Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

258 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 258
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 33
Gots: 71 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ArrogantB on 09-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Alaskan Perseverance Ale is a Russian Imperial Stout. This style was chosen to celebrate our 25th anniversary of brewing on the Last Frontier in our coastal home of Juneau, Alaska.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 124
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch puffy dark khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Craggy patterns of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some smoky aromas. Taste is of dark roasted/smoked malt, some cocoa and coffee notes, and an earthy/dirt flavor on the finish. There is a slightly bitter roast flavor on the palate after each sip. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a smooth and but slightly thin bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good RIS but nothing all that special. To be honest I was expecting much more from a 25th anniversary beer. Plus, I cannot smell or taste any of the specially sourced Alaskan ingredients they supposedly used to brew this one.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh. Too syrupy. A decent stab at the style, but the syrup and honey combine to make an odd combination in relation to the thickness and body of the stout. Just doesn't quite work. Any idea is worth experimenting with. But for a 25th anniversary ale from such a notable brewery, I'd hope for a bit more really. An okay beer, but not all the way there.

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with a anniversary date on the bottle of 25 years. Cheers to that!!

LOOK: Pitch black, thick tan lacing

SMELL: Chocolate syrup, birch sap, burnt sugar, espresso, charcoal, booze, nougat, ripe figs

TASTE: Sweet, full body, mocha, tree sap, charcoal, coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, taffy, faint honey, modest hopping, rich, sweet finish

Good use of birch syrup as that is a flavor that can take over real quick, solid for the style with the whole Russian Imp. Stout and such. Great to see some flare added to it, seems to work better since the cooler weather has arrived.

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge and interestingly fruity black ale. Nearly opaque with a modest tan head and pleasant carbonation. Quite prickly on the tongue, enhanced by the alcohol, no doubt. More booze in the nose but not so much fragrance. I'd like to think the birch syrup adds something but it's lost in the dark avalanche. Very full of burnt malt, though the honey seems to give it some balance. Hops, however, take over the aftertaste with a fairly ferocious bitterness.

This stuff tastes better at first sip with all the fruitiness. After a while it degenerates into charred raisin toast. A snifter is not really the ideal glass as you have to keep inhaling the peculiar smell.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Perseverance Ale, Alaskan Brewery, Russian Imperial Stout, Stout Brewed with Birch Syrup and Fireweed Honey, 9 % ABV, 1 pint, 6 luid ounces. Alaskan Brewing Company, Brewed and Bottled in Juneau, Alaska.

Solid black, slim head, soon gone.

Aromatics, dark malt, rich, bittersweet, cocoa, blackstrap molasses, some minor charcoal and smoke. Overall, very subtle.

Taste: more darkness, more sweetness, but lacks depth.
That was too quick. I need to give it some tick, let the brew breath.
So, again…sweet, slick, …roasty. Toasty. Charred, but …not really. Starts…but doesn't get there. Tasty, …boozy…but, lacking extra oomph. Sometimes called "character." Also, "zazz." At other times, "zork."

This could be a lot better. It should be a lot better. Thicker, maybe? More intense, perhaps?

But, nice. If you want nice, go for this.

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up months ago at Connecticuit Ave liquors in Washington, DC, and it's been in my fridge since. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks amazing, just like a big RIS should.

s - Smells of roasted malts, burnt malts, bitter chocolate, sweeter chocolate, dark fruits, light vanilla.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, burnt malts, bread, dark fruits. Much more bitter than the nose, a step down for me.

m - Thick, full body and low carbonation. Smooth, pretty nice.

o - Overall a decent RIS, though a bit too bitter for me in the taste. Liked the nose but the sweetness was lost in the taste. Worth checking out if you like bitter chocolate and big RIS's.

Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the generous JohnGalt1 for this as an extra in our most recent trade. Poured into a standard pint glass, this brew appears black in color with a dark tan head displaying a finger's strength atop. When held to the light, it shows a thin ring of brown clarity and ruby coloration more towards the middle. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves some patches of lace sticking to the glass. A rough swirl revives a quick dissolving head back to the surface.

