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BiFrost | Elysian Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PhantomVodoo on 11-25-2003

For Trade:
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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 468
Photo of cdf1991
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Tastes way too sweet. Hardly bitter at all. I had to pour it down the sink as I couldn't bare to finish it (and that hardly ever happens). I really regret wasting 10 bucks on that 6 pack. This is the first time I have disliked an Elysian beer

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Photo of vkv822
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz : tulip

Hazy, coppery orange with a foamy, creamy white head.

The nose and taste follow the same profile of a sweet, caramel malt base highlighted by spicy, herbal , lightly citrusy hops.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

Not a typical Winter Warmer but a well done, enjoyable one.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a durable 1-plus finger head that leaves abundant fat-ring lacing. There's some small bubble carbonation visible through the haze.

S- At first, it smells like a good retro lager. After some breathing and warming, the candied apple and caramel aromas make their way. Some citrus hop aroma fights for equal billing, but the sugary fruit dominates.

T- Citrus and earthy hops balance the caramel malt and apple fruit flavors. There's enough orange citrus for kick.

M- Medium body with a firm feel thanks to the light carbonation that works well here. I get the hops and bitterness first with the fruit, primarily apple, on the end.

O- Warming and inviting brew. The 58 ibus and7.6% abv are matched well. I'd like more aroma next time.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper color with a white head. Citrus, malt, and and a fruity yeast. In the taste, piney hops and a bit of earthiness. Slight note of oxidation, with a dry cardboard/papery note along with a hop bite. A bit of toast and a slightly more than balancing bitterness. Lightly spucy notes. Briskly hoppy, but with a firm malt foundation. Medium to full bodied, crisp and very drinkable. Overall, this is a very good ale, with a hop emphasis.

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle given to me as a gift for cat sitting for a week. Worth it! I drank this thing down in less time than it took to walk home (15 mins). Just couldnt stop sipping it. By far one of the best overall beers Ive tried, winter or otherwise. Cheers!

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has pretty good retention. The head is a creamy, pure cotton-white while the body is a dull, medium amber which appears as a hazy, pale to medium amber when held up to the light. The lacing is tending toward sheeting already.

Nose- Starts off with a unresolved mix of fruit esters that eventually start to show some notes of strawberry, cherry, and peach. Mostly red fruits but some basic citrus as well- orange and lemon. Some hints of caramel from the glass. Swirling shows some grapefruit, orange peel, and a bit of mustiness.

Taste- Starts off with citrus (some orange and lemon) which transitions into more bitter citrus (grapefruit) and then into a mix of bittering hops. Matchstick and earwax. Pine and resin. Some caramel followed by some clay and a general earthiness. The earthy hops tend to mellow out the bittering hops a bit and make this a little more accessible. After a while, the grass and earth notes start to overtake the grapefruit, pine, and resin. Very interesting progression. Not really a mix of hops I've encountered much but its one that is growing on me. Definitely gives it more substance and makes it more than just another IPA brewed for winter (which is what I'm beginning to think “winter ale”means). Not that it isn't really just an IPA, it's just a different kind of IPA. I was thinking they used German hops but it turns out to be Styrian Goldings which is a East European variant of the famous English hop. Above average to good but closer to above average. Touches of honey.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation, slight zing.

Drinkability- Fairly accessible and doesn't show any heat. Seems to be around the standard price for a craft six pack so this is a little bit of a bargain because of the high ABV. Sucks for it that Lagunitas has another, better beer out at the same time.

Overall- Above average to good beer. I would definitely give it a try as it is a little bit of a departure from the norm. It isn't wildly experimental but could give pause.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bifrost pours a hazy orange color, almost reminds me of the bright smog filled horizon when the sun sets in Los Angeles. Thankfully the aroma is much more pleasant with a citrus hop scent with light tones of sweet malt and freshly cut flowers. The taste was very fresh with hints of citrus balanced nicely with the powerful hop bitterness. Mixed in well was the sweet malt and biscuit like tones. I could slightly pick up on the 7.6% ABV which was a nice reminder that this is a winter warmer. The finish is nice with a crisp dryness. The mouthfeel was medium with the right amount of carbonation. Overall this was a good beer, I would buy it again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Iron Monkey in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and some golden yellow + apricot highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts with a slightly stronger presence of floral hops. Light traces of alcohol are present as well.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of floral and earthy hops. Light amounts of bitterness are present in the finish and linger for a moderate amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming are present in the finish.

O: Due to the higher amount of hops than normal for this style, it is not nearly as sweet or sticky as some of the other winter warmers that I have tried. Also, I enjoyed the fact that it did not seem like it had a lot of spices added to it which in my opinion made the beer a little easier to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Iron Monkey, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish orange in color and has a bit of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that left wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral hops and toasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of alcohol.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there is also a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with a bit of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is a little hoppier compared to other beers in the style so the mouthfeel doesn't seem very heavy or sticky.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've come to expect a lot from Elysian, and in some ways this delivered, but not in others.

