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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,170 | Ratings: 2,879
Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
1.22/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A toffee coffee mess of a beer. I cringed with every sip. Absolutely disgusting. Drank at a reputed bar in NYC so I don't believe it was the tap lines.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
1.53/5  rDev -62%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer must be infected. There is no sell-by date and the beer is a cloudy tan. It taste likes rotten lemons. A very sour citrus taste dominates. It's simply awful. Lots of floaty things in it. There is very little carbonation. And based on other high ratings, all I can assume is I got a infected 6-pack.

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Photo of aaronh
2/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer pours a deep copper color with amber highlights and a decent tan head which seemed rather loose and rocky. The aroma was strong on malts and fruit, bringing pears to mind. The taste is very sour, with a bitter lemon aftertaste. Almost like rotten lemons. The extreme sourness of this beer hid almost any other flavor. A bit of hop bitterness and maybe a touch of caramel poked through the sharp edge of this beer, but nothing else. The mouthfeel felt like lemon juice as well, thin and astringent. With the putrid taste, drinkability was virtually nil. The only thing I can see this beer should be used for is bringing something out of hibernation. It could probably wake the dead, or kill some of the living! A souring disappointment.

Note: After reading some of the other reviews, it is possible I had a bad bottle. Unfortunately, one was all I had, and I'm not sure of the age. It expired in March '03. I plan to revisit this beer at a later date.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.06/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a totally flat clear medium amber with a barely a poof of a head and no lacing.

The aroma is very light and right off the start it smells really weird to me, like old gym socks soaked in urine or just bo. there is a little amount of spice.

The taste is better, stale and has smoke. It tastes like an ale, but not a good one.

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Photo of woemad
2.31/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle of 2007 vintage, purchased at the Rocket Market in Spokane.

Poured a clear, dark amber color with two inches of light tan foam. The head stuck around for a while, then slowly slithered down the sides of the glass, leaving sheets of lace.

A bit one-dimensional in the nose, with a big, sweet malty presence. As it warms up, a little bit of hoppiness is descernable, but the malts are in charge here.

This needs balance. The malts don't seem as sweet in the taste as they did in the nose, and don't meld well with the hops, weak as they are. There's a little bit of alcohol heat that also sticks out rather than melds. Basically, this tastes to me like what a vaguely tasty cough syrup might be like.

Medium bodied, with a slightly stick mouthfeel.

Tried to get through this, couldn't. Hopefully my last drainpour of 2007.

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Photo of HBomb81
2.33/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

One word description- Disappointing

Having heard great things about this brew I was anxious to try it. However, I was quickly disappointed. It poured a amber brown color that was appealing. The head consistency was average. The flavor was weak and the beer itself lacked the carbonation to carry it through the palette. The flavor faded fast and left me waiting for something that it couldn't deliver. I will try again...may have been a bad batch. This is unlikely as the location I was at does very brisk business.

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Photo of mac56
2.44/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

One of the prettiest beers I've had. Rich, brilliantly clear, ruddy amber in the glass with a tan colored head featuring moderate lacing.

I gotta say, though, I really wanted to like this beer a lot more than I did. Overpowering, almost medicinal flavor just about floored me.

Just didn't work for me.

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
2.46/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle bought in 2006.

I tried Hibernation at a local beer fest and wasn't all that impressed. It had been long enough that I guess I forgot what it tasted like and picked up a six pack. It pours a very nice deep amber hue, almost opaque. Head is fairly thick and fades to some nice lacing. Smell is heavily malted with a little bit of hops and a good amount of alcohol coming through. Taste is not as good as I'd like. There's way too much alcohol coming through. The way the alcohol mixes with the malt just doesn't do it for me, and kills the drinkability. Mouthfeel is decent, but the alcohol ads a bit of a sting.

Overall not the great offering that I'd expect from Great Divide. And to qualify that, I absolutely love Titan IPA and Fresh Hop, and other Great Divide brews. This one just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Bagman007
2.47/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark copper color with just a little bit less than a finger length head.

S- Not really a very strong scent, but you can smell a tad bit of malts and hops.

T- Very malty taste with a strong chocolate and caramel presence. Finish is a little bit hoppy.

M- Smooth, but the malty flavor is too much for me.

