Fire Chief Ale - Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Fire Chief Ale
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BA SCORE
81
good

99 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 14.97%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 04-01-2003

"Our fresh-brewed Fire Chief Ale* is a medium-bodied,
auburn-colored Ale that gets its pleasant sweetness and lightly toasted character from select caramel and crystal malts. Hand-selected hops from the Pacific Northwest lend a crisp and satisfying citrus finish."
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by hdf561:
Photo of hdf561
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

March 22nd 2011 Rock Bottom Brewery Indy

Served in a Fire Chief Ale Pint glass, from draft tap.

Appeared darker than most beers I drink, but not as dark as a Guiness.

Smelled good, not offensive, I think I smell the caramel they say its brewed with.

Taste, great initial taste no aftertaste. Kinda of tasted like Yuengling.

Mouthfeel was very smooth.

This was a darker beer but very very drinkable, I had 2 of them, and could have drank this all nite had it been served at other locations I was going to.

Overall this is a really good beer, and I wish they served it here at home, I will definetly try and get my hand on more, plus it supports my profession, and it was being used as a fundraiser for Indy Firefighters, which made it even better.

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep copper/amber color with a nice half inch of khaki head on the top. Very nice clarity here. Aromas of toasted grains and caramel along with a spicy orange hop twang. A touch of fresh baked bread. Really nice citric aroma. Good stuff.

First sip brings a toasted caramel grain maltiness upfront along with spicy orange pekoe tea flavors coming from the hops. Goes down crisp with a slight biscuity finish and a mild bitterness. A solid amber ale to be had here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with good carbonation. I could easily drink a good deal of this brew. A nice session beer for sure. Really toasty and worth checking out. I hope for more like this from RB Warrenville.

Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Rock Bottom in Minneapolis, MN.

Appearance: Deep amber red. Decent sized tan head with nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Scent of citrus and pine hops followed by toffee, malts, and caramel.

Taste: Piney hops followed by earthy bread. Hints of caramel and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth.

Overall: A good version of an amber ale.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Same beer as Fire Chief Irish Red
( Served in a tall glass mug)

A- This beer has a slightly hazy brown body with an orangeish-copper glow to it. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that support a thin film of cream that last for a few sips.

S- This beer has a soft dry tangy malt nose with a light dry toasted quality to it. The smell is very clean until the beer warms a bit.

T- The taste of soft nougat gives way to a soft dry toasted note that has almost a perfume quality to it and a finish that is best described as zippy hops. They are green and just a bit tangy with the carbonic acid flavor. There is also a light field corn and raw grain quality after the finish after the beer warms a bit.

M-This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz at the finish.

D- This beer has some slightly odd flavor with the tangy notes and the raw grain notes at the end left kind of a dull flavor in my mouth after each sip.

Photo of zjungleist
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red color with an average white head. The smell was nothing special, basically just a bit of malts and a tiny bit of hops. As for flavor it was a slight hoppy twang up front and a bit of lighter malty sweetness. I did detect a slight oxidized or metalic flavor. The mouthfeel was pretty standard, crisp, but not too light. Overall I didn't really see anything special about this beer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Its clear, deep copper body has an orange-ish glow to it, and its creamy tan head holds well before dropping to a thin surface covering that leaves thin splashes of lace. The nose is caramelish and fruity. Its medium body is accentuated by a crisp carbonation that gently "zests" the tongue and wakens the tastebuds. In the flavor, a juicy, berry-like fruitiness is found up-front; followed by a caramel-tinged, toffee-ish malt and lightly spicy and floral hops. It's very well balanced by a firm bitterness, and its fruity and toffee-ish flavors combine brilliantly. I didn't think I was going to like this one as much as I did... but I just had to have a second pint. Very well done, and quite drinkable!

Photo of WoodBrew
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am all about the charity! So when I saw that there is a combo of beer and charity...SCHWING! The growler came from Rock Bottom D'Town Chitown! The amber color was very nice and two finger white head gave to a nice lace. The aroma could have been more, bit was a nice subtle cross between malt and hop! The taste is nice and caramelly. I really like this beer and could Session all day long!

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.7/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served at Rock Bottom Chicago. Here it was presented as an Irish red ale, and I don’t think any of us has many great expectations from this style. Still, there are some nice roasty malt notes, and a noticable hop profile in an attractive red body. A decent enough session ale.

