Fistmas - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

58 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 58
Hads: 477
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 15
Gots: 104 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cadaugherty on 12-02-2010

Red ale brewed for the holiday season with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue and the aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Steeped with ginger root and orange peel.

31 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 477
Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Now this is good. My first sip of any Christmas beer is always tentative - you never know what the spice load is going to be. This is a warm, soft on the tongue, drinkable Christmas Ale. That 12 oz. went down as easy as anything I've had in the last month.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light amber brown color with a white head. The aroma smelled of hops, caramel, toffee and citrus (more hops). The taste had a solid sugary caramel malt base but also a big dose of piney, citrusy hops. Solid bitterness and a nice well rounded beer. Reminds me of hopped up american amber ale which I guess is what this is. I didn't get any spices or anything, just a straight ahead hoppy winter seasonal and pretty good. Worth snagging, I got to try it ontap.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a can into my tulip, from my man Kevinpitts. Thanks Kevin.
A – Poured out a caramel brown with a full two fingers of foamy, off white head that stuck around and left a nice lace on the glass.
S – Super fragrant brew. Floral hops, pine, orange, grapefruit. Very nice.
T – Immediately tastes like an IPA light with a nice burst of grapefruit and orange. Transitions to more of the holiday spice palate with some flavoring of Grandma’s fruit cake…except this is good and Grandma’s fruitcake sucked. I would describe the overall taste as odd but good.
M - Light and easy on the palate and leaves a residual sweetness. Lightly carbonated.
O – I dug this brew. Easy drinker and tasty. What more can you ask?

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Photo of Jwale73
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Brew33 for the opportunity to try this. 12oz. can served in a shaker pint. Pours a lovely translucent mahogany hue with a loose, cream-colored head that sizzles and pops and gradually recedes into a fairly consistent slick. Nose expresses ginger, orange peel and something reminiscent of the spices you find in Chinese food - weird. Taste consistent with nose; fortunately the characteristics in the nose are muted by the malt profile. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body, perhaps a little watery, with a light carbonation and a slight acidity. Overall, this is a strange beer - I'd classify it as an asian-inspired winter warmer. Not something I need to revisit.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

12 Fl. Oz. Can
Packaged on October 22nd, 2014
Reviewed on December 3rd, 2014
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Light brown body with a copper glow. Average sized foamy head collapsed and left a good amount of sticky lacing.

Floral hops really stood out. Strong backing presence of festive spices (think nutmeg, coriander, clove…. you know, your average wassail blend)

Hops crossbred with spices hit the tongue first. The spices were pleasing… bold flavours but nothing too overwhelming. The brewery states they infused this red ale with ginger and orange peel… exactly what the tastebuds detected. The bulk of the spice lived in the malts. Semi-sweet notes of spice cake contained the vibrant hops, balancing this one out quite well.

Not bad at all. Well executed spiced brew.

85 (B)

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from the can into a goblet glass. The fourth beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a very dark red color with off-white soapy head that left no lace.

S- Lots of big spruce notes and piney hops, some minty notes.

T- Tons of spruce, pine needles, and minty flavors dominate the flavor profile of this beer. Some cinnamon and potpourri flavors.

M- Lighter bodied, slightly watery, and pretty high carbonation.

O- This is a truly unique beer that does capture the flavor of the season without being as big on the traditional Christmas ale spices. . Not a bad beer, but not anything I would pick up again. It hits you over the head with the spruce, pine, and mint flavors, so you better be a fan of those flavors.

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Photo of ConradSomm
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Loved the 2013 release. Generally not a big fan of Christmas beers but this one is atypical in that it doesn't have a fruitcake or spice profile. You definitely get the orange and ginger root. Big, juicy, and flavorful.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. can poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a clear nutty brown mahogany color. Produced some off-white froth. Decent retention.

(S)- A nice rich nutty but sweet profile to it. Some nutmeg spice with bits of raisin.

(T)- Slightly woody, but with a nice raisin sweetness. I like the nutmeg spice this has. An ever so slight juniper berry fruitiness to it underneath.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Very minimal bitterness yet the spices and fruitiness goes well with its mellow sweetness.

