Hibernator | Long Trail Brewing Co.

270 Reviews

Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Vermont, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This robust, malty brew will take the bite from a cold winter night.

32 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 735
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A plain beer, not offensive, with some spices. Not much hops, lager a bit past due. Thanks Kid Presentable. Decent darker colour, no head to speak of.
A bit of aroma. Bitter, even acidic and some malts. Dry metallic and pepper aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep brown color with a thin tan head on top. This beer has a malty sweet aroma with some earthy aromas too. The flavors of some light spice back up with some roasted malts and caramel. The mouthfeel of this beer is drinkable, it's not really thick and has a decent carbonation. Overall it's not a bad brew, it's got some warming spices in there that are nice but I'm had better Winter beers.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste has subdued flavors of biscuit and caramel malts along with some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer went down very smoothly; I would have no problem having more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.04/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty disappointed by this one.

Normally I'm a big fan of scottish ales or the wee heavy style but this one just wasn't doing it for me. Just clearly not enough flavor or taste for the style. When I get a scottish ale, I want it to be smokey and malty like Old Chub from Oskar Blues. This one poured a nice red color, but the smell was nonexistent along with the taste. Usually Long Trail has some good stuff but this is decent at best.. I mean it's highly drinkable because it has no taste but that's not a great thing.

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Photo of brentk56
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a pillowy ecru head that sticks nicely and leaves some wisps behind

Smell: Peaty and grainy, but lacking the malty presence I would expect from the style

Taste: A hint of bread and toffee, up front, with a metallic, grainy and tobacco presence developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, their is a bit more toffee and tobacco flavor, but the overall effect comes off as a bit unbalanced

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I would expect a bit more malt to make the flavor profile more interesting; the grainy aspect just doesn't work very well for me

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Photo of oline73
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber with a half finger of off white head. A layer of head remains on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some fruity notes. Not as much caramel as I would expect given the style.

Taste: Bready malt with some fruity notes, I'm picking up mild cherry. The finish is bitter with the malt flavor lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice take on a winter beer. I would have liked just a touch more sweetness, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear mahogany brown with a tight formed one finger sized white head leaving a broken ring of lace as it slowly settled,somewhat muted aromas mainly sweeter malt like that of brown sugar and dark fruit there was a hint of herbla hop but it was faint.Obviously malt tilted and pretty basic brown sugar and caramel sweetness mainly though not overly sweet a touch spicey hp comes thru in a rather quick finish.Not bad its drinkable but I got a bit bored with it in the end.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Long Trail Hibernator
12 oz. bottle

Long Trail's Hibernator is an unfiltered Scottish-style ale. It pours a hazy orange-chestnut body beneath a creamy cap of light tan. The head holds well and leaves some very nice rings of thin, craggy lace throughout the glass.

In the nose it's both malty and hoppy, which is unusual for a Scottish ale, but it's pleasant enough, and clean. The malt is gently caramelish, and there's also a hint of what leans towards being roasty but actually isn't - basically meaning that there's some dark malt to it, but it doesn't come off as coffee-like or chocolate, or anything particularly distinct.

The flavor follows suit, and although I feel there's a little bit too much hop flavor to it given the Scottish designation, it's not really that far overdone. Or maybe it's just the hops that they've chosen that I find odd. They're brighter, and perhaps more piney, spicy, and herbal than what I'd normally expect, which would be more English in character. The malt comes through nicely though, and it's got a perfect balance to it. Moderate bitterness focuses it, and it finishes dry and spicy with a light note of caramel and a dusting of dark chocolate powder.

Overall it's a really well-brewed ale, and one that satisfies. Well done!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color with a thin, off-white head that fades at an average rate and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very sweet with honey & malt.

T: The taste has the same sweetness of honey & malt that you get in the smell. There’s also some bitter/tart/sour flavor that follows, which seems to be a combination of hops & spice.

M: Very smooth and a bit more crisp than your average winter release, medium body, medium carbonation and a finish that’s a little bit sticky, but not too much.

D: This one has some decent flavor to it, isn’t as filling as most winter releases goes down quite easily. Most winter beers are typically sippers, which this one could be, but it could be a very good session beer as well, especially if you’re ok with the sweetness.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Teikoku, Edgemont, PA

This is a Scottish ale? Could've fooled me. A winter warmer, maybe. Poured into a stem glass, a darker amber color with a slight haze, and a nice cap of foamy white head that left some attractive lacing on the glass throughout the session. Aroma of sweet malts, slightly nutty. Sweet taste of malts, honey, brown sugar, bready, with light fruit notes, and some grassy hops. No real characteristics of any Scottish ale I've ever had, and a low ABV to boot. Still a nice beer overall. Medium-bodied, and went down pretty easy and smooth.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.04/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright burnt orange with a polished bronze-like glow when backlit with morning sunshine. My usual pour netted one fat finger of orange-khaki colored foam. No matter, because the head has a thick and creamy texture and is beginning to grace the glass with an attractive band of filagreed lace.

