1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

First Frost - Fullsteam Brewery

First FrostFirst Frost

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

54 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%

Brewed by:
Fullsteam Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Verecund on 02-06-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to jason for sending me this as an extra no less, wow man.

very nice, and very dark which surprised me a bit. Full brown color with a nearly opaque consistency, this was a nice looking warmer right out of the gate. Nice two inch head of tan settled down quickly and eventually left behind only token side glass lace, but some nice carbonation could be seen coming up from the bottom.

The aroma was light at first, but as it warmed seem to pick up a bit in intensity. Lots of caramel, cinnamon and dark earthy hops were stealing the show on this one. Quite nice actually just a bit light for me. The flavor was much nicer though. Rich with a healthy dose of cinnamon and spice but not enough to really push it over the top and make it mind-blowing. Interesting as it warmed as some tart fruit started to come forward and the caramel getting sweeter, turning the feel almost over on it self from a nice medium body to almost syrup like by the time I finished it. Smooth and creamy the aftertaste was solid, leaving me linger on a nice note of dark fruit and a subtle vinous like bitterness. Somewhere lost between a drinker and a sipper, it was easily very enjoyable though.

Overall I thought this one was very well done. A good, classic take on the style that definitely did not disappoint

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 03:05:13 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 336 of 800

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a rocky head that streaks lacing

Smell: Floral stone fruit, with a spice cake aspect - persimmon pie, in its essence

Taste: Persimmon pie, right off the bat, with all the fruit and holiday spicing that entails; by mid-palate, some earthy hop bitterness intrudes on the sweet flavors, just in time to keep the sweetness from cloying; the finish is nicely balanced and very fruity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with moderate carbonation

Overall: A fine brew for Fullsteam's first bottled effort; the flavors are balanced and the alcohol is held in check

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:49:03 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429


3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for opening a bottle of this. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderately-hazy orange color with a single-finger white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of light spicing and a bit of fruitiness. The taste adds a bit more fruit and a bit of earth. The persimmons are there, but not over the top. Body is light with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well and was a nice take on the style. Certainly couldn't tell that the ABV was this high.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 19:47:04 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drabmuh


4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by bmannig, thanks Ben. Beer is the first bottled example from Fullsteam. Nice.

Beer is hazy and kind of orange with a nice soft white head moderate carbonation and some lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is estery and spicy with a little bit of nutmeg or allspice and this spectrum of bubblegum esters, sweetness and breadiness. It's smells good but there is a lot going on in the ester department.

Beer is nice, light in body, sweet up front, lots of yeastiness in it with some mild fruit. I don't think the persimmon comes through very much but I can taste the fruitiness of it. It's a decent beer, a good winter warmer for sure. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 19:10:43 | More by drabmuh
Photo of mactrail


4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uniquely fruity and very drinkable amber ale.

Beautiful amber brew with dark caramel and red highlights. Nice foam, and lingering carbonation in the mouth. This is just an intriguing beer with dark notes of dates and maybe licorice with the edge taken off. The body is not heavy but the flavors are rich. If you like persimmons you would be surprised to not really taste them. But if you're adventurous, you'll discover an indefinable new flavor. Thanks to Fullsteam for a great experiment that should be an annual event.

I love interesting flavors for beers, and some like this persimmon seem to be just right. Label notes they "foraged" 75 pounds of wild persimmons, and this is the native American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) not the familiar comercially-grown Japanese varieties. And the frost in the name refers to the time-honored way of ensuring the astringency in the fruits is mellowed.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 03:29:23 | More by mactrail
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall I was a little disappointed in this beer. I have fond memories of harvesting persimmons in childhood, and I love the taste of these underutilized fruit. The Southern variety is something special and packed with flavor, as long as they are harvested very ripe to avoid the astringency. No problem with that here- in fact, no real problem with flavor at all- there is very little of any kind. You get a vague musty fruitiness, some very light tartness, and a bit heavy fry maltiness with a hint of bitter. Very, very little persimmon flavor, just that muskiness that could be from any sort of fruit and some sugars that are a bit too converted. I'd be fine with that if some interesting (but clean) funky flavors had been created, but that didn't really happen. Pours a murky chestnut as well, with a short but reasonable tan head. There is at least a promise of persimmon in the aroma, but that simply isn't delivered in the flavor. I really wanted to like this beer, but it just isn't happening for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 21:40:49 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of dirtylou


