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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,139
Reviews: 437
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 9
Gots: 111 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,139 | Reviews: 437 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Metalmonk
2.76/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an almost two-finger head of very creamy off-white foam. Liquid is a glassy, bubble-filled amber, as advertised, so it's off to a pretty good start.

Nose is a bit lackluster. Has an almost lager-ish essence, something I can't totally put my finger on, but I do think "red lager" rather than "amber ale." Very mild hints of sweet spices (cinnamon, brown sugar) and a bit of a musty, almost sea-weedy sort of smell. Not offensive, just nothing that great.

Not a great taste. While it offers nothing totally offensive, on the other hand it offers nothing much to report. Watery cinnamon and brown sugar, plus a slightly metallic tinge, and a plastic-y finish. Very little to comment on otherwise. Kinda blah.

Thin body, although not watery. Not even propped up very well by carbonation.

Alright, "nothing offensive" I said, although "blah" is, in my beer-world, offensive. But rather than get all huffy about it, I'll just not buy the stuff again. Easy, over 'n' out...

Photo of ckollias
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Copper amber ale in color with a thin, white, head that quickly dissipates and leaves a thin wispy lace.

S: Caramel and malt aromas fills the nose.

T: A sweet and slightly tart brew with dominant caramel and malt flavors. Mild hints of hops and fruits in the backgrounds.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Just an ok amber ale – nothing special or something I will remember.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber color with one-finger white head that lasted less than a minute. Nob much lacing.

S: Toasted malt and some fruit. Caramel and yeast.

T: Light sweetness and bitterness. Not much flavor. Malty finish is nice but barely detectable.

M: Light bodied with soft carbonation. Kind of watery.

O: Pretty drinkable amber ale. Average appearance and taste. Mouthfeel wasn't that great.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is amber hued with a small head. The aroma brings some sweet malt and hints of fruit. the flavor is alright. Slightly sweet, malty, and generally uneventful. A light hop presence emerges in the finish, with a soft bitterness (possibly the most exciting aspect of the beer). The body is relatively thin, with minimal alcohol presence. The flavor dissipates quickly after each swallow. Overall, this beer is unoffensive but really bland. I'll finish my pint, but I don't see myself having this again.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy amber with crimson hues. 1.5 finger frothy head with some lace. Good retention.

S: mild sweet caramel malt but faint.

T: Mostly a mild and minimally sweet malt character. Mostly breads and mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

O: Its very easy to drink as there are no offense flavors however there is little to no character either. Though not bad, nothing stands out making this on a C+ or so "decent" beer.

Photo of Bockrules
3.12/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy coppery amber with a half finger off-white head that quickly disappears. An occasional bubble rising to the surface amidst a few floaties is the only carbonation to be seen. Leaves behind a splotch or two of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt with some brown sugar and maybe a hint of apricot.

T - Sweet caramel upfront. Hops are present in the body and do a decent job of balancing out the sweetness, but turn sort of a musty sour as the beer sits in your mouth. A bit more hops as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads to a bready, caramel aftertaste.

M - Moderate bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Could be thicker with a tad more CO2.

Picked up the beer during a APS conference in Denver my Junior year of undergrad. It's been sitting in my various fridges ever since. Other beers have survived this amount of cellaring quite well (around 2.5 years) and I checked my review with others to see similar observations. Therefore, this review stands and this beer is in general a sub-par, lackluster example of an amber.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear copper color with no head or lace. The aroma is of fruit and toast with a hint of toffee. It's flavor has caramel, dough, and hoppy fruit notes with a touch of root beer in the finish. It has a medium-light mouthfeel with very mild carbonation. Breckenridge Avalanche Ale is a good beer, dry, and refreshing. Recommended.

Photo of Winter
2.58/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Avalanche pours amber in color, with a khaki head. Not much on the nose; some malted grain. The mouthfeel is thin in body. This is a watered down (weak-ass) amber ale. The taste is very bland. Light caramel with a slight malt flavor. There isn't much else going on here.

I like Breckenridge, as I think they do have some flavorful and creative offerings. Unfortunately, their flagship beer leaves much to be desired.

