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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by waltonc on 11-17-2009

For Trade:
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 311
Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
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 +5.3%
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 -1.8%
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 +3.8%
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 -3.3%
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 +2.5%
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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Photo of jrallen34
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice. Bottle # 200 of 492.

The beer pours a watery dark brown with not much retention. The head is light tan, rises only about a half finger but then is gone right away leaving some on the outside of the glass. The lacing is light.

The aroma is medium and starts out very sweet. There are really nice notes of vanilla, caramel and cherry. At the end you pick up a bit of the bourbon.

The taste starts off kinda plain not a whole lot there. You get some sweet a little vanilla then a lot of bourbon to finish. For a beer that was 9 months in a barrell I'm surprised its stronger.

The feel is super watery, which is annoying with a light warm finish.

The drinkaility is ok.

Overall, this was pretty decent. The ale is a little to light and the flavor didn't really soak up the oak and the bourbon as much.

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Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, #316/492, poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark hazy mahogany that shines through as a dark amber with a decent head that's made up mostly of big bubbles that linger around the edges after a while.

The aroma is dominated by wood and bourbon...and not a whole lot else. There is a hint of dark fruit and toffee but it's tough to find under the barrel character. There is also some stale, cardboard-like aromas coming through that puzzled me.

The taste is just more whiskey - tons of vanilla, oak and bourbon, which leaves a big burn going down. I'm finding a hard time getting the underlying Hibernation - no chocolate or brown sugar sweetness to speak of. Maybe some dark fruits as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very slick with a subtle, soft carbonation. It feels and burns almost like a whiskey.

I'm a big fan of the regular Hibernation and, to me, this isn't quite as good. It's completely dominated by the barrel character, which overshadows the solid beer underneath. I'm hoping (and expecting) this one to age well and get better with a little time.

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Photo of br3wmeister
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark red/brown colored beer with a wispy light brown head pour retention and mild lacing.

S- Large oak aroma, vanilla, caramel, roasted nuts and toffee. This is a quite boozy smelling beer lots of spicy alcohol. Very complex and nice smelling beer.

T- Very boozy alcohol flavor, the malts, hops and yeast are really an after though in the flavor of this beer. With some age I hope the alcohol would calm down an make this an excellent beer. Mild charcoal, and roasted nut flavors manage to show through the alcohol a little.

M- This beer has somewhat of a harsh mouth feel up front full bodied and finishes smooth.

This beer really needs some age. It is drinking really hot and it is difficult to get anything but alcohol out of the flavor.

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Photo of rye726
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark mahogany with a silky tan head. Light lacing and nice retention.

Nose has nutty malts, chocolate, subtle spices, whiskey, oak, vanilla, pecans, dark pitted fruits, toffee and caramel.

Taste has bready malts, cocoa, plums, cherries, molasses, bourbon, wood, vanilla, roasted nuts and carmelized candy.

Medium body is well carbonated. A bit thin in the finish.

Drinks well for 11% and should age well for years to come.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Pours a murky brown with almost no head (a vigorous pour produced a little frothiness that quickly went to a thin collar).

The aroma is chocolate and bourbon with dark fruit and molasses. Smells a bit like a decadent rum cake / fruitcake. There is a touch of fusel alcohol. I can smell the original Hibernation but it's been bourbonized.

The flavor is surprisingly subdued. There's some chocolatey bourbon and dark fruits leading to a bitter alcohol finish. As it warms, a bit more flavor comes out - but it still tastes like watered down Hibernation with a splash of whiskey. The mouthfeel is full with very little carbonation and is a bit watery.

Overall, this is not overdone with the alcohol like the bourbon yeti was. Both barrel versions I've had have been very lightly carbonated. I'm surprised by how subdued the flavors were for me, given how complex original Hibernation is. It's interesting to try, but regular Hibernation is better, and this is not worth $25 a bottle.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #376/492 $25. I am a big fan of the regular version so I gave up the $25 for this one which I will say is not as good as the regular version unless you really like whiskey. It might be a shade darker than the standard version or maybe its just hazier. It smells like whiskey, alcohol, really an interesting smell. The flavor is really overwhelmed by the barrel-aging to the point that I can barely tell its Hibernation any more. Whiskey, wood, alcohol, vanilla, intense but just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Bardwashrind
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at the brewery, lucky first day release. The first thing noticed was the slow forming head as it was poured into our goblet glass. Beautiful dark autumn leaves colored head building into a tightly beaded crown of bubbles. The aroma was a wave of comfort. Baking spices, ginger bread, subtle whiskey and an undeniable element of oak. One of those beers where the first sip is delayed because of the time spent just admiring the lovely smells.

The taste was full of graceful integration of wood and malts. A bold flavor of charred American oak was distinct and a bit sharp but a soothing, nearly blissful, combination of caramel, milk chocolate and toasty hops made for quite the long finish. One of the best parts of this beer was the delicious after taste. Warm and complex with a great luscious booze-soaked-bunt-cake quality. The beer continued to open and change a bit as we got through the bottle. The oak was still obvious and the whisky never stood out as being to 'hot'. I was amazed at how many regular Hibernation characteristics could still be found.

So many barrel aged beers can be a bit too 'rough around the edges' with their big punch of oak or bourbon. Using the local Stranahan's whisky barrels helped from over taking the soft subtle perks of Hibernation. Not too rich nor too sweet, Stranahan uses no corn for their spirt and I really think that helped infuse the whisky/beer qualities nicely.

An amazing beer that would be perfect for those cold nights by the fire. Or just any time worth remembering.

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Photo of waltonc
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at Great Divide tap room tonight. Pours dark caramel in color with ample tan head. If this is bottle conditioned, Great Divide did a great job ensuring it's properly carbonated. Beautiful aroma of caramel, toffee, vanilla, whiskey, oak, and a hint of tart dark fruits. Taste follows - all of the same traits as the smell. Somewhat sweet, but not overly so. Whiskey is not overpowering. This is a well rounded, focused barrel aged old ale. Reminds me a bit of Anchor Our Barrel Ale in that it's not a blow-out-the-palate whiskey bomb. Though this is definitely bigger than OBA. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Great brew overall.

Note: if you don't like barrel aged beers, or are expecting this to taste like regular Hibernation, don't bother with this one, as the barrel aging has completely changed the character of the beer from regular Hibernation. But if you like BA brews, you'll probably like this one a lot.

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Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 311 ratings.
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