Hibernation Ale
Great Divide Brewing Company

Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
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Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Old Ale
Ranked #26
Ranked #9,417
4.03 | pDev: 10.92%
Wednesday at 02:07 AM
Nov 26, 2001
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
Notes: HIBERNATION ALE has been our celebrated winter tradition since 1995. This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character.

1997 Great American Beer Festival, Gold Medal, Strong Ale/ English-Style Old Ale
1998 World Beer Cup, Silver Medal, Strong Ale/English-Style Old Ale
2003 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Old Ale
2006 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Aged Beer
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Photo of JZH1000
Reviewed by JZH1000 from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12oz canned on 11/20/22

On the pour a murky brown body with two fingers of sticky bubbly tan head. It tries to lace, but not quite.

Aroma at first is quite earthy and nutty in an almost smoky way, but after letting the beer breathe for a second a super English bright figgy yeast sweetness comes through accented by a dark molasses and coffee malt note. Very yeasty aroma, accentuated by dry hopping.

Flavor is much darker than expected, verging on porter levels of roastiness, and the fruity yeast takes a back seat with only dry figs showing on the back. The malt is present throughout with a sweet, toffee, coffee, nutty thing going on, although largely not a bitter beer. Hops are present but they are all noble and earthy, and blend quite well with the malt. You have to look for the hops intentionally to find them.

Feel is full bodied in the mouth and slightly warming, but this is a very smooth beer especially for the color and abv. No overwhelming sticky feeling due to moderately high attenuation, with enough residual sugar to sweeten and make this an armchair beer.

Overall, I'm impressed with this beer. Not your traditional winter warmer, but this is a good beer for someone who wants sweet, big, and dark without adjuncts or barrel aging. No oxidation like in BA beers.
Wednesday at 02:07 AM
Rated: 4.23 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

Nov 09, 2022
Photo of Iamaskier
Reviewed by Iamaskier from Idaho

4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
L: Dark caramel colored body, slightly clingy head.
S: Malty and sweet. Caramel, cola, a hint of plum, slightly syrupy and nutty.
T: Very nutty upfront. Toffee and burnt brown sugar, lots of roasty malt all the way through, a hint of piney hops on the finish, as well as faint cherry and coffee notes.
F: Smooth and even bodied. Well balanced, and masked alcohol.
O: Delicious nutty holiday beer. This style is an automatic buy for me, both because I think it’s delicious and underrepresented. Just fantastic.
Nov 07, 2022
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
355 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 8.7%. Beautiful clear and deep copper to mahogany coloured beer, big off-white to beige head. Strong malty aroma with distinct notes of caramel and bakery. The flavour has loads of malty sweetness and caramel, maybe too much caramel for my taste. Noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish, also notes of burnt bread crumbs. Not entirely balanced in my book, but an interesting beer all the same.
May 25, 2022
Photo of Luciform44
Reviewed by Luciform44 from Colorado

5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Over the years this has become my favorite beer, outright. It doesn't go well with a hot summer day, but it's not supposed to. I love having one Hibernation after work in the winter.
May 25, 2022
Rated: 4.59 by RockyM72 from Florida

Feb 16, 2022
Photo of MistaT
Reviewed by MistaT from Colorado

4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Overall: literally my favorite seasonal beer. Every year I look forward to it's release and find it as a fantastic beer that fits so many desires for the colder months (Nov to February).

Look: perhaps the only weakness on this amazing beer. Its head dissipates quickly and while the color is beautiful, their isn't much to suggest a prop pint with lacing.

Smell: TBD

Taste: spot on, hoppy but complex via malts.

Feel: surprisingly light, so tread carefully as this bad boy is big. Really enjoy it not being too syrupy as it offers a lighter mouthfeel in colder months to thick stouts/belgians.
Feb 04, 2022
Photo of JoeKain
Reviewed by JoeKain from Texas

4.84/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Just a solid beer! Malty with the right balance of hoppy bitterness. A definite winter warmer. I can Invision myself enjoying this on a chilly night with friends huddled around a fire pit . Hope y'all do too.
Jan 31, 2022
Rated: 4 by arc3636 from Kansas

Jan 28, 2022
Rated: 4 by monk2021 from Texas

Jan 23, 2022
Rated: 4.33 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska

Jan 22, 2022
Photo of TheBricenator
Reviewed by TheBricenator from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look: A rich amber-brown on the pour and even my gentle approach to it beings on a frothy tan head that eventually settles to a pillow and leaves great lacing behind
Aroma: Freshly baked brown bread, toffee, hints of molasses, melanoidin, caramel, light wafts of earthiness, and rich malt sweetness
Taste: Follows the nose incredibly well but increases exponentially in depth – caramelly and molasses-y smothered brown bread with light melanoidin and earthy notes being the last prominent flavors. Closes with slightly sweet malt notes
Mouthfeel: Full, silky smooth, medium-high carbonation, and smooth and soft on the finish with almost completely hidden alcohol heat
Overall: This is freaking outstanding. I used to drink this beer occasionally over ten years ago but was such a hop-head at the time that I didn’t respect it as much as my palate does now and it’s been years since I have even seen it so it was an easy purchasing decision, which is rare for me. A ridiculously well-made and tasty old ale malt bomb with no odd additives to detract from all the malty depth, a killer mouthfeel, and at a whopping 8.7%, almost undetectable ethanol heat. Highly recommended
Jan 02, 2022
Rated: 4 by KT3418 from Colorado

Oct 07, 2021
Rated: 4.41 by igl from Russian Federation

Aug 22, 2021
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
On-tap in Caldwell ID and served in a snifter; man this brew surprised me and I loved it. Fairly opaque black with some light showing through on the edge of the glass, with a very small creamy off-khaki head that leaves some lace. Smells and tastes like a stout to me, with some winter-y influences; I get lots of coffee and roasted malt, mild chocolate, some nice woody notes with an impression of molasses and spice. Warm body; rich and complex and full-feeling. Outside of the rich, somewhat sweet (at times) malt profile, this doesn't fit the bill of an Old Ale (to me, at least) but this is delicious and hugely enjoyable.
Apr 19, 2021
Rated: 4.21 by Archfiend from Illinois

Mar 28, 2021
Photo of KenjiN
Reviewed by KenjiN from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This beer is a beautiful dark mahogany color; it's got a thick, lasting yellowish head.

There's an extremely appealing graham cracker note to the nose.

I was concerned that the dry-hopping might clash with the other characteristics of this malty beer. No worries; it works fine.

The beer is sweet -- but not too sweet. There's real complexity here. There are notes of brown sugar, chocolate, and coffee.

This fine winter ale is warming and full-bodied. The late, great Beer Hunter Michael Jackson would have deemed it soothing. I liked it very much.
Mar 23, 2021
Photo of Nass
Reviewed by Nass from Florida

4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I like the can art, great use of color. The pour is dark brown with a thick & frothy bone colored head. The 8.7% abv is well hidden. The taste is roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, & toffee. I like this better than the 2 other English Old Ales that I've had. Cheers! A-
Nov 20, 2020
Rated: 4.16 by Agriverbear from Texas

Nov 05, 2020
Photo of Peach63
Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Pours copper with a 1 inch thick, foamy tan head, which lasts. Moderate lacing to the end. Suspended particles.

Aroma is malty, toffee, toast, molasses.

Taste is malty, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, slight oak.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Semi-sweet finish.

This is a pretty good English ale.
May 03, 2020
Photo of Viaduck
Reviewed by Viaduck from California

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a reddish brown, modest light tan head. Pleasant but weak aroma. Sweet with a nice balance of bitter & salty. Strong & very enjoyable flavor: dark chocolate, toasted malts, caramel & a complex mixture of hop flavors. Moderate carbonation with a smooth feel. A great way to hibernate during the pandemic.
Apr 04, 2020
Photo of Giantspace
Reviewed by Giantspace from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Nice beer

Have read about this for years. Found a case for $30 and bought it. 13 September 2019 cans.