3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, 750ml, split

Muddy amber body - really minimal head. Aromas of dry malt, sugars, and earthy dark fruits. A bit of a floral taste, malty, earthy, spice, corriander. Interesting, though not particularly great. A bit of a dry finish - more belgian dark than winter warmer to me.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 22:32:12 | More by dirtylou
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Ryan (can't remember his BA userhandle) for sharing this one at one of our weekly tastings. Bottle 477 of 800! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a two finger cream colored head that subsided to one slwoly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, mango, oranges, citrus, and clove. The flavor was of sweet malt, mango, spices, and clove. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. The mango and fruit flavors in this one really put this over-the-top for this style. This might have actually just become my favorite Winter Warmer I have had to-date. Just shocked me on the aspects going on in this one. Definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on it!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 18:11:03 | More by thagr81us
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber that my friends brought from NC. This is bottle 712 of 800 for the 2011 batch. The beer pours a light hazy, amber-copper coloring with a substantial cream-white, dense bubbled foam head. Smells of sweet malt, fruit (persimmons), and peppery spices. Flavors are a tangy sweet and sour malt flavor, with effervescent crisp and toasted notes. Persimmons semi-sweetness are present to balance the peppery flavors. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and it has a toasted malt flavor on the finish with fruity notes and peppery characteristics, once again, in the aftertaste. Great winter warmer, and could likely support a higher ABV, but tasty nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 23:34:32 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of gford217


4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, #1779.

Pours a deep copper that looks almost black in the glass with a small fizzy beige head that recedes to a small collar and collection of bubbles fed from the middle.

Aroma is fruity with the persimmons definitely coming through, but sweeter than just the fruit, caramelized sugar maybe. There are hints of spices but very faint.

Taste is also dominated by the fruitiness which comes is two waves - first, the slightly tart persimmons, second, the fruity esters.Then some spices, which are more prevalent than in the aroma, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation, fruity and dry in the finish.

This is my first Fullsteam brew and I'm really enjoying it. It's certainly a unique take on a winter warner.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 02:48:53 | More by gford217
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber purchased at the brewery. Bottle says 9.1% ABV.

Pours a dark amber with a thin fizzy, soap-bubble head that quickly fades. The nose is complex; baked apples, raisins, dark fruit, bread, barley malt. The flavor is also complex; sweet, candy sugar, pears, baked apples, barley malt, bread, dark fruit, alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, warm, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

This is delicious! It's complex, flavorful, and intriguing. It doesn't have the typical winter warmer spices. Instead it offers a more unique, fruity, rich, complex, malty, enjoyable beer. I will definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 20:28:22 | More by tdm168
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp dark amber with a thin lasting head that leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a bit of sweet fruits in front of toasted malts. The taste is a nice amount of sweet berries in front of toasted malts with a nice lingering fruit finish. The beer is medium bodied with mild carbonation and a nice subtle dryness. This is a very enjoyable fruit ale, one I will look forward to next year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2011 22:13:53 | More by atsprings
Photo of jsanford


4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #342/800 generously shared by Billy at a recent tasting. Poured into a Cigar City Snifter.

Poured a clear, dark reddish-amber with a thin, bone-colored haze. Wonderful, deep aromas of dried apricots (persimmons?), coriander, prunes, and sweet malt. Stunner of a nose. Taste follows nicely, lots of dried apricot (I assume wild persimmons taste like dried apricots, but I can't say I've tried them), spicy coriander, and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, with a medium-full body and good carbonation. Overall an amazing beer, loving the addition of the foraged persimmons!

