Fish Tale Winterfish
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #88
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
85
Ranked #33,527
Avg:
3.76 | pDev: 13.03%
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
184
From:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
 
Washington, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  4
Gots
  10
SCORE
85
Very Good
Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish
Notes:
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 184 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Rockhead
Rockhead from Virginia

2.11/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

One of the strangest beers I've ever drank. I cant recall a time I didn't finish a 6 pack I've bought, but if there was any time I've considered dumping this was it. Unfortunately, I've still got 4 left. The poured beer looks great a thick and hazy deep orange, smell isn't bad either sort of a piney/fruit sense, this is where it goes downhill.... the taste goes like a hard spicey feel but not in a good way, I gave my wife a sip to see if it was just me after the 2nd pint and she said "ewwww tastes like watered down old spice or axe spray", and that's basically the full effect into the aftertaste. Wouldn't argue with someone who says they love it as it is unique, just isn't for me. Would not try again or recommend.

Feb 10, 2019
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am attempting to wrap up my Happy Trippin' Fishy Tall Tales on the Long Trail Sunday (Week 707) before it gets too late to do so. I attended a poorly-run brewfest in the rain on Sunday afternoon & it really took a lot of the steam out of me upon my return home. This is another in my ongoing mission to eradicate the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody.

From the Bottle: "Seasonal Ale".

I Pop!ped the cap, but I was still leery of any potential messes, so I went with a slow, gentle pour into the awaiting glass. An in-glass swirl raised just under two fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with decent retention that left nice lacing in its wake. Color was a slightly-hazy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose had both a caramel maltiness & a pine hoppiness, leaving me curious as to its taste. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very much of pine & mint with just a hint of caramel, which is just the way that I would prefer. It was kind of an odd interpretation of the style, though, lacking spices & not being overly malty. Finish was semi-dry, but it just was not evocative of Winter. Not bad, but not really a Winter Warmer, except in name.

Sep 10, 2018
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 07/18/17:

Caramel to amber color, somewhat cloudy. Head of uniform light orange fluff leaving connected patches of lace. Grainy, grassy, somewhat citric and spicy to earthy nose, just a hint of booze. Palate is malt tartness, caramel, and even toffee, grains, leathery and windy hops just beginning to deteriorate into something more soapy and chemical, probably due to my decision not to rush on this beer given the ABV and style, but I should have treated it more like an IPA. It does remind me somewhat of a decent IIPA, given the balance between the hops and the booze, both flavor and heat. So, it is okay. Medium-bodied, syrupy until fine and sparse but sharp tingles activate.

Jun 18, 2018
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no notch on the label's date strip. My bottle has very similar graphics but simply says "WINTERFISH SEASONAL ALE" with no "Icebreaker".
Pours clear but very dark, with a reddish brown body topped by a beige head. The head has very good retention and leaves both sliding sheets and plenty of lingering, sticky lacing.
Aroma: moderately strong with spicy hops dominating and suggesting spruce and pine.
Flavor: strong. This is a Brown IPA that may or may not have added spicing. In either case, there are plentiful spice notes together with hints of evergreen trees. Moderately bitter.
Feel: full bodied with appropriate medium-light carbonation.
Overall: a strong ale that should appeal to fans of dark IPAs,

Apr 19, 2018
Photo of TeachChefs
TeachChefs from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark orange with a small creamy head, small bubbles . Aroma is dirty malt, lemon, moderately sweet. The taste is a light IPA, with an underlying bitterness. Maybe it was the color but it reminded me of a black lager, but bitter. Not bad,

Jan 02, 2018
Photo of pianoguy
pianoguy from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is a real head scratcher... I thought I was getting a winter warmer but this obviously isn't one. I researched the Fishtale ales web site and on some of the descriptions it says "winter warmer" but on the profile it says (and I quote) Style: Imperial India Pale Ale

I'm reviewing this as an IPA.

12 oz bottle. No bottling info

Pours a hazy honey-orange colored body with a white head. Lots of visible carbonation. Decent retention. Lots of thin lacing.

While not overly prominent I seem to get a different take on each whiff. At the pour it smelled malt forward. Wrote a paragraph, took another whiff and I was getting red grapefruit citrus

Taste is hop forward. Red grapefruit. I'm also getting a strange cough syrup type of sweetness at the back end of the taste.

Medium carbonation

At $ 7.99 for a six pack it's a decent value.

Not a bad IPA, but I thought I was getting a winter warmer and frankly I'm more then a little disappointed. If I was reviewing this as a winter warmer it would be a much poorer review, It doesn't fit any of the winter warmer criteria..

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The appearance is a hazy golden colored body with a one finger white foamy head and has some mild speckled lacing. The smell has some bitter cooked hops that kinda come through pretty earthy but controlled with a decent backing by the malts. The taste is bitter but sweet, not combined, just seems to hang there a bit to leave something to be desired. There is a mild malty yet bitter aftertaste with a dry finish. On the palate, it sits about a light to medium, and comes across as fairly sessionable for the most part. Carbonation is harsh penetrating enough for an AIPA but not so much as a winter warmer. Overall, this is not a bad beer, but not really a winter warmer, more of an AIPA that I think I would have again depending upon what else is there.

