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Abominable Winter Ale | Hopworks Urban Brewery

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123 Reviews
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.

Added by ElGordo on 12-24-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 341
Photo of Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +13.9%
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 -2.2%
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 -1.2%
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 -0.5%
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 -1.5%
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 -0.2%
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 -7.5%
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 -2.7%
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 -25.4%
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 +2%
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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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance : Dirty water/iced tea colored, 80% opaque, with a fluffy egg crate foam yellow head. Head is 3 fingers and stays that way for awhile.

Smell : Onion, grapefruit, pine, spice, maple sap, tree bark...

Taste : Actually better than I was expecting. It calms itself with malted barley to tame the citrus notes that otherwise (by the nose) would simply destroy everything else. From the can it's straight pine, but letting it sit in a glass tames it a bit.

Feel : I don't know what it is about these Northwest beers, but I FEEL a headache coming on. That's an awful feeling. Anyways for the mouth it's pretty rich and decadent, but has some stabbing carbonation that's nettlesome. A parched finish completes the profile.

Overall : Well obviously I wasn't expecting an IPA, I bought it for the can art. In most parts of the country a winter warmer is a darker ale, with notes of plums and figs, but apparently in this northwest pocket of the US it means a highly hopped pale ale. Either way it wasn't bad, but not something I'll be going back for.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Toasty, Citrus, Tea, Dank

Sticky pungent hop nose of hemp, grapefruit rind and black tea ... clean whiff of alcohol and toasted malt rounds the aroma out. Hefty toasted malt character on a semi-lush smooth full-ish body. Hops ring in with a citrus bite with a slight bitter back-end, more of a blond tobacco and rind flavor later on. Alcohol drops some light fruitiness of ripe pears and mango. Hoppy finish with some linger of malt as well as the warmth of alcohol. A stellar American winter seasonal here ... malt, hops and alcohol are all elevated equally for the most part in the PNW manner. Delicious.

STYLE: Winter IPA | ABV: 7.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #96 (JAN 2015)

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Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/9/14 canning date.

A: Beautiful clear red pour. Tall, frothy off-white head. Amazing lacing, heavy, thick and continuous. Great head retention too.

S: Hoppy. Citrus and some dankness. Light hint of caramel maybe?

T: Yup. Hop-forward with a nice grapefruit and orange peel. Mildly herbal and spicy too. Kinda reminds me of a hoppy red. Maybe it's just the color that's fooling me. Nice mild breadiness peeks through and then it's more grapefruit and citrus in general into the finish. Mild wave of bitterness into the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, just sweet enough for a nice IPA.

O: I was expecting a winter warmer or something spiced due to the "winter ale" in the name but this is a straight-up IPA. Nice big bold hop flavors but not super bitter. In fact it's very lightly sweet in the finish. Just enough to balance it nicely. Great drinkability. This one hit the spot.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep amber, almost brown. Medium white head and a thin collar.

Smell - Nutty malts. Lots of caramel. Toasty. Some hops and a fruitiness that seems to come from the malts more than the hops.

Taste - Much hoppier up front. Grassy and piney. Toasty malts. Bitterness sustained throughout the drink. Sweet, slightly buttery malt flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Moderate bitterness and medium carbonation. Not something I drank very quickly.

Overall - Categorized as an IPA here? It's much more malt forward. I don't know what to call it. It's decent, but not quite my style.

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Photo of LouZ
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer was fine - a dark amber colored malty brew more akin to a red than a winter warmer. When I buy a winter beer, I expect dark ... black. This is not that. At all. It drinks easy, but is nothing special.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

The great guys from @hopworksbeer sent over "Abominable Winter Ale" for me to review. I figured what better place to drink this organic winter ipa than on the end of an amazing hike in Red Rock Canyon!

Abominable Winter Ale - HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery)
Winter IPA
7.3% ABV
70 IBU

APPEARANCE: Drank straight from the can. When I cracked it, a small amount of nicely colored beige head climbed out of the can.

