Odell Isolation Ale | Odell Brewing Company

very good
262 Reviews
Odell Isolation AleOdell Isolation Ale

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 262 | Ratings: 777
Photo of Czequershuus
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a bright ruby with a medium sized off-white head. The aroma offers biscuity malts and sweet dark fruits. The flavor is soft and mild, with caramel, toffee, craisins, fig, mild sweet chocolate, and cherry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, with low carbonation. Overall this mild flavors here are very pleasant, as well suited towards style. A winter session beer. This really compliments what I want to eat in the winter.

 446 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a fairly clear burnt orange color that has a thick long-lived tan head that is rich and creamy settling very slowly. leaving veinous and complex lacing down the glass.

The nose is a rich dry malt with notes of whipped cream, peppery hops, alcohol, pine resin, camphor.

The flavor is a complex dry malt bed with a crisp hop finish with earthy notes of grass, bread, pine, bitter hops, eucalyptus, and vanilla.

The mouthfeel is rich and just right for the beer style.

Overall another exceptional brew from Odell. A fantastic beer and I recommend it highly.

 574 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

March 22, 2016

12 oz. bottle, snifter

A – Dark, clear copper, the color of mahogany wood, with less than a quarter-inch of light tan bubbles that fade almost immediately.

S – Caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee, along with amaretto and a touch of hazelnut. Fruity, cherry pit, stone notes. Some spicy, herbal, earthy hops at the end. This is a malt showcase.

T – Caramel and toffee, with sweet fruity notes of apple and cherry pits. A bit of hazelnut. Not much hop flavor, some herbal notes, mostly contribution moderate but subdued bitterness.

M – Medium to medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Malt sweetness up front but enough moderate bitterness to counter. Bit of a sweet finish, though bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue.

O – A lot of promise on the nose but feels a little plain once you start drinking it. Still a good beer, definitely a strong example of a winter warmer.

 922 characters

Photo of woemad
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Pilgrim’s in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for $1.89. According to the label, I should have drank this by March 1st . Oops. Well, at least I know it’s been refridgerated the last 3-4 months.

Poured into a “Summer’s Here Brewfest” nonic pint glass, this was a dark, reddish amber color, with a big, fluffy, off-white head that left lots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Piney hop notes and toffeeish malt scents. As it warms, the malts come out to play more, at the expense of the hops.

Mildly spicy, the flavor hints at gingerbread, but not to a cloying extent. While malt forward, with spicy and sweet, toffeeish notes, there’s a enough of a bitter, hoppy bite to keep things balanced and more interesting than might otherwise be the case. There’s a little bit of honeyish flavor about midway through the taste. Mildly dry at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a lightly coating mouthfeel.

Decent, but understated flavor, and very drinkable. For a 6% beer, it seems almost sessionable. Maybe it’s lost a little oomph while sitting behind a bunch of high-gravity monsters in my fridge, but if so it’s managed to age fairly gracefully. I would drink this again, though I’ll make sure it’s fresher next time!

 1,252 characters

Photo of acelin
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a dark copper brown with a minimal head, slight lacing

S: Dark christmas cookies - think something like gingerbread. Faint earthy hops.

T: Molasses shortbread cookies, some maple syrup, faint hop bitterness

F: Nice syrupy silky feel, with moderate carbonation

O: This is the best Winter Warmer I've ever had. Wow. This is a great beer I'd gladly drink over and over.

 380 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Isolation Ale is too pretty not to show off to friends. But if you don't want to share it would be wise to drink from the bottle; this brilliant tawny beer and its soft auburn highlights are so alluring that everyone will want to try it. Appropriate for a cold weather beer, this is topped with a fine dusting of white powder.

I'm all for holiday spices but, generally speaking, I prefer my Winter Warmers to let their malts and hops do the talking. This almost miniature barleywine aroma does just that; gooey caramel malt is coated in pine serum and earthy pungency. It's a bouquet that's mildly rich and subtly mysterious.

The flavour likewise has secrets to share. Tastes of toffee and biscuits pair with a cup of breakfast tea and a heaping tablespoon of honey; for all the delectably sweet notes on the palate there's that herbal, pine-comb and citrus bitterness that comes along to shut them out of the finish.

A complaint I have with brewers is that come winter they seemingly offer nothing but stouts and porters. Sure, I drink more of those in colder months but I don't want them exclusively. Something with this kind of toasty caramel malt, biscuity amaretto flavours and dank hoppiness is a great alternative.

