1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,140 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,140
Reviews: 437
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 10
Gots: 113 | 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.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,140 | Reviews: 437 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had not seen this one before, and it was my first chance to get some of the Breckenridge on tap, so I went right in for it. Poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/19/2008.

The pour was decent enough, a nice reddish amber color coming through on the pout rather nicely. Clear, with a good amount of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass, which combined in the top to form a nice half inch layer of white foam that hung around for the rest of the session.

Aroma was deep caramel malts, much as you would expect. Hints of herbal grass like smells, and a touch of grain all coming together very nicely to form what I could only describe as you fairly typical red ale. The flavor carried more of this as well. Nice touches of caramel malts, hints of a somewhat bready base, and just the lightest touch of hops to finish it out was about all you were getting out of this one. Decent feel, though I have to admit it could have come off just a touch smoother in the end, still though quite drinkable.

Overall not a bad little ale, not the best thing, but a solid effort none the less. I would not have an issue with trying this one again in the future. Cannot wait to get even more quality offerings in around here from Breckenridge, They are a damn fine brewer. Following this up with a vanilla porter hit the spot.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.74/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12/7/2005 (16oz bottle from 24 variety pack):

Pours a body that is golden brown in color, and medium sized head that is fairly diminishing. Has a complex aroma, hops and fruit. Taste is slightly dry, semi-sweet, but with not much aftertaste. Not too complex a palate.

Photo of tronester
3.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a hazy amber/red in color that has a creamy, thin tan head after a medium pour. Smell is of rust, really not very good. Taste is better, biscuity malt, a hint of woodyness and tartness, with a slightly sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is decent, good carbonation. Pretty drinkable, I've had much better Amber Ales before though. I would drink it again, but would not seek it out specifically.

Photo of glid02
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a mixed sixer from Whole Foods on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark copper color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates pretty quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not much going on as far as lacing's concerned.

Smells of coarse noble hops and metal. There's a very small caramel malt aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A funky noble hop flavor that's a bit too intense with some fruity flavors. There's a caramel malt flavor that pokes it's head through from time to time, and a decent amount of bitterness. The flavors linger a bit too long.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit too watery, but the carbonation is good.

Drinkability is not so great. There's not a whole lot about this beer that makes me want to drink it.

Overall I continue to be disappointed by Breckenridge's brews with the notable exception of 471 Small Batch. One of these days I'm sure I'll find another one that measures up, but I'd stay away from this one.

Photo of jushoppy2beer
2.06/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This ale pours a dark amber, with very little head. Not very attractive. There is no nose detectable to me. This is matched by a very light flavor, disappointing for an amber ale that should have more robust flavor. The malt is simple and not at all complex, and the flavor dissipates completely at the finish. Drinkable if you're thirsty, but not if you're craving some good beer flavor.

Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a somewhat clear consistency. There was about a half inch of long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Not a much of an aroma here, though I did pick up some malt and a small amount of hops.

T: Aside from the maltiness of flavor there's little else of note here. Very thin and simplistic.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a terribly average beer in many ways. It's just very, very uninteresting.

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

A - Clear dark caramel color with small white head, heavy lacing.

S - Very light scents of roasted malts and fresh cut hay. Light floral hops. Very subdued smells.

T - Tastes follow the smells. Not bad, but not much there. Light malt flavors with light bitterness at mid-palate. Well balanced, but too mundane.

M - Light bodied, light mouthcoating.

D - An easy drinking beer but not special enough to rate much above average.

Photo of ajmoody76
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought in a twelve pack with three other breck brews. pours clear amber with a one finger off white head. head thins out. some lace.

hoppy nose. citrus. some bisquit aroma in there also. no off odors.

sweet caramel with a good hop presence. dry bitter hop aftertaste. good balance.

mid body with good carbonation. could do session. drinks well. i like this beer.

Photo of slyke
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Breckenridge Avalanche Amber Style Ale pours a copper color with a finger of pillowy white head that fades after a couple of minutes. There is nice lacing from the remaining cap.

The smell is a bit sweet, a little malty, with a definite grassy note.

Taste has a big grassiness to it, some caramel maltiness is there too. The aftertaste is the only place I can find hops in this brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, about what I expect from the style.

Drinkability on this beer is average. I don't mind it, but probably will not seek it out.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared at approx 45 degrees

Light clear amber color. Good head, but dissipates rapidly. Leaves a very decent foam covering. Great lacing.

