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BiFrost - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BiFrostBiFrost

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

175 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 175
Hads: 413
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.03%
Wants: 12
Gots: 43 | 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: 413
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from a private Vancouver store. Winter warmer in the summer to change things up from what is normally available. Pours light yellow with an orange tinge and a foamy white head that retains one quarter of an inch, lace shows through as I drink it. Malty and spicey aroma.Expecting lots of taste notes, I am getting mostly malt and then barley, hops, spice including ginger and cardommon, funegeek and cinammon. Average mouthfeel with drying finish. Decent drinkability. (475 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (718 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a sturdy, but rocky head that sticks with it and leaves a variety of lacing patterns behind

Smell: While the bittering hops are detectable (slightly piney and grapefruity), this is a sweet aroma that is cakey and a hint figgy

Taste: Opens with a sweet cakey flavor, with figs and apples in the mix; by mid-palate, the expected NW bitterness appears, with plenty of grapefruit, but there is a sugary tone to it all; after the swallow, the flavors shake out a bit, and there is an almond, marzipan-like flavor on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a hint of winter warmth

Drinkability: Elysian likes to make things a bit different, sometimes (think Jasmine IPA), and this falls into that category; I don't love it but I sure do like it quite a bit (826 characters)

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
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! (150 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +4%
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? (1,412 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Candlelit jack o' lantern orange with polished brass trim. The three finger cap is as thick and creamy as a tangerine milkshake and is already laying down lace along the top edge of the glass. As the cap melting gets underway, a more full lace display is seen... like frost on a windowpane. This beer looks as much like an IPA as it does a winter warmer. Oh yeah, it looks great.

The aroma isn't so impressive; in large part because it isn't all that aromatic. Roughly equally divided between malty and hoppy, it doesn't make a serious bid to be either one. A toasted maltiness lives alongside a fruity hoppiness, but I have to admit that I don't really appreciate any of the hops listed in the hop bill (Centennial, Amarillo and Styrian Goldings). That line-up should be killer, but isn't. Not in the nose anyway.

BiFrost Winter Ale is better on the palate. There's an acceptable amount of heavily toasted, bready malt, along with a spiciness that can't be coming from those three varieties of hops. Wait a second. This is a winter warmer... that must be cinnamon that I'm tasting. Some other spice is in there too. Gound ginger perhaps? Whatever has been plucked off the brewery's spice rack, I approve; both in terms of amount and in terms of specific flavors.

This wouldn't be an Elysian Brewing Company beer if it didn't contain a boxcar full of hops. With so much else going on flavorwise, I wouldn't have come close to accurately identifying the specific varieties. The white grapefruitiness of the Centennial comes through loud and clear, but the Amarillo and Styrian Goldings don't. That's okay, this isn't an IPA and there's more than enough bitterness to go around.

Bifrost is one aggressively flavored winter warmer (a good thing) whose aggressiveness is mirrored by a slightly too prominent alcohol presence (not such a good thing). If I had another bomber, I'd let the second one sleep for another six months or so. I find myself not minding so much as I enter the bottom half of the bottle, but then that always happens when the tongue numbing and brain fogging begin to take over.

The mouthfeel could be a mite more full and a mite less carbonated. It isn't bad and most will find it acceptable, but I have a very specific profile in mind for winter warmers. I've been hoping that it would firm up and becomes less sharply bubbly over time. I'm still waiting.

I love Elysian beer, so I fully expected to love Bifrost as much I love The Immortal IPA, The Wise ESB, Night Owl Pumpkin and all the rest. Although it doesn't quite rise to those heights, it's still a worthwhile seasonal from a brewery that deserves much more attention than it gets. (2,666 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial nonic a dull burnt orange color with a large well formed sticky egg shell colored head that took its time settling into creamy froth.Aromas are on the lighter side mainly earthy hops along with some overripe citrus,the palate is quite dry with earthy hop being the main component,faint citrus fruit and a crisp malt base are the other maint points.A decent brew but it might be a little to dry and earthy for my tastes. (442 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden honeyed body with a small, white head.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts, honey candy, flowers, and herb chiffonade.

Taste: Toffee flavored maltiness with a brief candied sweetness. Full floral hoppiness with a nice bitter hit. Crisp fried herbs and light spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid beer. Something a little different for a winter seasonal. (433 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy light amber with an orangish hue. There is a finger of fluffy white head with some good retention and some lacing.

Smell: This is a very mild smelling beer with some bready malt and mild citrus notes coming through as well.