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 18:32:30 | More by jsanford
Photo of WanderingFool


4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Frost pours a hazy dark brown with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly down to a sheet on the beer, leaving behind lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is estery, with notes of alcohol, pine and peppermint. Hints of ripe fruit and spices.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft, slightly creamy with an effervescent fizz. The flavor is malty and sweet with spices mixed in. It begins with bready malt notes, which is quickly followed by pine, cinnamon, nutmeg and peppermint(?). Quite interesting. It finishes sweet with hints of brown sugar. Once gone the the pine and nutmeg linger on the palate.

I'm not very familiar with persimmons, but it's definitely an interesting flavor. This is a complex beer loaded with flavor. However, a little age could smooth out some of the alcohol notes.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 19:27:42 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gem clear, SRM 16-17 (dark copper), with lots of random, fine carbonation under a one-inch, creamy ochre head that has amazing longevity. A dense coating of foamy lace lines a Lost Abbey pint glass.

The aroma contains light gingerbread and spruce with very faint spices and plums.

Cinnamon and graham crackers are prominent as First Frost warms. The flavors overall are clean, but lack the punch and complexity generally sought after in this style. A subtle, lingering dry finish brings out dark stone fruits. Style guidelines aside, this was quite enjoyable.

The full body is complimented by a light, creamy texture and faint, prickly carbonation. Alcohol is present, but not hot, possibly due to the noticeable residual sugars.

This is a good sipping beer, but perhaps better with a rich, meaty meal.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 18:26:04 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 key tapped in honor of the first frost in the Triangle!

Pours exactly like GL Chistmas Ale. Minimal head though.

Smells like caramelized sugars. Very sweet with with a latent spicness.

Taste is somewhat dry, with hints of of crystalized caramel sugars. Grain bill leaves he mouth feeling parched. Maybe age has dried out this one. Mouth does feel coated with syrup and the flavors feel prickly.

Light body.

2011 batch

The difference is night and day. The fresh is clear amber with a white head. Smell is full of persimmon spices. Taste is way too hot for my tastes. Boozy.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 17:47:31 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sheets, and sheets of lacing...sheets. Tawny brownish red and translucent. Aroma is of spice, cinnamon, allspice, and an apple pie like aroma, most likely the persimmon. Very fruity/spicy flavor. I pick up cinnamon and allspice again, some nutmeg. A distinctly apple like flavor again, persimmon I assume. Nutty and malty balances out the parade of supporting flavors. Really well balanced flavor that makes for a round warm taste. Smooth and malty with a medium body and slightly drying finish. I really liked this beer. I am hit or miss with winter warmers but this beer was terrific.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 01:53:14 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 789 of 800.

Nice, fig-colored brew with little to no head. Aroma of dark fruit and candy sugar.

You'd fear a persimmon brew might be brutally sweet, but this is excellently balanced and very drinkable.

I may be in the tank for Fullsteam, but even so I'm rather impressed with this beer. Reminds me of a dubbel, with a nice, fruity component.

Would love to have been able to try the sour version...

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 23:43:09 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of mverity


4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with thin light tan head and thin collar. Aroma is a light caramel, some fruity-tangy-berry-like notes. Now I think I know what persimmons smell and taste like. Really digging the fruity taste in this beer. Great medium body and carbonation lend to a great beer experience.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 06:40:18 | More by mverity
Photo of Verecund


3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first bottled beer from Fullsteam. A winter ale brewed with 75lbs of locally-gathered persimmons. Picked up a few of these at the Sam's release on 02.04.2011; opened on 02.05.2011. Bottle #048 of 800.

Pours a darkened prune, with a burlywood-hued half-finger head. It recedes to a contact lens about the rim of the glass, accompanied by a milky blot of foam sporadically resting on the rest of the surface. Subsequent pours yield a full one-finger head with very bubbling activity that settles down nicely.

