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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
83 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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Barrel Aged Hibernation AleBarrel Aged Hibernation Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by waltonc on 11-17-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
83
Ratings:
287
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
20.71%
 
 
Wants:
161
Gots:
107
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 287
Photo of mmapes
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a 2011 vintage in December of 2012 (bottle 2001). Pours dirty brown. Cloudy. A little ugly, actually.

Smells of barrel, carmel, whiskey, maybe some funk.

First sip is rich, sweet, with a sharp finish that tapers. Wood and whiskey are noticeable. More flavorful on second taste. Probably explodes with flavor when warmer (we started with refrigerator temps).

Would probably be good with a blue cheese (sweetness and richness would go well), maybe with a steak, or as a standalone dessert.

Would buy again, even though it's pricey.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my friend for sharing and going out of his way to get this beer, which I am told is somewhat hard to acquire. Popped this bottle on Dec 3, 2012.

I love barrel aged beers. I really expected a lot more from the beer..expectations were high, but at best, this was maybe slightly above average and needs some work by Great Divide. A: cloudy dirt brown. S: nothing special. T: tastes were muted and bland, very average...I really really wished and hoped there were more, but it just was not there...it seems the barrel aging gave this beer a kinda musty taste. M: somewhat weird combined with the off tastes, not that enjoyable. O: a let down...

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Photo of woosterbill
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'09 vintage, bottle 137/492. Huge thanks to Chris for sharing this one.

A: A little cloudy medium-brown body under some coarse tan foam. Decent retention, light lace. Not bad.

S: Smells very, very old: sherry oxidation and earthiness dominate, with molasses and spice also playing prominent roles. I like it.

T: Wow. Huge toffee, sherry, pecan, fruitcake, and molasses. Some booze and spice on the finish. Really rich, really tasty.

M: Medium body, creamy carbonation. Nice.

O: Strange beer. From the smell, I would have thought it was close to a decade old already. The oxidation was heavy, but in the flavor it complemented powerful residual sweetness quite well. Definitely a sipper due to its sugar content, but not boozy at all. It's crazy that I've had this and still haven't ever tasted the regular version...

Cheers!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jedwards for sharing. Bottles 219/492. Pours a dull mahogany hue with no head, just a cluster of bubbles pooling in one corner. Nose expresses bourbon notes, wood and a hint of ethanol. As the brew begins to warm I also get a lightly sugared and toffee-like character. Taste is fairly subtle. While it is somewhat consistent with the nose there is also something else happening in the flavor profile - not quite sour or tart, but definitely a character that cuts through the anticipated sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a mild carbonation and a slightly oily texture. Overall, a very drinkable Old Ale with a well-hidden abv. Not my favorite BA Old Ale, but it is quite pleasant and goes down so easily.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I'm an old ale fan...bias may stand out :)

Well, this is like the Hibernation with a twist. But unlike some BA versions of other beers, the BA on this isn't the center piece. Sure, it adds some vanilla and caramel, some booziness and a bit of oak smoothness. All this complements the old ale qualities of the Hibernation, which I like a lot. This is almost a "better" version of regular Hibernation...and old ale I'd probably find in England as a "normal" old ale.
While this is a great beer, the price just isn't worth it, unless it came is smaller bottles and in a 6 or 4 pack. Highly unlikely, but drinking a 750ml needs more than 1 person. But I don't want to waste it on "people" :P

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 190 of 492, 2009 bottling; sampled October 2011
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a one-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that disappears down to a thin ring fairly quickly. The beer is a murky, concentrated amber color, that shows more of the same just lighter in hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sweet, toasted coconut and raisins, and perhaps a touch of sherry at the first. A second pas reveals smooth whiskey aromatics, smoothly spicy oak that gets a touch more spicy once I move away from the kitchen were some food is braising. This beer is clearly dominated by the barrel influence, there are touches of caramel, which mix well with the ample barrel vanillin notes, there is a slight savory maltiness here, as well as touches of toasted whole grain character and even some grassiness / herbal character somehow; though this last seems mainly to be contributed by the whiskey barrel and actually becomes quite prominent after some time (though it also has an ample green, pepper like note)

