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Fish Tale Winterfish | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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105 Reviews
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Fish Tale WinterfishFish Tale Winterfish

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 168
Photo of RedDiamond
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winterfish is a seasonal winter warmer whose pale and honey malts impart a brighter, golden color to the brew in contrast to other, darker winterbräus. In fact, the color is near copper. This may not be entirely traditional, but Winterfish’s festive overtures are intact with abundant fruit and notes of melon in both the nose and flavor. The taste also speaks of nutmeg with just a touch of alcohol and is punctuated in the finish by crisp, sensible bittering.

Nothing in Winterfish is overstated. It is proudly brewed “in the Republic of Cascadia” with Yakima Chinook hops and leaves behind a lacy tailing of foam on the glass. When served from the bottle, this beer is highly particulate. Pour it slowly to maximize clarity.

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Photo of 57md
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is light copper with little head but enough retention to leave some lacing. There is a pleasant hop nose to this offering. The upfront taste is dominated by a cidery alcohol feel that is not unpleasant, but not terribly tasty either. The finish, by contrast is pleasantly hoppy.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Secret Santa AKSmokedPorter. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head above the golden amber brew. Head quickly fades down to an uneven layer of bubbles, and minimal small bubbles of lacing. Aroma is fruity hops with a syrupy malt undercurrent. Taste is similar to the nose, but the hops are a bit moire varied, with pine coming into play a bit as well with the fruit. Bitter alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is alright, maybe a bit on the flat side, and drinkability is okay as well. This one hasn't caused me to run out and find more. But if I happen upon it, I'd give it another chance.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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!

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Photo of Mojo
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of blackie
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The fluffy, white head partially recedes after awhile. The beer is a slightly burnished copper color.

smell: There's a good amount of fruity sweetness here...apples, pear, some tropicals (guava? yes, guava). Tame hop presence for the IPA style, but the green leafiness is still nice.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the soft side, and the body just under medium.

taste: Slight esters, sweet tropical fruit (mango, for example), a little cidery, and mild hop bitterness. The hops are way too subtle for an IPA. A good tasting beer, nonetheless.

drinkability: good, but not much of an IPA

Another bottle from dirtylou's stash during my stay.

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Photo of Deuane
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Bright amber with a thin off-white head that degraded to a thin film that left some lacing.

S-Light piney/peppery hops. Some citrusy notes too. A complex hop bland for sure, but light overall.

T-At first, while cold, I did not like the tatse of this brew. Tatsed a bit "fake" to me. But, to give it a chance I let it warm and I am glad I did....the piney hop essence came through and turned a beer that was almost undrinkable into something fairly enjoyable! That unusual "fake--chemical-like" tatse is still there, lightly in the aftertaste.

M-Medium body with a nice bitter kick. A bit of alcohol coming in at the end.

D-A decent brew...but there is a strange ending(aftertaste) that I do not care for. Classified totally worng, but oh well...I didnt list it!

 769 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Total Wine in late November for $1.99.

Beer poured a murky amber orange with a decent white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is light grapefruit rind and slightly sweet.

Taste is bready malts, slightly sweet, finish with strong grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer. Taste does not flow well together though i like the breadt APA malt profile.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, light caramel color with a small white head.

Aroma has a pleasant, hoppy smell, bordering on grapefruit citrus.

Flavor has a nice, earthy caramel base. However, it is quite dry with a puckering grapefruit tang.

Mouthful almost seems slightly gritty due to grapefruit taste & tanginess. Medium thickness.

Drinkability is excellent if this is your style. For me, it starts out fine, but seems a bit dry, tangy, thick and sweet to enjoy too much of.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange/copper color. Slightly hazy from the yeast. Very little head to this one. Citrusy aroma with some caramel and maybe some biscuit notes. Kind of hard to tell, doesn't seem like there is much aroma. Nice crisp bitterness in the flavor. Bready flavor with some somkiness. Dry mouthfeel and lightly carbonated. This is an intestesting beer, I'll have this one again.

 378 characters

Photo of Givemebeer
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bvc for tossing in this local brew. No idea how old this is, but I suspect it's a couple months (being a winter beer and all). Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - One finger of persistent off-white foam but minimal lacing. Slightly hazed dark orange apricot-like color with the occasional tiny bubble rising to the top. Good, but nothing special.

S - Pretty understated nose, with lots of toffee and caramel malts and a few hints of citrus hoppiness. Kind of underwhelming.

T - There's a little more bitter hop kick in the taste, along with some very bready and light caramel malts. Some nice floral notes at the top of the palate. Tastes more like a solid APA - although after reading the description of Winter Warmer, it fits the unspiced English variety with the slightly higher ABV and pronounced malt character.

M - Mild carbonation, medium to full-bodied, lots of residual stickiness. All in all, pretty satisfying.

D - There's nothing that makes it not drinkable, but it's just nothing interesting enough to make me want to have a few.

This brew might be a solid local seasonal, but it's not worth going out of one's way to try.

 1,150 characters

Photo of atigerlife
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light hazy brown, looking like apple cider. Light head.

