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Fire Chief Ale - Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Fire Chief Ale
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BA SCORE
81
good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 14.85%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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:
"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."

(Beer added by: oggg on 03-20-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fettpopps
1.5/5  rDev -58%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Howlader
2/5  rDev -44%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
2.2/5  rDev -38.4%
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.

Rifugium, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

DrunkMcDermott, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of Adkins1203
2.75/5  rDev -23%

Adkins1203, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of bckayaalp
2.75/5  rDev -23%

bckayaalp, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of HalfFull
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

HalfFull, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of gshoes3
3/5  rDev -16%

gshoes3, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of brett_arneson
3/5  rDev -16%

brett_arneson, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of ccozzi
3/5  rDev -16%

ccozzi, May 15, 2012
Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -16%

barnzy78, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of zjungleist
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

zjungleist, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of Duhast500
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Duhast500, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -9%

LXIXME, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of BlueMoon10
3.25/5  rDev -9%

BlueMoon10, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of styleisking
3.25/5  rDev -9%

styleisking, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Mebuzzard, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of sinistrsam
3.25/5  rDev -9%
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.

sinistrsam, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of beerpadawan
3.25/5  rDev -9%

beerpadawan, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of BigDog0996
3.25/5  rDev -9%

BigDog0996, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.25/5  rDev -9%

WOLFGANG, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -9%

oriolesfan4, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -9%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
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Fire Chief Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.