Up front flavors of caramelized crystal malt, vanillin, toasted coconut, toasted whole grain, touches of toffee and caramel mix together on the palate. The finish is quite spicy, very woody, and even sort of has a green grassy or spicy herbal note to it; this morphs into a green peppery note as well as a lingering tannic bite.. The beer is fairly light bodied for its strength, though I am not overly surprised as that often happens with beers like this that get aged in barrels; there is some viscous character to this beer, and it even manages to linger a bit on the palate, but the spicy oak character ends up wiping the palate clean. After some time, the finish really starts to taste like a whiskey, spicy, somewhat hot from the alcohol, and it even has that sort of fruitiness that I get in a whiskey or bourbon.

Not bad, but I was expecting a bit more; the barrel character runs a bit roughshod over the base beer. If this had a lot more caramelized maltiness and quite a bit of a richer, hell even sweeter, body that could stand up to the barrel influence, this would be a much better experience. The beer actually seems to do well in very small amounts; if I come back to it after a while I can take a small sip or two that maintains a balance to it, but it ends up getting thin, somewhat too spicy, and a bit too hot after any more than this.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Rake who sent me this one in a past trade! 2009 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured reddish brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, very sweet alcohol, toffee, subtle brown sugar, and a touch of caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, wood, toffee, caramel, and subtle brown sugar. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly solid brew. The barrels really shined through on this one and made their presence known. I wasn't expecting this as the brew had been aging in my cellar for this long, but was pleasantly surprised what I did find. A solid offering from Great Divide and I look forward to trying the bottle of BA Old Ruffian I have in my cellar to conplete the set.

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Photo of claspada
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 127/492 shared at a recent tasting.

Pours a murky moderate brown color with little to no head leaving minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with 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 certainly present and quite dominant.

The taste begin with a great deal of dark caramelized malts, sweet toffee and barrel. Lots of dark fruits, bourbon boozeyness and oaky dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes dry, oaky, fruit-forward with a bit of Bourbon pop.

The mouthfeel was ridiculously smooth and lacked nearly any alcohol presence. Low carbonation and a medium body.

Overall this was a nice offering, but lacked the overall quality I was hoping for with this beer. The whiskey barrel really overwhelmed the base beer leaving the flavor profile slightly one dimentional. While is was tasty, I won't be seeking out any more with great effort in the near future.

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Photo of claytong
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

appearance - ruby brown in color, minor bubbles with minor lacing and minor sticking.

smell - a variety of malts, old malts, roasted malts, brown malts, oak, vanilla, figs and chocolate

taste - same story with the malts, vanilla...past its prime i think, but good.

mouthfeel - thin and not much carbonation, yikes. heres where the age murdered the beer.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 128/492 Poured into a Great Divide Globe ( Just had to)

Thanks to Rake for the In person trade

A-- Poured a deep, dark mahogany color. Just touches of ruby at the bottom of the glass. Very little carbonation showing. Light brown head that went to film and stayed at film through drinking. Lots of spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Rich and full smell. Buttery vanilla, rum, molasses,
brown sugar, and dates. Just slight bits of oak in this.

T-- Warm, melted brown sugar, butter, vanilla, rum, and dark fruits.

M-- Mid palate is very thin. Kind of sad really. Get just short bursts of what it was. A bit slick and sweet and and a rum spice finish but just lacking zest and too many gaping holes in this. Not much of the barrel though.

O-- Knocking off one of my biggest wants and realize I am getting to this about a year late. Flashes of how good this was does make this worth it for me though.

Edit: Really picked up with a lot of air. Thin gaps disappeared more but still evident, so a slight correction in rating.

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Photo of Lunch
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 431/429 received in a great trade with JMBSH, thanks!

