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Avalanche Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,074 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 7
Gots: 69 | 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: 1,074 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This dark ale pours a very nice dark golden brown with a decent tan head. Aroma is spicy and hoppy with some malt hints. Flavor is malty and spicy, with a little bit of a hop bite and plenty of malty smoothness. This is a delicious and very drinkable beer, perfect for a cold night.

Cyberkedi, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of dakeller80
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into pint glass. . .thin (2mm) head dissipated into very thin, sparse lacing. . .almost no webbing on side of glass. Beautiful clear orange-amber color. Almost no haze

Smell: picked up on faint sulfur smell, "ashy" at first. Very faint grassy hops. Some apricot too.

Taste: Sulfur comes through in the taste. . .seems almost more like a British pale. Fairly balanced. . can't pick up an malt or hop dominance. I wonder what hops were used. . .very grassy and "stale" tasting. Almost "watery" tasting. . .could benefit from slightly higher alcohol

Mouthfeel: Thin. Watery. Despite lack of substantial lacing and absolutely no head. . .carbonation seems high.

Drinkability: This is a drinkable in a sense owing to its low alcohol and rather muted flavor profile. However, nothing much of interest here. Tastes more like a British pale but not a very good one. . .maybe I just don't like American ambers.

dakeller80, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of jackorain
3.05/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Sheraton Four Points in Littleton.

A-Looks like a nice beer. Amber color, clear as a bell. Real nice tan head. Nice lace and retention.

S- Biscuit malt, doughy, no hops found here.

T-Caramel malt, biscuit malt, some mild bitterness in the middle. Yeasty. Nothing real substantial here.

M-light to moderate body, fizzy carbonation belies nice head.

D-not much

jackorain, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of NitroGen
2.2/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

P: 12 ox Brown Longneck Bottle that after staring at the back label see that it was brewed on the fourth week of April..hopefully of this year…a bit under 6 months ago.

A: Pours very clear amber with a light head that quickly disappears with a wee bit of a foam collar. Just a few bubbles rising to the top.

S: Very light malt and a bit of grain.

T: Carbonation walks on the tongue a bit but found it very thin with only a few notes of flavor and then gone and quickly forgotten.

M: Not bad, not outstanding …just a pretty ordinary beer that although not unpleasant does not stand out.

D: If offered I would drink it without a qualm as it is a safe drink, but not memorable or one to mention in conversation

NitroGen, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
2.33/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked this up with my buddy Ben at a grocery store in Fort Collins.

A - Clear deeply tinted amber ale with a nice one finger rocky head. Some nice lace is left on the side of my pint glass.

S - Earthy malts with some vegetal elements. Fruity and estery, but not very assertive.

T - Again, very earthy and almost mushroomy. Normally, I like earth and mushroom dankness, but this isn't really working in an otherwise lightly fruity amber ale. Biscuity malts and anemic hops round out the flavor profile. This isn't very tasty.

M - Very carbonated and medium bodied with a neutral finish. Boring.

D - I didn't care for this one. It's not all bad, it's just boring and a bit funky. This seemed way off-balance.

pmcadamis, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of montageman
2.3/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Given to me as a gift, I wouldn't normally purchase an amber of my own volition. This particular beer is average at best, but is closer to below average. The head is surprisingly dense and creamy. After the pour, however, it goes down hill. An ideal pizza beer because it would not overpower any aspect of the food's flavor, but it would not enhance it either. Nothing special here - recommendation to avoid.

montageman, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of briman
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear amber color. About quarter inch white head dissipates quickly into minimal lace.

Aroma is primarily toasted malt, with some caramel, though this seems to fade away as it warms.

Flavor is toasted malt, maybe a touch of caramel. Finishes with a slightly bready note along with a very mild hop bite. Bitterness doesn't linger,

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance is ok, but it's a little on the watery side. Pretty basic amber. Flavors and hop presence are both pretty mild. Certainly sessionable, but overall nothing really sets it apart.

briman, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of KFaulkner
2.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this into a pint glass. It pours real nice and it's a great amber color with a thick, slowly dissolving head that leaves those nice little whisps on the side of the glass.

