Abominable Winter Ale
Hopworks Urban Brewery

Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale
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American IPA
Ranked #593
Ranked #5,496
4.04 | pDev: 10.4%
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale
Notes: Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 387 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of detgfrsh
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a can produced 12/2/19. Hazy dark amber with a thick layer of cream colored head. Toasted malt and piney hop smell. Medium body with some stickiness. Rich caramel malt and piney hop flavors. From the label and name I was thinking winter warmer, but this is actually an IPA and a good one at that.

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Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from can dated Oct 2019 into pint glass.
*came into this brew completely blind as to it's reputation

A: hazy, dark copper body, and a big fluffy near-tan head with mid-level retention, leaving a frothy cap across the surface
S: pine. spice (cardamom, nutmeg). orange peel. blast of molasses, burnt caramel, dark brown sugar tinged malts.
T: all of the sweet caramel and bready malt notes hit front and center, followed by a bundle of spices and fresh, dense pine. finishes with a grapefruit bittersweetness
F: medium carbonation, medium-thick body, and a lovely balanced fade from lush-to-dryness that keeps me coming back.

Overall (personal opinion):
I bought this set of cans because I liked the yeti, had been set on a winter ale/warmer, and I had never heard of this brew. BOY HOWDY. first thought on sticking my nose into the glass - "is this an IPA????" followed immediately after first sip with a "YEP"
all of that said: absolutely great brew. best "mountain-themed-IPA" I've had this year, hands down.

4.5-something to hufflepuff

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a clear copper-amber color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is heavy of a caramel and molasses smell mixed with some nice aromas of pine and juniper. Along with these smells comes some light dark fruit aromas as well as a moderate showing of some dark fruit and spice.
Taste – The taste begins with a nice caramel bready flavor that is matched by flavors of cardamom, nutmeg, and juniper. Along with these flavors are some hop flavors of a pine and herbal nature, and while light upfront these flavors get quite a bit stronger as the taste advances. Toward the end the caramel fades a bit, but is replaced by some flavors of toffee and butterscotch and with the increase in the hop and a little bit of orange-zest and grapefruit hop, one is left with a soothing and delicious spiced ale taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is somewhat thicker and chewy with a carbonation level that is average. For the sweeter and spice, mixed with the somewhat more dank hop the feel is nice and creates a nice sweeter and spiced sipper overall.
Overall – A nice tasty winter ale. This is a well crafted brew with a nice blend of spice, hop, and sweet. Very tasty.

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Photo of Quafftastic
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the great winter ales! Thoroughly delicious from nose through final lingering taste.
Plus the can is one of best designs out there.
If you’re not lucky enough to live in Portland and have this available, it’s good to have a friend that travels to get it to you. Cheers!

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

i really enjoyed this one, usually these spiced winter ales are always sweet, and those elements together can easily turn me off to this style, but here, we have a beer thats hoppy and dry instead of sugary with the savory winter spice complexion, a really nice twist, and i think a lot of the spiciness comes from the hop mix, there is a nice overlap there, really cool. for it being so malty, its quite dry, i smell almost no residual sugar through the frothy white draft head, and i taste only a baked richness in the middle from the grain, nothing really leftover at the end. i like the subtlety, clove and anise notes or something there, keeping it festive overall, but its also quite hoppy, good bitterness at the end, a pine note, and a greenness uncommon in such a malt driven recipe. it all comes together so well, and the beer drinks light both for its color and for something called a winter ale, and i appreciate that at a time of year when everything is boozy, full bodied, and heavy, this comes off as almost refreshing in that context. nice mouthfeel, round and creamy with good carbonation, and a little hop and spice bitterness to finish it off, maybe a faint cinnamon note here or something. overall a cool beer, something a little different in a same style right now. very festive and enjoyable.

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Photo of spoony
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 16 oz can (canned January 10, 2018) to a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces a dense, pillowy, off-white head about a finger high. The foam lasts for a little while and leaves some fine lacing on the glass. The liquid beneath is light amber in hue, dark for an IPA, and mostly clear; just a light haze obscures the view.

S-The aroma is full of aggressive, bitter hops. Pine, juniper, orange zest, grapefruit, and leafy mint notes attack my nose in a way that few recent IPAs have done. There is also a substantial malty note suggesting caramel and toffee. Its a flavorful brew, for sure.

T-The taste mostly tracks the smell. Bitter, leafy, herbal hop flavors dominate with hints of grapefruit and orange zest peaking through. The finish is a touch spicy. Despite the heavy hops, the beer reminds me of an English IPA with its similarly heavy dose of caramel and toffee malt flavors. Again, a lot of flavor here.

M-The beer is substantial on the palate with a low level of smooth carbonation. Despite the bitterness, it never feels scrape-y in the way that many bitter IPAs do.