The smell of this brew has an atypical sweetness about it that I can only assume is from the combination of birch syrup and the honey addition. That sweetness to the nose integrates very well with the overall roasted quality of the dark grains. It displays a strong coffee scent, chocolate and somewhat of a smoked aspect from the char of the grain. All the while, there is a bit of a dark fruited sweetness like plum/raisins/prunes included towards the back that integrates with a light touch of alcohol.

The taste of this brew runs the entire gauntlet of character forewarned in the aroma. The dark grain quality provides a solid burnt bitterness that is lightly smokey mixed with a strong coffee bitterness, unsweetened chocolate and a bit of licorice. There are some fruity alcohol esters present that provide a flavoring of prunes or plums across the backend. Throughout the experience, small amounts of birch flavoring are present which is a very nice touch that creates an interesting distinction for this brew.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is a well balanced offering that I found quite enjoyable. Off the top of my head, I can only think of 2 other brews I have enjoyed that had birch syrup included and I think this one had it included in such a unique way that it was subtle yet very readily identifiable (if that makes any sense?) This is worth seeking out.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do I need a spoon for this one? It looks rich, thick and black. Edges are cola colored. Off-brown head is thick and rich. Lacing is thin on this one.

Aroma is dark. Dark plum, dark molasses, dark malts, dark leather, dark thoughts. Some herbals. But...magic marker hints come and go. A quick whiff won't detect it, but I'm a sniffer.

A bit of woodiness in the taste. Of course, the dark stuff dominates. Some herbal spice, but mostly dark dry chocolate, molasses, some vanilla. That magic marker is stronger here and is off-putting to me. Maybe age would calm this down, but for me, 8oz is enough. Too bad, cuz I enjoy the other flavors.

Photo of Zorro
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colored beer that is essentially light proof. Tall brown colored head.

Smell malty with lots of patent malt in the smell. Chocolate and coffee aromas. Herbal hop aroma but not one I can ID.

Starts out sweet and creamy in the mouth. Lots of patent malt flavor with a spearmint flavor. Tasty chocolate flavor, despite the strength of this beer it tastes like a Milk Stout with about 1/2 this alcohol level.

Mouthfeel is good, but not as thick as it seemed at first.

Overall this is a damn tasty beer. Body could be thicker but I would not hesitate to buy and drink this again.

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9/24/2011

On tap at URGE.

A: Looks like you'd expect, black with a creamy dark brown head. No surprises in this category.

S: An even blend of roast, dark chocolate, and molasses. The roast has a bit of char to it at times. I get a little coffee and a hint of smoke with some earth. Dark fruit reminds me of plum and prune.

T: Dark chocolate with a healthy dose of blackstrap molasses. There's a dash of licorice and a moderate roasted malt presence. Coffee is faint. There's a medium earthy bitterness. Alcohol rears its head in the finish. As the beer warms I begin to notice plum.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy, chewy, and sticky.

Overall: Good stuff.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a big black body with big carbonation and a huge brown cap

S: Nose is rich dark chocolate, hints of wood, espresso and roasted malt with booze

T: Starts ogg like a big ol RIS;big roastiness, wood, a little spice, sharp booze, rich cocoa

M: Big body on this, loads of flavor coat the plate. Very nice

O: A very good RIS and quite the surprise!

Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the hanger room today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is complex and impressive in this beer, as I get milk duds, vanilla, licorice, light tobacco and leather. This beer comes across as a barrel aged oatmeal stout more than a RIS, but regardless, I thought this beer smelled and tasted pretty good. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet stout, though the licorice and leather are a bit more pronounced. Also, I get considerable honey on the palate as well, which make the melange of flavor all the more insteresting in this beer. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, moderatley sweet, soft and creamy finish. Alcohol is pretty well disguised in this beer, though you can tell it's up there.

Overall, I thought this a pretty impressive stout from Alaskan, one I wouldn't hesitate to order again. Lot of interesting different flavors in this beer...

Photo of johnnnniee
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black color with a stingy tan head that dissipates to a ring on top. Smells like a foreign extra stout at first whiff. Restrained roasted grains, caramel and brown sugar, a hint of wintergreen, slightly herbal and earthy aromas. Really not smelling like an Imperial stout at this point. Taste is sugary with that herbal earthy flavor to it. It's kind of a mix of wintergreen and anise wrapped up in chocolate and coffee. Finish is fairly dry with a long lingering wintergreen and sweet roasty stickiness coating my mouth. Medium to thick body with a low to moderate level of carbonation and a thick sweet sticky mouthfeel. I love how this is different and kind of outside the box, but I also hate the flavor the birch sap gives it. The herbal wintergreen flavor just doesn't agree with me or my sense of stout. Glad I got to try it, probably one and done for this guy.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 picked up today at the Boise COOP.... poured into my HotD goblet.... Dark brown head has okay retention.. little in the way of lacing.. the brew is of course black.