Smell of dark fruit and grapefruit. Taste of hops immediately jumps out. Very dry. Still dark fruit and grapefruit in the taste. Yeasty.

Has a low carbonation. Seems to be lacking a little complexity. Overall, I found this moderately drinkable. Not something I would pursue, but nice to have once in a while.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with little head. Smells of apricot and quite sweet- maybe candi sugar? Also apples on the finish. Tastes lightly spiced, someewhat sweet and fruity and with a citrusy hop bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel is slightly slick but somewhat crisp. Eh. Just okay. There are plenty of other great winter seasonals out there for my money. I like this brewery, but I think they've fallen down on this one. Your winter beer should be something special.

 462 characters

Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 220 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Amber with a slight haze to it. Slightly off-white head with average retention.

Smell - Sharp, piney hops with faint bready malt in the background.

Taste/mouthfeel - Bready and malty initially, with hops quickly taking over and pushing any sweetness to the background. Oily, piney hops stick to the palate and provide a long, bitter finish. Simple but enjoyable. Fairly viscous - at 7.5% ABV, it's on the cusp of double/imperial status.

Notes - This is an IPA rather than a winter warmer. It's very much along the lines of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. Not a bad beer at all, but it doesn't stand out in a market flooded with similar beers.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2001 release. Light brown color, medium head. Aroma is fruity and slightly sweet. Lightly malty, somewhat hoppy, spicy. Rather dry and somewhat tart. A lighter flavored winter ale. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is dry and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Interesting beer.

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Photo of froghop
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is a clear amber-orange with a medium size off-white head, good lacing.

smell is tropical fruits, citrus, vanilla, hops, caramel, and some spice.

taste is creamy, light grapefruit, caramel, some sweetness, slight bitter, citrus, some pepper, and some malt, leaves mouth sticky.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a deep slightly orangey color ale with a small foamy head with some limited retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus and bitter hops is mostly dominating without being too strong. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with a medium bitter finish with some distinctive citrus notes. Body is quite full with some low carbonation. Overall, while this was an interesting beer I thought it was lacking in hops bites for the style.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few different bottles of this beer, wanting to be sure I'm getting it at it's best. Poured a 12oz bottle tonight into a goblet.

a. Pours a crystal clear golden straw-honey color with a full two-finger bubbly head of a light pink grapefruit hue. The full bubble head faded leaving an interesting crumpet-like lacing with a ring following down the glass.

s. caramel and toffee yet no malt aroma, followed by floral and citrus hops. Marigolds, grapefruit zest, lemons and lillys create a sweet and fruity aroma.

t. Definitely an IPA. An interesting blend of citrus, floral, and pine hops. A bit of toffee sweetness at the front, then a definite hop bitterness in the middle with a solid bitter hopping. Some odd flavors as well - raw turnip, celery, potato and walnut skins. Maybe some yeastiness, akin to mediocre belgian yeasts. Astringent bread and vegetable undertones. (the first bottle I tried this year had the most powerful presentation of these flavors, but all bottles I've tried seem similar... and it does significantly fade as the beer warms. I left some sit to near-room temp and it seems better)

m. Solid IPA mouthfeel... smooth and a hint of creaminess, medium-light carbonation, and a decent balance of pine hop bitter and sweetness on the front of the tongue.

d. Not a bad beer. Definitely more of an IPA than a Winter Warmer, as categorized. Everything is decent except for the oddness that's throwing me in the taste. Maybe it's just me? or maybe this year's batch is slightly off. I don't distinctly remember this one in past years, so i can't say for sure. If you like west-coast citrusy IPAs, it may be worth a shot.

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Photo of beertunes
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear copper/gold color, MUCH lighter than is typical for the style, with about an inch of slightly off-white head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma had a nice spice and malt scent with some hops and yeast floating around in the background. The flavor did not live up to the promise that the aroma made. All the notes were there, but very subdued and calm, especially after the scent made such a big impression.

The body was much thinner that is expected for the style. Drinkability was decent but not special. When I first moved to the area 11 years ago Fish quickly became one of my favorite breweries. Maybe it's my palate changing, but it seems that over the last 5-6 years Fish's brews aren't as noteworthy as in the past. Still, this beer is worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of oberon
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep golden with a thinner than expected head but I will say it did have some staying power,I have to say the aromas were a bit more muted than expected as well some herbal and piney hop but it really dont jump out at ya.Hmm the suprises keep coming an IPA it is but the flavors seem really off quite dry and very earthy with a real alcohol punch in the finish,quite harsh.Very dissapointing I really thought from other reviews it would be better,one of the odder IPA's I have had to date.I'll pass on this if ever given the chance to try again.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hoppy aroma has a sour citrus note that has both grapefruit and orange elements plus a woody underpinning. It pours a pretty clear amber with a thick, fine-bubbled white head that leaves some generous lacing. Flavor is hoppy and woody, a little bitter, with more than a hint of fruity sweetness and some citrus. Smooth texture has about average fizz and body. Overall, not terrific, but worthy of a try.

 403 characters

Fish Tale Winterfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.79 out of 5 based on 168 ratings.
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