Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,183 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,183
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 15.9%
Wants: 10
Gots: 161 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (53) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,183 | Reviews: 449
Reviews by Looneybiz:
Photo of Looneybiz
4.14/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was rather tasty!

Not as pretty as some amber beers and the bottle labeling was lacking in a description. Head doesnt stick around.

The smell was very rich and malty. Strong scent after pouring it into a pint glass.

The taste, which is always the most important thing, was really good for an amber ale. First time trying a sampler from this brewery and Avalanche was a great flavor. Has a rich caramel malt flavor but only a very tiny hop finish.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the tap a clear amber with a very thin off white head that was gone in a flash,big caramel malt aromas with some fruity esters,not much hop presence found.Flavors are agin sweeter and malt tilted,caramel biscuit with a touch of grain,some lingering fruit notes in the finish.Eh if you like old school malt tilted ambers you'll like this,me not so much.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Color is dark copper, clear, with minimal head that recedes quickly to a few bubbles. Minimal lacing.

S: Nothing incredibly noteworthy on the nose. Moderate malts and mild hops seem balanced.

T&M: A moderately dry rush of mild and caramel malts engulf the tongue first with a steady medium weight in the mouth. Abundant carbonation keeps this brew active and the overall texture has a mild bite. Hops come in to balance the malts but the malts seem to shine through with slightly more prominence. Finish is mostly short of malt with a longer bitter linger.

D: Generally more flavorful than the average ale but everything else about this brew is pretty mainstream. Not incredibly smooth but still pretty easy to drink. Give it a try if your in the mood.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Understandable that this brew is light in size, but more is expected from a name like that—it's like naming a Chihuahua Zeus … forget the name, we guess. So we have a sessionable Amber Ale, one without much of a punch aside from a slight toasted malt character. Even the hops are pretty damn modest. A decent brew, nothing more.

STYLE: American Amber Ale
ABV: 4.4%

LOOK: Reddish copper, thin head

SMELL: Mild caramel, dried hay, mildly fruit, bready, faint hazelnut

TASTE: Light crispness, lighter body, wet, thin graininess, toasted bread crust, nutty, mineral, mild hopping, grass, apple skin; dry, toasty finish

Photo of SuomiHobbit
2.75/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poor example of the style. Not very rich or malty.

Photo of skybluewater
2.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a standard pale amber. Smells like a macro-not good. Mouthfeel is thin. Taste isn't all that good at all. It tastes like a Corona, but with some darker malts thrown in. Drinkability? Sure. Good? Nah, not really.

Overall, I wouldn't buy this beer again, not with many other similar, better brews available for nearly the same price. This one's just too weak and blah.

Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I like this amber ale. Not overly carbonated, nice color, doesn't leave a bitter taste in the mouth, and very drinkable. It doesn't have much of a foamy head, but that's okay. I think it's true to its kind and would not be impossible to enjoy more than one in a sitting. Also doesn't need food to appease the palate, although it would accompany a nice pizza or deli sandwich, steak or chicken dish with no problem. Would buy again.

Photo of Billolick
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info..

Pours clouded medium brownish, non exciting, light tan head, looser bubbles, leaves some typical and long sticking blobs of lace.

Wheat bread sniff, malty sweetness.

Malty brew, with nothing special going on, more wheat bread, some ripe fruit, minor slightly metalic note.

Just a bit thin mouthfeel wise.

Put it all together and you get a slightly better then middle of the road amber...yawn

Photo of nem2006
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a bottle in a pint glass. Has a brownish amber color. A slightly off white head that is fairly dense.

The nose is a little surprising. It is not as malty as other ambers. There is plenty hop to it with floral hints along with the breadiness and malts of an amber.

Avalanche is medium bodied with a slight sweetness and maltiness which fades quickly to a hop finish. The hops are fairly smooth and not overbearing. It is almost like a pale ale meets an amber.

Photo of tigg924
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, minimal head, clear, little carbonation

Smell: slight toasted caramel malt

Taste: well balanced toasted malt, caramel, and hops

Mouthfeel: well balanced, the sweetness slightly dominates, some bitterness, medium bodied, with a clean finish

Drinkability: Nothing out of the ordinary but very sessionable. I do like the mix of malt and hops. This one is better on draft.

