Fish Tale Winterfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish

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BA SCORE
84
good

152 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 152
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
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: 152 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -19.8%

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.

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach nectar color with a sturdy pale apricot head; plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass

Smell: The combination of toffee and grapefruit almost provides a peach aroma; in fact, the beer smells a bit like a peach cobbler; very inviting

Taste: After an initial burst of toffee, the citric bittering starts to kick in, with a really sweet peach/grapefruit character developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitterness pervades but is perfectly balanced by the toffee sweetness at the tip of the tongue; I am trying to bring some winter spice, maybe cinnamon, into the profile as well; it tastes a bit like peach cobbler, too

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet, too

Drinkability: If you like the sweet spices of a Winter Warmer and the bitter hops from an IPA, this beer delivers a nice blend of both worlds

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.

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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Amber with a slight haze to it. Slightly off-white head with average retention.

Smell - Sharp, piney hops with faint bready malt in the background.

Taste/mouthfeel - Bready and malty initially, with hops quickly taking over and pushing any sweetness to the background. Oily, piney hops stick to the palate and provide a long, bitter finish. Simple but enjoyable. Fairly viscous - at 7.5% ABV, it's on the cusp of double/imperial status.

Notes - This is an IPA rather than a winter warmer. It's very much along the lines of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. Not a bad beer at all, but it doesn't stand out in a market flooded with similar beers.

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.

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!

Photo of Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 45 degrees into a snifter
A - A brilliant amber with a pale 3 finger head that crowns the clear strong ale. A sticky webbing of lace clings to the snifter's sides.

S - Woody hops blend with cherry like fruity aromas and an abundance of fresh citric hop scents. The strong hint of alcohol is detected in the bold ale's aroma.

M - Sweet and bitter coincide with a tangy hoppy citric quality. A sturdy full and forceful amount of ale heft is present with round finish.

T - Pinecones w/ high levels of booze show up in the taste profile. Bitter w/ nutty, fruity and ruby red grapefruit flavors that linger. Hoppy twang subsides since it is so malty it tastes like a barleywine on alternate sips.
The booziness of the ale is not masked and the beer manages to conjure a good deal of flavor, also.

D - A decent ale regardless of style. Big and hoppy with a boozy malty finish. I would recommend a hearty shepherd's pie to go along this strong flavorful ale.

Photo of MasterSki
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is excellent. It has a mildly malty scent that is complemented with a wonderful floral hop aroma; very refreshing. The taste is good. It has a sweet malty flavor that is fruity with yeast. It goes down easy and finishes bitter with a hoppy aftertaste. It has a powerful malty presence and a well hid elevated abv. . The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good seasonal. It has the whole package; a good drinker.

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!

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, December month notched with no year for dating. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy bright orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice IPA. All around good balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink. It is at least a year old in age, but still a nicely enjoyable offering as it stands now.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with little head. Smells of apricot and quite sweet- maybe candi sugar? Also apples on the finish. Tastes lightly spiced, someewhat sweet and fruity and with a citrusy hop bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel is slightly slick but somewhat crisp. Eh. Just okay. There are plenty of other great winter seasonals out there for my money. I like this brewery, but I think they've fallen down on this one. Your winter beer should be something special.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fish Tale WinterFish Seasonal Ale

LOOK: Clear gold with a white soapy film, leaves a ton of lace on the glass. Looking like a well made, sticky IpA style beer.

SMELL: Bready malts, strong earthy hops, some cat pee (not uncommon) and dusty cocoa.

TASTE: Some grapefruit influence, strong bitterness, resinous qualities, and a solid malt body. Alittle citrus, some cocoa, and a bit herbal and tea like.

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Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.