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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 250
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 34
Gots: 73 | 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:
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 added by: ArrogantB on 09-03-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 250 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle shared with Tyler at Barley Brown's, 10.17.11, poured into shaker pint glasses.

One finger brown head, quick dissipation with broken layer retained on topic of dark brown body, above average lacing. Nose is muddled, probably due to funky ingredients, had to take a real deep whiff to pick up any chocolate notes, sweetish. Taste is very very sweet for style, chocolate doesn't come through until far into back end, some citrus hops, and most unfortunately, a bit of ash, like rolling around a chocolate in an ashtray, ugh. Mouthfeel is very watery, thin at best, not much effervescence. IMO pretty bummed that this was their 25th anniversary beer, wish they had amped this up ABV-wise or better yet an Imperial Smoked Porter-now that would have been nice. Might benefit from extended cellaring, not sure that will benefit the weak mouthfeel. Sadly, we didn't even finish the bottle.

jdense, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of JackieTH
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rob for the sample. Thenpour was black with a nice cap of mocha head, decent lacing. Smell was quite light, subtle roasted malt if was forced to say something. Taste was quite heavily roasted with additional flavors including raisins and chocolates. Body was on the lighter side of medium, in fact, too light. Overall I'm glad to have tried it, but Alaskan has some further work to to make a world class RIS.

JackieTH, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Docer
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.5)
- Lovely thick fingers of mocha colored head.. slowly builds up the glass to a point of foaming over. Settles with lace all over the glass to a thin foamy pillow above a very dark stout. Solid jet brown brew which can't be seen through. Very pretty stout.

Smell: (4.5)
- Sweet and grainy chocolate, coffee, and light syrup.. all melded very well. Grassy bitter hops with a slight pine and fruity flare. Hops shine, but don't over do the stout. This smells very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Lovely sweet chocolate grains, light coffee bitterness, and a fantastic blend of woody syrups. Nice earthy grassy hop flare, and certainly not overly sweet. Nice subtle honey touch as well to it. This puppy is well balanced, and delicious.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Slightly dry but not dry enough for me. Perhaps the sweetness is at fault for that from the syrup and honey. Medium to heavy bodied, well carbonated, and a tad chalky. Overall not too sticky sweet at all.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is a very solid beer, and most likely the best that I have seen bottled from Alaskan. It is very well balanced, and dangerously smooth. A very good job on this one. It's not too sweet, and not too heavy. Certainly a must try.

Docer, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Domingo
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Like pouring a glass of molasses. Very, very deep brown, ultra-thick, and dense. The head is a bit off-white and has a bit more staying power than many others. This is on-point thus far.
The nose is very sweet and you can get a bit of the birch note from it. My wife thought it was like nail polish remover, but I didn't get anything bad here. Mainly just big dark malts, a bit of birch, and sweet fruits.
The flavor is similar, although as it warms that astringency starts to creep in. Chocolate malts, cherries, and a little bit of that birch-beer creaminess/herbal note. However after a few minutes I get a bit of turpentine that throws a wrench into things. It's not all encompassing, but it does take what would've been something pretty good and hurt it a bit.
Mouthfeel is par for the course and the carbonation is better than many other examples. No problems here.
The old "drinkability" rating would've been pretty low here as this one starts of solid and falls off quite a bit.
Seems a little like a poor man's version of their old Baltic Porter, which I enjoy.

Domingo, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of broken22
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours out a dark brown. A nice creamy head forms that it tan in color. The smell has a nice roast character to it that really dominates so I cannot distinguish any other characteristics about it. The beer has a distinct roasted character to it with some sweat flavor. I'm really having a hard time pulling out anything else. The beer has a very little carbonation and the beer feel on the thicker side.

Overall a nice tasting beer. Nothing to out of the ordinary or extraordinary about the flavor. I would buy one again if I saw it. Its just a nice easy tasty brew.

broken22, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this after having a sip at a tasting & wanting more. Popped open & split into a couple of glass slippers.

Pour is dense black. The stink coming off the still, windless surface sink-smoke, chocolate, & a distant whiff of highlands flowers. Mmmm. Don't step on them.