First off, appearance wise, I think the packaging is good. Love the graphic and those matte labels. It pours a really hazy, translucent light orange. Not much of a head, and I did try an aggressive pour to conjure something up, but it pretty much just hangs back.

The nose is super-citrusy. Lemon, orange, pineapple, and I can't really get beyond that. Just a lot of citrus. I was hoping for more bread or maltiness, but it's really being overpowered by those zesty citrus notes for me. Flavor-wise the one thing that saves it a bit from being all citrus is that there is some booze and a light malt backing, but the flavor is still really fruity. My first impression was that I wanted a more "beer" flavor to it: more malt and yeast.

Overall, probably wouldn't get it again. The description on the label boasts citrus and hops balanced by malt, but I'm just not getting a lot of the malt here (as I feel like you do in a SN Torpedo or Dogfish 90 Minute, for ex.). I doubt this beer would disappoint any IPA fans, though I think to call it a winter warmer is a little misleading.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The annual summer break redding up of the living room was happening in earnest this afternoon when I came upon a plastic bag containing a six-pack carrier that included this beer. Wow!

From the bottle: "Bifrost is our lively winter brew, a bold pale ale with citrus and earthy hop character balanced by a smooth malt backbone."

I went with an aggro pour as the result of my excitement and created two fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. As it slowly fell, it left some great sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled strongly of both minty hops and caramel malts, much like some AIPAs that I have had of late. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste reminded me more of a young ABW between the preponderance of biting, minty hops and sweet caramel malt. I may try to remember to buy an extra bottle for cellaring next year as the result of tonight's exercise. Finish was semi-dry with the malt providing just enough of a counterbalance to keep it reasonable. Man, this was quite the find!

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Photo of dacrza1
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed: 19 January 2013...
Glassware: Mad Elf tulip...
Occasion: defeated I Spy Halloween on the Wii with the fam--good times....
Appearance: soft hazy orange body that holds a thin white head; slow, dissipating effervescence; sporadic lacing...
Aroma: punchy fruit--grapefruit? citric for certain; definite pale ale hops and a sense of malts--balanced...
Palate: medium-bodied warm finish; mildly affecting in the teeth aftertaste lingers ambivalently...
Taste: mildly abrasive hopsthat crunch with a citric/dough combo...a honey sweetness finishes welll...
Overall: like the beer's name, his glass comes up big and hearty; by the end, buzz-worthy; a dry finish suggests complexity and a fitting after-dinner drink...

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Photo of Tucquan
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2013-03-26 in Columbia, PA

A - Hazy golden-orange with a 1-finger pillowy, white head that leaves good lacing.

S - Juicy naval orange flesh, mild spice, hop floral, very light pale malt. Mildish aroma.

T - Cracker, tart citrus, tea, slight caramel, grapefruit zest, hop oils. Dries quickly. The tart citrus and significant bitterness linger-long on the tongue. I like the flavor.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Prickly, lightly resinous then crisp.

O - Would never have guessed this was a winter warmer. Tastes like a pretty bitter, citrus-tinged IPA.

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Photo of Berndt
4.95/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Elysian BiFrost - 3/3/2013 - bottle 22oz - bottle conditioned

Aroma - Citrusy American hops - big hop aroma.

Appearance - Light orange, white head

Taste - Full hop flavor - wonderful bitterness, a bit of caramel in aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation, light-medium body

Overall - I've had this hoppy winter warmer before, and thought it was fine, but this year's version was amazing. A lighter colored counterpart to Sierra Nevada Celebration, emphasizing the hops. My favorite winter warmer this past season.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A- light copper color with a one finger head that is frothy and leaves a decent lacing on the pint. a hazy look to it as well.

S- Tangerine and exotic fruit smell like starfruit or papaya. Very interesting. Malst are nicely hidden. This is kind of like an IPA rather than a winter warmer.

F- Carbonated dry citrus fruit taste. Different and not what i expect from a winter warmer. Light caramel malt, hard to notice.

M- dry like and IPA but crisp and smooth. I like it but as an IPA not a winter warmer.

O- A great beer but it doesnt fit the style. Thats the only downfall.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orangish yellow color with a two finger head which gives way to a very nice lace on the glass. The aroma starts off with a citrus and grapefruit aroma. There is a slight bready aroma in the middle. The end has a little pine hop action. The taste follows suit, there is a bready malty start, the middle then comes through with a grapefruit and citrus flavor. The backend has a pine hop taste. The taste is there but is slightly thin. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated maybe slightly watery. Overall it was a very average beer, there just wasnt enough going on to make me want it again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pour is quite a hazy orange yellow tint with a full inch of frothy head. Lacing is excellent.

S - Smells like a juicy IPA rather than a winter warmer. Notes of papaya and citrus hops mixing with an underlining caramel malt and touch of biscuit.

T - Kind of drinks like a lighter bodied old ale with biscuit malts and caramel. Then you get a bitter pine and sweet hop finish. Some noticeable alcohol reminds you its a winter warmer.

M - Medium bodied, somewhat thick, and very little spice.

Overall I have seen cases of this but I am not sure I would have more than one. Only sightly like a Winter Warmer and far from even an old ale which I kind of expected.