(O)- Been enjoying almost everything Revolution has been putting out and this is one well balanced; not overly sweet beer great for the holidays.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75


A little background is in order here. This was a gift to me from the fine folks at @pinbeer Pinocchio's Pizza & Bottle Shop who know how dedicated I am to The CANQuest (TM), but what a gift! I love Chicago, I have been to Revolution B.C.'s taproom many times, I get that their logo is a raised left fist in homage to the revolution, but that is NOT how my mind works. Local friends hold and annual party for our mutual friend, Mitch, that they call "Mitchmas" and this CAN be the beer for the December 2014 event. Flash back to Portland, ME, 1990. An exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe photos was on display in Boston, having been kicked out of Cincinnati weeks before. I tried, to no avail, to get my drinking buddies at Amigo's B&G to take the bus down to see it with me and so I set out on my own. The really shocking (for some) pics were tiny prints, under glass, and behind a velvet rope with clear signage designating the subject matter as potentially disturbing. Pour moi? Non! B&W photos of (an especially) homoerotic nature do not bother me. I am as straight as an arrow, despite having been described as "the gayest straight guy [he had] ever met” by an old shipmate. The best (?) pics were those involving a very darkly complected person and a pasty white guy engaged in various sexual positions, but especially that of fisting. Upon return to Amigo's that evening, everyone was curious as to what had caused the uproar. I tried to describe what I had seen in couched terms, but there is no way to dance around fisting. The young, fresh-faced server asked me what I was referring to, to raucous applause and laughter, leaving me to have to describe a VERY naughty act. Listen, if you feel compelled to engage in such, do not take it literally. Bodily orifices are NOT designed to receive a fist. Instead, extend the fingers, fold the thumb underneath them, and SLOWLY begin insertion, using LOADS of lubricant. Once engaged, if the recipient is down with it, SLOWLY ball your hand into a fist, but if not, GENTLY remove the hand as originally positioned. Even if the green light is given, remember to unclench the fist before removal. Also, be sure to visit the Joe Louis Statue in Detroit, which is a monument to fisting, in and of itself. Dr. WoodySavageRuthLove has spoken!

Think that was twisted? On the CAN, Santa is wearing a barrel and boots and apparently not much else. He holds a bag of presents over his right shoulder and a mug of beer in his left fist. From the CAN: "Fresh Beer"; "Brewed in Chicago"; "Keep Cold".

The loud Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN and as is tradition at Chez Woody, an inverted Glug was CANducted. The pseudo-cascade formed two-plus fingers of thick, tawny head with excellent retention. When I demonstrated this technique at Garage (PHL), a young woman crinkled her nose and remarked, "Nicely done. Look at all of that head! It's going to take forever to settle!" My response? "Baby, when did you ever meet a guy that doesn't like head?" BTW, most of it fell in the time that it took me to type that, so there. Color was a mahogany-brown (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of dried dark fruits commingled with a pleasant mustiness. Mouthfeel was big, full, thick and creamy. The taste was spicy, but I was having a tough time discerning precisely what was involved. Cinnamon, almost certainly, but with it, maybe nutmeg or allspice. I jut am not sure. What I CAN definitively say, however, is that it was not applied in a heavy-handed/fisted manner. It was just enough spice to dry it out nicely without blowing the bready malts out of the water. It had a sort of gingerbread-like flavor to it, in total. The finish was semi-dry, again, striking a nice balance between the malt and spices. Would I want a whole lot of this? No, but it would certainly have a time and place around the holidays.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can courtesy of Jakeox pours a lightly hazed crimson color with a large cap of fluffy tan head. Nice retention and lace.

Nose is rich caramel and spruce-esque hops. Nutty with a side of fruitcake...quite nice.

Taste is has a nice earthy, nutty and toasted malt presence that is balanced well by piney-citric hops. Not sure what spices are used, but they are pretty subtle - maybe nutmeg. Whatever it is has a husky flavor. Mouthfeel is ok, it feels a little light for a Christmas Ale, but it goes down easy and is refreshing. I liked this one.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Found this can at that Sandwich shop in Ohio I got the "lips of faith" beer. Like that beer they really need to mark down their post seasonal beers since this is now 6 months old.

A - Pours a bright hazy amber brow with a solid full inch plus of head from the can pour.
S - Once was bright juicy hops now is settled to a mix of pine and malty goodness. I can't really pick up on any "herbs or spices" so I hopefully can taste them.
T - I had to look it up but apparently under the juicy hops I am tasting a mix of anise, ginger, and allspice. Agreed at this point its weird but still quite good. Like eating a licorice covered gingerbread cookie it kind of works. Must have been strong spiced since the faded flavors of this are in every sip.
M - Light to medium its quite good.

