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Avalanche - Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company & Taproom

Not Rated.
AvalancheAvalanche

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company & Taproom visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jreitman on 12-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 28
Reviews by Bookseeb:
Photo of Bookseeb
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark ruby red/brown with a thick fluffy head leaving fair lace. Smell of rich buttery malts, dark fruits and aromatic hops. Taste has the rich malts and grapefruit bitter of the hops with a little saline in the background. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Not the top of my list for a winter ale, but not bad either.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark brown and murky with a wonderful, lasting, lacing head.

Smell – The aroma is musty as well. There’s some spicing inside, but I can’t quite pick it out. The malt base has the faintest hint of yeast.

Taste – Egad! What the hell is this? The malt base is toasty with loads of caramel and a big hop balance, but nothing fits right. This is like trying to stick a square peg in a round hole. I’m getting a bunch of flavors that just don’t go well together. Dark, almost burnt malt, bland, unidentifiable hops, old socks, and a Pixie Stick.

Mouthfeel – This is actually kind of refreshing and big on the medium-bodied side.

Drinkability – If I preceded this with a 3 L bottle of Arrogant Bastard I might be “Stoned” enough to finish this one, but otherwise it was quite the chore.

Update – Wow, did I ever trash this beer! I happened upon an ’05 bottle so thought I’d give it another go.

Boy, was I surprised. I’m leaving my original review up just for comparison purposes, but this year’s bottle was hopped up to the max. It also had a wonderful, caramel malt base and the spices were right on. My original review had an Overall rating of 3.05 but I’m bringing this up to straight 4’s.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of toffee and citrus notes with some light spicing. Not as complex as I typically expect from a winter ale.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of orange citrus with some toffee, grass and biscuit notes. There is also a little bit of spice in the flavor but it is fairly subtle. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bum732
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange red, decent head leaving behind nice lacing. Smells of strong piney and grapefruit hops. Tastes of strong bitterness with a nice subtle caramel maltiness. Finishes with a nice hoppy twang. A good amount of carbonation throughout.

A nice beer, doesn't really fit the bill of a winter warmer, but good nonetheless. Reminds me of a more hoppy celebration ale. Not too shabby.

Photo of eggplantwiz
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Boured from a 750mL bottle into a snifter.

A: A Deep amber with significant lacing. thick head.

S: Carmel and grapefruit, hint of pine. A mellow aroma overall, without much further.

T: More malty than I would have anticipated based on the aroma, but with a pleasant hop bite. Overall a balanced beer, but does not taste much like what I would expect a winter warmer to be.

M: Smooth and velvety, slightly viscous.

D: Quite drinkable, but I'm not sure I'd want to drink a whole bomber myself. While this was an enjoyable beer, it didn't have enough complexity that I'd want to get through a whole 750mL bottle myself.

Photo of MTNboy
3.07/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- This beer poured a nice deep red/brown hue and quickly produced a moderate tan head with some very nice lacing.

Smell- It smells slightly fruity with a rich spiciness.

Taste- I thought it and sort of a stale and sour wood taste. It was very complex. It bitter, sour and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Somewhere between medium and heavy bodied.

Drinkability- Not bad but I do not think it is something I would go out of my way to buy again.

Photo of beerceller99
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle purchased at the brewery.
Has a clear garnet color with a 2 finger tan head. Smell is of flowery hops and dark grain breads. Super smooth mouthfeel and lightly carbonated. Light to medium body. Taste is a malty toffee, caramel sweet flavor with a mildly bitter alcohol tang to finish.

A pretty good beer here and my favorite of the Falls Ales seasonals.

Photo of jreitman
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprisingly uninteresting brew from a brewery I have really come to respect. Had this on tap at The Taphouse. Copper with a light white head. Nuts and fruits come through as does some underyling malt sweetnes. Moderately bitter. Overall I found the beer to be pretty tame and uninteresting.

Photo of kozmo
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery and 3 22 ounce bottles purchased at the source as well.

Easy drinking pale ale. Fresh flavor, hoppy enough for me without being too strong for the unitiated crowd with which various bottles were shared. Medium brown with nice level of bubbly-goodness.

Photo of draheim
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a fluffy eggshell head, patchy lace.

Aroma is malty and sweet, floral, fruity, hoppy.

