Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,156 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,156 | Ratings: 2,834
Photo of seedyone
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Deep caramel color topped with a light cream colored head that leaves a thick lacing. Aroma has slight smoky/oakey smell that doesn't assert in the flavor. Less sweet than a barleywine but swweter than an ale, old or otherwise.

Strongest plus is the distinctively wintery texture. Very, very smooth.

Not sure at which end of the hibernation this belongs, so I recommend both, although it may be hard to shake the cobwebs loose with a 8+% ABV.

Straight up, this should rock through the fall & winter.

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Photo of Jim_Benz
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Way better than I expected. Beautiful mahogany color, thick head, lots of lacing. Smells like raisins and currants. Taste is well-balanced between malt and hops, far less sweet than I expected, a little spicy, a little fruity like the nose. Body is lighter than expected, but I guess I'd call it a medium body. Carbonation is relatively light. Overall, one of the nicest surprizes I've had in awhile. Will definately buy it again.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours deep deep mahogany. a nice combination of brown/red. solid head as well.

smells like charred malt. some sweetness and smokiness to it as well.

taste is sweet and mellow. finishes dry and bitter. easy drinking as well. a good sipper for sure! goes down smooth, has a full body without being thick. enjoyable!

overall this is a pretty good beer, glad i picked this up. has a good strong taste to it. goes down smooth and looks good in a glass.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottling date of 10/26/15

Appearance - Pours cola brown with a khaki colored, near finger width head. Fair retention, then dissipates to a thin, broken layer across the top. Lacing consists of misshapen blobs and a multitude of spots found around the glass.

Smell - Equal notes of coffee, toffee, caramel and chocolate with a touch of dark berry.

Taste - Follows the nose, precisely. Strong, equal notes of coffee, toffee, caramel and chocolate with a touch of dark berry fruitiness. Finishes much the same, with a touch of earthy, nutty character that develops in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Texture has a slight chalkiness, but not to detriment, with a mostly dry finish.

Overall - It's simple in that it's tight and cohesive, yet there's a beautiful array of flavors found here. This is a gem in any given variety pack; the kind you'd begrudgingly buy even if the other beers were average. Rest assured though that this Great Divide variety is pretty damn awesome, and this might be the best of the bunch.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Deep mahogany with 1-2 fingers of tan head and a smidge of lacing.
Smell: Dark fruit, boozy
Look: Deep dark fruit, caramel, and a bit of roasted malt character followed by a pronounced bitterness that with the alcohol leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue.
Feel: full-bodied, smooth, fairly carbonated for style. Not as syrupy as a barleywine.

Overall: A densely malty beer but not quite to barleywine proportions. In this sense it's not dissimilar from Founders Dirty Bastard (technically a scotch ale), The main difference is a serious kick of hops bitterness. To my taste the bitterness is taken too far but it is close to the borderline.

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Photo of JWU
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a porter glass

A- a deep, slightly translucent red/amber with an ice light khaki, head, nice lacing.

S- some light floral hops and a big wallop of cocoa/chocolate and a hint of dark fruit

T- It's a cross between a porter and a barleywine. Big roasty chocolate notes, crossed with some dark fruit/caramel notes. straightforward.

M- medium-full, ample carbonation

O- An interesting offering from Great Divide. I'd certainly have it again.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is beautifully crafted beer... raisin, toffee, earthy cellar-y flavors abound. Malt notes are toasty, caramel, toffee, and just a hint of cocoa or coffee, probably brought out by the hop bitterness. Nice mouth-feel perfect level of carbonation. There's an earthiness as well as a touch of a metallic and burnt characters and a hint of gingerbread. It finishes with a port wine warmth and a clean resin licorice spiciness. Might try to age this and get more spices out of it. But I like it!

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, (dated at one year old). I did a mini vertical with a fresh can and the year old bottle.

Look: Both pour the same, dark brown with a beige head that lasts about 30 seconds.