The nose has pretty pronounced wood up front and the dry dark malts come in behind.. mild dark fruits and come cocoa... lite coffee and a tad more dried cherry.

Flavor mirrors the nose with something that I can only pick out as maybe some brewer's licorice (lite) .. not a much malt presence as I would like in a RIS.... but the woody elements help make things pretty interesting.. a hint boozy on the finish... dirty cocoa.

I don't know what "birch syrup" tastes like, but the odd/but not off-putting woody note is what I guess is what I am pulling down..

Great body for a 9% brew.... not overly thick... still very "coating" ... carbonation is fair to middle... and I bet it is only going to get better... seems very "fresh" right now.. there is a bit too much wood "bloom" and not enough meshing.

Having a hard time with this one.. I definitely see the "bones" of a cellar brew... The wood, honey, etc seem to add too much when fresh. The backbone of a great brew is there.. I will try and score enough to enjoy for a looong time.

3.5/3.5/3.5/4.5/4

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with half a finger of brown head.

S - Big hit of smoke up front followed by roasted malts, chocolate and a big sweetness (likely from the honey and birch sap but I don't get those aromas specifically). Some licorice and molasses in the background.

T - Roasted malts and smoke up front that give way to chocolate, coffee and molasses. A very faint dark fruit taste is evident in the background. The big sweetness is present in the palate as well, but is certainly not overwhelming; again the honey and birch sap aren't specifically detected. The ABV is very well hidden.

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Moderate carbonation; a little less carbonation would be preferred.

O - A very good imperial stout.

Photo of LiquidAmber
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a He'brew pint glass. Pours perfectly black with a one finger fine brown head with nice persistance. Aroma of smoky and dark malt, wood. Extremely smooth and integrated like a milkshake. Roasted and smoky malt, chocolate, caramel, hint of light fruit, light honey. Finishes with a touch of smoke and wood. Creamy and delicious. This is very, very good. Absolutely one of the best stouts I've had. I apparently liked this a lot better than most reviewers, but this is what I'm looking for in a stout, I would not improve on it in any way.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich and black like the Alaskan sky in wintertime. Small tan head, looks the part of a big RIS. Aroma of mild brown sugar, deep roast, leaning chocolate malt more than anything else.

Taste, again, solid roasting, pretty easy to drink, hid the 9% nicely. Slick, creamy and coating, this is just as much an imperial milk stout as an ris. The birch/honey addition certainly smoothed this out I would think. They aren't noticeable so much in the flavor profile as opposed to the slick mouthfeel and hidden abv. Kinda like Melange 3, I don't get any of that syrup, birch or sap stuff, I just get a smoother BT.

Mild smoke notes if you look for them. A good beer, could have used a little thickening up I guess if you have to critique something or find room for improvement.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle split on 6.18.13

Alaskan 25th Anniversary beer.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with a soapy tan head that sits for a bit and then fades leaving no bubbles.

S - Cherry, tart barrel wood, chocolate.

T - Sour cherry, barrel, chocolate, booze.

D - Mild carbonation with a medium body.

O - The sweetness is now more cherry and tart, not sour. Still some chocolate, and a touch thin.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at The Liquor Shed in Casper for $8.99 with a sticker underneath for $12.99. Good move.

It has a timeline on the bottle:

1986-First Alaskan beer sold
1988-Alaskan Amber voted best beer in the nation (GABF)
1990-First Alaskan beer sold in lower 48
1995-New 10 barrel brewhouse
2002-Alaskan picks up 25th medal at GABF
2005-Alaskan hits 100,00 barrels
2011-Cheers to the next 25 years

On to the beer...

It pours a pitch black with a 2 finger head of tan foam and it leaves some nice lacing.

It smells roasty, bitter, sweet, getting some notes of coffee, kind of a light nose despite the diversity.

