BiFrost - Elysian Brewing Company

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175 Reviews
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Reviews: 175
Hads: 414
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 18.55%
Wants: 13
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 11-25-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 175 | Hads: 414
Photo of JackieKu
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 fl. oz. bottle. No freshness date. Poured into tulip. My first beer in this style.
A: Golden, clear, with very thin head.
S: The first impression reminded me Scottish styles. Malty, slight caramel, little citrus. The hops character get pronounced after warming up.
T: Grainy sweet. Medium bitter. Slightly citrus. Dry finish.
M: Medium to full bodied. High carbonation.
O: Decent but not my favorite style.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color - it's more golden than I expected. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade. I really like the softness of the texture, as well as the retention. Webs of lacing are left on the glass, too. (3.75)

Smell: The aroma is closer to a standard IPA than a winter warmer - that's not exactly a bad thing, though! I'm picking up some nice grapefruit tones, along with a bit of orange flesh. Not much pine or other hop notes one might expect from a wassail, but a pleasant amount of crackery malt do come through. Having said that, it seems a bit bland. (3)

Taste: It starts with some citrus flavor. The midtaste of confectionery sugar evokes winter nicely. A piny, earthen finish helps cleans this one up. No spice character to be found...none at all. But you know what? I get what Elysian was trying to make. Its sweet character and sprucey finish does make it a nice winter ale. Yet that's the thing - it isn't great or special, it's just 'nice'. Ah well. (3.25)

Mouthfeel: Fairly hefty on the palate at first, but the finish dries things up well. Despite this, the finish is very long and a little astringent. I don't really notice much carbonation, either. (3.5)

Overall: Seems rather bland to me. Maybe I didn't drink it fresh enough, but it's too late for that now (and I knew that when I bought the single). I respect that Elysian managed to craft a beer that invoked winter without relying on the crutch of cinnamon and nutmeg to give it complexity. Still, it just isn't wowing me in any manner. Worth a try, but not a must have. (3.25)

3.25/5: If nothing else, a nice winter warmer for spice haters

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Aroma malt, caramel, faint spice, orange, & hops. Taste zesty bitter hops, citrus, light caramel & malt, peppery spice. More an IPA than Winter ale!

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Photo of GFM
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass. Golden orange color, slightly hazy, very little head and only minor lacing; slight carbonation; earthy/pine scent; a sweet undertone to the flavor-- caramel-like in its finish. Overall: An interesting take on a winter/Christmas ale insofar as it doesn't appear to have any distinct spice flavor and is not particularly memorable. I'd try it again on tap but not likely to buy another sixer. (8.0)

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Photo of Zorro
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale goldish amber colored ale with some chill haze. Small white colored head that doesn't last.

Smells malty with some cinnamon and orange but not much.

Starts out malty and mildly bitter. Some strong tea flavor. Vague orange and spice flavors.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall, why did I buy this again? It is just an average ale.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - 'Bifrost' sounds like something out of a 1970s-era Rush song.

This beer pours a hazy, pale copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a band of misshapen webbed lace around the glass as it evenly slips away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready caramel malt, muddled tropical fruit, sugary citrus, and herbal, piney, and slightly perfumed hops. The taste is a bit surprising in its lead-in of rather sweet candied pineapple, pear, and apple, followed by some grainy caramel malt, a hint of earthy yeast - in the manner of rising bread - floral, piney hops, and a flinty growing alcohol measure.

The bubbles are generally supportive in their plain, workaday frothiness, the body a stocky medium weight, and more or less smooth, the fruitiness of the hops outrunning the bitterness by a country mile. It finishes on the sweet side of things, the sugary tropical fruit (mostly pineapple) carrying on and on, while the malt and other typical IPA-esque hop esters resign themselves to the back burner.

An interesting take on the winter warmer style, forgoing any seasonal spice additions (it would appear to this scribe) in lieu of some south seas fruitiness, which works well enough, I suppose. More of a sweetness-forward IPA overall, though, which isn't too surprising for this brewery, and where they come from - snow, whazzat?

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Photo of KonigObHops
2.72/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Beer pours a cloudy light orange color (like a new penny). The head was thin and bright white. Don't blink because it was gone in a flash.

The smell is an earthy hops wrapped in pineapple. A bit odd.

The initial taste is almost non-existent. Very flat taste. In the middle there is a hint of citrus. The finish is hoppy. Not strong like an IPA, but similar taste to an IPA with a floral finish.

The mouth feel is crisp. There is a high level of carbonation.

Overall, this beer does not live up to the description on the bottle. The citrus and the hops are both muted, and there is nothing else evident.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12/16...pours dark copper orange with some white foam. Light pine nose. Strong hoppy bitter wrapped in citrus with a pine earthy taste. Rich robust mouthfeel. Oily. Heavy. Harsh on the palate. Difficult.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice label art, depicting a frosty, snowy night featuring a pair of frost and snow covered pines, an eclipsed moon, stars, and the Milky Way. A google search reveals the definition of bifrost- a mythical norse "bridge to heaven" that some think corresponds to the Milky Way. The label describes the beer as "a bold pale ale".

