Hibernal Vinifera Stout - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hibernal Vinifera StoutHibernal Vinifera Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

53 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 53
Hads: 261
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 3.27%
Wants: 8
Gots: 27 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JMBSH on 12-29-2012

Oak Aged Foreign-style stout brewed with Malbec grape juice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Hads: 261
Photo of AlexFields
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smell is sweet, mildly roast chocolate malt, smells somewhat of lactose though I don't know if there's actually any lactose here. Not really noticing the grapes.

Taste is a little more subdued, I get the lactose flavor again, grapes are present here but only a little, typical range of stout flavors, nothing extraodrinary.

Carbonation is good but the feel is a little thin, fine but not great.

Pretty good beer, nothing special, not as unique as I hoped given the fruit addition.

6.6/10 (491 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz can served in a Pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - pours a non translucent midnight black color with four fingers of light tan, bubbly head. Retentions is awful, but somewhat excusable given the high ABV. Appealing but generic.

S - Roasted malt is the star. Artificial grape and light bitter chocolates. Strangely, it works well. Seems sweet. Cream and light caramel are buried in there. Mild in strength. I'm curious....

T - The grape is surprisingly restrained. It's a little welch's like, but it counters the bold roasted malts and coffee. The malt overshadows the grape throughout. Bitter near the finish. Really well balanced . I like it. It'd work better, though, if it had red wine notes instead of artificial juice. No alcohol comes through.

M - Too thin and over carbonated for the style. Missing the full body and creamy mouthfeel.

D -Hides its ABV well and is built well. I'm surprised at this one. With some work, it could be great. (961 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, best by 4/13/13. Pours dark brown black with a medium creamy light brown head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts and some vinous dark fruit.

The flavor is acidic roasted grains, some sweet dark fruits and chocolate, a little oak, and some vinous alcohol leading to a bitter roast finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little thin and watery.

Overall, an interesting fruity roasty foreign export stout. (473 characters)

Photo of MisterNic
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Motor oil, dark tan 1 finger head

Smell- Chocolate, some roastiness, vanilla

Taste- Huge hop flavor at the front of the tongue, middle dark bitter chocolate, coffee, caramel, bourbon notes, finish is bitter, roasty, dry coffee

Mouthfeel- Full-bodied, motor oil thickness

Overall- Overall, this is an excellent imperial stout. I don't pick up any of the malbec grape juice, but I think that's a good thing. I would definitely buy it again. (454 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a real strange installment of the stout series. aged in oak with malbec grape juice added. the pour looks alright, jet black and thicker, with an inch of tan head with nice retention. maybe im seeing what i want to see here, but there appears to be a faint purple color to it when held to the light. the smell is of a sweet stout, maybe not quite a milk stout, but there is plenty of residual sugar in this one, as well as a sturdy but not too black roasty malt base. the grape juice can hardly be smelled or tasted. it just tastes like a sweet stout to me, i dont even get much oak. i get a hint of grapey acidity towards the end, but thats about it. its got a strange aftertaste of fruit, which i think clashes with the large dark malt profile rather than adding anything desirable. full body and a very funny feeling beer in the stomach. im glad i got a single instead of a 6pack, as this is not as easy beer to put down. i dont dislike it, but i dont think it came together quite the way it was intended to. maybe more time in oak would bring the flavors together in a more congruent way, or maybe they should just scrap this and go back to the mole stout, because that was darn good. (1,188 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the creator of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grapes, roasted malts, a bit of coffee. Taste is lots of roasted malts, some coffee, a bit of grapes, a touch of hops, somewhat complex. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer. (348 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

an interesting take on a stout.
Pours dark grape juice, dark purple. Nice looking head on it, rocky, foamy, good lacing.

Aroma is a touch odd. Some oak and vanilla. Vinous. Hints of cocoa and caramel. Dark plum

Flavor is thin for an export stout. The malbec juice shows the fruitiness of the beer. Dark plum is there, without much sweetness. Oak a bit. Chocolate a bit. Some toffee. Booze is well hidden.

Feels a bit dry, but also smooth. This is an easy drinking stout. (476 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I guess I just about missed this, only single cans left in mixed sixer section at Macadoodles in Joplin..

Pours an effervescent ebony with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Stellar lacing, decent head retention

S: Woody hops, figs, a bit of molasses

T: Follows the nose, dryness, black currant & carob up front. Black currant, woody & leafy hops as this warms, some charred grain notes & a whisper of white pepper & vanilla. Finishes dry, with dark fruit presence, a touch of of chocolate, & with a smidge grape juice acidity & white pepper

MF: Semi-chewy, smooth carbonation

A solid export stout, the grape juice brings some dryness/acidity to the party & that's about it from what I can see. ABV is fairly well hidden, drinks fairly easy (744 characters)

Photo of JEdmund
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Forms a really nice, tan head—lots of those small bubbles that form a tight head, much like an Old Rapsutin.