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Photo of tone77
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts and a hint of citrus. Taste is also mild, malts, some citrus, and a big alcohol taste at the finish. The spices usually associated with this style seem to be missing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a hazy orange amber color with a small white head. The head fades fast to leave a nice level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma has notes of some sweeter and some bitter citrus mixed with tropical fruit smells. The sweeter citrus is of a tangerine smell while the bitter is more grapefruit in nature. The tropical fruits were a mix of mango and pineapple, giving the beer, when mixed with the tangerine, an overall sweeter smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and malty taste. It is quite smooth with some flavors of an orange and caramel flavor upfront. As the taste moves on, some more resinous bitter hop flavors enter the taste. Flavors of grapefruit and some light pine taste. More toward the end more sweet flavors of caramel as well as a biscuit flavor comes to the tongue. These combined with the hop to leave a sort of chewy, mildly bittered, biscuit flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the creamy and chewier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The creamier flavors really accentuate the resinous hop flavors well as well as bolster the malty and biscuit taste. Pretty nicely done.

Overall - I actually rather enjoyed this beer. It had a good, but not overly so, resinous hop flavor that melded well with the lighter fruit, citrus and malty flavors of the brew.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Thanks Drew!

A: Slightly hazy orange-amber body under an inch of off-white froth. Ok retention, spotty lace. Not bad.

S: Malt-forward and rather muddled. Some overripe grapefruit underneath the doughy breadiness. Not terribly appetizing.

T: A little better here, with apricot and grapefruit leading in to mildly toasty malt. Spicy finish. Still not terribly dynamic.

M: Slick medium body with fairly light carbonation. Mediocre.

O: Drinkable but forgettable. At least it hides its ABV quite well.


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Photo of IllNate
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy, mirky amber with piles of white head and good retention. It has quite a bit of particulate that just hangs in suspension. Nose contains citrus and a smooth bready malt. Chrismtas orange is brought to mind. Taste follows with citrus and earthy hop and bready malt, with a bit of caramel. Nice balance. Mouthfeel is great for a beer like this good balance between bitter and sweat. Overall a very nice beer, although a bit out of style. Winter ale is a wide category but this still seems to miss the mark.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours stagnant and hazy. Not much head on an apricot amber body.

Smells like a malty DIPA. Huge grapefruit and bitter orange hop aromas push past honeyed pale and caramel malts and light spices. Coriander, allspice, and French toast.

White grapefruit, candied orange peel, oily hops, evergreen, caramelized sugar, mint, and toasty barley. Oh, and did I mention booze? Alcohol creams all over the finish. Very bitter in the middle, which proves a bit difficult.

Almost creamy in the body with some lightly fluttering carbonation that rolls most of the sugar stick off of the tongue. Not awful, but not great.

This is one heady and hoppy warmer. Malty DIPAs aren't my thing, so the comparison is a little distasteful. But, it's a warmer, and it works just fine. I like the approach.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers of head with good retention. Cloudy, dark straw colored body.
Smell is a nice citrus and pine.
Taste is fruity (orange, lime, pear) with a sweet bitterness. Interesting and complex.
Crisp texture, moderate carbonation and medium body. A little sticky.
Enjoyable, a kind of IPAish winter warmer.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into glass

A- Pretty orange with off-white head and decent lacing

S- Smells sweet. A hint of spice and some tropical fruits over thick malt and some alcohol warming the nostril hairs.

T- Tastes like a sweeter Pale ale. Love it but doesn't play too close to the winter warmer style. Great mix of citrusy hops and interesting spices (maybe even a touch of black pepper?). Some vanilla cream rounds out a beautiful tongue feel. Even some bubble gum and mango is evident.

M- Thick and a bit sticky. Brandy-like alcohol taste but no burn. Lingering sweetness like after some hard candy.

O- I really like this beer. I think they use a different yeast in this than most American winter ales. It's pretty sweet and probably best enjoyed with a glass of water to clear the palate every few drinks, as it leaves behind some sugary syrup feeling.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
2.72/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Wait, is this a Winter Warmer? Doesn't really look the part.... Hazy appearance, solid lacy head... Is this one of those unfiltered beers with holiday spices that has been trending recently?

Smell: A little bit of hops, not much else. Enjoyed in Philly area, so the bottle has traveled a little.

Taste: Definitely not what I'd call a Winter Warmer in the Mid-Atlantic or New England areas... Kinda a lightly spiced pale ale, which I guess is what they describe it as. Not bad if you gulp it, but when I let it sit a bit it was a little pungent. Maybe its the batch? I'm sure the taste overall isn't, but all things considered, it still feels off.

Mouthfeel: This is nice if I take it as a pale ale. Pretty sticky, enjoyable.

I can't recommend this as a winter warmer at all. It's an interesting pseudo-Winter Pale Ale, but it doesn't quite hit the mark there either. This maybe needs a re-brand and a little tuning. Not a big fan, would not buy again. Shame, this is my first Elysian brew and I've heard good things. Will have to give something else a go.

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BiFrost from Elysian Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 468 ratings.
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