Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Revolution Fistmas (3/10)

Chicago’s Revolution Brewing Company produces Fistmas, a “red ale brewed for the holiday season with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue and the aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Steeped with ginger root and orange peel.”  It’s available on draft and in cans.  This review is based on a sample draft from The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington in late November 2013.

The beer pours a clear mahogany with a thin, off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The description above, which comes from the brewer’s web site, says that you’ll smell fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits.  I beg to differ.  This beer does have a Christmas-like aroma to it.  It smells like an entire Christmas pine tree was squeezed and pressed into the glass.  If there’s any other aroma to this beer, I can’t find it.

The flavor follows the aroma closely.  There’s a hint of malt and spice, covered under twelve feet of very aromatic, very strong evergreen scented hops.  It’s got to be one of the least pleasant holiday beers I’ve ever tasted.  Revolution claims it’s a 31 IBU beer.  It seems much higher.

The Beer Advocate visitors rate it 86, or “very good” with over 150 ratings. Rate Beer gives it a 92.  I couldn’t disagree with them more. If you’re an IPA fan, and that’s your definition of what beer should taste like, you’ll probably rate this beer high and maybe even think it’s a little light on the hops.  But if you’re like me and most of the beer fanatics I know, you’ll wonder what Revolution was thinking here with its “Christmas IPA”.  I’m rating this one only 3/10.  There are beers I’ve liked less, but not many.

Revolution’s products are available at a number retailers around town.

Flavor Profile:

Sweet, Malty, Dry, or Bitter:  Bitter
Spice Level:  Low
Hops Level: Low for an IPA, very high for a Christmas ale
Dominant Flavors:  Christmas tree sap and hops bitterness

ABV: 6.1%
IBU:  31
My Rating: 3/10

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