From a 19oz nonic

As this warms it has chocolate, coffee and nice caramel along with pine. Finish is lightly bitter and sweet. Good medium body.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer.
Mar 15, 2020
Rated: 4.19 by aatazebeats from Wisconsin

Mar 03, 2020
Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
Reviewed by wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Can into snifter. Pretty much black with a rich tan, one finger head. Moderate coffee, toast, and chocolate notes on the nose with plenty of a sort of piney hoppiness and earthiness. Some nutty malt and a little caramel. The malt hits strong at the start of a sip, while a lingering coffee roast comes behind. Some booze, some chocolate, a bit of dried fruit. A little sweetness just balanced by bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium.
Feb 27, 2020
Rated: 4.3 by beerrat from Virginia

Feb 23, 2020
Rated: 3.69 by bankboy66 from New Jersey

Dec 14, 2019
Rated: 4.38 by ckeegan04 from Texas

Dec 12, 2019
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
Reviewed by MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
12oz can

Pours a massive 2+ finger tan head into my can-style glass. Very pillowy, a little creamy. Retention is above average. Initial lacing looks great. Body is a very dark brown, nearly black, with hues of burgundy. Great looking beer so far.

Nose is great. What first came across as a predominantly chocolate nose quickly turns into burnt toast and a semi bold bitterness. Cocoa and chocolate do still linger in the background. Really a lovely, well balanced nose that generally gives off more of a rough skin feel, but has plenty of malty sweet/candy/desert notes to it as well.

Flavor is quite the same but I would say leans back a tiny bit on the malt and gives way to a little more hop presence and a little tangy booze from the alcohol – not any bite, but a little flavor, not too detrimental here. As far as the malts, that burnt toast hits first, followed quickly by some chocolate, finishes with a brief malty sweetness. Dare I say some figs as well?? The booze is just slightly unwelcome, mostly because it gets in the way of the flavors more than being offensive itself. Still a very wonderful flavor, pretty complex, and extremely well balanced.

Mouthfeel is quite unique and even a little confusing. Certainly bitter for a dark beer, but there are definitely sugars here as well. I would not call this dry, but it probably comes across a lot drier than it is. Carbonation is medium-low. Body has some nice girth to it. This is engaging, and adds more character to an already enjoyable beer. Overall a solid mouthfeel.

Drinkability is pretty nice, considering the mild booze, which does fade away as the beer warms.

Appearance turned out wonderful. Head retention was very impressive, and lacing was incredibly thick.

Overall this is a killer beer. Complex, engaging, tasty.
Dec 03, 2019
Photo of Hooded
Reviewed by Hooded from Texas

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Notes from 11/30/2019.
From a can into a tulip. L Dark brown with gd head retention.
S Caramel and coffee.
T Malty and smooth.
F Medium thickness.
O The taste is interesting. I like it. I would buy it again.
Dec 02, 2019
Rated: 3.96 by craigbelly from Iowa

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of Bitterbill
Reviewed by Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Can bought at Urban Bottle. Canned September 13th.

Pours a dark brown with reddish hues, nice abundant head of off white foam, it bloody looks malty.

Loads of caramel malt in the smell. Some toffee, maybe a little bit of nuttiness, perhaps some coffee??

Taste is semi sweet, caramel malt, toffee, kinda nutty, light bitterness that I will accredit to coffee.

Excellent mouthfeel, tasty beer. A Winter offering for sure and a darned good one.
Nov 02, 2019
Photo of haines710
Reviewed by haines710 from Delaware

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Canned on 9/13/19 and drinking in early November. Nice packaging and great nutty smell upon opening the can. Nice dark color and rich taste. I feel nut and toffee and caramel. Great mouthfeel with warming feeling. I loved this for fall/winter
Nov 02, 2019
Rated: 4.08 by jjboesen from Maryland

Oct 30, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by Elicoleman from Colorado

Jun 10, 2019
Rated: 3.52 by khargro2 from Tennessee

Jun 02, 2019
Rated: 3.45 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 06, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

May 01, 2019
Rated: 4.03 by Kolb from Montana

Apr 25, 2019
Photo of AmeriCanadian
Reviewed by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
2017 bottle consumed in spring 2019

Not sure how it grades as a pure English Old Ale, but as a dark (ish) and bold BA beer, it’s excellent. Heavy and multi-layered barrel character on the nose and tongue. Caramel, toffee, booze-soaked oak, molasses, dried figs and dates, very woody. And a fascinating buttery note in the front of the tongue but late in the sip. Not very pretty, and the feel is fairly thin, but the aromas and taste are really fantastic.
Apr 07, 2019
Rated: 4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Apr 04, 2019
Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 3015 ratings