Review: Perseverance Ale, Alaskan Brewing

Perseverance Ale
Alaskan Brewing Co. — Juneau, Alaska

  • Style:  Russian Imperial Stout
  • Bitterness:  50 IBU
  • ABV: 9.0% ABV
  • Original Gravity: 1.093
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Special Ingredients:  Birch syrup, fireweed honey, alder-smoked malt
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle
  • Full Disclosure:  Sample provided by brewery

Description:  "To celebrate their quarter-century milestone, the Alaskan Brew Crew wanted to create a beer that was big, bold and brewed with ingredients from Alaska that could be enjoyed fresh or cellared to be brought out to remember the anniversary for years to come. The Russian heritage still present throughout our state make this Russian Imperial Stout a tribute to all that makes our beers truly Alaskan.”  — Alaskan Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   We've been to Alaska twice and I've had the pleasure of visiting Alaskan's brewery and tasting room both times. Brewing beer in Juneau and shipping to the lower 48 is not easy.  I wrote about some of Alaskan's logistical challenges during my last visit.  When we first visited Alaska, we rented a car and drove south to Homer. As we drove, we noticed a beautiful red wild grass, which stretched for miles and miles. It was fireweed. Alaskan used honey made from fireweed in this beer. Pretty cool.

The tasting:  Black in color, with a dark tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing on the glass. Aroma of smoked malt, espresso, molasses, and alcohol. The flavor mirrors the aroma with the addition of dark chocolate and plum. I'd recommend you drink Perseverance at room temperature. Some of the subtle flavors are more noticeable and I thought everything melded together better when served warm. It has a definite bitterness, but it tastes like it comes from the smoked malts, rather than the hops. It's medium to heavy in body, with a creamy smooth mouth feel. It finishes with smoked malt and warming alcohol.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  I love it when breweries make anniversary ales and 25 years is worthy of a special beer.  Perseverance fits the bill.  The brewery integrated several uniquely Alaskan ingredients to create a memorable brew.  I expect this will only get better over time. At a retail price of less than $9, it won't break the bank if you want to buy a bottle or two to age.  That's what I plan to do.  Maybe I'll hold on to it until Alaskan's 30th Anniversary—assuming I can wait that long...

Have you tried Perseverance or any other Alaskan beers?

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Alaskan Fireweed

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