Photo of weller1js
3.77/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours a hazy golden amber, lightly carbonated, slight creamy foam with similar ring of lacing.

smell: very toasty malts, buttery hop notes, very pleasant.

taste: begins like the scent, malt notes are very toasting, with notes of hops coming off as buttering with a slight tangyness that becomes lightly bitter at the finish.

overall: this is the first Breckenridge that did not build my hopes up with the look and smell only to dissapoint me in the taste; nothing spectacular but also fairly drinkable.

Photo of dcall384
4.15/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured out of a can into a pint glass. Poured a cloudy orange color. About a finger width of head that lasted a while, and had nice lacing on the glass.

S- Not a whole lot of smell to it. Had a mild smell of hops and a hint of carmel.

T- The taste was better than expected. The beer had a nice mild bitterness with a hint of carmel.

M- Texture felt like an average ale nothing special.

O- I was actually surprised by this beer. I usually don't care for amber ales, but this one was mild and refreshing.

Photo of wo87810
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
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 AEArider
3.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bright, translucent amber; little head, lacing to match. Most enjoyable part of this beer is the smell. . . sweet and nutty aromas, hints of brown sugar. The taste, unfortunately, didn't impress as much. The overall flavor seemed a bit thin. The hop profile didn't come through much in the aroma, and didn't exist much in the taste, less a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. I expected more noticeable sweetness, but it just didn't come through. The mouthfeel was relatively thin, but the lightness accompanied by a good amount of carbonation gave an overall sessionable feel.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The flagship beer and last one to try in the mixed pack. Pours a cloudy orange, nice little head to it. Bit of a macro beer smell to it.. uh oh. Taste is medium bodied, surprisingly good mouthfeel. Well balanced with a nice bit of hops to it, super drinkable and really hits the spot. I know this may be the 'generic mass produced micro' for this brewery, but for some reason I find it delicious and really refreshing. Yummy and no frills, give it a try.

Photo of horshack7
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Out of a twelve ounce bottle pours a nice amber with redish hues around the edges. Along with that is a twinge of haziness topped with a fingers worth of frothy head.

Aroma: Bits of grain, caramel malts, with little notes of citrus hop. It has a straight forward and balanced aroma all the way around.

Taste: At the start it's malty but then it balances out with the hops. A relatively smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation. Notes of grain all through it such a balanced beer.

Notes: The first time I had this beer was about ten years ago then I had it again a couple years later. This time I was lucky enough to find this one at New England Wine and Spirits in Newburyport. It's as tasty as it ever was which is very good. Cheers.

Photo of beerthulhu
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A dull burgundy-amber pour sits in the glass with an easy clarity revealing a medium sense of effervesce. The head is disappointing, a washy beige coloring with an equally washy composition which hardly gathers enough strength to form before it fizzes out before the last bit exits the bottle. Lacing is thin and spotty with a slight speckled reminder that leaves you with an overall average regards.

S: Dull fruitiness of semi-dry apple skins, caramel grains, and a light kiss of thirsty lemon. Light in strength it was hard to get a good appreciation of this unless you happen to be a bloodhound.

T: Sweet caramel grains, buttery toast with a light lemony hopping appears for flavor. Toasted sweet wit a light citrus hopping that gets progressively more prominent on the finish, however it feels like it gets a bit thin as well. Grassy and hay notes appear upon warming.

M: The mouthful was light, sweet and toasty with a lemony fade off the tongue. Light regards carbonation wise.

O: Overall a sweet toasted flavor with moderate regards but falls a bit short in other aspects (appearance, aroma), which shouldn’t be a problem for the average drinker. Don’t know if I could recommend this by the six pack.

Photo of jwc215
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed tea-like amber with a thin white head that partially disappears after the first sip, but mostly hangs around. Thin, spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of mild toast with light herbal notes.

The taste is mild - slight toast with a touch of tea. I could have mistaken this as an attempt at an English Bitter. Dryish finish.

The body is a bit watery, but enough of a light-to-medium body to hit "average".

It is easy enough to drink, though nothing exciting. An average-ish brew.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided on a six of this last week while brewing some of my own beer.
An auburn color with almost no head. The aroma is weak with just a small amount of lightly burnt caramel malt. No hops are present. The flavor is crisp and light with the faintly burnt malt carrying over from the nose. Some grassy hops but only slightly. Ice cold this beer goes down smooth. Overall this tastes like a borderline adjunct.