Smells like spiced cake or mulling spices: allspice, cinnamon, minor star anise, and dried fruit. On the tail end of the nose, I pick up on a wonderful sweetness that avoids classification (think halfway between orange and raspberry). The yeast is quite present. It's soft, but complex.

Brown sugar maltiness, sweetened cocoa, some clove spiciness, allspice, and cinnamon. The fruitiness is sweet, reminding me mostly of apricot (hold the beer in your mouth and introduce oxygen - there, that's where the persimmon shines), but there's a pleasant pecan nuttiness mid-palate, and the finish is spicy and slightly tannic.

Medium-bodied, with just under medium carbonation. At times, it seems too watery. The finish is slightly dry and borderline astringent.

It hides its ABV well, but warms as you get further into the bottle. Overall, I'm a fan of persimmons and this beer delivers both conceptually and executively. If I hadn't been told that persimmons were in this, I'm almost positive I couldn't pinpoint it - but the generic brown maltiness really shows the fruit's complexity: it begins like gingerbread, shows its fruity sweetness, and finishes nutty and spicy. There's room for improvement, but a nice showing from their first bottled beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 01:40:56 | More by Verecund
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #1879/3000.

A - deep ruby, rusty brown color with a light brown, half-inch head that quickly settled to a thin cap; there was no lacing at all left on the glass

S - a floral-fruity aroma that i assume was persimmon since i am not very familiar with it; toffee, rye bread

T - dry, bitter bite with some dark fruit and a bit of vegetable; a bit of a solvent alcohol spike in the middle followed by the bread-y, heavy malts of a winter warmer

M - medium-thick bodied, a bit chewy; medium carbonation with a coating, mildly bitter finish

O - im sure the persimmons would have been stronger when it was fresher. the fusel alcohol was a bit distracting and it seemed a bit loose overall. i would not go out of my way to try this again though i would have liked to try it just-bottled to compare.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 21:15:38 | More by cwguy5
Photo of brewdude1982

North Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz tulip on draft from Bottle Mixx in north Raleigh.

This beer pours a nice brown with red undertones and decent lacing. It smells a little boozy but not too overpowering. It tastes amazing with what I was later told persimmons added to this beer. It had good carbonation and a medium body. I would highly recommend again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2013 21:25:59 | More by brewdude1982
Photo of RedneckBeerz


4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a caged and corked bomber (bottle # 1608 of 2400) into a New Belgium Tulip and the brew is a translucent brownish red with a -1 finger off white head and a slippery lacing on the glass.

The aroma is caramel sweetness, persimmon, and a touch of alcohol in the background.

The thing about persimmons, for those unfamiliar with them; is that if they are picked from the tree (basically unripe) they are a mouth puckering astringent flavor that about takes Ajax ands a toilet brush to get it out of your mouth/off your tongue. On the other hand, those that have fallen to the ground and ripe are amazingly sweet. Nothing better than a simmon puddin made by the hands of someone that knows what they are doing.

At any rate lets take a sip and swish. The caramel and persimmon (ripe ones) flavor comes through with no bitterness or astringancy. Perhaps just a speck of alcohol on the backside, but it's not hot or biting. It almost has a Cheerwine taste ( if you don't know what Cheerwine is, the best description is a kinda cherry type soda produced in Lexington, N.C.). I can definately taste the carmel and persimmons combining and bringing a dark cherry flavor to the game.

2nd pour produced a much frothier head than the 1st and a more layered lacing on the tulip (attributedd to warming somewhat).

Medium mouthfeel with very nice carbination, the bittering agents (hops assumed) keep this from being to overly sweet.

This is definately a great brew and much different than any Winter Warmer I've had thus far. Fullsteam, you've made an amazingly lucious brew, a big KADOOS to you. The only problem now is trying to scramble to find 3 more bottles, 1 to drink in the near future and 2 to cellar out.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 16:30:33 | More by RedneckBeerz
First Frost from Fullsteam Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.