Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
2,940 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: 2,940 |  Reviews: 1,182
Photo of RickS95
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany brown with lighter tones around the edges. There's almost no head to speak ok.

There's not much smell, but what's there is all malt with caramel notes. Smells like it's going to be sweet.

I can't put my finger on the ingredients, but its sweet and creamy early on, followed by some alcohol.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange. There's a richness to it that I've only felt once before. Regardless, you'll pick up sweet and heat during each sip.

A little different than what I'm used to, but not a bad beer at all. It's something I'd want to keep a bottle of in stock.

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Photo of rawfish
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Simple. Pours hazy, the same color as the bottle into a tulip glass. Off white half finger head with weaves of lacing on the glass.

Smell is light but hop forward surprisingly as mix of pine, backed with earthy and citrus hops. The malt aroma comes in like a scotch ale, molasses, caramel and chocolate at the end. Hoppy then sweet. Touch of sour apple and honey as well. Really light but I can't say I've had a beer with a nose like this.

Malty and slightly sweet on the initial drink molasses and syrup character present along with roasted nuts, chocolate and some holiday spices. The rest of the drink really threw me for a loop, hop flavors pine and citrus that starts from grapefruit and evolves to a biting lemon. Not much bitterness rather a dry and biting acidity on the finish. Refreshing but actually quite shocking. Sweet to sour with nice complexity and ideally balanced.

Medium bodied with a really pinching carbonation, active and biting at the same time. Dry mouth feel on the finish that is extra crisp and doesn't leave any aftertaste.

Never had this style but it has great balance and is really unique in its delivery. Sweet to acidic transition with all the character of a well hopped scotch ale. Not quite La Folie on the smoothness but actually quite comparable for a fraction of the price. Not sure what GD was aiming for on this one but I will come back.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks almost like a bock and smells just as wonderful. It has a sweet molasses smell mixed in with a chocolate milk smell and a bit of citrus mixing in with those 2 smells. The taste is just as delicious with that sweet molasses malt being the very first taste that hits your tongue then at the end you get the milk chocolate taste mixing in with a long dry finish with an herbal bitter hop. chocolate milk taste and the hops seem to be contributing to that pretty dry finish the most. Its actually a straight froward beer even with the thick rich taste it has. You also get a citrus hop in the back as well. The dryness is the only thing that could turn anybody off from this beer. Even though its a really dry finishing beer with each sip the sweetness balances it back out. Very cool beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle into a glass.

Hibernation pours a burnt orange shade with some copperish hues and a sustaining inch of thick tan foam, sturdy, leaves some clunks.

Smell is a whole lot a English malt smacked over Caramel, a touch of chocolate and dark fruit. A nice honey aspect and dank hops.

Taste is much better than expected, truth be told I did not even know about this beer till now. Ripe dark fruit, cherry soaked in caramel/sweet honey, Plum, ripe apple, sugar, a sting of hops.

Very rich and approahing near full bodied, the carb is there and leaves a tinge and the sweet stays a bit afterward. I could not read the date on the bottle but the semi bittering hops makes me guess this is semi fresh.

A nice old ale and one of the richer offerings from GD. A good night timer.

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Photo of bnes09
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber, semi-transparent ale. Not too much head forms yet produces a nice lacing.

Big malty aroma of dark fruits and sweet molasses. Spicy and rich.

Malt flavor is complex and robust. Deep maple sweetness. Raisins and prunes. Toffee and roasted almonds. Hops are shy and have a subtle earthy tone. An alcohol bite (warmth also) and nutmeg spice finishes off.

Full-bodied and bordering on the syrupy side. Well-carbonated. Thick and filling.

Overall, a highly complex and delicious old ale. Sure to warm any cold body during the winter. If I were a bear, I would love to drink one of these before hibernation.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a conical pint.

A: Pours a deep caramel with a cream-coloured head.

S: Smells of sharp hops and high lovibond crystal malt.

T: Taste is remarkably smooth and complex. Dry fruits and figs with rock candy sweetness and sharp, bitter hops. Sweet, spiced, and bitter at the same time.

D: Alcohol is very well hidden and taste is complex and interesting.

Overall: This beer blew away my expectations. It's very complex and just plain delicious! I really wish I had picked up another sixer because they're all gone by now.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark copper brown and sits deep dark brown/red. Head is about 1.5 fingers with good retention that ends up quite foamy. medium lacing.

S- musty and malty off the bat, thats got a sweeter kick toward the end of the first whiff. sweetness is more pronounced now. interesting smell.

T- mellow sweetness thats pretty tame. tiny bit of sweetness or very light bitterness left on my tongue. pretty tame taste with lots of malt.