Smell: the one year version has more complexity, including dark fruits and sweetness; the fresh one smells mostly of malts, and then alcohol.

Taste: both taste about the same: malty and sweet.

Feel: Both have roughly the same mouth-feel, medium, smooth (the fresh has an alcohol burn on the finish), and easy to drink.

Overall: I like both vintages, but I prefer the one year old, due to the more complex aroma.

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Photo of chase_cakes
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. can, crystal clear dark copper color, light tan head that stays through to the end of the class. Nose is malty with toasty, caramel scent with a touch of roasty, almost coffee, malt, no hops. The flavor is malty with a decent hop bitterness to balance but not much hop flavor (not a bad thing for a winter ale). Malt notes are toasty, caramel, toffee, and just a hint of cocoa or coffee, probably brought out by the hop bitterness. A very enjoyable drinker, I'm warm and inside but if I were outside (30 F) this beer would definitely get a bump for being such a great cold weather beer. Oh and I forgot: at 8.7% ABV its a great value, can't wait for the barrel aged version!

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First Great Divide beer for me!

Pours a muddy/nutty brown. About a 1 1/2 finger head, dissipates rather quickly. Interesting that a cluster of foam forms in the center and some larger bubbles sneak over to the edge of the glass. hmmm...

Nose: The first thing I smell is dark rum, which I was not expecting. I also get hazelnuts, cinnamon, honey, roasted marshmallows, and milk chocolate. It smells amazing.

Tongue: Toasty/Roasty grain-rye bread hits first. Chestnuts, cocoa, cream, and molasses come next. Its reminds me of a creme Brule, minus the lactose. I think the hops are what is hibernating in this ale, I'm only picking up the slightest hint that they came for the ride. I am getting a bit of a kick on the back end, like a light cracked black pepper?

Body/Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected for the style. Its sugary and creamy. A lot of stout qualities to this beer. Its balanced and masks the 8.7% fairly well.

Overall: I really liked it. I can't wait to finish this review, light my pipe, and finish hibernating this beast. I love that there is a winter seasonal out there that isn't jam packed with spices. I like them in moderation, but they get overwhelming. This is a malt forward ale, and tastes like a stout. Its perfect for the winter and does it without anise and allspice up the a&%. If you're lucky enough to find this snag it up before it really hibernates.


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Photo of lastmango
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a reddish brown with thin cream head. Faint aroma of chocolate malt. Malty taste in the beginning fading to a lingering hop bitterness, which surprised me. This beer has medium carbonation and also surprised me as being a bit thin.

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Photo of wumpshire
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The nose is sweet, very malty. The taste follows, a slightly more hoppy old ale compared to others, but its not an IPA. The malt is the star and thats a good thing. Toffee and a hint of smoke, great beer!

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Photo of Hoss76
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I typically don't like many Great Divide beers so this was a nice surprise. Great appearance and slight caramel head. Weakness was aroma and GD beers seem to be nil for me. Nice taste with hints of chocolate and coffee even better as it warmed slightly. Nice mouthfeel perfect level of carbonation. ABV well hidden.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice warmer pours a clear reddish brown with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of moderate chocolate aromas, grain alcohol, and a good does of bright and spicy hops. Flavors follow the nose with chocolate and spicy herbal hops that fade to a light pine and herbal hops note on the back blending nicely with brown sugars and caramel notes. Smooth mouth feel, good carbonation, warming and sweet aftertaste with a grain background mingling with piney and herbal hops. Excellent.


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Photo of Strike00
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a dark amber red color. A head that dissipates quickly.
S: A slightly sweet, malty smell. a little spice on the nose. Nothing too strong.
T: Malty and a little sweet. Not much bitterness and a alcohol warmth that that doesn't rise to boozy.
F:nice and smooth. Medium body with medium carbonation.

O: A good beer for a winter night for sure.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very robust. I find this to be a different take than the many old ales that I have enjoyed. This leans more on hop bitterness and flavor than the typical malt complexity. This is the first old ale that I had that I did not think would improve with age.

