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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

439 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 439
Hads: 1,208
rAvg: 3.19
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 10
Gots: 178 | 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.
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Reviews: 439 | Hads: 1,208
Photo of gabedivision
3.11/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- clean, chestnut/amber,finger inch white head.

S-sweet grains, light caramel,slightly metallic, no hop presence

T- sweet grainy malt, copper pennies.

M- light bodied, smooth and clean.

O- really not much going on with this beer, not offensive by any means just bland. Can't see myself tryin this beer out again. (321 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
2.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours a very cloudy shade of dark orange/light brown with a paper thin offwhite head that quickly fades. Looks pretty gross IMO

S- lots of caramel malt coming through. Nearly a complete bomb of it, but actually pretty good smelling

T- very malty. Slightly sweet. Hoppiness is nil. Pretty much your stereotypical, boring amber ale

M- thin bodied. Meh

O- amber ales as a whole are pretty boring, and this one does absolutely nothing to stand out from the bunch (506 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.18/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy dark copper to light amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a couple of small patches of thick film on the surface and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with just a hint of graininess. Light notes of malty sweetness.

T: This beer is a malt bomb with lots of toasted, caramel, and grainy malt flavors but very little hop to balance it out. The beer is lightly sweet from the malts.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink but I would prefer this beer to be a little more hoppy - it is just a malt bomb and is not as well balanced as I would like. This is definitely sessionable. (845 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.85/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I had this a few years ago on a ski trip, and I remembered it about how it is today, a good amber. Some ambers are much prettier, but thisis still nice. A little cloudy and thin looking. The aroma is faint and nothing special. The taste is inoffensive. It does not taste too sweet nor too hoppy, actually, more hops and more malt would be nice improvement.

The beer is well made with no defects, and the slight bitterness and lack of excessive sweetness would make this a good session beer. (499 characters)

Photo of TownDunkel
4.15/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Avalanche Amber Ale - I am a fan of Colorado beers and wanted to give this a shot

Appearance - A beautiful brown to (copper) red amber ale. The head pours light brown which is a pretty one.

Smell - A nice earthy to a sweet carmel smell that permeates the mug.

Taste - I am fan of this complex amber ale! The initial flavor of almost too complex and hoppy turns into a nice grassy and carmel flavor that sits happily in my mouth

Mouthfeel - A mouthfeel needs a bit more, maybe a bit more carbonation would make this beer

Overall - This is a nice daily drinker for any season (578 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
4.22/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a thin creamy head and amber color. Clear. Aroma is clean and sweet malt and slight butter. Flavor is a mild and very tasty biscuit, caramel, sweet malty mixture offset by unobtrusive bittering hops. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and CO2 is a pleasant low level. Overall, this is a balanced, mild amber session brew that I would put in my kegerator in a heartbeat. (369 characters)

Photo of Giggy
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle

A: amber pour with a slight white head. Nice and clear.

S: malts and grains. Smells like your basic amber

T: slightly sweet, not much hops. Caramel malty flavors dominate.

M/O: easy to drink. Nothing special. Not to memorable. This is a beer that you could drink several in a row. (298 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.42/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled.

A) Amber... Minimal head and poor retention. No lacing noted.

S) Aroma of toasted bread and a little caramel sweetness.

T) Near the nose flavor wise. A bit more earthy. The hops does come through with a bit of a grassy finish.

M) Seemed a medium body with soft carbonation. Came off a bit flat. Easy drinking...

O) Decent, but quite forgettable. There are many Amber Ales I prefer, so I don't see myself heading back to this one any time soon. (494 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left a bit of bubbles on the surface and a very thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is rather malty with aromas of caramel, grainy and toasted malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has some initial malty sweetness and flavors of caramel, grainy and toasted malts. Not much in the way of bitterness is noticeable. The grainy malts seem to stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth and a bit thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer would probably pair well with food but no more much than that. It really needs some more hops to make this a beer that would be interesting to drink on its own. (838 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4.33/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Breckenridge Avalanche Ale

Appearance: amber, medium-large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: slight hops, rich malts, and grain.

