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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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 268
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.24/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my Founders snifter.

Very black pour. Three fingers of very solid mocha head. The promising look is intact.

Smell is odd. It's sweet. But sweet like if you've ever been to the prairie and ran through the grass. Sweet vegetation smell. Odd.

First sip the only thing I notice and have to pause to take in is the mouthfeel. How thin is this beer? Paper thin. Annoyingly so. No body. No warmth. Bleh.

Taste is sweet like molasses. Aftertaste is like someone took charcoal and raked it across your tongue.

Pretty awful. A sad display of 25 years. Fire that brewer so he/she won't disgrace your name again.

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Photo of harrymel
2.28/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a: pours black with a little foam patch and ring. no lace. Plain appearance.
S: smells sweet with esters. Hints of acetone and little else. Reminds me of a RIS I did that fermented entirely too hot.
T: Smoky. Is there smoked malt in this? (reads bottle, doesn't say). It's gotta have some smoke in it. Then some molasses tones. A sweet and dark malt profile with an interesting spice tone, must be the birch.
M: Surprisingly thin IMO with moderate carb and a semi dry finish.
O: Really disappointed with the overall structure of this beer. I think they missed the spot as their beers are typically robust and this one is delicate and sweet; a poor showing for their 25th anny.

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Photo of BigE90
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a) dark in color, a little light coming through though, small head that faded quickly

s) not a lot going on, you can smell some syrup and honey and a little malt but nothing over powering or really standing out from the pour or just sitting there

t) wow, immediately reminds me of the Smoked Porter then quickly fades to some sweetness followed by a hop bitterness. After several tastes though the bitterness and sweetness are starting to leave a bad after taste and that is all I can taste which I am not liking

m) very light and thin, consistency of a brown ale not a RIS, very surprised at the lack of body or complexity in this

o) I wanted to like this very much but came away very disappointed. I had high expectations but the flavors just did not convey what a RIS should be and the biggest surprise was the very light mouthfeel. I don't think cellaring is going to help as not a lot is going on flavor wise. No hurry to open my other bottles.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.72/5  rDev -28%
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 julian
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown in color with a minimal head on an aggressive pour that fades entirely within a minute or so. zero lacing.

S: Some roasted malt, brown sugar, charred wood, smokey

T&M: This is a little too over-carbonated for my liking, and I think a little too dry. A lot of the body and flavor has been stripped away. There is also a little astringency to this. As for taste, it's roasty with some harsh bitterness. Not that great.

O: I'm not entirely impressed with this. They've done much better in styles similar to this (oatmeal stout) and could have made something great with this Anniversary RIS. I am disappoint.

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Photo of ccrida
2.81/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cellared since release, poured into my Delirium snifter, Perseverance is black with a pretty tight, tan head leaving foamy lace.

Smell is really sweet, baltic porter.

Taste is modestly smoky, with some sweet malt. There's a lingering acridness on the back-end leaving an unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied, but sticky.

Drinkability is ok. This just didn't thrill me very much. Something about the wet sock aftertaste, the high residual sugars, the lack of depth. Eh. Disappointing.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Collins pub.

A pours a thick black color with a thick mocha head.

S very smoky, reminds me off their smoked Porter and kills off anything else that might be there.

T again very smoky with some chocolate and a bit of roastiness.

M seems thin for an RIS.

Overall not bad but a little too smoky and thin for me.

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Photo of MrTopher
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think I am thankful I just bought 1 of these, because it was a bit of a let down. But I’ll let my review speak for itself.
Served from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A – Dark rich mahogany brown approaching the color of black, but not close enough. Some really small brown bubbles resonate and gather on the edge of the glass. It sure looks beautiful.

S – Sweet smells, but nothing that really dominates over it, there is a very mild roast smell. Overall very disappointing, was expecting something from the description on the bottle.

T – Super sweet, and this could have come from the addition of the honey and the maple syrup, but also could have come from the malt. There is some roast/smoke on the tongue as well. But then there isn’t really anything more, I was left empty inside wanting/expecting more from this.

M – Thinner than I was expecting from a big stout like this. Carbonation was good.

O – I wouldn’t buy another bottle of this, I was left empty inside and wanting more. Alaskan could have nailed this, but I think they just missed it by a hair.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.04/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

25th Anniversary No other freshness dating

A= Pours a nice deep black color with a thick deep tan brownish head that falls at a moderate speed with some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Has a nice woody character to it. It says birch syrup on the bottle but I smell mostly birch wood. The underlying stout is a bit roasty but somewhat tame for an imperial. Slightly metallic on the nose as well.