Smells sweet and malty. Almost like caramel. Definite earthy grain scent, also.

Caramely malts with dark fruits, like raisins and figs. Slight earthiness quality. Minimal hops bite, almost missed it.

This is a medium-bodied brew. Since I like a big bold-bodied brew, I find this to be way too light. Not enough carbonation to even get a creamy feeling.

If, at a social gathering, this was what was available to drink, I'd be alright with it. I just won't be filling the fridge with it anytime soon.

Photo of gford217
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep amberish copper with a small bubbly off-white head that dissipated to a ring fairly quickly, leaving almost no lacing. The aroma is a mix of generic grains and sweet bready malts. The taste was big on the sweet malts with a sourish, almost metallic finish. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with decent carbonation with the lingering sourness being a little off-putting. This is a fair amber, but not one that I would buy again.

Photo of diabecktic
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a beautiful dark copper with hints of brown; since it's quite cloudy, it also appears to be unfiltered. The head formation and retention are pretty good, but there isn't a whole lot of lacing on the glass. It's quite creamy, though.

Biscuity malt tones are dominant, while a hint of carmel seems to compliment it. Since the malt character seems to be dominant, there isn't too much of a hoppy aroma. I suppose that the balance is alright, though. It's a tad on the "earthy" side.

The flavor seems to match the nose well. There is minimal bitterness, but a decent amount of biscuit-like malt flavoring and a hint of caramel. I wouldn't go quite so far as to say it's "sweet," but there isn't too much hop character. The maltiness remains in the aftertaste.

The thickness is decent, so it feels good in the mouth. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation, so I don't really sense too much on the tongue in terms of texture. A gentle spurt of carbonation every-now-and-then does make the beer feel less heavy than it seems to be at the first trial. It's also relatively creamy.

As I drink more of this beer, it seems to feel less thicker than I initially thought. Thus, it goes down pretty well; biscuity aftertaste balances well with the creamy character. I wouldn't pound this beer since there's enough to "experience" via sipping it.

This beer is pretty good for what it is; though it's billed as an amber ale, it's somewhat darker in color. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot in terms of flavor, but the biscuity malt tones are quite good and they're not too strongly masked by hoppy bitterness. As with the other Breckenridge brews that I've had, I'm relatively pleased with this one. At least try it if you haven't - at its very worst it's not any worse than average.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember drinking this stuff when I first went to Breckenridge on one of our college ski trips. This one came from Sendiks in Whitefish Bay in 22oz bomber for $1.99

This is just a simple, easy drinking, not bad, not great, malty beer from a great little brewery. The body is a deep amber color with big red undertones. The head is pretty minimal and turns to a slightly noticeable film. The nose is almost all malt. Big hits of vienna and crystal malts are dominant. Definitely not a bad thing, but not necessarily my favorite. Very faint hops found anywhere. The taste is smooth, malty and slightly metallic on the swallow. There is almost a touch or rye spiciness on the swallow. The bittering hops come through a bit and add a layer of coarse dryness. Body is moderately full, but easy drinking. In my opinion, this is nothing more than an average amber ale the is hardly memorable. It is however, one of those beers, that if enjoyed in the right setting and environment (i.e. college ski trip), can make for a few smiles and happy times.

Photo of grs8313
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 12oz bottle with a bottling date of February 2008. Pours dark amber color with two fingers of head. The head dies down quickly to a thin fine covering of the beer.

Smell: Sweet malt, dried fruit and a slight earthy hops note.

Taste: Sweet malts and candied/ dried fruit flavors. Earthy notes as well. No aftertaste from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation, and a thin mouthfeel. This beer leaves the mouth feeling extremely clean.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable, and it does not dominate or kill any parts of the pallet, so it would be a great session beer or great in a style tasting.

Photo of brandoneast
3.84/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Avalanche pours deep amber with golden tones that leaves quickly dissipating foam. Smell is light of sweet malt with a hint of fruity notes and little hops. Taste is subdued with nice toasted grain, quite smooth and somewhat light with a slight hop tinge. Nice mouthfeel with a sticky sweet coat and is medium bodied. At right around 5% Alcohol By Volume, Avalanche makes a great session beer.

Photo of phil7568
3.06/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice amber (duh) with a good head into my pint glass.

This is a pretty straightforward brew. All malt, zero hops. I can't detect hop at all. Very malty with a very metallic finish.

I've had much worse but this just isn't my cup of tea.

