Archive for the 'FireStation5' category
Finishing up another sampler here in middle-Georgia, this is the last offering from my pack from the folks at FireStation5. In truth, I’m reviewing this beer immediately after having the JW Dundee IPA from High Falls, so my taste is going to be colored by what I’ve just tasted. Sadly, and somewhat to my surprise, this IPA doesn’t do much for me in comparison to the High Falls version.
This IPA pours a similar hue, but clearer, than the High Falls version – in other words, it’s a dark golden with no debris. The aroma of this brew is subdued, but has hints of a musty hop that aren’t too difficult to pick out. In the mouth, this beer seems to rely on a subtleness, when compared to many other IPAs. The whole flavor revolves around an escalating amount of hop bitterness that is reminiscent of English hops. On the front of the mouth, there is light sweetness that is quickly joined by a bitterness that, as it travels through the mouth, grows in intensity. This bitterness is again slightly musty with some metallic tints. By the time the beer reaches the back of the mouth, it’s actually fairly bitter, and the flavor travels up into the nasal cavity, leaving a rather pleasant aftertaste that is actually more prominent than the High Falls version (whereas the High Falls certainly has a greater presence while in the mouth). So, overall, this is a good beer. It is fairly well balanced, has an interesting progression through the mouth, and leaves you with a nice aftertaste. However, it certainly focuses on a subtlety when compared to many IPAs and never gets ‘in your face’. So, if you prefer a milder version of this variety, you’ll love this. However, I’m a bit of a hop head, and this didn’t quite do it for me.
Next up in our FireStation5 collection is a standard amber ale. Now, when it comes to the fairly generic genres of beer (golden lagers, golden ales, amber ales, pale ales, etc), I lean towards an Amber ale – I’m especially fond of the Irish amber ale varieties. So, while this isn’t a wild beer, by any means, it is one that I’m anxious to try out.
This amber pours, as expected, a medium amber color. There is a white head that dissipates but leaves a bit of presence around the side of the liquid. The aroma of this beer shows signs of dark grains and just a hint of licorice. There is also some caramel presence here, but it is fairly subdued and less than you’ll find in many ambers. In the mouth, this beer is sharper than the average amber, and lacks the real richness that some ambers exhibit. The list of flavors involved include dark malt, toffee, and a hint of anise. The sweetness is primarily present at the front of the mouth, and this then moves to the licorice-tinted sharp flavor at the center of the mouth. Finally, there are signs of both flavors at the back of the mouth, but the predominant aftertaste is a slightly syrupy sweetness. Honestly, this one isn’t blowing me away. It’s a fair amber, and it sheers off some sweetness in favor of a slightly ‘rootier’ tasting amber ale. If this is your shtick, then you may really like this beer. For me, it’s only mediocre.
Okay, folks, it’s time for another sampler pack that I picked up down here in the great state of Georgia. This time, we’re taking a run with the folks at FireStation5 brewery. Matty already took care of the Hefeweizen, so I won’t worry with it. However, I do have three other varieties that I’ll be commenting on. And, in case you were wondering, I’m still not finished with the JW Dundee’s sampler – I’ll be getting to those as soon as I’m able.
The blonde ale is very clear in a medium golden color. The aroma of this is quite biscuity with a hint of citrus. It’s a nice sweetness with just the right amount of citric scent to level it out. In the mouth, this is a fairly typical blonde, but with a bit of extra acidic kick. There is a nice lemon zest sweetness on the front of the tongue, and a great sweetbread flavor that hits around the middle. Towards the back of the mouth, the Golden Brigade hits us with a sharp blast of sourness that rears its head and just as quickly calms down, leaving a fairly sweet citrus flavor in the aftertaste. Overall, this is a pretty solid blonde ale. I won’t say that it’s really blowing me away, but it’s probably as good as any domestic small-bottle blonde that I’ve tasted in recent months. This would be exceedingly tasty on a hot day, as the extra citrus kick would make it extra thirst-quenching. If you see this on the shelf, don’t hesitate to give it a try – while you won’t lose your socks on the deal, you’ll certainly be satisfied.
Ahhhhh, can anyone tell me what is better than the first day of the NFL season and a beer? According to the label this beer is brewed in Utica, NY but when I googled it to find some background info I kept getting results from the Portland Brewing Co. If anyone has any information on who actually makes this beer please do tell. My initial thought, when I saw the packaging in a local grocery store, was that this was some type of pseudo-microbrew attempt from a big domestic company. You’ve seen them, the beers that appear to be made by a small town brewery but upon closer examination it is actually made by Anheusure-Busch or Miller. I wouldn’t hit a dog in the butt with most of those so I was happy to see this was a legitimate beverage.
This is an unfiltered hefe so the color is a cloudy, golden-yellow. It looks really nice in my Franziskaner glass, with no sediment of which to speak. The smell is orangey-sweet although not as pronounced as say a Franzi, Ayinger, or even the Brooklyn Weisse. Even more subtle is the spice that tends to accompany the citrus aroma. The taste is some what of a disappointment. It is clean and crisp but the flavors do not bite like a typical bavarian style wheat. It has a milky characteristic as the liquid thickens in the back of the mouth and the orange-peel flavor seems to be a bit watered down. I did find that if you take a sizable whiff as you drink the beer and hold your breath as you swallow it you can extract more of the spice/carbonation feel. This exercise does make the beer more enjoyable. All in all this is a decent beer, although not mind-blowing. It would be an excellent session beer at a tailgate or, ironically enough, for an afternoon on the couch watching multiple NFL games.