The nose... well, there really isn't one at this point. Let's see what time and warming will bring to the table. Answer: not much. The aroma is a faint (and I do mean faint) echo of the flavor profile. Since really low scores are reserved for beer that smells bad...

While the name implies a malty, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, snow-falling-outside, blazing fireplace kind of ale, Hibernator is anything but. The malts sound inviting enough: pale, wheat, crystal, chocolate, caramel and black. Crystal/caramel dominates. It also tastes like the brewers skimped on adding the malt to begin with.

A bit more flavor is appreciated as the middle third of the bottle is breached. Other than steely caramel and some dark butterscotch, there ain't much happening. The ale is more bitter than sweet. That could be due to the Nugget and Mt. Hood hops (25 IBUs), or the borderline selzer-like carbonation.

The mouthfeel is too light and too fizzy. Again, nothing at all like a winter ale. As always, improvement here would have probably have led to higher flavor and drinkability scores.

Long Trail Hibernator hasn't taken very kindly to hibernation. A 5.6% beer won't last forever, but I'd expect it to have held up better than this in the 9 months or so since bottling. Fresh Hibernator is probably a different (and better) story.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes (11/25)

A: Pours an amber/copper color with a tan 1 finger head with slow dissipation. Leaves a layer of foam on the top of the beer. Nice lacing.

S: Very grainy, a little bit of biscuity malt, but not as much as expected.

T: A good bit of caramel and toffee from the malt. Also slightly nutty. Has a toasty bread flavor at the end.

M/D: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very clean drinking. Overall its not bad. I would drink it again, but would prefer to try some others in the style to get a better handle of what a Scottish should be.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Al's of Hampden. Served in a tulip pint.

The color is a deep copper/bronze with great clarity and thick cap of cream which has excellent retention. There are very tiny bubbles visible that rise rapidly and swaths of lace are left on the glass. The smell is very pleasant with a general toast scent with mild sweetness and subtle apple/pear-like aromas with a subtle spice ester and hint of earthy odors with mild pine from the hops. The feel is excellent -plenty of malt yet dry and toasty with a light spice from the yeast and gentle bitterness supporting the yeast textures well with a semi-dry finish and low alcohol impact on the palate.

I really like the way this starts clean and as it progresses it becomes more expressive with light fruit tinges from the yeast blending with the slight toasted graininess in the malt profile. there is a hint of pepper with the mild accent of caramel malt in the mix. The taste of apple skins are noted with a mild piney flavor from the hops which are very tasty combined with the scottish yeast. Overall I really enjoyed this beer -so much flavor for a relatively low abv beer. The way it finishes is mostly dry yet clean in general without too much in the way of what counts - a nice balance of the yeast, malt and hop flavors.

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Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown long neck with a "Bottled" date clearly marked.

Appearance: Clear deep copper (reddish tint) in colour with a well formed creamy bubbled lace.

Smell: Touch of butterscotch and herbal hop with a mild twang of fruitiness.

Taste: Light carbonation yet very smooth, nice chewy malt mouth feel in the middle. Hints of toasted malt, subdued fruitiness and a herbal hop bitterness which is a tad sharp along with the alcohol. Hints of butterscotch, ghost like rum alcohol and toasted bread help to finish off this brew.

Notes: A more than decent pick for the big influx of winter brews in this year (2003) ... just enough hops to tame the body. Quite an enjoyable malty brew.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am stunned at just how many and of what kinds of beers are in my backlog. I bought these with every intention of drinking them in season and then things seemed to get away from me. At least, I am catching up at this point.

From the bottle: "HIBERNATOR This robust and malty brew will take the bite from a cold winter night. ENJOY!"; "UNFILTERED WINTER BREW"; "TAKE A HIKE!"

I popped the cap and let fly, watching breathlessly as the pseudo-cascade took place, slowly morphing into two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with great retention. Color was a brownish-copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was rich and sweet with malt - caramel, cocoa, toffee. Oh my. There are times that I question my buying habits because as a hophead, this is not in my wheelhouse. The head fell in an unusual way, collapsing down and in on itself. Mouthfeel was medium and the richness of the malt almost threw me into diabetic shock! It was tasty, though, more like toffee than caramel. Finish was sweet, but not cloying, so I did not have any problem drinking all of it. This is one that would be more suited for the Winter season, if I were to get it again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a deep caramel amber brown with a large off white khaki head, forms a thick head that leaves behind even bands of lacing. Aromatics sweet baked holiday breads with a touch of peated malt, overall really sweet caramel tones with a touch of alcohol. All of their beers have that touch of maple syrup in them especially the Triple Bag I had on ta last night. Flavor isn't overtly too sweet a rustic somewhat balanced with hard edges of herbal notes and earthiness, kinda stuck on the tobacco leaf kick. Mouthfeel is medium bodied a tad cloying not overly heavy in anyway but something just doesn't sit well with each sip, I thought their IPA was rock solid but so far I can't say Long Trail is one of the greats through their whole portfolio. Drinkability is pretty weak with this offering not the brew I would look for again anytime soon.

