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 kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy amber with crimson hues. 1.5 finger frothy head with some lace. Good retention.

S: mild sweet caramel malt but faint.

T: Mostly a mild and minimally sweet malt character. Mostly breads and mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

O: Its very easy to drink as there are no offense flavors however there is little to no character either. Though not bad, nothing stands out making this on a C+ or so "decent" beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, slight caramel, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and slight fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is easy to drink but it seems fairly watery and lacking all around.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a decent amber. a malty sturdy nose, malty sweet red pour with a respectable off-white head, quick grainy mild finish, medium body. nothing remarkable in an otherworldly sense, yet a repeatably satisfying drink. 6pack no worries, its just above average, but good vibes...

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Photo of metter98
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left a bit of bubbles on the surface and a very thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is rather malty with aromas of caramel, grainy and toasted malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has some initial malty sweetness and flavors of caramel, grainy and toasted malts. Not much in the way of bitterness is noticeable. The grainy malts seem to stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth and a bit thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer would probably pair well with food but no more much than that. It really needs some more hops to make this a beer that would be interesting to drink on its own.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.66/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The flagship beer and last one to try in the mixed pack. Pours a cloudy orange, nice little head to it. Bit of a macro beer smell to it.. uh oh. Taste is medium bodied, surprisingly good mouthfeel. Well balanced with a nice bit of hops to it, super drinkable and really hits the spot. I know this may be the 'generic mass produced micro' for this brewery, but for some reason I find it delicious and really refreshing. Yummy and no frills, give it a try.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After tearing into a Breckenridge Breweing Company's variety pack this weekend, I beleive this beer to be the best of the selection. Though no standout characteristics, it is well brewed, clean, and easily palatable. Aromas have a medium malt profile with bready, toasty, yeasty, malty, and caramel. Looks...amber with adequate retention and lacing. Flavors are medium malty, with hop bittering to balance. Mild spices and hop flavor for accents. Finishes clean and cool. Quite a nice beer. It will be easily forgotten however, because many preceive this to be a lackluster beer style. Too bad, it's a good 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 LXIXME
2.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Small to maybe medium off white head quickly settles to a quarter inch or less of semi-frothy head above a clear bronze-caramel colored beer.

Very light caramelized grain malts aroma.

Light tasting caramel grain malts is about all there is going on with this light tasting amber.

Almost a wet aftertaste with just a tad of the caramel malts sticking around with this lighter side medium bodied beer.

Not a bad tasting amber beer, just not enough of the taste it has, if the taste of this beer were more pronounced it might actually be a pretty good drink.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a copper/amber color with a one-finger, bubbly, off-white head. Not much lace.

S - It smelled rather malty with some hoppy/floral notes.

T - It tasted of roasted malts, a little biscuity. It also had some subtle spice.

M - It was crsip and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay amber. Not the best but certainly drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color. A bit thick with an off who're head. Nose is pretty plain with some doughy caramel and a bit of nuts. Nutty in the taste with mild toast and that is about it. Medium body and somewhat chewy. Drinks okay. Nothing wrong, just not super flavorful.

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Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here is my second of the night that I got from another friend and sadly had to drink it out of a bottle due to no glassware.

Aroma is very basic. This beer has some spiced up hops backed up with some simple malts.

Taste is a lot similar to the smell. Has some odd spiced hops that I haven't tasted in a beer, at least not recently. Some simple malts as well. Nothing to special.

Mouthfeel is pretty well balanced. Not crisp, not creamy, but right in the middle. Decent carbonation.

Overall, this is an easy drinking simple beer. Nothing to special about it that and I don't plan on buying any of this. I am still trying to find some decent Red Ales (crossing my fingers for Summit Horizon).

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Photo of superspak
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottling info. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a fairly dense 2 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, bready grain, light citrus, and spiciness. Fairly nice aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, bready grains, herbal spiciness, pine, and a bit of citrus. Decent bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bready grains, herbal spiciness, and light caramel. The breadiness and grain flavors are a bit odd. Decent amount of flavor, but it does come off as a bit watery. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with some prickly carbonation. Very smooth to drink at 4.4%, with no alcohol presence. Overall this is an ok amber ale. A little too bready, and not as much hop character as I would like. Easy to drink though.

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Photo of oberon
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the tap a clear amber with a very thin off white head that was gone in a flash,big caramel malt aromas with some fruity esters,not much hop presence found.Flavors are agin sweeter and malt tilted,caramel biscuit with a touch of grain,some lingering fruit notes in the finish.Eh if you like old school malt tilted ambers you'll like this,me not so much.

