Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)
Alaskan Brewing Co.

Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)
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Russian Imperial Stout
3.87 | pDev: 11.37%
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)
Notes: Alaskan Perseverance Ale is a Russian Imperial Stout. This style was chosen to celebrate our 25th anniversary of brewing on the Last Frontier in our coastal home of Juneau, Alaska.
Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 271 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tigg924
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

25th Anniversary. Pours opaque, dark black in color with one inch head. Taste is bourbon, oak, and chocolate malt. Roasty, slightly sweet, medium-heavy bodied, and low carbonation. Tasty complex boozy. Glad I had a chance to try this.

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Photo of stevoj
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taster at Black Friday. Normal pour for the style, head a bit weak. Strong roasty bitter notes in aroma and taste. Hi ts if dark chocolate and coffee, but lots of butter roast malts.

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Photo of Foyle
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from 22oz bomber into schooner glass.

Pours a 1" tan head that falls quickly with faint lacing. Color is opaque black. Aroma of dark roasted malt, licorice, molasses, smoke. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky with a somewhat damp lingering finish. Flavors of burnt toast, woody smokiness, chocolate, molasses, licorice with earthy and some citrus rind hops. A pleasant winter warmer to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a great brewery.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Was excited to try this epically at just 8.99 for the bomber. Didn't really get any syrup or honey flavor. It had a smokey taste and I swear I also secret a slight bacon flavor. Overall I was dissapointed with this. Thought for a 30th anniversary Release they could have done better. As a side note the frosted bottle is pretty cool. My wife stuck some flowers in it and it makes for a nice fall decoration.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

had this side by side with the new one, i assume the base beers are the same, this one was done for the 25th anniversary which was now 5 years ago. its cool beer, and probably cellars quite well, but its definitely at least a year past its prime, some oxidation has set in for sure, and it ends up tasting more like an old ale of sorts than an imperial stout, the heavy roast from the barley seems softened, and more sweetness is there, brown sugar and malt richness, birch or maple syrup, caramel. frothy still in the glass, just more brown than black for a stout, and without the viscosity one would expect. it seems to have over mellowed to some extent, although i still really like it. there is an incredible integration of flavors, and i do get a little sweeter coffee quality in the finish from the dark grain. smooth and seamless, sweeter than it needs to be, wet cardboard from being old, but a cool beer. i wish i had it a year ago though, i think it would have been perfect then. still notable and distinct though, even this old...

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark used motor oil black. Thin 1/4" tan head. Aroma was dark roast, brown sugar in a very small way, chocolate malt.

Taste, equal parts RIS and export stout, had all that bitterness without sweetness or adjuncts to tame it, although they are in here, the bitter/roastiness is still prominent. Fractional smoke. Thick viscosity on this one.

I'll drink my last bottle 5 years or so from the anniversary. I think that is coming up soon. . .

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a dark black with a mocha head that still shows some good pop after almost 4 years.

Nose is a wonderful mix of blackberry jam, wood and dark chocolate.

Taste is much the same, very smooth and has a little bit of everything...still some leafy hop remnants and of course the chocolate and fruit. I guess the birch syrup is giving a little wood chip type of flavor. Pretty good, seems to have aged well.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Nose: spicy, floral, espresso, chocolate, honey, root beer, hint of smoke.
Rich brilliant deep brown to black with a 1/2" tan head that dissipates at medium speed. Leaves light lace and the beer has legs.
Palate: Nice thick creamy chocolate flavors, a hint of honey, and hints of root beer and spices. Faint espresso and a suggestion of smoke.
Rich, creamy and chewy with below average carbonation. I like the bottled version better than the draft..

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Photo of garymuchow
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%

I've been sitting on this for several years (since 2011) and now seems the time (the first weekend of empty nest).
Booze, roast, sweetness, dark fruit.
Still looks pretty darn good. Black with a dense tan head.
Even at 3+ years still has a little youth on it. Nicely complex. Still pretty rich and holding some sweetness. Still sticky and lays on the teeth and tongue. A touch of bitterness floating around there somewhere but I'm not finding any hop flavor.
As it warms and opens up more caramel flavors show. It also seems to lose some complexity at this point. I think the residual sweetness that is caramel somewhat is also the honey and birch syrup. It's kinda nice.
Good feel. Full and soft.
I like this. It's a solid RIS and I'm glad i sat on it for a couple of year.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.72/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Has to be one of the chunky-ist, thin beers I've ever seen! Lots of black and toasty caramel colors.

