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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 441
Hads: 1,232
Avg: 3.22
pDev: 27.33%
Wants: 10
Gots: 192 | 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

That's what makes our Avalanche amber ale such a treat. We blend pale and caramel malts — and just a kiss of bittering hops — to create a refreshing-but-flavorful, anytime beer. Aromas of pale grains, a semi-sweet middle and a clean-as-Colorado snow finish make this our best-selling beer.
View: Beers (60) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Avalanche Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 441 | Hads: 1,232
Photo of jeranbrews
3.48/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - a cloudy fusion of apple butter and liptons powdered tea. Soft beige head that falls a bit too quickly. Minor fine bubbled lacing.

S - yeasty frosty. Sour undertones some malts some hops.

T / M - initially sweet and frothy but initial joy fades too quickly. Strong beginning but a weak slightly watery finish. Hop balance is good. And no off flavors. A solidly constructed beer.

D - overall pleasant. Not award winning but great for any occasion.

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Photo of bmwats
3.24/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Amber hue. Pours a half finger, bubbly, white head. Disappears quickly. Plenty of rising effervescence and pockets of carbonation clinging to the sides of the glass. Pretty fair beer ring lacing.

S: Butterscotch, buttered toast, and wood chips.

T: Bitter acetyl, hickory wood, and citrus pith.

M: Hearty feel. Comes across a little bitter and pungent, but not in a positive way.

D: Session style.

Atmosphere is okay. Decent head, and fair lacing. Buttery, bready, woody nose. Bitter wood chips and citrus pith overshadow the bready malt grains. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of spoony
3.02/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From an undated 355 ml bottle into a nonic.

A-An aggressive pour produces nearly a finger of light-tan head that dissipates quickly into a collar. No lacing. The brew is medium-amber in color with a bit of chill haze. No carbonation is visible. Pretty unremarkable.

S-The smell is a mundane mixture of barley, husk, some caramel sweetness, and a bit of grassy bitterness. Unfortunately, I smell a fair bit of metallic grain and a slightly sulfuric note.

T-The taste is also on the sweet side with grainy barley, some caramel sweetness, and lightly floral, bitter hops on the finish. The metallic taste is lessened a bit from the smell, but this is still not an appetizing brew.

M-The feel is pretty typical for this style with moderate body and soft, passive carbonation.

O-This is a pretty mediocre effort. The hops are nearly non-existent and the malts are not terribly interesting. I don't know if my bottle was too old, but I could not get over the grainy, metallic note that I detected on my first whiff. The barley and grains do provide flavor versus a BMC brew, but I don't know if that flavor is worth partaking in.

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Photo of Kevin60
2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark amber color. Cloudy with minimal visibility through the pint glass. Absolutely no foam when slow poured from a bottle into the pint glass. Slight bubbling around the edges of the glass.

Smell - Sub par aroma. Smell is very generic with slightly floral hints.

Taste - Bitter throughout the whole drink. Starts more bitter and then eventually opens to some floral hints and again finishes with a hint of bitterness in the after taste. Aftertaste only lasts a minimal amount of time. Tastes almost like a generic Miller Light or Bud Light.

Mouthfeel - Carbonated. Too carbonated for my taste in beer.

Overall - SLIGHT upgrade from generic Miller Light and Bud. Generic looking, sub-par smell with a bitter taste throughout with minimal floral and caramel hints. Stick with the Miller and save yourself a couple of bucks. Would not buy again.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured the can into a chilled tulip glass.

Appearance 3.0: Light amber color. Small head dissipated into characteristic CO2 swirls on top.

Smell 3.5: Very nice bouquet. Hints of biscuit malt, barley and a slight bubblegum smell.

Taste 3.0: Front is a dry barley taste. Middle is basically gone. Nothing there. Finish is slightly hoppy: think Kent Goldings type hoppy, though. That's right: more "mossy" flavor and not biting at all. Finish is more malt and barley. Dry throughout and would probably go well with food.

Mouthfeel: 3.0: OK level of carbonation and is clearly 100% CO2.

Overall 3.0: Good, basic beer. Nothing special. Reminiscent of another Colorado brewery's famous beer (namely New Belgium's Fat Tire), this is an OK beer, but certainly nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of matjack85
3.24/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I bought this at Binny's as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making it $1.67 for a single 12oz bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a clear amber/red color with just a half-finger of white head, but despite the small head it left a decent amount of lacing.