Jun 28, 2017
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a hazy amber with a modest head, quickly reducing to a ring and thin film. Lacing. Primarily malt in the nose. ...and mouth. Tasty!

Mar 08, 2017
Photo of GreatHammerhead
GreatHammerhead from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle spawned on October 2016 poured into a pint glass.

Look: Hazy apricot with a one finger white head. Head quickly collapses but continues to cover entire top of the beer.

Smell: Malts, citrus, and finishes with a mild dose of hops.

Taste: Malts and then hops with a light vein of hop bitterness running throughout the hop flavor and lingering into the aftertaste.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: An excellent beer. Seems to me to be more of a mild IPA then a winter warmer, but whatever you call it I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Jan 19, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with off-white head. Citrus, spice, pine, and some caramel malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with plenty of citrus, some pine, and a decent malt backbone.

Mar 21, 2016
Photo of jhartley
jhartley from Florida

3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, September notching so not expecting too much at this point...

Poured much lighter in color than I expected as this is listed as a Winter Warmer here. Golden copper color with a 1/2 fingers worth of head.

Getting aromas of pine, tangerines, grapefruit.

Not sure if it is supposed to be this sweet or not...almost has a cough syrup like consistency. No hop profile left just a slight bitterness on the end. Almost has a DIPA profile with a lower abv.

This is not what I would consider a Winter Warmer by any stretch of the name, but it is a a fairly decent IPA. Would love to have this a little bit fresher than this, but this was still pretty tasty. Much better than what I expected.

Jan 10, 2016
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Written down on a piece of scratch paper from when I moved out of my house 1 week ago. I had no computer, no TV, no heat, and about 6 beers left in my fridge. I may as well have been in an ice shack.

L : A lighter pour than expected, with a tall 3 finger head. Body is honey-amber colored and 60% opaque.

S : Candied orange, spices, brown sugar, fresh peaches, cinnamon, slight onion.

T : Lots of hop, lots of fruit - in that order. Pine starts first, then orange flesh, mango, guava. Then it turns to rind of grapefruit and pineapple scrapings. A slight onion note permeates straight up the middle throughout the whole tasting. Not much for malts, just fruit & hop. Some points for creativity but too bitter and the alcoholic presence is not warming me up enough for a "winter warmer".

F : Light, crisp, slight creaminess, ends semi-dry.

O : This was more like an IPA than a typical winter warmer. A bit disappointed but still a solid beer for a winter time IPA.

Nov 04, 2015
Photo of delta490
delta490 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy orangey gold with t a thick white cap of head that has good retention and leaves some medium-sized sticky lacing. The aroma is mild and predominantly malty, with maybe a hint of pine hops but without any really distinct characteristics. Certainly nothing off but just not very noticeable. The taste is a little more robust, but still not very pronounced in any aspect. There's a bigger hops hit, mostly pine and spice, and just a little malt sweetness in the background. The body has a nice feel to it, not to heavy or light, and little bit of spice pops at the finish. Reminds me of a solid American Pale Ale more than a Winter Warmer. Maybe they do winter differently in Olympia.

Mar 26, 2015
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Trumpeter Public House in Mt. Vernon. Big foam on the first glass from the keg. Amber color with lots of lacing in the tall monic. Flowery and spicy aromas.

Pleasantly sweet with a medium body. wonderful malt taste with zingy aromatic hops. The spiciness fills the nose and lingers on the palate. Fruity hops with mango and apricot flavors.

Delicious malty brew that is totally drinkable. It's an interesting paler sort of winter brew. My favorite of the 2014 winter beers.

Feb 06, 2015
Photo of SitkaSteve
SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yeah, this thing. This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a decent looking dark red to slightly brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated to fine glazing speckling around the glass. A decent lacing appeared in some rings.
The smell had a sweet and light weird spice arranging itself decently under my nose (ginger maybe, uh...but somewhat cooked, perhaps).
The taste followed the nose and had a decent sweet to spicy conglomeration on my tastebuds. A light sweet aftertaste leads to a sweet and dry finish.
The mouthfeel had a decent spice rolling over my tongue and sat about a medium on the body, fairly sessionable for 7.5%.
Overall, not a bad winter warmer, I'd have it again.

Jan 14, 2015
Photo of PacNWDad
PacNWDad from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours with 2 fingers of frothy white head that dissipates slowly. Lots of little blobs of lace on the side. Color is golden red, clear. Aroma is of roasted malt and piney hops. Starts mild and sweet, but the bitterness of the hops quickly takes over. This has a long finish. It is pretty full-bodied and solid. A very enjoyable beer - I will have to visit the brewpub on my next trip down I-5.

Dec 10, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, December month notched with no year for dating. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy bright orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice IPA. All around good balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink. It is at least a year old in age, but still a nicely enjoyable offering as it stands now.