Alaskan Perseverance Ale makes me want to find out what a fireweed honey is & get some for the shelf. It lends this big stout a distinct smokiness, though no fire, along with a nice floral sweetness. Big black malts, too. The honey is gorgeous. Roast & Hershey's Kiss slither along the edges & add to the sweet-kiss of the brew. The honey really lingers beautifully. Flat, little to no carbonation, but the beer doesn't need it. As it warms, this one really open up, like a pollinated flower.

Wasn't wild about this at first, but it really needs to sit for about 10 minutes, then the unusual honey really changes this for the better...now I'm sorry I only bought one, I'd love to see what time does to this one. If I see another I'll grab it. Excellent beer.

maximum12, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of snaotheus
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split into a pair of large snifters

Pours tarry black with little (almost no) head, lots of slow active carbonation. Smell is rich and dark, cherries and coffee and chocolate, maybe some black licorice.

Taste is surprisingly licoricy, I think. Otherwise, fairly mild. More of the cherry and chocolate, but not lots.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, surprisingly light. Overall, it's a decent beer.

snaotheus, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Klym
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stone nonic.

This was an upside surprise for me. Very, very classic-- almost generic -- RIS smokey and roasty flavors dominate. There's a slight honeyed, sweet middle. I wonder if a little bit of aging would do this well but either way, if you're itching for an RIS this wont let you down.

Klym, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black color with a very light dark head and some and some nice thin lacing. Nose is malty, sweet and very rich.

Taste is chocolate, smoke, bacon and sweet malt. There's a good sharp be on the back of the the throat, it's warm but not too hot. Overall an awesome beer!

kingcrowing, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

thagr81us, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a bubbly khaki head. Good retention and lacing. Fairly oily and viscous.

Dark roasted maltiness, woodiness (but not oak), molases and honey notes on the nose.

Nice bright robust flavor with pretty good balance. Notes of Rich dark malt, molasses, mild faint honey and wood.

Med-full bodied. Mildly viscous with a creamy mild carbonation.

Overall it's good. Not amazing like amazing as anticipated. I'd love to try with some age to see how it changes because there seems to be Alot going on in there and things haven't begun to harmonize IMO.

MrVonzipper, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Collins pub.

A pours a thick black color with a thick mocha head.

S very smoky, reminds me off their smoked Porter and kills off anything else that might be there.

T again very smoky with some chocolate and a bit of roastiness.

M seems thin for an RIS.

Overall not bad but a little too smoky and thin for me.

beerandcycling88, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Coplains
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured fro a bomber into paint glass, shared a twenty two ounce three ways. Pours pitch black with a little of coffee colored head. Taste is really stouty malt with a little bit of what would be burnt sugar. A pretty good Russian imperial not my favorite of this variety but a solid offering from a really good brewery.

Coplains, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of soulfly1492
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Very bold. Dark roasty malts with some spices, anise. Some alcohol. Smokey.

Appearance: Amazing. Like nothing I've ever seen. Super thick head, mostly dark brown, some lighter tan spots scattered around. Excellent retention and lacing.

Taste: Semi-sweet chocolate, toffee, mild anise. Odd, but I taste some banana.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, super thick bubbles, not tingling at all. Somewhat dry.

Overall: Different than the average RIS for sure. Appearance is incredible, a sight to be seen. Taste is not quite as bold as it smells, but nice sweet malts and just a bit of bitter. Surprisingly drinkable.

soulfly1492, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in the style of Russian Imperial Stout -- because, you know, you can see Russia from Alaska -- Perseverance is made with birch syrup from Alaska Birch Syrup Co., fireweed honey from BeeAlaskan Apiaries, brown sugar and oats as well as Alaskan's famous alder-smoked malt (the same stuff used in their Smoked Porter, which has won so many gold medals it should be entered in the Olympics).

Along with the reasons above, the name comes from the connection between brewing and mining in Juneau. Early brewers in the city once stored their ales in the tunnels of area mines to sell to thirsty prospectors. One of the best-known of these mines was called the Perseverance Mine. Though it's now closed, Perseverance Trail still tops the lists of Juneau's favorite hiking trails.

Pour Perseverance into a snifter, and you'll find a brew black as an oil slick and topped with a small, dense head of cocoa-colored bubbles. The nose, sugary and rich, reveals a deep chocolate character not unlike black forest cake. Hints of anise, maple and wood smoke fuse with the sweet, malty notes. It's an incredibly smooth, manly scent.

