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Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
2,913 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,913 |  Reviews: 1,176
Photo of fdw3
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red-tinted brown with a relatively thin tan colored head with little retention but laces nice dots as it recedes.

Smells of roasted malts contrasted with flowery hops. Lighter notes of sweetness and dark fruit is also noticeable.

Tastes of bold, sweet malts and finishes with a bite of hops. Sweetness mimics a molasses/caramel flavor and alcohol is moderately disguised -- noticeable but not overwhelming.

Body is significant and feels sticky with lower carbonation; perfect for warming up.

Drinkability is moderate but high for the style as the ale is well-balanced. I really enjoyed this beer although two would certainly be my limit at a sitting.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

$12 for a 6 pack.
Picked this up at a hole in the wall liquor store in Tampa, FL (hence the high price I guess). I haven't even seen this beer offered at Total Wine or ABC.

This thing pours gorgeous for an Ale. Nice head and serious lacing. I am a stout guy so ales aren't usually up my alley but this thing looks damn good and smells great. Reminds me of a Bells Two Hearted Ale smell but a little thicker. Honestly, I could just chew this son-of-a-bitch up by the smell alone. Ales usually don't smell this intense. This smells pretty promising.

T- Blah Blah Blah, heres where the hoity toity's say "it erupts on my tongue with its fragrant malty hoppishness". Whatever, this is a solid, bold tasting ale. Actually, I am almost tasting chocolate on this brew. Maybe the malts are so bold, but it tastes like chocolate.

One of the best I have ever had for the style. I try to keep in mind the style because if this brew was an IPA I would have a hard enough time approaching any IPA but this would sit me down and say "drink me" (or was it eat me?).

M- Fantastic for an ale....you gotta try this bitch. I mean hell, $2 for a single of this (okay $3 if you are buying a single) but well worth it. Shit, I took my wife out to a Sushi bar on Monday and the Yeungling drafts were $5 a pop (for THAT swill nonetheless) so makes $3 beer of this character seem cheap.

D- Bring this on all night long! I have 6 and this is the first. Probably knock out another 1 before trying something else.

Seriously, BM if you have any questions on this bad boy as I am seriously impressed this.

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label dated 2010, the month/day are illegibly printed, looks like "Nov 13" possibly.

Bright garnet tone in the light, with a full head of tan foam when first poured. It dissipates after a few minutes to a broken skim, with an intricate ring of lace around the edges.

Smell is lightly medicinal, earthy, sweet and malty. Bready too, with a twinge of perceptible alcohol when swirled. Some vanilla comes through at room temperature.

Very malt driven, slightly sweet at first becoming dry in the finish with very mild residual bitterness. Multigrain bread, walnuts, leaf tobacco, and some mild hop herbals in the aftertaste. Light feel, the 8.7% ABV isn't overwhelming, but certainly one to respect and take time with. Not sure that i'd get more, but wouldn't turn one down.

2014: Fresh bottle, less than 3 weeks old. Lots of roast and puffed wheat in the aroma. Roasty malt flavors, tobacco, walnut, and a lingering earthy hop bitterness. Hops are a little more noticeable in the fresh bottle. Thanks to Bob for this one!

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Photo of bum732
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Floral and earthy hops, hoppy mineral note, some caramel maltiness.

L: Light tan head that dissipates, mostly clear brownish red. Nice lacing.

T: Leafy hoppy semi-sweet light caramel malt. Low herbal bitterness leading to a more mineral like hoppiness with a touch of toffee. Finishes semi-dry with some more earthy hoppiness.

M: Medium-full bodied, low carbonation.

Surprisingly hoppy for the style, i suppose it'll fade with age. I think it was dry hopped a bit too much as there are prominent mineral notes that taste odd.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my oversized snifter. Bottling date is 9/2/10.

Pours an orange-ish amber with red highlights. Translucent, with a thin, fizzy head that leaves isolated spots of sticky bubbles all along the inside of the glass. Not very much head retention. Nose is initially sweet and malty, but transitions quickly into some spicy notes and a lot of dark fruit. Little bit of alcohol can be detected on the back end, along some slight hop aroma. Smells quite a bit like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and that's definitely points in this brew's favor.

Initial sip is sweet and malty just like the nose, with a little bit of chocolate undertone, which is surprising, but welcome. Gives way to dark fruit along with some nuttiness, followed by some light hoppy bitterness.Some bready and caramel notes lead into the slight alcohol warmth at the back end. Mouthfeel is a bit drying, with a medium body and quite a bit of carbonation. I would have liked a bit more smoothness.

Drinkability is fairly good. Looks and tastes quite a bit like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which is a very welcome characteristic. Seems like an American take on the style, with hops playing a bigger part in the flavoring as well as the varied malts. Not bad for a cold winter night.

