1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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 UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed 9/2011.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a 1/2 inch bone colored head that settles to a thin cap. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some spicy herbal hops. Taste is of sweet malt with a very spicy herbal and pine hop finish. A medium level of bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as it stands now (a solid IPA for sure). Doesn't hurt that the beer is organic either.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours hazy copper with a thin off-white head that dissapated quickly. A few whisps on the surface with dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with a substantial amount of hops and malt. Citrus, grape jam, mineral-dusted pine resin, and ripe malt. Crisp and fruity with a gypsum nod.

On the full side of medium bodied with a tacky, sticky mouthfeel.

A bright citrus and pine punch leads off the palate with a drying, firm bitterness following through. A solid malt base sustains throughout and gives the beer a nudge in the "Winter Warmer" direction.
Warming alcohol and lingering snappy hops follow through.

Finishes with lingering malt, a ridgid bitterness, and resinous hops.

Definately tasting like a big, malty IPA. Not the freshest but certainly holding up well and damn tasty.

brewandbbq, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours orange with a soft 1/2 finger head. Good head retention, no lace.

S: English toffee, sugar cane juice, apricot and orange.

T: Cedar hop hit immediately. Rum soaked oranges and sweet caramel round out the flavour. Ethanol is evident, but it melds well with the other components and doesn't take over the beer, just a complementary flavour.

M: Definite bit of smooth solvent booze character, medium/full body with a lingering bitter hop aftertaste.

D: A good winter beer, definitely a sipper, the flavours are powerful and direct. A satisfying after dinner beverage.

Halcyondays, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of djbreezy
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - bright orange, mostly transparent, white frothy head, excellent lacing left on the glass

smell - a nice mix of pine and citrus hops up front, excellent aroma

taste - pine up front with some notes of citrus that round things out, a nice subtle malt body to give the hops a boost, some honey mixed in there as well that shows on the finish

mouthfeel - medium/full body, heavy carbonation

overall - not sure why this is categorized as a winter warmer, it's very much an ipa in flavor profile and appearance, hops are plentiful and it's great tasting

djbreezy, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of jdense
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at John's Marketplace, poured during Twelve Beers of Christmas tasting, 12/22/09.

Golden amber body, one finger white semi-rocky head, medium dissipation with nice lacing. Big hoppiness in the nose, there may be some dry bready malts but they are subsumed by the spicy, floral Cascade presence. Taste is certainly more of an IPA than a traditional Winter Warmer, huge hoppy bitterness, and a big bitter finish. Big carbonated mouthfeel. Not the most drinkable of beers at this ABV. While the WW category lacks precise definition, this is certainly more of an (D)IPA than WW, IMO. However, a great hoppy holiday ale to counterbalance the spiciness and fruitiness of other beers served during this time of year. Worth a try for the hopheads.

jdense, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +7%

DOCRW, May 07, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, nice touch of pines/citrus, and caramel. The taste is pretty hoppy, lots of pines/citrus, and caramel. Medium body. Very Drinkable, this is a very tasty IPA, definitely would recommend.

Wasatch, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of Zack
4/5  rDev +7%

Zack, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of prock180
4/5  rDev +7%

prock180, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.29. "Spawned on" date of December (presumably 2006). Haven't had this in a couple of years so it's time for another review.

Poured an orangey color with an inch or so of beige foam that took a couple of minutes to dissipate. A foam collar endured throughout it's tenure in my Boundary Bay pintglass. Lace was left in the form of what could be described as a beer neglige.

The nose of this beer was mainly of citrusy hops, more at the sweet end of the citrus spectrum. There was also a mild, malty sweetness.

Definitely an easy drinking IPA, with the hops at the lemon-orange end of things, as opposed to the more dry, grapefruit like flavors. That's not to say this isn't dry - it is, but in fairly restrained fashion. The malt backing, while subordinate, is stronger than many IPAs I have had, but it still tastes balanced.

This is medium bodied, with a moderately oily mouthfeel. Carbonation is about right.

This is a nice change of pace from more hoppy IPAs, which I tend to like. Definitely goes down easy, yet still remains hoppy enough to be interesting. I wish I would be able to encounter this on-tap locally, as I think a few of these would really hit the spot on a cold winter's night.

woemad, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of honkduh
4/5  rDev +7%

honkduh, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of hayesjw
4/5  rDev +7%

hayesjw, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +7%

oriolesfan4, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of markgugs
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tall pilsner glass (bottled Oct. 2007 according to the notch on the bottle)

A: Poured a gorgeous, amber/reddish color with a nice solid finger of creamy, off-white head. A nice thin layer stayed with the beer the whole way down, leaving a satisfied lacing behind.

