Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) | Alaskan Brewing Co.

very good
128 Reviews
Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series)

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by ArrogantB on 09-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 268
Photo of LiquidAmber
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a He'brew pint glass. Pours perfectly black with a one finger fine brown head with nice persistance. Aroma of smoky and dark malt, wood. Extremely smooth and integrated like a milkshake. Roasted and smoky malt, chocolate, caramel, hint of light fruit, light honey. Finishes with a touch of smoke and wood. Creamy and delicious. This is very, very good. Absolutely one of the best stouts I've had. I apparently liked this a lot better than most reviewers, but this is what I'm looking for in a stout, I would not improve on it in any way.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Poured slightly chilled. Gorgeous black body with medium brown head. Nose is incredible on this beer, with a rich dark chocolatey element and candied wood. Palate has a sexy, unctuous silky body that turns me on, firm roasty flavors with coffee, and more of the candied wood mentioned earlier. Clearly smoked malt is in there too. Honey quality in there too, but it could be planted there by the bottle description. Finish is more of the roasty flavors and wood to honey.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +19%

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 Foyle
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
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 MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Very dark black with only a tiny bit of brown color on the edge of the glass. Solid three fingers of tan head that fade into a thin patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: A fairly sweet smelling stout. Big aroma of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, and syrup with some hints of dark cherry fruit and plum. Also some hints of honey, grassy hops, and anise.

Taste: Pretty sweet and roasty like the smell leads on. A good dose of dark chocolate, coffee, dark caramel malts, and toffee. Good hints of syrup, honey, and dark cherries with plum. Light hint of spicy anise. Finishes with a light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full bodied although slightly lighter than a typical imperial stout. Carbonation is moderate. Very creamy and smooth. No sign of the alcohol.

Overall: A very solid stout. On the sweeter side with the syrup and honey but complex enough to be well balanced.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep black with a one inch head that lasts a couple minutes. No light is able to shine through it, a sign of a great stout.

S: A sweet birch, honey, and sweet smoke come off the nose; and also you get some dark fruit, especially fig.

T: A lot of birch, honey, and a bit of smoke malt. This stout has a really complex taste which takes a bit to decipher. You can also get some light dark roast which only lends to the malt bill of the stout.

M: It has a thinner, yet creamier mouthfeel. It feels thin but goes down with a creamy thickness

O: Overall, this beer is pretty complex and is pretty amazing. The malt is smoked perfectly, not to smoky and yet a bit of smoke adds to the complexity of the beer. This is one of the best smoked stouts I have had so far. This is beer is great fresh, but would even get more complex after a year.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark in color-bordering on black with a decent sized tan head. Pours somewhat still but quickly becomes a nice, lively looking beer. Mild molasses and deep dried fruit aroma with notes of plums and port. Strong dark roasted flavors. A tad sweet tasting. Slight smoke flavor, an almost mesquite taste. Sharp hop and roasted bite in the finish. Nice and smooth body-again a touch sweetness. The roasted grains and smoke quality leave a slight dryness but it is still more sweet then dry. Really an enjoyable beer. Complex yet basic for my money. Makes no bones about what it is trying to be. Yummy.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium Snifter

A- rich black with a two-finger copper head that settles down to a 1/8" tan head after a couple sips. It also leaves a lot of lacing in its path.

S- wood, honey, almost non-present hops, booze

T- birch, honey, and faint hops up front; the honey stays through the middle, with cocoa and coffee sneaking in; the finish is a booze-laced espresso with a hint of sweetness. A noticeable alcoholic burn remains for a few seconds after.

M- medium to full bodied, latte-like foaminess, the carbonation stays throughout, but never dominates.

O- this reminds me of a smoky version of Fritz and Ken's Stout from the SN Anniversary series. I am going to do a side by side tasting to see if this is validated. Either way, I am glad I bought a few bottles of this because I think it is going to age extremely well. A good buy for $10.