Phew. Smokey. Smells like rubber. Not a big fan. Roasty, peaty, and nutty.

Very funky un-blended flavors and mouthfeel. Lots of heavy chocolate and sweet syrup flavors. Carbonation is simply too much and very distracting. Bitterness is missing, but dryness is very forward. Chewy.

Um. I'm not sure what direction this brew wants to go... It's kind of a mess, I wanted to LOVE this brew, but it nearly avoided my drain... I am not a smokey beer fan, at all. Very average.

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Photo of vkv822
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My review seems to have been lost, or I didn't upload, but this is from a few years back:

Near black, with ruby edges when held to light. Thin, foamy light tan head, short lived.

Maple syrup, heavily roasted malts, light cocoa.

Medium- thin body with foamy carbonation.

A decent beer, but nothing particularly memorable. The roast seems a bit much at times, while the syrupy sweetness is also a bit overdone. Would have also liked more body.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This took on a most unusual character as the nose was creamy with vanilla, maple syrup, caramel and chocolate malt. The flavor, though, was nothing like that with a black licorice, anise, caraway and a dry pumpernickle bread flavor. The nose seemed barrel aged stout while the flavor was a bit Scottish Ale.

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Photo of portia99
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an opaque black with a faint attempt at forming a grayish off-white head that leaves behind some light lacing and a thin collar.

S - Interesting aroma, a bit boozy up front, hints of tartness, a touch of ginger ale, creamy vanilla, slight roast, a touch of coffee.

T - Somewhat cola-like in flavor mixed in with some coffee and burnt and dark roasted malt, honey, slightly astringent

M - A bit thin for the style checking in at barely medium bodied. A lighter carbonation is appropriate and gives a just a bit of life to the beer. Char and astringency with a mixture of sweet and fruity/berry-like character.

O - Overall, just ok. Definitely not the typical imperial stout - for better or worse. A bit thin with some oddly placed flavors and missing the punch and assertiveness usually found in the style. Certainly drinkable...definitely not memorable. Glad to try it, but doesn't stand out as something special.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Perseverance Ale, Alaskan Brewery, Russian Imperial Stout, Stout Brewed with Birch Syrup and Fireweed Honey, 9 % ABV, 1 pint, 6 luid ounces. Alaskan Brewing Company, Brewed and Bottled in Juneau, Alaska.

Solid black, slim head, soon gone.

Aromatics, dark malt, rich, bittersweet, cocoa, blackstrap molasses, some minor charcoal and smoke. Overall, very subtle.

Taste: more darkness, more sweetness, but lacks depth.
That was too quick. I need to give it some tick, let the brew breath.
So, again…sweet, slick, …roasty. Toasty. Charred, but …not really. Starts…but doesn't get there. Tasty, …boozy…but, lacking extra oomph. Sometimes called "character." Also, "zazz." At other times, "zork."

This could be a lot better. It should be a lot better. Thicker, maybe? More intense, perhaps?

But, nice. If you want nice, go for this.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle split on 6.18.13

Alaskan 25th Anniversary beer.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with a soapy tan head that sits for a bit and then fades leaving no bubbles.

S - Cherry, tart barrel wood, chocolate.

T - Sour cherry, barrel, chocolate, booze.

D - Mild carbonation with a medium body.

O - The sweetness is now more cherry and tart, not sour. Still some chocolate, and a touch thin.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. Fades normal.

S - Roasted dark chocolate and caramel malts, molasses, black licorice, honey, birch syrup, coffee, dark fruits, and a hint of booze.

T - Roasted dark chocolate and caramel malts, black licorice, molasses, coffee, honey, birch syrup, dark fruits, vanilla, earthy hops, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and slightly thick with a sweet, roasted, and warming finish.

D - Good imperial stout. Nice balance and mouthfeel.

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Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pretty black with a slight tinge of brown on the outer rim. The head was brown but not much lacing to speak of.

S - Roasted malts, smokey notes & sweet licorice.

T - The taste follows the nose, IMO. The flavors to change up with bitter chocolate and a slight tartness.

M - To me, it's lighter than a typical RIS but very smooth & creamy.

O - It's a different RIS that breaks from the norm.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Jet black with a one-finger head of brown sea foam. Lacing is a thin film of tiny bubbles.

S - Moderate strength aroma of roasted malts, but with a deep chocolate sweetness underneath. Slightest hint of smoke. Smells really good.