Photo of chaz01
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint glass from Archers Tavern, served in a Breckenridge glassware you get to keep ( special promotion ).

A Medium to dark amber color, thick creamy head that recedes to a color.

S: Bready, malty aroma, little hops detected.

T: Very bready and biscuit flavors with some grain notes. Little hops, and a faint malt aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: Somewhat average beer, not bad but nothing special.

Photo of depechemode1983
3.12/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper in color. Light tan head that's gone right quick and in a hurry. Little dots of lacing. Pretty average. Nose is biscuity with some floral hops. Hmmmm. Not to complex but strong. Taste is bitter and a bit sharp around the edges. Has some medicinal properties in the background. Light bodied with high carbonation. Which makes it even less refined. Slightly above average. Got this in a Sampler 12 pack. At 8 to 9 dollars I would not buy a six pack. Worth a try though.

Photo of Billolick
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
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 secondtooth
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clean amber in color, with a nice off-white (almost tan) head. Decent lace.

Aroma is biscuits and yeast. Like freshly baked bread maybe.

Tastes much the same - bread. A hint of roastiness and a minimal hop snap at the finish. Straight-forward and sturdy, and a solid session amber ale.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.26/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Definitely amber, with an almost orange hue to it. Bright and crisp-looking with medium carbonation. Head is non-existent; very thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass. There's something very...canned...about this beer.

Smell: Extraordinary. Cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet bread, raisins, just a hint of hops. The only thing throwing it off is this somewhat out-of-place alcohol contingency.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very malty on the tongue right from the get-go. Purple fruit flavor just before the carbonation explosion. Spices/herbs melt nicely into a gentle/floral hop bouquet. Aftertaste is gently bitter due to the hops, and the beer leaves only a touch of hop oil after imbibing. Nice!

Overall: Better than average...I don't know how this only has a C+ rating at the time of this posting...it's really good.

Photo of rawfish
2.74/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a good shade of amber slightly hazy with very little head, generous half a finger. No retention or lacing to speak of.

Smell is one dimensional malt forward, awfully like honey poured on a biscuit. Not a very noticeable hop profile either, a little bit of pine needles that's all. The honey sweetness is really pronounced.

Um... that strong honey aroma on the nose is gone in the taste replaced by a thin malt profile, bready, caramel malts, simple in presentation and very light. Small hop presence adds very little to the taste, some herbal flavors but does not affect the bitterness or the after taste. Somewhat dry, crisp, no aftertaste or mouthcoating. I know this is made to be sessionable but there is very little here in the way of flavor.

Probably the thinnest mouth feel I've ever had on a craft beer it's somewhat salvaged by a nice crisp carbonation but to little affect as there is very little flavor here to appreciate.

I was under the impression that this beer also had a cult following like another CO amber but I was very disappointed by the lack of taste here, balance is achieved by minimizing. At least it does a good impression of the Beatles, "Help! I need some BODY."

Photo of Jwale73
2.84/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. Pours a translucent amber with a quarter inch, loose, fizzy, off-white head that sizzles and dissipates into a sudsy skim. Nose is not much to write home about - cereal grains and a trace of noble hops if I had to guess. Taste follows nose and culminates in a slightly bready aftertaste. There's also a faint citrus character present. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively effervescence and a crisp finish. A pretty lackluster American Amber - closer to a macro in taste and smell. I'm going to need to wash this one down with a Cascazilla.

Photo of SuperSpy
2.6/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber with very little visible activity. A small, short-lived, off-white head.

S - Sweet. Biscuit and toast. Not very pronounced.

T - The flavor isn't bad, but it leaves a lot to be desired. It starts a little sweet with some toasted malt but is then quickly rounded out by a hint of floral hop flavor that finishes on a whimper of a flat lifeless mouthfeel.

M - Little carbonation, almost a bit watery. There really isn't anything exciting in the mouthfeel.

D - I wouldn't send this beer back but I wouldn't order another. There is nothing technically wrong with this beer but it is so boring. I understand that the style should be expected to be well balanced but there is almost nothing to balance here. The beer is not just middle of the road, which would be understandable, it's like it never really bothers to leave the driveway.

Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,139 ratings.