Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

2,893 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,893 |  Reviews: 1,173
Photo of shand
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.

This beer pours without a head. Really, there's nothing here. At all. Otherwise, it's a deep red colour, and all things considered, it lace decently. The smell is mostly sweet malts, there's some dark fruits and dark chocolate in here as well. The taste is rather good. The taste is predominantly sweet, but there's some bittering hops at the very end that really helps it from becoming cloying. It's really rather good tasting.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and lightly carbonated, and the drinkability is high enough for the ABV, but hampered by how sweet a brew this is. It's all together a pretty good brew, it's just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of charlzm
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Encinitas Ale House in Encinitas, CA on December 29th, 2010.

Medium to deep reddish brown beer with an extremely fine light tan head. Spectacular sheeting.

Smoky, woody aroma offset with notes of toasted malt. Unique combination of smells.

First thing noted about the flavor is wood - oak? Rich on the palate: caramel malt, juicy fruit notes in the midtaste (pitted fruit), controlled bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick with somewhat low carbonation.

This is the kind of beer I love - a sipper to savor.

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Photo of LeftyEtc
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep reddish brown body with a thin tan head that quickly recedes leaving sticky lacing on glass.

S - Sweet roasted malts, brown sugar offset by strong stinging hops.

T - Ginger, cinnamon and malty sweetness balanced nicely by bittering hops that grab your attention at the end of each sip. Slight alcohol bite with lingering sweet after taste.

M - Sticky and chewy body carbonated just slightly. This is a warming and comforting beer great after just shoveling snow or a post-snow hike. I find it to be a complex and joyful beer easily accompanied by a few more due to its excellent taste and intriguing aroma.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of bitter malt, hop, spices, alcohol, and caramel. The flavor was of bitter malt, bitter hop, clove, spices, caramel, and slight banana. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Definitely a welcomed change for most winter seasonals out there. Nice hop profile going on here in the both the aroma and flavor. Can't wait to try the -bal version (hint hint traders!)...

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

A beer bottle brown (really, I compared) with garnet shades. healthy head of two fingers, very good retention and a nice amount of lace. Smell is toffee and pine with a touch of toasted malt. Some yeasty esters and a touch of earth. Taste is sweet with a big toffee front that gives way to a pine and citrus hops. Finish is long and dry with a lingering grapefruit and and a bit of mocha/coffee. A bit of warming from the alcohol but it is well integrated and does not really draw attention to itself. Some tea, leafy hops and a hint of mint. Feel is slightly syrupy with a mild carbonation. A nice winter sipper that goes down nicely.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice clear brown body with ruby highlights, topped with a puffy tan head. Good head retention with spotty lacing with a lot of visible carbonation.

S: Initial thought is a very malty nose. Sweet caramel malts, candy sugar, dark fruits, and perhaps toasted chocolate malts are in the aroma. Barely any noticable hops, but one can pick up some floral notes.

T: A wonderfully balanced old ale with earthy hops, caramel malts, and a subtle sweetness from some dark fruits. In the middle I got some toffee notes, and it finishes with a slight bitterness along with some warmth from the booze.

M: Full to medium body, medium carbonation, and although smooth to drink, it has almost a chewy texture.

D: Really easy to drink, but I can only see myself drinking 1-2 at a time. Would love to sit on this one for a year and let it age a bit.

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Photo of HOPPYKC
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12oz. bottle and poured into a pint glass. Poured a dark amber and caramel color with a thick appearance. This is one of the first old style ales that Ive had but i like a lot of GD ales. The smell is of coffee, hops, and malt. Taste is also of malt and chocolate, with a hops character. The drinkability is great for a beer with abv. 8.7%. its almost unnoticeable, and make it easy to get carried away with a beer like this. Great beer!

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

pours a deep, dark copper/mahogany in color, crystal clear with a thick white puffy head.

sweet malty aroma. notes of dark dried fruit (plums, raisins), caramel malts and a fantastic biscuity backbone. subtle floral notes indicate there was a small amount of dry hopping, but it wasn't enough to stand out. fantastic.

flavor imitates the aroma in the fact that it is insanely sweet. not sugary sweet, but sweet from the massive amounts of malts used in this brew. aforementioned flavors of dark dried fruit, caramel and biscuity malts are all there. no hop character. A-Mazing.

slick and smooth mouthfeel; good drinkability

one of my favorite styles by one of my favorite breweries.

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

12 oz bottle

Hunkered down, fitting day to try this beer.

Pours a clear dark brown amber. Thin off white foamy head. Nose is phenol, malty, dark licorice. Taste's similir to the nose, bitter licorice warming to a strong alcohol presence on the palatte. Medium bodied, dry mouthfeel. A sipper for me, only picked up one bottle to try. Not nearly as much malty/hop presence as I read about. About as good as an Old Ale should be I gather. Allright to try, perhaps not a repeat purchase here.