Dec 06, 2014
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from a 355 ml bottle into an English pub glass. A dark orange-yellow amber with a half-finger of off-white foam gracing my glass. Looks like a pale ale or IPA, smells like a pale ale or IPA ... Lots of tropical fruit (mango), floral, and piney hop notes on the nose along with a brown sugar sweetness. Certainly more hoppy than your average winter warmer but quite sweet as well. I get more of the dried mango from the nose along with apricots, tangerine, pine needles, dried currants and sultana raisins, pancake syrup, and a faint nutty note. Although maltier than many of the aforementioned pale ale family, this is still a straight up kissing cousin to said clan. The finish starts sweet but dries out over time. Has a borderline syrupy mouthfeel that may or may not jive with the aggressive hop bill and the carbonation is at the low end of moderate. Enjoyable if a tad rough around the edges.

Aug 27, 2014
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, color is light gold, head is bright white nice bubbles, some lacing; it is a bit opaque, not looking like a winter warmer to me.

Aroma is pale malt, light booze and citrus and pine hops, nice scent for a winter ipa.

Taste is very good, pretty clean malts, not too sweet, crisp and bitter hops, with the hop flavor a good mix of pine and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is a little sweeter than some ipas, lingering malt flavor but the hops are big enough to dry it out.

Overall, slight knock because this is not a winter warmer and I thought it was when purchasing, but it is a good beer.

Dec 24, 2013
Photo of Givemebeer
Givemebeer from Vermont

3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm rating this as an ipa because that's what it is...

A: pale orange yellowish nice lacing and good head retention

S: citrusy slight malt backbone

T: grapefruit pineapple a touch of lemon

M: doesn't come together perfectly at the end but still a pretty nice lingering citrusy finish

O: nothing like a winter warmer. Maybe it's a different formula this year? No spices and not malty hops dominate. For an ipa, not half bad.

Nov 20, 2013
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought a 12oz bottle of this on sale at Total Wine. Who knows how old this is but it is a winter warmer: which winter? I am not sure. This one looks different than most winter warmers. This one is golden orange in color as opposed to the typical chocolate/brown/caramel colors associated with the style I don't know how to score the look, but there is a nice frothy head on top. Nice lacing too. Cloudy due to the yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Looks a lot like a wheat beer.

Aroma is filled with sweet caramel, yeast, alcohol, and some citrusy and grassy hops. Somewhat fruity but certainly on the sweet alcoholic side.

This one has some hop bite to it. Starts out kind of sweet and fruity and finishes hoppy bitter with a warming alcohol feeling. Borders on cloying, but still a decent, balanced beer. Bitter grapefruit, caramel malts, alcohol, more citrus. Oily and resiny.

Not a bad beer, I must say. The alcohol is kind of front and center, but I guess a winter warmer is supposed to be warming. A different interpretation on the style and I quite like it. More geared toward hops than brown sugar and malt. I could see myself drinking this after hitting the slopes for some backside grunge nose grabs.

Apr 19, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel orange color. Lacing looks good. White and airy head, but it fell fast. Nice light color.

Caramelized peach and mango in the nose. Assuming it's from the hops, but there's no perky bitter leafy notes that rise up. Just tropical fruit nuances. Very mild and biscuity. Quite the departure from a winter ale.

It IS from the hops. Soft peachy hops with notes of mango, papaya, and nectarine. A little muddled with light caramel from mostly pale malts. Not much toastiness. Malts are a little flat, but they apply their own attributes with light balance. Alcohol is staved off a bit. This is close to a winter pale ale or weak IPA.

Thick for an IPA, which it is not, but it's pretty juicy for a warmer with that light carbonation that doesn't draw much attention. Booziness is light, but spicy.

Not an ideal warmer, so no props for the style. Still delicious and almost hoppy. Recommended.

Dec 27, 2012
Photo of sam_bliss
sam_bliss from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler into glass

A- Golden translucent light copper with an off-white head and decent lacing as we worked our way down the glasses.

S- Some fruity esters and sprucey hops. Tropical and fruity sweet scents remind me more of a pale ale than a winter warmer, but it smells great.

T- Tastes like a bigger Belgian dubbel. Some saison funk or perhaps another flavorful yeast compliments banana and hoppiness with just a smattering of caramel malt. Super tasty but like the aroma, it's a bit off style.

M- Plenty of body but not thick-feeling or syrupy. Good after-feel.

O- This is a great winter beer for those who like hoppy beers and Belgian-style beer. IPA meets trappist dubbel meets winter ale!

Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fish Tale WinterFish Seasonal Ale

LOOK: Clear gold with a white soapy film, leaves a ton of lace on the glass. Looking like a well made, sticky IpA style beer.

SMELL: Bready malts, strong earthy hops, some cat pee (not uncommon) and dusty cocoa.

TASTE: Some grapefruit influence, strong bitterness, resinous qualities, and a solid malt body. Alittle citrus, some cocoa, and a bit herbal and tea like.

Nov 26, 2012
Photo of Mojo
Mojo from Alabama

3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy orange/amber with a little sediment observed. (In fairness this bottle might be a little past prime.) The head is minimal and so is the lacing. The smell is subtle with a hint of citrus. Taste is an initial malt with grapefruit overtones giving way to a not unpleasant hoppiness for the finish with no aftertaste. Basically pretty average.

Aug 14, 2012
Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 184 ratings