Review: Hibernation Ale, Great Divide

Hibernation Ale
Great Divide Brewing Co. — Denver, CO

  • Style:  Strong Ale
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV: 8.7%
  • Malts: Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description: "Our award-winning Hibernation Ale is Colorado’s original strong ale – it has been our winter seasonal each year since 1995. Since that time, Hibernation has become the most sought-after winter beer in Colorado. Hibernation is revered for its malty richness, complex hop profile that can only be obtained by dry-hopping, and hearty, warming character which is perfect right out of the bottle or cellared for longer periods of time. Hibernation is a lively treat that really beats the winter chill." —Great Divide Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:  I didn't get a chance to taste Hibernation Ale last year, so I didn't want to miss it this winter. I've always heard great things about it so I added it to my list of special holiday beer treats. This has a "bottled on" date of November 3, 2011.

The tasting:  Deep garnet in color, clear, with a cream colored head that dissipates fairly slowly. I love this color in a beer. Aroma of brown sugar, plums, and raisin. Flavors mirror the aroma with the addition of toasted and caramel malts, and some light notes of cherry and chocolate. Although this is dry-hopped, the bitterness is not pronounced and serves to provide balance to this malt forward beer. Hibernation Ale is medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and has a smooth mouth feel. The alcohol at 8.7% is noticeable, but provides a nice warming in the middle that complements the malt sweetness. It finishes with flavors of dark fruit and the drying alcohol.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  What a lovely beer! This reminded me very much of a Barleywine — albeit a lighter version. It has many of the layered flavors and alcohol kick that remind me of the style. This is a must-try beer and perfect for the winter season. If Great Divide is in your area, go get some before it disappears in January!

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1 comment:

  1. I love this beer too. Great Divide is making some nice brews.


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