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Photo of jlindros
2.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over clear reddish auburn brown color.

Nose adds some light malts, a bit of a malt extract aroma, a bit of a toasty reddish malt aroma with a slight skunked aroma. Something is really weird about this aroma, not very good.

Taste is not so great either, very light, some light toasty malts but quite a bit of a malt extract and adjunct type flavors, some bad skunked like malt flavors, very light grassy hops, but overall just bad.

Mouth is pretty light, decent carbonation though.

Drink is not great either, its light and crisp, but the bad flavors just don't go well.

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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 NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Avalanche Ale is an interesting beer in that it seems to fall halfway between an English pale ale and an American amber ale. The slightly sulphury, mineralish English yeast is just so blatant that I can't think of anything but English ale, and yet it does have a bit more crystal malt to it like an American version. It's got a just slightly hazy deep-amber/orange body and creamy antiqued-white head. The retention and lacing are good. The aroma is nice, particularly if you enjoy the yeast character, and there's a bit of subtly sweetish caramel malt and grassy and leafy hops present as well. The flavor is well-balanced with malt and yeast character stepping forward, and hops and bitterness following. There's a mild fruitiness to it like apricot, apples, and pears, but the yeast also leaves it almost a touch "bloody" or iron-like. I find it reminiscent of Bateman's XXX. It's interesting enough to keep your interest through more than one, and it might make a good session ale. Nicely done.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, right out of the gate, topped with 2 foamy fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a thin filmy look, leaving back some spotty froth that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of caramel, toast, and some citric hops that give this an earthy twang. Pretty straight forward as far as the flavors go.

The taste mirrors the nose, with notes of doughy bread and caramel, which has a bit of a light roasted nature to it. Green citrus flavors and bitter rind gives the profile some zip. This finishes surprisingly bitter and fairly dry overall. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an equal parts creamy and bubbly feeling on the edges and then firms up and hits the tongue with some crispness as this goes down.

This was a decent Amber Ale. I thought that the hop profile could have been cleaned up a little but this was mostly flavorful and the crisp yet still mostly smooth body helped out the drinkibility. Of their beers, this was probably a good one for Breckenridge to put in cans.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired via trade from Slatetank, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of bready malts, citrus, caramel and some hops.

T: The taste is malty and sweet with flavors of citrus, caramel and nuts up front. There's a mild and pale hops presence that should bring some balance but really does not. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, honestly I was expecting a lot more from this beer than what I got, which was a very less-than ordinary beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy dark copper to light amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a couple of small patches of thick film on the surface and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with just a hint of graininess. Light notes of malty sweetness.

T: This beer is a malt bomb with lots of toasted, caramel, and grainy malt flavors but very little hop to balance it out. The beer is lightly sweet from the malts.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink but I would prefer this beer to be a little more hoppy - it is just a malt bomb and is not as well balanced as I would like. This is definitely sessionable.

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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 ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle from Total Wine, Ke--what Ding just said.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Pleasant aroma of toasted malts with a touch of caramel and yeast and even lighter floral hop notes.

Taste: Nice balance is maintained between the toasted grain and caramel flavors and sweetness with the flowery hops. Very mild finish. Everything seems to be set up to provide a light, easily drinkable, session-esque ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: You know, it kind of reminds me of just a less sweet Acme Pale Ale. There, I said. And you know what? It felt good. It's good to be honest.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange-amber with a few small floaties. The eggshell colored crown is large-bubbled and melts to a thin film, leaving a meager amount of lace. The nose features an earthy hoppiness and a bit of apricot fruitiness. Not bad, but nothing special.

This Breckendridge brew is just okay. Flavors include sugared grains and gently fruity hops with a mildly bitter back end. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, which doesn't help.

Avalanche Ale isn't a bad beer by any means, but I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.34/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1st week of april, thought I'd rereview, since I dissed this so bad the prior occasion & this was in the 12 pack variety box I bought

Pours amber with a 1 finger deep white head. good lacing & head retention

Smell: Slight iron & malt scent

Taste; Slight fruittyness & citric hop bite. Finishes fruitty with slight citirc hop bite

MF; Medium to syruppy with good carbonation

Drinks okay, flavors just don't pull together like the summer ale does, would do in a pinch. Slighlty better than the last one I tried

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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.

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Photo of smcolw
2.71/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very brief head--within two minutes, all that remains is rim bubbles. Dark amber color. Hazy.

The smell is similar to beef stew; not attractive.

Mostly grainy, some residual sugars, very low hop level. Still there is an off-ness to the flavor which I believe is primarily from the aroma. The body is decent, but can't make up for the rest.

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