S: Not at all what I expected, lots of toffee-ish, malted aromas. I was expecting to be overwhelmed by tangy and/or citrusy hops. Slight citrusy zest on the finish.

T/M: Not really sure why this is listed as a "winter warmer," when it's far, far closer to an aggressively hopped IPA, as those PNW crazies love to do. Very bitter on the finish, but before you get there, a nice toasted blend of hops & malts blast the tongue. Slight aspirin-like dryness adds an ample dose of bitterness to boot. Just the right amount of carbonation makes this beer incredibly easy to drink.

D: This would be a very easy beer to polish of a sixer of. It's not too aggressive, it's not too over-the-top, it's a great drinking beer, just not a winter warmer.

markgugs, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of ark57
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a dark orange gold color with a big, creamy off-white head. There is a slight haze and it leaves some decent lace as well. The first thing I notice in the aroma is a fruitniess. It reminds me of peaches. There maltiness is balanced out by some piney and citrus hop aromas. The medium body is fruity (apricot and peaches?) with a nice hoppy finish and a touch of alcohol. It is a nicely done bitter beer for the winter.

ark57, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden-tangerine body with a goodly-sized, foamy, white head. Thin smattering of lace on the descent.

Smell: An opening sniff of pale malts, with bits of grain and sweet-scented honey, folding seamlessly into hoppy aromas of herb and citrus.

Taste: Pale malts, minutely bready, and with a clover honey-esque sweetness. Grassy, herbaceous hops giving over a bit of grapefruit as well. Moderately bitter. A little more maltiness loitering on the back half, but, predominately, it's hoppy until the bitterish, long finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. A bit of creaminess there, too.

Overall: It can be a surprise (good or bad) sometimes to pick up a beer with the word winter as part of the title that isn't a spiced ale of some sort. Listen, I've got a beat-up Nokia phone from 2003. No interwebs access, no fancy-schmancy beer apps, so, I gotta go with what the beer bottle tells me. 'Winter' on the label can usually imply a malt-forward brew or something potentially packed with spices, the only ingredients listed were "water, orange barley, and hops". I assume yeast was utilized as well at some point. At any rate, a nice brew.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of flexabull
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spawned December 2009

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are interesting and a little bit funky. Some resiny like hops, dustiness, and grapefruit.

Taste is very dry with a long finish. Beer starts off with a slight creamy sweet malt flavor, settles into some citrus grapefruit hops, there is also some earthy and resin like flavors in the as well. Finish also has a crispness, and is almost a bit doughy like.

Mouthfeel is nice, very full without being heavy.

Interesting beer, but very tasty. It is going down super easy. I think to call this is a winter warmer isn't quite right, this tastes more like an IPA to me. But a different take on the style...

flexabull, Jan 15, 2010
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 carln26
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with a thick white head of tight bubbles. A nice sheet of lace is left down the side of the glass. The aroma is dominated by the hops. As discussed amongst some Bas attending a tasting, the aroma smells like Simcoe, mandarin orange, a little grassy character. The site says Chinook, but it really does taste like Simcoe. Not sure, but I like it. There is a little caramel back on the nose. The taste has the sweet/citrus character backed by toffee malt. Nice, sharp (not over-the-top) bitterness. Very slick mouth feel, great drinkability.

carln26, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Fishbowl Brewpub.

A - Copper with good clarity and a small white head. It leaves some great lacing.

S - Loads of floral and citrusy hops. Well done.

T - Citrusy hops with a solid malt backbone. This one is nicely balanced though the hops still run wild. And it has a lot of substance to it.

M - A nice thick consistency with a low carbonation.

D - This is a smooth and balanced beer that goes down easy and leaves no regrets.

GJ40, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fish Brewing Company--WinterFish Seasonal Ale--2005 Release--12 oz. Bottle--7.50% ABV--70 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale--IPA--Mild lacy head. Clear bright thin amber color. Rich spicy floral hop front. Wow. Creamy citrus sweet rich crisp doughy caramel subtle fruit body. Unique mellow Vanilla? flavor. Malt balanced hop spice end. Sampled 10/21/2005.

