Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
2,930 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,930 |  Reviews: 1,179
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Photo of goblue3509
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a skim head which gives way to just edging. When you hold the beer to the light the color is revealed as a ruby red color with visible carbonation. The aroma is of dark fruits and of a slight chocolate along with some caramel malt. The taste has a caramel malt backbone with a big chocolate taste in the middle of the the beer, there is then a pear bite of flavor on the backend to finish out the beer. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it was a very good beer, it was a good taste and had a nice aroma.

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Photo of tgorgz
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: Into a standard pint glass from a 22 oz. Split this with the girlfriend over some studying. Characteristic pour of the old ales.

A: Dark amber. No head, no lacing- but the bubbles make it pretty good-looking.

S: Solid, boozy smell at first. I was in the mood for that today, so I'll chalk it up a little hiring. But, from there, we're getting lots of dark fruits- plums, prunes, raisins, figs- roasted fig, specifically. The second smelling picks up hints of chocolate and some toasted nut.

T: VERY different from the smell. The boozy taste I thought I was going to get really isn't there, the fruits are not so much there either. What I AM getting is the nuttiness, the coffee and those subtle bits of chocolate mentioned earlier. Interesting beer.

M: A little flat, honestly. I would have liked a little more there to have a jig on the palate.

O: Good beer for a winter's night. Might not be the first old ale I go to, but certainly pleasing.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my opinion, Great Divide is one of the premiere American breweries for great European styles; all you have to do is look at Hoss and Hades to know that. And, since the label on this one reads “English Style Old Ale,” the Hibernation in my glass is very exciting. Here’s to classic beer with an American twist!

I don’t understand this: why is there a “Bottle On” box on the label if it’s just completely blacked-out? Oh well, I’m guessing it’s this year’s, meaning it came out not long before the date of this tasting.

A: Perfect beer for a wine glass: it pours a dark crimson, shining a gorgeous ruby if you hold it up to the light. We’re not talking off-red or magenta, either – this is absolutely blood red. Incredible. The head is not as impressive, coming in at about a half-finger of beige silk, leaving little in the realm of retention. Medium-strength lacing, though.

S: Roasted to the core; unlike many old ales I’ve tried, this one has only a mild malt syrupiness. Coffee, char, chocolate, and toffee are the biggest scents; so big, in fact, that it actually reminds me of Founders Breakfast Stout at first. It’s unique and instantly loveable. I love these light fruit punch scents, too, which work to bring in both smoothness from the malts and tang from the hops. The malts win; their aromas, backed up by the richness of the roasts upfront, gets to the point where it turns the nose into something truly Samuel Smith-like (something excellent to strive for in this style).

T: Smooooth chocolate is big and bold on the very front; it’s like hot homemade cocoa. Roasted barley and charcoal, ginger, apple butter, ripe pear – all products of the malts. These subtly bitter flavors work wonderfully with the palate’s light hopping, which manifests itself with a unique lime flavor and earthy tartness. It’s hard to explain, as it blends with the thick, acidic yeast to form an even coating of citrus pulp. Finishes mildly sour with light fruits and tart hops. The only downside is that I can taste a bit of chalkiness from the yeasts, the same as I found in my last Yeti. Still, it’s a less intense flavor, and the rest of the palate is very well-done – overall, I think it’s safe to say that Great Divide has done it again when it comes to great Euro-inspired beer.

M: The carbonation on this one is so upfront it’s almost overwhelming at first. Over time, it dwindles to the silky astringency that’s more appropriate for the hop/yeast combination, though the brisk bubbles are never completely lost.

O: There’s always something about Great Divide’s beers that are just so damn good; something that could overshadow even the biggest palate faults. Even better, though, is that there really aren’t that many pitfalls in this beer’s flavor – the unusual lime bite of the hops is just added goodness. With beer like this, Great Divide powers through the realms of both old-world style and American creativity. I don’t know which is represented more, but one thing’s for sure: this old ale style just keeps getting more and more interesting…

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 2,930 ratings
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