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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

102 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 102
Hads: 157
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 3
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: 102 | Hads: 157
Photo of Thrasher
2.85/5  rDev -26%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (1,653 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Anchor Christmas Ale 2011.

A: Clear light amber with two-finger, white, foamy head that lasted more than a few minutes. Phenomenal lacing.

S: Light floral malt and pine. Honey.

T: Light sweetness and pronounced hop bitterness. Floral and piney. The bitterness lingers quite a while. The malt flavor is kind of subdued.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth, dry, and warm.

O: This was pretty good. A little hoppier than I like personally, but definitely one of the better winter warmers out there. I liked the Anchor one better. (587 characters)

Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (1,899 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - bright orange, mostly transparent, white frothy head, excellent lacing left on the glass

smell - a nice mix of pine and citrus hops up front, excellent aroma

taste - pine up front with some notes of citrus that round things out, a nice subtle malt body to give the hops a boost, some honey mixed in there as well that shows on the finish

mouthfeel - medium/full body, heavy carbonation

overall - not sure why this is categorized as a winter warmer, it's very much an ipa in flavor profile and appearance, hops are plentiful and it's great tasting (563 characters)

Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a burnt orange gold with a very sticky head that fades fairly quickly but sticks to the glass with a vengence. The aroma is filled with hop oils and the ripeness that comes from the dry hopping. The taste is sweet up front, and the hop bitterness follows with power. The flavoring hops are very nicely done and make a huge presence, but don't outstay their welcome. The pine-like bitterness that comes through is absolutely great. The roughness of the hops are so fresh and pure that it actually feels as though it is scratching your mouth (which is surprisingly awesome) but it completely smooths out in the finish. This stuff goes down incredibly smooth and I could handle this all night. They definately used some huge NW hops in this brew and it all paid off. One of the best IPAs I have had in a while. (813 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm rating this as an ipa because that's what it is...

A: pale orange yellowish nice lacing and good head retention

S: citrusy slight malt backbone

T: grapefruit pineapple a touch of lemon

M: doesn't come together perfectly at the end but still a pretty nice lingering citrusy finish

O: nothing like a winter warmer. Maybe it's a different formula this year? No spices and not malty hops dominate. For an ipa, not half bad. (429 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of czechsaaz
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (812 characters)

Photo of ark57
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a dark orange gold color with a big, creamy off-white head. There is a slight haze and it leaves some decent lace as well. The first thing I notice in the aroma is a fruitniess. It reminds me of peaches. There maltiness is balanced out by some piney and citrus hop aromas. The medium body is fruity (apricot and peaches?) with a nice hoppy finish and a touch of alcohol. It is a nicely done bitter beer for the winter. (424 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yeah, this thing. This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a decent looking dark red to slightly brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated to fine glazing speckling around the glass. A decent lacing appeared in some rings.
The smell had a sweet and light weird spice arranging itself decently under my nose (ginger maybe, uh...but somewhat cooked, perhaps).
The taste followed the nose and had a decent sweet to spicy conglomeration on my tastebuds. A light sweet aftertaste leads to a sweet and dry finish.
The mouthfeel had a decent spice rolling over my tongue and sat about a medium on the body, fairly sessionable for 7.5%.
Overall, not a bad winter warmer, I'd have it again. (718 characters)

Photo of PacNWDad
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours with 2 fingers of frothy white head that dissipates slowly. Lots of little blobs of lace on the side. Color is golden red, clear. Aroma is of roasted malt and piney hops. Starts mild and sweet, but the bitterness of the hops quickly takes over. This has a long finish. It is pretty full-bodied and solid. A very enjoyable beer - I will have to visit the brewpub on my next trip down I-5. (401 characters)

Photo of markaberrant
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (818 characters)

Photo of terrabyte
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of olmatty
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of PopeJonPaul
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I have to say I wasn't impressed with this stuff at all. Judging by all these reviews, maybe I got a bad or infected bottle?