Taste: Much bolder than the smell. There is a strong citrus hop bitterness up front, but it doesn't kill your tongue. The malt balances things out, but it could use just a touch more sweetness. The finish is a tad bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I think this beer is classified incorrectly. I would call it a pale ale perhaps? Just alright and I'm not sure I would have another. (742 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first real snowfall of 2009 in my neck of the woods leaves me holed-up with nowhere to go and not much to do except to open a beer and relax beneath a warm blanket with a good book. Of course a good book also requires a good beer, and I've selected Elysian's BiFrost for that.

It pours a hazy orange amber body beneath a massive head of frothy off-white foam that holds quite well and leaves remarkable walls of sticky lace about the glass. I'm not sure if it's bottle conditioned, although the mouthfeel seems to indicate that, but it's definitely either un-filtered or very-lightly filtered.

The nose is surprisingly hoppy for a winter beer with notes of spice and subtle pine, as well as citrus (orange), citrus rind (more kind-of-grapefruit) and apricot (and berries) - although I'm not sure if the apricot is from the yeast or the hops, or perhaps a combination of the two. The malt base is soft, with grainy, slightly toasty notes, and a thin coating of lightly sweet golden caramel; and the combination of the malt and hop works really well, almost becoming one.

That harmony flows over into the flavor, and although the specific notes do stand out on their own, the flavor combination is quite solid in and of itself. It's as if the malt is a piece of thick twine-like rope wrapped around a central strand of taught bitterness and alcohol, and the fruity and hoppy flavors are the fibers that are breaking free of that thick malt rope, giving it a little abrasion. Nice! It's balanced, but complex, and just slightly aggressive.

It finishes dry with some lingering grainy malt, a swatch of fruit, a smear of leafy and spicy hops, and some citrus-rind chalky dryness, no doubt enhanced by a quick splash of alcohol!

I should note as well, that this is contract brewed by new Belgium, and has a laser-printed date of 10 APR 09 on the label - I'm guessing a "best by" date. As this is 2 March 09, it's in-code but pretty close, however, I don't find a single note of oxidation. What I'm picking up is clearly Munich malts and soft caramel, and the hop flavors are right on. SO, in addition to kudos for Elysian, I have to also give kudos to New Belgium. A charming and enticing beer to be sure!!! (2,211 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this bomber up at Foodery in Philly.

Poured chilled into my snifter
A - A peachy amber w/ hazy clarity and 2.5 fingers of pillowy off white head . The winter ale throws up a smattering of lace

S - A nice bready, yeasty ale aroma w/ a hint of twiggy hop scents and subtle biscuity nose.

M the overall feel is very creamy w/ a lingering bitterness and gentle malt spiciness

T - a generous taste of grainy malt which has a dry granola huskiness and the is flavor presents a nice piney hop note. The flavor which is only mildly bitter, backing up the biscuit malt note and keeps the flavor + spiciness in balance. There is a subtle creamy and toasted flavor w/ a hint of alcohol when taken in large gulps w/ a subtle pear-like fruit and hints of citrus from the hops. The finish is slightly astringent, but the flavor is very smooth.

D - A tasty ale , but it kind of lost my interest - a bomber is good, but not a stand out among some very good beers in Elysian's lineup. (983 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Been dying to try this brewery's offerings:

Pours an effervescent bronze/amber with 1+ finger of sand colored head, plus slight hazing. Good lacing & very good head retention

S: Breadyness, honey & citric, plus herbal hops

T: Huge cakeyness, lemony & herbal hops, vanilla, & honey up front. Grapefruit, piney & lemon hops continue as this warms, along with honey, & toffee. finishes dry, with leafy, herbal & grapefruitty hops, caramel, a bit of brown sugar, & warming booze; great taste!

MF: Chewy with minimal carbonation, some serious hoppyness that works, superior balance

Drinks a bit slow, due to complexity, but this is one damn fine winter warmer or DIPA! I'll certainly check out other brews from Elysian! (720 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Brigid's, Philly, PA

Poured a light copper with a nice white head and some carbonation visible. Sweet malts, and a bit of spice in the nose. Malty to the tongue, spice is very subdued, and not too distinctive for a winter warmer. A little citrus bitterness in there, maybe just a tad of pine or juniper. Light-medium body, a little harsh and not overly drinkable, for a style that usually promises sweetness and spice. (440 characters)

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

Hazy, bright, bold orange/peach color, modest snow white head, succombs,eventually, to a ring around the edges...
Fruity nose, sweet, yet citric, and a touch musty and sour, ...lightly spicy, yeasty and lively,..I like it...
Juicy fruit, palpable and pithy on the tongue, lemony, with yeast aloft in the flavor, cookie-ish, warm, fresh mouthfeel. Medium body, with a soft, yet tangy finish. Falls back, and fades a bit in the end, becomes thin, thinner than I like.
Malt is foremost here, and hops are mild, where they are present.
Not what I'd expect in a winter warmer, with qualities I associate more with certain Belgian ales...however, it falls short of being more than merely good. (691 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 10/04/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC. Served in a snifter. Was listed as a strong ale by CK, though now I see it's a winter warmer.