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this today at lunch. I think this was also dry hopped

Poured caramel/ruddy red with loads sparkler foam & bubbles & 2 fingers of tan lovely head. Cleared quickly, fantastic head retention & lacing

S: Citric hops & faint toasted malt

T: Grapefruitty hops & roasted malt up front. Earthy hops & slight grainyness as this warms. Finished with citiric hops & crispness, not as much malt profile as the draft version

MF: Nice & creamy with good carbonation levels

Drank pretty easy, a nice red

Photo of HalfFull
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the La Jolla location last month. Pours a deep golden/orange in color, quite clear. A thin head sticks around for a bit and can be stirred back up to a degree after it dissipates. Not much lacing.

Rather light on the nose with a bit of roasted malts. Some woodsy hops are present later on but only if you work them out with a good spin and catch a quick whiff as they don't linger.

Smooth and light in flavor for an Amber with some short lived malt flavors on the tongue. Rather thin in body and sports excessive carbonation for the style, but is actually befitting of the beer due to its light body. A bit drying on the finish keeps the drinkability in check, though not bad if only due to the light body.

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I went to the Rock Bottom in Cincinnati, though because it's a chain I am going to assume the beers carry over the same. I ordered a flight of six of their standard beers and as I tried each one I found that each was spot on to the style. The remarkable thing is how unremarkable the beers are. Don't get me wrong, they are well worth the try and certainly above average but they are produced for a mass market. So as lazy as it may be I am going to simply say that this beer was a text book example of the style without breaking out and setting itself above.

Photo of bradybeer
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer raises funds for a firefighter's non-profit.
A= Beer is dark copper-orange
S= little to no hop aroma
T=Tastes of toasty malt and caramel, and finishes with a slight hop bitterness.
M= Mouthfeel is medium
D= Drinkability is good, though beer a little too carbonated for my taste.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered this as part of a sampler. It was their seasonal ale at the time.

A - Very little head on this which to me signaled a higher ABV since most of these are loaded with carbonation. Sadly its under 6% but it looks like a red ale very bright red brown clear in color.
S - It has a toasted malt smell, slightly sour with some caramel but mostly grainy.
T - It tasted kind of unbalanced very bitter pine grainy character making the body more boozy than it should have been. Not very sweet just loaded with toasted malt.
M - Daymn was this 8%? When I checked the menu it said it was 5.6% and I thought no way. Hard to drink despite the medium body.

Overall I was not very impressed and kind of saddened since pint profits go to local firemen and I only got a sample. It Ok overall.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Rock Bottom in Bethesda, MD.

Pours a moderate amber color with a bit of a tan head. Some lace rings follow a quickly-receding head. The nose brings some light bready and caramel malts with a bit of roast. Slightly roasted malt character alongside some light caramel and toffee. A bit of citrus in there with some bitterness following along. Drinks fairly well and the lighter malt is complemented by light citrus hopping.

Photo of stockingcpl
4.26/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew pours from the growler with a nice thick foamy eggshell in color. Head retention is excellent. Lacings and spiderwebbing are plentiful. Brew color is a nice reddish amber in color. Clarity is high with no cloudiness.

Smell: Aroma is a carmel sweetness with a very faint spice character. The aroma curve is a littole shallow and tapers quickly. Minor hop presence during sustain. Malt is very faint throughout aroma curve but generally superimposed by other charicteristics.

Taste: Flavor character is a little interesting with flavors merging an fading during curve intervals. Onset has high carbonation with provides a nice transition to hop zing. This tapers off quickle and permits spices to appear with biscuit and butter overtones. These quickly fade and the hop presence reemerges. Sustain is fairly long. This is an amazing flavor mutation where the hops presence is distinct during two separate phaces of the flavor curve. Interesting and VERY well presented. Great job.

Mouthfeel: The initial carbonation hit, while not rare, does provide the palate with a presentation of strong hop quite smoothly. The transition to spice is interesting and very coordinated. The reemergence of hop is a little suprising at first, but the drinker, wantin that esperience again finds that another sip will follow quickly. Palate does not clear perfectly, however this is not unusual in a high hop profiole brew.

Drinkability: The flavor transitions will strike the drinker as fairly unique. The hop dual emergence is very inviting, and the drinker will find that he/she ends up taking multiple small sips to reexperience this effect. Due to this, I rate this brew very highly.

Overall: Great job Rock Bottom! Too bad this is a brewmaster selection and not a regular offering. If the drinker has the opportunity, be sure to sample this brew!!!

Prosit!
Nikki

Photo of Rifugium
2.21/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at Rock Bottom, King of Prussia, PA

I was not impressed at all by this seasonal brew. They said it was an ESB, BA says it's an Irish red. But it basically tasted like a watered down amber. Profits go to charity, but...meh.