Taste: rich biscuity malt, sweet grain, and a faint hop.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

This is a tasty ale. It is also seems lighter than it is. It has a low ABV and can be drank in large quantities. (342 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a slightly hazed amber color with a large creamy off- white head with great lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is a lot of biscuity malt, caramel and jus a touch of hops. The aroma is predominately malty with little hop presence.

T- The taste like the aroma is predominately malty with sweet biscuity malt and caramel with a very moderate hop presence in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. 

O- Overall, Avalanche Amber is a pretty solid malty amber that is worth a try. (560 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with one finger of head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Light lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma of caramel and grape juice. Not that appealing.

The flavor is an improvement over the aroma, but not much. Definately on the sweeter side of the ale spectrum. Caramel malt, nuts, and fruit esters are the dominant flavors. Hard to identify any hop flavor but I would say it is floral and herbal.

Solid body with good, well paired carbonation. Smooth texture.

This is a flashback to the birth of craft beer movement type of amber ale. Does not appeal to this drinker anymore. (606 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
2.92/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a clear copper color with a quickly fading finger of white head.

The aroma gives off some sweet bready malt characters with hints of fruity hops in the background. A bit lackluster. The pallet is a bit more of the same. Some sweet bready malts come forward with just a little bit of a bitter hop bite in the finish.

The body is light with good carbonation. Overall this one isn't very impressive. I wouldn't say it's bad but there are much better offerings. (501 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: Mild aroma of malt sweetness and a bit nutty. Nothing bad just a bit bland.

T: Moderate flavor of caramel sweetness, nuts and a bit tart. Nominal bitterness with a fairly clean finish. Again just a bit bland.

F: Fairly moderate body, smooth and a bit creamy. Just needs a bit more character.

:O: Easy drinker, good for a few. If it was only just a bit more robust. (446 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
2.5/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A hazy, dark amber with a quick burst of off-white foam that immediately drops to a thin ring, leaving no lacing.

From a tulip glass, one perceives caramelized sugar that is almost charred. Malt influences are all that I can discern and they are rather simple at that.

A sweet, malty mess. I am not really finding any distinct flavors, save perhaps unsweetened, powdered tea. The finish is lingering and pasty.

Light body with a watery texture and fizzy carbonation. This one is reminiscent of peppermint toothpaste and orange juice. The bottle lists a 4.4% ABV.

This one is not worth a second look. It is just another beer on the shelf. While I finished this bottle, it is clearly intended for those who do not discern the nuances of flavor or aroma. It is possible that this bottle was out of date, but that certainly cannot explain its overall mediocre nature. (867 characters)

Photo of capt_rob934
3.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(11/06/2011) Poured into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass. Not much head.

A: Very nutty aroma

C: Classic Amber color

Sip: Very nutty, not too dark, not really any hop character

OV: Good sipping beer especially for people who may not be really into craft beer yet. (267 characters)

Photo of paulginva
2.97/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a bottle into a pint glass, produced a white dense, frothy 1/2" head that dissipated somewhat slowly leaving thin head lacing. Carbonation was moderate in a clear amber body.

AROMA: Moderate hops and caramel malt. Kind of an average aroma -- nothing spectacular.

TASTE: Same as the aroma: moderate floral hops with a bit of pine and grass, together with light caramel malts, a bit of fruit and a hint of spices. Nice, but pretty ordinary.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer has a moderate body with a smooth texture, soft carbonation and very little body lacing that dissipates quickly. The initial flavor is somewhat sweet with a very light touch of bitterness and a lightly bitter finish with a hint of dryness to it that lasted for a moderate length of time, leaving a slightly metallic aftertaste.

