Avalanche Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

454 Reviews
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Avalanche AleAvalanche Ale

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
That's what makes our Avalanche amber ale such a treat. We blend pale and caramel malts — and just a kiss of bittering hops — to create a refreshing-but-flavorful, anytime beer. Aromas of pale grains, a semi-sweet middle and a clean-as-Colorado snow finish make this our best-selling beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001

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Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,313
Photo of DenverHopHead
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no discernible born on date; into a pint glass.
Appearance- a hazy Amber that takes on a gold hue against the sunlight; head is thin and white; lacing is weak.
Smell - sweet caramel blended with floral notes.
Taste - a bit too sweet, but the caramel and floral profile picked up in the nose actually plays well together.
Feel - light, sweet and surprisingly refreshing.
Overall - had this years ago, just never reviewed it. I find it interesting how these "older" craft beers get overlooked due to the market being over saturated. I'm not going to pick this up anytime soon at the local shop, but I wouldn't turn it down if offered after a day of skiing or at a spring or fall BBQ.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.16/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Copper gold color that is very clear and pours with a small white head that dissipates really quickly and just a few fingers of lacing.

S: Sweet malt is the overwhelming note here, a little bit of caramel and nuttiness.

T: Sweet malt, a nutty earthiness, some caramel. Very sweet, it needs some balance a little hop presence would help.

F: Light body and a nice easy drinking beer.

O: I used to really like this beer, but the reality is there are a lot of better quality amber ales on the shelves these days.

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Photo of Trailboss76
4.38/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber tea-like color. Not a real big head. You can see the carbonation bubbling up. Smooth, pleasant, a little nutty. One of my favorite everyday beers.

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Photo of Beerma
3.54/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Kinda is like a stout! tasted a lot like a stout from them! It was good but nothing to write home about!
THis one the label is different and at 5%! Not 4.4%

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Unknown vintage; drank 2/28/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Semi-opaque orange rust appearance.

Off-white head; nice lace.

Sweet corn & mild caramel nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Corn syrup flavor; cloying & far from enjoyable. I could force one down if I had to, but why the hell would I?!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Colors running in between brown and amber. Hearty appearance, 1/2" off white head. Aroma has caramel, toffee, barley.

Taste is run of the mill moderate roasting and two row. Could use more hops. Almost comes off like a winter warmer. Breckenridge just seems to be somewhat bland status oriented beers for people in a rich zip code. This is mild stuff. But you know, if you're someone who truly digs something a little malty, not bitter and light in alcohol, maybe this is your jam. Not so much mine. No off flavors though.

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Photo of PDGreenB
3.92/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very warm, deep rust colored ale. Pours with a short head, smells of wheat and light citrus. Has a slight taste similar to peanut and sunflower seed, quite appealing for a colder seasonal brew. A soft bread flavor on the nose. Great mouth feel, not too sticky.

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Photo of seansean95
3.22/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Look: A very pretty beer. Nice amber (duh) hues. Very similar in appearance to sweet tea. Minimal head that dissipates almost immediately.

Smell: Sweet but almost unpleasantly so. I'd describe it as a sort of saccharine smell.

Taste: Similar to smell. Not much going on in terms of depth, mostly that saccharine taste.

Mouthfeel: This beer gains some points back here. Very smooth and light.

Overall not a huge fan. I'll probably avoid this beer in the future. Amber ales are some of my favorite beers, but this one falls well short of the mark.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
3.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this as a 12oz draft in Keystone, CO. Nothing impressive, but definitely easy to tip back when it is on tap. It is a little watered down, but you can still tell it is an amber beer. You can't beat $4 drafts of this, but I wouldn't pay a cent more.

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Photo of StonewallSipper
3.65/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Don't know why this is rated so low.....pours a nice amber semi-cloudy color, nice taste not overpowering, nice malty finish without much bite. Its a above average for the type. Good job.

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Photo of mhuber
4/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, caramel color. Thin, fine head that lingers. Lots of lacing. A light malt scent. Balanced flavor, not too heavy, a bit watery. Smoky aftertaste. Drinkable, not not a runaway favorite.

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Photo of Suds
3.72/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear, light amber colored beer with a beautiful white head. The aroma is pleasant...malty, with a light spicy hop scent in the background. The taste is similar...malt, a touch of fruit, and a light hopiness. It's not an aggressive beer, but is rather a straightforward, approachable, and very drinkable beer. This reminds me of many brews from 20 years ago, solid and drinkable, but not overly creative.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.64/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Notebook entry from craft beer expo last year.

Appearance : 2 finger head, amber/honey colored, 50% opacity.

Smell : Oaky, slight rotten lemon, an off-putting wheat note. Unmistakably amber with toasted malts.

Taste : Light, easy drinking...some wheat and red ale flavors in there, slight oak and char.

Feel : Light to medium bodied, creamy, ends semi-dry.

Overall : A bit of sour funk is the off-putting factor here, otherwise it goes down easy for an amber ale.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours a cloudy amber with a one-finger white head. The head recedes quickly leaving some light spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is light caramel malts and some breadiness.

