Odell Isolation Ale | Odell Brewing Company

very good
777 Ratings
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

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Reviews: 262 | Ratings: 777
Photo of LittleDon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's got to be tough for Odell. Living in the shadow of the much bigger and considerably more successful New Belgium Brewing (figuratively and literally, they're less than a mile from each other). Odell consistently turns out good to great beers yet they haven't had the same financial success as their larger compatriot. When I was living in Colorado, I favored Odell. They were the underdog. I believed they had a better variety. The quality of what they made was as good, if not slightly better than, New Belgium. I moved from Colorado four years ago, but I'm still pulling for the little guys.

I am fortunate to go back to Colorado on a regular basis. Whenever I get the chance, I haul back as much local and regional beer as I can fit in my suitcase or in the car. On one of my more recent trips, I brought back a six of Isolation. Maybe it's me, maybe coincidence, but I'm finding it surprisingly like Fat Tire circa 2005. Amber, slight cloudiness ( a bit of a departure here), filmy head, it has a strong earthy aroma. Lots of malt and a nice medium body. I can certainly see where this would appeal to a budding beer enthusiast. Rich mouthfeel, medium to low hopping, and neither over or under carbonated.

I have since gone to the Odell website and found that Isolation is a seasonal. Any resemblance to beers mentioned previously are heretofore coincidence. That said, good beer is good beer, and Isolation, independent of the similarities I have discussed above, is a very decent drink. I wish the folks at Odell much success and hope to see them in my market soon.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odell is a great brewery, and I keep trying the Isolation Ale thinking I should like it and never warm up to it completely.

Thin white head with a lace over a copper colored ale that changes from gold to amber in the bar light. Strong malt, caramel and toffee in the nose--subtle spice from the hop and a hotness from the alcohol. Newcastle like malt taste, but much hoppier and it has a mineral twang over sweet caramel and toffee. Fruity and floral hop punches through the apparent alcohol (6% accroding to BA). Good beer, well brewed--I'm just not a fan of it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks go out to Lunch for providing this as an extra in our trade.

A: Pours a slightly hazy caramel color with hints of ruby. An inch of off-white head lasts for a while before settling. Thin, finely constructed lacing coats the glass.

S: Bread pudding with a fruit juice scent. Cherry and raspberry to be specific. Caramel, brown sugar. Good.

T: Caramel and toffee blend with cake and cookie-like malt tastes. A touch woody. Some rum-raisin and molasses. Distinct raspberry in the background. Fruitcake. Green, oily hop tastes start to go herbal and spicy after a while. Long, lingering finish of caramel, cake, and rum raisin.

M: Medium bodied. Full, creamy, and slightly silky. Light carbonation. Very slightly warming.

O: This is a great beer, plain and simple. The English malts really shine, and create a nice dessert-like impression. Proof that you don't need to dump a ton of spices into a beer to make a solid winter seasonal. Very drinkable to boot. Brewers take note, this is how you do a winter seasonal.

Notes: I'm probably the most critical person on the planet when it comes to Winter Warmers. This is one of the few that I can fully endorse. If only it were distributed here . . .

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – amber color, somewhat murky, with about half a finger’s worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – definitely a more malty or syrupy type of smell. I don’t notice a whole lot of hop in the aroma itself.

Taste – quite strong on the bitter side straight from the off. However, it’s more of a presence than a strength. The hops/bitterness don’t overwhelm. There is a slight calm that comes in the middle, probably due to the malts.

Mouthfeel – very well balanced, not leaning to heavily on the watery or creamier sides.

Overall – not terribly intriguing to think about, but very good-tasting.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, NoSignsOfPain!

A slightly hazed amber and copper with a relatively large light khaki colored foam. The beer left the glass mess with sheets and spots of lace. Pretty, though a bit thin.

An above average aroma which includes caramel and toffee, biscuit, a touch of chocolate, and some mild spice components. Though I'm not usually a big fan of spiced beers, I thought this one could use even a bit more.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with the sweet malt and bready backbone dominating much of the flavor with a hint of fruit cake spiciness as well. Above average.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An above average winter warmer, but I was hoping for more spice character.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a SA pint glass. Best by date is 2/24/12.

A - Pours a translucent coppery with a finger width light tan head. Appears to be well carbonated.

S - I detect caramel malt and some biscuity bread aromas. Some hops, but nothing too strong.

T - Bready malt up front, transitioning to more caramel notes and a bit of crisp, earthy hops on the back end.

M - Definitely medium body bodied with kind of a creamy feel. Moderately carbonation.

O - Very nice beer. A perfect fit for a cold January weekend afternoon.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 12 oz bottle to Isolation Ale glass. Date stamped on bottle: 3/29/11

A - Mildly hazy with a burgundy color. Solid 2 finger head which seemed to linger for a long while and thick bubbly lacing.

S - A blend of toasty chocolate biscuity malts. A hint of earthy tone hops.

T/M - It is a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel with medium body. It's clean yet the hops leave a noticeable bitterness from start to finish. The aroma transitions to the flavor in the middle when the toasted biscuit and chocolate malts enter the palette. Slight sweetness on the tail end with a hint of the earthy hops.