Hardly any smell to this. You have to swirl it around in the glass pretty hard to coax a little malt, sweet caramel, and floral hops out of it.

More caramel malt than anything else, making it a tad sweet. Hops are more floral than bitter as it only has 19 IBU's to it. Not really much to this but it's still tasty in a simple kind of way.

Very thin body, almost watery, with moderate carbonation.

Nothing stands out but there's nothing bad either. Very drinkable.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.52/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Light golden brown, no bubbles, head was small, a little less than a finger and dissipated quickly.

Smell: very mild caramel with a balanced floral hop smell.

Taste: a little malty and slightly floral hops, caramel is very mild as is the hops.

Mouth feel: thin and smooth, leaves a good aftertaste of fruity caramel, little carbonation

Overall: This is a good brew but is very mild. It seems typical for the style. It reminds me of a slightly more robust American pilsner. Might buy again if I want something light and smooth but a little more robust than a wheat type beer.

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Photo of Brenden
3.46/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of MostlyNorwegian
2.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not feeling this one. It's amber in color and it's hop presence is far back for what an American might be on the lookout for. Its taste? I'm tempted to say it's an off color golden ale, and nearly lager-ish in the mouth, so it's far more on the malt side of things and probably should be paired with a sandwich and salad to bring it alive. By itself, I'm enjoying the nose more than I am the beer itself or perhaps I need to try it again in the summer time when this kind of flavor profile has something more to work with. It smells of some brown sugar and possibly a bit sour and some of the grain is coming in, with a slight plum presence. I'll bury one for a hotter day, but at the moment. This is not a beer I anticipate I'll be looking for in the future.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A-Pours a slightly murky, dull amber color. Very mild head. Slight lacing too.

S-Nose is incredibly soft. A hint of dull herbal hops. The malt is more talkative. Grainy and bready. Neither side of the aroma spectrum is very enticing but still, there is nothing wrong or offensive.

T-Its malt-forward without being very malty. Almost watery. Sweet, multi-grain bread and some light caramel. Quiet floral hops.

M-It drinks quite easily. Light in body with tickling carbonation. Lingering sweetness.

O/D-Very bland. Nothing off-putting. I guess it could work if you want something really light that you will never, ever remember.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.61/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Yeah. Pours a amber colored red with a crystal clear hue. A soft fizzy head with good retention.

The aroma is limited overall. Not much going on but a soft malt smell with a hint of caramel and roast. Some minor hop notes with more of a floral appeal. No off notes from the yeast.

The taste is light. A more malt forward but somewhat harsh almost astringent backing. A more toasted bread and caramel note up front. Some lingering sweetness that blends well with the floral hop note. Some bittering hops that linger. A slight ester, rose peddles but beyond that a clean yeast finish.

The body is light to moderate. An astringent finish which is accented by a higher carbonation level. Overall a pretty easy drinking beer. Would like a touch more malt and more floral hop notes but still mostly clean.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25


A- a creamy brown sugar look to it with amber tones. Half giner head that hangs. Average lacing on the pint.

S- brown sugar and caramel malts dominate the nose. i get hints of maybe some dark candided fruit like plum but it is hard to tell.

F- sour caramel malts and no hop tones to it at all. quite sugary as well.

M- tastes like licking brownb sugar of a metal can. The malts just overpower anything else.

O- not a good beer but better than your BMC stuff. Lots of work left to do on this one. Bring out some hops on it please.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.03/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with short-lived off-white head. Aroma is of grassy hops, caramel malt, some fruit and staleness. Body is medium and smooth. Grassy hops, sweet caramel malt and brown sugar (too much of it) combine on the palate. Finish is long and semi-sweet. I can’t say I enjoyed the brew.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic.

A: Pours a cloudy red-brown color with a thing, quickly dissipating, tan head with minimal lacing.

S: Smells like, wheat, barley, brown sugars, hints of earthy tones

T: This was a bit of a downer, gives me the after taste of a Miller Lite, which is not good. It's a bit lacking in flavor too, but it is not offensive, just, you know, meh.