DRINKABILITY: Easy to drink and repeatable, this beer is fairly well balanced but it doesn't have a very distinct profile. The malts are a bit to sweet and leave a sort of metallic aftertaste which is a little off-putting. It needs more distinctive flavors and, with all of the really good amber ales that are readily available, I probably won't buy or serve it again. (1,195 characters)

Photo of stampfler07
3.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear amber with a one-finger, lacy, off-white head

S- Good sweet malt aroma, light tartness reminiscent of green apple

T- Malt sweetness forward, some tartness similar to the green apple smell, next a touch of bitterness comes in and fades, nice chewy caramel grain flavor on the finish and aftertaste

M- Light carbonation, moderate body, very smooth and clean

O- Very enjoyable brew, the drinkability is great and the flavors are just strong enough and varied enough to hold interest but mellow overall (511 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the ale gave a reddish brown color with a slight off-white head. From the pint glass, any aroma was mild. It could be best described as a malty aroma. The taste was a mild, chalky malt flavor. The texture was interesting for an amber ale. The flavor was much of the same in the aftertaste, though it did tend to veer toward a more bitter note.

By definition, this amber ale is fairly average for the style. A drinker that likes amber ales would likely find it acceptable. Most drinkers need not have it more than once. (559 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.65/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-gold with a frothy head into my glass. It looks like the style at the least.

Sweet malt dominates the nose with a scant notice of hops. Not bad.

Ditto for the taste. This is malt-forward, albeit slightly cloying. The hops are firmly in the background and do add a bit of heat to the back.

Mouthfeel is tolerable with a good mix of malt and hops. As mentioned, finishes a bit "hot". Must be what I ate beforehand.

Not bad. An accessible winter seasonal for those who prefer such a thing. (511 characters)

Photo of Looneybiz
4.14/5  rDev +29.8%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of denver10
3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am very hit and miss with this one when via the bottle and more times than notits a miss. Pours amber with a minimal prickly white head. Smell is diluted but what is there is on the sweet side from the malts. Flavor wise is usually a watered down caramel malt sweetness, just a pinch of hops at the end. When I do get a good bottle, though, I find that like it a lot and it is one of my favorite ambers. Moutfeel is medium bodied with some carbonation. Overall, I stopped buying this one because I was finding I was getting watery batches way too frequently. (560 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.18/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottling info. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a fairly dense 2 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, bready grain, light citrus, and spiciness. Fairly nice aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, bready grains, herbal spiciness, pine, and a bit of citrus. Decent bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bready grains, herbal spiciness, and light caramel. The breadiness and grain flavors are a bit odd. Decent amount of flavor, but it does come off as a bit watery. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with some prickly carbonation. Very smooth to drink at 4.4%, with no alcohol presence. Overall this is an ok amber ale. A little too bready, and not as much hop character as I would like. Easy to drink though. (874 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.06/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this since I haven't had too many Winter offerings lately and this was one of the few Breckenridge's that I had yet to try. This may be categorized as an American Amber but the hops certainly aren't here and had it not been for the hue, I wouldn't know what to categorize this as. This is a malt bomb and went down too easily - not having any burn or spice to remember this by.

The pour was the best part to this - with a bright amber hue, decent head, and just a bit of lacing to be seen. Not much of an aroma to here except for some macro malts and a biscuit-like base underneath. Ditto for the taste, with just a hint of caramel and cinnamon to liven things up. The mouthfeel was thin and there was practically no aftertaste too, which is not how I like my beers this time of the year.

It's hard to believe that there's any alcohol in this since I couldn't taste it and the carbonation was practically nonexistent. This beer reminded me a bit of the Agave Wheat since the back was so light and had a bit of that fruit-type feel to it. This is only worth a try for the die-hard Breckenridge fans and although I like these guys for the lighter offerings that they bring to the table, this just didn't cut it for me. (1,242 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this at a bar on 49th and 8th in NYC. I don't remember the bar, but they had at least 24 taps and two hand pulls. I will be back once they get up to speed. They were open for one week, and they had no beer lists or casks loaded on the handpulls.

I ordered the Avalanche ale blind. I knew the brewery from their IPA's, but I didn't know this beer.

The coloring is a darker yellow. There was plenty of foam.

The smell and flavor is like an english ale. I would have marked it higher for flavor and smell, but it doesn't match the category. It was like a better tasting Bass ale.

It was decently sessionable, but not great overall. (639 characters)

Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.