D- I think it's very drinkable if you like this kind of beer. I really don't so I could not have more than one.

Overall it's a good beer for this type, but I don't like this type so it's not really for me.

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.55/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Blue Palms. Poured in a goblet.

Quarter inch off white head dies down to a bubbly layer of foam on top. Good retention and some nice lacing left behind.

I actually could barely smell anything at all from this beer. At first I thought it was just too cold, so I let it warm up and it still hardly smelled like anything at all. I thought I was going crazy for a minute, but I could smell food around me quite well (as well as the beer I had after it). I barely got the sligtest touch of dark fruit and caramel malt, and I think that was mostly what I thought I should smell.

Taste is a bit of dark fruit and some light cocoa. A bit of tobacco resin and pine hops. Lingering resin/smoke aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is light for such a big beer, low carbonation.

Kinda lame in general.

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Photo of krberg
2.56/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2


Pours exactly like I want: brown with copper highlights and a thick custard like off white head.

Smells like caramelized sugars and chocolate malt. I'm not a huge chocolate malt fan.

Chocolate malt, chocolate malt, chocolate malt! Some sweetness in the background. Not what I was looking at all.

Nice thick, rich mouthfeel with very moderate CO2. Spot on for a winter warmer.

High booze content and way too much chocolate malt make this a one time only beer.

Overall, I was hoping for an old ale, not an overgrown brown ale. I'm really freakin' disappointed.

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Photo of BeerMark
2.61/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Hibernation Ale pours a lovely burnt copper in my glass. Aroma is of malts and a little fruit twang. The malts are tasty on the tongue. After the malts go away you are left with a fruit bitterness and a little alcohol burn. It's a pretty beer with not much else going for it. I could not recommend this beer unless you happen to be a fan of the style.(I must not be)

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Photo of bobhits
2.65/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is just about perfect appearance. The deep dark red, 3 finger off white cream head, lacing, lots of bubbles, just well done.

Amber and caramel malts that aren't doing much. I have a feeling this will get better as it warms so I'll come back.

A very malt dominated beer. The hops work to add a touch of a bite at the end but they really don't make much of an effort to be a part of this beer. Some cherries, alcohol esters, very complex flavor. That said it isn't exciting.

I find this beer dull to drink and it's not overly fun to drink. The body is fairly heavy but well carbonated. Just doesn't drink exceptionally well.

I'd recommend buying a single if you can. That said the price is pretty reasonable.

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Photo of psycHOPathy
2.67/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Dark cola color with half a finger of fine grained head
Roasted sweet malts, cocoa, coffee. Some leather
Woody, chocolate, coffee, rye, walnut. A weird almost chemically taste up front. Like hairspray. That's what this tastes like: cocoa hairspray.
A little slick and oily. Minimal carbonation
In every variety pack of beer there's the one "mystery" or "brewer's choice" beer that is just the bad beer they're trying to get rid of. I think this is it. Wish it tasted as good as it smells

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Photo of Zorro
2.68/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled due to the kindness of gbontrag.

This is a clear reddish brown beer with a momentary light brown head.

Smell is sweetish with a fairly strong herbal aroma with the scent of fuggles to it. Fairly strong aroma of chocolate and British ale yeast fruitiness.

Taste begins quite neutral with a bit of coffee in the aftertaste. This is a little weird it is almost as if this beer has not actual taste and is all after taste. From the smell I kind of expected something of an ESB flavor but I don't get any here, there is nothing but dark malt coffee taste in the finish. I have checked to see if my taste buds are out of whack tonight and they are not. One glass of Pilsner and one of frambozen in 4 hours does not change my sense of taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

A severe disappointment. I expected something more than this beer delivered like taste. This is probably a great crossover beer but I simply require more taste from a beer in the strong ale classification.

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Photo of mntlover
2.77/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a dark dark red with brown highlights a tan head that is gone mighty fast no lace. Sweet fruity malt raisins plums sugar drops dance threw my head very light on hop aroma. Taste is lightly carbonated sweet malt flowing with fruity flavors great start. Goes all to hell has a strange sour finish? Beer was fine smelled good even tasted good until the lingering sour aftertaste . Is it bad and if so wouldn't it be worse if contaiminated? If anyone knows beer mail meI can't believe that was whta they were going for. Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability is of course not good do to sour taste. I will have to try this again to be sure some day.

