Big Shot - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Big ShotBig Shot

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103 Ratings
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Ratings: 103
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beaver13 on 12-09-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 62
Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Must...resist...pull to quote...Billy Joel song... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear garnet topped by a half-finger of glowing dirty white foam. The nose comprises walnut, rich toffee, and mild greenery. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger green component. There's also a vague sweetness that flows into the finish. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this isn't a bad brown-ish offering, but the flavors are a touch bland, and the overarching experience is not one I'm likely to remember for very long.

Photo of jzlyo
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is caramel and residual sweetness. The flavor is caramel, toffee, medium sweetness, light fruit and a mix of slight tartness and warming in the finish.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Dark amber body with cream colored head that recedes to a film. Rings of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Faint spices, caramel, spicy cedar wood.

Taste: Opens with some spices and sweetness, great balance. The finish leaves some spicy heat on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Overall: I enjoyed this a lot. Very balanced with nice holiday flavors that don't taste like everything else out there.

Photo of KTCamm
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a perfect pint glass. 12/7

Pours medium amber, reddish rust colored. Little layer of white foam, some lacing. Thicker around the ring. Bready toasty nose. Toffee. Rich toasty flavor, thin beneath, soft fade out. Quite toasty. Little bit of hazelnut in there. Very good.

Photo of hosehead83
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear, copper-red in color, with a nice cap of off-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt,caramel, roasty, and a subtle hint of smokiness.
Overall, nice character and flavor, a decent winter warmer.

Photo of Brenden
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This Winter Warmer is lighter than the style tends to be, a hazy and translucent brown-orange. The strong light brown head displays good retention and quite a bit more than a modicum of heavy lacing.
The overall effect of this beer in both the aroma and the flavor, while strong enough, is generally mild. It's herbal and woody with leafy floral and leafy hops particularly into the finish offset by caramel. There's also something I wouldn't call tinny but is certainly close to the term I might use. Malts are fairly weak, not offering enough balance to counteract an ashy, aspirin-like note to the bitterness at points, though they're enough to keep it in check though it's there. There's no real spicing to speak of. Toast and earth are allowed to add some substance to the overall flavor as it goes.
There's a light body, and that tinny sort of note that's present translates somehow to the feel. It's not quite the same thing as one might find in a lighter English style, though similar. It's lightly crisp.

Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rather pretty coppery color with a swirling foam cap. Lots of carbonation in the mouth. Warm and Very slightly malty with a not-unpleasant mustiness. Other than that, it's a rather bitter but not very hoppy amber ale. I don't see how this could be called a Winter Warmer, unless it's the buttery tang.

Thin and a little woody. A faint hint of caramel, but mostly the dank bitter light-weight murkiness. This is not a terrible beer as far as pouring it down the throat, but looking at the list I can say this is the least flavorful Winter Warmer I've ever had. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Photo of beergoot
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber body with a thin yet sticky white head. Rich sweet malt smell; almost smokey in character; slightly charred aroma. Taste mirrors the aroma overall with the addition of a robust bitterness coming through at the finish and lingering afterwards on the taste buds; somewhat nutty. Medium-bodied.

Strong on the malt character and no over-dominating alcohol notes present. A pretty decent winter ale.

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.19/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Nearly clear deep amber color. Two and a half fingers of beige, creamy/frothy head. Retention is average with moderate amounts of irregular lacing.

2.0 S: Light caramel with a strong toastiness. Not really anything in terms of spices.

2.0 T: Same deal but with a touch of spice. Really surprising how bland this is.

3.0 M: Medium body. Perhaps a touch too much carbonation. Not particularly creamy.

2.0 D: Easily the most boring winter warmer I've ever had. I'm a big fan of the style, but this doesn't do it for me.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

kinda weak for a winter seasonal, but not a bad beer. pours a nice looking red/brown color with a nice white head. smells malty and thin, watery a bit, nothing inspiring here. flavor is decent, a little sweetness in the malt and some burnt caramel. mouthfeel is thin thin for a winter seasonal, but its drinkable. fair carbonation and a good aftertaste, but im not moved by this.

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a 3 oz taster glass at Fort Collins Brewing's tasting room. Reviewed from notes. This is a Winter Warmer (right now it's listed as a brown ale).