O-This is a nice take on a leafy, bitter winter IPA. I would rank this closely with Celebration, but if forced to choose, I would probably lean ever-so-slightly in favor of the Sierra Nevada beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know this was in a bottle, I had it in a tallboy can. Didn't realize it was an ipa either. Pours something in the light amber color category, 1/3" white head. Aroma was definitely not hoppy, got more caramel, brown malt, winter warmer kind of smells than hops.

The C hops came out in the taste. They're pretty much all bittering hops, so that makes sense. Its plenty malty too, malty and bitter. The hops don't add much in the way of actual flavor, just there for ample bitterness it seems. Beer is similar to Sixpoint's Autumnation. Its a malty winter driven ipa that uses exclusively old school hops. You could recreate this recipe pretty easy at home I bet.

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Photo of dertyd
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out a dark golden/light amber color, with 1 finger of off white head---------- the aromas are of Carmel, brown sugar, earthy tones and pine------------- the flavors are of Carmel malt, earthy spice, brown sugar, pine and orange peal, the beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light amount of bitterness on the finish--------------- overall this beer was nice, it was a malt bomb but it had a lot of hops in there to balance it out, sweet but not cloying it's what I expected from a winter ipa-

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Photo of mistaya
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This years version on draft at home (two weeks old). Great, dense, light colored, foamy head. Reddish amber color. Softish hoppy aroma. Nice smooth taste from the Munich malt. Mouth feel is full with a citrus taste that lingers pleasantly. Nice Fall and Winter IPA (if it lasts that long?).

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Photo of bobv
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well, it was free!!! Looks good, smells okay, tastes sort of okay, feels okay, and overall, I really wish I could try a fresher can or bottle of this.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrusy and resinous hops notes is very enticing. Taste is a complex mix of citrusy and resinous hops notes with some light sweetness from the malt base. Very limited amount of bitterness with good floral notes. Body is fuller then average with good carbonation. Very nice mix between a solid malt backbone and some fresh hops notes.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

1 PINT 6 FLUID OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours tea colored with reddish orange highlights. It is topped with over an inch of tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

As soon as I cracked the bottle I smelled juniper. After decanting I got a balance of caramel malt and pine with hints of grapefruit.

The taste begins with a solid malt backbone which quickly gives way to resinous hop flavor. There is some sweetness through the middle with a bitter finish.

Medium to full mouthfeel

I didn't realize that this was a hoppy beer when I received it in late October, so it is probably past its optimal tasting age. I do like it though. It has some balance, but plenty of hops to satisfy a hophead. It comes across as a hoppy amber ale.

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Photo of Hagenmccombs
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had from the cask at the brewpub. Was honestly fairly disappointed. It was too sweet and earthy for my tastes. I would have preferred the body to be much lighter with less of a syrupy brown sugar flavor. The hops were there, but not very clean or bright. This is a classic winter ale in the PNW so perhaps I'm just crazy. Not my thing.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a pint can, so that's a good point here.

L - Hazy dark amber with a lacing head

S - Loads of citrus and pine, tobacco, a bit herbal and spicy

T - Follow the smell, it's sweet and a bit sour, with a rye spiceness following the grapefruit

F - Good mouthfeel, fine carbonation

O - A great IPA, maybe good on a winter day but defenitely great on a spring day as today

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can, canned about three months ago

A very calm pour gives about a half finger of head into my pint glass. Color is amber, with hints of brown and orange. Visibility is very low.

Aroma is interesting. Slightly bitter, maybe even a hint of sourness or acidity. A light, unoffensive malt character, reminiscent of an amber malt profile, but more subdued. Hints of sweetness, and a small dark fruit presence are hidden. Some sniffs are more acidic with the hops/bitterness/and a touch of booze. Other are smoother, sweeter, with mild fruit. It’s a very complex smell, and for a winter warmer, a nice change on the norm. Very nice, could be 4, but we'll go 4.25.

The taste is good, slightly different than the smell. Malt hits first, then bitterness, malt, and fruit combine all at once. Slight sweetness hits for a nano second at the end, but not a sweet winter warmer overall. Bitterness lingers, very subtly. The flavors combine very nicely, but it's kinda unfortunate they hit you all at once, because you can't taste them individually. I’m not blown away by the flavor, but it is a nice beer, and different.

Carbonation is medium, airing on low. Body has a little umph to it, but is a little thin. Overall it fits the beer pretty well.

The drinkability is higher than it could be for 7.3 % and 70 IBU'S, but not a suuuper easy drinking beer. Bitterness does hit, and is lingering a little more these past sips.

Overall this is a good brew, kinda all over the place sometimes (which I haven’t said in a while). Parts of the beer make me not like it as much. But I've had it before, and I'm drinking it now, and I can say that this is a good beer. Not perfect, but good. I should add that for being three months old, I wouldn't expect it to be super obviously stale tasting, and it's not, but it's flirting with it. I think it's right on the cusp of being a reviewable beer, but it makes the cut.

