I was having a great time hanging out at Great Divide Brewing before heading over to the Great American Beer Festival. They had pulled couches out onto their back area, so I was just hanging out in the nice Denver weather and enjoying the beer. They were actually currently brewing and serving their Hibernation ale, which is their winter seasonal.
It was brown in color and had a very thick, tan head on it. The head retention was pretty incredible, as it almost seemed to continue to build for quite some time. There was an earthy hop aroma to it that was similar to the smell when I first throw hops into the boil.
When I took a drink, it had a medium to full body and a creamy mouthfeel. There was a caramel maltiness up front, turning into a thicker, almost syrupy malt flavor. The flavors in the finish reminded me a bit of toffee and molasses. There was also a nice mellow hop flavor in the dry finish.
It was a hardy beer, which would probably be good with a winter meal. I’m thinking something like a bowl of chili, or perhaps meatloaf – think warm meal on a cold winter day.
While it wasn’t the best beer to be sipping while sitting in 90 degree temps in the sun behind Great Divide, it is the kind of beer I’d like to have while watching a football game in the snow. It’s full and creamy with some good full sweet malty flavors. It would probably be a little filling, but overall a good winter beer.