Description: “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. Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair." — 21st Amendment Brewery
The tasting: Color was a deep brownish orange. The tan colored head was creamy, had very good retention, and left a nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I noticed in aroma was the complex mix of spices. Although I couldn't identify what they were, they provided a nice introduction to the beer.
After the first taste, I was struck by how well balanced this beer was. The malts, hops, a mild sweetness, and the kick of the alcohol all hit my palate at once. After the initial rush of flavor, I noticed the mixed spices. It also had a sweetness similar to what I tasted in Back in Black. While I thought the sweetness seemed a bit out of place in Back in Black, it worked well in Fireside Chat. After it warmed up, the malts were more pronounced. Carbonation level was good and it had a nice mouth feel.
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again. Fireside Chat had everything I want in a holiday beer—a more pronounced malt profile, "warming" from a higher alcohol content, and something unusual thrown in the mix. 21A has just set a high bar for the 2010 class of winter seasonals!
When I review beer, I drink it without eating any food. I've never been a big fan of "parings" because I think people should eat whatever they want with whatever they like to drink. I guess this results from my aversion to pretentious wine parings. But Fireside Chat has me thinking about food pairings as I expect it would go very well with holiday meals.
Have you had Fireside Chat or any of 21st Amendment's beers? If so, please let me know what you think.