The fun stopped there for me though. While it's possible I may have gotten a bad batch, and there was a spot on the label to denote bottling date, it wasn't marked for whatever reason. The smell was subtle, the taste a bit bland. It's a nice thick ale, but it just doesn't hold up to more flavorful beers I've had in this style.

KFaulkner, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle from Total Wine, Ke--what Ding just said.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Pleasant aroma of toasted malts with a touch of caramel and yeast and even lighter floral hop notes.

Taste: Nice balance is maintained between the toasted grain and caramel flavors and sweetness with the flowery hops. Very mild finish. Everything seems to be set up to provide a light, easily drinkable, session-esque ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: You know, it kind of reminds me of just a less sweet Acme Pale Ale. There, I said. And you know what? It felt good. It's good to be honest.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of WaveRebel51
3.05/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice, deep red amber in appearance, but after that, nothing seems to really stand out. The taste is fine -- nice maltiness, with a hint of sweetness is balanced well with hop bitterness, but no real memorable flavors to speak of. Put this in the I'll-never-turn-one-down-but-never-reach-for-willingly category.

WaveRebel51, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of fightingwords
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

s -- sweet candied smell, more sugary than anything earthy. Some fruity notes. nothing specifically distinct to me.

a -- rusty copper, closer to a pale ale than an amber. foamy cloud white head, faded fast, not very sticky.

t -- grainy metallic flavor, good hop tastes coming through. Nothing special, refreshing and not overly complex.

m -- thin, smooth drinking. not what I'm used to for the style, but its okay.

d -- eh...whatever.

o -- kinda disapointed. good for food. I guess since ambers are more of a subdued style I cant knock it too bad, but I've had better.

fightingwords, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of GnomeKing
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice, gentle interpretation of a nice, gentle style. Ambers aren't supposed to set the world on fire, and this one doesn't...but it is a smooth and drinkable beer with no off flavors (expect maybe a little too much tartness in the aftertaste). I could enjoy this beer any time, or enjoy the rest of my life without having one ever again.

GnomeKing, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of ttu94
2.65/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very forgetable beer. Pours a clear gold color with very little head that fades fast and leavs no lacing. Smell is that of a beer nothing worth noting. Tastes is slightly malty and watery. I don't know if i can pick out a beer brewed with adjuncts but I would say this was one if asked. I suppose I am not a fan of this style but I found this beer to be one that I wouldn't ask for again. It tastes very similar to Shiner 98 but not as good (and shiner 98 wasn't that great either).

ttu94, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of mentor
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Full finger of yellow head over a rust orange liquid. Nearly clear and some streamers running up. Smells tin and oranges. Tomato juice and pine from hops. Malt is nearly absent.

Tastes iron dryyish, but nice malty finish. Hops are present, but quite in line with the intensity of the malt. Woody dry with minimal pine and orange hop flavor. Light caramel is strung a bit thinner than I'd like for the style. fruity sweet in the aftertaste leaves everything nice. Md body and moderate carbonation.

mentor, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
3.4/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper color with moderate off-white head. Good lacing found.
Smell is very light with a light caramel sweetness present.
Taste is so light as to be virtually non-existent, with onlt an ever so slight note of caramel present.
Finish is also very light with almost no taste retention.
Very middle of the road beer.

tgbljb, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Avalanche Ale is an interesting beer in that it seems to fall halfway between an English pale ale and an American amber ale. The slightly sulphury, mineralish English yeast is just so blatant that I can't think of anything but English ale, and yet it does have a bit more crystal malt to it like an American version. It's got a just slightly hazy deep-amber/orange body and creamy antiqued-white head. The retention and lacing are good. The aroma is nice, particularly if you enjoy the yeast character, and there's a bit of subtly sweetish caramel malt and grassy and leafy hops present as well. The flavor is well-balanced with malt and yeast character stepping forward, and hops and bitterness following. There's a mild fruitiness to it like apricot, apples, and pears, but the yeast also leaves it almost a touch "bloody" or iron-like. I find it reminiscent of Bateman's XXX. It's interesting enough to keep your interest through more than one, and it might make a good session ale. Nicely done.

