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 DSTUR001
1/5  rDev -69%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm currently living in Breckenridge. I get to drink this beer fresh from the brewery in Breck. I have to say I have had this beer on numerous occasions, and have been very disappointed. The taste is way to malty and has a bad foam head. Has the taste of skunked beer that has gone bad months go.

Every Monday the brewery has $1 pints night. Maybe they are giving us what we pay for.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
1.4/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance is lacking head and lacing.

Smell is a little sour and off putting.

Taste is a little sour and unapealing, it does have a slight lager taste to it.

Mouthfeel is like water, this beer reminds me of a miller lite.

I will never drink this again. It tastes pretty watery and leaves no remnance of any beer-even lager.

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Photo of jrallen34
1.68/5  rDev -48%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a very clear light amber, more of a brown, with a light tan that rises about a finger and is gone quickly. Lacing is poor.

The aroma is light rye and ton of skunk, not very appealing.

The taste is horrible, total skunker start to finish.

The feel is light and not drinkable, total drain pour.

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Photo of jongillin
1.71/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this beer on tap here in Colorado Springs.
All I can say about it is that it is a sad excuse for anything resembling a red ale. Check out the BA description of the style. This beer has none of those characteristics.
As the description says: "This style of beer tends to focus on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high. Expect a balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness in most examples."

This beer is watery through and through. There is virtually NO aroma and the head is all but non-existent. The color, to be honest, is good and is a nice reddish copper color. However, due to the complete lack of head I gave this a 2.5 on appearance.

The taste is like water with a faint hint of hops in the finish. The hops' presence is over shadowed by WATER. There is no malt flavor to this beer and the mouthfeel is similar to soda water. It is thin and bubbly.
Certainly an easy drinker, but if you want any flavor this is not the beer for you.

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Photo of Spineypanda
1.84/5  rDev -43%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown, and one might expect a bit of a head but not much exists.
Smells like nothing. Maybe some roasted malts if one lets their imagination go wild, but really has no smell.
The taste follows suit. Has no taste, almost like carbonated water that gets you drunk.

Wont be buying this again!

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Photo of wedge
1.94/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear copper with a thin, bubbly head. Smells cheap...barely grainy aroma has "lite" beer written all over it. Mild sweetness and grain in the flavor, acidic and husky. Thin mouthfeel with a little bite to it.

Decidedly (and confusingly) macro-lager-like and hugely disappointing. Sometimes it pays off blindly grabbing a single bottle to try. Sometimes you wish you could get your money back. Avoid.

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Photo of mynie
2.02/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had one of these at a buddy's house. He handed me a glass of a nice looking hazy orange brew with a good head. I lowered my head to sniff it...

"Jesus god man, what the hell did you do to this?"

"Nothing! That's straight from the bottle."

I took another wiff. It smelled like, no it couldn't. I smelt again. My god, it did. It smelled exactly like a can of peas. Exactly. If I were blindfolded and had this beer shoved under my nose, I would think it was a can of peas.

I took a sip. It tasted like mixed vegetables, peas and corn. It had an okay body, I guess, but it really, seriously tasted like sweet peas. And that's just weird.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
2.06/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This ale pours a dark amber, with very little head. Not very attractive. There is no nose detectable to me. This is matched by a very light flavor, disappointing for an amber ale that should have more robust flavor. The malt is simple and not at all complex, and the flavor dissipates completely at the finish. Drinkable if you're thirsty, but not if you're craving some good beer flavor.

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Photo of Dalem
2.06/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Good strawberry blonde color with an average amount of bubble rising from the bottom of the glass up to a quickly gone head. A faint grainy scent that smelled like a standard marco really more than anything else. Y'know the drill...not much there. It just smells like, you know, beer. Nothing off putting but lacking character or allure.
The first thing I notice in the taste is, well, not very much. Just thin. Very (and I mean very) slight maltiness and what there even is of it, just add a metallic taste to what seems a watery concoction in the first place. A hint of sour apple comes through towards the end that is, I guess for the lack of a better word, a clean finish but that finish comes from the fact that the beer is boring to begin with. I'll be passing on this one in the future.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.08/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Medium to dark brownish red. Slightly hazy. Short off-white head.

