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Fish Tale Winterfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

147 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by deansellers:
Photo of deansellers
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

deansellers, Feb 19, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep golden with a thinner than expected head but I will say it did have some staying power,I have to say the aromas were a bit more muted than expected as well some herbal and piney hop but it really dont jump out at ya.Hmm the suprises keep coming an IPA it is but the flavors seem really off quite dry and very earthy with a real alcohol punch in the finish,quite harsh.Very dissapointing I really thought from other reviews it would be better,one of the odder IPA's I have had to date.I'll pass on this if ever given the chance to try again.

oberon, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Cloudy and orange in the body with a thick, staying head that left some lacing. This one looks terrific.

Smell – The sharp piney hops jump right out of the glass. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find some softer hops and a balancing malt base.

Taste – This one is something else. The malts come up a little bigger at the tongue, but it is the dept of hop flavor that makes this ale. The piney hops are there in force and seem to go on forever right through the finish.

Mouthfeel – On the heavy side of medium-bodied and very dry.

Drinkability – This has instantly become a personal fav for me. It looks and smells great, tastes exceptional, and went down beautifully.

Comments – My bros BigHuge and ZAP saved me from being the high ball here, but I just love this stuff. Too bad my wife took the rest of the bottle.

RoyalT, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

This is Fish Brewing's hoppiest beer, and an American interpretation of a Winter Warmer as well.

The frothy head is the color of burnt cream, even off of a hard pour the bubbles still swirl around in slow motion as they struggle a bit to rise to the top. Head retention is decent with a thin ring of lace which stays for the duration. Mildly hazed orangey copper color has a glow to it when put up to direct light. Big citric rind, evergreen, fresh spearmint and herbal hops nose. Some fruitiness and biscuity malt in the back of the aroma rounds the nose out. Thick, semi-viscous full body is both creamy and smooth with a deeply embedded carbonation. The palate gets assaulted with hops even with a small sip to start; bitterness is strong but never becomes overkill. Heavy on the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice for the hop flavor. Maltiness is stable with a big enough character to leave a balance, sweet caramel and lightly toasted grain biscuits come to mind. End with a bittersweet finale.

If this is the American interpretation of the winter warmer then we are headed down the right path, though this could easily be confused with an American double IPA. Regardless, it's a choice winter seasonal for your inner hophead.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of mikegreen138
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

mikegreen138, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of Thrasher
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a 6 month old sample and it's appalling. The beer has deteriorated -- the chance-y, buttery yeast flavor has breeded with the overly piney hops to create something truly grotesque. Akin to a deep fried pine-tree car freshener. The alcohol burns, badly. Atrocious. I am hoping there is something wrong with this.


Re-review 5/1 Ok this is better. It's not great but at least it's drinkable. Hops are bitter and grassy, almost like stinging nettles. The malts are a bit too smooth, lapsing into a green-apple, butterscotch yeast flavor, but on the whole the beer is not nearly as offensive. The hops are probably the highlight; the rest of the beer ho-hum. Upping the score accordingly.

Thrasher, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of Haightfulbrew
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour: Sunset cloudy orange, produces a thick finger of off-white, determined head, that settles slowly into patches and leaves 360 degree lace.

Nose: Sour lemon, fresh citrus, grapefruit, honey, fresh cut grass, toasted white bread. Hint of fish?

Taste: Starts hoppy. Citrusy, crisp and grassy. Then a millisecond of sweet honey malt, then a big bitter finish. The end of this beer overwhelms everything else. Quite hoppy, to the point of being a bit unpleasant and vegetably .

Mouth: Medium body, with a spritzy carbonation that comes on in the finish.

Overall: Not incredibly interesting. Not sure why this is being called a winter beer. Somewhere between a light IPA and a dry hopped pale ale.

The website says the grain bill is all Pale and Honey Malt. Hops are Chinook throughout the boil, and Chinook to dry hop. This is a dry hopped pale ale, through and through.

