Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Hibernation AleHibernation Ale
2,938 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: 2,938 |  Reviews: 1,181
Photo of beertastegood
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle, 2003 production.

Pours a dark amber with a creamy inch-high tan head. Smells of dark fruits, raisins and plums, alcoholic aromas and spices with just a bit of hop aroma apparent as well. Taste: big malt flavor with cloves and peppery notes, fruity overtones and just the right amount of hop bitterness. Finish is slightly sweet and clean. Chewy body with little carbonation. A very well done winter warmer.

This bottle is a little old, but it appears to have aged pretty well. I would like to try a fresh one, but this is the only time I have ever seen it at the local Spec's.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 winter edition. Light shoe brown hue with some red wine highlights, bubbling tan head that creates a ¼ inch clasping ring. Fresh hops, caramel malts and some tender estery alcohol make the presence on the nose. First impressions are important, no? Creamy, big and bold – a chewy, full bodied explosion right from the first sip! Some caramelized sugars, rich dark roasted malts, coffee beans and mocha are all to be found. Oh so smooth and inviting, flavorings obviously increase with warming; cherries, vanilla beans and a smidge of hops grace the palate, chocolate and mint offerings come and go towards the finish. A true winter winner and a great catch, absolutely wonderful! Massive flavorings along with a true-tummy warming affect; perfect for winter nights, o.k. perfect for any night!

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Photo of nomad
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a strong burgundy color with a thin off-white head. Well-retained appearance with delicate, pervasive lacing. Unlike many old ales which look dead in the glass, both clarity and lacing are strong with this beer.

Smells toasty with whisps of light molasses and light roasted coffee, but more along the lines of cocoa. Quiet malt backing is peppered with the zip of citrusy/piney American hops.

Tastes of burnt caramel and a large and assertive toasty flavor, all covered in a light cocoa powder overlay. Hops are just enough to balance in a drying finish (no true hop flavor shown), and the alcohol is relegated to a mere hum in the throat. Mouthfeel is moderate and none too slick or round, rather moderate in fact.

Not a beer I would cellar for a time, but I do prefer this beer with some age - like, say, around mid-summer or early fall. The large toasty wallop and dry cocoa notes calm some into a smoother malty beer. Regardless, a good English-styled Old ale and a seasonal to which I always look forward.

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark red with a decent creamy light brown head that leaves good lacing in my glass. Fruity dark cherry and plum aromas. Bready, nutty, chocolate-caramel and fruit flavors, full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden, finishes with a pleasant bitterness, well done.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage. Hibernation is dark brown with a ruby glow in the light. Head is light brown; and nice and creamy. Pretty good lacings around the insides of my glass. The aroma is strongly malty. Chocolate and coffee smells are noted. A nice hop bite is also in the mix. Taste is fully malty with a nice touch of hops. Chocolate tastes are followed by that of coffee in the finish. An ester taste is noted too. Body is full and chewy. The 8.1% ABV is only noted by a warming feeling. This is another enjoyable beer by Great Divide, I've always enjoyed their brews that I've tried.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2004. Chestnut color with ruby highlights. Thick tan creamy head, which stayed for a good period of time. Some patchy lace on the sides. Wonderful roasty aroma along with alcohol, and maybe some chocolate. Spices too. Caramel and toffee-like malt. Not very sweet. Robust. Big amount of spicy hops. Not too bitter, and somewhat smooth. Alcohol presence noticable. Medium to full body, low carbonation. This is a very solid strong or old ale. Probably ages fairly well.

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Photo of sweethome
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big piney nose with the alcohol present. Starts lighter than the nose suggests, but kicks it up nicely. A big, hoppy, complex stew. Figs, toast, and pine flavors come through. The piney hops tend to dominate - but I like it! Just enough alcohol to ward off the cold. Very bitter finish. Nice job.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, swampy brown color, nice tan head topping her off. Sheets of lace follow it down. Big bad malt/hop/alcohol scent lets pussies know to keep away. Nice big chocolate/caramel malt front, back by a bitter hop twang. Some alcohol evident as the beer warms. Pretty sticky mouth. This is quite a tasty treat.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Without any details I could put away a half dozen of these on any given day and be quite jolly. I mean, this is delicious! Calling winter warmer lovers: I dare you to find another better... Call it a strong ale, whatever, it's released for winter consumption.
Regarding specifics: Polished cherry wood, splippery on the glass, excellent on the palate, and quick on the wit. Short on aroma, but long on the finish. Mucho maltiness, great divide on the palate with appropriate hoppiness. I love what Great Divide does for me in the winter time. Check out their old Ruffian, too. After one sip this beer sits in the glass like a fine lady standing up and inviting you into the bedroom. You gonna enjoy that just once? Come again, I want it 6 times repeated at least. Get yourself a sixer too.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with notched label for year produced. This one definitely seems to be made to age. A short description of the beer and the awards it has won are also on the label.

