Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

1,170 Reviews
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,170 | Ratings: 2,879
Photo of Bruno74200
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice smell all about the toffee and some estery (pear, apple). The taste is quite dry and less fruity than the smell and is more on the wood and the nuts. The hop presence is low to moderate but the bitterness is interesting. Might benefit from some years to round it up

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Photo of Stooven
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a standard pint glass. Pours an enticing, deep blood red with minimal head or lacing. Taste and mouthfeel are slightly limp. Old ales and strong ales typically put me in a state of false nostalgia, but there was something overall flat and muted about the whole package. First time I've felt let down by GD.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy dark red color with a bit of tan head. Aroma has dark malt with a hint of coffee and a light spicy note. Taste is slightly fruity and spicy at first, caramel malt underneath, finishes with some green coffee beans and a light bitterness. Medium body, medium to low carbonation. Quite nice overall, malty but with a broad range of flavors.

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Photo of nick_perry
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dark color. Aromas of malt and chocolate. Strong tastes of malt and chocolate, with notes of coffee, raisins, and caramel. Great balance of smooth feel with robust flavor. Prefer it in a bottle. I had it from a can once but the flavor wasn’t as complex, and there was a slight metallic taste to it.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is quite dark, but when held up to the light, is mostly clear dark, dark copper-red-brown with an absolutely massive tan foam for an Old Ale--I don't think I've ever seen a head like this on a Barleywine or Old Ale. It's a good 3-5 inches at its peak and settles relatively slowly, leaving bubbly, yeast-heavy bread dough-like lace, settling to a bready, uneven rounded mound.

Smell is quite fiery and hoppy and a little metallic, with caramel, toffee, bread dough, and Pine Sol.

Lots of piney hops hit the palate, with semi-sweetening toffee, caramel, bread, hints of lemon rind and metal.

Medium body, kind of crisp actually, fizzy but dry.

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Photo of flgimp
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours Amber gold slight head with light lacing. Not much smell... Slight brown sugar and malt. Taste is complex notes of orange peel, sweet smoky brown sugar, mild bitterness that lingers. Feel is medium, with slight carbonation. Overall a nice English ale.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown body with medium to the frame. Orange tinted off-white head rises maybe three quarters of an inch with a hard pour. Drops with slightly sticky lacing.

Smell: Scebt consists of malt and nuts, not bad but dissipates super quickly.

Taste: Coffee bean and light bitterness. The malts almost overpower the rest of the brew and not exactly what I was expecting. Lightly sour, reminds me a bit of lemon skin with a dash of salt. Very complex.

Mouth: Medoum to heavy carbonation and stickiness is above average. The sour finish isn't for everyone which might be more well suited for a during dinner type of drink.

Overall: Beer is a pretty good palate cleanser, I wouldn't hunt the planet looking for the beer but worth grabbing in case your looking for a lager-porter infused beer. Smooth and hard to dislike...with minor tweaking this beer could be classic. Time will tell, plan on having the barrel aged version this weekend. Salud!

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours deep amber color with thin tan head that dissipates pretty quickly spotty lacing.

Aroma - smokey brown sugar, roasted coffee, caramel/toffee.

Taste - Very nice smokey flavor it is a natural smoke, coffee and dark chocolate, dark fruit and malts.

Feel - High side of medium, creamy feel, well carbonated

Overall- Pretty deep complex beer, I am usually not a big fan of smokey flavors in beer but this is done very well.

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Photo of muchos
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L. Very dark red to brown, clear, a big dense off white head.
S. Smoky, nutty, caramely.
T. Caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, piney bitterness, dates and figs. Mainly bitter aftertaste with a pleasant warming.
F. Rather full body, pretty smooth, hint of resin.
O. Lots of flavor with good balance. Nice bitterness for an old ale. Cheers!

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Photo of FaustieMo
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-Pours very deep amber with a slightly disappointing head despite an aggressive pour.
-Very inviting and complex aroma. Rich malt, chocolate, esters, with traces of English hops and dark, ripe fruits.
-Quite full and chewy in the mouth. Malt galore up front. Less chocolate in the taste than the aroma would suggest. Alcohol and esters are easily detectable. Hop bitterness enters after the swallow and lingers well.

Overall, this is an great winter beer/strong ale. Nicely complex and pleasantly drinkable for its robustness.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear brown pour with hints of amber. Lasting beige pillow of one finger that laces all the way down. Aromas are of cooked sugar, roasted malts and darkest chocolate. Slight prune/raisin and some booze are noticed in the nose as it warms. Flavors are very similar with the only somewhat disappointing aspect being a bitterness that develops over the course of the beer and lingers without being assuaged by the next sip. Very smooth stuff too. If this were slightly sweeter, especially in the finish I'd be in love.

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Photo of Skrumpy
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown color. Bubbly, tan head with streak lacing. Aroma is burnt sugar, coffee, toasted malt, & cocoa. Flavor follows suit, bittersweet and rich. A beer you could have with ribs or chocolate cake & it would pair quite well either way. Dry finish with a mixed aftertaste of coffee and spice. Excellent beer for cold winter days.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Warm and boozy. Pours darkest brown, smells of biscuit malts, burnt brown sugar in the taste. Velvety smooth feel, but not creamy. Overall quite nice.