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Photo of DPhillips1027
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber to reddish in color with a thin creamy head that dissipates quickly. Fairly transparent, with a little lacing around the glass.

S: Malty sweetness with a hint of caramel, a whiff of citrus towards the end. Definitely something fall like in the nose.

T: Very well balanced, malts first followed by just the right amount of hops. Slightly sweet but finishes well. Nothing seems to be to overpowering.

M: Smooth and buttery, slight carbonation.

D: A great winter brew for us here in Ohio. Warms the belly along with the spirits on a cold dark NE night. Probably could finish the whole growler myself but will share. Wonder if it this good in bottles?

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Photo of Oregonfiresteed
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Drank straight from the bottle due to lack of glassware! a very English style malty beer. Not my preferred choice of beer. However it did have a well balanced hop flavor to compliment the strong malts. Very nice dark brown color. Really don't think I could drink but one of these beers, but thats only because of personal preference.

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Photo of KidsDoc
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (Oct 2010) poured into tulip

A: deep amber with an full tan head - brief. sticky lacing and a thin, bubbly collar that sits on top

S: complex - initially some almond, toffee notes. Then picked up some semi-sweet chocolate reminded me of "tootsie roll" candy of all things. Floral hops more noticeable as it warms a bit.

T: Very well blended with sweet malt/toffee flavor up front (as it warms I get a slight sour taste). Middle throws in some light chocolate, roasted flavor. Finish in a nice blend of the floral hops and dark malt.

M: Heavier carbonation than I was expecting. Thins out as it warms. Light-medium bodied.

D: this is one of the more complex brews I have had. This is a sipper - partly to enjoy all it has to offer but also with the 8+ ABV. Very enjoyable but filling.

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

Poured from the bottle in my Sam's Perfect Pint Glass.

Upon a slight cloudy reddish-brown body sat a very slight tan head.

Smell - I first picked up a good deal of citrus and pine notes, followed by roasted malts, some chocolate.

Taste - not knowing what to expect out of this one, it caught me by delicious surprise. Full bodied, hoppiness that is rounded by the dark roasted malts that create a very nice toasted caramel and toffee flavors. Very satisfying to the palate.

Mouthfeel - medium at best. Carbonation is there and will be noticed.

Drinkability - The more offerings I have from Great Divide, the more I'm liking this brewery. This is another winner for me in my book. I could have a couple of these in the evening and be completely content. Another awesome brew by Great Divide!

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Photo of samie85
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a maroon/brown color with two and a half fingers of very dense, glistening, light brown head.

S-Some faint dark fruit notes, a bit of chocolate and roasted notes with some spice and a slightly floral hop nose.

T-A bit of bitter floral and pine notes with dark chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruit notes and finishes malty and bitter.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a rich sumptuous mouthfeel. It's chewy without being over the top thick.

D-I don't even think words can describe how easy drinking this beer is. I've almost gone through a six pack in 2 days... it's just almost regal in its richness but balanced by the pronounced, yet not scene-stealing hop notes. I kind of want to run out and buy a case of this. It really is that good!

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date of Nov 10, 2010. Pours a rich dark brown with a medium head. Minimal lacing. Smells of coffee, chocolate, malts, and spices. Taste is hard to pinpoint. I'm picking up on a lot of spices up front with malt and chocolate after that. Somewhat boozey. Aftertaste of caramel. Overall taste is earthy. The strong flavors and higher ABV make this one not all that drinkable. It's a decent beer but I'm more interested in seeing how this ages, because drinking it fresh is a bit over-powering.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - mahogany, dark brown, 2 finger head,
solid lacing display.

S - mild ripe fruit, roasted nuts, toffee,
hint of chocolate, smokiness.

T - toasted nuts/toffee, mild sweet chocolate,
plum/fig/date in background.

M - med/heavy body, smooth structure, good carbonation balance.

D - A 6 pack of this will get you in trouble.
Very interesting beer, big flavor for sipping,
but goes down with ease.


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

A - Pours a deep, dark brown, with a nice, two finger tan head, with good head retention and thick lacing.

S - Smell is of roasted/bittersweet chocolate/coffee, nuts, dark fruits, and toffee

T - Taste is of rich, chewy chocolate/caramel and toffee malts, with hints of dark and citrus fruits (I'm getting plum, and just a slight hint of orange), and nuts. Yummy stuff!

M - This beer is full-bodied for sure. Smooth and creamy, mild carbonation.

D - It's a big beer, but the alcohol is very well hidden, boosting the drinkability score here.

Overall - A fitting name this beer has, as it makes for a great beer to sip on as a winter warmer, or as a nightcap. Another winner from a great brewery!

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color with garnet highlights and a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and some sweetness.