Photo of mattster
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz bottle into Nonic glass. No date available.

Pours a nice head of 1" that dissipates to a layer of fine lace. Color is more amber than red.

Smell is of malt, somewhat toasty and sweet. Flavor is nice, but nothing outstanding. Good clean finish, no aftertaste.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no date. Pours a clear bronze color. The white head is weak, dissipating rapidly. No lacing.

The aroma is dry malt, nutty and woody with a bit of nutmeg. The flavor is also almost all malt and barley, some oaty and nuttiness, just slightly hopped and smoothed out with a creamy caramel element. Similiar to a Scottish ale.

It's light bodied, not all that complex. Very drinkable. Not revolutionary, but quaffable.

Photo of wo87810
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical appearance, nothing too amazing. The smell was very faint, of caramel malt. Taste was better than smell, but sort of one-dimensional- only got the maltiness.

Overall, this beer was OK, drank fine last night. But not very complex, and not worth going out of your way for.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber pour. Amber to brown. Caramel nose and taste, lacking hops.

Taste smacks of typical Breckenridge boring (apologies to Vanilla Porter), very simple style beer, looks nice but doesn't back it up. Just has that craft beer feel of SA, Gordon Biersch etc. . . when they make an amber with no hops. But its not even a hop bomb, it just looks cooler than BMC yellow (well it tastes slightly better too).

Unfortunately, Breckenridge cost does not match their quality. Won't be having this again anytime soon.

Photo of MOShepp
2.96/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber with a light tan two finger head. Pretty good retention with good lacing. Lots of microscopic carbonation bubbles.

Smells of malt, citrus and a hint of spice.

Metallic taste with hops evident. Tastes watered down.

Light and easy to drink, but I won't buy again.

Photo of ADR
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium to darker amber appearance, clear and attractive with a middling head of 1/8 of an inch after a half a minute. Simple vertical string laces. Aroma has a touch of spiciness, approaches cardammon in some aspects. The mouthfeel is lighter, the carbonation is about average. Flavors start out simple, brown sugar maltiness, fairly straightforward, but with a little orangey tang that magnifies to a decent hoppiness and balance toward the back of the profile. Seems to sweeten on further sips, and takes on a vegetal funkiness. A little ordinary, and the carbonation flattens quickly

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.21/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a clear amber with a light khaki head forms thick initially leaving behind thin lacing around my new Dollar Tree tulip chalice. Aromatics are a bit timid with watery caramel and some mineral tones peeking through as well. Not much hop action going on in the nose or flavor and the aroma just smells like some grains watered down with minimal caramel notes. Flavor is pretty expected of Breckenridge, flagship amber comes watery and not real assertive or cohesive with the flavors. Minimal toasted nut with caramel and a tart grain husk offness, not much hop flavor with minimal bitterness from the lack of hops. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery feel with a sharp bitey mouthfeel mainly from the carbonation level. Drinkability is pretty weak not a beer I would welcome back in the future, I'd rather drink fresh Goose Island Honker's for 6.50 a sixer or better yet some cans of Yuengling Amber Lager. At least you don't expect much from the canned regional brewery.

Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in standard pint glass

A - typical for style reddish/copper; clear; thin and short-lived head

S - too earthy

T - decent. somewhat heavy on toasted malt. Yeasty.
down-rated for sour/bitter finish without much hop (or other) flavor.

M - average for style

D - see taste

Photo of OStrungT
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark golden color, with a thin white head. The head fades quickly, leaving a good lace.

This beer has a mild toffee like aroma. It has a slight citrusy hop aroma also. It has a very subtle bready aroma. It is very subtle.

This beer tastes much like it smells, but the flavors are not as subtle. It is mild though.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It is carvbonated well for the style. It leaves a bready aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is very mild, and the low alcohol content makes it easy to drink.

Overall: Thanks to Josh for this beer. It is a bit mild for me, but it is good for the style. It is a nice solid beer.

Photo of glid02
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a mixed sixer from Whole Foods on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark copper color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates pretty quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not much going on as far as lacing's concerned.

