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Hibernal Vinifera Stout - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hibernal Vinifera StoutHibernal Vinifera Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

57 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 272
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 20.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
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: 57 | Hads: 272
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.

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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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, a souvenir from the mixed-pack glory that are liquor stores on South Colorado Blvd in Denver.

This beer pours a pretty solid black abyss, in terms of 'colour', with slight cola-tinged basal edges, and a fistful of puffy, rocky, and densely bubbly brown head, which leaves some stellar dark forest spooky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of bittersweet powdered chocolate, roasted caramel/toffee malt, sort of sour milk, fruity red wine lees, a bit of oaken vanilla and wet wood stave astringency, coffee grounds, and a dry earthy mustiness. The taste is more toasted caramel malt, hard toffee, medium-dark chocolate, muddled dark fruit (ok, maybe a bit grapey) esters, a soft lactic sweetness, hints of woodsiness - both barrel and hop in orientation - and minor leafy, floral bitters.

The carbonation is fairly soft and innocuous in its understated meanderings, the body a sturdy medium weight, and actually quite smooth, the only tic seeming to be a rousing ('bout time, eh?) booziness. It finishes on the sweet side, as the cocoa, caramel, fruit, wood and booze all conspire to act civil and all that.

A pleasantly quaffable foreign stout, the wood and wine grape treatment adding a further bit of zest, but not overstepping their bounds at any time. Heady, hearty, and wholly unworthy of this gentile fall weather we're 'enduring' at the moment - maybe I should have saved this one for a few months.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate, roasted malt and grapes.

T - Tasted of chocolate, roasted malt, toffee and raisins. Rich and decadent.

M - Crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with dry, finish.

O - This is a really tasty stout. I really like this series of stouts from Ska.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Medium to big light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a clear super dark brown to black colored beer.

Heavy dark roasted malts with black licorice and light dark chocolates aroma with a very light dark fruits, such as apricots, coming through as well.

Very dark chocolates, light black licorice, heavily roasted dark malts almost entirely drowned out the dark fruits in the taste of this stout.

A dry aftertaste with some of the heavy roasted taste lingering with this full bodied beer.

A dryish tasting, rich and worthy drink.

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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

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Fizz. Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and stray lacing. Near-black body, with brownish tinges at the edge.

S - Roasty, with some oak presence. Dark chocolate, some caramel, and molasses. Light notes of dark fruit and perhaps a touch of vinous grape; I'm guessing most of it fermented out though. The oak presence increases significantly as the beer warms up.

T - The taste has a lot more grape presence, with light notes of roasted malts, oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate. Nice balance and integration of flavors and well-hidden alcohol.

M - Medium body, with some light alcohol warmth by the end of the snifter. Chewy texture, with fairly minimal oak; lightly sticky in the finish.

D - I liked this quite a bit and I'd be willing to pick up a 4-pack to see how it compares out of the can. Interesting and unique beer; I dug their Merlot stout and this was in a similar vein. I can imagine this might be a bit polarizing, but it worked for my palate. Happily consumed 12oz and could drink a couple in an evening.

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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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This came to me in a box from BigBry which I just opened today, despite its having arrived a couple of months ago. I am seriously behind in my CANQuest (TM) reviews, but I am getting caught up pretty quickly.

From the CAN: "Recycle -Solstice - Origin - Produce - Hgeshtin-Ana - Recycle - Brother - Divine - Wrath - Irrigate - Cultivate - Balance"; "Hand-Crafted"; "Seasonal Stout"; "Oak-Aged Foreign-style stout brewed with Malbec grape juice".

The Crack was followed by an inverted Glug which produced both a pseudo-cascading action as well as two-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head with great retention. As the head began to fall, lacing began to form almost immediately. In pouring it, I could see that the color was a purplish-brown, like a really bad bruise. once in the glass, however, it was allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled of raisins and chocolate and I was instantly reminded of a Cadbury Fruit & Nut chocolate bar! Wild. Mouthfeel was medium and I am going to go out on a limb here and declare the taste as "vinous". Call me crazy ... All joking aside, the grapiness was immediately evident with a kind of sour/tart flavor, followed by a smoky chocolatiness.The finish was semi-dry and I was reminded of the homemade wine that my uncle makes, especially the Zinfandel in 1989. Wow! What won't they think of next? This was totally unexpected and quite the drink. One would be plenty for me, but for the vino crowd, this could be a bridge.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Hiberdal Vinifera Stout is good. The stout poured an opaque dark in my sniffer. There is a thin tan head which is leaving some lace. The scent is bolstered by espresso with touches subtle hints of red wine. The taste is starts with a typical stout, roasts, earthy, espresso, etc. Then the finish has a dark fruit/black cherry tones. The Malbec presence becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall it is a very interesting stout and a perfect winter warmer.

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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.


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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Stone flute. Pours nearly black with a fine one finger dark khaki head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark chocolate, toasted malt, plums, hint of coffee and oak. Flavor of charred dark malt, dark chocolate, coffee, woody oak, a hint of dark fruit; finishes with more charry malt, light hop bitterness and coffee. Medium bodied with good carbonation and mouth feel. A richly flavored, charred malt stout with light barrel character and a deftly handled fruit component. It tasted like plum juice, but must be from the dark grapes. Deceptively straightforward at first taste, but develops a nice range of complex fruit and toasted malt character. This was very good, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I look forward to trying other beers from this brewery. Nicely done.

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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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

can poured into a FW tulip @ room temp. BB May 2014

Pours an opaque black with a big beige head. Nice looking stout pour. The smell is very in your face with malts and chocolate right as you open the can...and i can get a hint of grape juice flavor too. very nice nose! The taste is quite creamy and chocolately...a bit light though. Tad thin. Exceptionally easy to drink but by no means a big beer. ABV of 8% of almost impossible as it tastes like a normal 5% stout. impressive? perhaps but i was expecting more of a body. Still the taste is right and this could honestly be sessionable and guzzled...but at 8% might be a bad move.

Overall great nose and good flavor...body quite light.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can purchased for $2 I think, made sure to buy a single because I bought a sixer of the last cocoa stout ska did and was unhappy. Dark black color, nice head, good stout appearance. nice roasted stout smell, sort of rich, nice. Flavor was more rich stout, hints of cocoa, not a trace of grapes that my palate could detect. I could also not detect any oak but I wasn't let down because it was still a tasty stout.

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Photo of JohnBender
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Jet black. Little head, light brown.

S- Roasted, chocolate, a little alcohol.

T- More of the same. A little acidic, a little UK. Very nice.

M- Thick and matches the style.

O- Very nice altogether. I usually don't like Ska, but this is a very good beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Another intriguing canned stout from Ska... lets give it a try. Poured into snifter. Pour is black, medium visual weight with a collar of tan head. Moderate amount of lacing left behind The nose has that nice roasty foreign stout character that emphasizes roasted barley and black patent. The malbec grape character integrates nicely with the sweet malt components of the aroma. A bit of oak is present as well which gives off a somewhat dry aroma. The taste starts with grape sweetness that presents itself delicately. I was concerned that this brew would be a sweet mess given the ingredients. The grape lends nicely to the sturdy roast of the base, very nice balance. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and oak come through with hints of white grape juice throughout. The grape quality makes one last appearance on the finish. mouthfeel is somewhat thin with moderate carbonation. Overall, this beer is very unique and well executed. At 10.99 a six pack, it also offers a good value. Worth a try!

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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!

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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.

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Hibernal Vinifera Stout from Ska Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.