The taste is complex as hell. There's a lot of sweet notes some spice, I'm assuming the fireweed honey is coming into play here; big roasted and burnt malts, almost like charcoal that you get off of a bbq, and coffee grounds, with a strange flavour that must be the birch syrup..I googled it and that spice IS from the birch. Quite a unique array of different tastes that at various times during the session sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

I've got mixed feelings about this beer and it's going to be tough for me to rate it properly.

Medium, close to full bodied with low levels of carbonation, it certainly has a nice mouthfeel but the ample alcohol is now kicking in and the sips are getting slower and slower. I think I'll cellar my other 2 bottles and see what happens.

Overall, worth picking up and giving it a go now and down the road..

Photo of Haybeerman
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark brown; almost black. Poured a wispy dark tan head. Laced the glass in thin rings.

S: Rich toasted malts; molasses, dark chocolate and bitter coffee. A little dark fruit and earthiness in the backgroiund.

T: Very consistent with the nose. Rich and smooth. Earthy bitterness and warming alcohol work in tandem to cut through the bittersweet malt character. Prune/plum linger after the beer warmed a bit.

M: Medium-to-full body. Low-to-moderate carbonation. Rich and creamy. Relatively smooth up to the warming finish (though not dominating as ABV could indicate).

O: Plenty of big, rich malt character. Good, slow sipper.

Photo of ccrida
2.81/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cellared since release, poured into my Delirium snifter, Perseverance is black with a pretty tight, tan head leaving foamy lace.

Smell is really sweet, baltic porter.

Taste is modestly smoky, with some sweet malt. There's a lingering acridness on the back-end leaving an unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied, but sticky.

Drinkability is ok. This just didn't thrill me very much. Something about the wet sock aftertaste, the high residual sugars, the lack of depth. Eh. Disappointing.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a dark black with a mocha head that still shows some good pop after almost 4 years.

Nose is a wonderful mix of blackberry jam, wood and dark chocolate.

Taste is much the same, very smooth and has a little bit of everything...still some leafy hop remnants and of course the chocolate and fruit. I guess the birch syrup is giving a little wood chip type of flavor. Pretty good, seems to have aged well.

Photo of thagr81us
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, toffee, caramel, subtle coffee, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, honey, dark fruit, and subtle sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really wouldn't have guessed this was an RIS based on the flavor alone as it felt more like an Imperial Stout instead. The aroma however screamed RIS at the top of its lungs! This was a nice addition to an already great lineup that evening. However, the mouthfeel was a little thin for my liking when it comes to the style. Definitely worth trying if you get the opportunity.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light chocolate brown head. In the aroma, woody and a small honey note. In the taste, a dry roast, birch wood, and a honey bite. A smooth and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry and small bourbon like aftertaste. A nice roast, with birch and honey, I can dig it!

Photo of tavernjef
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ebon pour and glossy. Nary a foam approaches the lift as it hits a slim tiny crown of tanned foam. A few light patches of lace are stuck about the glass.

Aroma is sweet and tangy with a milky chocolateyness and slim roasty dark fruityness tosseed about with maple and rum soaked dark dates. Yup, its got some boozy little nose kick that's nice and warm to the nose. There's a certain earthy wood tone to it that's indecipherable but its detectable in its own right. Unique and likeable.

Flavors are a tad thin for an RIS, but pretty interesting and complex in its character. Perhaps its the body that's just not pulling it in the right direction, cuz it really seems more porter-esque than RIS. Has some light smokey tones of dark fruity tang;raisin/date; and milk chocolate sweetness as a stretched out wood themed herbalness flecks about within its dark tangy sweetness. Rests a sliver of warmth and cocoa dustings in the finish as it keeps a lightly firmed tang of dark malt.

Feel's a tad thin and weakened, as noted in the taste - it does pull in some lengthy malty tang and slimming warmth that sits on the palate well enough for thorough enjoyment. But seemingly more like a milk stout or standard porter in bodyness. But just with a bit more complexity in it's flavor profile for what it offers.

A very likeable brew, enjoyable with some nice complexity that has some earthy tones and malty tanged mixing well together with a slight warming of yummyness. Not quite a RIS in my book, but that may be splitting some brewing style hairs?

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Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.