Haightfulbrew, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy apricot hue, with a little soapy white head. It smells of sweet caramel malt, raisins, molasses, and citrus hops. The taste has a strong caramel malt body, and the citrus hops are quite prominent. There's a mild carbonation to go with the decent weight of this beer, which tastes like a junior American barley wine. The finish is mild caramel malt, and a minor alcohol warming. This is a very nicely balanced and strongly flavoured beer, I would have this again.

biboergosum, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of cokes
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gently fogged orange-gold gourd color stacked with a modest cap of soiled white.
Pungent nose full of wafting reefer tendrils and dripping tropical fruit, mostly pineapple and assorted citrus rinds. To say the nose is bright is an epic understatment.
It gallops into the mouth with a workmanlike malt backing of shortbread and caramelized marshmallows, and grows slightly fuller and breadier by midway. The hops are obviously huge, but moreso in flavors than bitters....though there is a fair amount of later here too. Explosive with its pithy tropical fruits, more pineapple, mango, fried plantain, and orange- and lime rinds. Resinous gan-J tackifies the close with its piquant smoky herbalisms.
Medium in the mouth, sturdy in build, moderately low in carbonation.
This is a tremendous Holiday quaffer and likely the best "winter" IPA I've had. This makes Celebration look a lot less festive.

It should, however, be noted that it doesn't age worth a shit. Even after 4-5 months, it's notably degraded. So if it ain't absolutely fresh, throw it back.

cokes, Dec 03, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in Calgary. Yes, the advertisement says the hoppiest Winter beer, and it's an IPA for its seasonal. Lacey head, creamy on cloudy yellow. Hop and barley aroma. Full mouthfeel, with hoppy and yeasty taste. Smooth, some c-hop and some other hop. A nice one.

Sammy, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy (bottle-conditioned) orange/copper body rests sleepily beneath a good-sized head of fine-bubbled, creamy white foam. The head retention is quite good and it leaves some very nice Brussels-style lace about the glass. The nose is a touch fruity from the yeast, sweetly bready, and hoppy with pine and grapefruit (Centennials? Or perhaps a Chinook/Cascade combination?). It's quite smooth and creamy in the mouth, starting with a delicate caress from it's exceptionally fine-bubbled natural carbonation and becoming more solid as its full body becomes apparent. The interplay between the yeasty fruitiness and grassy, subtly pine/spruce like hops is interesting with a speedbump of lightly sweet malt thrown in the middle there. It's not overly complex, or as rich, brash, or bold as some examples, but it is quite enjoyable in its own right - hence, a great drinkability. The only thing that might hold back its drinkability is its 7% abv; but the alcohol itself never shows or becomes a problem, it's just that you can't drink too many in one sitting. Or course the question is "would you want to?"... I think perhaps yes!

NeroFiddled, May 06, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden-orange color topped by a half-inch of stark white head that lingers for just a moment before retreating into a small halo. Aroma of pale and caramel malts, light fruity hops, and a touch of fresh fruit. Palate is a bit better balanced and more subtle than the nose - the fruity hops fully emerge around mid-palate, yielding to a caramel sweetness on the finish. Body is nice and creamy, with a good bit of alcohol warming on the finish. Nicely drinkable, although a bit odd to be considered a winter beer. Call it whatever you want, I'll still gladly drink it.

ElGordo, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bought a 6 pack at sadhanna for like 8 bucks maybe

appearance: pours a slightly cloudy perfect orange/copper with a goldish hue, beautiful cream head and nice lacing

smell: wow, upon first smell, tropical fruit aromas stick out above the rest...floral citrus and piney hops underneath, some grapefruit, orange, but mostly tropical...one of the best smelling ipa's i have come across

taste: i think i am in love...this stuff is wonderful... sweet and juicy hops, loaded with tropical fruit, mango, grapefruit, orange, apricot, slightly pined, some sweet malts underneath, hop bitterness big in the aftertaste. I am getting more of this tommorow! This is one of the best IPA's I have had in a while

mouthfeel: juicy, oily, hop bitterness

drinkability: all too drinkable

dirtylou, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

cliff1066, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +7%

DOCRW, May 07, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - slightly hazy copper, one finger of head left a solid lace ring
S - citrus and pine, with a light grainy and sweetness
T - strong citrus zest and pine hops, biscuity malt with a some honey sweetness
M - good carbonation kick with a great hop bitter with some breadiness on the finish
D - was difficult to review at first as it was not what I was expecting from a "winter warmer", although I suppose that category is loose at best. This is like an American DIPA, and a good one. Nice hop backbone, and generally a refreshing bitter beer

joemcgrath27, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of DarkLordPsycho
3/5  rDev -19.8%

DarkLordPsycho, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The ale is an amber orange color with a thin white head covering the top of the glass. From initial appearances, it looks like the beer will lace nicely.

