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Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
2,915 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: 2,915 |  Reviews: 1,176
Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with a small, short lived, tanned head. Aroma is of bready malt, ripe fruit with hints of coffee. Full, smooth body. Rich caramel and bready malt, ripe fruit are balanced by earthy hops on the palate, some hints of coffee as well. Long, dry, earthy finish. Nice, after dinner brew.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled oct. 23 so nice and fresh.
im rather fond of great divide beer so this is exciting to try. right off the bat i get chocolate and a little bit of booziness in the nose. it smells so pleasant i could really just sit and sniff. im a chocolate nut so this is right up my alley. mouthfeel is nice and creamy, and the carbonation is just right... enough to coat my tongue with chocolatey goodness. drinkability is good, however with the abv id have to stop after one or two of these. the first one would go down nice, but as with many winter beers for me, id have to move onto something else after just to give my tongue a break. cheers to oakedcanuck for this extra.

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Photo of velosuds
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on Nov 04 2010. Single purchased from John's Market for $1.69.

A-Pours a clear reddish dark amber with a one finger off white head with weak retention and scant lacing.

S-Malts dominate with some earthy hops. Smell is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread biscuits. Quite pleasant but weak.

T-Hop bitterness, caramel like malts, raisins, and hop bitterness.

M-Tad light and inadequate carbonation.

D-This is a nice winter seasonal but not an especially good Old Ale. Value is very good for such a big beer at 8.7% ABV.

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

A: Deep amber, white head, some lacing but not much.

S: Alcohol and it's sweetness, Chistmas spices, dried fruits, raisins.

T: Mostly caramel malt, warming alcohol, raisins. Quite hoppy for a x-mas ale Aftertaste is a bit bitter from the hops and sweet from the malt. Spices are there as well.

O: Nice beer for this cold winter.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red with an offwhite head that diminishes to lacing on the glass and top of the beer.

Smells malty, dark fruits, kinda of sweet and nutty.

Tastes of dark berries and fruit. Slight hop bitters and darker malt. A little bit of biscuit and spices. Very tasty.

Its smooth, not overly carbonated and well balanced.

This was my second chance to try Great Divide. Thanks to OakedCanuck for supplying this one as an extra. Awesome surprise and beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I expected at all. Beer is reddish / dark brown and mostly clear with a thin head, served in a RR wine glass. Head leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Here's where my surprise started. It smells mildly sweet but very roasty, almost like a foreign export stout but lighter. Interesting.

The lead off is not sweetness, although its subtly there, its almost grainy bitterness, it tastes good but I was hoping for some Treacle or some toffee or something but its just not there. Overall it comes off as a little simple. Old Ales are your opportunity to make a big, complex beer with dozens of flavors that will wax and wane as you age it for a decade, this was average, middle of the road, run of the mill big beer.

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Photo of loren01
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color, nice sized head with great lace down the glass
S: Smell is great very earthy, tobacco.
T: Taste is much the same as smell earthy piney hops, charred taste but in a good way...charred as in a good bbq brisket.
M: Medium bodied beer, perfect amount of carbonation
D: This is a great beer, nice sipping beer as I watch the snow fall down.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber with medium head and spiderweb lacing.

S- Faint hint of chocolate, oak, and pine.

T- malts, Pine, hops, woody, nutty flavors. hints of mint, faint note of chocolate, toffee

M- Medium bodied, easy to drink. Nice hoppy finish.

D- Very well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of TheSteiny
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured out a dark, dark brown. Head didn't have a very impressive size, though it did have a very good light cream color, as well as a good texture. Sadly, it dissipates into a thin film rather quickly.

S- A little hoppy, but sweet smell to it. I can't quite place anything specifically. That being said, I will admit to some level of disappointment that nothing popped out to me. I'm hoping it was a result of the pour, and I will update at a later date if my opinion changes.

T- Very solid taste. Started bittersweet, with a little nuttiness. There are malty tones towards the end, as well as what feels like mint. The mint is actually a very refreshing addition to the palate, given it's only a hint rather than something overpowering.

M- Carbonation was kept low. For this particular lineup of flavor and flow, I would've liked a little lower bubbly in my brew. Past that, it was pretty smooth and has a comfortable amount of weight going down.

