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 ElGordo
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber hue with a light foamy head. Roasted malt aroma, not much else. Very foamy body contains a palate of roaste malt, light toffee, and a faint amount of hops that builds on the finish. Overall flavor is nice, but the body is way too carbonated. Of course, I had this in a crappy airport bar, so maybe it's usually better.

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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 kbub6f
3.42/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head is small, off-white and dense but fizzy. Clear, clear darkish orange/amber liquid. A touch rosy, if I'm sane. Sweet, fruity, nutty aroma is just a little bit sour. Tangy, nutty front. The middle gets sweetish, fruity. It's a little thinnish and there's a strange, tangy, sour touch. Almost like a rye or buckwheat. The finish is dry and a touch fruity (apples?). Nice roasted grains. This is ok, but it doesn't blow me away.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.58/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a low tan head and decent carbonation but no lace. All malt aroma and taste; little hop aroma at first pour disappears quickly; a bit sweet overall. Medium bodied with a lingering malt finish. Lightly smooth.

Not as balanced as I normally like.

Per B.B. website:
Malts: Two Row Pale, Munich, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
Hops: Two Row Pale, Caramel (SEEM A BIT OFF HERE :-)
Bitterness Units: 19
Alcohol ByVolume: 5.41%

Per Microbrews book: Caramel malts. Chinnok, Willamette, Tettnang, and Hallertau hops.

Bottled: Week 1, Nov ('03)
Tasted: 02/08/04

($1.43 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of AudioGilz
2.81/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber of course. The head is somewhat worth mentioning. Hmmmm....overall bland beer here. I can't get much of an aroma at all, just a bit of buttery malts. The mouthfeel is enjoyable crisp with bland malty notes comprising the flavor. There isn't much hop presence to speak of. I'm a bit disappointed. They should use the name Avalanche for a more "throaty" beer instead of this Hyundai beer.

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

A tinge of red on a smart amber body, the head is white and creamy, but short-lived. A little lace from the slight residual. Nice malty nose with a hint of fruit. The taste is sweetly malty with a bit of hop bittering. Thin and light body seems out of place with the appearance. Decent drinkability.

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Photo of inebrius
3.58/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


The nose kind of tricks you. "Hey mister, drink me, I'm all malty sweet, hehe." And it is; for like a microsecond until the puckering hop flavor implodes your mouth. Yet, it did hint some leafy aromas back there, in the nose. hmmm? As I drain, it morphs. Dry caramel flavored pop corn, quenching hop bitter. Odd, enigmatic and amber..

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: perfect amber color, short white head.
Aroma: rich and malty, with herbal/vegetal notes and coppery tinges.
Taste: neat little hop appearance at the fore, with a lingering finish. Body is light to medium, but this ale possesses sufficient character and proves to be consistently flavorful. A nicely downable session brew, an adequate amber.

thanks to Bruiser81 for providing!

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Photo of Tballz420
3.92/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fairly light-amber colored body, topped with a creamy white head. The smell of this one is a nice sweet, caramel scent. As for the taste, a big caramel malt presence dominates this beer. A nice well-balanced hop character. Slightly spicy.

This is one of the first beers that got me into the real beer game, not having it since then, i think i can appreciate it more now. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as it sets in the glass a limpid deep amber to burnished copper color, the head is impressive in size, frothy in texture and the color light beige, as the head disappears an adequate sheet of lace is formed. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and clean, a decent nose, the start is malt sweet, top is skinny in feel. Finish is benignly carbonated, the hops sparing in their spiciness, dry aftertaste, a lightweight beer and those who like the style should be pleased.

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

Wasn't too excited about this beer. Pours a amber-tinged golden with a small white head. Basic. Smell was biscuit-y malts, and not much else going on. Lightly sweet malts up front, with a not too bitter finish. Nice balance, but I get the impression that this brewer was "playing it safe" with this one. Mouthfeel was a little thin.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.68/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber color, with a medium foamy beige head. Aroma is malty and sweet. A mild and malty ale. It has a lighter body and a nice smooth malt flavor. Not very hoppy. Good balance. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from a trip to Colorado and Wyoming - May 2002 Purchased in Loveland, CO

Color is a deep amber with golden tones, with a small head that faded fast. Smell is light of sweet malt with a hint o fruity notes. Taste is good, quite smooth and somewhat light, has a good malty sweetness with a hop tingle slightly present. Feel is good, has a kind of sticky, sweet, coating, like a lollipop, and is smooth and closely medium bodied. I really liked this beer. It really hit the spot and fit perfect with the grilled dinner I was having.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A deep amber beer that had a coarse, disappointing one finger head (and that was with an aggresive pour). It vanished quickly and didn't leave any lace behind. Halfway through the drink, all that was left of the head was a thin ring around the top of the brew.

