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Fish Tale Winterfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

103 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 159
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 16.89%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fish Tale Winterfish Alström Bros
Reviews: 103 | Hads: 159
Photo of Shadman
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

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Photo of olmatty
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.17/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for the tick, Bobby.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden orange color with a small scattering if white bubbles. Not really any head formation here.

S: The nose is candied orange peel, sweet citrus hops, and tropical fruit to start. There's a definite spiciness, seems to be ginger, along with some bread.

T: Sweet orange peel and citrus with some miscellaneous fruit notes. It's slightly bitter with a warming alcohol on the finish. A decent enough breadiness, but not really hearty.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is low to moderate.

D: People seem to keep saying good things about this brewery, but I haven't had good luck with them thus far. This was sort of a weird, spiced, strong pale ale more than anything.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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

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Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I loves me some Winterfish! By far my favorite Winter Warmer.

Poured a glowing golden orange color with good carbonation and a nice, small white head. Nose is citrus, hops, breadiness, toffee and caramel. Taste is so smooth, earthy, caramel, bread, citrus and floral notes. Mouthfeel is light booze, bittering on end with a nice malt backbone, coating and so damn good! F'in A. I am going to polish this growler off and go get some more.

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Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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...

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Photo of flexabull
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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...

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bvc for tossing in this local brew. No idea how old this is, but I suspect it's a couple months (being a winter beer and all). Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - One finger of persistent off-white foam but minimal lacing. Slightly hazed dark orange apricot-like color with the occasional tiny bubble rising to the top. Good, but nothing special.

S - Pretty understated nose, with lots of toffee and caramel malts and a few hints of citrus hoppiness. Kind of underwhelming.

T - There's a little more bitter hop kick in the taste, along with some very bready and light caramel malts. Some nice floral notes at the top of the palate. Tastes more like a solid APA - although after reading the description of Winter Warmer, it fits the unspiced English variety with the slightly higher ABV and pronounced malt character.

M - Mild carbonation, medium to full-bodied, lots of residual stickiness. All in all, pretty satisfying.

D - There's nothing that makes it not drinkable, but it's just nothing interesting enough to make me want to have a few.

This brew might be a solid local seasonal, but it's not worth going out of one's way to try.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of froghop
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is a clear amber-orange with a medium size off-white head, good lacing.

smell is tropical fruits, citrus, vanilla, hops, caramel, and some spice.

taste is creamy, light grapefruit, caramel, some sweetness, slight bitter, citrus, some pepper, and some malt, leaves mouth sticky.

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Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Winterfish is a clear rusty orange with a fluffy, off-white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is awesome, huge fresh hops, citrus and resiny, with darker, sweet grains, caramel and gingerbread, there is a nice vanilla aftertaste, with the phenols, desert like.

Taste is very estery, a big apricot, but rounded rather then sharper, English ale style. Sweet dark grains, caramel and gingerbread, mildly phenolic with a nice vanilla aftertaste, desert like - chunky apple pie, complete with the cinnamon - most importantly, lusciously a la mode! A nice spice, but the pungency of the hops is lost in the depth of the malt.

Mouthfeel is sharp and very creamy, medium bodied, with sticky malt and a spicy, bitter finish.

Drinkability is pretty high, but it's a big, rich beer. I love this style of winter warmer, the PNW Red IPA! 7.5% is just strong enough to warm while style allowing me a few, and I love the hoppy bite and play of the citrus with the darker crystals. Great price and a great winter warmer

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.