A: Pours a half finger head of slight cream and fair thickness. Retention is downright bad. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Caramel, light amber hops, and light spices. Toasted malt. A mild strength aroma.

T: The foundation is primarily toasted malt, with a surprisingly bitter finish. Lots of well handled caramel. Not as much spice as I'd want from a winter warmer. Not real balanced on account of the finish. Pretty simply built.

Mf: Pretty coarse but still fortunately wet.

Dr: Decently drinkable but I won't have it again on account of its lackluster quality. It's pretty disappointing for the style.

Photo of chugalug06
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice off-white head, lots of foam. Brew is clear dk. brown. Nice lacing, and the brew is thick.

S - Very nutty. Lots of dark syrup. Basic.

T - Very nutty. Good brew. No heat, higher ABV. Smooth.

M - Awesome bitterness rises out from this one... Decent carbonation too.

O - This is about the only brew i'll buy from FCB... Never dissapoints, always consistent. Nice job.

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a deep red color that nearly looks brown. The head is almost not even there. The smell of the beer has a good amount of Christmas berries and spices. The taste also has the spiciness but doesn't really have the best balance I don't think. The mouthfeel is a little heavy which is good for the winter brews. Overall I've had no real desire to try this one again. I suppose it the mood struck me I'd give it another shot.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark red-brown color with an off white head and not too much lacing. The nose is sweet malts, a bit of spice, light fruits, and some caramel. A bit of light chocolate. The taste is pretty bland with a bit of caramel and some very light fruit. Pretty normal body without much going on. Nothing terribly off with this one, it just ends up being a pretty plain beer.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a rusty, ruby red with copper highlights. Nice light tan and bone white head that hangs around to a nice foam. A littlw too red to be a brown ale in my opinion. The aroma has tased malts and spicey hops. The malts are a little difficult to pick up on in the nose. The taste Is spicey hops up front taht make me think of ginger and musty, wet grass. The malts are a little on the powdered side, but offset the spicey hops a bit. I like a bit of roasted malts, maybe some nutty flavors in my brown ale. But this example is lacking. This beer was nice to try, but not all to sessionable to me. This was a little oppressive to my palate.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Skiing and drinkin' beer. That snowman on the label looks like he's having a great time!

A - This one is a deep garnet that shows cranberry highlights when held to the winter sun reflecting off the snow outside of my house. A one finger beige head shows only average retention and leaves a nice, but small, amount of lace on the glass.

S - Holy malt bomb Batman! I smell oatmeal cookies, brown bread, hazelnuts, bourbon, buckwheat, peanut brittle, warm whole grain muffins, and a small hint of dark chocolate way off in the distance. Smells hearty and good, like winter wheat.

T - I smelled very little hop presence in the nose, but hops make themselves known in the flavor profile of this beer. This is a bitter brew that combines a "autumn leaf" hop note with unsweetened hearty toasted grains and a hint of black coffee.

M - Thinner than it should be. This one actually comes off as a bit anemic. Initially very grainy, the finish is pretty hoppy and bitter.

D - I love the nose, but there is something about combination of the thin-ish body and bitter finish that I don't like. Still, it ain't bad... I just wish it would have kept the momentum of the super-malty and bakery-fresh nose.

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coppery amber with a decent, if not too thick, light beige head. Aroma is not strong but still appealing, mainly malty with hints of spice and miso. Flavor is malty and woody with a spicy undertone, OK if not spectacular. Texture is fairly smooth, fizzy and tingly.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber - $5.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a remarkably clear, garnet-hued body with a frothy, downright sudsy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Simple aroma of toasted nuts with small, meager, not particularly inspiring notes of cocoa, fruit, and earthiness. Well, the snowboarding snowman on the label seems to be having fun. At least somebody is, I suppose.

Taste: Robust nuttiness with a teeny hint of toast and cocoa. Thin drizzle of sweet dark syrup. There's a hint of earthy spiciness from English hops and no more than a low degree of imparted bitterness. Light touch of golden raisin fruitiness. Earthy, dry maltiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. If nothing else, it's at least got a nice, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: For awhile, I was politely excusing these less-than-festive, dubiously titled winter releases in the spirit of giving during the holidays. But now, I'm starting to just become annoyed and disappointed with them. Big Shot is a fine, standard brown ale, but doesn't invoke any thoughts of the season beyond it's label and name.

