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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

249 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
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: 249 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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...

John_M, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours thick and black. Head was a medium tan, light brown color. Retention was nice, and the creamy head left some spongy remains.

Definitely some honey, and a very slight smoke/char. Fair sweetness and roasted quality.

Much more roasted, with hints of chocolate and coffee, but more honey and birch syrup...though I think maple would have gone better. Very minor smoke if at all, which is a little disappointing. Just a lot going on it and it's not predominant enough to really make itself know. There's some alcohol heat too.

Average feel. It's a bit creamy, medium to full in body.

A bit let down by this at this point. I'll hold onto another bottle and hopefully time will do this well, cuz it's kinda a mess currently...

EgadBananas, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin, almost nonexistent head. No lacing.

S-Earthy, woody syrup, wood smoke, booze.

T/M-Very boozy and dry. Tastes really young. Mouthfeel is oppressively dry. Hard to taste much else, unfortunately. I'm not getting any of the syrup, which is especially disappointing, considering how much it played into the aroma.

O-I won't write it off entirely, as I've found some of Alaskan's strong ales need a few months/years to reach their full potential. I am disappointed that this was released so young. I can't help but think that if they had let this sit for a few more months in the bottle prior to releasing it, they might have a better beer on their hands.

DaveHS, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of thatruth
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from the Beer Junction in West Seattle, suggested by Morgan. poured into pint glass.

pours a 1/8" tan head with moderate-to-heavy frothy lacing. pours a dormant root beer color into an opaque body with caramel tint. absolutely no light penetrates this beer.

smells of smoky firewood malt, pears, coffee roast, and as noted on the bottle: 'birch' syrup.

taste has a minimal lacquer presence that tends to override (or forebode) most RISs. damn malty, more smoky, chocolate taste than anything else. notes of honey, as mentioned on the bottle, are also present.

fresh, inquisitive on-bringing leads to a wet, fritzy finish. 9.0% alc./vol. hidden quite well, easy on the palette.

damn fine beer from Alaska for their 25th anniversary. hats off to them, well done.

thatruth, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Vierenner
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting that I have to travel to Tucson to taste my first beer from Alaskan Brewing Company! And it was actually Alaskan Amber (keg) that I sampled first but it was at a business event earlier in the week where it wouldn't have been appropriate to step aside to properly review. However, I can say from memory that the Amber was delicious!

This brewery is onto something! They take a standard RIS and turn it into something special, something unique. It says birch syrup and honey on the bottle but I wouldn't have pulled those flavors out myself. All that I can say is that there is a moderate level of sweetness (good), interesting flavors (good), and very little hop bite (great!). There is a subtle bitterness, but it only adds to the experience.

Can't wait for a return trip to Tucson!

Vierenner, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of jera1350
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A deep brown to black in color with a thick cap of sudsy light brown foam. A bit of lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malt with a hint of smoke at the end.

The taste is very malty with a little roast to it. Getting some of the honey at the back end with a smoked malt flavor in the background and aftertaste. Nice taste, but nothing stands out in a big way.

Feels a bit thin for the style and the carbonation isn't as creamy and soft as I would appreciate in the style.

This is a nice and easy to drink RIS, but it doesn't stand out a whole lot. I enjoyed it, but would like some bolder flavor for the price point and being that it is a 25th anniversary beer. Worth a try, but don't have too big of expectations.

jera1350, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cola black into a tulip with a finger of light khaki head. Dry aroma dominated by smoke with some coffee and cocoa.

Moderate carbonation and a light but somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Smoke up front followed by coffee, dark cocoa, and licorice. Sweet finish with some mild hop bitterness, roasty coffee, and sweet maple/molasses. Nice hint of boozy warmth.

Tasty with some complex flavors going on. Perhaps a touch thin and sweet, but the smoky character is this beer's saving grace.

grittybrews, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of GrumpyJunglist
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer straight from the bottle.

A: Poured a midnight black, no light can pass through this one. The head was minimal and dissipated fast. It was a dark brown color, with about a half fingers worth.

S: Big aromas of roasted coffee, with a little honey, and a bit of Maple syrup scents.

T: Very light no real overpowering of the RIS, with mild tones roasted coffee beans, with the sweetness more upfront from the birch and honey.

M: Starts off sweet, ends up warm and roasty.

O: Not bad, but not something I would go crazy about to buy again. Wonder how this thing would age.

GrumpyJunglist, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of WYVYRN527
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black in color with a tan head that quickly settles to a thin film on the surface. Not nearly as viscous as I expected.

S: Boozy right away, with burnt toast, wood smoke, coffee and some chocolate notes. It reminds me of being up north.

T: Much like the smell, but with hints of dried dark fruits, prominent smoky flavor, and espresso notes. Chocolate and toast coat the palate, leaving a path for some grassy hop flavors. Having a cabin in the north woods, I know what birch syrup is like, and this beer definitely shows its presence.