Good cocoa scent. A bit oaky. Maybe some grape, but it’s hard to tell.

Smooth and easy drinking. Was expecting a harsher roast quality, but that oak aging must have smoothed out its edges. Somewhat light in the beginning, but it finishes strong with roasted malts, oak, and a tannic bitterness that must be the grape juice. It’s a nice flavor overall, though a bit small compared to what I’m used to (though to be fair it is only 8%). Not really getting a strong grape flavor, though some in the aftertaste. If I didn’t know they were in here, I never would have guessed. Body is just a tad thin.

Enjoyable, easy-drinking, though it wasn’t quite as interesting as I had hoped given the addition of grapes. Glad I just picked up a single. Worth a try though. (881 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ojai Beverage Company in Ojai, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thick streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, earth, spice, wood, and slight fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with slight fruit qualities that aren't really all that reminiscent of grape juice to me.

Serving type: on tap. (705 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. Good retention and great lacing. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Smells of roasted malt, slight sweet malt, grape, slight coffee, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Foreign / Export Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness and an associated thickness. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight grape, hint of coffee, and slight hop. Overall, good appearance, and decent aroma, body, and feel. (480 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

The beer is espresso bean black with a mocha head. The head recedes to a thick film and leaves moderate lacing initially.

The beer smells very aromatic and wine-like. Grape juice and oak come through.

The beer starts out rich and sweet. Almost a sugary, lactose creaminess holds up the body, while a drier, oak and alcoholic burn come out in the finish. As the beer warms, a lot of rich, dark chocolate can be found.

The mouthfeel is thick and almost sticky.

Overall, this is a sipper for sure, and I don't think I'll be getting through the sixer anytime soon. Almost like a wine. (618 characters)

Photo of tjumfrid
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 10 oz. can into a globe.

A: Purple, almost mahogany with very slight lacing on the top.

S: Alcohol, maltiness.

T: A Light stout in flavor. RIght off the bat I detect remnants of grape, adding a nice sweetness overall.

M: Light-bodied. Carbonation dances on the tongue.

O: A good stout. I will get it again, yet not anytime soon. (351 characters)

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Nice dark black beer. Tan head, initially big bubbles.

Smell: A bit off of what I hope for in a stout. Lager-ish. Not offensive, but not great.

Taste is pretty nice: licorice. Some malt, some bitterness, bit mostly mild and easy drinking.

Mouthfeel is moderately rich. A bit lighter than the look, but not bad.

Good finish, well integrated, fits with the beer. (370 characters)

Photo of JMBSH
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark ruby almost black if not for a light to hold it up to. A hard pour gave a good sized head that shrank to a nice coating on top. As I drank, a bit of lacing was left on all sides of the glass.

S - A faint but noticible coffee aroma.

T - Coffee, toasted oak, a bit of chocolate. A sweetness that I can't really describe that is followed by the hop bitterness that while not overpowering does seem to hang around a fair bit. After about half of the glass is gone I thought I detected a grape-like flavor that was hidden by the hop bitterness.

M - Not as "thick" as some stouts but it also doesn't seem thin by any means.

O - Very tasty. I suspect the grape juice might have helped with the sweetness that i tasted that complemented the coffee notes. The oak was more noticed as I first tried it. I liked this beer. The only thing I wish Ska had don't was not about the beer but their website. They teased about info about the beer but I followed every link I could and couldn't find anything about it. (1,011 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a can at Total Wine in mid-November for $1.99. Best by May 04 2013. Received at Total Wine 10-11-13. Hmmm...last year's vintage...we will see how it goes.

Beer poured dark brown with a robust tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is chocolate and hints of dark fruits.

Taste is chocolate with a touch of grape. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent stout that has a nice little twist with the grape. Well played by Ska! (497 characters)

Photo of IPA1978
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Black with a good brown head, good lacing

S- Roasted malt and a slight red wine or champagne aroma.

T- Roasted malt, cocoa, acidic sweetness, raisins, bitter coffee. I don't get the wine coming through through like it did in the aroma. The Stout flavors dominate.

M- Medium body, fine carbonation.

O- The smell of this got me excited but the taste was like a strong stout, good just not what I expected. (411 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Drinkin' a beer with Malbec grapes, watching a documentary that mentions Baalbek. Nice. Anyway, this stuff pours a murky black-brown topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dusty cocoa powder, light oak, and a vague sense of flavored alcohol, as though I sniffed a Solo cup left over from some random college party where they were drinking who-knows what in these cheap-ass vessels. The taste rings with a sharp red wine grape covered in cocoa and mild coffee. Hints of vanilla bean and oak dart in and out at various points. Though a bit of booziness pervades, it doesn't wholly interfere with things, rather opting to occasionally create a sense of cough syrup every now and again. Somehow, this jumble works. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate (verging on moderate) carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice stout, one that blends the wine grapes well with the roasty surroundings. (984 characters)

Photo of wlevando
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drunk from a highball glass filled from a can.

