1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
84
good

146 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fish Tale Winterfish Alström Bros
Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
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 andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden orange, thin layer of head with little retention and no lacing.

S - Hop bomb... Not at all what I was expecting. Sweet lemon dominates and I'm struggling to find any spices that would be common in any winter warmer.

T - Strong citrus hops with an earthy finish that lingers, slightly peppery and the ABV is nicely hidden.

M - Fills up on the tongue and goes down smooth, though the finish is a little too dry for my liking.

D - Once I learned that this wasn't your typical winter warmer, I was able to better appreciate it. At first I thought they got the production lines mixed up and were pouring their IIPA into the Winterfish bottles! If you're a hop fan, this beer is definitely for you. Really tasty!

andrenaline, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Shadman
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has an AIPA look about it. Hazy orange, cloudy( unfiltered) frothy rich head. tons and tons of gooey lacing.

Faint caramel malts which is impressive given the powerful citrus and mostly pine aroma. It's like a christmas tree and fresh peeled grapefruit rind had a baby.

Same caramel malts have a tough time against the twin titans of graefruit and pine. Grapefruit citrus seems to be the winner. Pine left to provide a bitterness that almost begs you to take another sip. Alcohol is barely discernable.

Thick, almost chewy mouthfeel.

Not what I was expecting given the usual suspects in this style. Very much, as others have noted, like a double/imperial IPA in the character of this beer. After getting over the initial surprise I have to say I'd have it again.

Shadman, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought a 12oz bottle of this on sale at Total Wine. Who knows how old this is but it is a winter warmer: which winter? I am not sure. This one looks different than most winter warmers. This one is golden orange in color as opposed to the typical chocolate/brown/caramel colors associated with the style I don't know how to score the look, but there is a nice frothy head on top. Nice lacing too. Cloudy due to the yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Looks a lot like a wheat beer.

Aroma is filled with sweet caramel, yeast, alcohol, and some citrusy and grassy hops. Somewhat fruity but certainly on the sweet alcoholic side.

This one has some hop bite to it. Starts out kind of sweet and fruity and finishes hoppy bitter with a warming alcohol feeling. Borders on cloying, but still a decent, balanced beer. Bitter grapefruit, caramel malts, alcohol, more citrus. Oily and resiny.

Not a bad beer, I must say. The alcohol is kind of front and center, but I guess a winter warmer is supposed to be warming. A different interpretation on the style and I quite like it. More geared toward hops than brown sugar and malt. I could see myself drinking this after hitting the slopes for some backside grunge nose grabs.

SaCkErZ9, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel orange color. Lacing looks good. White and airy head, but it fell fast. Nice light color.

Caramelized peach and mango in the nose. Assuming it's from the hops, but there's no perky bitter leafy notes that rise up. Just tropical fruit nuances. Very mild and biscuity. Quite the departure from a winter ale.

It IS from the hops. Soft peachy hops with notes of mango, papaya, and nectarine. A little muddled with light caramel from mostly pale malts. Not much toastiness. Malts are a little flat, but they apply their own attributes with light balance. Alcohol is staved off a bit. This is close to a winter pale ale or weak IPA.

Thick for an IPA, which it is not, but it's pretty juicy for a warmer with that light carbonation that doesn't draw much attention. Booziness is light, but spicy.

Not an ideal warmer, so no props for the style. Still delicious and almost hoppy. Recommended.

thecheapies, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of oakbluff
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce Bottle courtesy of CBA via CdnBIF- thanks man! Great looking beer out of the gate. Clarity is top notch along with a fluffy white head and nice light orange glow. Smell is spicy malts and hops. Taste- very nice. Reminds of Alpha King. Malts are quite stong in a flavourful cookie dough kind of way and balance out the agressive hops nicely. Hops are predominatley of the bittering kind, but pop up in a citrus juicyness on the back end. Very dry finish. Carbonation is appropriate for style and brew is quite drinkable. No doubt much tastier fresh as this has a few months under its belt- held up well though.

oakbluff, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of germaniac
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brownish gold, with a dirty white head and considerable lacing.

Smells of ripe citrus, mainly orange zest with an oily,hoppy tang.

Taste is mellow, fruity hops, with a toffee-like sweetness in the finish complimented by a light hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste.

Easy to drink at 7.5%, maybe a little TOO easy.

Manages to pull of the IPA as a Winter seasonal, while going the
opposite end of the hop flavor spectrum from Celebration Ale.

Purchased at a Nugget supermarket in Davis, CA.

germaniac, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just to prove how lucky Americans are ,this is the only U.S. ale
available in B.C. liquor stores at this time.

Luckily this is a big hoppy beer that tastes big and bold. There is hints of fragrant adjuncts that give off a oily, resinous note. I like
the complexity and high ibu's that make this a sipper and not a
simple IPA. If this part of the so called "New Imperialism" in
PNW brewing then bring on the rest of these big beers.

canucklehead, Apr 05, 2003
Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pintful, poured at Laughing Planet. Can't recall ever trying this brew before...had it on a 'balmy' low-50's day at lunch...not exactly 'winter'.

A: Copper-ish tawny orange with a slim head of near-white cream. A decent amount of slow-rising carb bubbles. Very nice coating of suds curtains, breaking apart but holding true like rings on a tree trunk.

S: More 'caramel' than 'hops' in the nose, more sweetness and a moist/coffeecake-type candy aroma. Even a hint at 'raisin'-level sweetness.

T: Orange-like hops and a punch of bitterness (a bracing, almost burning, grapefruit), followed by slightly milder fruit and browned maltiness. Plenty of flavor, just over-the-top towards hops, which isn't really my thing. Good, still...

M: Thickening chewiness, more lip-smacking goodness building with each sip. Medium-full body with good carbonation.