D- Decent brew. It's a little high on ABV for being a session brew. Despite that, I'm a little disappointed my local beer shop didn't have any cases. It's definitely worth having at least two glasses to get the full range out of the beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a mahogany brown with good carbonation leaving a beautiful towering dirty white head

S: Old wood, chocolate mainly and some caramel

T: This 09 vintage tasted of old wood and Earth mainly, with a tannic taste to it throughout, some chocolate and caramel. Hints at some allspice

M: Sordove bitter, funky and medium to heavy bodied

D: It was good but I wont drink again

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dull brown, translucent body with not much head. Decent lacing.

S: I get two scents. One is that of malts, the other of citrusy, somewhat minty hops. Actually reminds me a bit of a few aged American barleywines I've had.

T: Starts off with a bit of citrus. Then the mintiness comes in, along with a slight sour note and a bit of must as well. The malt finally makes a bit of an appearance towards the end with some roastiness. A decently-long aftertaste features the bitterness and mintiness of the hops. After the beer has warmed up a bit, I get some sweet maltiness in the background of the middle of the sip, slightly bumping up the score.

M: No problems, but unremarkable. Medium body, not particularly thick or silky, strong carbonation at the start that is pretty much gone by the end of the sip.

D: It wouldn't be hard to drink a second one of these, if I wanted to.

Old Ale seems a fairly odd categorization of this beer to me. It seems much more like an American barleywine. Hopefully some aging will turn this into the rich, malty brew that I was hoping for, but I am not impressed by this fresh version of Hibernation.

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Photo of silentjay
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a muddy mahogany brown with a smallish khaki head that quickly recedes but leaves chunky lacing.

aroma of wet leather, dark fruits, and some toasted grains. meh.

flavor is very fruity with dates, plums, raisins, and other dried, unsweetened dark fruits. a bit tart with some apple peel. far on the fruity end of the spectrum.

a touch lighter than anticipated with generous carbonation and a tiny bit of alcohol heat and a slight acidity left behind on the palate.

drinks ok. not very harsh, pretty smooth drinking, but nothing memorable.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep burgundy hue, high clarity, with two fingers of creamy beige head. Retention low, no lacing to speak of.

Smell -- Cocoa, caramel, sliced plum, Citrus, gentle spice.

Taste -- Again, there's a prominent chocolate malt flavor that is really surprising with raisin and plum, gentle citrusy hop flavors. Finish is toasted malt and gentle grapefruit pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Malty, medium-full in body with an abundance of gentle carbonation. Feels pretty good, almost reminiscent of a Quadrupel. Alcohol presence is nonexistent.

Drinkability -- Truthfully, I'm not sure why this beer has such a high rating. Not that it's bad, but it's pretty middle-of-the-pack for an Old Ale. Nice flavors, nothing remotely offensive, but lacking the decadent and somewhat sweet character I expect from the style.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours golden, medium brown. sits clear, dark ruby. good looking thick, creamy, tapioca head with excellent retention and never totally disappears

Smell: rich, malty character with dark chocolate, some nuttiness, dark fruit/vinous character and roast. balancing hop presence

Taste: balance of complex maltiness and hop character. alcohol obvious throughout but never harsh. dark chocolate and fruit with a little nuttiness and roasted character. hops are very apparent with a low-medium bitterness. finish is dry with light roasted, dark chocolate flavor and a low, lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: low-full body. smooth with moderate carbonation.

Notes: very strong old ale with not as much fruit complexity as i was expecting. a little too much hop presence (flavor/bitterness) and could use a little bit of that light sour, aged character

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Photo of rarbring
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clear dark red with hints of brown, a tan head with unevenly sized bubbles, some lacing and good curtains.

The smell is earthy, dried peas, hay, dark bread and brown sugar.

Initially sweet nuances from bread, dark syrup, burned crust, dates, nuts, then some short fruit acidity, pears and mango, and a bitter finish in the coffee bean area.

Medium carbonation, a thick oily feeling, a heavy body and slightly dry finish.

A solid slow sipping beer after dinner.

