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Fire Chief Ale - Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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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 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 MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

MattyG85, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

womencantsail, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of hdf561
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

hdf561, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
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!

WoodBrew, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of JamesS
4.45/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(On tap at Rock Bottom, downtown Indy) Poured a very nice semi-deep red with excellent head and some very nice lacing. Nice deep malty scent, with slight sugar and caramel tones. Wonderful taste, with a great middle-depth malt deepness, with good caramel undertones and a nice crystal malt sweetness; decent hop finish under a nice tangy maltiness. Goes down extremely smoothly; very refreshing and cleansing.

JamesS, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Retsinis, Mar 16, 2011
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of tmoneyba
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

tmoneyba, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of chaz01
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

chaz01, Mar 29, 2010
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 spointon
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

spointon, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Biscuit033
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Biscuit033, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of stockingcpl
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
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

stockingcpl, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I especially like the fact that Rock Bottom donated some procedes of the sales of Fire Chief to local fire departments.

This Ale has a dark amber look and a dark-white head that stays a while. The taste is slightly bitter, just enough to wake your tongue up. It's rather smooth, VERY drinkable. Too bad it's a seasonal.

Edit for 2009 release:
This year's version is noticeably more hoppy and less smooth than I remember from last year. The flavor is still good but the tartness I find somewhat off-putting. Sad :(

DesMoinesMike, Feb 24, 2009
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 bradybeer
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

bradybeer, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

rhoadsrage, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

HopDerek, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of treehugger02010
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

treehugger02010, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

MrMcGibblets, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +12%
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

russpowell, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

Redrover, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Sycodrummer, May 03, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

orbitalr0x, Apr 07, 2006
Fire Chief Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.