Hibernation Ale - Barrel-Aged
Great Divide Brewing Company

Hibernation Ale - Barrel-AgedHibernation Ale - Barrel-Aged
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Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Old Ale
Ranked #29
Ranked #7,531
4.07 | pDev: 10.07%
Dec 20, 2021
Nov 17, 2009
Hibernation Ale - Barrel-AgedHibernation Ale - Barrel-Aged
Notes: Over 12 months in whiskey barrels has completely transformed our prized winter seasonal, producing a Hibernation that starts with big whiskey flavors before mellowing out into luscious chocolate, dark fruit and vanilla. If you can only take one beer into your cave this winter, we suggest this one.
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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by 2beerdogs from California

Thanks to Efrainpaniagua for this gem.
Pours a deep brown leather hue that is capped by a mocha colored fluff that rises just shy of two fingers, then quickly settles in to a milky ring. A few floaties can be scene. So I guess this is where I say "Bottled On: FEB 16 2016" is stamped on the bottle. So I'm not afraid of some fiber.
Nose is lush. Caramel, smoothest whiskey ever, brandy, figs, dates, raisins, and some more subtle fruit notes akin to plum.
Flavor begins less sweet than the nose foreshadowed. Whiskey starts off firm but not overpowering. Then raisin, date, burnt brown sugar, some char, warm stewed apples, a lick of leather, and a light hop bittering on the backside finish the sip. The more I ponder this one, the whiskey attributes are leaning in the direction of a peaty blended Scotch Whiskey. Quite complex. I love when a beer reveals itself slowly.
Mouthfeel is on the hefty side. I like that. The finish has a pleasant warm hug.
Overall, with 5 years on it, I'm impressed. I'd love to do a side by side with a younger bottle.

Dec 20, 2021
4.25 by NickMunford from Wyoming on Jul 18, 2021
4 by BdM from Netherlands on Jun 18, 2021
4.19 by MykeJ from Minnesota on Feb 12, 2021
4.39 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Oct 17, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

Not sure who brought this to the Firestone Walker Festival pre party the night before in June 2017, but was glad to see it again, much less in 12 oz bottles this time around!

Pours a brown auburn like color right in the style guidelines wheelhouse. 1/4" light beige head. Aroma hit the whiskey stride, slight light brown sugar sweetness.

Taste kept pushing the sweet whiskey and brown malty notes. Little bit of vanilla worth mentioning. Does the trick, nice and smooth, not overhopped or too bitter. Sure there's some alcohol heat, but nothing 12.4% ain't supposed to bring. I don't really know how much of the dark fruit character is there (thankfully). Thought it had just as much, if not more, of a light chocolate and watered down cola note to it. Should mention wood.

Definitely found this barrel aged version to be superior to the already decent base beer. I dunno what 12oz bottles go for, but given the ability to age these a long time, I wouldn't mind throwing one in the cellar.

Jul 15, 2020
4 by RiceOwls27 from Texas on May 04, 2020
Photo of stevoj
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by stevoj from Idaho

Bottle from cellar, 2017 vintage. Mahogany colored pour with light fizzy head. Malty aroma, sweet, tobacco, maple. Taste is more dark malts, earthy, leather. Whiskey barrel makes an appearance near the finish, bringing woody and boozy notes. This has aged quite nicely.

Mar 27, 2020
4 by Elicoleman from Colorado on Feb 19, 2020
4.66 by GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois on Feb 16, 2020
3.89 by sirzekel from Georgia on Oct 26, 2019
4.25 by TylerJ from Iowa on Jun 22, 2019
4.25 by paulish from New York on May 28, 2019
4 by Abe_Froman from Massachusetts on May 19, 2019
4.23 by jakecattleco from California on Mar 24, 2019
4.5 by Fettpopps from Massachusetts on Feb 03, 2019
4.05 by herman77 from Minnesota on Jan 29, 2019
4 by JLK7299 from North Carolina on Jan 22, 2019
Photo of stephens101
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stephens101 from Oklahoma

A Plush tan froth sits atop a brownish ruby brew.

Smells of brown sugar, molasses and persimmon.

Faint dark chocolate with more brown sugar, persimmon, red grape, pine and wood in the finish. The barrel aging shines as this one warms.

Medium w subtle heat. Smooth and a perfect accompaniment to a heavy holiday meal.

Jan 01, 2019
Photo of Suds
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Suds from Missouri

My wife picked this beer up for a special New Years Eve treat. From a foil covered bottle, this brew is dark, almost black, with a chocolate-milk colored head. The aroma is serious dark chocolate and coffee. Wood is notable in the background. The taste is warming, lightly sweet (more balanced than expected), with both smoke and malt flavor. Lingering finish.