Poured an orange-amber with a thin layer of bubbles for a head. Light aroma of toasted caramel malts, nutty. Not much in the flavor department. Nutty, somewhat toasty, bready, a bit of hoppy bitterness, but nothing really distinctive. Light-medium mouthfeel, and after one mug, I had no desire to have another.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rock Bottom Long Beach

A: The pour is not quite amber, more of a dark orange, with an off-white head.

S: Much more hoppy than their standard amber ale. Lots of citrus notes with some notes of pine in there too. Though it is hoppier, there is still plenty of malt character. Good toffee and bread aromas providing the backbone of the beer.

T: Citrus fruit, citrus peel, and pine hops provide a nice flavor and a bitterness that I find enjoyable in an amber ale. Like with the nose, substantial bread, toffee, and caramel to provide sweetness and balance.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Nothing to complain about with this beer. Good flavor, and while it doesn't blow you away, it packs a lot of flavor into a 5.5% ABV beer.

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on a hand pull at the brewpub. Nonic glass, cellar temperatures.

Appearance: Dark reddish copper, somewhat hazy in appearance. Thick and creamy offwhite head which stuck around for awhile. Rings of lace left on the glass.

Smell: Orange marmalade-esque aromas with a titch of grassy hops. Could've used a bit more hops, but not too much.

Taste: Sweet toasty malts with judicious amounts of fruity character. Slight grainy taste on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and somewhat creamy. Relatively refreshing.

Drinkability: Very sessionable and food worthy beer. Nice and pleasant, overall. I might have to go back for a growler of this...

Photo of Biscuit033
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt orange with a thin off white head with great lace.

S: Sweet malts (not too caramelly), some flowery notes, and a hint of citrus.

T: Balanced malts and hops up front, with the hop coming forward at the end with pine and citrus notes and some tropical/red fruit hints as well.

M: A bit thinner than expected but smooth with a clean, dry finish.

D: Very nice ESB with lots of flavors. This is something that I would drink all night and would love to try cask conditioned.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - nice copper color, cream colored head holds at a solid cap and laces quite well.

Aroma - just a bare whisper of grain, not much at all here.

Taste - light flavor, a moderate grain presence. RB's description says 'sweet caramel tones' but I'm not picking that up. It does have some sweetness on the aftertaste, but this comes across very average.

Mouthfeel - decent body, crisp bubbles, no issues here but I'm getting an average impression overall.

Drinkability - it's as drinkable as any 'okay' beer but considering the other RB taps, I'll save my growler for something else.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rock Bottom Brewery
Fire Chief Red

Pours a firey clear reddish color, with an off white head and some lacing. Aroma of caramel malts and some toffee. In the taste, caramel and toasted malt flavor, with a restrained sweetness. Fresh kilned malt flavor. Mild hop flavor of herbs, citrus and distant pine. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a more than decent red ale. With proceeds going to support local fire departments, this is an all around winner.

Enjoyed at Rock Bottom, Homestead PA

Photo of Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I stopped by RB before a work outing and lucky for me, it was the release party for Fire Chief Ale. A portion of the sales goes to the Chicago Fire Department and they had firemen on-hand for the taping.

The beer is a dark red with a tight off-white head. Nice lacing.

The beer has an aroma of some caramel, a slight touch of citrus and something earthy.

The taste is pleasant and just screams out session beer. There is a bit of sweet caramel and slightly grainy malts all moderated by some subtle hoping . I thought the hoping seemed to increase as the beer warmed and some grapefruit tones started to emerge.

The mouth is pleasantly sturdy and workman like. This is an easy drinker and would be a perfect cross-over beer.

Bottom line, good beer for a good cause. I also picked up a commemorative pint glass.

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a light malt scent along with some mild aroma hops. The taste is decent. It is a little weak in the malt department as well as the hops department. This is supposed to be an American pale ale. That usually means some good hop flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied brew with good carbonation. This is like most of their beers, weak and made for the masses. It falls short on style.

Photo of Duhast500
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the tap.

The color is red amber with a white head

The smell is slightly muted with flavors of hops, caramel, and some mild malt.

The taste was somewhat fruity with a bitter hop feel to it. Some spicy feel to the beer.

Overall the beer was easy to drink and was a little crisp. Not too heavy.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this years batch is hoppier than past versions, the brewer stated he used lahtanum (sp?), cascade, and simcoe. a cloudy brownish amber in the glass with a creamy head. citrus and bready caramel in the nose, although a bit subdued as are all the beers here (local water?). taste followed suit with fresh bready caramel malts, lightly roasted nuts, and a citric hop twang. mouthfeel was rich, creamy, and quite full-bodied for this abv. freshness adds to the drinkability. a good session beer.

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Fire Chief Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.