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Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale - Appalachian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced AleGrinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale

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42 Reviews
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Reviews: 42
Hads: 86
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 14.96%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Appalachian Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jarod on 11-13-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 86
Photo of woodychandler
4.57/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This came with no head, but instead, just some whitish wisps on the surface and a white ring around the edge of the glass. The spiciness of the nose was attention-getting: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and even a pepperiness were all evident. The color was a very bright orangish-red that easily passed the Nebraska Test for clarity. The mouth feel was medium, with a great cinnamon tingle on the tongue. The finish was equally spicy with the cinnamon and clove as the predominantly lingering flavors. This was a fantastic holiday beer.

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Photo of Jarod
4.39/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came to me at the table a cloudy brown/red color with a thick rich full head that sat atop the beer like it was posing for a photo. The head was beige in color and left a full lace the whole way to the bottom of the glass. Not your usual lace, more like cream tires stacked on top of each other full and round the whole way around the glass. You could tell the level and amount of each sip that you took. It was also served at cellar temp if not slightly warmer. Nice job on the detail from ABC. The aromas were spices, citrus hops, some flowers, fruits, and a slight malt tone. The taste was full and flavorful. It being warmer then the usual tap version, I noticed the flavors much more. More dark malt, fruits, flowers, the hop bite was more present and the spices seemed to come out more as well. Some aftertaste of hops were present but not overkill. This was one of the smoother beers that I have had from ABC. Much better then the regular seasonal that they come out with. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of pezoids
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewery. This is their spicy amber ale. Formerly their "Hibernation Ale". The beer poured a murky amber orange with a thinning head. Nutmeg is prominent in the aroma, along with some other spices. Maybe a hint of cinnamon. Wonderfully dry and spicy and light bodied. Citrus hop bitterness comes through in the aftertaste. An enjoyable and interesting beer. A nice holiday beer to have with a rich dessert, such as cheesecake.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I'm on my way back from what was a rotten business trip to Paoli PA when what did my eyes spy, the Beer Yard. So with a twink in my eye and a right on the fly, I found myself ready to explore and I found this one.

The beer poured a deep amber with a light head that remained for the entire drinking period. The bouquet had hints of spice, notably cloves and a hint of orange peel.

The taste was spicy and warm, a perfect beer for a cold night. The malt was in balance, which made this a very drinkable beer. This was nice on the tongue and the back of the mouth. Think I'll have another one.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.24/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cider like brown color with little or no head and no lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt and spices cinnomon and nutmeg as a big presence. The taste is a sweet malt backbone with a big nutmeg, orange, and cinnomon presence. The taste is sweet and complex. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall its a very solid beer, very good taste that brings you back for more.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from the tap into a pint glass.

A - Pours a reddish-brown...almost nutmeg color. Small head but has good retention.

S - Smells of warm spices...cinnamon and cloves with some malty hints.

T - Upon her first sip, my wife said it tasted like gingersnaps...not a bad description, actually. Wonderful blend of spices (cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg), but a distinctive flavor of vanilla and gingerbread. Complex blend that changes flavors from the first sip to the last, but it works extremely well together.

M - Bubbly, light-to-medium body with a warming sensation on the way down.

D - One of my favorite spiced ales...probably the best new one I've tried this season. And because of the lower abv, I was able to enjoy several of these while at ABC. Definitely worth it if, you can try some.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in a pint glass at paradise by the slice
review from notes, consummed on Sunday November 25th 2012
It had a nice amber color body, with no head or laceing to it. the aroma was of seasonal spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. The taste was very spiced with the same spices and some malt backbone with a hint of hops on the finish. The mouth feel was kinda thin but good and overall this is a really tasty ale, very good for the season.

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Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Abbey Bar...

A - Two fingers worth of dense creamy egg shell colored head... Eventually all that is left is the slightest of collars... Loaded with moderate paced random carbnatoin rising throughout... The color is mix of amber and pale reddish tones...

S - The winter spices dominate reminding me of a warm spiced wine... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... Light clove... Perhaps some cherry and orange zest...

T - A virtual plethora of holiday spice goodness... Cinnamon... Nutmeg... Clove... Some light cherry... Orange zest... Light brown sugar notes... Quite tasty and definately remincent of the season...

M - Medium bodied... Briskly carbonated... A bit of lushness starts each sip... Clean... Crisp... Even and consistent with each sip...

D - This is a very nice winter seasonal that really hit the spot... The sum of the overall scores doesn't seem to do this one justice... This one is six-pack and possibly case worthy each holiday season...

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- ABC brewry in Harrisburg

A- a dark brown cinnamon color. lots of head and great retention.

S- Lots of spices going on here. Clove, cinnamon, allspice and some nutmeg as well.

T- Cinnamon dominates but then there is clove and some other strong spices.

M- coats to mouth with spices and very spicy. Love it and enjoyable.