Taste follows nose. Light brown sugar, caramel, toffee, floral hops. Clean bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied. Just right.

Overall a very nice winter warmer, perfect for a chilly December night.

Photo of DogFood11
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pounder glass it forms a lively off white head that leaves sturdy lace behind. Brown to copper body and medium carbonation. Bottle label leaves alot to be desired but the contents are the most important thing.

This has a nice hop profile albeit mellow but effective. Brown sugar enters the arena and some mild dark fruits. A slight bubblegum backdrop gives it some depth.

Notes: This brewery kicks some ass. The porter is a MUST TRY. Just about every offering has been good to outstanding. The winter warmer is more towards the "good" side of things. The candied/bubblegum on the backside took away from the drinkability and "wanting to have it again factor" but it was enjoyable and well brewed. Congrats to a fine brewer.

Photo of czechsaaz
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Malty and fruity with a light hop presence in the aroma. Lots of caramel too. Smells like an ESB.

Deep amber colored and very clear. Has a solid layer of fine foam that leaves huge amounts of lacing.

Malt is in the forefront. There's tons of caramel malt and even a deeper malt that may be some Munich? The malt complexity makes me think there's a bunch of specialty malts in there. Kind of a high level of buttery diacetyl though. Hop bitterness is pretty restrained but definitely there. Aftertaste is fruity yeast and more malt.

Medium bodied with nice creamy carbonation level.

Pretty nice beer. Not highly hopped but not sweet either.

Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich tawny brown with a two-finger light tan head. Pretty nice.

Smell: caramel malt, big, earthy hops and a certain element of tartness. A motley crew of aromas if ever there was one. Not bad, though not what I typically expect of a winter brew.

Taste: rich caramel malt flavors and nowhere near the hop presence which exists in the aroma. Hops are still there, in greater abundance than most winter warmers, and are earthy in character. There's definitely a warmth as well. Again, pretty good, but not your typical winter warmer formula.

Mouthfeel: medium body, a little carbonation. Perfectly in character with the style.

Drinkability: it's not a challenging beer to drink, so downing a few of these could put you in a festive mood right quick.

Winter warmers are extremely popular in this area (Pacific Northwest), so I've had more than my fair share of these types of beverage; and frankly, Snoqualmie's effort doesn't quite do it for me. It's certainly not bad, but with so many other choices out there, I don't think I'll be going back to this well again soon.

Photo of Murrhey
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a conic pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. No best-by date.

A- Three and a half finger head. Long retention. Lasts five minutes or more and leaves fluffy lacing up and down the glass. Cedar-colored body with high clarity. Carbonation appears limited.

S- Fruity. Some bitter notes, dark fruits. Quite hoppy character. Like a light quad...if that's an apt comparison.

T- Much more bitter here than in the aroma. Caramel malts, dark fruits, creaminess. Nice flavor.

M- Creamy feel with a dry finish.

O- Decent beer, looks very nice, smell is complex but both it and the taste are somewhat lacking. Nice feel.

Photo of loren01
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dirty brownish/red color. Good sized white head. Lots of lacing down the glass
S: Not too strong in this catergory. Strong piney hoppiness is the only thing I can pick out. Smells like a nice spring pale ale.
T: Good sweetness up front followed by a nice crisp hop flavor toward the back. Nice and warming, very well balanced.
M: Medium/heavy bodied, goes down well
D: Perfect beer for the weather, as it is -12 F right now, may have drank this one a little cold as it was out in my garage for a good part of the night but an excellent beer regardless.

Photo of Bierpapst
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I may be biased when writing this review - because there are two facts that may make me like the beer better than I might rate it when fresh in the Seattle area or with samples of similar beers at hand:
1) I got the bottle from a friend who brought it over from the US to Europe on a trip that lasted some 3 month - and the beer seems to have travelled much better than many others.
2) the beer I sampled just before this was Zlatopramen's Bernstein (the dark-amber coloured brew they produce for export to Germany) which is about the same colour as the Avalanche, but with no sophistication - just a clean, but relatively sweet lager.

Well, this is what Avalanche was like tonight as I am typing this with my wife and daughter (legal drinking age in our country, not in the US) joinig me: It came in a large brown bottle, poured in a dark amber colour with a lot of haze and sedimented (dead ?) yeast cells.Very little head, stable only for a minute or so.

The nose was surprisingly fresh and had a hint of walnut and caramel.