Served in a Great Divide snifter because I can and I will. Pours fairly thick and I can already smell the Stranahan barrels. Mahogany brown in color with a light tan head that recedes quickly.

Smell is sweet malts with notes of brown sugar, toffee, caramel and oak surrounded in whiskey. Taste follows nicely with rich flavors providing a fairly sweet Old Ale that is thick with low carbonation. Glad I got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andre for splitting this one.

Bottle 208 of 492.

18 months in a Stranahan's bottle and 18 months in bottle.

Cloudy brown body beneath a light tan head.

Aromas of rum soaked fruit cake, raisin, fig, a touch of oak and some oxidation beginning to develop.

Toffee, molassas, rum raisin, fruit cake, spice, more like rum than Stranahan's, light oak.

The body becomes thin on the mid palate and that's my primary complaint.

Darn good and yet, I am dissapointed. Maybe its past its prime. I don't dislike it, but its not as good as I was hoping for. A bit too boozy, a touch too thin, but still very good.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was shared by Paul (King of all that is barrel-aged) last weekend. Thanks man!

Bottle 431 / 492

The beer is dark brown and for the most part, transparent. The tan head stands in at 1/4" and leaves a decent amount of lacing in its wake.

The aroma brings sweet malt, alcohol, oak, caramel, toffee.

A very enjoyable brew, and a fine choice for sipping on the deck during the last days of winter. The beer is slightly sweet, with alcohol and barrel flavors prominent throughout.

The feel is creamy and smooth, remarkably so given the 11.1% abv.

Overall, a very tasty offering. I'm glad to have tried it and would certainly enjoy having it again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch at a recent tasting, been looking forward to this beer for a while. Thanks Paul.

Beer is brown and dark with a slight haze to it. There is a weak head of medium brown / tan bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass. Carbonation is steady.

Aroma is really nice, sweet caramel, toffee, mild liquor and booze, smells great.

Beer is medium in body and quite sweet like candy on the front. There is a nice bourbon presence in the midpalate and the finish is appropriately heavy and not dry. There is not much bitterness at the back, less than I expected which shifts my focus to the front half of the beer, leaving me with nothing to linger on in the back. The flavors of toffee and caramel are a nice counterpoint to the booziness of the midpalate and booziness is not out of place for the overall experience of the beer. I really enjoyed, a sleeper beer for sure, people should be more excited about this one. The base beer is also quite good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Thanks to Lunch for providing this one, another want to mine. Bottle 431 of 492, served in a tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of an off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, oak, dark fruit, oak, and vanilla. Light bourbon, but not much in the nose.

t - Tastes of caramel, oak, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, and toffee. Much more bourbon than the nose, and a big step up in my opinion.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body. Not too hot and pretty amazing. A little more carbonation and this would have been perfect.

d - Overall I thought this was a really great old ale. I loved the taste and would have liked a little more bourbon in the nose and carbonation in the mouthfeel, but still an awesome beer. Would love to try again sometime.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier is again a badass.. 223/492 Very cool... Eric is a good guy... good taste in beer, and better in bacon.

Pours a deep clear amber with an okay off white head.. only okay retention... no lacing.

Aroma shows good caramel and a bit of bourbon... the malts seem restrained with a little bit of cocoa.

The flavors are nothing to write home about.. toasty malt is carried by the oak and vanilla in the barrel. cocoa is there toward the finish.... so is a little honest bourbon..

The big problem is there is not enough malt mid palate.. seems pretty damn thin for the brew that I was expecting and for the ABV... boozy goodness is okay, but the flavors in the middle are more malt extract with barrel presence t.

Thanks Eric.. again, another brew that I would never try and trade for.

3.5/4/4/3.5/4

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Photo of Lookalive07
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer at Donnelly's in Fairport, New York. Exceptional taste and surprisingly high in ABV, despite it not tasting like it should be. I would definitely recommend this beer to those looking for a very flavorful beer that's not incredibly heavy.