Appearance: Dark mahogany color with a nice thick head that disappated to leave a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Spicy aroma with a nice balance of hops and caramel also showing through.

Taste: Nice thick mouthfeel that is still very smooth. Caramel and roasted flavors seem to dominate, with hops showing up at the end. Nice finish of bitterness provided by the hops. Slight taste of the high alcohol content, but it meshes well with the other flavors.

Overall Impression: Great winter beer. Nice balance of alcohol and great mix of flavors. Probably would be great to age, but no way it will survive long enough in my house!

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Photo of karengarys
3.26/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm not a correander winter brew person - the correander spice doesn't make a lot of sense to me for a beer... ...maybe someday I'll understand this more...

This pours very nice. Hazy reddish brown with a head that sneaks up on you (get ready to hold it over the sink). the head then remains, the outside having an organized uniform arrangement of bubbles, with the inside being a fluffy light brown cloud-like foam. Lots of lacing.

This tastes rather thick (which I like) but heavy in the correander (as explained earlier, I don't). It also is a bit maybe peppery, plus a touch of.... nutmeg? Included is a dark odd sweetness I can't describe. To me, this is too much Christmas tea and not enough beer.

I was fighting between 3.0 and 3.5 on the taste scale. 3.5 because it is flavorful and rich. 3.0 because I feel the flavors were too spicey. if you really really like that spiceyness, and the correander, the taste category could easily go to 4.0. Since what I am drinking here is not quite how I would like this style interepreted, I'm rating it at 3.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy, and stays that way throughout the drink until the very end.

When done, there is a bit of an ugly spicy aftertaste I do not like.

I could drink a few of these, but I wouldn't call it a session beer.

It is worth trying, but unless you really like correander (sierra nevada or anchor winters, for example) try to get only one. If you really like the correander, grabbing a 6 is recommended.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Christmas is always reserved for only the best beers . As good a day as any to review this awesome ale my sister in Estes Park sent me. Pours dark mahogany brown with a creamy oatmeal-colored head. Aromas are caramel and chocolate malts, cinnamon, oak, and citrus and evergreen hops. A sip reveals a hearty, delicious brew worthy of Christmas day! Sweet malty flavors of butterscotch and oaky vanilla, leather, dates, and light holiday spice give way to a flash of grapefruit citrus and sprucey hop notes. Mediumish in body with a nice and aggressive piney hop finish that lingers. A very nice ale, I wish I had another. Worth checking out it you live in CO, or know someone who does!!!

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

Deep maroon cola color, translucent, with a massive creamy, tan head. Smells strongly of alcohol and a raisin and biscuit smell. Taste is very intersting. Strong alcohol presence, with woody and a slight coffee tinge. Mouthfeel is slightly grainy, with a sizable amount of carbonation. A very interesting beer, that I would definitely recommend.

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

Pours a deep rust color, with a fair amount of lace. Smells a bit musty with a bit of malty sweetness as well. Taste is fairly a malt explosion, with a little chocolate and maybe some fruit (cherries?). Alcohol is well-hidden, with only the barest hint of burn. Mouthfeel's a touch thin, but no big deal.

I haven't been too impressed with Great Divide's other 12-oz offerings, but this one is top notch, right up there with Titan, Hercules, and Yeti. Well done, GD!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a bottle that I bought at the brewery during the BA GABF pub crawl. Great job on that day Todd!!
The bottle is notched as a 2000 bottling. I am drinking at room temp in a snifter. THe brew pours a cloudy dark mahogany with no lite passing through. A small beige creamy head foams up and fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is sweet and fruity with plums and raisins leading the way. Also some pears and a mix of floral and piney hops. I also get a little sweet malt like brown sugar. Nice robust body with very faint carbonation. Flavor is a bit of piney hops to start than all sweet malt with plums toffee and molasses careening across my palate. The finish is slightly warming in my belly. Overall a well made brew and easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden.

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

Poured a deep dark mahogany color with a decent foamy head which quickly dissappeared.

I could smell floral hops and a very sweet bread-like malt.
The taste was incredible. Great combination of citrusy hops and chocolate (minty?) malt. The alcohol is well hidden. A very warming drink with hints of sherry and port.

I'll be picking this up a few more times during Winter Season.

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Photo of mntlover
2.77/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a dark dark red with brown highlights a tan head that is gone mighty fast no lace. Sweet fruity malt raisins plums sugar drops dance threw my head very light on hop aroma. Taste is lightly carbonated sweet malt flowing with fruity flavors great start. Goes all to hell has a strange sour finish? Beer was fine smelled good even tasted good until the lingering sour aftertaste . Is it bad and if so wouldn't it be worse if contaiminated? If anyone knows beer mail meI can't believe that was whta they were going for. Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability is of course not good do to sour taste. I will have to try this again to be sure some day.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with not a whole lot of head but plenty of carbonation. Malty aroma with some hops and a touch of sourness. Taste... woah. This is not a beer for the faint of heart. The taste is pleasant but intense. I don't know what it is about this beer, there's a ton of chocolate, caromel and some ripe fruits, but also a lot of hops. Nothing about this beer is subtle. It would be an excellent beer for a very cold day. It gets marked down a little in drinkability because I feel like its a little rough around the edges.... lots of interesting taste sensations, just no balance. The 8.1% alcohol however is well hidden.

