Avalanche Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

1,325 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,325 |  Reviews: 459
Photo of greenengineer
3.36/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz Bottle in my Paddy's Road Race piny glass
A - deep golden color, nice persistent head, sticks to the sides of the glass as you drink it
S - Not a huge aroma, but no bad smells either
T - smooth, slightly malty, with not much hop bitterness
M - good fizz, not as sticky as I would like
O - easy drinking ale, pretty average, nothing bad, nothing memorable

 360 characters

Photo of corywalston
3.36/5  rDev +4%

Photo of glinnebur
3.36/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Adamthome1
3.36/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper, amber color into glass, looks just as expected. Not much of a smell, maybe the smell of barley coming through because the taste is pretty dominant of a abrley malt. Leaves kind of an estra tangy bittersweet aftertaste which is the only thing I didn't really care about the beer. Otherwise the taste is maybe a little bland, not a whole lot of flavor there except for the aftertaste. Another reviewer said it reminded him of vomit aftertaste and I agree...not that it's a nasty naste, just the bitterness in the back of the throat - - very similiar. Worth a try but nothing special here. Enjoy

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Photo of KYGunner
3.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This poured the obligatory amber hue but had a clean filtered clearness. The head was fizzy and shallow, fluttering away quickly.

The aroma holds nice but subtle toasted grains with a mild caramel sweetness and a tinge of hop bitterness.

The flavor holds the same toasted grain held by the nose. The grains are biscuity, lightly toasted with a caramel malt sweetness. There is some bitterness from the hops but for the most part the toasty grains finish the flavor.

The feel is quite impressive with a velvety smoothness and a water like drinkability without being watery.

The 4 pct ABV gives this away as the malt required to amp up the flavor is not there and it is simply too weak.

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Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in standard pint glass

A - typical for style reddish/copper; clear; thin and short-lived head

S - too earthy

T - decent. somewhat heavy on toasted malt. Yeasty.
down-rated for sour/bitter finish without much hop (or other) flavor.

M - average for style

D - see taste

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Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a clear, amber color with a foamy one and half finger head. At best, retention and lacing were pretty average.

Smell: It's predominantly grainy in smell. There are some secondary toffee malt and citrus grapefruit aromas. Hops are very faint.

Taste: Much more crisp than I expected. Grainy flavor again is the primary feature. Toffee malts give it a sweet flavor. Hops are more noticeable in taste, but far from strong. They do balance it out pretty well.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Carbonation is good. Drinkability is definitely above average. This would actually be pretty nice on a hot day. It's worth a try.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber/copper hue with decent clarity. One finger soapy off-white head.

Aroma: Some breadyness and just a hint of pine or some slight spice from the hops or possibly the yeast.

Taste: Sort of a straightforward malty palate. Nothing impressive. There's caramel and amber malts with just a hint of some fruit or spice like in the nose. This could actually pass for an Octoberfest if it had more grain flavor. Leaves you with a bit of a sugar-sweet aftertaste. I feel like it's missing out on the subtle roasty flavors or hop character that could make it stand out.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and light in body. Actually pretty robust for the 4.4% abv. High drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I wish there had been a little more to this beer. Maybe in body or the selection of malts used. It's a little too generic. However, it'd be the perfect selection for someone who is new to craft beer.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ontap at the Breck in Colorado during a ski trip - into a pint glass (as well as out of cans before). Poured yellowish/orange with 1/4 inch white head that limped into a ring. Smelt of slight hints of roast and sweet maltiness. Taste begins sweet and bready and dissipates with a hint of sour fruit and moss merging towards the end. Less hops than a elephant. Mouthfeel was light. Overall, a fairly disappointing amber that could use less sweetness and more malty bite or hops.

 477 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Breckenridge Avalanche Ale pours an amber color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the malty end. The flavor is malty and there is a touch of hops. This beer is nothing special, but it's easy enough to drink, decent session beer.

 262 characters

Photo of maxson924
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mentor
3.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Full finger of yellow head over a rust orange liquid. Nearly clear and some streamers running up. Smells tin and oranges. Tomato juice and pine from hops. Malt is nearly absent.

Tastes iron dryyish, but nice malty finish. Hops are present, but quite in line with the intensity of the malt. Woody dry with minimal pine and orange hop flavor. Light caramel is strung a bit thinner than I'd like for the style. fruity sweet in the aftertaste leaves everything nice. Md body and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Filler83
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had not seen this one before, and it was my first chance to get some of the Breckenridge on tap, so I went right in for it. Poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/19/2008.

The pour was decent enough, a nice reddish amber color coming through on the pout rather nicely. Clear, with a good amount of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass, which combined in the top to form a nice half inch layer of white foam that hung around for the rest of the session.

Aroma was deep caramel malts, much as you would expect. Hints of herbal grass like smells, and a touch of grain all coming together very nicely to form what I could only describe as you fairly typical red ale. The flavor carried more of this as well. Nice touches of caramel malts, hints of a somewhat bready base, and just the lightest touch of hops to finish it out was about all you were getting out of this one. Decent feel, though I have to admit it could have come off just a touch smoother in the end, still though quite drinkable.

Overall not a bad little ale, not the best thing, but a solid effort none the less. I would not have an issue with trying this one again in the future. Cannot wait to get even more quality offerings in around here from Breckenridge, They are a damn fine brewer. Following this up with a vanilla porter hit the spot.

 1,341 characters

Photo of grs8313
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 12oz bottle with a bottling date of February 2008. Pours dark amber color with two fingers of head. The head dies down quickly to a thin fine covering of the beer.

Smell: Sweet malt, dried fruit and a slight earthy hops note.

Taste: Sweet malts and candied/ dried fruit flavors. Earthy notes as well. No aftertaste from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation, and a thin mouthfeel. This beer leaves the mouth feeling extremely clean.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable, and it does not dominate or kill any parts of the pallet, so it would be a great session beer or great in a style tasting.

 622 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mostly clear, copper colored, 1 finger head, some lacing. 3.5

Somewhat similar to the summerbright ale in both aroma and taste. Grainy smell with some malted wheat. 3.5

Tastes nicely malted with light hops and a touch of sweet caramel. 3.5

Feels slick and slightly watery. Goes down easy. 3.5

Drinks ok. 3. Not bad but I liked the others in the sampler better, especially the IPA. Not a bad brewery tho, I'd like to sample more of their offerings.

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Photo of kodyonthekeys
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Brewlinson
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bigschoolrecords
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jcm2583
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of harryhops
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Thanby
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a hazy amber-mahogany color with minimal off-white head that dissipates quickly. Barely any noticeable carbonation.

Smells very doughy with a little caramel and almond in the background.

Tastes surprisingly yeasty, light roasted caramel malt, lingering malt bitterness, fairly simple.

Medium body, very doughy but easy to drink, good session beer but overall not terribly impressive.

 447 characters

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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Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.23 out of 5 based on 1,325 ratings.
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