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Photo of mentor
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled out of my cellar, Bottle 488/492. Pours a thin layer of dark tan head over a dark brown liquid. Smells wonderful. Nice vanilla, caramel oxidation, lemony-piney hops, bourbon and oak, and brown malt. Strong alcohol is clean and enticing as it carries some pear esters and fig newton cookie.

Tastes delicious. Great oak, bourbon, malt, and fruity in comparable intensities and somewhat complementary. Could use a bit more melding, but still quite nice. Malt is brown and some toast. Vanilla, caramel, waxy wood, and a dash of cherry. Esters are pear and fig with some fibery flavor to it. Finish dries from alcohol sting and a bit of bourbon zip. Aftertaste is a bit waxy with nice retro-nasal dry chocolate and hazelnut. Warming in the belly.

Creamy md-light in the mouth with mild carbonation. Great drinkability and this will improve in a couple years as the alcohol heat settles more and the flavors meld together.

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Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rye726 for this. I opened with Jerz and Vacax.

Bottle # 231/492

A - Dark brown in color, minimal head, and minimal lacing. Nice looking beer for a barrel aged old ale.

S - It smells like a typical old ale (dark fruits, some malts, etc.) mixed with just a hint of bourbon.

T - Dark fruits are mixed with some bourbon. It's clean and tasty, and the compliments of Hibernation and bourbon go well together. no alcohol bite for 11%

M - Heavy body with mild carbonation.

D - It's good. i could drink plenty of this.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thinnish looking brown color, with a light brown head that doesn't stick around for long. Huge bourbon aromas dominate, but there is also vanilla, toffee, oak and dark fruit. Huge boozy palate, with loads of bourbon. Eventually I get a little caramel, toffee and brown sugar before the warming alcohol takes over. Totally different from the original hibernation.

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is courtesy of Schmittymack, cheers Dan!

Bottle 138 of 492 pours ann effervescent brown/chestnut with 2 fingers of tan head. Nice oily sheen, average head retention & lacing

S: Bourbon notes & figs

T: Follows the nose with nice toffee & vanilla notes, plus dryness, figs & leafy hops up front. Figgyness, bourbon boozeyness & oaky dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes dry, oaky, fruitty & with a bit of Bourbon twang

MF: Hefty & sticky with minimal carbonation, carbonation picks up a bit as this warms

Great drinkability, a luxury that alas may not stack up to many other Old ales, barrel aged or not; if you are seeking value for your dollar. Thrilled to have tried this, but was expecting more to be honest

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Photo of srandycarter
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

352/492 bottles.

A - Very dark cola, almost black. Not much off white head, runs to ring fast. Not much cling lace.

S - Toffee, sweet malt. Pretty much the dominant smells.

T - Boozy, but follows smell pretty well. Bourbon present and is not cloying in the finish.

M - Not as carbed as I would have hoped, lighter in body than I would have expected, but fairly well balanced.

D - Unique beer... nice to try. Not for the session.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks for getting this one out to me. I had been trying to track it down forever. Served as might nightcap last night, bottle number 319, served in a snifter (which incidentally my wife broke today), this one was consumed on 03/05/2010.

The pour was decent, though I admit I was looking for a little bit more. Nice even caramel brown in color with a small, fleeting head on top. Quickly left bare there was really not much left to it after a few moments. Aroma is dominated by bourbon and wood. Sweet vanilla notes, hints of oak, a light caramel touch. Not as strong as I have seen some BA beers, but it worked still, nicely done. Warming, soothing taste. Light oak and vanilla caress the palate and warm into an earthy and bourbon filled flavor. Not overpowering, subtle with the alcohol very well hidden leaving it to be consumed a bit faster then one had anticipated.

Overall a nice change up for me. I thought it could have been a little bigger, for the time it spent in the barrel it was very mellow and nicely done. Maybe with a year or so on it it will really start to flourish.

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.
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