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Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the hanger room today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is complex and impressive in this beer, as I get milk duds, vanilla, licorice, light tobacco and leather. This beer comes across as a barrel aged oatmeal stout more than a RIS, but regardless, I thought this beer smelled and tasted pretty good. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet stout, though the licorice and leather are a bit more pronounced. Also, I get considerable honey on the palate as well, which make the melange of flavor all the more insteresting in this beer. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, moderatley sweet, soft and creamy finish. Alcohol is pretty well disguised in this beer, though you can tell it's up there.

Overall, I thought this a pretty impressive stout from Alaskan, one I wouldn't hesitate to order again. Lot of interesting different flavors in this beer...

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Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this after having a sip at a tasting & wanting more. Popped open & split into a couple of glass slippers.

Pour is dense black. The stink coming off the still, windless surface sink-smoke, chocolate, & a distant whiff of highlands flowers. Mmmm. Don't step on them.

Alaskan Perseverance Ale makes me want to find out what a fireweed honey is & get some for the shelf. It lends this big stout a distinct smokiness, though no fire, along with a nice floral sweetness. Big black malts, too. The honey is gorgeous. Roast & Hershey's Kiss slither along the edges & add to the sweet-kiss of the brew. The honey really lingers beautifully. Flat, little to no carbonation, but the beer doesn't need it. As it warms, this one really open up, like a pollinated flower.

Wasn't wild about this at first, but it really needs to sit for about 10 minutes, then the unusual honey really changes this for the I'm sorry I only bought one, I'd love to see what time does to this one. If I see another I'll grab it. Excellent beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a big black body with big carbonation and a huge brown cap

S: Nose is rich dark chocolate, hints of wood, espresso and roasted malt with booze

T: Starts ogg like a big ol RIS;big roastiness, wood, a little spice, sharp booze, rich cocoa

M: Big body on this, loads of flavor coat the plate. Very nice

O: A very good RIS and quite the surprise!

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Photo of sprucetip
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of mocha colored foam that persists for a while, but doesn't leave any lacing. Some light just barely gets in around the edges. And it's pretty active too, with tiny bubbles penetrating the surface long after the pour.

Licorice/anise/molasses flavors, mild boozy heat, and some roast all blend well together and lead the charge. Dark fruit is also prominent. It's woody and all supported well by the malty sweet body. I think I get the birch, but would I have if it wasn't written on the bottle? This has a really nice, well balanced and intriguing aroma.

As with the nose, the licorice/anise/molasses like flavors are prominent, but not overdone. There are suggestions of dark fruit, wood, and a substantial malty sweet base backing and balancing well. The roast kicks in in the middle, but never really dominates. But the roast does linger, as does a very restrained but noticeable bitterness. The malty sweetness is chocolaty at times, and the roast reminds me of coffee. The power of suggestion has me sensing the birch syrup, but wouldn't 100% fermentable sugar just dry it out? This is a good tasting RIS that is subtly unique.

It is well carbonated with modest warming. It is quite rich and has thick, full body.

This isn't the most intense or even complex RIS, but it is very well balanced, fairly complex, unique and subtle. And it just tastes and smells great. This is all very reliving to me, as it is the closest regional brewery to me, and it sometimes misses the mark with some of its special releases (and it's every day stuff is very tame). The DIPA they put out this spring, for example, was a big disappointment. They do sometimes hit the spot, such as with the Barleywine, and both Porters. I liked the black IPA too. But you can add Perseverance to the list of Alaskan Brewing Co beers worth seeking.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Very bold. Dark roasty malts with some spices, anise. Some alcohol. Smokey.

Appearance: Amazing. Like nothing I've ever seen. Super thick head, mostly dark brown, some lighter tan spots scattered around. Excellent retention and lacing.

Taste: Semi-sweet chocolate, toffee, mild anise. Odd, but I taste some banana.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, super thick bubbles, not tingling at all. Somewhat dry.