D - You can't have just one.

Overall this is a well balanced brew that doesn't annihilate your senses with too much alcohol or hops or malts. I look forward to this release every year and 2010's offering was very good. A great offering and represents the Winter Warmer style well. I would easily recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-19-2011 04:23:45

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Photo of jedtheavenger
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle into a tulip glass.

A--pours a hazy ruby-tan color. Silky 3/4 inch head looks gorgeous!

S--grass, butterscotch, and molasses. A little bit of alcohol is evident as well.

T--rich malt gives way to a flavor that can best be described as similar to pear cider, then finishes with subtle citrus from the hops. It almost reminds me of a variation on a Belgian dubbel.

M--smooth and creamy. The alcohol cuts through and tingles a little on the tongue, which seems to be a pretty ideal characteristic for a winter warmer.

Overall: due to the availability in a 6-pack and the reasonable price, this is definitely NOT a one-and-done beer. It's an excellent seasonal beer that isn't trying to be pretentious.

Edit (1/19/12): This one definitely grew on me as I got more accustomed to the style of winter warmers. It's balanced in such a way that it seems like a way bigger beer than it actually is. Although it's only 6% ABV, Isolation has an excellent warming quality to it.

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

Brown pour, almost no head on it, maybe in the 1/4" range and it was on the downlow. Aroma seemed like it would have come from a stronger beer. Aside from the alcohol, it was earthy, toffee, imperial tea.

Taste, definitely has the warming side of this style down. More burnt toffee, still the earthy filling quality. Moderate hop crispness when fresh, 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.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has dark bronze colored body with average head and lace. A little bit cloudy towards the top of the body.

Smell: It aroma is a bit spicy.

Taste: The flavor is toffee like with tones of caramel and coffee. It has some fruity bitterness form the hops. Herbal flavors come through as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with some carbonation bite.

Overall: It is a good beer. I like it better on tap of course but even in the bottle it is pretty good.

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Photo of pigc
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours light brown with thin one finger head that fades quickly.

S - Sweet malt, caramel, toffee.

T - Toffee, caramel, slight citrus hops.

M - Somewhat thin with average carbonation.

O - Another solid brew from Odell. Just not my favorite. Nice beer to curl up with by a fire and enjoy a few without putting your lights out.

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Photo of mothman
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a finger of beige head. Fades to a ring. Color is a amber copper.

Aroma: Mainly all malts. Very English forward. Bready malts. Caramel. Some biscuit. A little toffee and some spice.

Taste: Much like the nose, except there is a little grassy hop profile. There is some orange peel mixed in with the sugar. Some molasses and brown sugar flavor. All the same malt flavors mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little roasty and dry.

Overall, a decent winter warmer. Nothing crazy spectacular, but I have gotten through a few of these this winter.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, sampled 1/2.

12oz bottle poured into a Ram Mug Club Mug.

A: Pours golden and clear, much lighter than I expect for a Winter Warmer. Fluffy off white head. Carbonation visible, decent lace.

S: Again, not what I expected. Light fruity esters...banana? Is this Belgian? Caramel, bready...some hop crispness but no bitterness really. Nutty, light light spices.

T: Again, light yeast, caramel, light spices & dryness. Bready & nutty.

MF: Light-medium feel, decent carbonation.

O: Not what I want in a Winter Warmer, this thing has light Belgian notes and even reminds me of a maibock or helles bock. Lager-ish in a way. Just not dark, spicy, malty or hoppy enough for me.

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Photo of intensify
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting and review.
smells a bit hoppy, some biscuit and getting some tang somwhere in there. Maybe orange. Pours an amber color with no head, and very little lacing. Taste is a tad bit hoppy, biscuity, and tangy. Finishes with an odd tang. Not a bad brew.

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Photo of TCMike
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Put put a 1.5 finger, off-white head. The color is a mdium copper color.
The aroma is nice. Bready, malts, orange.
The taste was similar, but with a little pine hop taste. A light bitter hop finish. Medium mouth-feel.
Nice beer, easy drinking. I'd get it again.

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Photo of siege06nd
2.51/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a clear, light copper hue. Two fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Very nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S. Very nice. Bready malt, some light caramel, mild bittering hops. Not getting a whole lot here.

T. Heavy malts with roasted biscuit, caramel, and a bitter hop finish. Not a lot of depth on this. Has a real odd, tangy, and bitter finish. Meh.

M. Carbonation is fine but flavors are all over the place. Very thin and dry.

O. Seriously disappointing. None of the depth or spice I enjoy in my winter warmers. What you have here is a beer that doesnt know what it wants to be: hop or malt forward. It is quite an exercise in mediocrity. Hello, drain.

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Photo of isualum12
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber.
smell is malt with hops.
Taste is clean malts with faint hop throughout.
Medium bodied. solid throughout with earth flavors.
feel was plesent with flavor lasting long after the beer was finshed.
overall nice winter beer but it didnt meet the hype of a few blog posts....

i had to edit this after i saw the bros went 100. not what i got out of this beer

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay goblet glass on a cold December night - my heating is also on the fritz so this will be a perfect test for the beer.