Odell has had a steady, well-regarded reputation in the craft beer community for as long as they've existed. With recurring seasonals like Isolation Ale it's easy to understand why: good recipe, generous flavours, well-made. While a slightly light take on the style, it's definitely one to recommend.

 1,535 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of 12/30/15

Appearance - Pours hazy and copper red with a sandstone colored finger width head. Fair retention, results in a thin, broken layer of suds and a strong ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing consists of streaks and several small spots left around the glass.

Smell - Interesting aroma. Sweet. Notes of caramel and honey come to mind first. Lighter touches of bread. Grassy hop character?

Taste - Yep. Caramel flavor with a touch of honey. Lesser bread and a touch of earthy, lightly grassy hop comes in somewhere near the end. Not an especially impressive flavor profile, but finishes clean and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Stupid smooth and creamy texture, goes down like a dream.

Overall - There's nothing that really stands out with this beer, except that it's damn smooth and has a nicely balanced flavor profile. I wouldn't mind drinking this again.

 926 characters

Photo of Benish
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: light-copper in color with tones of carmel. An inch of head after pouring which dissipated won to a nice skim of foam that persist. Lacings all around.

Smell: touch of sweet malt, some cracker, caramel-like candy

Taste: very malty and clean. Starts out sweet with notes of cracker, malt, and finishes with some kind of nutty flavor. Its very balance and very simple; not overly complex. I like it.

Mouthfeel: almost full-bodied. Very risk and creamy.

Overall: excellent beer. It's nothing overboard. Just something to grab from the fridge and enjoy.

 594 characters

Photo of Evilyak
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours amber, with a lot of head and lacing.

pleasantly malty nose, but overall pretty neutral. taste is the same - a bit of caramel sweetness and just a touch of bitter at the end, but nothing remarkable.

mouth is full and a bit oily at the end, but not cloying.

a solid offering for the winter.

 299 characters

Photo of breadwinner
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Kinda funny to call this one a winter warmer, as it doesn't go down the whole dark and spicy route. Instead, it's like a musled up English ale, and, I have to say, the malt is indeed well done here, not sticky and sweet, no weird off notes, just a touch of brown sugar sweetness/caramel, a dusting of spicy noble-ish hops, and maybe a bit of a nutty note thrown in there too. It's a little buzzy in the carb for my tastes, but it does all come together fairly well. An interesting brew that won't hit you over the head with Holiday Spices (TM) but will satisfy to be sure.

 572 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful ruby translucence with puff of rapid disappearing head
Hops ( maybe I notice them because I've been drinking darker beers)and dab of caramel for the nose
slight hop sting at first but it melts to malt sweetness
substance on tongue
Nicely made

 252 characters

Photo of NickSMpls
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another Winter Warmer from a snowy climate, must come with the territory. Best by Jan 9th. A rich malt aroma rises from a good, solid head overlaying a dark honey colored brew. Quite tasty, easy drinking, moderate ABV. Slightly sweet first taste, then smooths out to a toffee / roasted nuttiness. Light bittness lingers, but not unpleasant at all. A little better than the sum of its parts, if you catch my drift. Recommended.

 435 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.98/5  rDev +28%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours deep amber, hazy with a very persistent white foam head. Aroma is malty with a backbone of english hops. Taste is great, bitter but balanced with malts, sweetness is present but not aggresive. Medium body with medium carbonation. Great great beer.

 253 characters

Photo of colingaiser
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle, slightly warmed, into a standard pint glass.

L: Thin bubbly head that disappeared quickly ... transparent, deep copper color

S: Not a ton of aroma to be had here ... a little biscuit, honey, caramel, hint of cinnamon

T: Some floral hop notes on the front-end give way to sweet malty notes of caramel, honey on toast, and a little roasted nut ... the finish is pretty clean, though notes of cinnamon and a few other winter spices linger

M: Pretty light body for a "winter warmer," and medium-high carbonation level ... personally would prefer less carbonation

O: This is a solid and well-balanced (though fairly basic) winter ale. It's crowd-pleasing but there are more interesting beers in the "winter warmer" category

 745 characters

Photo of bwjunkie
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer. Can't even review it properly I haven't had one in a while, but it is my favorite Odell beer, and I will always order it if I see it available in an establishment.

 182 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a rather substantial bubbly head. Has a amber brown color, with a surprisingly small amount of visible carbonation.

Smells of earthy malts, and sweet bread.

