Categorized under: Beer Review, Great Divide, review

Great Divide Releases Hibernation Ale

We reviewed this last year and it was very good.

Here’s what we said:

Review – Great Divide Brewing Co.’s Hibernation Ale

Commercial Description: “Hibernation Ale is Colorado’s original strong ale — it has been Great Divide’s winter seasonal each year since 1995. Hibernation’s massive flavors are so intense that it requires over three months of aging each year. This lengthy aging process gives Hibernation its revered malty richness, complex hop profile and hearty warming character, which is perfect right out of the bottle or cellared for longer periods of time.”

Review: Pours a dark cloudy amber to brown color producing a massive light brown fizzy head with superb retention. Settles a clear dark amber with a little bit of activity, and the head has become creamy leaving a very nice series of rings on the glass. Aroma is very malty giving off sweet notes with caramel, red licorice, and overall just tasty, inviting aromas. Initial taste is moderately sweet, and the accompanying carbonation carries a heavy sweet taste to the finish with espresso, chocolate and candy sugar. There is some burnt malt bitterness at the finish that provides a bit of balance, and the alcohol barely shows itself. Mouthfeel is ridiculously rich and creamy, as the beer is medium bodied with silky smooth carbonation and velvety creaminess, and just the slightest bit of alcohol at the end, just enough to warm the throat and get you through a cold afternoon.

Reviewed on March 15th, 2008.
Style Strong Ale
ABV 8.1%
Source 12 oz bottle
Overall 23/30

Give it a try. Please let us know if the new release is just as good.



Great Divide Goes Into Hibernation

One of Colorado’s longest-running craft beer traditions returns this month.  Great Divide Brewing Co. will release its award-winning Hibernation Ale-Colorado’s original strong ale-on October 1st.

A true precedent setter in the state’s craft beer history, Hibernation’s rich flavors and winter-warming heft created a stir upon the beer’s debut in 1995. Thirteen years later, Hibernation Ale is now one of the most sought-after winter beers in Colorado.

“We have a lot of history with Hibernation,” says Great Divide founder Brian Dunn, “and it’s a fall tradition for our fans to buy a case of it when it comes out each year. It also personifies our brewery in many ways-it’s edgy but balanced, assertive but elegant. It set the standard for our brewery, especially for the bigger beers we make.”

The beer has also landed a slew of honors for Great Divide, including three Great American Beer Festival honors and a World Beer Cup medal (see below for details). The 2005 vintage of Hibernation Ale was awarded a silver medal in the Aged Beer category at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

“This is one of our best beers for aging,” Dunn says. “As good as the beer is fresh, its malty richness and layered hop flavors go through some wonderful changes over a year’s time. The hops pull back, the malts become more rounded, and the beer develops a nice caramel character you don’t find in the fresh version.”

Hibernation is brewed each summer, dry-hopped, then aged for two months before its release. It’s only available for about 8 weeks each year, from mid-October to mid-December, in limited quantities of draft and 12 ounce bottles, in most Great Divide markets.

Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival, 1997 – Strong Ale/English-Style Old Ale
Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, 2006 – Aged Beer (2005 Vintage)
Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, 1998 – Strong Ale/English-Style Old Ale
Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, 2003 – Strong Ale/English-Style Old Ale

Link to article.

RSSSubscribe to our feed.