Tuesday, December 28, 2010

21st Amendment Brewery Fireside Chat

This is the second beer that I have had by 21st Amendment, so I am anxious for a taste.   Like the last beer that I have reviewed by them (Back in Black), this one comes in a can.  This is a winter spiced ale and it is a seasonal brew only available October through November.  What makes this can interesting is the sketching of FDR on the can, with a cigar and a drink.  The odd thing is who he is chatting with...an Elf, a gnome?  I'll leave that up to you to interpret.

According to their web site "Like FDR's Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation."  It is a winter season beer that has a ABV of 7.9%.  They use malts of Pale, Munich, Wheat, Aroma Chocolate and De-Bitter Black.  Hops used are Magnum and Golding that gives it a 45 IBUs.  Added spices are a generic term of "spices" and cocoa nibs.

Appearance:  Pours a deep ruby brown with a light tan head that sits on top of the beer like bread.  Initial pour give a 2-cm head that dies down to an uneven head that sits on the beer.  With each sip a thick and sticky rim sticks to the glass.

Aroma:  Smells of Christmas spices and Belgium style yeast is the first thing that hits the nose.  Then caramelized malts, but no hops is what is left in the nose.  I don't smell the chocolate, even though it is said that it has nibs added.   The Christmas spices are a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses. 

Taste:  The first sip brings a lot of spice and a little bit of sour notes to the tongue.  As the the beer washes back across the palate, rich malts and spices coats the tongue.  Still, hops are relatively minor, which is strange with a high alpha acid hop as Magnum in the beer.  At the back of the palate, a warm winter alcohol is sensed.

Mouthfeel:  The spices and malts definitely coats the mouth and tongue.  The warmness of the alcohol is felt as it is washed down the throat. 

Overall:  This is the second beer by 21 Amendment that had some sourness to it.  I was pleased that more breweries are moving to Belgium style yeasts.  I'm glad that Mr J traded me this beer for some homebrew.  The first time I tried it a few weeks ago, it had a metallic, almost coppery taste to it, but no more.  It is strange on how one beer taste different than others from the same 12-pack.

I'm intrigued with what else 21st Amendment has!  This was another enjoyable beer by them.

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