An amber worthy of admiration
A Review of Avalanche Ale by Breckenridge Brewery
Posted on 7/4/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
I like it when a brewery approaches a beer from the stand point that seems to say ''We know that good beer doesn't have to have ice cream or jalapeno peppers or the sweat from an Indonesian warthog to be a good, quality beer''. It seems to me that the great craft beer movement has thrown far too many breweries off this track of thinking. Luckily for us, Breckenridge has stayed on track when it comes to their Avalanche Amber Ale.

The appearance is right on for the style. It's called an amber ale for a reason. The color is a shade towards brown, but still a nice amber no question. The head is slightly off white and thick, but goes away rather quickly with just a bit of lacing. The aromas are also right on par for what an amber should be. You can pick up on nice malts, caramel, faint spice notes, and of course that nice ''bready'' smell that you typically associate with a well done amber. Give it a few minutes to calm down and you can pick out some light hops, and even some warm alcohol smells. If you find yourself thinking ''Well so far, that sounds yummy'', you have good reason.

When you get that first taste, its pretty front loaded with a malty blast. You can pick up caramel and bread notes with ease. I found a bit of a grain flavor in there that I was not expecting, but wouldn't complain about. There's some hops bitterness present to keep it from being overly sweet, but not to the point of distraction. There is even a spice bite in there that seems to have a bit of a pepper quality to it. The carbonation is a little on the light side, but there was enough of it to get the job done. The overall mouthfeel was right where a good amber should be, and the only aftertaste you are left with is a sweet malty goodness that will keep you going back for more.

I would have to say that Breckenridge has represented the style quite well here. All of the core characteristics of an amber ale are there, without any unwanted ones. The beginners should really grab on to one of these. It's a great beer to sink your teeth into if you are looking to see what an amber is all about. Don't be scared. This one will treat you right. The more experienced drinkers might find this one a little less complex than others, but remember that not all good beers have to be like a calculus problem. Sometimes we tend to forget that, and it really is a shame. I think that really anyone could enjoy this beer without worry. Grab a few, ice 'em down, and settle in for a nice session. This one would be quite comfortable right there with you.

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Avalanche Ale by Breckenridge Brewery
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