a - Pours a murky amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks a little lighter in color than I would expect.

s - Smells of fruity malts, light citrus and pine hops.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, citrus hops, oranges, pine hops, and floral notes.

m - Moderate carbonation and medium body. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer, but not a winter warmer and certainly not a strong ale. Reminded me of a malty IPA, as it had some hops and nose real spices. Not bad, just not what I was expecting. (687 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden amber with a thin, creamy white head that vanishes, leaving some lacing.

The smell is grainy and bready with booze. Some spicing (cinnamon and mint).

The taste is sweet/grainy and bready with mild winter spicing. Some booze comes through. It has a sharp, bitter, slightly metallic, finish.
Not crazy about the aftertaste - a bit like copper.

Medium-bodied - fullness seems more from alcohol bite than from body - a bit strange.

Warming. There is a bitter hop balance to the sweetness and spicing. Not bad, just not a big fan of it. I like hoppy winter beers - but, this just didn't go in the right direction for me to think anything great of it. A bit too bready to boot. (688 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (1,188 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours slightly hazy orange color with a one finger white head on top. Decent retention, reducing to a small layer of white on top that last for the rest of the time drinking the beer. Sheets of white lacing all around the glass.

S: Citrus fruit up front, some orange, orange zest, and a little bit of grapefruit. This is followed up with a little bit of caramel and grainy malt. Hint of alcohol.

T: A little bit of citrus upfront, mostly orange, with some caramel and bready malt to balance it out. As it warms the finish starts to taste like tea almost.

M: Medium bodied up front, but the finish seemed a little thin.

O: Surprised that the beer is labeled as a winter warmer, came off more like a pale ale or an IPA to me. At first, liked it, but, liked it less as it warmed. (787 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a grainy, pale and crystal malt scent with some bisquit characteristics. There is an excellent hop aroma as well. The taste is good. It has a very smooth, malty flavor that really showcases the pale and Munich malts. It goes down easy with a stiff hop bitterness and grainy finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great winter warmer. It's not all spiced up. It's just a solid beer with added alcohol and hops. (584 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is biscuit malt, dark fruit and some graham cracker malt. The flavor is a lot heavier on the hops than I expected. I get a lot of grass and orange hop notes with some biscuit and toffee malt mixed in. I also get a little bit of spiciness, possibly cinnamon and anise, but it is very faint and may be from the malt, not the actual spices. I also get some herbal notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Not sure if this should be classified as a winter warmer since it really has nothing in common with the style. American Strong Ale seems like a better fit. (696 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
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! (1,045 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a two finger head that lasts quite a while and sports some large bubbles.

Smell: caramel, fruit sweetness, and some lemon zest are easy to detect. Some floral bitterness comes through too

Taste: bready malt profile here. Caramel, plums, brown sugar, lemon zest, and grapefruit slices are most notable. Bitterness is bold enough to balance out the malt sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is short as the breadiness and citrus linger. Medium-heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a hearty ale that is great on a cold evening. The bomber bottle is a nice size for this one. (679 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-copper color, it is topped by a frothy light tan head. The aroma smells initially of hops, with notes of citrus, and pine. As I dig deeper, the hops are all that I really can smell, notes of orange, wildflowers, and spicy herbs. The beer is actually quite tasty, with a somewhat light palate, but it is quite mouth coating. It is a nicely hoppy beer, with notes of citrus and pine, plus a sharply bitter finish that has a certain hoppy astringency to it. This is quite a nice hoppy pale ale/ IPA, hops for the holiday. I certainly like this beer, though it is certainly nothing like I was expecting it to be. It is quite simplistic in it's hoppiness (no real maltiness to back it up), but sometimes that hits the spot. (738 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bi frost looks like a lighter version of a winter warmer from looks alone, it's not as dark as most in the spectrum. Hazed golden with burnt orange with some coppa. Nice sheet of lace on the way down.when real cold this smells like a pale malted monster with sweet malt galore. Some warming brings forth some light spice but not one type I can put my finga on. Taste is the same, sweet malt completely engulfs this beer when cold but warming brings spice. A very lightly spiced warmer here, this one is hard to describe, kinda simple body is medium with a malty sweet profile. Carb on the low end. This aint half bad, one of the easier drinking winter warmers I've had. I would go for another. (693 characters)

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