Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale
357 Ratings
Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 357 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of rawfish
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ShoeIn-BrewWin
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: deep brown with a light tan head

Smell: heavy on vanilla notes, bit ashy, with hints of maple syrup

Taste: vanilla pops out immediately, hints of oak, syrup, and the always present whisky notes. Surprisingly smooth for the high alcohol content.

Feel: thick and bubbly

Overall: fantastic sipping beer with complex flavors and smells; very well balanced

 362 characters

Photo of evanwoertz
4.89/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of rmpic82
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe expectations are always (subconsciously or otherwise) part of the grading process. I'm not a robot, but I do try and separate the preexisting expectations from follow-through. Expectations were lower for this bottle, but I nearly scored it a 4.25 on a couple more ASTMO categories.

The barrel shows itself well, with a small helping of choco and an edge of coffee that is extremely additive. While this wouldn't be a "special guest" bottle, it could easily be on the regular rotation for good+ bottles to drink with friends.

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Photo of ccg
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled February, 2016 and opened March, 2017.

I think this beer looks great. It's a deep, dark brown, and the head is dense and fluffy and foamy. It leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

The smell is very mild. There is some syrupy caramel sweetness and some aggressive hops. The smell makes me expect a bitter, hoppy ale.

The flavor is actually better than the smell. It has a nice caramel sweetness, and while the hops give it a hint of earthiness, there is no sharp bitterness. The bourbon is noticeable, but it's only moderate strength. I think it works well in this beer. The bourbon-barrel aging adds a layer of sweetness with some vanilla and oak, but it's not cloying or overpowering.

Mouthfeel is solid. It has medium carbonation and a nice creaminess.

This is a nice sipper of a beer for a chilly day. There's just enough going here to make it interesting, but not so much that I feel guilty for not saving it for a bottle-share.

 944 characters

Photo of luke12345
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mschrei
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter from 2/16/16 bottle.
Dark brown with thinning edges and plenty of floaties. Scents of tobacco, chocolate, caramel, barrel. Taste is all of that with the barrel hanging out over it. Very smooth feel, alcohol is hidden very well.

 247 characters

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

Photo of Imperialjake
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of flyersfan900
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of StephenCollinsMarshall
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ruzzal
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Appearance: Deep brownish Amber with medium bubbles and an off-white head rising maybe one finger's length.

Smell: Sweet scotch scent consisting of grapes and whiskey.

Taste: Complex sweet and smooth malty flavors which honestly become addicting. Easy upgrade from the original hibernation ale.

Mouth: Sticky, thin body with medium carbonation. Like drinking malted whiskey.

Overall: Great brew, would definitely buy it without hesitation when and if I see it again. Drink with lust and enjoy. Salud!

 555 characters

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

Photo of golf4collet
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of WCKDVBZ
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Photo of Hopstout
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Zazzi82
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Batch

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle (2/2016) poured into a stemless wine glass.
Look - dark opaque mahogany in color with a sizable head for an aged beer and decent retention/lacing.
Smell - whiskey heat is pretty strong, brown sugar, bitter coffee, vanilla, some notes of dark fruit.
Taste - vanilla, semisweet chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit round it out, but all of this is enveloped by strong hints of whiskey that linger in the aftertaste.
Feel - good carbonation, full body, and a smooth finish (especially for the style).
Overall, this beer does not disappoint. The selling point is extremely high (was given as a gift), but the complexity (almost) matches the price.

 669 characters

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

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

Photo of Padron4KM
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb 18, 2016. Aroma is caramel and raisin up front, with lots of oak and vanilla as it warms. Flavor is whiskey, vanilla, spice, creamy chocolate, dark bread, oak. Never gets too boozy, nice whiskey flavor without the heat. $27 a bottle brings it down a bit.

 266 characters

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 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.

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 357 ratings
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