T - Starts with typical RIS burnt malts, but switches up quickly with a smooth, mellow sweetness of honey and birch syrup taking over in the mid-palate and competing with grainy bitterness right on through the finish. Blended nicely. ABV only noticeable as a hint of warmth in the VERY backend.

M - Silky; velvetty smooth. A little oily.

O - Very enjoyable. One flaw is that it's not terribly complex, so the palate can get a little tired near the end of the bottle. Still a damn good beer overall. Will buy again.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle aged just over a year.

Pours a nice looking black. Small kahki head.

Smells of roast, smoke and a little sweetness. some black licorice underneath.

Taste follows the nose. Starts with bitter roasted grain finishes with a unique blend of smoke and sweetness.

Mouthfeel slightly thin for the syle.

A unique RIS. Quite enjoyable, but lacking qualities to make me seek it out again.

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Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours black with a thin, pale tan head that quickly fades.

Smell. Roasty malts, charred wood, licorice root and dark fruits with a little sweet chocolate.

Taste. Roasty dark malts, toasted wood, a little black licorice and a bit of dark fruits and chocolate, and a little alcohol.

Mouthfeel. Slightly lower than full bodied, low+ carbonation. Just a bit of warmth.

Overall. A very nice stout. Not getting much from the distinct taste from the sap or honey, but I'm sure they're contributing to the overall nice flavours.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh. Too syrupy. A decent stab at the style, but the syrup and honey combine to make an odd combination in relation to the thickness and body of the stout. Just doesn't quite work. Any idea is worth experimenting with. But for a 25th anniversary ale from such a notable brewery, I'd hope for a bit more really. An okay beer, but not all the way there.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was served in a pint glass.

A- The beer is black with ruby opaqueness to light. Thin tan head resolves to nothing. No lacing is noted on my glass.

S- Man this smells sweet. Honey sweetened star anise lightly roasted malt, very light burnt sugar notes, cocoa, raisins, and perhaps fig newtons.

T- The smell prepared me for the sweetness. The sweetness is almost restrained by the roast but not really. Darkly roasted malts, dash of cocoa are get a honeyed fig treatment. Just narrowly escapes cloying sweetness. A bit more roast may help lift this further away from over sweetness.

M- The body of the beer is medium carbonation is low but works. The beer is a bit sticky at times.

O- Its sweet and for some I am sure too sweet. For me the beer was a nice sweet malty treat. I wouldnt want a whole bomber but split up between a couple of drinkers this is an ideal dessert beer.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Doopie for our Battle of Alaska theme night against Midnight Sun Monk's Mistress. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Ale brewed with birch syrup and fireweed honey

APPEARANCE: A muddy, dark brown pour yields a two finger, fizzy tan head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Sienna brown body, almost black, and medium levels of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Some roasted notes, cocoa powder and anise licorice notes as well. Dark fruits, woody aromas and some definite honey as well. Medium strength, but interesting.

TASTE: Roasted notes, cocoa and licorice for sure. A good dose of anise flavor somehow. Dark fruits and raisins with a syrupy sweetness as well. Honey comes through after the swallow, with a bolder and lingering aftertaste that's sweet, fruity, with licorice flavors. Unique in the style, and definitely sweeter than the average.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. A little lighter on the palate. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky.

OVERALL: Good stuff. A little sweet for my tastes perhaps, but this one is well executed. In the Battle of Alaska, this one came out on top for me. Worth checking out if you get the chance. Cheers Doops! Recommended.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz silkscreen bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger mocha head. Small bubbles of lacing sit atop the beer.

S- roasted malts, faint coffee, dark fruits, molasses, slight sour notes and char.

T- dark chocolate, dark fruits, bitter molasses (might be from the birch but I don't know what birch tastes like), sourness and more bitterness a the finish.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slick feel and slightly acidic.

O- pretty nice stout. The birch and sourness adds a different layer of complexity to this beer. Worth a try if you see it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up months ago at Connecticuit Ave liquors in Washington, DC, and it's been in my fridge since. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks amazing, just like a big RIS should.

s - Smells of roasted malts, burnt malts, bitter chocolate, sweeter chocolate, dark fruits, light vanilla.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, burnt malts, bread, dark fruits. Much more bitter than the nose, a step down for me.

m - Thick, full body and low carbonation. Smooth, pretty nice.

o - Overall a decent RIS, though a bit too bitter for me in the taste. Liked the nose but the sweetness was lost in the taste. Worth checking out if you like bitter chocolate and big RIS's.

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Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 271 ratings