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Photo of SFNC
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look; Deep garnet, very clear, small head that vanishes quickly minimal lacing.
Smell; Faint toffee smell, some red wine notes.
Taste; Bready, slightly sour, prune and molasses. Bitter hops in the back end. Alcohol very present.
Feel; Not much carbonation, but a full and thick feel.
Overall; I've had more enjoyable Old Ales. Not bad, but not feeling the urge to have another soon.

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Photo of NickSMpls
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh yes! While not a winter warmer by style, this Old Ale does the "warm" thing very well indeed. Dark, rich brown and moderate carbonation. Aroma is bready yeast notes along with a hint of fresh hops. Very nice, complex taste...pick up the malts and subtle hint of some sweetness. The mid-range ABV is handled well. I'd take this over many others.

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Photo of MNJR
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Heavy duty, garnet colored brew with rewarding, strong flavors, and a dry finish. The dryness seems intrinsic to this style of beer and is a welcome change from the sweet and/or heavily spiced holiday beers that dominate the current market. This is beautifully crafted beer... raisin, toffee, earthy cellar-y flavors abound. The finish has a hint of chalk, as do most old ales I've tried. This is a solid beer for people who like a massive amount of character and flavor (and alcohol). A robust and superb experience. But, you have to "get" the old ale flavor profile, since it is very rich and unusual for the uninitiated.

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Photo of Dan_K
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: deep copper colored with 2 fingers of white foam
S: Smells sweet, with raisins and grain
T: Malty, fruity, slightly spicy, tastes like dried fruit in a boozy fruitcake with bracing bittering hops for balance.
F: Feels a little thin and well carbonated
O: A complex and tasty brew, but it doesn't wow me in any way. I am curious what a little more time in the bottle would do for the taste. Or trying the imperial/barrel aged version.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flavor is nutty with tons of toffee. Very English in that regard. Some fig, prunes, plum and even grape emerge. Also some slate or chalkiness. Overall, mild by American standards, but certainly a sturdy, interesting sipper.

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Photo of stompilator
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass (2014) into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep, ruby brown. Thin, off-white head.

S - A ton of caramel, vanilla, a bit of booze, subtle stone fruit esters, and classic old ale oxidation and mustiness.

T - Very heavy caramel from the get-go. Intense but smooth flavors that follow the nose, without the alcoholic warmth. Gives a barrel impression without a barrel. Not as musty as the nose, but has a warming, estery sweetness. Esters sneak up throughout the palate, and has a dry, vinous finish.

M - Medium body keeps it out of barleywine territory. Light carbonation, with a slightly dry, sticky texture.

O - A fantastic example of an old ale as a style distinct from barleywine. Not the richest or heaviest old ale I've had, but wonderfully complex.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aromas are chocolate and a nuttiness, almost resembles a candy bar. Taste follows, I'm follow the candy bar theme snickers almond and baby ruth. The malts are perfect, candy sweet while the hops add the needed bitterness. With a head that lasts the entire session how can I go wrong. This bottle is less than a month old, and showing no alcohol. Near perfection.

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Photo of DevWand
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall very drinkable winter/seasonal brew,,,

Love the deep amber/brown hue; poured into a chilled glass, head dissipates with haste.
Very mild smell, I'd describe it as a malty winter spice. Picking up a bit more spice upon drinking the beer, with a nice malty finish. I was expecting a bit more flavor or a noticeable edge from the Hibernation Ale (it being 8.7%) and was a bit disappointed due to said absence...I'll just blame it on the can, and hopefully will have a in the future, to have the brew on tap!

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled Nov 3, 2014) into a pint glass, dark red brown colored with a short light tan head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing, clear

S: dark fruits, raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, wood, leather, tobacco, brown sugar

T: dark fruits as above, earthy, taste closely follows smell, huge malty flavor

M: thick and warming, low carbonation

O: complex malty beer perfect for sipping after a rich meal

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,834 ratings.
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