D- smooth and somewhat too much spice at times but i like that. Very good. Could drink all day long.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Grey Lodge. I initially thought that it must have been served in a dirty pint glass, but after looking at the other revies here there's apparantly little head retention to this one. It did have a nice, soft carbonation to it - which was nice, and worked well for the style - but that should still have been enough to conjure up a small head! Anyway, the aroma was nice. I didn't find it too spicy at all. Soft maltiness. Well blended I though. And the flavor followed suit. Round, soft, gently spicy. Nice edge of caramel. Smooth. Restrained bitterness. Caramelish malt and light spice linger in the finish. Worth trying.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Chestnut color w/ slight ruby hue; dense tan head rising to
About ½”. It slowly dissipates to a decent surface layer.

A- Aroma is of sweet ginger & cherries. Caramel also hits me along with some yeast; nothing exciting but nice aroma overall.

T- Tart sour cherries up wash across my palate along with a shot of nutmeg spice & ginger leading to an nice sweet gingerbread flavor by the finish; maybe a bit of hops on the finish, but I could be mistaken.

F- Lightly carbonated, it is very smooth from the sip to the finish. Low alcohol level keeps this slightly creamy through the finish. Very nice!

D- Does a puppy poop? Very very drinkable Christmas ale! Very enjoyable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a 1 finger, soapy beige head that slowly fades out. Scattered bits of clumpy lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, and obvious orange peel with some of the candied, dry ginger thrown into the mix.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a sugar cookie flavor backing up the spices and orange citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, spicy, and zesty.

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Photo of Phatz
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to weeare138 for hooking me up with this beer.

This is not an APA. It is an Herbed Spiced Ale. Since that category is not available any more many of the Herbed Spiced beer seem to be defaulting to Winter Warmer. Anyway…

Appearance: Pours a red, brown color with a small off white fizzy head that fades fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon cherry ginger and cloves with a little sugar, but not a heavy malt backbone. It is dependant on the spices.

Taste: This beer is heavily spiced with ginger dominantly; followed by nutmeg, cinnamon, cherry, brown sugar and a drop of orange.

Mouthfeel: This is a beer that is nicely spiced and has a pleasant taste. The body is light. The crisp citric feel, plus the carbonation and the spices compensate for that light feel.

Drinkability: These seasonally spiced beers are not very sessionable in my opinion but sipping one with a holiday meal or for the experience of it was tasty enough. Certainly worth a try, at least once.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer. The variety of ingredients and spices they put in it gives it a complex flavor, which is pretty good. I'm not sure what was going with this particular batch, but it wasn't very aromatic. Looking over the other reviews, this seems particular to my batch. Therefore, I'm going a little bit leneient on that rating.

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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been a long time, both since my last ABC ale and my last glass of this. Thanks to Sarah and Pat.

A: The ale is a darker amber color, maybe even orange. Barely translucent, the ale has plenty of floaties suspended mid-glass. A small head, a few shades off white, rests in a thin band.

S: Plenty of nutmeg, even after a few months in the back of the fridge. The spice profile is thick and intense, citrus and cinnamon following the nutmeg. Nicely spiced, if not a little over the top.

T: The nutmeg isn't as sharp on the palate. Instead, toffee and caramel malts make a stronger statement. Alongside the malts, cinnamon and ginger stand out. The ginger is especially strong near the finish. All in all, the flavor is pretty nice. I'm thinkin' that this ale could easily be mulled on much colder nights.

M: The mouthfeel depends on the spices, bailing out the ho-hum caramel body. Even on a warmer night, the ginger provides a refreshing flavor.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is amber colored and with a vigorous produces about 1/2 inch tan head that fades quickly to a sutle ring,
Smells cidery and of spices.
Tastes cidery with flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Tastes refreshing with Christmas spices not that is not overpowering,
Mouthfeel is thin and slightly watery with a tart aftertaste.

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Photo of rayjay
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved via trade. Thanks for the surprise JohnnyM2002.

A: Deep holiday shade of red. Foams up, but the head quickly dissipates. Carbonation can still be seen as the beer gets swirled, though. Small bits of haze are floating around, bigger and slimier looking than yeast.

S: Full-out gingerbread nose. Smells great, like a true winter warmer (if not overly spiced).

T: Definately dominated by spice. Lots of ginger, also some nutmeg, cinommon, and sweet malts. Like a spice cake or a bowl of oatmeal. Very gentle tartness.

M: The body is very gentle and light. The carbonation is light, but it still adds a sharp spiciness that lifts the beer.

D: Darn drinkable, although not something I'd want alot of. Great for a wintertime treat. Cheers!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opens with a very soft pfffst.
Rich deep spiced caramel aroma. The ginger and nutmeg stand out. Blend is nice, but moves towards spice more as it sits.
Poured aggressively to enhance head that at the most was 1/2 inch with a moderate density and tan color. Head leaves markings of each drink, but they aren't permanent. Very clear. Deep amber of orange moving towards red in light.
Initial, and very quick, deep caramel taste that very quickly moves towards the spices which dominate through the remainder. Complexity of spices more evident through drink, than aroma, with cinnamon more prominent than before. The orange noted on the label hardest to detect. They lead to a dryness of some note, in effect coating the tongue on the finish. Bitterness is mild, but there.
Heavy enough feel on the moderate to heavy side. Carbonation leads to fullness, and while soft, contributes to the heaviness.
This is fine. I might find it difficult to consume more than a couple in a sitting (the strength of the spices would lead to fatigue), but as a holiday season to enjoy...ya, this does just fine.

