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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,090 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,090
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 8
Gots: 81 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,090 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillyBoysPie
2.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Came in a (rather disappointing) Breckenridge Ales Sampler. Poured into a pint glass.

One inch white head. Beer is the color of a dark caramel sauce and is not transparent. Some lacing, but low head retention.

Smells like an Amber Ale should, but doesn't have anything that is experimental or any depth. Nice malty/caramel smell with a bit of clean piney hops. The hops impart a very crisp quality to the beer - but I'm not sure pine and caramel are a great pairing option.

The taste is fine - except for the odd sweet bit at the very end of the experience. It seems that every drink I take is caramel and pine followed by sugar. I found it off-putting, but not enough to not finish.

Carbonation is nice, and not too much. It adds to the clean bit of pine from the hops.

I won't be buying this again, but wouldn't turn down a free one. If you're an Amber Ale fan - like me - you'll be better served looking elsewhere. If you like the idea of caramel and pine - buy it.

BillyBoysPie, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of climax
2.25/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

*Breckenridge's website claimed an ABV of 5.41%

Avalanche poured an amber/brown with good clarity into my pint glass. Head was good, chunky as it sunk down slowly, very nice.

Unfortunately appearance was the high point. Nose was weak and uninspiring, smelled like beer, maybe a bit biscuity. To be more specific, smelled like the remaining swill that had been sitting out overnight....

Taste was about the same as the nose in terms of what it had goin for it....not much. Taste was kinda sour and skunky. I tried to dig some good out of it, but couldn't.

Body was light, feel was kind of dry.... err yea. It looked good, but the buck stopped there. I was thirsty so I drank it.

climax, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of becktone
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes 9-1-09

Eye: Copper colored and very clear. The big let down here is the poor, very poor head formation and retention. I mean there was no formation and is no head. Sad, very sad.

Nose: Slight grainy notes and some caramel notes as well. Candied apple aroma comes through. Really not all that complex, pretty straight forward. Average amber ale.

Tongue: Really quite uninteresting on the tongue. Not really much of anything going on. Fairly bland. Maybe hints at caramel notes. Some phenols from the yeast make it through, though its hard to put a finger on what they are. They come right out, there's nothing to hide them, I'm not a big fan of what is going on with them. Hard to describe cause there really isn't all that much popping out here. I mean this is beer, but it don't have all that much character. Just a plain type of beer, nothing special about it nothing damning.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium bodied on the palate, enhanced so by the low level of carbonation. This one finishes very clean. It is easy to drink and I can see this easily being a session beer. I wouldn't go in search of this beer, but I'd not be afraid to buy it either. I'll definitely be trying others before coming back to this one. Not bad but not great, just average.

becktone, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.63/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

tigg924, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. There is a space to notch a bottled on date, but there are no notches.

A - Clear pale amber, the nucleation point keeps carbonation running up the center . It poured with a thin head that reduced to a ring quickly and left some off-white arches of lacing.

S - Toasty amber malts populate the aroma with a more forward hop nose. Crisp and light with a floral hint that's also a bit grassy.

T - The toasty amber malts provide a good malt backbone for the hops but really contribute little as far as flavor. A bit one-dimensional. Good hop finish though. A grassy touch to the earthy hops.

M - It starts smooth and progresses to a dry finish with a good level of carbonation that's not forward. It's a medium-bodied ale.

D - Decent flavor coupled with great drinkability means score for this beer! Perfect for a sessioner that tastes good but one you don't have to think about.

BeerFMAndy, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Rayek
3.55/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber with nice clarity and minimal carbonation. Foamy eggshell cap starts small and doesn't stick long. Leaves decent lace.

S: Quite sweet initially. Caramel really stuck out at first. A lemon and pepper hop aroma came in late.

T: Basic, but pretty decent. Again, it starts sweet with caramel and toffee. Hops provide pepper bitterness that has a touch of lemon to it. The bitterness could stand to be a bit higher. Finishes rather clean.

M: Medium-light body has about the right amount of fizz.

D: For me, this is a decent session beer. It goes down easily enough. A little more complexity would be nice.