Notes: While a bit thin, this beer has some potential. Somewhat boozy, but I think it needs some time to develop. Flavors are all mixed up right now, with little balance. Perhaps with some age, this beer will turn into something special.

WYVYRN527, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of younger35
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this randomly in a small beer store near my house. Alaska Brewing is one of my all time favorites and I’m very excited to try this. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a very dark brownish black with a nice frothy one finger dark brown head. A beautiful cap and collar remain the entire beer along with just a touch of lacing.
Smell- Loads of dark chocolaty malts that are well roasted and plenty charred. Maybe it’s the birch syrup or fireweed honey but there is a definite woody sort of earthiness to the smell. Maybe a touch of smoked malt is used too because I get a touch. Some dark fruits sneak in along with a bit of brown sugar and caramel.
Taste- Very interesting. I’m assuming that odd sort of woody smokiness I get is from smoked malts and the birch syrup (or maybe just the birch syrup? I don’t know what it tastes like). As I read a bit about the beer on TheBeerSpot.com I see it does have some of their house Alder smoked malts in it. The beer is lightly sweet but not overly so with hints of black licorice and molasses. Maybe a extremely light touch of those dark fruits I got whiffs of in the nose but they are fleeting. The beer is very earthy overall and the 9% is very well hidden into the finish.
Mouthfeel- Nice rich feel that’s not syrupy or too thick. Amazing luscious feel for being 9%. Not much heat from the beer as the mouthfeel is literally almost perfect.
Drinkability- A very unique flavored beer. It’s very earthy and the flavors are unlike anything I’ve had before. I was afraid it was going to be a bit too sweet to be drinkable but that wasn’t the case at all. I had no trouble with this bottle. Maybe not the greatest RIS of all time but interesting and easy drinking (all things considered).

younger35, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of TheBrewViking
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter from a bottle. Looks good, very nice carbonation, appearance is black with about inch of tan head that fades after a minute or so.

Smells like smoke and honey with some dark chocolate in the background. The aroma gets better as the beer warms

Taste follows the nose with this one except the smokey malts are more present now but not overwhelming. I get honey and molasses and chocolate in the middle followed by roasted malts and smoke. This beer just gets better as it warms and all the flavors start showing up

There is medium body on this not very thick but a good silkyness to it.

Overall a very nice and complex RIS will do very well with some age. Glad I grabbed a few of these

TheBrewViking, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.


JohnGalt1, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of BigB415
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch Black with little to no head. Medium lacing that doesn't run down the side of the glass.

S: Sweet and hoppy. Unfortunately not much else there.

T: More sweetness which comes from the syrup and honey. Odd choices for a ingredients for a beer but there has been weirder( I'm looking at you Dogfish Head.) I guess the syrup and honey can also be fitting for an Alaskan brewery since those 2 items are pretty common up there and can be found easily in the wild.

MF: As a previous user commented there is no mouthfeel and I agree. The mouthfeel is really thin with no extra flavor sticking behind on the tongue and no heat. I was expecting the MF to be exploding with flavor but you can't get everything you want.

O: It's nice but not the best from Alaskan Brewing Company in my own opinion. I'm happy they did a Russian Imperial Stout though since it's my favorite style they just didn't quite nail it.

BigB415, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.2/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my Founders snifter.

Very black pour. Three fingers of very solid mocha head. The promising look is intact.

Smell is odd. It's sweet. But sweet like if you've ever been to the prairie and ran through the grass. Sweet vegetation smell. Odd.

First sip the only thing I notice and have to pause to take in is the mouthfeel. How thin is this beer? Paper thin. Annoyingly so. No body. No warmth. Bleh.

Taste is sweet like molasses. Aftertaste is like someone took charcoal and raked it across your tongue.

Pretty awful. A sad display of 25 years. Fire that brewer so he/she won't disgrace your name again.

TheDudeRules, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of julian
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown in color with a minimal head on an aggressive pour that fades entirely within a minute or so. zero lacing.

S: Some roasted malt, brown sugar, charred wood, smokey

T&M: This is a little too over-carbonated for my liking, and I think a little too dry. A lot of the body and flavor has been stripped away. There is also a little astringency to this. As for taste, it's roasty with some harsh bitterness. Not that great.

O: I'm not entirely impressed with this. They've done much better in styles similar to this (oatmeal stout) and could have made something great with this Anniversary RIS. I am disappoint.

julian, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium Snifter

A- rich black with a two-finger copper head that settles down to a 1/8" tan head after a couple sips. It also leaves a lot of lacing in its path.

S- wood, honey, almost non-present hops, booze

T- birch, honey, and faint hops up front; the honey stays through the middle, with cocoa and coffee sneaking in; the finish is a booze-laced espresso with a hint of sweetness. A noticeable alcoholic burn remains for a few seconds after.

M- medium to full bodied, latte-like foaminess, the carbonation stays throughout, but never dominates.

O- this reminds me of a smoky version of Fritz and Ken's Stout from the SN Anniversary series. I am going to do a side by side tasting to see if this is validated. Either way, I am glad I bought a few bottles of this because I think it is going to age extremely well. A good buy for $10.

