Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale | Appalachian Brewing Company

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Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced AleGrinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale

Brewed by:
Appalachian Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jarod on 11-13-2002

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 88
Photo of Phatz
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to weeare138 for hooking me up with this beer.

This is not an APA. It is an Herbed Spiced Ale. Since that category is not available any more many of the Herbed Spiced beer seem to be defaulting to Winter Warmer. Anyway…

Appearance: Pours a red, brown color with a small off white fizzy head that fades fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon cherry ginger and cloves with a little sugar, but not a heavy malt backbone. It is dependant on the spices.

Taste: This beer is heavily spiced with ginger dominantly; followed by nutmeg, cinnamon, cherry, brown sugar and a drop of orange.

Mouthfeel: This is a beer that is nicely spiced and has a pleasant taste. The body is light. The crisp citric feel, plus the carbonation and the spices compensate for that light feel.

Drinkability: These seasonally spiced beers are not very sessionable in my opinion but sipping one with a holiday meal or for the experience of it was tasty enough. Certainly worth a try, at least once.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a 1 finger, soapy beige head that slowly fades out. Scattered bits of clumpy lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, and obvious orange peel with some of the candied, dry ginger thrown into the mix.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a sugar cookie flavor backing up the spices and orange citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, spicy, and zesty.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opens with a very soft pfffst.
Rich deep spiced caramel aroma. The ginger and nutmeg stand out. Blend is nice, but moves towards spice more as it sits.
Poured aggressively to enhance head that at the most was 1/2 inch with a moderate density and tan color. Head leaves markings of each drink, but they aren't permanent. Very clear. Deep amber of orange moving towards red in light.
Initial, and very quick, deep caramel taste that very quickly moves towards the spices which dominate through the remainder. Complexity of spices more evident through drink, than aroma, with cinnamon more prominent than before. The orange noted on the label hardest to detect. They lead to a dryness of some note, in effect coating the tongue on the finish. Bitterness is mild, but there.
Heavy enough feel on the moderate to heavy side. Carbonation leads to fullness, and while soft, contributes to the heaviness.
This is fine. I might find it difficult to consume more than a couple in a sitting (the strength of the spices would lead to fatigue), but as a holiday season to enjoy...ya, this does just fine.

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Photo of Foxman
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a ruddy brown, slightly hazy and marginally carbonated. A finger of very loose light tan head settles soon to surface wisps. Flecks of lacing spot the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries well toasted malt, slightly biscuit and caramel in nature. Cinnamon and nutmeg are prominent in the nose, with the merest hint of citrus in tow.

Upon tasting, the malt, with a crusty toasted element to it, comes along mildly sweet and readily bested by a brief flash of orange, and then utterly overwhelmed by nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, the latter coming off almost soapy, like a curl on a sushi tray. The finish is more of the spicy same, with a bitter tail that fades quickly. It's not unsalvageable, but the spice onslaught is unbalanced and distracting.

Between light and medium bodied, the spices and malt actually combine to lend a coating of reasonable sweetness and a spicy glow to the palate.

I can handle spiced beers, but I much prefer a modicum of balance, and this one does not deliver in that department. The malt is actually tasty, if you can manage to remember it after the spices, especially the nutmeg and ginger, steal the stage. Don't get me wrong, the spices aren't THAT strong, but they're way too potent for the grain bill. It could be drinkable, but it's just not something I'll turn back to any time soon.

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Photo of tempest
2.34/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This must be a different beast on-tap, because my bottle was nothing to write home about. Looks like a nice winter warmer, a nice deep amber color. Smells of funky lemon and spice, just doesnt smell right to me. Flavor is overloaded with spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, all the jazz. It's just abit much for me. But hey, the girlfriend liked it and she has a good palate for beer, go figure.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Grey Lodge. I initially thought that it must have been served in a dirty pint glass, but after looking at the other revies here there's apparantly little head retention to this one. It did have a nice, soft carbonation to it - which was nice, and worked well for the style - but that should still have been enough to conjure up a small head! Anyway, the aroma was nice. I didn't find it too spicy at all. Soft maltiness. Well blended I though. And the flavor followed suit. Round, soft, gently spicy. Nice edge of caramel. Smooth. Restrained bitterness. Caramelish malt and light spice linger in the finish. Worth trying.

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Photo of KFaulkner
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Appalachian Brewing Company's brewpub in Harrisburg, PA. The Grinnin' Grizzly is the new name for it's Hibernation Ale, as it was named in previous years. It's a spicy seasonal with a smooth, malty taste and a very strong nutmeg/cinnamon finish. The citrus flavors are strong at first taste. According to ABC:

"This amber ale is dosed with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and fresh orange zest. It is well balanced with low hop flavor and nice hint of the spices in the finish. This spiced ale is not overbearing; rather it is smooth and very drinkable."

It is both smooth and drinkable, yet the hop flavor is overpowered by the nutmeg and cinnamon. Overall a tasty brew that is ABC's November specialty.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.57/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This came with no head, but instead, just some whitish wisps on the surface and a white ring around the edge of the glass. The spiciness of the nose was attention-getting: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and even a pepperiness were all evident. The color was a very bright orangish-red that easily passed the Nebraska Test for clarity. The mouth feel was medium, with a great cinnamon tingle on the tongue. The finish was equally spicy with the cinnamon and clove as the predominantly lingering flavors. This was a fantastic holiday beer.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from the tap into a pint glass.