Fish Brewing Company--Fish Tale Winterfish Seasonal Ale--2006 Release--12 oz. Bottle--7.50% ABV--70 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale--IPA--Mild lace head. Slightly cloudy bright light amber color. Vanilla floral hop front. Mild fruit yeast ester hint dry sweet complex crystal malt body. Mild hot hop spice clean sweet end. Not as good as 2005. Sampled 3/5/2007.

Fish Brewing Company--Fish Tail Winterfish Seasonal Ale--2009 Release--12 oz. Bottle--7.50% ABV--70 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Winter Ale--IPA--Thin lacy white head. Clear thin bright light gold color. Rich floral mild vanilla hop front Earthy tangy mild sweet thin crystal pale malt hot hop body. Rich earthy hop spice bittersweet Yakima Chinook hop end. Big earthy IPA missing Winter Seasonal Notes. Sampled 10/28/2009 et. al. $7.99 / 6-Pack.

2009 Release. Thin lacy white head.Clear thin bright light gold color.Rich floral mild vanilla hop front Earthy tangy mild sweet thin crystal pale malt hot hop body.Rich earthy hop spice bittersweet Yakima Chinook hop end.Big earthy IPA missing Winter Seasonal Notes.??

Fish Brewing Company--Fish Tail Winterfish Seasonal Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV. 70 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Winter Ale--IPA. Thin mild lace light white head. Clear pretty bright rich dark gold amber hint color. Herbal floral hop front. Dry sweet mild caramel crystal malt hop infused subtly Winter spiced rich body. Rich spicy clean hop end. Flavor beats bad buds tonight! Sampled 11/4/2010 from 6- Pack purchased for $6.99 @ The Ballard Market, Seattle on 10/19/2010.

philbertk, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusky, dusty nectarine. The occasional stray bubble struggles to find its way to the surface through the storm of what I presume are yeast. Atop the beer sits a firmsticky cap of lemon chiffon that deposits nearly solid sheets of lace as it slowly fades away. A wonderful look.

So this is what pure Chinook hops smell like. I have to say that I prefer them in combination with other varieties if this nose is representative. It's as citrusy and as spicy as expected, but there's also an odd sort of phenolicity (think Band-Aids) that is reminiscent of Scotch whisky. Now that I think about it, that aspect of the aroma is almost certainly due to the yeast, not the hops. There is, however, more than enough pungent citrus fruit to keep me as happy as a clam.

Winterfish is generously and beautifully hopped. It doesn't taste like any IPA that I can recall, probably because I can't remember drinking a Chinook-exclusive IPA before. Thankfully, it loses most of the phenols on the palate. The central focus is a firm, resinously hoppy bite from beginning to end... with enough malt on hand to smooth things out and sweeten things up.

If I had to describe the flavor profile in one sentence it would be: candied grapefruit and orange peel lightly smoked over a Scottish peat fire. Strange, and yet, strangely appealing. The finish is long and lingering--thanks to the firmly medium body--and oscillates between bitter and sweet.

I can't decide if I like Winterfish or if I love it. If you're looking for something different and consider yourself a hophead, give this one a whirl. It's a fascinating, an original and a delicious ride.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, no idea where this one came from! To whoever, thanks!

Pours a hazy orange, almost a dark golden, medium sized white head forms, decently thick, settles to a thick ring, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is neat, sweet and malty, honey and bread, biscuit, caramel, some light floral, toffee, raisin, dark fruit, pretty nice. Taste is similar, a malt bomb, honey and biscuit, toffee, huge malty middle, lightly spicy, bread, brown sugar, very rich. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, real nice body. This is a great winter warmer, nice maltiness, and not too sweet.

Viggo, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of ablaze
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Healthy head on a hazy, opaque bright orange. Nice sticky lacing.

Hop-dominant and flowery, with some maltiness in the background.

Sweet, rich and malty with plenty of juicy hops. Very fruity...grapefruit and berries on toast, with a slightly spicy finish. Lots of honey notes and more hops throughout.

Full bodied, creamy and sticky with low carbonation.

Quite tasty...I like it. A downtempo version of Fish Tale's anniversary ale, and quite tasty. Fairly cloying, but that's alright. Very tasty.

ablaze, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Reidrover
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single. Darkish orange beer with a small off white head, that goes fast, leaving some lace. Great sweet spicy hop aromas more grapefruit than pine! Lovelly tasty IPA indeed..great flavors of pink grapefruit and sour berries and a wonderful honeyish sweetness to balance the tartness. Very nice mouthfeel quite smooth and delictable. Overall a very very nice IPA.

Reidrover, Nov 22, 2006
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.