Photo of lawman834
3.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Moderately Dark Amber. Mine was cloudy. Kinda interresting.

S-Not much. Malty but a tad sour.

T-Not bad. Just the tiniest bit of hop bite smothered in caramel malts. I almost taste a little rasin or something.

D-It's alright. I have certainly had worse. A little boring, but not at all offensive.

Photo of longbongsilver
2.71/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Spotted a 6-pack mix-n-match special at the store, figured I'd grab some new ones for the hell of it. Pours relatively light brown (lighter than the bottle at least) w/ a foamy off-white head, first 2/3rds goes quick the rest stays awhile.

Don't smell much hops. Hint of a smell that reminds me of caramel (???), though not annoyingly.

Taste is moderately malty. It's not as "big" a beer as I expected, though the flavor comes in more later in the glass. Goes down with more of a fizz than appearance would suggest.

Overall, it's kinda middle-of-the-road, in both the good sense (doesn't get old) and bad (nothing memorable about it either). If a bar'n'grill place had it on tap I'd get it, if only because despite the above it's still better than the macros, but this is more than likely my last standalone bottle. Maybe they have some others more distinguishable, but this ain't makin my rotation.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a nice amber ale. Clear with a tan head. Unfortunately, not much is coming through the nose. A bit of the sweetness that crystal malt delivers, but not a whole lot more. Taste is quite pleasant. This would be a nice session beer. It's a classic amber ale -- flavorful without being assertive, and it's got a decent American hop backbone to support it. Mothfeel is good enough for the style, and drinkability is pretty darned good. Count me in for having a few of these on a cool fall day.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.33/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Breckenridge- Avalanche Ale

A- Light orange copper brown with no head.
S- Practically nothing going on here, faint caramel malt thats about it.
T- Very watery buttery caramel malt. Slight sugary finish.
M- Again, watery and lifeless. A slight sugary malty presence.

Overall- What a dud. This 1 has barely an aroma or flavor. Avoid.

Photo of Kemmerlin
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Showed a very thick long lasting and sticky white head with an amber red color throughout the glass.

S: Potent yeast, weak caramel hops, and sugary like a coke.

T: The malts really showed through on this one only it was a little dank with a weird yeast aftertaste. The caramel notes also shown through in the front.

M/D: Sharp feel on the tongue with a bit of alcohol feel and kinda rough as well. Not the most desirable beer in Breck's inventory but ok to drink.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Clear copper with a finger of head that recedes quickly to a thick collar. Minimal lacing.

S - Caramel and toasty malts with a touch of grassy/floral hops.

T - Starts off with caramel sweetness, but gradually dries out to a bitter earthy finish from the hops. Slight apple flavor is present mid-palate.

M - Moderate carbonation and silky smooth.

D - Certainly a decent session ale in many respects, but a little too sweet for me.

Photo of gkatsoris
2.32/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice clear brown, w/ a thin uber white whispy head. Very similar to a lager.

S: Musky, funky, soury, and yucky. Wet blanket.

T: Blech. And I mean blech.

M: Very thin and crisp. High carbonation.

D: Sorry, not for me (at all).

But I am glad I had the opportunity to at least try it.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.2/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Color is dark copper, clear, with minimal head that recedes quickly to a few bubbles. Minimal lacing.

S: Nothing incredibly noteworthy on the nose. Moderate malts and mild hops seem balanced.

T&M: A moderately dry rush of mild and caramel malts engulf the tongue first with a steady medium weight in the mouth. Abundant carbonation keeps this brew active and the overall texture has a mild bite. Hops come in to balance the malts but the malts seem to shine through with slightly more prominence. Finish is mostly short of malt with a longer bitter linger.

D: Generally more flavorful than the average ale but everything else about this brew is pretty mainstream. Not incredibly smooth but still pretty easy to drink. Give it a try if your in the mood.

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

Had this in a 12 oz bottle poured into a glass in Lake Okajobi, Iowa

The beer poured a rudy tan color with almost no head. Not much smell.

The taste is insipid with some mild citrus and a touch of caramel. Not much bitter hops taste and there is a bit of a sour dough just before the slightly bitter finish.

Carbonation was very light. Considering this and the lack of a head, I suspect this is an old bottle. While there is the ability to indicate the bottling date on the label, it wasn't used by the brewery. Thumbs down on them for not making this indication.

I guess I'll give Breckenridge another try in the future since this bottle might not be indicative of what they are capable of.

Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,140 ratings.