Smell - Sweet caramel malt. Faint citrusy hops.

Taste - Light malt flavor. Stronger, but funky citrusy hops. Flavors are not very strong, but seem a little off. Kinda like a sour lemon-lime drink thats gone bad.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Crisp.

Drinkability - I wouldn't ask for another of these.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.1/5  rDev -35%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Date code not notched on label.

Very light for an amber. Not really amber, but dark golden.

Aroma is sweet, sugar and caramel.

Flavor is light and sweet. Caramel malt, light grains, touch of sugar. No hops detected.

Amber light? I couldn't see myself buying this again.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
2.11/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The label has a freshness rating system but it's not used!?! What?

Color: A nice deep copper with an off white head that fades quick.

Aroma: Maltyness with hints of caramel. Light spicy hop aroma but not much.

Flavor: Carmel malt with mild bitterness and just a hint of spicy hop flavor. Really not much going on here. Flavor is comparable to one of my malt extract brews, not too good.

Boring really; this is one to avoid, it's not impressive past the cool label. Maybe it's better at the brewery.

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Photo of BeanBone
2.13/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear amber color (as you would expect) with ruby tones and a thin head that evaporates quickly

Aroma: Grainy light malt with toffee, caramel and citrus undertones

Taste: Very thin and watery, grainy and somewhat malty with a non-hoppy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Flat, thin and watery

Drinkability: I probably wouldn't be ordering another one of these

Verdict: Pretty weak stuff. It almost seems like a fake craft-brew, I keep looking for a hidden Anheuser-Busch logo somewhere. Bland, flat, and rather soulless, Breckenridge Avalanche is forgettable in every sense.

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Photo of u2carew
2.17/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz. longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head - big bubbled, then settles quite quickly. Some haze to the body. Lacing is thin and sticky. Amber in color.
S) Smells like a wet dog. Earthy. Pungent.
T) Grassy. Lemon. Nutty. Very little malty sweetness. Tastes a how a wet dog smells... maybe horse is a better description. The hops seem a bit strong for an amber.
M) Smooth, but with moments of tart bitterness. Medium body.
D) Not very good at all. I don't know if this is a bad beer, but this is the second one I have tried over the course of three days and both have been unpleasant. I won't be drinking another one of these. In regards to style, I don't think it fits.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.17/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer presents a hazy, ruby-amber coloring, with a split second of thin head that completely disappears within moments. Rich caramel and toffee aromas, with a slight roasted/toasted characteristic. The beer's flavors are extremely watered down, giving the malty profiles a wierd, uncomfortable tang. The roastiness comes out in a rusty flavor. Not good tasting any way you look at it. The watery characteristic gives off a metallic aftertaste on the light body. The finish is nondecript after everything else. There are much better ambers out there, folks.

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Photo of sonata2008
2.18/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Rusty gold copper. A slight bit cloudy with some lacing. About 1/2" of foam. Some bubbles rising up.
Smell: A definite malt smell like rising bread. Not much else.
Taste: Malt taste up front, but needs to be stronger. Almost tastes watered down. No hops presence. Could have used some hops to give a little zip. Comes across rather bland.
Mouthfeel: Very light mouthfeel.
Overall: Seems strangely mild and bland for an amber. It's OK, but certainly not my favorite amber.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.21/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a clear amber with a light khaki head forms thick initially leaving behind thin lacing around my new Dollar Tree tulip chalice. Aromatics are a bit timid with watery caramel and some mineral tones peeking through as well. Not much hop action going on in the nose or flavor and the aroma just smells like some grains watered down with minimal caramel notes. Flavor is pretty expected of Breckenridge, flagship amber comes watery and not real assertive or cohesive with the flavors. Minimal toasted nut with caramel and a tart grain husk offness, not much hop flavor with minimal bitterness from the lack of hops. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery feel with a sharp bitey mouthfeel mainly from the carbonation level. Drinkability is pretty weak not a beer I would welcome back in the future, I'd rather drink fresh Goose Island Honker's for 6.50 a sixer or better yet some cans of Yuengling Amber Lager. At least you don't expect much from the canned regional brewery.

