Fire Chief Ale - Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Fire Chief Ale
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
82
good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 99
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 8.26%
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."
View: Beers (471) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 45 | Hads: 99
Photo of Rifugium
2.21/5  rDev -39.1%
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. (553 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.65/5  rDev -27%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.7/5  rDev -25.6%
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. (277 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of zjungleist
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (325 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well-carbonated iced tea amber-brown with generous reddish highlights in the body of the beer and bright orange ones at the edges. The liquid was capped by a disk of ecru colored foam that lasted no more than several minutes. Thin, smeary, tried-to-be-rings ended up on the glass, but followed the surface of the disappearing beer rather than remaining in place from the top edge down.

The aroma was woefully short on... aroma. I could appreciate minimally toasted malt with a little hop fruitiness that wasn't prominent enough to identify with any degree of certainty. I kept smelling the beer for the life of the pint (not as obvious and as obviously geeky as repeatedly holding the glass up the light), but it failed to come out of its shell with warming.

The flavor was a more forthcoming approximation of the nose. First impression: not enough malt. What was present was moderately toasted. I've noted on more than one occasion that some beer from this brewpub tastes apple-like, a flavor that I've attributed to the house yeast strain. Who knows whether there's any truth to that or not, but I tasted appley notes (and some orangey ones as well) in Fire Chief.

In fact, the central flavor could be described as apple chunks rolled in toasted malt powder with a pinch or two of crushed aspirin for bitterness. It tasted better than that description sounds, but that's the general idea. I was fully prepared to guess that English hop varieties comprise the hop bill when I burped something citric. Could be an Anglo-American effort.

The finish was brief, bittersweet and lightly coating. Although it was too light and too fizzy initially, the mouthfeel did make a comeback of sorts by the bottom of the pint. It didn't come back far enough, however, since the last swallow was still too busy in the mouth.

Fire Chief Ale is definitely in the bottom half of all the offerings that I've had at this brewpub over the years. Since it's a beer that has been released at numerous Rock Bottoms around the country, and since most BAs don't seem overly fond of it, I wonder if the recipe was predetermined by corporate headquarters. Better to let the local brewmasters unleash their creativity. At least then there'd be a chance at good beer. (2,253 characters)

Photo of sinistrsam
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at the Arlington location, typcal pint glass, colder than it should have been. It had a medium reddish brown color, with a large faomy head. It had a sweet, mildly fruity aroma with mild hops. The tatoh sweet and roasted. It had a mediocre mouthfeel with a good balance of carbonation, sweetness, dryness and smoothness. It was, however, very drinkable, and rather refreshing. (383 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured hazy deep copper color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted and produced excellent lacing. Complex earthy hop and malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy smooth bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. This is a very good beer. (323 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (945 characters)

Photo of Retsinis
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fellow BA (Thanks BigTuro) recently went to Rockbottom Restaurant & Brewery, and brought this growler back.

Poured from the Growler into a Bruery Tulip glass.

The beer pours a amber orange with a red hue. A solid two inches of foamy white colored head rose, and receded, but mostly retained well with light lacing.

Smells of grapefruit, some herbal hops, and faint toasted caramel malt.

he flavors mirror the nose, but are a but muted for my palate. Herbal or piney hops upfront, with some tropical grapefruit and citrus notes mixed in, followed by roasted earth grains in the middle, and a slightly dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, light to medium feel, with good carbonation.

A good starter beer in a session, but somewhat neutral with some of its flavors. Considering this was draft fresh in a well sealed growler, it was overall slightly above average. (879 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear amber with a finger's width of foamy off-white head, good retention and lacing. Smells of floral hops and toffee, not much else. Taste is of floral hops with a nice caramel malty backbone, earthy finish. Medium in body, good carbonation. Easy to drink but not very complex, nice that proceeds go to help local fire departments though, that alone is worth getting a pint. (385 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of palliko
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a medium brown/copper, with a beige head, mild lacing. Aroma is a very muted hint of malt. Initial taste consists of a gentle caramel (but not as sweet) grain, few hops, dry and mildly carbonated. Few high notes. Designed to be an average crowd pleaser. I know the brewmaster (John) and his standards are higher. He is planning some awesome brews for the coming months after March 2006. Stay tuned. (416 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev -3%
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 (497 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presented from the tap in a 23oz. mug this beer was a dark amber color with one-finger of slightly off-white head. Some slightly sticky lace and some carbonation could be seen sticking to the glass as well.