T= The taste again starts slightly metallic before it fads to the birch woody taste. There is a considerable amount of roasty bitterness on the finish. I don't get much of what I would call syrup from it but again there is a woody character. A solid flavor but not enough I guess. A bit light for an imperial stout on the flavor for it being so high in the alcohol. If I'm drinking all that alcohol I want a lot of flavor to go with it.

M= The mouth is very light and warming. Slick and smooth on the tongue.

O= This is an average imperial stout I'm sad to say. It isn't bad and the woody character is pretty interesting but it doesn't wow me or step outside the box for me. Average and what I hate to say is maybe a bit below average for an anniversary beer. I was maybe expecting a bit much based on the brewery and the 25th anny. Worth checking out but I won't be going in for more.

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Photo of jdense
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle shared with Tyler at Barley Brown's, 10.17.11, poured into shaker pint glasses.

One finger brown head, quick dissipation with broken layer retained on topic of dark brown body, above average lacing. Nose is muddled, probably due to funky ingredients, had to take a real deep whiff to pick up any chocolate notes, sweetish. Taste is very very sweet for style, chocolate doesn't come through until far into back end, some citrus hops, and most unfortunately, a bit of ash, like rolling around a chocolate in an ashtray, ugh. Mouthfeel is very watery, thin at best, not much effervescence. IMO pretty bummed that this was their 25th anniversary beer, wish they had amped this up ABV-wise or better yet an Imperial Smoked Porter-now that would have been nice. Might benefit from extended cellaring, not sure that will benefit the weak mouthfeel. Sadly, we didn't even finish the bottle.

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Photo of vkv822
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
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 DaveHS
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin, almost nonexistent head. No lacing.

S-Earthy, woody syrup, wood smoke, booze.

T/M-Very boozy and dry. Tastes really young. Mouthfeel is oppressively dry. Hard to taste much else, unfortunately. I'm not getting any of the syrup, which is especially disappointing, considering how much it played into the aroma.

O-I won't write it off entirely, as I've found some of Alaskan's strong ales need a few months/years to reach their full potential. I am disappointed that this was released so young. I can't help but think that if they had let this sit for a few more months in the bottle prior to releasing it, they might have a better beer on their hands.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black color with a stingy tan head that dissipates to a ring on top. Smells like a foreign extra stout at first whiff. Restrained roasted grains, caramel and brown sugar, a hint of wintergreen, slightly herbal and earthy aromas. Really not smelling like an Imperial stout at this point. Taste is sugary with that herbal earthy flavor to it. It's kind of a mix of wintergreen and anise wrapped up in chocolate and coffee. Finish is fairly dry with a long lingering wintergreen and sweet roasty stickiness coating my mouth. Medium to thick body with a low to moderate level of carbonation and a thick sweet sticky mouthfeel. I love how this is different and kind of outside the box, but I also hate the flavor the birch sap gives it. The herbal wintergreen flavor just doesn't agree with me or my sense of stout. Glad I got to try it, probably one and done for this guy.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours thick and black. Head was a medium tan, light brown color. Retention was nice, and the creamy head left some spongy remains.

Definitely some honey, and a very slight smoke/char. Fair sweetness and roasted quality.

Much more roasted, with hints of chocolate and coffee, but more honey and birch syrup...though I think maple would have gone better. Very minor smoke if at all, which is a little disappointing. Just a lot going on it and it's not predominant enough to really make itself know. There's some alcohol heat too.

Average feel. It's a bit creamy, medium to full in body.

A bit let down by this at this point. I'll hold onto another bottle and hopefully time will do this well, cuz it's kinda a mess currently...

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 11/12/11

Inky brown pour; not quite black in the glass. Cherry singes around the edges. One finger cap of foam doesn't last long; a thin layer and collar retention remain. not much lace either, save a drippy trail across part of the glass.

The aroma is rather sweet. The honey doesn't seem distinctly appreciable, but there is a tangy, herbal sweetness that I'm chalking up to the birch syrup. Dark roast sits underneath with hints of chocolate and toasty grains. Hint of earth and wood. Not much booze at all.

The base stout is a bit more assertive to taste, but the additions still obscure it too much. Roasted chocolate and coffee bitterness provide a much needed dryness, lest the sweetness of the birch and honey residuals totally take over. I find that the flavor blend together a little better as it warms. As with the nose, the abv is pretty much hidden.