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Photo of ccrida
2.22/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Silk-screened bomber depicting mnts, poured into a shaker, Avalanche is a clear bronze, with a decent, olive-tinged ivory head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is fairly classic American amber, wet grassy hops and a little bready, but with a bit of an unusual zing that I can't place

Taste is not very good, thin and watery, sharp metallic bite on the finish that really lingers, yuck. I noticed this in their Oatmeal Stout, although it was better hidden by the roast. Here it just overwhelms (and is probably the zing on the nose), must be their water...

Mouthfeel is slick and watery.

Drinkability is pretty low for me, that metallic aftertaste as was just too much, I could barely finish the first glass let alone the whole bomber...

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Photo of NitroGen
2.23/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

P: 12 ox Brown Longneck Bottle that after staring at the back label see that it was brewed on the fourth week of April..hopefully of this year…a bit under 6 months ago.

A: Pours very clear amber with a light head that quickly disappears with a wee bit of a foam collar. Just a few bubbles rising to the top.

S: Very light malt and a bit of grain.

T: Carbonation walks on the tongue a bit but found it very thin with only a few notes of flavor and then gone and quickly forgotten.

M: Not bad, not outstanding …just a pretty ordinary beer that although not unpleasant does not stand out.

D: If offered I would drink it without a qualm as it is a safe drink, but not memorable or one to mention in conversation

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.26/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ouch. This is a rough one. On the first sip, I can tell that this is not too good. The load of malts is too thick with no additional flavors. Bleh. This is pretty bad. One of the worst beers I've had in quite some time. Definitely won't be able to finish it.

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Photo of climax
2.27/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

*Breckenridge's website claimed an ABV of 5.41%

Avalanche poured an amber/brown with good clarity into my pint glass. Head was good, chunky as it sunk down slowly, very nice.

Unfortunately appearance was the high point. Nose was weak and uninspiring, smelled like beer, maybe a bit biscuity. To be more specific, smelled like the remaining swill that had been sitting out overnight....

Taste was about the same as the nose in terms of what it had goin for it....not much. Taste was kinda sour and skunky. I tried to dig some good out of it, but couldn't.

Body was light, feel was kind of dry.... err yea. It looked good, but the buck stopped there. I was thirsty so I drank it.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
2.29/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours a clear ruby amber with a white head that is compact, but lingering. The aroma is pure buttered popcorn. Super strong diacetyl aroma. Slight caramel behind that, no hop aroma. The flavor is diacetyl as well. Slick butter feel on the tongue and the finish is dry butter. There is no real caramel flavor and only enough hops to balance the butter. I could not choke down much of this.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.31/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle at Monk's, Philly, PA

A: Reddish brown color, quickly-receding white head.

S: Nutty, malty, earthy.

T: Matches the nose, not too flavorful.

M: Light-medium body, a little watery.

D: Average brew, not too memorable. Fairly drinkable.

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Photo of deejaydan
2.31/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Starts out easy enough. Looks,well, amber, as it should. Decent lacing, moderate head. Aroma is carmelly, but lacking anything else. Taste is a myriad of faults. Starts again, good, with some carmel notes, but then into a strange Granny Smith apple taste.

I had hopes for this beer, but I just couldn't get past the Granny Smith Apple.

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Photo of gkatsoris
2.32/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice clear brown, w/ a thin uber white whispy head. Very similar to a lager.

S: Musky, funky, soury, and yucky. Wet blanket.

T: Blech. And I mean blech.

M: Very thin and crisp. High carbonation.

D: Sorry, not for me (at all).

But I am glad I had the opportunity to at least try it.

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