The smell had a faint but present hop aroma with a grainy, caramel like scent. Some baked bread and toast like malty aromas as well.

The taste had a mild toasted malt backbone to it that was accented with hints of hops. Slightly sweet with hints of caramel and toffee in the finish. Hop character struggles a bit to come through and the beer does not have any one flavor that really pushes through. Its balanced, but bland.

Medium body with a high degree of carbonation.

Like many of RB's beers this one fails to wow. Its good for what it is but it doesn't make me want to order another. Not a bad beer, and certainly drinkable (actually very sessionable), but not one I will rush back to. (908 characters)

Photo of oggg
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is made yearly, I believe, as part of a charity event for the firefighters. It's billed as a hoppy amber ale.

The beer looks much like the Rag Top Red -- a deep ruby red with an average head. After having the dry hopped Rag Top Red, this beer had a much less interesting aroma. On first taste, the beer was spicy. Very spicy. Amid medium bitterness which subsided to let in the mild to moderate malt character. Medium body. All-in-all, the spiciness is a good thing. This amber is clearly different from the Rag Top and is worth trying.

In the restroom the recipe is posted: Centennial, Willamette, and Mt Hood. (627 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of treehugger02010
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in King of Prussia, PA. It was served in a pint glass.
Appearance: A ruby redish or amber body that is pretty transparent, a fluffy off-white head that was ok sized leaving lots of lace and having pretty good retention.
Smell: Pretty much absent, but having at least some earthy hops.
Taste: Lots of earthy hops, caramel malts provide a solid backbone, but it does need to be looked for.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and rigid.
Drinkability: Good.
Don't drink and review. (515 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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. (479 characters)

Photo of chaz01
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the RB in downtown Cincinnati served in a pint glass.

A: Reddish amber color with an average size head.

S: Citrus and grapefruit notes

T: More citrus and grapefruit notes -- pretty hoppy almost IPA like. Bitter hoppy finish.

M: Medium bodies , Astringent mouthfeel.

D: This would be a great session beer, light on the alcohol, well balanced and plenty of hoppiness. (384 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Orland Park Rock Bottom on 4/10/09. This beer is brewed annually for a charity event in the late winter/early spring.

A= This ale poured a murky dark copper/red color with a 1/2" white head. The head dropped to a thin cap almost immediately, and left behind faint spotty lace.

S= Not an overly aromatic beer, but I did find a fair bit of malty sweetness and some spicy Goldings in the hop profile. Pretty two dimensional though.

T= A mild American red ale with just a bit of hop forward character to it. The malt base was caramelly and sweet, with a bit of oat flavor in there too. The hops were spicy, earthy, and definitely of the Goldings variety. Finish was sweet and devoid of any noticeable alcohol.

MF= Medium bodied with an oily/slick mouthfeel and a softer carbonation level.

D= A decent red ale, but a bit too "oaty" for me. Pretty drinkable though. (905 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at the Westminster location. an appropriate beer for st pattys day. the pour is clear brick red, nice and dark with a good inch of off white foam. the nose is surprisingly complex, lots of floral springtime essences and an orange or tangerine citric element that's uncommon in the style. all this behind a sturdy red malt body and a biscuit ale yeast. the flavor is identical to the nose, but with the orange only coming out after its swallowed. I love the layers here, and it feels just right for spring. its an easy mug to get through, with a medium body and cruisy carbonation. its not really as dry as advertised, but who cares. the long finish allows the orange and flower petal thing to really come out. overall I like this a lot, especially for a chain produced red ale. I think rock bottom is pretty impressive for a chain though, the food is fantastic and the beers are always a little creative. also, proceeds to charity for this one, so props for that. (970 characters)

Photo of drewbage
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed in Chicago

Served in a big mug as bright red beer on the verge of orange cherry.

Aroma seems intense with both a caramel malt and an american hop slap with some sandalwood (Simcoe?)

Flavor is well balanced with a malt forefront and a hop zing. As the finish comes on and the malt flavor takes a break the hops come back and dance on the tongue to wipe the caramel and bring us back to a zing for the next sip. (428 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Fire Chief Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.