T - The taste starts with sweet caramel malts upfront with some biscuit and hazelnut. The finish has some light earthy hops.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Watery mouthfeel with a crisp finish.

O - A decent sessionable Amber.

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Photo of stevoj
3.06/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Some wonderful toffee and caramel flavors in this beer, coming out more as it warms. The best part of this beer was its taste. Normal amber body with soft airy off-white head.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
2.74/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Unfortunately, really disappointed with this and this brewer generally. Uninspired, thin on flavor, and a big letdown. They indicate this is their flagship beer. Ouch. Really wanted to like, just didn't. :-(

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.23/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this brew! Pours an amber golden color with a thin white head. Initial taste is very mild, kinda like a Belgium ale, mild caramel nutty aftertaste. This is a very tasty drinkable beer, the best one I've had for a while. Would definitely buy a 6-pack

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.28/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy amber to ruddy red color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Light speckled lacing stuck nicely around the glass.
The smell started off with some caramel malts and then a sly amount of nuts sneak in to blend nicely.
The taste was malty sweet through the caramel. The nutty part blends around it and a light bitter citrus hops try to make a small presence.
The mouthfeel sat about a light on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation runs fairly tame.
Overall, I don't mind it. It seems to fit the style. Its just nothing over the top.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

15 Ju1 15
On-Tap 16 oz. (The Ale House)

Pours a nice clean/clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which does leave some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, nice touch of caramel. The taste is malty, very nice caramel note. Medium body. Overall a tasty brew.

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Photo of ordybill
3.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a malt and wheat/grass smell, not bad.
Appearance- this beer pours a clear golden copper color with a thick white head.
Taste- Big malt flavor up front up the after / finishing taste is rather empty.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with heavy carbonation.
Overall- An average beer

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Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Truncated notes:

A: Head fills ~80% of the glass. Frothy enough, with fair thickness and fullness. Decent complexion. Not real creamy. Could be softer-looking. Leaves uneven light lacing on the sides of the glass. Retention is superb - ~7-9 minutes.

Body is a vibrant copper (NOT an amber). Clear and translucent, with no visible yeasty muck or hop sediment.

Overall, it looks more like a pale than an amber.

Sm: Aroma brings wheat, pale malt, floral hops, and dominant amber malts (which carry a hint of toastiness). I find no caramalt. A biteen bready.

Aromatic intensity is average.

T: Amber malts, toastiness, mild floral hop character, and pale malts. Shallow and somewhat insipid, with a middling balance. Not gestalt, unique, special, complex, subtle, or nuanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with fair carbonation and an unrefreshing feel. Medium-bodied. Somewhat stale, actually.

Generic in its execution. Meh. There's no harmony of texture to taste.

O: Drinkable but middling. A very generic amber from Breckenridge. I'll be sticking to their vanilla porter going forward.

Low C-

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.41/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Understandable that this brew is light in size, but more is expected from a name like that—it's like naming a Chihuahua Zeus … forget the name, we guess. So we have a sessionable Amber Ale, one without much of a punch aside from a slight toasted malt character. Even the hops are pretty damn modest. A decent brew, nothing more.

STYLE: American Amber Ale
ABV: 4.4%

LOOK: Reddish copper, thin head

SMELL: Mild caramel, dried hay, mildly fruit, bready, faint hazelnut

TASTE: Light crispness, lighter body, wet, thin graininess, toasted bread crust, nutty, mineral, mild hopping, grass, apple skin; dry, toasty finish

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.88/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, deep, dark, amber, mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuity, cereal-like aromas, followed by some caramel and brown sugar, spices of black pepper and coriander, and a touch of vinegary-like corn or rice adjunct-like aromas.

Taste: Really, really good, with strong flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuits, cereal and sourdough bread. Next comes strong flavors of caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness and some black pepper. Finally, the beer finishes with a touch of floral, piney, slightly bitter hops. Thankfully, there are none of the vinegary-like corn or rice adjunct-like flavors that are present in the aroma. Great beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent as there is some good carbonation present. With an ABV of 4.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: What a nice beer! Malty, slightly sweet, easy to drink. Another great beer from Colorado, and another great beer from Breckenridge. While not quite as good a New Belgium’s Fat Tire, I could easily drink this all day, and be very happy!

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Photo of bmeehan
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a gorgeous shade of deep reddish brown with the perfect head, but that's where the beauty really ends. The taste is very average a little bitter for such a timid beer, and you don't feel like you'll really remember drinking it after you're done. Solid, but not really anything special.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 4.4% abv

Appearance- Medium amber color and and slighty cloudy. Two finger head that dissipates fast.

Smell- Caramel malts throughout with an earthy crispness.

Taste- Grains come through heavy, followed by the sweet malt which is not as pronounced as in the smell. The herbal hop finish comes in at the end with a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light in body, dry finish.

Overall- A decent amber ale that is fairly light and nothing too big or memorable as far as flavor goes. Still not bad; easy drinking.

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Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.23 out of 5 based on 1,313 ratings.
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