Alaska birch syrup from Wasilla lends a deep, almost tart character to the dark malt profile, while fireweed honey from Delta Junction adds a delicate sweetness and floral notes to the aroma and finish. The slight addition of our in-house alder-smoked malt alludes to the distinctive roasted flavor of turn-of-the-century malting practices, without overpowering the more subtle flavors of this dynamic anniversary brew.

Given the glorious nose, it might seem at first blush the flavor will let you down -- it's not as rich as the aroma, and not as obviously awesome. Its greatness is subtler, revealed by more intense inspection. The journey begins with drizzles of melted dark chocolate, sweet and floral honey, and the birch syrup. The same flavors that make Alaskan's Smoked Porter one of the best in the nation show up mid-palate, the smoked alder wood blending with spicy anise notes and green hops. After the swallow, fruits emerge in the form of dark cherries and plums. The body may be a bit thin, but the alcohol is buried under a gold mine of flavor and is fairly undetectable.

Perseverance is a smooth, sweet, smoky stout. Though it's good now, time will improve it. Find a deserted mine nearby and store an extra bottle there for unearthing in a year. Your perseverance will be rewarded.

Phelps, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says "Stout brewed with birch syrup and fireweed honey". Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark coffee black with a half finger of dark khaki head, nice smallish bubbles which recede to a ring which persists for the duration of the glass. Minimal lacing.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate bar, slight floral honey, vanilla cola, and some roasted malt. Has complexity and balance.

T: Roasted malt stands out, as does a mild burnt espresso bitterness. I get a little syrup sweetness which quickly fades into an off-dry finish.

M: Medium body and slightly creamy and sticky. Medium-high carbonation gives this a little bite.

O: Pretty drinkable RIS with some complexity and balance in the aroma, less so flavor wise. Would be a pretty solid everyday choice.

pmarlowe, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of LittleDon
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz pour in a tulip shaped glass at Collins Pub in Seattle on 10/4/11.

Black, couldn't see any light passing through. Minimal head and lace. Strong banana bread aroma. Medium carbonation with a medium to heavy body. The flavor begins with a grape and banana presents. A fair amount of alcohol in the middle. Finishes nicely, roasted coffee and burnt sugar.

LittleDon, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a dark brown/black with a big creamy tan head that retains fairly well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is very surprising for a stout - sweet floral honey with some fudgy chocolate and a bit of smoke. A little black licorice and roast comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet lactic fudgy chocolate and some smoke with a good sized roast bitterness in the finish mixed with some residual sweetness. As it warms the roast char bitterness starts to dominate the sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an interesting stout. The honey and sweetness with smoke and roast was interesting.

Beaver13, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Haybeerman
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Haybeerman, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of azdback
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Dark black color with just the slightest of light submissive edges. Head is a massive three fingers and a dark brown or cocoa color. Retention is long and lace is stick in a large sheet pattern.

Smell is of burnt pete moss. Some roasted coffee and sweet honey.

Taste is a rich, malty, charred coffee delight. Smoke and sweet comes in, with a tinge of tartness of sweet cherries.

Mouth is rich and luscious. Creamy and full flavored to the end. Silky also comes to mind.

Overall I must say that this a pretty solid RIS. It is a bit different with the sweet honey and smoked malt, but that only makes it unique in an Alaskan way. I think anyone with access to this should try it.

azdback, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Urge Gastropub
San Diego, CA

Black as can be with a thin chocolate milk colored head. Thin sheets of lacing left down the glass.

Mixed aroma consisting of espresso/coffee, some mild chocolate, lots of roasted malt, and a touch of sugar sweetness. Relatively standard "good" RIS aroma.

The flavor isn't quite as successful. While the flavor does follow the nose pretty closely, there's a bit of licorice flavor and alcohol sting that aren't all too pleasant and detract from the otherwise pleasant flavor profile.

Medium to thick bodied. Appropriate.

A decent big stout with some distinct flaws that really detract from the overall enjoyment and drinkability.

ehammond1, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this one on tap this afternoon at Hops & Pie. At least I didn't have to buy the bottle. Poured an inky black color with an inch or so of medium brown foam on top. Aromas of roasted malt, mint and dry chocolate. On the palate, this one was fairly full bodied and medicinal, with flavors of roasted malt, honey and mint.

emmasdad, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


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.

HopHead84, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

mactrail, Sep 23, 2011
Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.