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Photo of citizencane
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Low in alcohol for such an intense beer. Smells of prunes, dried fruits, and malts. Pours with average head and solid amount of lacing. Taste is a touch thin, but no alcohol burn whatsoever and barely any warmth. Taste is a touch heavy on the hop bitterness, but this doesn't turn into a major flaw so long as you let he beer warm enough. Well done beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
samsmith33 (743) - - MAR 23, 2015

Aroma. Hops, and barley, nothing crazy, but nice. Appearance: Dark but bright, Bronze color. Medium white head. Taste: smooth ale. Some grasses and vegetable, but mostly malt flavored. Well balanced. Was perfect call with my cheeseburger. Feel: medium carbonation, smooth. Nice beer."

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Photo of Beginner2
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this again in a can. It was as Spring 2017 was emerging (Holy Week) and I had a somewhat less important revelation: why don't we age ales in cans ? While Great Divide says you can age Hibernation for a year or more, why don't we typically keep ale in a can for that long? (If you know the answer, email me.)

Hibernation has that dark ruby Look of an Old Ale. It Smells like all those fruits typical of the style and Tastes the same.
Feel does not fall to the temptation of using too many hops as many American interpretations of the style do.
Overall, a fine offer. Hibernation's caramel notes went well with several spoonfuls of my wife's caramel sauce. But I should add that after about ten minutes, the hops pushed back the caramel and took control.

Reviewed in the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You Die," Hibernation probably deserves to be there. But I will entertain counter-points.

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Photo of sprat1960
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark amber towards brown in color; translucent. Pours with almost no head, just a thick layer of tan foam that dies down leaving an uneven layer foam on the surface of the beer and a few specs of lacing on the sides of the glass. Looks like a very good quality commercial beer.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel; coffee; malt.

Taste: Malt; caramel; grainy; slightly bitter finish.

Feel: Mild fizzy sensation from the carbonation; heavier-side of medium body; velvety finish.

Overall: Decent flavored ale. Good winter choice.

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Photo of pbass0
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Nice nut and toffee taste offset by a hint of alcohol on the second taste. I bought a 6 pack of this for a reason. One of my favorites for the boozy warming aftertaste

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Photo of MacMalt
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a dark cola color that shows ruby red when held to the light, with a thin, khaki-colored head and light lacing. It smells of coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, and toffee. The taste features roasted malt, burnt coffee grinds, bitter chocolate, some caramel sweetness, and an oaky, smoky, slightly bitter finish. This ale is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and very easy to drink at 8.7 ABV. Overall, this is a very good Old Ale. It is well-crafted with a lot of taste sensations but with the low carbonation and moderate ABV, it is easy to drink. It would pare really well with pub food. I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep burgundy, with a medium-thin sized foamy head. Leaves a bit of lacing. Dark fruit and toffee notes form a pleasant aroma. The taste is a smooth, sweet taste of dried fruits, toffee, and malts. Not dessert sweet, just ever so slightly sweet. Mouth feel is good. It feels carbonated well, and easy to drink. Overall, a very pleasant beer for sipping on, with plenty of great features.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown, dark brown, minimal head, 1/4". Plenty of toffee, dark fruit and alcohol on the nose.

Taste was more toffee, alcohol was less prevalent than in the nose, good mild chocolate and brown malt intrusion. Still plenty warming.

Not much bitterness or hopping evident. Decent beer, would be a lot better if it had a Bigfoot kind of hopping and bitterness going for it, they're kinda similar but for that one big difference.

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Photo of ricke49
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned on Sept. 25, 2015. Nice malty ale with that subtle hop finish that shuts off the sweetness nicely. In other words, balanced. Color is perfect, bring anticipation of sipping. While I do enjoy a more 'decadent' style English Old Ale too (i.e North Coast, Old Stock), this was a nice change from that. I drank it (at first) a little too cold...it really began to shine as it warmed.

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Photo of Every1sgrudge
2.78/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviews are misleading; too hoppy, head ache inducing, almost porter like in taste. Way too boozy to taste anything other than alcohol. Smell is deceiving; you're expectation gourmet deliciousness only to be hit in the tonsils with McDonalds flavor.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful, slightly hazy, mahogany red beer with a nice light tan head. Minimal lacing left but head stays around the edges and continues to stream from the nucleation site of the glass. The smell is sweet malts with strong caramel/toffee notes. There is also a yeasty smell with a faint scent of hops. The taste is sweet and malty with a caramel and slight bitter chocolate appearing here. The swallow is finished with a pleasant hop bitterness that balances the sweetness very well.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 09/17/14 poured into a Russian River “tion” glass. Back of the fridge find. Sipped on while jamming Magic Circle.

Appearance: A down the middle pour produces a thin cap of off white head which quickly dissipates to a bubbly ring. Body is a glowing mahogany with yeasty chunks floating around from accidentally pouring in part of the bottom. Looks like a great strong ale.

Aroma: Up front a slight oaky, woody smell from the combined malts and fading herbal hops. The malt profile here great. Lots of toffee and brown, sticky malty goodness. Not sweet but rich. Chocolate, peanut brittle, maple syrup, brown sugar, and toasted oak.

Taste: More that rich malt build with a mild bitterness in the middle. Brings to mind toasted oak, light smoke, vanilla, toasted brown sugar, bags of malt, and a nutty pecan bite. Small alcohol presence on the finish.

Mf: Low carbonation with a light/medium feel. I don’t know if it’s thinned out a little bit but a more full body would go great with the light carbonation. Warming.

Overall: One of those nice accidents. The malt build as well as the fading hop bitterness combine to produce a beer with great malt depth. As the label suggests, this would go great with salty foods or rich desserts. With a slightly more robust body this would tasted great out of a barrel. Reminds me of the first time I tried an aged beer, Old Ruffian, years ago due to a similarly complex brown sugary malt taste. Recommend (but you know that).

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,879 ratings.
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