S: The aroma is a big citrusy cascade hop aroma, floral and pleasing.

T: The ale is a nice IPA. A strong caramel malt base supports a big hop body. The hops are citrusy, providing a strong floral grapefruit flavor from first sip to last. The end finishes with an intense bitterness that has some pine notes in it.

M: The mouthfeel is all hops, not too strong, but big enough to satisfy.

D: The abv is a bit high to enjoy several, but this breaks the mold of a winter ale. It is big and hoppy, tart without scalding the tastebuds.

akorsak, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slight haze. Bright golden orange. Gold and tangerine Highlights. a finger of oily offwhite head. Big bubble sheets of foamy lacing.

Pine and Grapefruit. Toasty, caramel, buttery biscuit.

Juicy fruit, tropical, citrus. Buttery biscuit and caramel. Spicy herbal resins. Bitter resinous grapefruit and pine aftertaste.

Dry, semi sticky. smooth, yet slightly light body for style. low carbonation.

Good winter brew. could use a bit more malt backbone. Nice light and hoppy. Was considerably better when it first came out.

Reviewed on Feb 11, 2010.

CHILLINDYLAN, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a deep slightly orangey color ale with a small foamy head with some limited retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus and bitter hops is mostly dominating without being too strong. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with a medium bitter finish with some distinctive citrus notes. Body is quite full with some low carbonation. Overall, while this was an interesting beer I thought it was lacking in hops bites for the style.

Phyl21ca, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a two-finger off-white head and copious lacings. Aroma is citrus and peach with floral hops.
Taste is citrus peach sweetness immediately pushed aside by bitter grapefruit and peachy hops. I can see why many see this as an IPA. Thankfully a winter warmer without the presence of brown sugar! Reminds me of a Red IPA I had a few nights ago. This beer masks the 7.5%abv very well, so watch out.
This beer was brewed in Oct. so it is fairly fresh. A fine pour, good job Fish!

Spikester, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of buzzy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

buzzy, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of hannaho
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

hannaho, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery orange amber with a thin white head and light lacing. Citrus and pine aroma; hops. Citrus and citrus hops to start, slight malt and caramel with a hoppy finish. A little subdued compared to a IPA, but pleasant. Not getting any holiday spicing here, but a nice hoppy ale.

LiquidAmber, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few different bottles of this beer, wanting to be sure I'm getting it at it's best. Poured a 12oz bottle tonight into a goblet.

a. Pours a crystal clear golden straw-honey color with a full two-finger bubbly head of a light pink grapefruit hue. The full bubble head faded leaving an interesting crumpet-like lacing with a ring following down the glass.

s. caramel and toffee yet no malt aroma, followed by floral and citrus hops. Marigolds, grapefruit zest, lemons and lillys create a sweet and fruity aroma.

t. Definitely an IPA. An interesting blend of citrus, floral, and pine hops. A bit of toffee sweetness at the front, then a definite hop bitterness in the middle with a solid bitter hopping. Some odd flavors as well - raw turnip, celery, potato and walnut skins. Maybe some yeastiness, akin to mediocre belgian yeasts. Astringent bread and vegetable undertones. (the first bottle I tried this year had the most powerful presentation of these flavors, but all bottles I've tried seem similar... and it does significantly fade as the beer warms. I left some sit to near-room temp and it seems better)

m. Solid IPA mouthfeel... smooth and a hint of creaminess, medium-light carbonation, and a decent balance of pine hop bitter and sweetness on the front of the tongue.

d. Not a bad beer. Definitely more of an IPA than a Winter Warmer, as categorized. Everything is decent except for the oddness that's throwing me in the taste. Maybe it's just me? or maybe this year's batch is slightly off. I don't distinctly remember this one in past years, so i can't say for sure. If you like west-coast citrusy IPAs, it may be worth a shot.

djeucalyptus, Oct 22, 2008
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Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.