M: Over carbonated when compared to the flavor levels, feels like I'm drinking club soda

O: Over all, it was ok, I've had far, far worse, but this just doesn't stand out to me except for the cool looking bottle. Probably won,t have it again.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.14/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a finger of head on a copper colored body.
It has a mild aroma of grain.
The flavor is mild overall with bitterness and honey sweetness.
There is moderate carbonation and it is medium bodied.
A drinkable enough ale, nothing special and lacking in aroma.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass from a bottle.
Bought from a grocery in CO' says "contains no more then 3.2% abv.

Hours clear amber color with a lasting white head. A slight caramel and toffee on the nose but also wet cardboard. Smells like an adjunct lager. Taste is also like an adjunct lager. A touch of light caramel and toffee and not much else. The taste is balanced and remains very drinkable but its a forget table taste. Overall, I don't know if I have a watered down version because of the alcohol laws here or its just a mediocre brew...

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Breckenridge Avalanche Amber Ale has a medium, foamy, off-white head and a fairly hazy, somewhat bubbly, amber appearance. Lacing is significant with this beer. The aroma is of sweet, brown bread, and the flavor is of the same, with sugar, bread crust, and a very mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Breckenridge Avalance Amber Ale finishes wet, pleasant, and highly drinkable. For those who enjoy a mellow, amber ale, this is a wonderful choice. I sure am enjoying this review!


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Photo of DSTUR001
1/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm currently living in Breckenridge. I get to drink this beer fresh from the brewery in Breck. I have to say I have had this beer on numerous occasions, and have been very disappointed. The taste is way to malty and has a bad foam head. Has the taste of skunked beer that has gone bad months go.

Every Monday the brewery has $1 pints night. Maybe they are giving us what we pay for.

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Photo of obrike
3.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one was left over in my cooler after a Halloween party.

Hazy amber/honey with a fairly small head...just a bit of lace on this one.

Getting some mild sweet caramel malt but faint...really not much else, not looking so promising.

Wow...this is pretty boring... mild and minimally sweet bready malt character...a little bitterness in the aftertaste, but very little hops coming through. Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation. This one is pretty easy to drink, but it's not exactly a beer with character. You can certainly find many more apt choices if you're looking for an amber or red ale.

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Photo of magine
3.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber, lots of bubbles make up a small off white patchy head. Decent lace clings. Pretty good looks.

Brew smells of light caramel malts and some minimal hops. Average nose.

Brew is a little thin; light caramel malts and mild cocoa are detected. Mild peppery hops with a subtle mellow finish. A decent, but forgettable brew.

This one is pretty good for a non beer geek. A decent non offensive brew.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.67/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this flat dull beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was cloudy looking and poured a very poor head. The smelled smelled pretty good, kinda sweet like caramel candy. I had high hopes. However the taste was fruity kinda like spoiled wine. I will not buy this beer again, it was terrible.

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Photo of sommersb
3.47/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-17-2012
Freshness: Unknown
Packaging: Draft
Glassware: Shaker pint
Purchased: Hotel lobby

Had this on tap on my hotel stay in Denver.

Appearance is a clear amber/brown beer with average lacing. Aromas are malty and sweet, but not overly so.

Taste is smooth and malty, with a nice nut flavoring as well. Some earthy hops are there but this is not a bitter tasting beer.

Refreshing and clean, the brewery's website says this is their best-selling beer. That probably has something to do with the simple and easy-drinking aspect of it. I thought it was very pleasant and went down nice with my dinner.

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Photo of sonata2008
2.18/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Rusty gold copper. A slight bit cloudy with some lacing. About 1/2" of foam. Some bubbles rising up.
Smell: A definite malt smell like rising bread. Not much else.
Taste: Malt taste up front, but needs to be stronger. Almost tastes watered down. No hops presence. Could have used some hops to give a little zip. Comes across rather bland.
Mouthfeel: Very light mouthfeel.
Overall: Seems strangely mild and bland for an amber. It's OK, but certainly not my favorite amber.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Arrives a dark amber, almost brown, color with an off-white head that drops to a film. Great lacng left behind.
Smell is pear, malt and yeast. The pear part is odd. No indication that it even is an intended part of the flavor profile.
Taste is pear, yeast, malt and tortilla chips. Again, what is with the pear note? Odd note for this style.
Almost medium bodied with a faint effervescence as I've come to expect with cask ales. Decent but gotta say, after almost a half dozen, I'm not loving the cask. Even with familiar brews they are coming across weak and almost watery. The lower carbonation is fine but where does the body go?

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Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.