M- smoooth with very small amount of carbonation. warm in the mouth and has a medium mouthfeel

O- not to crazy about this beer. maybe its the style or the beer itself. its refreshing to try something new so i cant count it out, but ill let the other 3 in the mix pack hang out for a little while

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark mahogany brown, slightly lighter brown on the periphery. Very solid one finger, off-white head forms up and reduces to a thin layer on top. Leaves nice sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Very malt, lots of caramel and some burnt sugar. A little molasses and some nuts.

T: Similar to the nose, heavy on the malt. Lots of caramel and nuts. A little bit of dark fruit (some raisons and grapes) and a slight alcohol presence right at the end.

M: Definitely fuller bodied and on the thicker side, but goes down smooth. Only a slight bit of alcohol right at the end.

O: Pretty good, my first old ale, and I like the heavy malt bill on this one. Its a sipper and I am enjoying it at slow pace, not something I would drink ovr and over again

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Photo of Duhast500
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz.bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark maroon with a finger of foamy off-white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is roasty and is slightly mixed with a burnt matchstick aroma with some malty sweetness that is there in the background.

The taste is also a bit roasty with some bready toasted malt flavor. There is a creamy flavor that take coats the pallet in sweet malts. There is some earthy goodness that makes this beer an interesting winter type beer.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and is smooth going down but does have some interesting creamy feel to each sip.

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Photo of beaker2651
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The deep, malty flavor of a porter, the hop bite similar to a black IPA and the drinkability of an english brown ale. Low to medium carbonation, as expected. Flavors blend extremely well to produce an overall exceptional beer. Not something to drink all night long, but if you're looking for a lot of flavor with a definite kick, this is a beer definitely worth trying, over and over again!

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Photo of webbcreative
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version.

Dark brown mahogany color with 1 finger off white head.

S= sweet, chocolate malt, some dark fruits. A touch of alcohol present, but this is still pretty young also.

T=sweet! and chocolate malt is most dominate to me. Again the alcohol shows its head. no real hop bitterness to speak of.

M= nice medium mouthfeel, that leaves sticky lip smacking goodness.

O=Pretty good beer, I would like to see how this progresses with some more age to it thought. There is not one component that jumps out to me that makes me say wow, this is a great barley wine, there are many more I would pick up in place of this.

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Photo of northaustin
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

reviewing the 09.

pours a solid, murky brown with ruby highlights. a fat finger of white head which settles quickly into an even head which leaves dotted lacing.

smell: super vanilla followed by mellow roasts. a sort of old grassy/dirty hop note is also present still.

taste: lots of toffee/vanilla type flavors followed by a nice caramel blast. rounded off by an earthy/woody finish.

mouthfeel: very slick in the beginning but over time builds up and leaves a filmy feeling.

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Photo of zrab11
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a Nice Brown Ale with some ruby color showing through .Off white head

S-Smeels of malts and old yeast, with some hoppy and chocholate notes

T- HAs a nice sour malty taste at first then finishes with a smokey nutty ending.

M-Medium Bodied with good carbonation

D- This is a great beer by Great Divide. Like it alot. Will def. get this beer again

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Photo of hickmancase
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Total Wine.

Electricity went out in my apartment, so I decided to make the best of the situation by cracking open a beer and playing my bass.

A: I can't really see it. It was difficult to poor. I think it's dark brown. I know there's a good two-finger head on it's top.

S: Brown sugar. Caramel. Malts. Nutmeg or allspice...or both. Whatever, smell has a hint of pumpkin pie.

T: It has bite. Not like the smell. Piney. Hopefully its better when it warms up. It does!

M: Thick and sticky. Good but too many bubbles.

D: Good brew, but would probably skip on it in favor of some other winter beers.


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Photo of JamisonM
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany color with a tan head

S: cinnamon with brown sugar milk chocolate and plums wow this smells great! perhaps some nutmeg as well.

T: up front its deep sweet brown sugar with a more dry finish then you would expect I am also getting some wonderful chocolate notes plums and nutmeg too.

M: med to heavy mouth with med to low carbonation

D: very drinkable very nice to drink on a cold night by the fire

overall: one of the best winter seasonal's out there I will buy this again no question about it.

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Photo of Transatlantic
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

A - Dark copper reddish brown. Crystal clear with an off white foamy head that sticks around for a while. No carbonation bubbles (to no surprise)

S - A dark malty sweet smell with a strong milk chocolate in the background presence. I'm not picking up any hop aroma but the smell is beautiful on the nose.

T - Oh wow, it's just like chocolate milk. A very tame but sweet sweet malty chocolate taste is the first taste you get and the last taste you get. I could say I taste some roasted coffee in the aroma, but i'd be lying. The taste of this beer is very straightforward. It's a milk chocolate beer and nothing more. (to which I love)

M - Medium to Full Bodied. Extremely creamy, hinting at the taste of chocolate milk.

D - If this beer weren't nearly 9% abv, it'd be drank like chocolate milk. Unfortunately, a pint or two of these will keep you warm enough to keep a smile on your face.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Reviewed December 2010.

A: Brown amber, but ruby when backlit. Light head, but decent lacing. I can just barely see through to the other side.