Photo of GarrisWH
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear, reddish amber with a thin, white head. Even though the head is minimal, it sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Earthy, roasted malt aroma with a hint of nuttiness.

T - Toasty, bready, roasted malt flavors up front with a slight sweetness and a nutty quality. Earthy hops bring a bit of dryness to the finish. Pretty simple flavors, but tasty nonetheless.

M - Medium body with a lighter carbonation that lends a smooth feel.

D - A decent enough brown ale with pretty nice flavors, although lacking a bit in complexity. This could perhaps be better marketed as a sessionable, year round brown ale as opposed to a winter warmer.

Photo of bruachan
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

looks a little light for a brown ale--sorta like an amber. a touch hazy. minimal head

sweet smelling and a little roasty. the aroma is weak and the lame head is, i am sure, partly to blame.

tastes like a sweet brown ale with a touch of kilned astringency and hop character. the malt depth is not particularly impressive, however. tasty but nothing to write home about. hop bitterness mounts with time

it's worth $5 but not significantly more. what makes this a winter warmer or seasonal beer of any kind?

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a deep amber copper color with about a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavor - quite nutty, hazelnuts, caramel, brown sugar, a tad buttery, light spices. Thin bodied with ample carbonation. I probably would pass this one by next time I saw it.

Photo of beer2day
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with a strong orange tint. Very thin head, but it sticks around. Faint lacing and very fine carbonation.

Nose is all about caramel malt and butterscotch. Good, but not great.

Hits sweet with the caramel and butterscotch from the nose, but no diacetyl here. Finishes bitter, almost burnt with a very slight hint of roast.

Last of the winter warmers in my fridge. Probably would have tasted better in Feb than late May, so I went a little easy on the scoring.

Photo of oberon
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although the weather right now here in NC is definently "NOT" winter-like the winter warmers are out in full force.This poured into an impy nonic more of a mix of amber/bronze with a very thin quick to fade slight off white head.Light but pleasant aromas mainly of roasted nuts with a hint of brown sugar,mouthfeel is very light and near watery in my mind.Flavors are on the lighter side,slightly roasty with notes of earth and nut.Eh its not horrible, but its nothing to seek out thats for sure.

Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty much the reddest brown ale I've seen, somewhere between summer sunset and rust. Definitely not a true brown, that's for sure, but I like the color anyway. Big pillowy off-white head lasts a few minutes before settling to a longer-lasting skim.

Aroma offers strong malt presence, not unexpected of course, but it's very nice, and usually my favorite aspect of brown ales. Lots of hazelnut--so much that I was thinking "flavor shots?", but without really knowing I'll give Fort Collins the benefit of the doubt and hope it's "all natural" and not "natural flavors." (Although, geez, look at the name...should I be concerned?) What else does it bring the nose? Well, more nuttiness for one, some pumpernickel bread, caramel and a trace of vanilla.

Flavor is probably what Leinenkugel's was going for--and failed at--with their Fireside Nut Brown. Huge creamy hazelnut flavor again makes me mildly suspicious of the methods they used to achieve it, but whatever, it's undeniably tasty. Flashes of root beer, huge caramel, and a finish that leaves you with unsalted mixed nuts on the palate. Definitely some hops happening here too, evident mostly in the finish but also with warming. They help offset the sweetness and add a layer of depth to the beer.

Nice creamy texture, round, slick, buttery, lightly sticky. Appropriate for what's going on in the flavor.

Picked this up on a whim, largely due to the fun/different label suckering me in like a kid in the candy aisle. Glad I did. The depth of flavor satisfies the part of me that loves super-malty beers (bocks, doppelbocks, etc.). Reminds of Lagunitas' Lumpy Gravy, too, so if you liked that, check this out.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Medium red brown amber with marked clarity, a light tan head that settles quickly, but a very attractive brew.

S-Malts and toasted nuts, very nice.

T-Sweet malts predominate, with a mild hop dry finish. Again, very nice.

M-Well balanced

D-Very drinkable.

Overall this is a decent brown ale. Not sure why this is a seasonal brew...there is really nothing special about it...just a solid everyday beer. That being said, it is well done and enjoyable....but between the Christmas tag on the neck, and the snowman on the label, I expected a little bit of a seasonal twist, which never materialized.

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Big Shot from The Fort Collins Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.