Color: Black, with red tinge near top and bottom when held up to the light

Aroma: Vanilla and cocoa with a Ponderosa or Sequoia somethin something

Taste: Sweet vanilla with fruity-biscuity conveyance

Mouthfeel: A little limp and dry for something with this much going on

Linger: Dry to the point of mildly bitter. Vinous, but not thick

My take: A meal in a can kind of beer. Somewhat complex, with a thick drip-down-the-esophagus feel attendant to the style, and a lingering mouth presence, it should not be sessioned or taken with dinner. I might grab some sharp cheddar for my next gulp. (642 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle carbonation along the surface of the beer and some very dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy mocha head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted and charred malts with lighter aromas of oak, chocolate, and dark fruit (red wine grapes).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted and charred malts with some light to moderate flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak. The dark fruit/red wine grape starts out as a light flavor but builds to a moderate flavor as the beer warms up. Very light amounts of initial sweetness that quickly fades into a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy upfront with moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and easy to drink - I could see myself having one to two of these in an evening and finding it quite pleasant. I like the mixture of the wine grapes and the stout flavors and aromas with a nice note of the oak barrels from aging. Well done and I will probably grab another couple of these the next time I see them. (1,374 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Handsome near-black beer with a glint of red. The ample head is even a darker beige than many stouts.

Big and bold dark roasted malt flavors with an engaging sweetness. An intriguing swirl of flavors-- part wine, chocolate, burnt sugar, mellow malt, and a touch of hops. Somewhat bitter, in balance with the richness. Thoroughly drinkable and a nice change from the usual sweet and bitter insane RIS monsters.

I think this is a more interesting approach to the "beers of the future." The flavoring is appropriate and the brew has a distinctly beery character. But it's a little different on the creative side. I just had a DFH Noble Rot, so it's from the white wine to the red. (679 characters)

Photo of CharlatanSin
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to boatshoes for sending this can my way!

A: Pours dark cola brown, with a one-finger tan head. Looks fizzy.

S: Chocolate is the main event, with dark caramel malt. Not picking up anything in the way of oak or grape on the nose.

T/M: Chocolate. There is some dark fruit here, though I can't say whether it's from malt or actual grapes. It's sweet, but there's some acidic tartness to keep it interesting. Quite a good combination. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, creamy and thick. That's the beer's best quality.

O: A solid stout with a nice little tart kick. Glad to have tried it. (591 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer pours a thick, viscous, jet black coloring with a thin, filmy, clingy, light tan head. Aromas of roast, cream, peat, earth, wood, and subtle char. Very well blended and balanced aromas. Flavors are roast and creamy forward, with a tart and sweet grape note ribboning throughout. Very unique and balanced. Subtle chocolate notes in the background, with hints of smoke and char throughout. Touches of bitter coffee, too. Smooth and robust in mouth, with a bitter and roasted aftertaste of baker's chocolate and booze. The finish is smooth, with a subtle bitter and rich linger. This is a big beer, and a very unique twist on the style. Tasty. (687 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottom of can says Best By 05 May 14

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 3/4 inch light brown head that retains well before slinking down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Rich dark roasted malt creates a nice bouquet of dark chocolate, caramel and coffee. Some traces of oak.

T- Flavor isn't quite as impressive as there's a char that doesn't quite go well with the rest of the profile. I can kind of get the grape juice notes but it doesn't do much to offset the overly prevalent char. The notes found in the aroma are lost to a typical dark roast that's more bitter than sweet and is pretty one-dimensional. That being said, the drinkability is high even after multiple sips. Also, there's a considerable amount of hop bitterness which isn't exactly welcome in this case. Plus I'm struggling to find any oak which was hinted at in the smell.

M- Slightly creamy and soft with medium carbonation and a very full body.

O- A good try, although I feel like they should've gone more extreme with the base beer if they were going to age it on oak. Maybe use more grape juice? Instead, what's left is an above-average stout that you wouldn't know saw any time in a barrel. Ska's hoppier, less malty offerings are definitely more where it's at. (1,380 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Near black with a nice lasting brown head and good lace.

Aroma and flavor very nice, an up-close smell hints of a bigger stout than it actually is (no shortage of aroma). However, balance is the word for this tasty beer. Burnt, toasted, roasted, and dark fruit flavors balance nicely, with just enough bitterness to make for a very well rounded stout.

Alcohol is well hidden and the medium to full body is surprisingly drinkable. Good job Ska, I've yet to have one of your beers that I didn't like. (502 characters)

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Hibernal Vinifera Stout from Ska Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.