S: Funky old ale yeasts. Some malts. Nice, but generally mild.

T: Sourish at first before a nutty, malty richness sets in. Weird, but awesome -- almost fruity, almost smoky, completely delicious. The aftertaste is tangy and nutty-dry. I am frustrated by my inability to adequately describe this beer. You'll have to take my word that it's supremely tasty and try it for yourself.

M: Tart at times, but mostly smoothish and nice.

D: One of Great Divide's best beers. Simply wonderful.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a snifter. Bottled: 11/22/2010.

A: It has a mohogany pour with red highlights and a half-finger of whtie head that recedes quickly to the edges and laces well.

S: Molasses, raisins, dates, and brown sugar.

T: Raisins, caramel, candi sugar, vanilla, and booze.

M: The body is medium-thick with medium carbonation and some stickiness.

D: The raisin card is overplayed with this one. It becomes annoying about half way through and the rest becomes a struggle.

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Photo of gnemesis
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz 2010 bottle poured into wine glass on 12/26/2010.
This beer pours a dark brown with a creamy, tan head. Smells sweet at first take. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, some toasty malts. Not much in the way of hops. The earthy hop flavor emerges slightly with the first few sips but this one is malty sweetness. The caramel and brown sugar dominate with a sprinkle of the dark fruit. The after taste is a strange one- herbal essences shampoo? This is a clean, hand-washed glass, rinsed well, and dried so I'm not sure why I taste this. It's not even terrible just not right or expected. I lowered my score slightly to reflect this oddity. Medium body with the right amount of carbonation present. A decent old ale style beer but the off-flavor threw me for a loop a bit. I will age a few and revisit in the future. Sip on a cold night.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/9/9. Interesting.

A- transparent amber with white lacing around the edges.
S-cannot pick up much smell from this. Maybe sweetness
T-tastes like sweet caramel. Lots of malt here. Very pleasant
M-medium body and crisp. Sweet after taste
D-very drinkable. Liked this a lot. Prolly throw a 4 or 6er in my cellar.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 year cellared bottle. Pours orangish yellow. a bit of head that dissipates quickly. Smells sweet and malty. Lots of almost buttery sweetness on the nose. Smells great! Tastes pretty solid. A good amount of booziness and sweetness on the tongue. Very complex malt profile. Some camel and maybe even brown sugar on the tongue. Thick almost syrupy. Could do with another year even. Very drinkable and pretty tasty

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Photo of imagese
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smeared bottling date. Poured into tulip

A- Great ruby color with 1/4" tan head that faded fast and left soapy lacing

S- sweet malt, oak, toffee, and slight hops. Also picking up a little chocolate

T- bready malt sweetness, caramel, chocolate and hoppy bitterness

M- dry with a medium body. Medium carbonation mixed with the dryness really leaves a lot of bitterness on the tongue

D- as this beer warms up, the boldness turns it into a sipper. Easy to finish the 12oz bottle, but probably wouldn't do 2 in a session. I will enjoy this again for sure though

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Photo of Retsinis
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

Great Divide just recently (last 6 months)started distributing to Southern California, so it's nice to start reviewing some of their beers.

Picked this one up as part of a mixed six pack at Total Wines (new to our area, much better than Bevmo, anyhow)

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.

The beer pours a clear ruby red with a nice inch or so of tan colored head. ok retention and lacing.

The Aromas are of sweet malts, maple syrup, toffee, some hops, and a little bit of toast. I get maybe some spice, maybe nutmeg.

The flavors in the taste are of roasted malts, earth, a bit of wood, some chocolate, dark fruit, along with some coffee notes as well.

The Mouth feel is full, with perhaps a bit too much carbonation, but this is still quite a robust and chewy brew.

Overall, the alcohol doesn't show through much at 8.1%. Well balanced and pretty drinkable.

Looking forward to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber brown with a thick frothy 1-finger head, almost entirely opaque.

S: Big, sweet malty smell with hints of chocolate, oak, black cherry and other dark fruits.

T: Taste is much better balanced than the super sweet smell. All those great flavors from the nose were present, but there was a unique complexity when those were juxtaposed with its chewy mouth feel and a little bitter hop nip. Aftertaste is like a semi-sweet chocolate.

M/D: The mid-low level of carbonation and sticky consistency make it a little thick to drink, but that's not such a bad thing given such complexity (and booze).

Overall: Perfect to sip on a cold winter night, but would probably move to another choice after just one.

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Photo of felipe2toes
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish brown with tan head. Good amount of lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, caramel, and malt. Not much in the way of hops.

Tasty beer. Tastes of fig, raisins, caramel, and maple syrup, but not overly sweet. Slightly bitter finish. Just a rich and delicious and complex beer.

Not much carbonation, but slightly chewy mouthfeel. Alcohol not very noticeable or overwhelming, can definitely drink more than one.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,940 ratings