Jan 01, 2019
Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jlindros from Massachusetts

2016 vintage, 2/16/16
Pours a nice frothy foamy bubbly 1 finger head that retains quite well, just kinda sits there, with nice lacing too, and decent legs, very dark mahogany brown color with almost no light coming through

Nose smells old, but in a good way, some oxidation notes but not a lot and some brandy like fruity aromas with that more than cardboard, although there is a little paper oxidation, soft aged malt, toasted brown malts with caramel sweetness and layers of sweet complexity, big vanilla and some barrel notes, toasted oak and vanilla barrel, whiskey is very light though, more complex fruits, fig, date, dried stone fruit, touch of nuts

Taste sweet rich complex, some chocolate out front this time as well as some vanilla, dark chocolate covered raisins, more dark fruits, raisin, fig, date, etc, and more of that brandy like fruity oxidation notes, a bit of alcohol but not overpowering bringing a bit of warmth, some layered soft toasted brown candy malts, plenty of vanilla, a little oaky barrel, toasted oak and vanilla mostly but also mild spices and a little coconut, a little whiskey again not much, some sweet layers, molasses syrup, caramel, little nutty, candy, drier quick finish, bit more alcohol, very little bitterness, a little stick but mostly dry

Mouth is med to fuller bod, nice fizzy carb, soft complex layers, a bit of alcohol

Overall pretty nice, wish the whiskey came through a bit more, but the base beer is quite nice and the vanilla barrel notes with oxidation fruits are good.

Dec 25, 2018
4.25 by vande from Illinois on Dec 24, 2018
3.75 by ian_graf from Minnesota on Dec 02, 2018
3.84 by Roguer from Connecticut on Nov 17, 2018
4.15 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Nov 04, 2018
4.09 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Nov 04, 2018
4 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Oct 29, 2018
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Label states 2014 vintage, but the bottling date is 1/5/15. Bottle is 3.5 years old at the time of consumption.

A: Dark chestnut brown with a slight haze. The head settles after a moment and leaves little to no lacing.

S: Molasses and burnt sugar. Milk chocolate and caramel chews. Fruitcake. Subtle, complementary notes of sweet whiskey. Earthy and herbal hops are still apparent too.

T: Milk chocolate and bourbon ball candy up front. Caramel and some sweet whiskey. Subtle oak. Stewed plums and fruitcake. Earthy hops have subsided, but still bring undercurrents of slight pine and garden herb. Wood, whiskey, and chocolate on the finish.

M: Full bodied with some heft. Chewy and a bit coating. Round and smooth. Carbonation is soft and gentle. Warming alcohol soothes.

O: This aged well, and was well-rounded after being tucked away for a few years. The overall impression is sweet, with a lot of milk chocolate, caramel, and whiskey. I drank it with a strip steak, but found it more appropriate for a dessert pairing.

Aug 04, 2018
5 by Kwright from North Carolina on Jul 21, 2018
3.88 by Diura from New York on Jun 24, 2018
Photo of Apellonious
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Apellonious from North Carolina

2016 version (2/15/16) poured into a wine glass. Turbid dark brown with ruby highlights, a thin layer of head that retains well on the side of the glass. Smell is delish, a mix of dark fruit, whiskey, fig, and vanilla. The taste is similar, but more mellow and rounded. Soma cola notes. The mouthfeel is medium, not heavy or syrupy, with a low amount of carbonation. It does get a touch sticky when it warms. Been a while since I had the original, but this was worth the go, and the whiskey barrel is an plus addition.

Apr 14, 2018
Photo of HobbNobber
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by HobbNobber from Indiana

Love this bourbon barrel aged old ale

Apr 10, 2018
4.1 by glf60 from Virginia on Apr 03, 2018
4.42 by BrutisDestructus from Indiana on Apr 03, 2018
4.21 by byronic from Canada (ON) on Mar 22, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Stamped on label is bottling date of 'APR 27 2017'. Label has ABV% at 11.5.
Clear, amber brown colored body. Two finger head (light tan) upon pouring settles to thick and creamy cap. Sheets of lacing mostly settle but leave spots and strings on the glass.
Aroma of roasted malt, whiskey barrel, dark fruit, and a whiff of chocolate and vanilla.
Taste is rather sweet, with dark fruits, chocolate, and vanilla, and then later the whiskey barrel adds its mark. Has a little alcohol burn. No bitterness.
Medium to creamy mouth feel. A light behind the glass shows moderate level of carbonation (rising bubbles).
A very good winter warmer beer is made more complex with the aging in the whiskey barrels. Good balance and all flavors are allowed to be expressed. Sweet and slightly hot from the barrel.

Mar 21, 2018
3.84 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan on Mar 21, 2018
4.08 by CoreyC from Wisconsin on Mar 15, 2018
4.48 by atone315 from Wisconsin on Mar 04, 2018
4.41 by brianstrong2 from Missouri on Mar 01, 2018
Hibernation Ale - Barrel-Aged from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 404 ratings