Tastes of the toasted malts with plenty of character. Malts have a caramel and chocolate flavor with some brown sugar. Fairly sweet. Dark fruits make an appearance and add to the malts. A bit roasted bitterness and earthy hops round out the end. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

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Photo of matt062286
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep ruby red/ brown. Slightly cloudy. Small off-white tan head that dissipates quickly. Little head retention, minimal lacing.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, raisins, roasted malts.

T - Robust and strong. Sweet malts initially, followed by smoky malts and a touch of bitter hop finish. Bit of alcohol presence here as well. Nice warming sensation to this the further I drink it. Hops linger in aftertaste.

M - Minimal to moderate carbonation. Heavier body.

D - The higher ABV and heavier body make this more suitable to sipping versus drinking. Nonetheless, I could see myself having a couple of these on a cold winter night. Overall a pleasant experience that hits the nail on the head for a winter brew!

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

A: This poured a clear dark cherry with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like coffee and roasted barley, with a little brown sugar and a bit of pumpernickel.
T: It tasted like lots of coffee, with some brown sugar and roasted barley and copper hops. It had a fairly clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with some carbonation. Nice and full.
D: This was a very nice porter, but it didn't seem much like an old ale to me. The alcohol was hidden fairly well, so it was pretty easy to drink. It was enjoyable fresh, but I'm very curious to see what happens to it as it ages. So far it doesn't seem like anything special.

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Photo of LanceW
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: A dark amber almost the color of dark autumn leaf.

Smell: I was not able to pick up much of a distinct aroma in this beer. Left me wanting more in this area.

Taste: Solid beer. I was able to pick up some coco flavors but the mild sent it did have did not match its flavor. I was surprised

Mouthfeel: I felt like this beer had great body and left you with a full sensation in your mouth. Very pleased in this category.

Drinkability: Drink ability is great The flavor is not faint nor is it overwhelming. I could have one or three in a single sitting.

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

Serving Type - On tap

APpearance - Dark tan/black with red tint. Average thick head

Smell - Roasted malts, alcohol, sugars, yeast, hops, some carmael and barley

Taste - Thick and hoppy with lots of roasted barley, very simular to barleywine but not quite as strong. Plenty of hops mixed with carmael to give it a sweet and bitter taste. Alcohol gives it a warm feeling.

Mouthfeel - Its pretty strong and fairly bitter, so mouth gets warm and tounge gets some bitterness from the hops. Thick and strong, a sipper for sure, i would drink a ipa or pale ale after this.

Drinkabilty - Its easier to drink then most barleywines since its not as strong and bold, but it is still 8.7% so its a one and done for me. If barleywines are too much for you, maybe give this a shot. Has the familar hop flavor from great divine, would recommend this for sure.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes composed on 12/3/10.

I'm f****n cold. It's time to hibernate.

Hibernation Ale pours mahogany-brown into a very large snifter. A dark tan, half-finger head looks lovely and leaves a full-covering film of retention. The lacing is nice - fine and sticky.

A musty, malt-heavy smell headlines the bouquet. There is a bit of an earthy, citrus hop profile that complements the maltbill. Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, freshly disturbed earth, orange rind, plum, and fig result from the beer's ingredients.

Right from the start of the sip, grassy, citrusy hops make their presence known on my bitter receptors, while that musty, caramel and brown sugar malt profile hits my sweet spots. After smelling the beer, I am a bit surprised at how hoppy it is. Contrary to my general love of hops, I actually think I would like a little less of the hop profile and a little more of the malt profile on my palate. I would guess that I would enjoy the flavor more after a few months of aging (bottled on 10/13/10).

A stinging bite from the hops, with a decent medium, rounded out feel in the middle of the sip when the sweet malts kick it up a notch constitutes the mouthfeel. The carbonation is on the low side, but is suitable for this beer.

This Is not really a memorable beer in my mind, but it is a well-crafted and pretty tasty one. I would like to try this beer again with a little more age on it.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Mahoghany color, very clean. Head a bit sparse.

Very dry, somehwhat smoky aroma. Tastes like a really dry porter with a kick. Pairing fantastically with some oatmeal taken cookies. Oat & cinnamon & nutmeg really bringing out the flacors in the beer.

Every year I pick up this beer, I end up wishing I had gotten more.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Blood red/brown, transparent, with a creamy light brown head and no lacing.

S - Lots of sweet and roasted malts, some chocolate, and an over all robust aroma.

T - The taste is malty sweet, with some hints of hot chocolate, no noticeable alcohol, a lightly hopped.

M - Medium in body, but on the somewhat lighter side. Creamy and smooth though. little to no carbonation.

D - The drinability is good. I could drink another. The alcohol is tame, it smells great and it's a nice robust old ale.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,893 ratings.
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