Appearance turned out ok. Most of the glass had patchy lacing, then once I poured the rest of the can in, it got some decent head, and better lacing (it's my fault though for not giving a more aggressive pour initially). It's a 3.75 or 4 for appearance, basically a coin flip. I'll go 4 because it would have been better, with a better pour.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours a malty caramel color with creamy foam. There's a somewhat spicy, slightly earthy aroma to this, with pine and citrus notes. The beer itself tastes slightly sticky, with a pleasing hop combination of citrus and pine, backed by a malt body that compliments without dominating --or being ignored. A well balanced brew. I liked it.

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Photo of MilkLeg
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged this on sale for from a local store. Canned in October 2015, so not the freshest for what would prove to be a hoppy brew. 16 oz pour, darker orange with a bit of sediment clinging around the side of my IPA style glass. Smelled sort of medicinal and floral. Not a typical winter ale, unless you're a west coast brewery with the word hop in your name. It immediately reminded me of a sweeter malty IPA, similar to a brown and suggary west coast counterpart. Stuff's not bad for its age, would love to try it fresher someday though.

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Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a fairly thick-looking dark orange color, almost but not quite opaque. The head consists of big, loose bubbles that pop and settle to a somewhat denser foam. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.
It's hop-forward in the aroma, with lots of leaf and herb but with a sweetness of orange flesh and something like caramel. It's got a bit of spiciness behind it, too.
The flavor follows suit, and this is a nicely hoppy beer balanced by sweetness in the middle and finishing with more dry bitterness. Herb, spice, earth, and leaf make for a fairly complex bittering, while the citrus and caramel-like notes come through as in the nose. There's almost a candied orange note right in the middle, and the hops take a pithy edge as they finish.
Crispness bites moderately beginning to end while remaining smooth, and a solid medium body doesn't wane. It runs semi-dry with a brief moment of semi-sweetness toward the front before the dry finish.

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

Hazy amber color with white head. Aroma has some citrusy hops, orange mostly, and some sweet malts. Taste is quite hoppy, the earthy, piney type, very west coast. Body is medium to full with a good amount of carbonation. Really good IPA overall, but nothing really special.

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Photo of JohnnyYuma
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A little restrained on the nose, but there is no getting around that this is a beautiful beer when poured into a pint glass. I'm a sucker for that deep rich amber hue, and the fact that the taste is of a restrained but truly well-defined Northwest IPA makes it even better. I'm super stoked I brought two 16oz cans down from Seattle with me. I'm a big fan of this beer.

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Photo of thezach
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Bright clear orange-copper hue. Medium sized off-white head fades quickly to light wisps across the beer with speckled lacing down the sides.
S: Rich toasty caramel malts with floral hops, bright zesty Meyer Lemons (a mix of mandarin orange and lemon), slight pine characteristic and some black tea.
T: I can't get earl grey tea out of my head, could be the BROS or the fact that I happened to have a cup a couple hours ago, but there's a fine, smooth tea characteristic with juicy hops, slightly balanced towards bitterness to make it snappier and more drinkable. Slight resin/pine in the hops,
F: smooth, not a hint of astringency, juicy, mouth-watering, medium-light bodied and awesome to drink. This is really pretty.

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Photo of Shippy
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber. Pours a clear reddish brown with a thin white head. Hoppy aroma with pine, citrus, and maybe some woodiness. Flavor starts with citrus notes, followed by pine, some light malt, and spices before a fairly bitter finish. Medium bodied with a little carbonation. Overall an intriguing mix of flavors that starts like a summery IPA and finishes more like a winter ale. I'd prefer more of a wintery taste throughout, but a very tasty beer.

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Photo of Moose90
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can "CANNED ON 03NOV2015 553-582" Poured into 20oz Willibecher

A — Pours a coppery deep orange hue into the glass. There is a tall bubbly cream colored head that forms, and settles into a thin layer of foam on-top of the beer, leaving behind nicely consistent rings of lace with each sip.

S — Smell is assertive, hoppy, resinous, bitter, piney, fresh, and awesome. Little bit of sweet crystal malt base underneath. Overall a hop assault though.

T — Taste is like the nose though there is a bit more perceived sweetness here. Notes of pine, lemon, earth, caramel, light peppery note as well.

M — Medium bodied, sticky lingering finish.

O — Very good overall, a nice big piney & resinous IPA.

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Photo of MjBrewhouse
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not my cup of tea at all. This is not a winter ale nor an ipa. Lacks body,hops and carbonation. Can't believe that Fremont brewing had to stop using the Words Abominable Ale for this.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I did not realize this was actually an IPA when I bought it I'm not disappointed as its a very tasty IPA! Shares a few similarities with Pliny the Elder in fact. I wish it was just slightly more carbonated, but overall it's hoppy, citrusy and goes down incredibly easy. Will definitely buy again

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 387 ratings