Pours dark red/ dark brown colour with a small head. Just the colour looks delish.

Smells warm and high in alcohol, faintly hoppy as well.

Taste is delectable, lovely warming alcohol and malty spices, as well as a hop bitterness.

Overall a deliciously warming beer perfect for Christmas.

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Photo of alli4051
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark clear amber with a beige head. Head is about a finger high and leaves some faint lacing. Nose is full of biscuity malt with a faint whiff of hops. Taste is earthy malts up front with some diacetyl in the finish and a nice, faint hop crispness throughout. Medium bodied with a bit of a sticky finish. Not my favorite winter warmer out there but definitely a solid brew.

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

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer pours a nice toffee-caramel scorched amber (how's that for color description?) and the cream colored head takes time to recede. Nice lines of foamy soapy lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is sweet and malty up front. A nice piny body comes through, with added spices. Faint toffee and caramel on the back end.

The taste is quite delicious as it follows the aroma. A warm, sweet beginning makes me think of spiced cider, warm apple pie, and any type of dessert featuring toffee. Before too long, a nice granny smith apple tang comes in to play nicely, as does a very subdued and perfect piny note.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly sticky.

2012's version is certainly a winner. Good all-around winter warmer with great balance and complexity.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ummm...caramel and hops? Excuse me ma'am but am I on the flight to Aspen?

Yes sir I am! Big time Winter Warmer! A nice one. I usually don't go for WW's but this one is decent. I just cain't pair these with food. This beer is complex. Yet elegant. Simple. And it doesn't rely on such a high BAC to warm you up.

Big time malt with a pumpkin pour...and hops. Nice! Makes me wanna go stand in the snow and smoke a cigar! I likey this brew.

It's not so cloy as some of this style are but it's there but balanced so well by the hops. Nice caramel malt. Maybe it's too fresh but the hops kinda take precedent. This beer needs some time. I might save a bottle for a month in the bottom of the fridge and review as I can hear the malts screaming but the hops balance a bit too well. Which I really like! I can tell this beer was made with love...

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Photo of Phelps
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter. Dated 1-24-12, which means this was bottled in September.

New copper, clouded slightly with visible flecks of yeast - this thing is like a snowglobe. A half-finger, grayish head of wispy bubbles evaporates to a moderately sized ring within a few seconds. Some thin, rounded trails of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

Mmm. A nose that could provide warmth on a cold night, cidery and rich. Raisins, maple, brown sugar, applesauce, caramel, alcohol.

The flavor doesn’t quit follow through from the aroma, but I couldn’t really expect it to. Begins with marmalade-covered toast, then apple, raisins and caramel hitting mid-palate. A thin layer of alcohol sits atop it all. It’s a brew that relies on the complexity of its malt and doesn’t seem to contain wintry spices, which is fine — it doesn’t need them.

Body is an airy medium that quickly becomes medium-light, expanding as it moves. Carbonation is light and tingly, breaking the brew into silky fizz. Alcohol fumes come off the liquid and flow through the nose.

Isolation is a malty, warming, rich delight of a winter warmer. Would be great on a snowy night, when the frost keeps you inside, isolated.

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Photo of iSip
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Odell Isolation Ale: This ale has a leather-brown color, very clear with some fine carbonation. The head is thin and off-white. The aroma hits you with lots of roasted malt. The flavor is similar, a big burst of malt tails off to some warming alcohol. This is a robust ale with lots of flavor, but still smooth enough to enjoy a few.

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Photo of mastodonj
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Overall, this is a disappointing brew. There aren't too many winter warmers that bore me but this might be the first one.

The color is a fairly dark amber with ok lacing and a beige head.

Smell is difficult to to detect; maybe a little bit of spice, some maltiness and even citrus (?).

Nice alcohol on the sides of the tongue and good hoppy
No outstanding spices come to the forefront.

I bought a six-pack of it today so here's hoping that the next
bottle is better.

Updating this review after 3 bottles (over 4 days), it still does not
seem to even rate as a "winter warmer". It's a decent pale ale and very drinkable but not special enough for a seasonal. (I wonder if the recipe has changed in the many years since it was reviewed by the Alstrom Bros)

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, thanks to mulder1010 for organising this in a trade! Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

Has a nice copper-amber appearance with a beige head of foam that poured at two fingers and turned into a ring after a little while, lacing on the way down.

Smell is enticing, a lot of bread, plenty of spice as well, a mix of allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Nice lot of malt coming through as well.

Taste has a mixture of wholemeal bread, rye bread, and the aforementioned spices. Consistent spicing all the way through and the bread and malt are there, playing a nice bit part.

Mouthfeel has no booziness, but there is a little thin wateryness there that detracts. Otherwise, the finish is good with the spices making there presence felt in a mild-mannered way.

Very good beer, nice to sip on slowly, but still quite drinkable. While i can no longer say i haven't had a bad beer from Odell (having recently had the infected Bourbon Barrel Stout, which, to their credit, they are dealing with amazingly well), this beer continues a very good run from this brewery.

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Odell Isolation Ale from Odell Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 777 ratings.
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