AROMA: Got my nose right into the can! Very warm and inviting, fresh squeezed grapefruit comes screaming out of the can. Followed by additional citrus fruits mixed with a lovely piney hop profile. Slightly sweet aroma that fades into a nice floral end.

TASTE: Delicious juicy grapefruit and pine hop profile right off the bat. Followed by some really nice sweet carmel malts that bring the spices into play. Getting some muted clove, pepper and a bit of onion/garlic on the ending. Very balanced and delicious beer, super refreshing and thirst quenching!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, light lazy carbonation. Tongue gets coated by the oils from the hops. Finishes slightly bitter and lingering.

OVERALL: My first beer from HUB and I was not disappointed. A truly great, easy drinking winter IPA. Really like the layers in the flavor profile the spices are a great balance to the sweet and hopiness. It paired perfectly with my hike!

RATING: 4.2/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of snuffconformists
1.5/5  rDev -62.7%

DRAIN POUR!!! False advertising, this is not a winter ale as labeled, its an uber bitter palate destroying IPA, hopworks should be shamed for misleading unsuspecting consumers expecting a winter ale. Yet it rates outstanding on this forum? WTF? This is yet another overhopped run of the mill northwest IPA. Isn't it bad enough the market is flooded with slight variations of the same mediocre IPA, let alone try to pass them off as winter ales? I paid for a winter ale not for hop lock jaw. For those wanting something resembling a winter ale this beer is an astringent acidic light colored hop bomb drain pour. So why are all reviewers letting this slide? Other beers that don't fit the style get slammed, oohh but if its a trendy hop bomb it gets a free pass. The integrity of beer advocate is increasingly questionable. And heres the kicker, they want $4 a can for this gag inducing fraud. Pay up, lockstep trend following cookie cutter brewery hop drones, make yo mastas rich.

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Photo of mabermud
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This organic winter ale from Hopworks was poured from a tallboy into a snifter. The body appears a deep amber with a reddish hue. The head recedes to a thin white film with a halo around the ring. There is an aroma of candied fruit and hops. This tastes like a watered down Hawaiian Punch with carbonation and some hops for bitterness. It feels somewhat flat, also smooth, with medium carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer from Hopworks. It gets better as it warms. Would I have this again, probably, it isn't bad. However, I will say, with the large selection of beer available to me, it might be awhile before I have this again.

On the plus side, it is organic.

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful citrus/grapefruit aroma. Clear amber with thick fluffy head. Mildly bitter (again with more grapefruit) melds perfectly with the malt. This is a great beer. Slight alcohol warmth for those colder winter days, but doesn't impair the drinkability

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Photo of jlindros
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split with rudzud but guess we forgot about it a while ago.

Very little head, little lacing, hazy amber reddish orange color.

Nose flat malts, reddish amber malts, very very light grassy lemon grass hop thing,

Taste is horrible, bad old malts, sweet mess, no real hops with flash of bitterness, sourness, cardboard, etc. Finish is mild earthy spicy hops bitterness but bleh mostly, sticky flat meh.

Mouth is med bod, little syrupy, decent carb.

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Photo of rudzud
3.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split with JLindros. Forgotten about in the cellar

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear amber hue with a thin one finger head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of next to nothing, caramel, old hops, ugh.

T - Taste is well, awful. So so sad...hops are gone, light bitterness, caramel. Just old hops...A shame that this was forgotten about.

M - Mouthfeel is alright, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer is a shame, had this for probably eight months...should never have waited this long for the beer. A shame.

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Photo of jellikit
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: red. Slightly hazy. Medium, foamy head. Thick, persistent lacing.
S: slight malt. Low hop aroma (my can is 6 months old though). Sweet.
T: well balanced between sweet and dry. Bready. Malty. Alcohol (not too much). Medium bitterness at the end
M: medium carbonation. Medium body. Smooth.
O: this is a good imperial red ale. Will buy again.

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Photo of tone77
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cloudy, medium brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, spices, some sweetness. Taste is good, malty, spicey, a touch of hops, balanced and flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
4.02 out of 5 based on 341 ratings.
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