Smell: There was a faint malt aroma combined with a thick sweetness. On top af these was a sweet fruit smell, sort of like melon or star fruit. I could not detect any hops at all.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied brew that was a little rough on the tongue, but not too bad. It seemed to coat the mouth.

Taste: There are some mild malt flavors upfront combined with a stronger sweetness that didn't seem to come from the malt. There was a mild hop tingle on the tongue, but I really had to think about it to notice it. The finish was mainly a continuation of the original sweetness. It coated the mouth and lingered for a long time. I found myself wanting a sip of water after each drink.

The sticky sweetness, the way it clung to my mouth and lingered, and the aroma of this brew all reminded me of melon, like cantalope or honeydew. Not exactly characteristics that I enjoy in a beer. While it made for an interesting aroma, it didn't transfer well to the palate.

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Photo of Hobbz
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color was hazy amber; foam was n/a. Predominate malt smell for what aroma was present (subtle). Taste was on the light side with an even, slightly malty feel (as the bottle suggests). Gave this one average marks, with the caveat that this is against other craft beers.

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Photo of Morris729
3.83/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color with a creamy white head. Mild aroma of floral hops. Taste is dominated by a sweet maltiness that is not overpowering and also has notes of honey and caramel. It’s quite crisp and refreshing. It would be nice after a long day on the slopes.

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Photo of bditty187
3.77/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery hue, the head never developed, also there was no subsequent lacing. The nose was slightly toasty malts, hints of sweetness, hoppiness, and apple notes. The palate is tasty but a little thin. The first drop that hit my tongue, I swear, was water but it definitely went up from there. Very tasty, sweet maltiness and caramel undertones but balanced by some bitter hops. This was a good Amber Ale; I’d drink it again.

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Photo of StevieW
3.98/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper color, with a big fizzy light tan head. Lots of bubbles settled quickly. Left some nice lacing down the glass. Faint hop aromas drowned out by a rich creamy malt sweetnees. Carmel sweet taste dominated the flavors, nice dry finish. Only downside was a bit of a watery feel. Still very good, nice beer before and with dinner. I liked it.

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Photo of tang214
4.55/5  rDev +40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I fell in love with this brew the first time I had it at the Breckenridge brewpub in Denver. When I finally found it back here in Dallas I was ecstatic. The deep amber color is very pleasing to the eye. You can defenietly smell the caramel flavors right away. The rich malts and the perfect body to it make it taste wonderful. It feels very smooth in the mouth and flows down the throat the same way, which makes it very, very drinkable. In my opinion, this is one of the best beers of this style.

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Photo of Wildman
3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beer that poured out a copper amber color and formed a nice white head that subsided quickly and left little lace. A small amount of carbonation. A slight aroma of hops and malt with a touch of citrus. The flavor was of hops, caramel, malt. The finish was a bit sweet and tangy. Not a bad beer fo the summer, but there are better ones out there.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored with a thick off-white head that quickly fades to a paper-thin layer, modest lace, slight carbonation. Aroma of toasted malts and some slight hops. Taste begins with malty sweetness and a slight sting of carbonation. Alcohol notes then assert themselves, followed by citrus hops. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth. An unexeceptional but decent amber ale.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.36/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Surprisingly little aroma or taste, but an all-around refreshing beer, especially ice-cold. Would definitely not be my first pick of the Breckenridge line, but miles better than that oatmeal stuff they make.

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Photo of tigerpaws
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice dark copper appearance, nice foamy white head. Not much on the aroma, but whats there is rather malty almost no hops smell. Sweet malty taste but not overly so. Very drinkable beer................CHEERS

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

Light amber in color, pours a relatively thin head. Perfumy bouquet with an above average malty body. An aroma of malts and citrusy hops. Especially nice to sip when watching the NHL hockey Detroit red wings smoke the defending stanley cup champs colorado avalanche.

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