A moderate pour from a longneck into a shaker produces a subdued head of about 3/4 inch. This reduces quickly but does leave sticky chunks of bubbly lace. The beer is a hazy pale amber color with medium carbonation.

Citrusy hops are evident in the aroma along with a hint of pure booze and just a touch of something else- perhaps DMS. The flavor is marked by a fairly solid background of bready malts, with citrus tang, a bit of melon, and a slight butter flavor. Underlying everything are some earthy and spicy hop notes. The alcohol adds just a touch of a spicy bite, but is otherwise well-masked. The mouthfeel is creamy, and supports a lingering tang in the aftertaste. The body is fairly light.

This is an unusual winter warmer, and is pretty much a double pale ale. As such, it's a nice change-up from the heavier examples out there. A pretty good deal at 8 something for a sixer.

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Photo of Thatoneguyssidekick
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Pours light amber, good head but dissipates quickly.

Starts with a traditional winter beer taste but is replaced quickly with a fruity (almost pear) taste that lingers. You almost need to take another sip to stop this tart aftertaste.

I was excited to try it on tap since I thouroughly enjoy every Elysian beer I have come across(minus pumpkin far)

Nothing like any winter beer I've had.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a really different beer. malty and nutty and sweet like other winter warmers, but it has a funny fruity tang to it that makes for a strange flavor profile as well as an electric mouthfeel thats not as mellow as i usually look for in the style. i like that its driven mostly by grain instead of spice, rich and toffee-like in smell and taste, with some darker malts in there too. the body is only medium though, and with the high carbonation and the fruity zizzle, it feels a lot lighter than i like this time of year. it might be a good one to have a few of, but the abv is still appropriately high for the style. its a hard one to reckon, given the polarity of its attributes, but i like it for what it is. elysian doesnt always hit home runs, but they absolutely never make boring beer.

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Photo of cdf1991
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Tastes way too sweet. Hardly bitter at all. I had to pour it down the sink as I couldn't bare to finish it (and that hardly ever happens). I really regret wasting 10 bucks on that 6 pack. This is the first time I have disliked an Elysian beer

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Photo of vkv822
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz : tulip

Hazy, coppery orange with a foamy, creamy white head.

The nose and taste follow the same profile of a sweet, caramel malt base highlighted by spicy, herbal , lightly citrusy hops.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

Not a typical Winter Warmer but a well done, enjoyable one.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a durable 1-plus finger head that leaves abundant fat-ring lacing. There's some small bubble carbonation visible through the haze.

S- At first, it smells like a good retro lager. After some breathing and warming, the candied apple and caramel aromas make their way. Some citrus hop aroma fights for equal billing, but the sugary fruit dominates.

T- Citrus and earthy hops balance the caramel malt and apple fruit flavors. There's enough orange citrus for kick.

M- Medium body with a firm feel thanks to the light carbonation that works well here. I get the hops and bitterness first with the fruit, primarily apple, on the end.

O- Warming and inviting brew. The 58 ibus and7.6% abv are matched well. I'd like more aroma next time.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper color with a white head. Citrus, malt, and and a fruity yeast. In the taste, piney hops and a bit of earthiness. Slight note of oxidation, with a dry cardboard/papery note along with a hop bite. A bit of toast and a slightly more than balancing bitterness. Lightly spucy notes. Briskly hoppy, but with a firm malt foundation. Medium to full bodied, crisp and very drinkable. Overall, this is a very good ale, with a hop emphasis.

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle given to me as a gift for cat sitting for a week. Worth it! I drank this thing down in less time than it took to walk home (15 mins). Just couldnt stop sipping it. By far one of the best overall beers Ive tried, winter or otherwise. Cheers!

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has pretty good retention. The head is a creamy, pure cotton-white while the body is a dull, medium amber which appears as a hazy, pale to medium amber when held up to the light. The lacing is tending toward sheeting already.

Nose- Starts off with a unresolved mix of fruit esters that eventually start to show some notes of strawberry, cherry, and peach. Mostly red fruits but some basic citrus as well- orange and lemon. Some hints of caramel from the glass. Swirling shows some grapefruit, orange peel, and a bit of mustiness.

Taste- Starts off with citrus (some orange and lemon) which transitions into more bitter citrus (grapefruit) and then into a mix of bittering hops. Matchstick and earwax. Pine and resin. Some caramel followed by some clay and a general earthiness. The earthy hops tend to mellow out the bittering hops a bit and make this a little more accessible. After a while, the grass and earth notes start to overtake the grapefruit, pine, and resin. Very interesting progression. Not really a mix of hops I've encountered much but its one that is growing on me. Definitely gives it more substance and makes it more than just another IPA brewed for winter (which is what I'm beginning to think “winter ale”means). Not that it isn't really just an IPA, it's just a different kind of IPA. I was thinking they used German hops but it turns out to be Styrian Goldings which is a East European variant of the famous English hop. Above average to good but closer to above average. Touches of honey.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation, slight zing.

Drinkability- Fairly accessible and doesn't show any heat. Seems to be around the standard price for a craft six pack so this is a little bit of a bargain because of the high ABV. Sucks for it that Lagunitas has another, better beer out at the same time.

