SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JAN 22, 2006
Dark brown/amber. Small, tan head. Bubbles lining the glass. Aroma is roasty, caramel malt, tamed piney, resinous hops. Flavor is hoppy brown ale. Bitter chocolate finish and aftertaste. Alcohol only slightly detectable in the finish. Medium/full body, smooth.Very drinkable at 8.1%, especially after it warms a bit. Very good. I’d like more alcohol presence in a winter brew. zach8270 (4021) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JAN 21, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2008 (bottle - 12 oz) Cloudy red pour with a very thin tan head. Sweet aroma with hints of malts and cocoa. Lots of cocoa. The taste is very subtle at the beginning and then comes full force with a sweet and chocolaty roasted malt flavor and a slight hop bitterness and a finish of pine, hops and chocolate. Very warming with a nice porter aftertaste. Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 20, 2006
This was a decent winter ale, but had a very woody taste from what I can gather. And this was not the oak version. Still worth a try. Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 20, 2006
Poured dark amber, quite opaque. nose consisted of malty, candied sugar, molases, a hint of coco and mostly hop backbone. Mouthfeel was considerably lighter than I hoped but it didn’t compramise on taste. Fairly smooth papate, quite bitter (too bitter for me) with it being somewhat unbalanced. Otherwise enjoyable. TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - JAN 20, 2006
Pours a clear dark ruby with thick white head that hangs around for a while and leaves substantial lacing on the sides of the glass. Big chocolate aroma with noticeable hop bitterness. Flavor is astringently bitter, grainy, dry, and somewhat chocolatey. Smooth and creamy palate. Unpleasantly astringent bitterness; otherwise hard to complain about this one.
GarrettB (1690) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 17, 2007 When it comes to winter warmers, not much takes precedent over Great Divide’s cautiously sweet Hibernation Ale. This winter marked the first set of cold months since I hurdled over the 21 years age requirement, so I was looking forward to finding a good belly warmer and settling with it for the cold days to come. What I found was neither a normal stout, or a disappointingly thin “winter ale”. At last, a winter seasonal apposite to a blizzarding day! Only one other beer I had through November and December contends with Hibernation Ale (that being Hitachino New Year’s Ale). The clear but furious glowing coal red colored ale floats beneath a dark custard head, intimating the details of the taste with a tempting smell of roasted malts and chocolate without the cloying bitter qualities. The taste is surprisingly sweet; enough to satiate my youthful palate but not so light that it doesn’t kindle a glowing warmth in my stomach. Also, the 8.1% ABV makes me a bit drowsy, so I’m prepared to settle into a deep chair for a brief respite from waking, cold hours. Alongside the comforting textures and taste I can understand why they call this Hibernation Ale; a hearty beer with an alluring taste and a soporific finish. Kevster (344) - Bradenton, Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2006
12oz bottle: Pours a dark reddish brown with a light brown head that is mostly diminishing. Head leaves nice lacing around the glass. Aroma is roasty and hoppy with hints of flowers, pine and chocolate. Flavor is sweet with a well balanced hoppy taste that is creamy with a bitter finish. IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - JAN 17, 2006
On tap at Mr Goodbar in Buffalo. Very deep red.brown/chestnut color with a moderate and firm tan head. Looks great. Pleasant on all fronts, strong roasted and chocolate prescence, followed by very green yet not very bitter hops. On the sweeter end, earthy, well balanced, fuller bodied, alcohol is pretty well hidden. I’ll definitely get this again if it’s still around. TomDecapolis (4636) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JAN 15, 2006
Pours a darker ruby red with an average size off whie head that laced down the glass nicely. Aroma of cocoa, a slight piney yet flowery hop, earthy and alcohol. The flavor is interesting on this one. Roasted yet hoppy. Almost like a porter in some respects, but then there are the hops in there just changing it all up. An interesting experience and I have to say one I enjoyed. It looks like this beer gets some mixed reviews but I have to say I enjoyed it for sure. Creamy palate to help out as well. Very complex. mjg74 (3199) - La Mesa, California, USA - JAN 12, 2006
Bottled. Pours a dark amber color. Aroma is quite sweet. Some hops, malts, and maybe a little yeast are present as well. Flavor is sweet and hoppy. Some roasted maltiness as well. This beer reminds me of a sweet IPA with some roasted malt qualities. Bitter finish. Good, but not great.