Friday, March 23, 2007

Beer Tasting: Great Divide Hibernation Ale

The Beer: Great Divide Hibernation Ale [2005]
Style: American Strong Ale
Reviews: Beer Advocate Rate Beer
Awards: World Beer Cup (1998 Silver, Strong Ale); Great American Beer Festival (1997 Gold, Strong Ale; 2003 Silver, Strong Ale; 2006 Silver, Strong Ale)
Packaging & Date Stamping: 12 oz. brown bottle; notched as a 2005 bottling

From where & how stored: Received in trade with Eli at

Pricing: $x.xx

Availability: Winter seasonal (early winter availability)

ABV, IBU, and Other Available Stats: 8.1% ABV
Bryan's Notes
The Look:
- pours softly with creamy thin head
- dark brown

The Aroma:
- rich toffee, caramel aroma, coffee too

The Taste:
- undertone of hop bitterness
- bit of figginess
- bittersweet chocolate
- smmmoooooth!

The Verdict: My impression of this was that is was very close to a barleywine comparison. Similar to an Old Stock Ale, but with more noticeable hops. Do they age this in a scotch whiskey barrel?...if so, I bet it would be awesome! Thanks, Eli...great trade!
Adam's Notes
The Look:
- cloudy dark brown oak
- lotsa sediment
- no head despite aggressive pour

The Aroma:
- sweet malty nose like a specialty bread

The Taste:
- this one is complex
- malt at first, but, not too much before the array of hops flavors take over
- almost grassy
- bitter finish like a German Alt

The Verdict: From Sweet nose to less sweet taste up front giving way to more malt in the middle. The finish is definitely a slightly bitter tang. There was a different hops profile with each taste. You'll want to buy two, just so you can ponder this truly special winter brew. As a homebrewer I would like to try something like this.

I just read Bryan's notes. That reminds me. Eli, can you send us more? ;-)


Eli said...

Glad you guys liked it, I think its damn tasty as well.

As far as sending out more, you guys know the story as to how I came across the older vintage.

I'll have to stop off and see if the sixpack shop still has any sitting around in the cooler.

Adam said...

Heheh...please do!