The bready malt flavor is definitely king here. Not necessarily to my liking, while I see how it might work for others. Drinkability is very high, and this is definitely a very tolerable beer.

 357 characters

Photo of Caj1
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a great, clear copper-brown. Slight head and slight lacing, it doesn't stick around too long, so I don't have to deal with foam all over my embarrassing dirtstache. Not a great deal of carbonation but it's crisp enough to the taste.

Smell incorporates a little bit of everything I love about beer. It's a very earthy smell with a good bit of pine on the nose but with full bodied malt sweet and nut smells. A little bit of molasses as well, not a great deal but enough.

Tastes as good as it smells. The hops help cut the malt, which can be somewhat cloying in less balanced beers. There are some great caramel and nut flavors that shine once the hops fall away a bit, but this beer is extremely balanced for a winter ale.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, but just heavy enough to remind you that it is indeed cold outside. It finishes remarkably smooth. No sticky sugar texture on the lips or nasty bready feeling on the tongue, either.

Overall a great beer. I'm glad I happened upon it. I wish it could be a year-round brew but I'll savor it while it's around.

To good health, good beer, and a happy holiday.

 1,119 characters

Photo of KLHBB
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer. Pours a jewel-tone Crayola brown, nice head and lacing. Smells of caramel and roasted fruit, like what a good fruitcake should be. The taste is the same with a hop bitterness on the back end. Richly bodied without being chewy. Always a favorite.

 278 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Brown pour, no head on, in the 1/4" range and it was keepin it on the hush. Aroma seemed like it would have come from a stronger beer. Aside from the alcohol, it was earthy, toffee, imperial tea whole foods vibe going for it.

Taste, definitely has the warming side of this style down even if the abv is only 6? More heated toffee, still the earthy filling quality. Moderate hop crispness is the flow, yet the beer doesn't really pickup in sweetness when you age it if you wanted to do that with this beer, I've pretty much drank 3 saved 3 when I bought this beer on two different six pack occasions. Bitterness is about the same as well.

Tastes like an old ale, winter warmers are usually more sessionable for me, and this just seemed like a bigger beer than a 6% winter warmer should be. I guess that's why I age half of 'em, seeing if they grow into their big boy pants.

 879 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly clear deep reddish brown color with off-white head. Caramel maltiness and cereal notes, a slight nut note too on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with mostly maltiness.

 207 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark slightly hazy amber and a dense tan head with great retention and lacing
Smell: Light fruity esters and caramelly malt
Taste: Balance falls towards a sweet caramelly malt with a mild yet pleasantly balancing and lingering bitterness
Feel: Full-bodied, slightly thickened mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Creamy.

Overall: As usual Odell makes a great-looking and finely balanced beer. Mouthfeel is a highlight, while I thought the aroma was somewhat subdued.

 477 characters

Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass enjoy by 2.17.16
pours orange/amber-brown with a tan to off white head moderate left a good amount of lace on glass
smell malty hoppy caramel and slight fruit
taste caramel malt slight fruit again and strong alcohol with a slightly bitter aftertaste
feel warming effervescent somewhat viscous
i drink this every year....not as interesting as some other seasonal/holiday offerings from other brewers but solid nontheless

 458 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the 12 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work----THANKS RANDY!

This fine ale pours a medium clear bright amber color with a very nice off white head of foam that subsides to a thick ring, thick layer, and excellent lacing. Nose of biscuit, caramel, and subtle grains. Flavors exceed the nose with lightly breaded malts, caramel, and a zesty hop note that comes through nicely on the back and aftertaste that cuts through the malt and keeps it lively. Almost a Scottish ale in flavor, but still excellent. Good carbonation, crisp zesty hop bite, and a subtly herbal hop notes on the aftertaste. Balance, balance, and balance. Everything is in harmony. Excellent.


 697 characters

Photo of puck1225
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown red with a light brown head, poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice lacing. Sweet initial taste, dark fruit flavor, maybe dates. Slight bitterness in the finish. I will look forward to more of this beer as the weather cools.

 246 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant red tinted amber under a 1” cream to tan clingy and persistent foam collar. S: Spice and fruit aromas over a backdrop of rich malt.
T: Starts with rich malt flavors and then the hops come on but the hops present as much herbal and spice as they do bitter so this beer has a lot of flavors running around. There is a little citrus from the hops – almost orange or orange peel. A hint of sweet and a slight sweet aftertaste with a little caramel but it is not overpowering.
F: Medium full body and medium carbonation.
O: A big malty winter beer.

 563 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 777 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.