Rayek, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of hosehead83
3.95/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass
Deep amber/copper in color with nice, foamy head
Aroma-Some earthy hops and biscuit
Taste-Biscuit with some subtle spiciness and hop notes-clean finish
Overall, nothing crazy here, fresh and drinkable, would make a nice session beer

hosehead83, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
2.83/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - good looking brew out of a can! deep copper w/ a large 2.5 finger head of initial pour, not the best retention though as the sexy head quickly fades.

S - nice sweet caramel malt aroma, very yeasty w/ a nice bready/biscuit scent

T - not bad, much like the aroma, but a bit thinner than i would like. lackin a bit on body and flavor.

MF - thin and watered down. not much depth or body

D - refreshing and sessionable if said drinker isn't looking for something with a whole lot of taste. this one was promising in the nose, but falls flat in the taste and mouthfeel dept.

sorry Breckenridge, i won't be seeking this one out again.

bonsreeb85, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of jacobseyb
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=darker amber/copper color, with a white one finger head

S=initial malts followed by some faint bitterness

T=initially malty with bitterness following. not anything that is very bold

M=light carbonation with little oiliness on the feel

D=drinkable, though I would probably go elsewhere most times.

jacobseyb, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of PhxHorn
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a pretty orange color with one finger of white head. Smells of malt, bread, and a hint of fruit. Tastes initially of malt, some fruit alongs the lines of a belgian. As I worked my way through it, the flavor seemed to become less interesting than at the first. No flaws, just no complexity that you expect when it warms. Carbonation is solid, and this is very drinkable, but nothing special for an amber.

PhxHorn, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of kflorence
3.55/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper, amber color with a small layer of head atop that leaves lacing around the glass as you drink. Looks to have a nice carbonation level.

S: Smells of roasted malts, hops, grain, nuts and biscuits; a pleasing wintry aroma.

T: The taste is similar to the smell. Lots of malts up front with that lovely biscuit flavor and definite hop presence. Fairly well balanced, though I would say slightly malt dominant (which is fine by me).

M: While it does have a medium body, it comes off a bit watery in the mouth. It actually hits the tongue with a bit of body and gets watery as it sits and goes down. Makes it a little lighter for drinking, but it would be nice if it were a bit creamier.

D: Good taste, medium to light body and easy to drink. I could easily drink a few of these without feeling overly full. Overall, a pretty tasty amber ale, but nothing spectacular.

kflorence, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

CAN you believe it?!? It came in a CAN and I was the first to review it in a CAN! Love them CANs. Here we go ...

A wide-mouth opening allowed the beer to freely pour when held in the famous bartender's inverted position. Seriously, if you want a beer to have a great head and really open up its aroma, crack the can and hold it upside down into a pint glass. I got a finger of rocky ecru head with decent retention. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was very malty sweet, perfect if you like that sort fo thing. Mouthfeel wa medium and it was less sweet on the tongue than what I expected from the nose. Very nice! Finish was really smooth, slightly dry. In an amber! Zounds!

Beach/Shore: Ten Fidy is getting shut out. I have had so many really good CANned micros that to take a monster like that would be criminal. I am going to write a short, fictional mystery story ala Hitchcock about a wife who gives her hubby a sendoff with Ten Fidy at the beach. This is much more suitable for a day on the beach.

woodychandler, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of maddogruss
3.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this from a buddy.

A: Pours a crisp, dark amber body with a small, off-white head with ok retention and lacing until the finish. As I drank it, the retention slowed significantly to a slight ring around the top of the beer.

S: A very sweet, almost juice-like, malty smell with some roasted toffee notes.

T: An interesting blend of roasted toffee malts that were also a little buttery. There was some sweet fruity notes that tasted a little bit like apple or pear.

M: A fairly light bodied beer that was still pretty crisp. Pretty nice feeling beer on the palette for the style.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combination that was pretty easy drinking. A decent amber ale all around and worth a go.

maddogruss, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of Drew966
3.4/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Breckenridge Avalanche Ale pours an amber color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the malty end. The flavor is malty and there is a touch of hops. This beer is nothing special, but it's easy enough to drink, decent session beer.