Overall: Different than the average RIS for sure. Appearance is incredible, a sight to be seen. Taste is not quite as bold as it smells, but nice sweet malts and just a bit of bitter. Surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of Docer
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.5)
- Lovely thick fingers of mocha colored head.. slowly builds up the glass to a point of foaming over. Settles with lace all over the glass to a thin foamy pillow above a very dark stout. Solid jet brown brew which can't be seen through. Very pretty stout.

Smell: (4.5)
- Sweet and grainy chocolate, coffee, and light syrup.. all melded very well. Grassy bitter hops with a slight pine and fruity flare. Hops shine, but don't over do the stout. This smells very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Lovely sweet chocolate grains, light coffee bitterness, and a fantastic blend of woody syrups. Nice earthy grassy hop flare, and certainly not overly sweet. Nice subtle honey touch as well to it. This puppy is well balanced, and delicious.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Slightly dry but not dry enough for me. Perhaps the sweetness is at fault for that from the syrup and honey. Medium to heavy bodied, well carbonated, and a tad chalky. Overall not too sticky sweet at all.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is a very solid beer, and most likely the best that I have seen bottled from Alaskan. It is very well balanced, and dangerously smooth. A very good job on this one. It's not too sweet, and not too heavy. Certainly a must try.

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Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a two finger foamy tan head with good retention. The aroma has dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, cocoa, and molasses.

The flavor is sweet and has dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, cocoa, and molasses. The dark roasted malt provides some bitterness at the end for balance. Nice flavor.

Smooth, creamy, medium to full bodied, and lightly carbonated. I am glad that I have another bottle to look forward to. Well done.

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Photo of tbern007
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz 25th anniver. bomber.
Very dark dark brown/black. No light coming through even the edges. Tan head, lasts, good lace.
Smells of roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate, mild hops.
Tastes like bold, malt, roast, wood, coffee with dark chocolate.
Smooth, not as heavy as it appears. The alcohol is hidden and not very apparent.
Very very drinkable. Tasty, not heavy/filling.

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Photo of Coplains
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured fro a bomber into paint glass, shared a twenty two ounce three ways. Pours pitch black with a little of coffee colored head. Taste is really stouty malt with a little bit of what would be burnt sugar. A pretty good Russian imperial not my favorite of this variety but a solid offering from a really good brewery.

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Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the generous JohnGalt1 for this as an extra in our most recent trade. Poured into a standard pint glass, this brew appears black in color with a dark tan head displaying a finger's strength atop. When held to the light, it shows a thin ring of brown clarity and ruby coloration more towards the middle. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves some patches of lace sticking to the glass. A rough swirl revives a quick dissolving head back to the surface.

The smell of this brew has an atypical sweetness about it that I can only assume is from the combination of birch syrup and the honey addition. That sweetness to the nose integrates very well with the overall roasted quality of the dark grains. It displays a strong coffee scent, chocolate and somewhat of a smoked aspect from the char of the grain. All the while, there is a bit of a dark fruited sweetness like plum/raisins/prunes included towards the back that integrates with a light touch of alcohol.

The taste of this brew runs the entire gauntlet of character forewarned in the aroma. The dark grain quality provides a solid burnt bitterness that is lightly smokey mixed with a strong coffee bitterness, unsweetened chocolate and a bit of licorice. There are some fruity alcohol esters present that provide a flavoring of prunes or plums across the backend. Throughout the experience, small amounts of birch flavoring are present which is a very nice touch that creates an interesting distinction for this brew.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is a well balanced offering that I found quite enjoyable. Off the top of my head, I can only think of 2 other brews I have enjoyed that had birch syrup included and I think this one had it included in such a unique way that it was subtle yet very readily identifiable (if that makes any sense?) This is worth seeking out.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black color with a very light dark head and some and some nice thin lacing. Nose is malty, sweet and very rich.

Taste is chocolate, smoke, bacon and sweet malt. There's a good sharp be on the back of the the throat, it's warm but not too hot. Overall an awesome beer!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black pour with a few fingers of brown head. The head recedes rather quickly, but laces decently on its way down. A really nice looking RIS.

