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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.
very good

257 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 257
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 35
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:
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: 257 | Reviews: 124
Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

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 azdback
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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 Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review No. 200

22oz bomber of Perseverance Ale, Alaskan's 25th Anniversary RIS. Had this out of the fridge for 20 minutes or before tasting. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Jet black and opaque, with a large brown head (from an aggressive pour) that leaves spotty lacing throughout the glass.

S: With aromas of dry bitter bakers chocolate, coffee grounds and a moderate spicy hop profile, this beer smells like a textbook RIS, but there is a decent amount of wood-like smells present as well. There is a sweetness on the nose as well, not dark fruit but it could be the honey and other adjuncts; when mixed with the aromas of wood it's almost vanilla-like.

T: Woody roasted malts, coffee bitterness, hops and creamy chocolate, in that order. I might be imagining but I think I can taste honey, or something slightly sweet like it. Digging the hop profile & subtle coffee flavors but was hoping for a more robust roasted (or alder-smoked) malt backbone.

MF: Moderate body, with a decent amount of felt carbonation and finishing dryness from the bitter hops.

O: In general a good RIS, but slightly underwhelming for an Anniversary brew from a brewery that knows smoked malt (see Smoked Porter, Baltic Porter). Still enjoyable and very drinkable.

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 EgadBananas
3.14/5  rDev -18.2%
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...

Photo of DaveHS
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Photo of thatruth
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Vierenner
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
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!

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 jera1350
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of GrumpyJunglist
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of younger35
3.81/5  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).

Photo of TheBrewViking
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
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

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.


Photo of BigB415
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.24/5  rDev -41.7%
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.

Photo of julian
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

Photo of Ungertaker
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.