Drew966, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber in color with a 1/4" head that breaks apart immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: light amounts of caramel and ripe fruits are barely detectable.

Taste: bready malt profile here. Caramel, ripe plums, and a soft bitterness make up a rather average tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp at the start and smooth late. Very little aftertaste with this beer.

Drinkability: this one was a bit boring for me personally so drinking more than one or two of these may be difficult if looking for a flavorful session beer.

Gavage, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of OzarkElmo
2.83/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with moderate head, mostly diminishing. Reminds me of a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but maybe one that's sat around awhile. Biscuit, caramel malts with decent balance. Just not very enlightening. I would gladly partake of if offered, but do not think I will purchase again. Best I can say is kind of like a Sam Adams bastard twin - not up to snuff of the real thing.

OzarkElmo, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
2.7/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown color almost copper. Very faint malty smell. I have had a few beers from Breckenridge and have been impressed but this ain't it. Can taste malt but the texture is way too thin and so are the flavors. This beer might be better with higher carbonation. Drinkable, yes but not sure you would want to have more than one.

Wheelinb, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
3.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear, golden-amber with nice off-white head. Decent retention. Good lace

Smell- Crisp, pale malt. Vague nuttiness. Grain. Decent hops.

Taste- Great balance. Slightly more malt-dominated. Fresh bread, some good light hop to balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nice carbonation.

Drinkability- Quite sessionable. I may have found my new stock beer for the summer.

endincolorado, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.17/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

WVbeergeek, May 27, 2009
Photo of webbcreative
2.35/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured Amber color with minimal white head that dissipated quickly. Smells pretty much like a sweaty gym sock. Tastes pretty much like a metallic sweaty gym sock. This is a borderline drain pour for me. but im trying to tough it out. I dont know what they were doing with this one but I hope to God that I just got a bad one.

Overall - Avoid at all cost. Makes me appreciate my Local brewery's Amber Ale that much more [Native Amber by COOP Ale Works]

webbcreative, May 25, 2009
Photo of flexinwext
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this on a whim because I was feeling something light. This definitely was nothing special but good for having a few over dinner and a game. Pours gold with not much head. Smells almost like stale beer. Taste was slightly metalic but more complex than other ambers ive tried. Low ABV makes this a decent session beer. Like I said before, nothing great but not a bad offering in my opinion.

flexinwext, May 06, 2009
Photo of AtlasBrew
2.1/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The label has a freshness rating system but it's not used!?! What?

Color: A nice deep copper with an off white head that fades quick.

Aroma: Maltyness with hints of caramel. Light spicy hop aroma but not much.

Flavor: Carmel malt with mild bitterness and just a hint of spicy hop flavor. Really not much going on here. Flavor is comparable to one of my malt extract brews, not too good.

Boring really; this is one to avoid, it's not impressive past the cool label. Maybe it's better at the brewery.

AtlasBrew, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of atpben
2.53/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this at the Flying Saucer Houston. Poured in a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a thin light head. Very weak aroma, just some malts and very faint caramel. Very watery tasting with not enough hops profile. Some very light grassiness in the end but not enough. Very weak and boring. Blaaaahhhh. Was very dissapointing. Will not try again.

atpben, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of justincolts
2.7/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thick head which dissipates very slowly. A pretty pleasant smell, although not a lot of hints of much of anything. The taste falls rather flat. I don't get much flavor out of it. Easy to drink, but without much taste, why would you?I just purchased one of these from a store that allows mix and match, so hopefully maybe it is just this one beer that doesn't pass inspection

justincolts, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of YonderWanderer
2.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a session beer. Easily.

The smell is okay, with hints of malt and grain present. No real hop odor is present. Pours a medium red color with a half-finger foam. Taste follows suit. A solid malt backbone, but no hops to speak off. Solid, and decent tasting. Mouthfeel is alright, but nothing spectacular. It's highly drinkable. A great session ale if its your only option. Not a huge amount of flavor, but a decent enough offering.

YonderWanderer, Apr 11, 2009
Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,090 ratings.