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Photo of stakem
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with 2 fingers of slightly off white head. Pretty decent retension and an ample amount of lacing. Head is actually creepy looking as the larger bubbles pop and fade resulting in a thick head that has an uneven, crater-filled surface... intersting. Nose is slight malt with a faint amount of hops, and a bit of grain. Taste is a little more bitter forward than others for the style. Also tasting grain throughout and a lingering partially metallic aftertaste. Medium feel, low carb. Not bad overall.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Kelly and Paul, thanks for the opportunity! deep brown color off white head. Rich toffee and caramel with a bit of butterscotch and movie theater butter. Decent beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby that is fully clear. Nose is very perfumed at the start. Soap is also there. After a very short while it turns into a milder sweet toned leafy character. Flavor is smoothly sweet with that perfume coming out again over my tongue. I get an odd aftertaste that is like someone sprayed perfume in my mouth. Odd. Slightly sticky on the liquid and low on carbonation. Overall I feel like this is a "new world" scottish ale. A bit too hyper and vibrant and not subdued or mature enough. Decent enough, and definitely well made. There are just better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer with bottled on dating (bottled 10 days before this review!) Pours almond and clear, minimal head is off white, next to no lacing. Nose is a boring sniff of malt and perhaps some smoke. Malty ale is the deal here, honey sweetness adertized on the label and picked up on the palate, decent sessioner, but not much more.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed - somewhat murky - brown with a thin tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is of light roasted caramelish maltiness.

The smell is of sweet malt with a bit of roast and a metallic touch. There is something Scotch-ale-ish giong on. Malty - though a bit light - with a hint of roast and a touch of bitterness. Sweetness turns to a late bitterish dryness.

There is a thinness about it for a winter ale, but it isn't watery and manages to hit medium-bodied. Carbonation could be eased up a bit.

Although it's not heavy and the abv is relatively mild for a winter brew, there is a limitation on the drinkability - maybe just that it is anything particularly special, IMO. Worth checking out though, as a lighter winter ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, bright amber, near-crimson color, with a slight, short, fuzzy of-white head.
Aroma: faint, flat, but a bit sweet.
Taste: malt is huge here, and announces itself right off on the palate, bold, yet not boisterous, and never sweet, despite this "brewed with honey" business. Interesting stuff, really, for it calls itself a "winter ale" on the label, yet is acknowledged as a Scotch Ale here, with which I'd concur. The honey never really figures much...no, wait, I caught some! Yeah, it's really more of a minor undercurrent in the flavoring. The body is assuredly medium, maybe more, with barely a touch of hops, and major malt all the way through the brew.
A perfectly respectable winter beer, nice little entry from these guys, and thanks go to rabidawg for providing!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, vibrant, ruby coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy surface coating of head. Aromas of rich caramel, both sweet and smooth, a touch of hops bitterness, and some floral jasmine highlights. Very smooth and balanced aromas. Flavors are rich and roasty, with a scotch and caramel backbone that is sweet, but balanced. Malt profiles expound as the beer covers the palate, giving rise to some bready and molasses characteristics. Light bodied despite the rich flavors, and when combined with the lower ABV this beer becomes very drinkable. Sweet, slightly tart aftertaste with the hops presence resurfacing for a touch of bitter and spice to clean the palate. Crisp, clean finish with a touch of spice linger. Tasty brew.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Dark orange amber pour, with little head, and not much lacing.

Not much in the aroma. Maybe some caramel.

The flavor is better, but not by much. Caramel, butterscotch, some peat, and oak, but all very muted.

The body is too thin and watery for a "rich winter brew." Medium carbonation, goes down easy.

Overall a miss from Long Trail. Too many flaws.

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Photo of Gavage
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep amber / brown in color with a thin 1/2" head that fell quickly. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: barely any aroma, only some malt sweetness can be detected.

Taste: nice strong maltiness, somewhat bready, with a very faint chocolate tone. Decent piney bitterness. No real peat tones noticeable. Actually quite tasty, just not in a scottish ale sense.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start, and the finish is dry and smooth. Medium bodied. Short malt-filled aftertaste.

Drinkability: Nicely drinkable if you like a nice malty brew. Try it, everyone will have a different opinion on this one.

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Hibernator from Long Trail Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 735 ratings.
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