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

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Wine & Beer - Westpark, Richmond, VA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the mahogany brew. Laces well. Aroma is deeply malty, with an easily apparent alcohol component. Taste is based on the dark malts, but some dark fruits add a slight sourness to the flavor. Mouthfeel and drinkability both very good, especially for an old ale. The smoothness and lack of alcohol burning is appreciated.

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

Pours a deep brown with some nice ruby highlights and an creamy offwhite head about a half inch thick. A nice lacing is left on the glass. Aromas are of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts, along with a little molasses in there as well. Initially this beer hits up from with a nice barrage of roasted malts, then progresses towards nice chocolate and carob flavors. A little nut flavor sneaks in there as well along with some molasses. This beer finishes still very malty but has a nice bitter hop finish that lingers in the mouth. Overall a nice creamy rich body with just the right amount of carbonation. Super drinkable at 8%

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

Dark red-brown body and a smallish head. The aroma is pretty hefty with caramel and cappaccino. The flavor brings in notes of nuts and a hint of chocolate all followed up with a bit of alcohol. A bit of woodiness is involved in the flavors and aromas and the fruit isn’t huge, but does complement the rest nicely.

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Photo of avylover
3.32/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours out a very dark brown with ruby highlights. There is a tan head that died quick leaving big frothy bubbles floating atop my beer. Aroma is very malty & complex. Malted milk, citrous zing, coffee & chocolate, others. The taste, while still hefty on the malt, is overpowered by a lemony zing, making for a weird combination. Alcohol is evident in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and thick, but the drinkablity suffers from from the lemony zing I spoke of. Not something I'd want another one of in one sitting. The flavors are just all over the place in this one.

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

This one pours a deep brown with a reddish hue and has a nice thick tan head. The body looks a bit murky with some bits of stuff swimming around in it. It has decent head retention and leaves a nice lace about the glass. The aroma is strong with dark fruits and chocolate and as it warmed the citrus hops and alcohol seemed to stand out more. Very malty taste with a fruity sweetness standing at the front and a bit of hops to tame down the sweetness so it doesn’t overpower the flavor. There are also nice hints of dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is a good with a nice full body and a lingering flavor. Great beer that is highly drinkable, pick one up if you haven’t already.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2001 Vintage.
Brewed with Northwest 2-row, Brown, Dark Caramel, and Chocolate malts. Hopped with Centennial and Cascade.
8.1% ABV.

Pours out to a murky, sediment-rich, clogged drain looking dark amber, forming a small dark beige with no retention or lacing, despite a chugging pour. Looks like the last bottle of homebrew from a primary. Carbonation is moderate to mild. Aroma is rich with dates, figs, golden raisins, milk chocolate syrup, and some mild resinous hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, with a medium-dense body, and semi-dry earthy finish. Taste begins with some initial malt sweetness and amber malt body, followed by mild resinous hops which escalate into a medium-strong herbal bitterness and pronounced earthiness in the finish...lots of astringent earth and wood with a semi-dry finish and touches of peppery alcohol, tobacco, darjeeling, ethopian harrar, and cedar. Cleanly fermented with no off-flavors.

A little light in the malt sugar department, this one has fermented dry, and would benefit from more complex sugars. Probably better young. Decent, but not very impressive for the style.

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Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 vintage, according to the notched label, served slighly chilled into an imperial pint glass. This pours a cocoa powder brown, with a gigantic, light brown, head, that is rocky, and billows over the top of the glass. Towel, please! Lots of suspended "floaties" are frollicking in the body. Sticky patches of lace are left all over the side of the glass.

Aroma is seriously malty. Molasses, toffee, and butterscotch are up front in the nose, with a vague, floral hops note in the background.

Mouthfeel is slick, and medium bodied. Carbonation is medium, in spite of the overcarbonated appearance.

The taste is rich and complex, with a malty dominance. Toffee, molasses, and butterscotch echo the aroma, with a dark fruit presence, as well. There is a prominent hops presence, that seems floral or herbal, that provides a pleasant, bittering balance. The finish is somewhat sour and yeasty, as the "floaties" have now settled at the bottom of the glass. I'll pass on the last sip, as it's mostly sediment.

This strong old ale has a few Doppelbock characteristics in the flavor profile, but is more tart and hoppy. The floral hops character has a lasting presence, and lends a nice balance. Plenty of complexities in this one. I wish I had been more careful with the pour. Still, this is an ale that I look forward to trying again.

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Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,938 ratings