Overall- Above average to good beer. I would definitely give it a try as it is a little bit of a departure from the norm. It isn't wildly experimental but could give pause.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bifrost pours a hazy orange color, almost reminds me of the bright smog filled horizon when the sun sets in Los Angeles. Thankfully the aroma is much more pleasant with a citrus hop scent with light tones of sweet malt and freshly cut flowers. The taste was very fresh with hints of citrus balanced nicely with the powerful hop bitterness. Mixed in well was the sweet malt and biscuit like tones. I could slightly pick up on the 7.6% ABV which was a nice reminder that this is a winter warmer. The finish is nice with a crisp dryness. The mouthfeel was medium with the right amount of carbonation. Overall this was a good beer, I would buy it again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Iron Monkey in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and some golden yellow + apricot highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts with a slightly stronger presence of floral hops. Light traces of alcohol are present as well.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of floral and earthy hops. Light amounts of bitterness are present in the finish and linger for a moderate amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming are present in the finish.

O: Due to the higher amount of hops than normal for this style, it is not nearly as sweet or sticky as some of the other winter warmers that I have tried. Also, I enjoyed the fact that it did not seem like it had a lot of spices added to it which in my opinion made the beer a little easier to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Iron Monkey, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish orange in color and has a bit of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that left wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral hops and toasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of alcohol.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there is also a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with a bit of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is a little hoppier compared to other beers in the style so the mouthfeel doesn't seem very heavy or sticky.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've come to expect a lot from Elysian, and in some ways this delivered, but not in others.

First off, appearance wise, I think the packaging is good. Love the graphic and those matte labels. It pours a really hazy, translucent light orange. Not much of a head, and I did try an aggressive pour to conjure something up, but it pretty much just hangs back.

The nose is super-citrusy. Lemon, orange, pineapple, and I can't really get beyond that. Just a lot of citrus. I was hoping for more bread or maltiness, but it's really being overpowered by those zesty citrus notes for me. Flavor-wise the one thing that saves it a bit from being all citrus is that there is some booze and a light malt backing, but the flavor is still really fruity. My first impression was that I wanted a more "beer" flavor to it: more malt and yeast.

Overall, probably wouldn't get it again. The description on the label boasts citrus and hops balanced by malt, but I'm just not getting a lot of the malt here (as I feel like you do in a SN Torpedo or Dogfish 90 Minute, for ex.). I doubt this beer would disappoint any IPA fans, though I think to call it a winter warmer is a little misleading.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The annual summer break redding up of the living room was happening in earnest this afternoon when I came upon a plastic bag containing a six-pack carrier that included this beer. Wow!

From the bottle: "Bifrost is our lively winter brew, a bold pale ale with citrus and earthy hop character balanced by a smooth malt backbone."

I went with an aggro pour as the result of my excitement and created two fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. As it slowly fell, it left some great sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled strongly of both minty hops and caramel malts, much like some AIPAs that I have had of late. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste reminded me more of a young ABW between the preponderance of biting, minty hops and sweet caramel malt. I may try to remember to buy an extra bottle for cellaring next year as the result of tonight's exercise. Finish was semi-dry with the malt providing just enough of a counterbalance to keep it reasonable. Man, this was quite the find!

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Photo of dacrza1
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed: 19 January 2013...
Glassware: Mad Elf tulip...
Occasion: defeated I Spy Halloween on the Wii with the fam--good times....
Appearance: soft hazy orange body that holds a thin white head; slow, dissipating effervescence; sporadic lacing...
Aroma: punchy fruit--grapefruit? citric for certain; definite pale ale hops and a sense of malts--balanced...
Palate: medium-bodied warm finish; mildly affecting in the teeth aftertaste lingers ambivalently...
Taste: mildly abrasive hopsthat crunch with a citric/dough combo...a honey sweetness finishes welll...
Overall: like the beer's name, his glass comes up big and hearty; by the end, buzz-worthy; a dry finish suggests complexity and a fitting after-dinner drink...

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Photo of Tucquan
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2013-03-26 in Columbia, PA

A - Hazy golden-orange with a 1-finger pillowy, white head that leaves good lacing.

S - Juicy naval orange flesh, mild spice, hop floral, very light pale malt. Mildish aroma.

T - Cracker, tart citrus, tea, slight caramel, grapefruit zest, hop oils. Dries quickly. The tart citrus and significant bitterness linger-long on the tongue. I like the flavor.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Prickly, lightly resinous then crisp.

O - Would never have guessed this was a winter warmer. Tastes like a pretty bitter, citrus-tinged IPA.

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Photo of Berndt
4.95/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Elysian BiFrost - 3/3/2013 - bottle 22oz - bottle conditioned

Aroma - Citrusy American hops - big hop aroma.

Appearance - Light orange, white head

Taste - Full hop flavor - wonderful bitterness, a bit of caramel in aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation, light-medium body

Overall - I've had this hoppy winter warmer before, and thought it was fine, but this year's version was amazing. A lighter colored counterpart to Sierra Nevada Celebration, emphasizing the hops. My favorite winter warmer this past season.

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BiFrost from Elysian Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.