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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
84
good

146 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%
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: 146 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 07, 2010
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.

barleywinefiend, Mar 03, 2010
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 msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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...

msubulldog25, Jan 19, 2010
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 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 John_M
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

John_M, Dec 27, 2009
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 grub
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

grub, Sep 17, 2009
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 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 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.

MasterSki, Mar 25, 2009
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 Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

Spikester, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of czechsaaz
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

czechsaaz, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of froghop
3.33/5  rDev -11%
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.

froghop, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
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

ccrida, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

djeucalyptus, Oct 22, 2008
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

brentk56, Apr 06, 2008
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!

Deuane, Mar 16, 2008
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 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.

Georgiabeer, Dec 17, 2007
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.

largadeer, Dec 06, 2007
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!

jwc215, Nov 18, 2007
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
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.