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Photo of KFaulkner
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Appalachian Brewing Company's brewpub in Harrisburg, PA. The Grinnin' Grizzly is the new name for it's Hibernation Ale, as it was named in previous years. It's a spicy seasonal with a smooth, malty taste and a very strong nutmeg/cinnamon finish. The citrus flavors are strong at first taste. According to ABC:

"This amber ale is dosed with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and fresh orange zest. It is well balanced with low hop flavor and nice hint of the spices in the finish. This spiced ale is not overbearing; rather it is smooth and very drinkable."

It is both smooth and drinkable, yet the hop flavor is overpowered by the nutmeg and cinnamon. Overall a tasty brew that is ABC's November specialty.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Harrisburg location on 11/24/09. Served in an oversized mug.

Pours a clear amber, with a finger or so of smooth and creamy off-white head. Stays foamy around the edges, with some thin wisps in the center, leaving a fizzy cascade of lacing behind. Spicy notes of ginger and clove just dominate this, with some sticky caramel sweetness behind it. Although there is supposed to be some cinnamon in here, I'm really having trouble picking it up. Tis a shame too, as some spicier sweetness would have been welcome here. A fresh hoppy green feel floats on the edges. The spice is very strong here but I wouldn't quite say that it's overbearing.

The taste is is similar, with that strong spice hanging up, before grainy caramel malt sweetness and zesty orange citrus swoop in towards the back of the profile. This has those same assertive green hops as the aroma, with bitterness and spice bouncing off each other and giving this a lively feel in the mouth. The spice is definitely balanced a bit more here in the taste but it does linger rather heavily (along with some leftover bitterness) in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crispness to the feel, which falls right in line with that sharp mix of hops and spice. Very zippy feeling overall presence here on the palate.

I've got to say that this wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered, probably not having had it in a couple of years. The spice is rather strong but never becomes over the top (especially in the taste), thanks to equally cheery flavors of orange zest, bread, and toffee. The spice did hold the drinkibility back some for me but overall, this was a pleasant festive quaff just in the time for the holidays.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark amber color with some off-white head that left some decent lacing along the glass.

The smell was mostly of cinnamon and ginger. Some toasty hopps also.

Most notable taste was the ginger and cinnamon, there is a roasty hopp taste also, and some notes of nutmeg and light citrus.

Medium-bodied feel, smooth with little but adequate carbonation.

This wasn't quite an easy drinker, but it wasn't really too filling either. I thought this was one of ABC's more interesting beers. Although pretty decent I thought there was a bit too much ginger.

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Photo of Edwin
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice, amber/orange with a creamy head. Very holiday-like.

Smell: Various spices, nutmeg, and some sweet-smelling additions I can't quite pinpoint.

Taste: Goes in with some cinnamon/sugary notes. The unique blend of spices does leave an aftertaste, although I think the sum of the parts is a bit less than desirable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet. I got a little saliva kicking because I was caught off-guard by the sweetness.

Drinkability: This is a good beer to try because they have a very original flavor and blend of spices, however, the sweetness can be a tad over-bearing for my tastes. I had one and knew that a second one would be very difficult to take. If sugar isn't your thing, you'll stop at one or two.

Overall: Better than an average beer, but a little sweet for an all-night beer or an entire case. Good for a cold December evening.

On a personal note, I find this beer compelling to me because the bear on the label looks like Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie on N64. I love that darn bear, but someone's gonna get sued! :)

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Photo of Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was given the opportunity to try this by tenderbranson69 the other night.
Decanted cool into a tumbler.
A - Deep copper/medium brown w/ a light tan head the has good retention.

S - Roasted grain and malt odor w/ a subtle ginger and spice aroma.

M - Astringent and spicy feel w/ slight hop and spice note w/ full carbonation and medium body.

T - Deep Roasted flavors of chocolate malt and the ginger taste hits the palate first w/ oomph! The effervesence carries the spiced tastes to the back and sides of the mouth rapidly. A slightly dry almost rye note shows up in the finish w/ a semi-sweet lingering malt flavor.

D - A nice winter beer w/ lots of spice to keep it interesting. I remember sampling this when they called this Hibernation ale back in the day and liked it. The spice is up-front and can be a tad cloying after one pint, though.

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Photo of simmons
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Grinnin’ Grizzly has a nice think tan, long lasting head with mild aroma. It is a light brown beer pale ale all around mild tasting beer. You can hardly taste any malt and hop flavor but seasoned with spices. Despite its’ mildness it is a smooth drinking beer that I could easily drink all day long. AVB- 5.85% IBU 18.20

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer doesn't seem like a Pale Ale to me like the description on here states. The beer poured out as an amber color. The head was light tan and didn't really last too long. The smell of the beer is spicy, it's loaded with winter spice aromas, like cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste of the beer also had a spicy quality to it also with a sweet caramel flavor upfront. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty easy to put down but the spices warm the mouth nicely. Overall this beer its one that I'm crazy about but I wouldn't be opposed to trying it again in the future.

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Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale from Appalachian Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.