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

A - Dark red, almost brown with almost no head but a small sticky ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel and a little bit of sandalwood which is enhanced by the hop resin tones that come through well in this beer.

T - Sweet and malty, toffee and sugar come through and are followed by a spice from the hops which also leave a deep flavor of their oils and plenty of fruitiness.

M - Light yet lingering. The carbonation seems a tad high, but I'd probably say that about most brews.

D - Great for a chillier evening, yet drinkable most times. GD made a fantastic beer that is very notable in my book.

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Photo of alli4051
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark, chrystal clear, garnet color with a bronze head. Head is of average size and leaves some thick lacing when it goes. Nose is a bit lacking, faint notes of earthy malt and hops with some fruit notes. Where the nose lacked the taste more than makes up for. Kind of a murky, earthy, dank balance of malt and hops, and I mean that in the best possible way. Some roasted malts with lots of citrus and fruity hop flavors with a hing of booze in the finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sticky finish. I've been on a bit of a hot streak lately, seems like everything I have picked up recently seems to live up to the hype. I should offer a warning though, the 8.7% is hidden well and can definitely sneak up on you.

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

A: Pours a light brown color with some amber hues. Provides a small off white foam head that quickly dissipates. Some patchy lacing.

S: Lots of roasted coffee, burnt toast, brown sugar, dark chocolate, dark fruit and some booze.

T: Tons of malt flavor up front and throughout. The roasted coffee and dark fruit mesh well with the cholocate and alcohol flavors.

M: Leaves a slightly toasty burnt taste on the palate.

D: A nice winter beer. Perfect to sip on.

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

A - Deep, clear, varnished mahogany. Well formed head on the pour, although it doesn't hold for long, leaving a good lacing around the walls of the glass and a mottled skim of foam across the surface. Looks great, and the deep red tinge brings forth festive allusions.

S - The aroma isnt hugely complex, but it caught my attention the moment it hit the glass. Malts present caramel and mocha with a hefty backdrop of traditional vanilla ice cream. Dark fruits are also present, but somewhat veiled.

T - While the berry and fruit play on the tip of the tongue, this beer really is all about the inextricable interaction of malt and hops. Wonderful arrays of caramel expression, particularly medjool date; loads of coffee bean, and espresso; vanilla, and clotted cream; and a distinctive charred bourbon on the finish. The coffee performs an encore in the finish, tying the whole show together, and worthy of a standing ovation. The final impression is akin to an irish coffee with extra sugar.

M - fairly high carbonation for this style, but it helps cut through the malty thickness, and along with the 8.7%, a pretty good balance is achieved

D - The malty stickiness prevents it from being an all night event, but each sip provides a longevity that will see a whole glass outlast at least a couple of logs on the fire.

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

A: copper/leathery brown with a brief yellowish half inch head and a dash of lace.

S: nice sour yeast esters, dark roast coffee beans, alcohol of cognac variety, grassy manure smell (in a good way though), roasted grain.

T: leather and charcoal are prominent, asparagus (interesting, I've never encountered that flavor in beer before), bitter chocolate, whiskey. Finish is malty/grainy sickly sweet and throat coating.

M: medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation, a nice warming alcohol finish.

D: I found this really interesting. I can't think of a beer that I've had that is all that equivalent. It's kind of a blend of different styles, part American pale ale, part English old ale, part Belgian strong ale. I would imagine it would be hard to drink more than one of these in a sitting, but that's just because the different flavors and the overall strength of it are a bit overwhelming and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Perfect for a cold winter night--not that I get a lot of those in Austin, but still.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served into a snifter. Pours a reddish-brown color with an off-white head. A bit of lacing. The nose is fairly complex with some nice notes of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, and some light pine and citrus hops. The taste is a bit of a letdown after the nose, as there are some notes of brown sugar and caramel, but nothing like the nose. The feel is a bit heavy and nice with some really light booze. Drinks well enough, but there's nothing drawing me back for more.

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

12oz bottle poured into large snifter glass

Pours a deep cherry mahogany with burnt orange hues towards the bottom of the glass. A fairly thin, yet firm toffee head slowly fades into retained film, leaving spots and clouds of lacing on the glass.

Roasted dark malt, bitter chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some slight hop presence in the nose.

