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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
85
very good

152 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very 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 Deuane
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Bright amber with a thin off-white head that degraded to a thin film that left some lacing.

S-Light piney/peppery hops. Some citrusy notes too. A complex hop bland for sure, but light overall.

T-At first, while cold, I did not like the tatse of this brew. Tatsed a bit "fake" to me. But, to give it a chance I let it warm and I am glad I did....the piney hop essence came through and turned a beer that was almost undrinkable into something fairly enjoyable! That unusual "fake--chemical-like" tatse is still there, lightly in the aftertaste.

M-Medium body with a nice bitter kick. A bit of alcohol coming in at the end.

D-A decent brew...but there is a strange ending(aftertaste) that I do not care for. Classified totally worng, but oh well...I didnt list it!

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 markaberrant
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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.

Photo of terrabyte
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, light caramel color with a small white head.

Aroma has a pleasant, hoppy smell, bordering on grapefruit citrus.

Flavor has a nice, earthy caramel base. However, it is quite dry with a puckering grapefruit tang.

Mouthful almost seems slightly gritty due to grapefruit taste & tanginess. Medium thickness.

Drinkability is excellent if this is your style. For me, it starts out fine, but seems a bit dry, tangy, thick and sweet to enjoy too much of.

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 Imstillthegman
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AlohaC for this bottle.

Pours an orange-amber color with a thin white head. Some speckles of lacing.

Smells of citrusy hops and biscuit dough rise from the glass. The citrus seems to run the board from grapefruit to tangerines. Touch of floral in there, also.

Flavor is decent, good malt background balances the hops nicely. Bitter citrus beginning and end with sweet caramel malts in the middle.

Medium body brew with a nice bitter dryness to the aftertaste. Nothing spectacular, but easily a beer that I could sit and enjoy a few of.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the last 6 of this at Willow Park, and boy howdy was I glad I did.

Pours out a deep bright slightly hazed copper hue, lots of carbonation, massive foamy off-white head.

The aroma is chock full of citrus fruits: tangerine, some lemon zest, white grapefruit, with a biscuity caramel malt beneath it.

A well behaved IPA, flavour is all in the right places, but doesn't drive a grater over the palate while dropping napalm in its wake. Biscuity malt is the wave that all of that hoppy goodness rides into the shore on.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, but in a way it parallels and compliments the tone of the flavour as well.

A pleasant IPA, easily a session ale if it weren't for the fact that the abv% should stop you after a few (or it'll end in tears...). A curious pick of style from Fish Tale for a winter seasonal, but the fruity hops hold their own against a lot of other winter warmers out there.

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 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.

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.

Photo of nvsblman
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange/copper color. Slightly hazy from the yeast. Very little head to this one. Citrusy aroma with some caramel and maybe some biscuit notes. Kind of hard to tell, doesn't seem like there is much aroma. Nice crisp bitterness in the flavor. Bready flavor with some somkiness. Dry mouthfeel and lightly carbonated. This is an intestesting beer, I'll have this one again.

Photo of Thrasher
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a 6 month old sample and it's appalling. The beer has deteriorated -- the chance-y, buttery yeast flavor has breeded with the overly piney hops to create something truly grotesque. Akin to a deep fried pine-tree car freshener. The alcohol burns, badly. Atrocious. I am hoping there is something wrong with this.


Re-review 5/1 Ok this is better. It's not great but at least it's drinkable. Hops are bitter and grassy, almost like stinging nettles. The malts are a bit too smooth, lapsing into a green-apple, butterscotch yeast flavor, but on the whole the beer is not nearly as offensive. The hops are probably the highlight; the rest of the beer ho-hum. Upping the score accordingly.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Fish Tale Winterfish pours out a hazy amber color with small head. The aroma is piney and herbal. Sweet caramel flavor balanced by piney hops. Some lemon iced tea flavor. Tropical fruit flavors too. Nice balance, but I'm not very impressed with the flavor in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium. Very low carbonation. Drinkability is ok. I didn't detect the frsh hop flavors described by other reviewers. Perhaps mine was an older bottle.

Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Secret Santa AKSmokedPorter. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head above the golden amber brew. Head quickly fades down to an uneven layer of bubbles, and minimal small bubbles of lacing. Aroma is fruity hops with a syrupy malt undercurrent. Taste is similar to the nose, but the hops are a bit moire varied, with pine coming into play a bit as well with the fruit. Bitter alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is alright, maybe a bit on the flat side, and drinkability is okay as well. This one hasn't caused me to run out and find more. But if I happen upon it, I'd give it another chance.

Photo of blackie
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The fluffy, white head partially recedes after awhile. The beer is a slightly burnished copper color.

smell: There's a good amount of fruity sweetness here...apples, pear, some tropicals (guava? yes, guava). Tame hop presence for the IPA style, but the green leafiness is still nice.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the soft side, and the body just under medium.

taste: Slight esters, sweet tropical fruit (mango, for example), a little cidery, and mild hop bitterness. The hops are way too subtle for an IPA. A good tasting beer, nonetheless.

drinkability: good, but not much of an IPA

Another bottle from dirtylou's stash during my stay.

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