While overall refreshing and less bold than you might expect from it's strength, the taste surprises with a dominant bitterness that goes along with toasty, malty and again nutty notes - while the bitterness was always a bit stronger than the slight sweetness I was even reminded of absinthe.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark, clearish ruby-brown-amber with a thin light tan head; The head fals away to a thin covering, but leaves immense lacing, constantly fed by softly rising bubbles.

Oak, oat bread, rum, lemon are all characteristics in the scent; It's definitely full of character, warm and inviting, like a familiar old friend, a woodsy cabin, a scotch on the rocks by the fire....

Exceptional, delicious flavor... Quite a treat... This is actually one of the best beers I've had recently. The flavor begins with a nice, creamy, fresh dairy farm buttery-smooth caramel, continues to an oak-aged vanilla malt, then proceeds with a rich smack of hops - full, deep, bassy hops that carry a finish which is absolutely extraordinary, like no finish I've encountered so far - it's absolutely like cherries dipped in chocolate and drizzled with rum. Freakin' spectacular. The most deliciously flavored winter warmer I've had this year.

Slight spritz to the mouthfeel livens up the heady, decadent flavors, keeps them brisk and light and free to swirl around the mouth - the finish is lingering, sticky and delicious, begging you to go back for more.

This is one evil mistress of a beer - It demands that I rate it highly. It doesn't ask, it positively demands that I do. It's so good. This reminds me of how good small craft breweries can make their beer. Hurrah!

Photo of philbertk
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SNOQUALMIE Avalanche Winter Ale--A Northwest-style winter ale. Big, rich, smooth and satisfying. 22 oz. Bottle. $4.49. 42 IBU's. Remarks Rich lacy light tan head.Clear dark ruby color.Sediment hint.Toasted floral malt hop front.Toasted toffee malty mild creamy sweet black cherry vanilla roasted bisquit fruit winter spice body.Mild hot hop spice cloying malt rich mild EtOH end.Hoppy malty. 2009 Release.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company--SNOQUALMIE-Perfectly Balanced Hand Crafted Ales--Avalanche Winter Ale--A Northwest-style winter ale. Big, rich, smooth and satisfying. 2010 22 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 48 IBU's. (4.05 / 5.0) No sediment. Big dense rocky lacy lasting light tan head. Haze hint rich dark bright amber red color. Floral malt mild hop front. Mild sweet toasted toffee hint malty mild fruit subtle hop spicy Amber Ale body. Mildly hot clean balanced hoppy Winter end. Sampled 11/30/2010. Purchased for $4.25 each @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 11/19/2010.

Photo of Hornet2003
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a pub in Fairhaven, Washington.

Very dark, almost porter-esque colour. Smelled delicious with a slightly fruity and spicy aroma. The taste was great. Nutty and fruity all at the same time. Pretty much a fruit cake in a glass. I actually like fruit cake so it was aiiiight in my book. Chestnut type of richness that was really pleasant while enjoying my blue cheese ground chuck burger. Great stuff. I'll be honest, if my girlfriend wasn't there and I was out with the boys, I probably would have gotten extremely drunk since this beer is so drinkable. On tap it is so smooth it's unreal.

Photo of sam_bliss
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap into pint glass

A- Dark amber hue with persistent head that leaves stellar lacing.

S- Sticky-sweet caramel candy and buttery biscuit malt with an inkling of coniferous hops. Absolutely aromatic.

T- Sweet caramel kisses the tip of the tongue and then roasted malt flavors of dark chocolate mocha fill the palate. Tingling, resinous hops tickle the tongue and a bit of apple taste is present as it goes down.

M- The light carbonation, sharp hops, and robust body feel pleasant in the mouth but this ale leaves a coating of thick honey from the roof of the mouth down the throat.

O- A very complete winter warmer. Easy to drink and, more importantly, enjoyable to drink. I have not smelled individually wrapped chewy caramels in any beer to this extent, typically it's just a caramelized sweet malt aroma. Normally I value taste way over smell, but the succulent scent makes this brew.

Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the Hilltop Alehouse, Avalanche is a mahogany with creamy off-white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is soft, slightly sweet, clean malt, a touch of orange. Perhaps a hint of gingersnap (but this is not a spiced beer as far as I can tell).

