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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
346 Ratings
Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by waltonc on 11-17-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,093
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
346
pDev:
10.59%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
159
Gots:
117
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 346 |  Reviews: 101
Photo of Sammy
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Five years aged made this into a rich bourbon gem, with wonderful chai spice tea. Dangerously drinkable. Dark brown and very inviting aroma.

140 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottle # 2411.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and shows some solid bourbon barrel aging along with the base beer.

 644 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i always passed this one up because of the price tag, but thats been a mistake, what a wonderful brew this is, tasting not a whole lot like its original base beer, but becoming something entirely different, more like a barleywine than anything i think. deep rustic brown color, glowing amber, but deep and darker than that. think light khaki head on top caps it off. the nose on this is awesome, layers of sweet oak and molasses come out, warming alcohol, rich caramel malt, and of course bourbon, a lot of bourbon. the taste too starts off with a warming alcohol vanilla hit, followed by waves of sweet grain and old oak. i even get a little charred spice in there towards the finish. the alcohol is so subtle here, its there, but way back. a perfect winter beer, especially when its warm. it takes regular hibernation to a whole new level. the barrel has not only added flavor and strength, but a refinement of the feel. carbonation has settles, body has amplified, and this drinks like a glass of cognac. really special stuff from great divide. among their best.

 1,065 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The problem with "old ale" is that they rarely exhibit any "old" character, unless cellared properly. But with extended age in bourbon barrels, the Hibernation ale from Great Divide is able to take on the oxidation, develop the fruit, offer a mild acidity and mellow into as smooth yet boozy, savory and sultry mix.

With bourbon, molasses and dark fruit wafting about the nose, hints of sherry, fig and savory sweetness prelude even the first sip. Dark crimson to bark brown, the beer's tawny edges show lightness while its body is deep and dark. And once its savory sweetness splashes on the tongue, a multitude of malt and complexity arises- brown sugar, toffee and molasses carry and rummy spice cake flavor with toasted pecan, dark fruit, dark chocolate and coffee picking up steam.

The middle palate continues to release its secrets to the palate. The sweetness is met with a sharp rebuttal from bourbon. Its caramels, vanillans, cherry, coconut and oaken nuttiness offers tannic support with thinning booze action. Fig, date, raisin, cherry, apricot and plum all seem of the grilled variety and weave into a tangy, spicy brandy-like taste. Peppery late, the beer's peppery hop taste gives it a slight boggish peat character as the finish awaits.

Full, lavish and decadent, the beer's lingering sweetness mixes with whisky for a sweet and spicy affair- one that's well suited as replacement for dessert after a savory and satisfying dinner. Save for cold winter's nights, a good book or great company. A long savory linger of molasses and whisky trail well into the next sip.

 1,583 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml foil-wrapped and capped bottle. Thanks to doktorzee for the Mile High hookup...er, that sounds a little weird, eh? 2011 edition, enjoyed while spending my first Father's Day at the homestead with my Dad, looking out over the rolling Southern Alberta prairie.

This beer pours an opaque, orangish-brown dirty dishwater colour, with one skinny finger of thin, bubbly beige head, which leaves little beyond some sparse islet lace around the glass as it weakly checks out.

It smells of semi-sweet rye whiskey - spicy grain, vanilla, and caramel - musty toffee, wet ash, an oily nuttiness, aged black fruit, some dusty cellar, and a yeasty cracker essence. The taste is reservedly sweet caramel, musty dank wood, of the aging rye whiskey sort, bittersweet cocoa, middling, muddled dark fleshy fruit - plum and cherry, predominantly - a bit more sodden, mouldy ash, and a subtle flinty, metallic alcohol edge.

The carbonation is fairly understated, just a wee fuzziness throughout, the body medium-heavy in weight, and generally smooth, in a bridled boozy sort of manner. It finishes rather sweet, the caramel, vanilla, wood, fruit, and sublimated alcohol all present and glad-handing each other.

A rather pleasant barrel-treated old ale, the big selling points of each side hefty, but agreeably integrated. This took a long time to put back, familial interactions and all that, so rendering the big ABV a surprisingly moot point. If you think your typical old ale could use a bit more booze and grainy wood, then this is the beer for you.

 1,542 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A lovely bubble show builds an impressive beige head; the liquid is a hazy chestnut; impressive clumps of lacing

Smell: Caramel, whiskey, fig, molasses, nuts and plum

Taste: Caramel and molasses forward and, out of the blue, a vinous, sour character overwhelms; plum and red wine grape tones in abundance, elbowing out the other flavors detected in the aroma; in the finish, the whiskey becomes more noticeable but the damage to the palate is already done

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Loved the regular Hibernation but tremendously disappointed in this, particularly given the price

 631 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bifrostguard opened this one last week. Thanks, Cameron.

Dark crimson-hued amber, murky, close to opaque in the glass. A small cream-colored head sits on top the mahogany body and shows good retention.

Smells like a pine forest. There's a solid backbone of earthy, leathery oxidation and mild whiskey barrel. It has more unusual herbal notes as well, mint perhaps, and faint toffee.

Very oxidized on the palate. Leathery, earthy, spicy. Some pine, mint, pepper. Full-bodied, but not exceptionally so - it's as viscous as you would expect an 11% Old Ale to be. Tobacco and leather flavors are prominent, and there's a strong hop character in the finish along with drying tannins.

Certainly a strange barrel-aged old ale, the whiskey barrel didn't impart much of the caramel and vanilla sweetness I've come to expect from this type of beer, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a leathery, tannic, fairly oxidized and complex sipper.

 943 characters

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter; 2014 vintage bottled 2/6/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, cocoa, brown bread, nuttiness, leather, vanilla, bourbon, oak, raisin, plum, fig, light herbal, and roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, oak barrel, and moderate fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, cocoa, brown bread, nuttiness, leather, raisin, plum, fig, light herbal, and roast/oak earthiness. Light herbal bitterness/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, toast, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, cocoa, brown bread, nuttiness, leather, raisin, plum, fig, light herbal, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, oak barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged old ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, oak barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. Much more dark fruits and less hop character than the regular version, with great barrel balance. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,827 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this to last night's tasting. I have now completed the GD BA trifecta, mostly thanks to Paul. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a moderate brown color and is slightly murky. Nose contained a good amount of toffee as well as some light caramel. Some brown sugar and light barrel character there as well. Not super complex, but the barrel character was seriously nice, coming through particularly well in the finish, which was exquisite. Taste was caramel and bourbon. Nice. Mouthfeel was ridiculously smooth and lacked nearly any alcohol presence. Low carbonation and a medium body. A nice offering, and the mouthfeel was really killer. Big highlight for me.

 689 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 346 ratings
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