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

145 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 14.21%
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: 145 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

04-07-2009 23:37:54 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

12-28-2009 21:11:12 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

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

12-14-2011 06:17:09 | More by djbreezy
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

12-23-2009 15:55:59 | More by jdense
Photo of DOCRW
DOCRW

Washington

4/5  rDev +7.2%

05-06-2014 23:19:53 | More by DOCRW
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

11-15-2007 03:01:03 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Zack
Zack

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.2%

03-02-2014 04:05:38 | More by Zack
Photo of prock180
prock180

Arizona

4/5  rDev +7.2%

11-30-2013 20:41:32 | More by prock180
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

4/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

04-26-2007 22:00:22 | More by woemad
Photo of honkduh
honkduh

Oregon

4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-05-2011 01:34:41 | More by honkduh
Photo of hayesjw
hayesjw

California

4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-20-2012 22:30:34 | More by hayesjw
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

4/5  rDev +7.2%

11-13-2013 01:38:47 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of markgugs
markgugs

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +8%

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.

01-13-2008 20:50:56 | More by markgugs
Photo of ark57
ark57

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +8%

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.

04-22-2004 14:27:37 | More by ark57
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +8%

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.

11-10-2011 21:21:56 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.05/5  rDev +8.6%

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...

01-15-2010 23:52:33 | More by flexabull
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

02-07-2009 23:45:24 | More by biboergosum
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

11-22-2005 01:33:38 | More by carln26
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

01-22-2010 13:22:24 | More by GJ40
Photo of philbertk
philbertk

Washington

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

11-05-2010 20:49:32 | More by philbertk
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

03-16-2005 00:32:40 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

09-09-2009 20:42:22 | More by Viggo
Photo of ablaze
ablaze

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

11-11-2007 04:55:50 | More by ablaze
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

11-22-2006 17:03:47 | More by Reidrover
Photo of markaberrant
markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +13.1%

Served in 16oz pint glass.

Appearance - hazy orange, barely any head at all. No lacing.

Smell - juicy sweet citrus, with a slight bit of tartness. Reminds me of citrus fruit candy.

Taste - continues along the same line as the smell. Intense orange, tangerine and grapefruits. Very smooth hop profile, including the finish, which has a mild bitterness. A bit of malt sweetness jumps in and out from time to time.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation and a fairly heavy body. I thought it was going to be a syrupy mess while pouring, but it is creamy smooth.

Drinkability - Ridiculously drinkable for a 7.5% IPA. I'm not getting any warming effect or hints of alcohol.

Overall - It's not a mouth puckering bitter IPA, but its got loads of juicy citrus hop goodness. I really like this and hope to find it again.

05-11-2007 01:49:48 | More by markaberrant
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.