Ungertaker, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Mars black with Just the slightest blood red tinge. This is quite opaque. Pours with a healthy pale tan head which has excellent retention (sea foam) and very good lacing.

S: 60 % chocolate nutty (macadamia?) hop pollen on the nose.

T: wading through the foam I'm tasting a cold chocolate (hard to taste) wrapped in foil ( slightly metallic) quality. Tons of carbonation might promote this beers aging potential, but the metallic note already present takes away from that. Overall were working with nutty chocolate flavors and a faint brushed steel suggestion.

M: Watery and overly carbonic. Perseverance is lacking in this department quite a bit.

O: There is some aging potential but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. I wish there was more of a birch syrup presence. and I do wonder with time what flavors might present themselves.

flannelman808, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep black with a one inch head that lasts a couple minutes. No light is able to shine through it, a sign of a great stout.

S: A sweet birch, honey, and sweet smoke come off the nose; and also you get some dark fruit, especially fig.

T: A lot of birch, honey, and a bit of smoke malt. This stout has a really complex taste which takes a bit to decipher. You can also get some light dark roast which only lends to the malt bill of the stout.

M: It has a thinner, yet creamier mouthfeel. It feels thin but goes down with a creamy thickness

O: Overall, this beer is pretty complex and is pretty amazing. The malt is smoked perfectly, not to smoky and yet a bit of smoke adds to the complexity of the beer. This is one of the best smoked stouts I have had so far. This is beer is great fresh, but would even get more complex after a year.

PaulStoneAnchor, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of sprucetip
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of mocha colored foam that persists for a while, but doesn't leave any lacing. Some light just barely gets in around the edges. And it's pretty active too, with tiny bubbles penetrating the surface long after the pour.

Licorice/anise/molasses flavors, mild boozy heat, and some roast all blend well together and lead the charge. Dark fruit is also prominent. It's woody and all supported well by the malty sweet body. I think I get the birch, but would I have if it wasn't written on the bottle? This has a really nice, well balanced and intriguing aroma.

As with the nose, the licorice/anise/molasses like flavors are prominent, but not overdone. There are suggestions of dark fruit, wood, and a substantial malty sweet base backing and balancing well. The roast kicks in in the middle, but never really dominates. But the roast does linger, as does a very restrained but noticeable bitterness. The malty sweetness is chocolaty at times, and the roast reminds me of coffee. The power of suggestion has me sensing the birch syrup, but wouldn't 100% fermentable sugar just dry it out? This is a good tasting RIS that is subtly unique.

It is well carbonated with modest warming. It is quite rich and has thick, full body.

This isn't the most intense or even complex RIS, but it is very well balanced, fairly complex, unique and subtle. And it just tastes and smells great. This is all very reliving to me, as it is the closest regional brewery to me, and it sometimes misses the mark with some of its special releases (and it's every day stuff is very tame). The DIPA they put out this spring, for example, was a big disappointment. They do sometimes hit the spot, such as with the Barleywine, and both Porters. I liked the black IPA too. But you can add Perseverance to the list of Alaskan Brewing Co beers worth seeking.

sprucetip, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

barleywinefiend, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Poured slightly chilled. Gorgeous black body with medium brown head. Nose is incredible on this beer, with a rich dark chocolatey element and candied wood. Palate has a sexy, unctuous silky body that turns me on, firm roasty flavors with coffee, and more of the candied wood mentioned earlier. Clearly smoked malt is in there too. Honey quality in there too, but it could be planted there by the bottle description. Finish is more of the roasty flavors and wood to honey.

yemenmocha, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of BigE90
2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a) dark in color, a little light coming through though, small head that faded quickly

s) not a lot going on, you can smell some syrup and honey and a little malt but nothing over powering or really standing out from the pour or just sitting there

t) wow, immediately reminds me of the Smoked Porter then quickly fades to some sweetness followed by a hop bitterness. After several tastes though the bitterness and sweetness are starting to leave a bad after taste and that is all I can taste which I am not liking

m) very light and thin, consistency of a brown ale not a RIS, very surprised at the lack of body or complexity in this

o) I wanted to like this very much but came away very disappointed. I had high expectations but the flavors just did not convey what a RIS should be and the biggest surprise was the very light mouthfeel. I don't think cellaring is going to help as not a lot is going on flavor wise. No hurry to open my other bottles.

BigE90, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of ArrogantB
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. I was glad to get a 4oz pour for $4.50 since it was happy hour and now I don;t have to buy a bottle! I've been a little let down by Alaskan pilot/special beers except for the barleywine so I didn't want to drop $9 on a bottle. This was obviously black and the head was robust and tan. Smell was malty. The first flavor I got was bubblegum, hops? As I took more sips I got some sweetness (syrup, honey?) and roast but a hop bitterness was persistent and stood out to me. Overall, not bad but glad I didn't buy a bottle.

ArrogantB, Sep 03, 2011
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Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.