of gregshead
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
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 (439 characters)

Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.