Beer started off well, poured a glowing orange color with a good head and a spicy-sweet and floral aroma. The taste was strange though, only lightly fruity with more bitterness than sweetness, and a thin only slightly malty body. It was definitely spiced up, but the spices seemed "off" (I don't know how else to describe it) and the dry and slightly piney finish turned the spices to ash in my mouth. Honestly I could only finish about half a glass, it seemed like it had been watered down or something. If I see one of these I'll try it again just to be sure I guess. (697 characters)

Photo of nvsblman
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (378 characters)

Photo of germaniac
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brownish gold, with a dirty white head and considerable lacing.

Smells of ripe citrus, mainly orange zest with an oily,hoppy tang.

Taste is mellow, fruity hops, with a toffee-like sweetness in the finish complimented by a light hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste.

Easy to drink at 7.5%, maybe a little TOO easy.

Manages to pull of the IPA as a Winter seasonal, while going the
opposite end of the hop flavor spectrum from Celebration Ale.

Purchased at a Nugget supermarket in Davis, CA. (517 characters)

Photo of unklesyd
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really great take on the winter seasonal!

Instead of a heavier, spiced winter warmer, this is a very fruity, medium bodied ale with tons of floral character that remind me of a fruitcake, without the glazed fruits.

This is classified here as an IPA, but it's on the fringe end. Kind of like Steelhead's Peregrin Took IPA, not like SN Celebration. The hops are mostly in the aftertaste, though melded really well with the sweetness of the malt. Robust rather than dry.

After trying the Leviathan BW and this, I'm gonna have to give Fish another spin or two when I hit the store again! (603 characters)

Photo of zacharius
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a slightly hazy amber color with a white head. It smells hoppy and piney. This beer tastes hoppy with residual flavors of malt, pine and fruit. A very complex flavor. Apparantly this beer has some spruce and juniper in it but not so much that I could notice without coaching. I've drank quite a few of these in a row with no ill effects, some other juniper berried beer is tough on my body. This beer is a cross between an IPA and a winter warmer. (463 characters)

Photo of sam_bliss
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler into glass

A- Golden translucent light copper with an off-white head and decent lacing as we worked our way down the glasses.

S- Some fruity esters and sprucey hops. Tropical and fruity sweet scents remind me more of a pale ale than a winter warmer, but it smells great.

T- Tastes like a bigger Belgian dubbel. Some saison funk or perhaps another flavorful yeast compliments banana and hoppiness with just a smattering of caramel malt. Super tasty but like the aroma, it's a bit off style.

M- Plenty of body but not thick-feeling or syrupy. Good after-feel.

O- This is a great winter beer for those who like hoppy beers and Belgian-style beer. IPA meets trappist dubbel meets winter ale! (700 characters)

Photo of ablaze
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden straw in color (hazy) with a white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Aroma of mainly citrus and pineapple. Grapefruit hops dominate the flavor, but there's bready malt backbone to it. Medium bodied with an effervescent mouth feel. The finish is very dry and grapefruit hops linger along with a touch of alcohol. I was surprised to see that this is 7.5% ABV. Very drinkable—if you can deal with a high dosage of hops. (428 characters)

Photo of lostbearbrew
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very orangey-red tones of early sunset...a thick look, as it didn't allow much light to pass through. Driving sheets of lace down the glass, underneath a foamy, chewy white head.

Citrusy and spicy in the nose. Very distinct smell inside - maybe an oak aging or perhaps a distinct yeast? Bartender was nice but had no clue as to the ingredients, so no help there - have to rely on instinct and instinct says an offbeat yeast, or perhaps oak aging.

Strong hops flavor overrides almost all else to start the sip, and then chews on the tongue a little longer. My, I like this. Just enough malt to not make you wince from the hops - in fact, enough to make you taste sweetness on the final part of the sip. This is about ideal for my palate. Somewhere in the mix is an oak or peat taste...sort of like a sherry or whiskey flavor buried deep inside the profile.

Mouthfeel is solid, and gives a nice finish on each sip. Somewhere along the first pint, I fell in love with this brew and had another before we headed down the road. The second was in many ways much better than the first. A truly unique and satisfying brew. I enjoyed it along with my remaining seafood chowder. (1,178 characters)

Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.