Overall an interesting winter warmer still being enjoyed by me today during snow flurries and freezing rain months after canning. I would love to try this again fresh one day.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. can into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper/amber in color, with a moderate head of off-white foam
Aroma-Faint hop and toasted malt note
Taste-Toasted malt, oakey, spicy, good dose of fruity hops. A bit muddled and unbalanced but not bad overall. Nice portability and conveniece in the can. A can makes for a nice "adult" stocking stuffer.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz. can, with canned on date 11/26/2013 printed on the bottom of the can. A new holiday beer to me from Revolution Brewing, out of Chicago. I haven't had too much from these guys in the past, and I can't remember ever really being wowed by them, but here we go.

Poured into a Mr. Punch pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber orange colored body with some small sediment floating in the glass. Two fingers of thick fluffy doughy tan head. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is alright, but not particularly appealing. Almost an old IPA like aroma at times. Faded pine needles / grapefruit. Earthiness / woodiness. Caramel. Grassy herbal spice rack notes. Some darker licorice / anise notes. Reminds me of how some of the Anchor holiday ales smelled and tasted at times. Some metallics imparted from the can.

T - Taste is of bitter grassy pine / grapefruit hoppiness. Dry bready caramel malt. Some spritzy cola. Ginger / anise / licorice spice. Some herbal spice rack notes.

M - Feel is crisp, lightly bitter, lightly sticky, but mostly clean. Some sticky green apple skin / bready caramel malt on the finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Easy drinkability.

Overall, it's not very impressive, but it's not bad for what it is. More bitter and herbal than other holiday ales, good carbonation, and easy drinking at 6.10% abv. I might prefer it better from the bottle next time.

Revolution Brewing Fistmas ---3.5/5

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Photo of sully11277
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark orange with a light brown head that sticks around for awhile.

S- Very piney, citrus juice, and some spices.

T- you get a lot of pine and bitter taste right upfront. Then you get the nice sweet citrus juice and then finishes with some spice.

M- Very light with nice carbonation.

O- Fistmas is a great Christmas beer. It is very different from the other Christmas beers out there.

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

12 ounce can in to pint glass, canned on 11/8/2013. Pours lightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, orange rind, caramel, bread, floral, grass, pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of bright hop and moderate malt/spice notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, caramel, bread, floral, grass, pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, caramel, bread, floral, grass, light pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance and complexity of hop, malt, and spice flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spiced pale ale style. All around good balance and complexity of hop, malt, and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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

I like the Fistmas...its probably one of the best Xmas ales I have had. The beer pours a rich clear amber with thin creamy head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent carries fresh hops that lean towards a pine with slight citrus. The taste follows the scent and is well balanced. There is a subtle hint of Belgium malt/sugar in this beer. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall I like it...nice job Revolution!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a snifter.
6.1% ABV

A - Gorgeous warm ruby mahogany in color, Fistmas has a sturdy off-white head resting on the clear beer while wispy lace encircles the glass.

S - Sharp hoppiness provides a quick slap in the face with a sack of pine needles drizzled with tropical fruit juice, overtaking the subtle holiday spice nuance quite quickly but, the aroma is welcoming, balanced by underlying toasted malt.

T - Spruce and pine needles stay at the forefront of Fistmas, providing a woodsy, generally earthy profile that still works well with the beer's undercurrents of juicy tropical fruit and base of nicely toasted malt. Holiday-themed spice assimilates itself into the woodsy character of the beer nicely as well, nudging towards the holiday cheer!

M - Smooth and crisp, Fistmas has a bitter hoppy nip that's complimented by toast and balanced by a touch of sweetness for a spice-and-hop leaning finish.

O - A unique winter warmer, Fistmas' spiced profile peeks through the toasted malt background but seems to get lost in the hop-infused woods of pine and tropical fruit. Revolution's Fistmas is interesting, seasonally appropriate and tasty, but one of this beer is enough for me in one sitting.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a vibrant amber color with a small head that leaves some lacing and has little retention. The smell consists of grapefruit, bread, and pine. In the taste there's a unique orange flavor that I really enjoyed as it deviates from the typical winter flavors, and there's some bread coming from the malt, and the malt outweighs the hops here. This actually tastes more alcoholic than it is. The mouthfeel is medium and the beer goes down very, very easily without being too thin. Overall, this isn't the best Christmas beer out there but the flavor profile makes it stand apart and certainly worth trying.

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Photo of timfc
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bit more carbonated than it should, but it was a nice amber with about a 1" head (white). A little hoppy, but not nearly as much as expected. The little herb notes on the finish added a cool note to what was otherwise a slightly hoppy ESB.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright red with nice tan lacing. Points for festiveness.