Plenty of heavily roasted dark malt right up front, which swirls with some hoppy bitterness. A bit of sweetness provided by chocolate and toffee flavors poke through. Some richer tones become apparent, before a bit of alcohol warms the palate. Finishes with a hint of pine hops, booze, and sweetness.

Full bodied, fairly rich and creamy, medium carbonation. Smooth, slow drinking, but the alcohol isn't overdone. Nice warming feel during the winter season, making this a pretty easy choice.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cracked a bottle from 09/08 (reviewed below) tonight (11/11/10)

Appearance is equally stunning, although a slightly more caramel hue with a good bit of haze and sediment. Head is a bit less and lacing is also a bit more sparse, but still stunning.

aroma has shifted beautifully. a hit of hops followed by candi sugars, plum, caramel, raisins, toast, bittersweet cocoa. the hot, booziness has been replaced by an almost-delicate sherry/bourbon/dark fruit aroma.

Taste is stunning. roasty and rich with dominant honey, figs and plum. burnt caramel, black currant, pumpernickle, chocolate. sherry. oaked bourbon. port. but subtle and well-rounded. I hate bourbon, but it works here. The aftertaste provides impressive cocoa and tobacco notes that are stunningly beautiful. I want this aftertaste to last forever.

mouth remains full, without the sharp bite on the tongue I remember. carbonation has mellowed significantly (much longer and it might fade too much) and everything is near perfect. still a hint slick.

wow. I can't recall an old ale changing this much over two years. I'm blown away. And kicking myself that I didn't throw more down in the cellar. I was so un-impressed by Hibernation fresh, I never imagined it would improve this much with time. Get yours now, bury it in your backyard, and dig it up two years from now.

Poured from a fresh bottle (bot. date: sept. 08) into a goblet.

a. a truly stunning light mahogany with ruby grapefruit hues glows in the glass, capped with a thick and fluffy cream-colored head leaving behind some incredible lacing.

s. Initial bitter hop bite in the nose quickly yields to an intermingling of fruit, astringent alcohol, and some fermenting malt. A touch of roasted malt emerges as the glass warms, and the alcoholy esters rear their many heads overpowering the nostrils with ethyl acetate, fruity esters, and an almost varnish-like aroma. Definitely smells hot.

t. The roasted malts are definitely there, and a bit of the honey and figs try to peek through, but they're drowned out by the fruity alcohol verging on sourness and the bitter hops. Definitely a strong but rough merging of flavors akin to a tumultuous thunderstorm in the mouth. Sour fruit, roasted malt, a bit of toasted grain, and a finish of a bit of bitter piney hops.

m. Smooth but slick, with some hop oils and alcohol-esque slipperiness confusing the tongue slightly. A bit heavy on the carbonation given the strength and style, but all in all a pleasant one for sipping.

d. acidity, sourness, hop pineyness, and pure alcoholic hottness combine into a strong brew. It tastes even higher abv than labeled, which isn't necessarily appealing. Granted, I'm reviewing this one less than a month after bottling, which makes it very fresh, hot, and powerful. I'd imagine that with a bit of age, this one will turn into something incredible.

fresh rating: 4.5/4/3.5/3.5/3.5

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

12oz poured into tulip. From notes

This beer poured a deep, scarlet red to mahogany. The off white head dissipates quickly with little lacing. The smell is dark fruit, plum and currants, with some malt sweetness. I am not overly familiar with this style, but wow, this tastes really good. Semi-sweet malt with some peppery spice, aforementioned dark fruit, and just a slight hint of bitters. The mouthfeel is medium to slightly heavy with noticeable tackiness. The high ABV is well hidden. I will be headed back to the fridge to grab another one tonight. Very good.

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Photo of babaracas
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dull ruby with cream colored head that quickly settles to a thin ring, leaving only a couple blobs of lace. Smell: lots of dark fruit - roasted plum, a little fig, caramel, earthy hopping, a wee booze. Taste: dark brown sugar, dark fruit, bready, enough piney/earthy hops to keep it from being too sweet. Big cocoa in the sticky finish. Pretty good. 10/6/10 bottling.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 2,915 ratings
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