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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,150 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,150
Reviews: 437
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 10
Gots: 125 | 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: 1,150 | Reviews: 437 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dave128
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - A rigorous pour yields a measly 1 finger head that fizzes away quickly. Cloudy amber in color. No lace. Barely a ring around the glass.

S - Smells pretty basic. Biscuity smells.

T - Also very basic. I can't really taste much hops. Dry malt character without much else to balance it.

M - Thin and appropriately carbonated.

O - This is what I call a "wash it down" beer. Its got simple flavors and equates to not much more than a beverage to go with dinner.

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.34/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Clear orange amber color. A little over one finger of white, fairly dense froth. Retention is average and a small ring of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Mainly dusty and a little metalllic. A sickly fruitiness, earthy hops, and some caramel.

2.0 T: It tastes almost as bad as it smells. Strange combo of caramel, metal, graininess, and earthy hops. Lightly toasty.

3.5 M: Light body. Though I wish the body was thicker, I can't complain about the creaminess it offers. Good moderate carbonation. Best aspect of the brew, easily.

2.5 D: This is a not-quite-mediocre brew. I'll pass on it from now on.

Photo of iSip
2.91/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche Ale: I have fond memories of good times at the original Breckenridge Brewery in Breckenridge. It has been a while since I have had an Avalanche Ale, and needing to bring a six pack over to a friends for dinner was my opportunity to re-visit is brew. The mahogany brown body is almost clear, with very light carbonation. The off-white head is thin, and the aroma is very faint, almost not there. The color makes you expect a heavy malty roasty brew, but the flavor and feel is actually quite light, with a mild malt flavor and a light bitterness throughout. No flower y hops here! This is very much an English style ale. Quite drinkable, but my taste in beer has moved on to brews with more complexity.

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

A: Brown-amber with a decent white head up top.

S: Mild caramel; a little hoppiness. Sweet.

T: Attenuated; caramel again; some hop flavor; fruity. Resiny like tea.

MF: Hops to balance. A bit watery.

D: Drinkable, but lacks depth. Somewhere in the middle. Not that interesting, but certainly decent.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a decent amber. a malty sturdy nose, malty sweet red pour with a respectable off-white head, quick grainy mild finish, medium body. nothing remarkable in an otherworldly sense, yet a repeatably satisfying drink. 6pack no worries, its just above average, but good vibes...

Photo of tbern007
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy red/copper, lots of carbonation, thick tan head that remains thick for a while. Good lacing. Good appearance.
Scent is what I expect: malty, earthy, some hops come through but mostly a caramel malt.
T - it's a red. Earthy, caramel malt, there are a little bitter hops at the end.
M - lighter than expected.
Overall decent. A little bitter at the end. Could be fuller.

Photo of atr2605
2.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours light amber/copper color with an off white head that has fairly poor retention.
S- moderate hop aroma with a subtle caramel malt aroma
T- pretty well balanced but the hops don't have a real distinct profile and the malt is a little sweet but has a slight metallic flavor
M- medium-light body with a fair amount of carbonation
O- falls short overall. Needs more distinguishing flavors and better head retention. Drinkable but would have to be at the right price to buy again

Photo of dankster
2.77/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really cant get into this brew or the brewery on any of their beers.

A- Cloudy dark brown with ok head

S- Some hops not sure what but more malt with a floral hue.

T- not good at all for the style imo. Flat carb after only 1 min. very soupy aftertaste with harsh finish. Biscut malt is very weak and offer's not much. some dark friut noticed

M- Dry and sticky. taste lingers to much to enjoy much else without a good meal in between.

O- Will not buy again. i love my local brews but this one kicked me in the nuts. I hope they can do better with other's i might try.

Photo of blakelive784
2.53/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into standard pint glass -
A - light, hazy amber/copper color with a thin, off white head. Decent retention and no lacing.

S - sweet caramel malts and some fruity esters. Generic cascade hops nose finishes the aroma.

T - toasted malts predominate. Extremely muddy. Generic bittering hops fade into a watery finish. Lackluster at best.

M - medium bodied and thick. Mouthfeel doesn't compliment flavors.

D - not a great example of the style. It's drinkable but I think I'd pass in this one.

Photo of Chaney
3.06/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks you Huhzubendah (Matt) for handing me one of these as I walked out the door after a tasting!

A: Very murky, reddish-brown color, with a 1/3 finger or so head that retained its froth for a good bit after a hard pour.

S: I got a bit of rusted metal upfront that kind of concerned me. Aside from that: mild floral, citrus puffs and malt.

T: A bit thin and devoid of hop bitterness... more of a candy sugar concoction, with a good bit of malt. It needs a lot more pine overall.

M: Very low in carbonation and not much lacing. After a few sips, I got more bread than fruit.

O: This was a tad disappointing.... but I've had worse.

Photo of Flounder57
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: very little head, little carbonation, and orange/amber color. Not too inviting.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts. I can't really notice anything else.

Taste: Sweet malts again with a light hop profile. A little but of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, easy drinking, light on the palate. Medium bodied and a medium carbonation.

Overall: Just an average drinkable beer here folks. Easy drinking, but lacking flavor and character. I wonder if it loses some of its flavor on the way over here from Colorado.

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.

Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.