The feel falls somewhere between full and medium, perhaps a bit more toward the former; perhaps. Nimble viscosity. Carbonation is a bit higher than I prefer, but it calms a bit over time.

Perseverance isn't bad by any means but it isn't amazing either. I'll have no problem finishing my half of the bottle.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. I was glad to get a 4oz pour for $4.50 since it was happy hour and now I don;t have to buy a bottle! I've been a little let down by Alaskan pilot/special beers except for the barleywine so I didn't want to drop $9 on a bottle. This was obviously black and the head was robust and tan. Smell was malty. The first flavor I got was bubblegum, hops? As I took more sips I got some sweetness (syrup, honey?) and roast but a hop bitterness was persistent and stood out to me. Overall, not bad but glad I didn't buy a bottle.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this one on tap this afternoon at Hops & Pie. At least I didn't have to buy the bottle. Poured an inky black color with an inch or so of medium brown foam on top. Aromas of roasted malt, mint and dry chocolate. On the palate, this one was fairly full bodied and medicinal, with flavors of roasted malt, honey and mint.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black in color with a tan head that quickly settles to a thin film on the surface. Not nearly as viscous as I expected.

S: Boozy right away, with burnt toast, wood smoke, coffee and some chocolate notes. It reminds me of being up north.

T: Much like the smell, but with hints of dried dark fruits, prominent smoky flavor, and espresso notes. Chocolate and toast coat the palate, leaving a path for some grassy hop flavors. Having a cabin in the north woods, I know what birch syrup is like, and this beer definitely shows its presence.

Notes: While a bit thin, this beer has some potential. Somewhat boozy, but I think it needs some time to develop. Flavors are all mixed up right now, with little balance. Perhaps with some age, this beer will turn into something special.

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Photo of Mahlik
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Bailey's Taproom. Poured into snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours an opaque black with an thin mocha head. Head dissipates quickly. Minimal amount of lacing. Appears viscous.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, hints of vanilla and chocolate. Some sweetness from the syrup. A faint oak aroma exists. Some smokiness.

T - Coffee, roasted malts and molasses. Some chocolate on the back end. Don't pick up any of the syrup or honey. Not bad for a ordinary stout but really lackluster for an anniversary beer.

M - The body is a bit thin IMO. Good amount of carbonation. A nice creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is hidden well.

O - Disappointed with this. For an anniversary beer, I was expecting this big, complex imperial stout. Instead, I got an average, forgettable stout. Try it if you are a fan of Alaskan brewery.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with just a little head.

S: Smoked malts, a touch of wood, chocolate, dark fruits.

T: Similar to the nose, chocolate with a good helping of dark fruits, light caramel, a little floral hop character. Lots of similarities to a BSDA.

M: Medium to slightly light bodied, moderate to high carbonation. Too thin and weak for the style.

O: Not terrible, but not all that memorable.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do I need a spoon for this one? It looks rich, thick and black. Edges are cola colored. Off-brown head is thick and rich. Lacing is thin on this one.

Aroma is dark. Dark plum, dark molasses, dark malts, dark leather, dark thoughts. Some herbals. But...magic marker hints come and go. A quick whiff won't detect it, but I'm a sniffer.

A bit of woodiness in the taste. Of course, the dark stuff dominates. Some herbal spice, but mostly dark dry chocolate, molasses, some vanilla. That magic marker is stronger here and is off-putting to me. Maybe age would calm this down, but for me, 8oz is enough. Too bad, cuz I enjoy the other flavors.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rob for the sample. Thenpour was black with a nice cap of mocha head, decent lacing. Smell was quite light, subtle roasted malt if was forced to say something. Taste was quite heavily roasted with additional flavors including raisins and chocolates. Body was on the lighter side of medium, in fact, too light. Overall I'm glad to have tried it, but Alaskan has some further work to to make a world class RIS.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
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 isualum12
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm. I am mixed on this beer. Pours beautiful. Read head Smells high on the bourbon. (notice I didn't say smoke.).
Taste. first bourbon and chocolate. By the fourth drink I am left with smoke. Not a lot but smoke for sure.
Mouthfeel is thick with high alcohol.
Overall it is not a big fav. Of mine. I'm glad we got it but I wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.44/5  rDev -9%
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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Alaskan Perseverance Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.78 out of 5 based on 268 ratings.
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