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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

147 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 147
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: 147 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel orange color. Lacing looks good. White and airy head, but it fell fast. Nice light color.

Caramelized peach and mango in the nose. Assuming it's from the hops, but there's no perky bitter leafy notes that rise up. Just tropical fruit nuances. Very mild and biscuity. Quite the departure from a winter ale.

It IS from the hops. Soft peachy hops with notes of mango, papaya, and nectarine. A little muddled with light caramel from mostly pale malts. Not much toastiness. Malts are a little flat, but they apply their own attributes with light balance. Alcohol is staved off a bit. This is close to a winter pale ale or weak IPA.

Thick for an IPA, which it is not, but it's pretty juicy for a warmer with that light carbonation that doesn't draw much attention. Booziness is light, but spicy.

Not an ideal warmer, so no props for the style. Still delicious and almost hoppy. Recommended.

thecheapies, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

andrenaline, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of lupercmda
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

lupercmda, Jan 20, 2014
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 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 shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

shelby415, Feb 25, 2012
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 Falcone
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Falcone, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of beerguy101
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2001 release. Light brown color, medium head. Aroma is fruity and slightly sweet. Lightly malty, somewhat hoppy, spicy. Rather dry and somewhat tart. A lighter flavored winter ale. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is dry and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Interesting beer.

beerguy101, Aug 14, 2003
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.

IronDjinn, Feb 11, 2007
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 arizcards
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Total Wine in late November for $1.99.

Beer poured a murky amber orange with a decent white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is light grapefruit rind and slightly sweet.

Taste is bready malts, slightly sweet, finish with strong grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer. Taste does not flow well together though i like the breadt APA malt profile.

arizcards, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

cliff1066, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

AndrewMichael, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
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

joemcgrath27, Nov 14, 2010
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 buzzy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

buzzy, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of Drknight
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Drknight, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of marc77
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tawny copper with a slight haze. Dense, mountainous, persistent ivory white head leaves muddled lace. The aroma is comprised of rounded tangerine citrus accompanied by sharper hints of pine sap and lemon rind. Soft medium lovibond caramel sweetness offers contrast. Well balanced aromawise. Pronounced toffee upfront in flavor is quickly ensued and nearly overrun by assertive, quinine like hop bitterness. Bitterness is quickly fleeting, however, and malt of a brown sugar sprinkled burnt biscuit nature surges in mid palate. Residual sweetness persists and a combines with the citric hop undertone to lend a toothsome orange marmalade impression. Seemingly moderately attenuated, with both ample dextrins and residual sugars facilitating a firmly viscous, somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Caramel presence augments as it breathes, leaving the lasting impression skewed towards malt sweetness. Finishes appropriately bittersweet, with a lingering note of candied lemon pith. Quite an enjoyable brew, but a touch heavy on the palate for regular quaffing. Winterfish is simple, but malt driven in its overall character. Hops provide apt balance. Very tasty.

marc77, Nov 08, 2003
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 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.

woemad, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought a 12oz bottle of this on sale at Total Wine. Who knows how old this is but it is a winter warmer: which winter? I am not sure. This one looks different than most winter warmers. This one is golden orange in color as opposed to the typical chocolate/brown/caramel colors associated with the style I don't know how to score the look, but there is a nice frothy head on top. Nice lacing too. Cloudy due to the yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Looks a lot like a wheat beer.

Aroma is filled with sweet caramel, yeast, alcohol, and some citrusy and grassy hops. Somewhat fruity but certainly on the sweet alcoholic side.

This one has some hop bite to it. Starts out kind of sweet and fruity and finishes hoppy bitter with a warming alcohol feeling. Borders on cloying, but still a decent, balanced beer. Bitter grapefruit, caramel malts, alcohol, more citrus. Oily and resiny.

Not a bad beer, I must say. The alcohol is kind of front and center, but I guess a winter warmer is supposed to be warming. A different interpretation on the style and I quite like it. More geared toward hops than brown sugar and malt. I could see myself drinking this after hitting the slopes for some backside grunge nose grabs.

SaCkErZ9, Apr 19, 2013
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.

ElGordo, Nov 12, 2006
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 DOCRW
4/5  rDev +7%

DOCRW, May 07, 2014
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.