Fish Ice Breaker Winterfish

Reviewed by on January 28, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fish Brewing Company

  • Origin: Olympia, WA, US

  • Rated On: January 28, 2015

  • Best Before: Spawned on date: Nov 2014

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Olympia’s Fish Brewing has been making their Winterfish organic seasonal ale for a number of years – now it appears that Ice Breaker is the non-organic version of the same brew.  Since the former already exists in this guide, let’s see how things might have changed.

This 12oz bottle pours a mildly hazy, medium golden amber colour, with four fat fingers of puffy, broadly foamy, and rather bubbly ecru head, which leaves some random splotches of sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of bready, doughy pale and caramel malt, a bit of earthy and gamey yeast, a red grapefruit-dominated citrus grove fruitiness, wet pine needles, and further leafy, somewhat perfumed hops. The taste is big orange and white grapefruit citrus flesh, grainy caramel malt, a mild stoney flintiness, edgy leafy, piney hops, and a subtle probing booze astringency. The bubbles are fairly laid-back in their plain and earnest frothiness, the body a pleasant enough medium weight, and mostly smooth, the hops making a few nicks on that particular shiny new coat. It finishes on the sweet side, the latent fruitiness of the hops combining with the lingering grainy malt to more than offset any aspiring bitterness or alcohol ingress.

While an agreeably hoppy affair, once again, like its organic forebear, I’m not sure where the winter seasonality angle comes into play – this is straight-ahead IPA territory being plied here. And speaking of that ‘other’ Winterfish, if my memory serves me right (and it very well might not), it was a whole lot fuller, darker and maltier than the one sitting before me – which suggests other changes, beyond merely going organic or not.

Brady White

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