A - Pours a reddish-brown...almost nutmeg color. Small head but has good retention.

S - Smells of warm spices...cinnamon and cloves with some malty hints.

T - Upon her first sip, my wife said it tasted like gingersnaps...not a bad description, actually. Wonderful blend of spices (cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg), but a distinctive flavor of vanilla and gingerbread. Complex blend that changes flavors from the first sip to the last, but it works extremely well together.

M - Bubbly, light-to-medium body with a warming sensation on the way down.

D - One of my favorite spiced ales...probably the best new one I've tried this season. And because of the lower abv, I was able to enjoy several of these while at ABC. Definitely worth it if, you can try some.

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Photo of Gavage
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear dark amber in color with a 1/2" head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: tons of spices like nutmeg, ginger, and cinammon.

Taste: decent malt base, but the spices picked up in the nose like ginger and nutmeg are a bit strong and overwhelming. Little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. Aftertaste in long with the nutmeg, cinammon, and ginger and little else. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: not that good since the spice are out of balance. One pint was more than enough.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at ABC in Harrisburg.

Pours a nice, clear, medium brown with a cream colored head that fades.

Smells like a gingerbread cookie. Mmmm.

Nice malt base with quite a spicy taste. Finishes fairly clean with a lingering spicyness. Ginger dominates the flavor with some nice nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Wish the ginger was tamed back a bit.

Body is average.

Pretty easy to drink, but one at a time will do. A little less ginger and this is a real winner.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Chestnut color w/ slight ruby hue; dense tan head rising to
About ½”. It slowly dissipates to a decent surface layer.

A- Aroma is of sweet ginger & cherries. Caramel also hits me along with some yeast; nothing exciting but nice aroma overall.

T- Tart sour cherries up wash across my palate along with a shot of nutmeg spice & ginger leading to an nice sweet gingerbread flavor by the finish; maybe a bit of hops on the finish, but I could be mistaken.

F- Lightly carbonated, it is very smooth from the sip to the finish. Low alcohol level keeps this slightly creamy through the finish. Very nice!

D- Does a puppy poop? Very very drinkable Christmas ale! Very enjoyable.

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Photo of simmons
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Grinnin’ Grizzly has a nice think tan, long lasting head with mild aroma. It is a light brown beer pale ale all around mild tasting beer. You can hardly taste any malt and hop flavor but seasoned with spices. Despite its’ mildness it is a smooth drinking beer that I could easily drink all day long. AVB- 5.85% IBU 18.20

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer. The variety of ingredients and spices they put in it gives it a complex flavor, which is pretty good. I'm not sure what was going with this particular batch, but it wasn't very aromatic. Looking over the other reviews, this seems particular to my batch. Therefore, I'm going a little bit leneient on that rating.

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Photo of Edwin
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice, amber/orange with a creamy head. Very holiday-like.

Smell: Various spices, nutmeg, and some sweet-smelling additions I can't quite pinpoint.

Taste: Goes in with some cinnamon/sugary notes. The unique blend of spices does leave an aftertaste, although I think the sum of the parts is a bit less than desirable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet. I got a little saliva kicking because I was caught off-guard by the sweetness.

Drinkability: This is a good beer to try because they have a very original flavor and blend of spices, however, the sweetness can be a tad over-bearing for my tastes. I had one and knew that a second one would be very difficult to take. If sugar isn't your thing, you'll stop at one or two.

Overall: Better than an average beer, but a little sweet for an all-night beer or an entire case. Good for a cold December evening.

On a personal note, I find this beer compelling to me because the bear on the label looks like Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie on N64. I love that darn bear, but someone's gonna get sued! :)

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Photo of stirgy
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewery. This is their spicy amber ale. Formerly their "Hibernation Ale". The beer poured a murky amber orange with a thinning head. Nutmeg is prominent in the aroma, along with some other spices. Maybe a hint of cinnamon. Wonderfully dry and spicy and light bodied. Citrus hop bitterness comes through in the aftertaste. An enjoyable and interesting beer. A nice holiday beer to have with a rich dessert, such as cheesecake.

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Photo of Jarod
4.39/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came to me at the table a cloudy brown/red color with a thick rich full head that sat atop the beer like it was posing for a photo. The head was beige in color and left a full lace the whole way to the bottom of the glass. Not your usual lace, more like cream tires stacked on top of each other full and round the whole way around the glass. You could tell the level and amount of each sip that you took. It was also served at cellar temp if not slightly warmer. Nice job on the detail from ABC. The aromas were spices, citrus hops, some flowers, fruits, and a slight malt tone. The taste was full and flavorful. It being warmer then the usual tap version, I noticed the flavors much more. More dark malt, fruits, flowers, the hop bite was more present and the spices seemed to come out more as well. Some aftertaste of hops were present but not overkill. This was one of the smoother beers that I have had from ABC. Much better then the regular seasonal that they come out with. Very enjoyable.

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Grinnin' Grizzly Spiced Ale from Appalachian Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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