December 8 2009, 10:42 AM
Denver can remind us of what winter really feels like. And after the wind whipped straight through my jeans to chill my bone marrow, and the tears froze in the corners of my eyes, I came up with a plan. I am going to hibernate. Everything about hibernation sounds awesome. First, I need to put on a nice layer of insulation, which I've been working on ever since Thanksgiving. Then, I'm going to curl up somewhere warm and sleep until, say, April. As I look to fatten up for my long winter's sleep, I've found the perfect beer to set the mood: Hibernation Ale, a winter seasonal from Great Divide Brewing. Typically, I don't love malt-rich beers, but the balance and mix of malts have converted me. This one has a bounty of molasses and caramel flavors, which linger on the tongue after the first swallow. The cloying sweetness is also balanced by a bitter coffee flavor. Before drinking, pour this gorgeous, deep-mahogany beer into a glass. As you may have guessed, a malt-heavy beer always signifies a stronger ale, and this one doesn't pull any punches at 8.1 percent ABV. The weighty mix of malts and the heavy dose of alcohol makes me nice and drowsy for my long winter nap.