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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 CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into dimpled mug. Pours a clear, deep amber-red body with a finger-width, dense and creamy, tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice swirls on the surface and a good amount of lacing. Aroma is rich malts and a good amount of hops. Lots of toasted toffees and caramels, some light chocolates and roasts, a hint of smoke, and some over-ripe dark fruits and grapefruit. Flavor is along the same lines with a coating, rich toasted toffee and caramel malt feel. Nice amount of citrusy hops balance the big, robust malts very well. Some roasts and chocolate and even some light vanilla in here. A hint of dark fruits come in towards the end with a lingering flavor of sweet and toasty caramel, roast, and a light bitterness as well as a nice, subtle fruity character. Finishes smooth and rich. Full bodied with a drying end. Overall, a great beer. I love the big flavor and balance. One of my favorite winter brews.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark reddish brown into my standard glass mug. Cream colored head, lots of retention, tons of lacing. Not too much carbonation bubbling but the head says otherwise.

Smells like smooth caramel, maple syrup, roasted malt (lots and lots of malt character)

It's a delicious beer; lots of roasted malt, syrup and caramel like the scent. Deep hazlenuttiness, if thats a word. Hop flavor in the finish along with some biscuit. It's medium bodied and perfect for a snowy night like tonight.

Awesome beer. This is a new winter staple for me. Definitely another great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of masstransplant
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful dark amber with some reddish-copper. Almost no head though...this is inconsistent with some of the other review's I've read. Smelled like a typical Old English ale, lots of malt and some alcohol. Nothing remarkable. The same can be said for the taste. Alcohol comes off first which mutes the rest of the taste experience. Not bad, but not great. The taste did improve as the beer approaced room temperature. Good carbonation, and a somewhat crisp mouthfeel. All around average...glad I only bought two.

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

Into a snifter.

Very deep red-amber color with a bubbly, smooth head. Quite lively, lots of bubble streams created. Head doesn't last, but leaves thick lacing down the sides. Great color, great head. Smell is outrageously nutty; smooth peanut butter, caramel drenched hazelnuts, roasted pecans. Backdrop of creamy sweetness, some doughiness. Big, thick and rich smells. Very malty. Flavors follows aroma: smooth hazelnuts, soft bread-like malt profile, mild sweetness, fig-iness, coffee and finishes on a balanced hop note. Falls a bit flat in the finish, kind of mashes up and becomes mixed, but still quite good. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. No roughness or over-carbonation here! Big bodied, duh.

Great sipper to watch a Kubrick film to. Prost!

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Photo of Briken
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, dark amber with slight red highlights, a thin tan head that's only big and fluffy after an aggressive pour but with poor retention and lacing. Deep malty spice aroma. Rich malt and spice character. Chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, slight alcohol, and an overall spicy sweet balance. Clean finish. Mouthfeel begins with a bite and ends with a lightly fticky and fuzzy mouthcoating.

This beer has everything in a nice balanced equation. An almost indescribable effect as flavors meld into one another weaving a taste tapestry. An easy drinking, wonderful concoction that left me very angry that someone had stolen one out of the last 6-pack available this year. I guess I can look at it the other way and say it was their loss for not taking them all.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, bottled on date clearly marked on label.

When pouring into my glass this beer looks thick and rich. I have to lift the bottle up pour from a greater height to agitate the beer and produce a head, which could easily foam over the glass if I wasn't careful. Body is clear and deep chestnut ruby. Lacing is some of the best I have seen, and head retention is wonderful. This beer is nearly as good as it gets for appearance.

The nose is also fantastic, with sticky dark fruits (figs mostly, but raisins as well) lurking under layers of rich strong malts. This concoction is crowned with hops that never present fully as it seems they are dripping in malty syrup. A little swirl brings up more hops, and it is evident that this was dry-hopped.

Deep caramelized sugar and chocolate malts pair with figs and raisins in the mouth. Enough bitterness is present from the flavorful hops to keep the malts from being cloying. Alcohol is present enough to enhance the flavors, but doesn't burn or detract from anything.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, with compact carbonation fitting in perfectly. I just love the carbonation in this beer, and would be fooled to think it was bottled conditioned if I didn't see a lack of sediment. Drinkability is quite good. Very tasty.

Conclusion: Great Divide rarely misses a mark, and this beer is no exception. Rich, well hopped (for an English style) and flavorful. In a blind tasting I might peg this as an English barleywine or maybe even an aged American barleywine. Whatever. This is a great beer, and one of my favorite offerings from one of my favorite breweries.

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

Body is reddish copper. Weak head dissipates quickly to a thin ring, leaving little to no lacing.

Nose is faint, some sweet malt and some chocolate.

Tastes of malt, biscuits, some milk chocolate, brown sugar. Finishes dry and hoppy. Good balance of slightly bitter hops to the rich sweet malt.

Body is medium with just enough carbonation to produce a spritzy mouthfeel.