Taste is pretty good, classic winter warmer malt profile, essentially a strong amber with some spicy hops. Would come off a bit generic if it wasn't for the fact that it is very well made, full yet balanced, with a smooth ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium light, on the dry side.

Drinkability is pretty good, a tasty winter warmer, if a bit forgettable (in fact, I reviewed a bottle about 2 years ago, but forgot). Well made though for sure, a classic example of the local style of winter warmers.

Photo of woemad
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt.6oz. bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.99.

Colored a dark reddish brown, with a big creamy tan head. Lots of lace.

Smell was malty - like caramel and brown sugar - and of dry, piney hops. The malts are the dominant partner here.

The taste started out with a toasty, brown sugarish sweetness, which gradually faded into a dry, piney hop finish. This was less interesting tasting than I had hoped it would be. While it's not bad tasting at all, I had hoped for more.

Mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full bodied.

This is an ok beer, not bad, but nothing earthshattering. I might try this again on tap if the opportunity presents itself, but I don't think I'll go out of my way for this.

BTW, if this is a Belgian Pale Ale (as listed), I'm a Chimay goblet.

Photo of RJLarse
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is on tap at the Elk Public House in Spokane. Served in a pint glass, with a nice head.

Pours a rich redwood brown and is clear. There is a rich foamy tan head. The head has good resiliency and produces nice lacing.

The smell is not very strong, but what is there is sweat, floral and fruity.

The taste is very good. A rich malty flavor, slightly sweet, with a big hop presence. The flavors are quite well balanced.

Mouth feel is incredibly smooth and buttery. Very good.

Avalanche is a very drinkable beer. It's a little high on the alcohol content, but it still makes a nice session beer if you go slow. Outstanding, and I'll have it again.

Photo of erikm25
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a sludgy and deep hued amber. Hints of crimson highlights throughout. The head was two plus fingers of off white fluffy richness. Amazing retention and webs of lacing coated around the glass.

S: Very heavy caramel malt aroma. Some candied sweet and peppered licorice smells drape down the back of the nose. Little bit of grapefruit but overall the hop hints are limited.

T: Much like the nose this is heavy on the malts. Their website says they use two-row pale, munich, and aromatic malts plus those ever famous northwest hops. A sweetened fruity taste makes ("vbnmjknbhj" - the cat typed that) an appearance. Nuttiness and with some slight burnt toffee taste. Has a nice crisp sweet tinge and the hops come in towards the finish.

M: Medium body with a great amount of carbonation.

D: In my quest to continue trying all the local beers this was a nice treat. I'm hoping to get this straight from the brewery if that is an option. Great beer and one that would be great for a growler's worth.

Photo of 49degrees
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

During a recent outing to the Taphouse Grill in Bellevue, Washington I had the chance to enjoy a pint of Snoqualmie’s Avalanche amber. Snoqualmie’s Avalanche winter seasonal beer immediately reminded me of another local brew and tap favorite, Mac & Jacks African Amber, with its cloudy amber tones, sharp hop and malt blends and robust characteristics. This one just has a slightly higher hop factor.

It pours with a thick white foamy head that slowly dissipates is a thin surface foam cover complete with a tight collar and excellent lacing on the glass that stays for the long haul. Visually, it is a fairly complex looking beer, highlighted by a deep murky amber hue.

Aroma and taste wise, the brew delivers a fairly complex malt and hop blend that leaves a strong tingling sensation in the mouth while drinking. If you take a real small sip and let the brew slowly slide along your tongue the distinct hop factor (Cascade and Yakima grains) leaves a bubbly sensation that follows straight down the throat. That’s not necessarily bad, but its not something that one would generally expect with a 6.8% abv rated beer. Features some caramel and fruity flavors and has an almost estery hit on the palette. This is a fairly complex offering for an amber styled brew, but as a seasonal warmer, the almost Belgian-like tone of the beer is quite enjoyable.

Debuting November 1, 2002, this limited edition winter seasonal brew is expected to be in short supply. I’m not 100% sure if its available in bottles like their other offerings, but if you find it on draught, and you’re looking for a flavorful amber style brew, don’t hesitate to give this one a nod. But, if you miss this one, you can always check its little cousin, Mac & Jacks.

[ STATS:>> SERVING: 16 oz. Draught / ABV: 6.8% / PRICE: $4.50 USD ]

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Avalanche from Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company & Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.