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Photo of kinglouix
2.77/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Don't understand the high ratings. Of the winter beers I find that his one rates towards the bottom of all that I have tried this year. Don't know how they can even call this an old ale because of the strong overbearing hoppiness. Similar in that aspect to Sierra Nevada Celebration ale. Flat nose with no distinction, initial burst of bitterness and no soothing follow through, maybe faint chocolaty finish but nondescript. I wouldn't purchase this again.

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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 jamex
2.8/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On draft at Pizza Port, Ocean Beach.

Had an amazing beer before this so maybe my sights were set too high. Wasn't that into it.

Strong malt and some hint of some spice, but the sharp taste was too bitter/sour for me. Had trouble getting this one down. Almost tasted like something "was wrong" with the beer. Regardless, I won't be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of demcorhip
2.83/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark, mahogany bodied ale with a 1 finger tan coloured head. Very mildly carbonated, and thinly yet intricately laced. A few big chunks escaped during the pour.

Treacle toffee, red man plug, and leather. Hints of cherry and other dark pitted fruit. Alcohol, and earthy and woody hops also quite evident.

Hints of lightly buttered treacle toffee, cherry and other pitted fruits. Big tobacco flavour with lesser hints of leather. Pronounced woodiness and earthy hop bitterness.

Almost balanced, in terms of malts and hops. Fusel alcohol character predominates however with its woody alcohol heat and takes away all enjoyment from drinking this brew. Quite dry and medicinal in the finish, more unfermented sugars would have helped this one out alot.

Not very drinkable. Not sessionable. If this was a characteristic bottle not recommended.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
2.86/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a large snifter. Reviewed 6/25/2010. Bottled Nov 24 2009.

Ar: chocolate, alcohol, light roast/burn, toasty, lightly ashy, lightly oxidized, grainy

Ap: light dense off white head, deep brown, clear

T: strong toast, mild roast, freshly burnt bread, nutty, oaky/earthy, dry burnt end, balanced towards sweet, mild dark dry fruit, too toasty/grainy

M: medium body, dry burnt end with alcohol warmth

O: unique but unpleasant aggressive toast/burn

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.86/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005. Poured out to a auburn orange color with a short lived head that calmed to a thin layer of white-ish tan foam over the beer. Lower carboantion, with some lacing. Aromas were very pronounced, with a strong plum and dark fruit notes. Flavors were way out of whack... maybe this should've been aged longer. Some dark fruits, stale and sour malt. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, slightly chewy. Fair drinkability at best. I don't think i'll be revisiting this one...

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
2.87/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks: dark brown very little if any light shining through. Smell: initially grains, bread batter after the pour. Later I only get floral herbaceous hops with minimal malt or grain. Taste: sad to say not my cup of tea. I don't like ale with this flavor profile. It reminds me of a doppelbock gone wrong. It has a nice balance of dark roasted malt with herbal hops. Might be the strong alcohol note. This would be good with a meal just not my preference for a sipping beer. YMMV. Mouth feel: very full almost syrupy. Overall: If you like old English ales with a darker roast malt and herbal hop and high ABV this could be for you. For me it is better to look else where Samuel Smith for example.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a Great Divide snifter at the Great Divide taproom yesterday. Reviewed from notes. I didn't pair it with food. Expectations were average as I'd had it before.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and average retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark amber.

Sm: Light toasted malt and cherry. A rather light scent, but a pleasant one.

T: Vague bright cherry fruit notes. A bit of candied sugar, light amber hops, and light caramel. Very restrained. It's enjoyable, but muted and a bit boring.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thin.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. Okay but not what I expect in a strong ale. I wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of yen157
2.92/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge cream colored head which almost had a pinkish hue. The whipped looking foam raised itself almost 2/4 inch above my shaker glass before settling into the beer leaving a rocky top capping the deep red beer with millions of tiny particles in suspension. Nose of the beer consisted of a sweet and sour malt with some subtle hints of hops and toasted grains. Slick, sour malt flavor with some charcoal hiding in the background. I’m not sure if this beer was bad, but it sure was sour. It did get sweeter as my mouth became acclimated to the acidity. I’ll have to come back to this one.

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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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