I am enjoying this, but the strong malt dominance would keep me from having another at one sitting.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lots of carbonation. Rich red-brown [burnt sienna with red].

S: Hops and sweet malts, chocolate, lambic yeast, fruit.

T: More malts, a little chocolate, nutty hops at finish. Yeast and fruit.

M: Crisp and bubbly. Nice, but kind of subdued and unimpressive.

D: Very enjoyable. Great flavor, but it's not very intense.

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

A- Pours a beautiful, ruddy brown hue with light brown head.

S- Dark fruits, raisin, fig, brown sugar.

T- Really solid old ale. Lots of dark fruit, pronounced brown sugar, hints of roasted malt.

M- Medium/Thick with ample carbonation.

D- A very nice example of an old ale that is extremely drinkable. Nothing crazy here but a good example of the style.

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

Grabbed a bottle of this at Total Wines, and paired it with a great bacon-wrapped filet and broccoli.

First off, this was a perfect pairing, and I strongly suggest this beer for grilling on a cold winter night. Pours into a chalice with very little foam, maybe a cm, but thats it. Beautiful red body, brown at its center, but a great reddish hue. Nose is very malty, but full of a very interesting sugary tone.

Body is sweet and roasted, full of malt, but with just a tinge of sugar. Tiny bite of hops, just underneath the rest of the more dominate flavors. Medium body, nothing overpowering, slick, etc, just a nice beer feel. Overall, nice and drinkable, and definitely think this is best paired with some good grilled food.

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Photo of farrago
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presents two fingers of reddish tan foam, decent density with smaller, tighter bubbles, mild dimpling with good retention at the half finger point, thick streaks of lacing. Dark red-brown color, closer to redwood than mahogany, more translucent than opaque, clearer and brighter orange at the glass bottom. The nose emphasizes cocoa and mocha powder, dusty texture, dried oats, scones, Brazil nuts, concentrated cherry to plum fruit scents, as it warms the orange citrus spreads out, overall more of a gentle toast than deep roast, the hops linger in the background. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is in overdrive from the start, this churning helps to mask a lot of the underlying dryness. Again with the powdery cocoa, mocha, coffee, even the caramel seems this way. Well-baked pastry dough to scone, muffin flavors, well beyond yeasty. Mixed nuts, orange peel, here a little pine sap gets into the mix. The plum, cherry, blackberry fruit gets pushed off to near the finish. At the end gets more earthy with fallen wood notes, nothing close to herbaceous. Extra bonus points for the dryness, not taking the easy overly sweet route.

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

A- Very dark amber in color. A fingers worth of white colored head.

S- Sweet roasted malt up front with a good amount of citrus hops behind it.

T- Sweet roasty malts leave a great lingering flavor on my palate. Butterscotch flavors pour oyt of thia one. Great sweetness balanced with hops.

M- A pleasant mouthfeel that leaves a great aftertaste. The thickness off this one is almost perfect.

D- 8.7 %? wheres the burn on this one? Ill tell ya. Not here

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Photo of rembrant
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Catching up my notes

Looks- Hamdsome,clear deep red brown with a substantial cream colored 2 finger head

Aroma Earthy,some yeast,toast,a hint of fruit in the back.

Flavor Different and interesting. Something in the malt side almost wants to do a coffee taste...but not quite. There's a base flavor that's mostly grain,bread,sweet rolls with a bit of brown sugar It does taste...like Ale,while not tasting much like any other thing. A bit of the dark fruit and oak/wood tastes are there but rather merged. The hops do their bittering in a good proportion with some woodiness but no pine resin. The Malts exhibit roastiness but not quite a coffee or chocolate note.

Mothfeel is quite solid,full with enough carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. It is a robust ale that's tasty and hearty and a bit unusual. I assume it's based on a traditional English ale that looks for a neutral flavor mix I'd say it's well executed because I kind of like it.

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

UPDATE: Adding a vintage 2010 bottle, sampled Dec 2011. Everything was similar to the original except the flavors were much more melded and less "green". Hops have fallen out which I enjoy and I enjoy this more with some age on it than I did fresh. I plan to buy some soon and age it for next year or beyond...

Aromas of sweet and roasted malts, some chocolate and a lightly robust aroma. Really sweet and inviting with caramels and layers of toasted malts, yum.

The taste has flavors of sweet caramel malt, lots of toffee, some lighter coffee, earthy, a little alcohol (though not hot) finishing with some dark fruit. A nicely hopped finish that balances well with the maltiness.

The mouthful is full, creamy and smooth with adequate carbonation, a real joy to consume.

Overall, this is top 5 Winter beer on the planet in my opinion. It satisfies everything you want in a winter warmer, the high ABV limits your enjoyment but if you can pace yourself you will be rewarded with this seasonal brew from Great Divide.

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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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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 2,913 ratings
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