Smells of coarse noble hops and metal. There's a very small caramel malt aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A funky noble hop flavor that's a bit too intense with some fruity flavors. There's a caramel malt flavor that pokes it's head through from time to time, and a decent amount of bitterness. The flavors linger a bit too long.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit too watery, but the carbonation is good.

Drinkability is not so great. There's not a whole lot about this beer that makes me want to drink it.

Overall I continue to be disappointed by Breckenridge's brews with the notable exception of 471 Small Batch. One of these days I'm sure I'll find another one that measures up, but I'd stay away from this one.

Photo of LXIXME
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Small to maybe medium off white head quickly settles to a quarter inch or less of semi-frothy head above a clear bronze-caramel colored beer.

Very light caramelized grain malts aroma.

Light tasting caramel grain malts is about all there is going on with this light tasting amber.

Almost a wet aftertaste with just a tad of the caramel malts sticking around with this lighter side medium bodied beer.

Not a bad tasting amber beer, just not enough of the taste it has, if the taste of this beer were more pronounced it might actually be a pretty good drink.

Photo of Brenden
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought I reviewed this a long time ago. This is why I have to sift through my notes every now and then.

Amber...ish, this beer is sort of a pale orange with a certain depth in its body. There's a thickness to it, and even some sediment. I don't think i was expecting an unfiltered beer here, but there's nothing wrong with that. Sort of an off-white/eggshell in color, the head almost reaches one finger but offers pretty good retention and some decent lacing in a mic of spotting and patching in good quantity.
The smell is of caramel malts and a sort of grassiness. There's something of an herbal note sitting in there too. There's a bit of breadiness as well. The hops presence is quite muted, offering only a whiff of the herbal element along with a flowery/perfumey component.
The hops and malts balance well in the flavor. If anything, I'd say it could just use a bit more of everything, but the overall composition isn't bad. A simple, easy drinking amber is what it is.
The body's a little thinner and lighter than it should be, but otherwise it's standard stuff. Moderate carbonation lends itself to an adequate overall feel.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, deep, dark, amber, mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuity, cereal-like aromas, followed by some caramel and brown sugar, spices of black pepper and coriander, and a touch of vinegary-like corn or rice adjunct-like aromas.

Taste: Really, really good, with strong flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuits, cereal and sourdough bread. Next comes strong flavors of caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness and some black pepper. Finally, the beer finishes with a touch of floral, piney, slightly bitter hops. Thankfully, there are none of the vinegary-like corn or rice adjunct-like flavors that are present in the aroma. Great beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent as there is some good carbonation present. With an ABV of 4.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: What a nice beer! Malty, slightly sweet, easy to drink. Another great beer from Colorado, and another great beer from Breckenridge. While not quite as good a New Belgium’s Fat Tire, I could easily drink this all day, and be very happy!

Photo of sloejams
3.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampler at Breckenridge BBQ & Brew Pub, Denver

Colorado has these American Reds down. Very akin to New Belgium's Fat Tire, Avalanche has a smooth start with a sweet middle and a slighty bitter but crisp finish. In a blind taste, I wouldn't be able to differentiate the two. It goes down easy and balances my pulled pork sammich quite well.

Photo of Triklino
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Poured into a standard pint glass, very little head to be had. Pours a fairly deep amber with a hue of red.

Smell - The first thing that struck me was the smell, It has a sweet malt scent that makes the mouth water. Mainly chocolate, with some hints of caramel.

Taste - First sip was tasty, malty up front with a taste of chocolate that fades quick into a barely noticeable hop finish. The finish is way more watery than hoppy, which is disappointing, not a very complex beer start to finish.

Mouthfeel - Light on the mouth and palette, it lacks a little bit of body that I felt the beer could have benefited from. It finishes clean and leaves a slightly refreshing, watery aftertaste.

Overall - This is by no means a bad beer, and I feel like for what it was crafted as, it does the job well. It is a lighter beer with craft beer taste, it's just a shame that it couldn't escape the light beer feel.

Would I drink this again? If it's on tap I'd definitely give it another shot, however there are other beers akin to this one I'd rather buy.

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Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.