D: Hmm...not exactly 'drinkable' by my definition, yet a nice one to hoist one of, and a brew I'd probably have again. 'Average' weight for a Winter Warmer (which means it packs a sneakily potent punch).Probably worth having again, though I prefer the more malty versions of the style...

msubulldog25, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, color is light gold, head is bright white nice bubbles, some lacing; it is a bit opaque, not looking like a winter warmer to me.

Aroma is pale malt, light booze and citrus and pine hops, nice scent for a winter ipa.

Taste is very good, pretty clean malts, not too sweet, crisp and bitter hops, with the hop flavor a good mix of pine and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is a little sweeter than some ipas, lingering malt flavor but the hops are big enough to dry it out.

Overall, slight knock because this is not a winter warmer and I thought it was when purchasing, but it is a good beer.

mvanaskie13, Dec 24, 2013
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 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 John_M
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Claudia's today.

The beer pours a light copper color with OK head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, though what I detect is pretty nice. There's a nice mix of sweet malt, spice and hoppy citrus in this beer, which is replicated pretty closely on the palate. However, the beer has a considerable amount of flavor on the palate, and finishes with a very dry, very hoppy/bitter finish. Mouthfeel is fairly light, but the beer has plenty of flavor. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well disguised.

This is a solid beer, but I don't think it's anything spectacular. Unfortunately, I had it after a glass of the HUB abominable winter ale, and I think it suffered a bit by comparison. This is a very good beer, but needless to say, it doesn't compare to the abominable.

John_M, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of drpimento
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like this much more than their organic IPA. More balance. Poured with a small white head and decent lace. Odd reddish amber color wih traces of pink?!?!?! Aroma is very hoppy rounded off with some caramel malt and accented with spice and resin. Flavor is BIG in the hop department. Some residual sweetness. Long hoppy finish. Decent beer.

drpimento, May 02, 2007
Photo of meathookjones
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a deep orange color with a cap of white foam. Foam disappears quick leaving the slightest scattering of lace on the glass. Some caramel malt and a nice bit of citric hops make up the aroma. Fairly mild aroma but pleasant. Flavor starts of a bit sweet with malt upfront before the bitter grapefruit takes control. Tastes quite juicy with hops and is pretty solid. Ends on a slight bitter hop note. Medium body and it goes down smooth with a slight prickling from the bitterness. Good drinkability, while its not a favorite of mine it’s a good solid IPA.

meathookjones, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of olmatty
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours an orange amber with a slight has. Very thin white head that dissapates quickly, but surprisingly leaves some sticky white lace in the glass.

Smell-Creamy sweet and a hint of herb.

Taste-So much more flavor than aroma. Caramel malts in depth. Some. Hops come along in the middle with a flat bitterness that turns herbal and stick around for a nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Average carbonation and middling body.

Drinkability-Extremely smooth for a winter ale. Very nice and deinkable.

olmatty, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Anchor Christmas Ale 2011.

A: Clear light amber with two-finger, white, foamy head that lasted more than a few minutes. Phenomenal lacing.

S: Light floral malt and pine. Honey.

T: Light sweetness and pronounced hop bitterness. Floral and piney. The bitterness lingers quite a while. The malt flavor is kind of subdued.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth, dry, and warm.

O: This was pretty good. A little hoppier than I like personally, but definitely one of the better winter warmers out there. I liked the Anchor one better.

SolipsismalCat, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed amber with a thin head that stays around for the most part, before eventually becoming a patch.

The smell is of caramel with some supporting piney resin.

The taste is malt accented with a fair amount of piney hops. Not quite enough to reach IPA status, more like a hoppier strong ale. Some warming alcohol comes through, though does not mask flavors. Sweet, but with a slightly salty, bitterish finish.

It has a sturdy medium body. Not quite a winter body, but more like one I would expect in an autumn ale. Still, it holds up well.

Balanced with medium intensity, this is a fine for a malt-accented, but hoppy, brew.

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing a bottle of this one back for me from his trip to Washington!

jwc215, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i think this one is from Viggo too. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 6/09.

pours crystal clear deep orange with a small dense cream coloured head. the head drops slowly with plenty of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. honey and caramel. light alcohol. grapefruit and orange. bit of pine. white bread and cracker. touch of biscuit.

taste is nice. bit of honey. caramel. light alcohol. grapefruit and pine. bit of orange. white bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. bit of grain. light tangerine. just under medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. good balance. decent depth. a nice winter warmer.

grub, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of czechsaaz
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very malty nose. First hit makes me think Maibock with a lot of pale malt. There's some hops in the backfrond that come off as spicy and grassy.

Pale gold and started with a big head that ends up a thin layer that leaves a little lacing. It's a little cloudy.

First sip is grainy and malt sweet with nice hop oil on the back end. There's good yeast fruity flavor and some caramel malt. But the aftertaste is almost all hop oil. The more I drink it, the more it has a hop presence. Each sip is still malty and sweet but the finish is really hoppy. Strange and hard to pin down.

Medium bodied with a good lively carbonation level.

Overall a good beer but as a winter seasonal it doesn't really stand out to me. I would call it a way above average pale ale but not a standout winter warmer or spicy winter beer.

czechsaaz, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of mikegreen138
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

mikegreen138, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

cliff1066, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of buzzy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

buzzy, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of zacharius
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a slightly hazy amber color with a white head. It smells hoppy and piney. This beer tastes hoppy with residual flavors of malt, pine and fruit. A very complex flavor. Apparantly this beer has some spruce and juniper in it but not so much that I could notice without coaching. I've drank quite a few of these in a row with no ill effects, some other juniper berried beer is tough on my body. This beer is a cross between an IPA and a winter warmer.

zacharius, Mar 04, 2003
Photo of Drknight
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Drknight, Jan 12, 2014
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.