Smell: Nutmeg, clove, and orange rind. Very subtle overall, but definitely evident. Mostly a lot of caramel.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially there is sour orange, followed by nutmeg and a hint of clove. Very tasty as it warms. Mouthfeel also has a lot of character, with a great balance of acidity and yeasty carbonation.

Overall: I didn't love this at first, but it really grows on you.

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Photo of superdoopersauce
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A holiday beer which isn't over-spiced. Gentle and malty with a bit of bursty back-of-tongue character and a bit of frontward bite courtesy of semi-liberal hopping. Pours smooth and leaves moderate lacing. Scent is floral and spicy, but not representative of the taste.

Excellent bar drinkabiliy. Awesome label. Tastes good with rock-'n'-roll.

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Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep copper with ruby highlights and a fairly quickly dissipating foamy khaki head.

Resin, pine, and grapefruit leap from the glass. The hops are fairly dank and dominate initially, but notes of cola and sweet malt surface late.

Flavor reflects the subtle spice more prominently, becoming toasted and nutty at the finish. Slightly sweet caramel malt, is overtaken by ginger mid palate, with light bittering hops and hints of grapefruit rounding out the finish.

Body is moderate to a touch syrupy, with moderate to slightly low carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

If the flavor had followed the aroma more closely, I would've been much happier with this one. I'm not big on cola or ginger, and that's mostly what surfaces for me. Definitely an interesting combo. Flavoring hops become more noticeable as it warms.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a brightness and clarity, both complete, in an orange-red body. The off-white head, foamy and fairly stocky. It holds itself up determinedly at perhaps 3/4 finger and distributes steady, hearty lace.
Pine is there behind grapefruit, both juice and zest, with mild pith and a gentle, easy sort of spicing to back it up. It's plenty strong, backed up by bready and toasty malts but almost brilliant in its juiciness. The orange peel smell and taste is just right, enough to give it that zesty something without coming too hard. The same could be said for the spicing, mostly notes of cinnamon and allspice, possibly nutmeg.
This is a smooth ale and softly carbonated. It sits between sweet and dry and finds the middle, both elements making their case while keeping it civil so there's no clashing. There's abalance in the crispness between bite and flow, so to speak, and the entire session it remains soft but strong.
This is definitely one of the better Winter/Christmas beers out there, and one of the best spiced beers available overall.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pours deep brown with a hint of amber, light tan head, retention is fairly weak, good lacing.

S - light caramel malts, light citrusy grapefruit hops, cinnimon, maybe some nutmeg/other spice.

T - sweet caramel malts, almost an altbier type flavor before light hop bitterness and a good wallop of grapefruit/orange citrus (wallop is relative to the style). Light cinnamon/spiced notes, very light.

M - lighter bodied, good carbonation, fairly thin/very drinkable

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

With the overwhelming need to beat beer drinkers over the head with abhorrent amounts of spices, it seems that beer makers underestimate our ability or appreciation for subdued taste- opting rather for the effect as if a Yankee Candle store just threw up. However, Revolution Brewing says, "we'll have none of that..."

With a light crimson pour, the beer's reddish tone is bright as only the faintest of haze lifts the abundance of bubbles to the top. There, an arid and fluffy off-white bead builds into a lather. Long lasting in its stubbornness, it laces the glass with well-defined rings at each sip.

Bright and juicy aromas are unmistakably of ripe Ruby Red grapefruit. Its plumb and vibrant scent rests just ahead of toasty malt notes of fresh-baked bread crust. Light nuttiness rises along with spicy scents that are reminiscent of cinnamon and freshly zested orange peels.

The fresh-toasted malt taste greets the early palate with short-lived toffee sweetness before its ginger-snaps dry malt taste carries forward. Juicy with grapefruit and orange pulp, the middle is all hop flavor to appease the taste buds of hop-heads. But the ale trails with a spicy zip- again light cinnamon, ginger and alcohol spices ensure a clean and refreshed palate.

Effortless on the palate, the ale is as dry as you'd want an IPA. But first its light sweetness and lightened carbonation provides a dry creaminess that wisps away in order to prefer a malty-dry finish with spicy warmth that's hard to quite put your finger on.

Fistmas is what well-spiced beers should be. The base "beer" flavor is easily understood and brewed to perfection, while the spices add intrigue and complexity without overwhelming the beer. "Fistmas"- isn't that also a name in the adult films industry?

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Fistmas from Revolution Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.