S: It smells really oaky, which I believe comes from the RIS base and birch syrup. It almost smells like it's oak aged. Nice chocolate undertones and certainly some honey sweetness. Really nicely blended, but on the sweeter side.

T: I had no idea what these extra ingredients were coming into this, but they taste really nicely with the RIS base. Chocolate, but sort of watery so, with a ton of roast, oak, honey, and what I believe is birch. Perhaps a few hints of booze, but only at the very end.

MF: Lighter than I would expect from a stout with a very low carbonation level. The sweetness and roast really play well together. Very drinkable.

O: This was an awesome beer. I wish I had it fresh to compare to this, now almost a year old. I would say if you have one, it could either improve with age or taste delicious right now.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting that I have to travel to Tucson to taste my first beer from Alaskan Brewing Company! And it was actually Alaskan Amber (keg) that I sampled first but it was at a business event earlier in the week where it wouldn't have been appropriate to step aside to properly review. However, I can say from memory that the Amber was delicious!

This brewery is onto something! They take a standard RIS and turn it into something special, something unique. It says birch syrup and honey on the bottle but I wouldn't have pulled those flavors out myself. All that I can say is that there is a moderate level of sweetness (good), interesting flavors (good), and very little hop bite (great!). There is a subtle bitterness, but it only adds to the experience.

Can't wait for a return trip to Tucson!

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Photo of TheBrewViking
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter from a bottle. Looks good, very nice carbonation, appearance is black with about inch of tan head that fades after a minute or so.

Smells like smoke and honey with some dark chocolate in the background. The aroma gets better as the beer warms

Taste follows the nose with this one except the smokey malts are more present now but not overwhelming. I get honey and molasses and chocolate in the middle followed by roasted malts and smoke. This beer just gets better as it warms and all the flavors start showing up

There is medium body on this not very thick but a good silkyness to it.

Overall a very nice and complex RIS will do very well with some age. Glad I grabbed a few of these

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Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the local Alehouse.

Pours a deep flat black color with a pretty nice tan head.

Aromas are of smoke, dark chocolate, black coffee, and brown sugar.

Taste is similar to the nose, lots of complexity. Creamy, dark sugary sweetness, bitter dark chocolate, a definite smokiness, and hints of coffee. Finish is warm, with some mineral pine like bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and pretty full bodied, could use a touch more thickness perhaps.

Overall, a very complex and tasty Russian Imperial Stout, hopefully this one shows up in bottle in town, I'd like to grab a couple for the cellar.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at Belmont Station 10/21/2011:

Pours with a gorgeous, deep black hue with a phenomenal oatmeal head that sadly dissipates a little quickly into a nice sticky lace.

Smells like a good, yet typical stout: lots of coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts.

On the palate more of the roasted notes but a faint whisper of black fruit coming through.

Here is where the beer shines, on the palate it is pure velvet. The texture is lush and liquor like without any heavy alcohol notes. Really fine finish that comes off with some hints of bitter tannins.

Overall I really enjoyed it, though I don't really see this as a Russian Imperial Stout, just more of a very good, high quality stout somewhere between a regular and an Imperial stout. If they can get the nose and the palate going a little more then I think they have a winner. But it's hard when you compare to Old Rasputin and other RIS.

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Photo of t420o
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Alaskan Perseverance ale 25 anny

A- pour produces a nice 2 finger mocha colored head on a black body. Good retention and good lacing 4.5 

S- the syrup and honey are very present in the smell. Smoked malt, chocolate, and toasted nuts as well. The sweet smokey taste that lingers on the finish is awesome!  4 

T- smoked malt, chocolate, licorice, toasted nuts, and the birch syrup and honey add a sweet and earthy element to it. Well done 4  

M- supurb mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation level and viscosity. 5

O- I like the complexity and taking the ris and adding flavors that complemented it. Well done alaskan brewing 4


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Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.78 out of 5 based on 268 ratings.
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