NeroFiddled, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of wedge
1.95/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear copper with a thin, bubbly head. Smells cheap...barely grainy aroma has "lite" beer written all over it. Mild sweetness and grain in the flavor, acidic and husky. Thin mouthfeel with a little bite to it.

Decidedly (and confusingly) macro-lager-like and hugely disappointing. Sometimes it pays off blindly grabbing a single bottle to try. Sometimes you wish you could get your money back. Avoid.

wedge, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of sabrills70
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a medium amber with a 2 finger head, OK longevity and good lace. Lots of big malts aromas mixed with a bit of biscuit/bready smells. Again, lots of malt flavors followed by the same biscuity flavors leaving a decent hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The malts do tend to disappear a bit too quickly though. All in all a decent flagship beer for Breckenridge. Nothing special though.

sabrills70, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of brdc
2.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Average looking golden brew with a white, bubbly head.
The aroma is almost not there at all, and when you swirl the glass vigorously, you get a smell of "beer" - something like what you get on a Coors, very non-descript, alcohol and light hops, perhaps, but difficult to elaborate.
Watery, mild biscuity flavor, but also very little to talk about here.
Another disappointing brew from Breckenridge, and probably the last one I try from them.

brdc, May 29, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
3.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tumbler. This beer is a clear, dark red/copper color. the head was well over an inch thick when poured. It settles to a fairly thin surface layer with a decent sized white ring lining the inside of the glass. Fairly good lacing. Has a malty sweet smell with some hop and light spice hints. Flavors of sweet malt and floral hops are present followed by a hint of caramel and some spice or maybe ginger. Overall the taste is a bit bland. Has a medium bodied crisp and smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Nothing special here. Worth a try I suppose.


neenerzig, May 29, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no date. Pours a clear bronze color. The white head is weak, dissipating rapidly. No lacing.

The aroma is dry malt, nutty and woody with a bit of nutmeg. The flavor is also almost all malt and barley, some oaty and nuttiness, just slightly hopped and smoothed out with a creamy caramel element. Similiar to a Scottish ale.

It's light bodied, not all that complex. Very drinkable. Not revolutionary, but quaffable.

Osiris9588, May 21, 2007
Photo of crayphish
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a clear amber liquid with a nice offwhite head that shrunk quickly leaving some lacing. Smell is sweet malt with a notes of floral hops. Taste is more of the sweet malts, with some grainy and floral hops. Mouthfeel is watery, but the hops that are there help it finish dry. A drinkable ale, nothing special.

crayphish, May 19, 2007
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the bottle has numbers for the months and weeks bottled but is not notched as it should be. pours a copper/amber with a quickly diminishing off-white head. aroma is mostly of euro vegetal/earthy/floral hops with just a hint of toffee. taste is mostly dry/crisp/astringent. mouthfeel is relatively light. this reminds me of a domestic attempt at a marzen but without the malt sweetness. basically something rather tame that you could have several of, would be a good intro to craft beer for meatheads.

MrMcGibblets, May 11, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle red amber with a light head. Some lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is malty and somewhat sweet.

The taste is malty sour and metallic yet the beer is somehow still on the bland side.

Light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation.

This beer is drinkable but nothing special as far as amber ales go.

Monkeyknife, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extremely clear amber, decent head at first but poor retention. The nose is mostly caramel malt but there's an astringency that doesn't bode well.

The flavor follows through heavy on the sweet malt with some spring earthy hops - not unlike Hallertau hops' mouthfeel and general presence. A bit like a Czech pils brewed with caramel malts. The astringency turns metallic rusty in the finish.

Medium to light body, I thought there was a little too much carbonation although that problem disappeared as the beer warmed. Smooth and drinkable, but honestly the metal was too much for me.

BretSikkink, Apr 28, 2007
Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.