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Fire Chief's Red Ale - Pump House Brewery

Not Rated.
Fire Chief's Red AleFire Chief's Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pump House Brewery visit their website
New Brunswick, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A deep tawny reddish hued Irish-inspired ale with a lingering nut-like maltiness. Very lightly hopped with a pleasant estery fruitiness expiring to wonderfully smooth finish. Slainte!

(Beer added by: PiratePete on 11-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wordemupg
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 18/10/11

A clear amber with some very tiny suspended particles being moved around by just a few slow moving bubbles, thin film of foam leaves a couple patches of lace

S slight chocolate with a little nutty fruit bar

T what I smell but with a leafy herbal aspect that works well for it, some hard toffee as it warms

M just enough carbonation to give it some life and a aftertaste that may be stronger then the liquid in your mouth

O decent brew but nothing to go searching for

tastes good so that should count for a fair bit, I prefer the hoppy stuff from these guys in my experience but this ones nothing to be ashamed of

Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Pumphouse--served into a pint glass

Appearance: moderate carbonation, minimal head, amber in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and a bit of almond

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of cherry

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium-high carbonation, medium-light body

Overall: This is one of the better reds I have had in a while. I am really loving Pumphouse beers and this is one that surprised me. The richness and the complexity set this one apart.

Photo of decimator
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured a slightly hazy copper with a 1cm tan head. Head reduced to ring sticking to the glass. Some lacing is produced.

S - Brown sugar, honey, some nuttiness, a hint of toasts and a hint of herbs.

T - A honey and caramel sweetness upfront, mild nuttiness, light toastiness and a mild bitter hop finish. The balance is as expected on the sweet side.

M - Good carbonation, some creaminess and a dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable. Definitely in the "drink only this all night long" category.

Photo of seand
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a fairly dark red brown amber, with a small amount of bubbly white head. A small layer retains, but doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Light, sweet brown sugar.

T: Lightly sweet, with a relatively hoppy finish. Not bad, not exceptional.

M: Medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable, if a little bland.

Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this as part of our Canada Day beer swap.

A - Pours a hazy red colour with a brown hue, a thumb of head which slowly dissipated leaving no real lacing.

S - Chocolate, toffee and caramel malts. Definitely on the sweet side.

T - The toffee and caramel malts come through nicely off the top. Some bitter hops are noticeable on the finish.

M - A little on the syropy side, not enough carbonation for my liking. That being said, it still goes down quite smooth but does finish a little on the dry side.

D - I've overlooked this on several occasions when at the liquor store, but I am glad that I got an opportunity to try it. Pretty tasty red ale, and a solid offering from Pumphouse. Not mind blowing, but still a memorable ale.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass. Auburn or russet hue, orange to the light, and slightly opaque. Decent retention, a bit of patchy lacing.

The smell is sweet and bready, with caramel and perhaps some dark fruit.

The taste is certainly enjoyable; the sweetness isn't too overpowering, and the finish is slightly bitter. Gradually becomes more nutty as I work my way through it.

Thick, almost creamy mouthfeel, with decent levels of carbonation.

A solid brew, perhaps a bit too sweet for a session, but certainly flavorful. I wasn't blown away by it, but I'll certainly pick up a 6 pack again.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice amber with a thick, satisfying head of foam. Nice lacings all the way down. Clear with visible carbonation.

Subtle caramel notes on the nose.

Soft caramel sweetness up front. Surprising nuttiness through the middle with a bit of a roasted character. Finishes off with some light hopping and a nice crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, perhaps a touch to heavy on the carbonation.

Close your eyes and this could be a brown ale, it's that heavy on the nut flavours. I'd like some more sweetness to this, but it is firmly in the American red category.

Photo of cfrancis
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6-pack at the local LCBO. This is you stereotypical red ale but with a little more mouthfeel than macros. Colour is red amber, aroma of caramel, nut and citrus. Taste is sweet toffee, hop with a medium body. I'd definitely drink this again.

Photo of biegaman
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Fire Chief's ale is coloured like a carnelian gemstone; it is an amber tone that encompasses shades of cedar and ruby. The beer is spotlessly clean and has a gleaming complexion that dissects the light into glinty fragments. Squinting reveals the beer to be rife with bubbles. Its ultra-lush heap of off-white head sits unruffled and thoroughgoing.

The best Red Ales set themselves apart with a distinctly toasty, caramelly sweet maltiness - this is nearly there. There is a good deal of biscuity, toasty, almost roasted maltiness and a toffee-like tinge but it isn't quite appetizing. Easy-going? Sure. Better than average? Definitely. But does it make me want to guzzle the beer down? Almost, but not quite.

The same could be said about the taste. The flavour of toasty, biscuity, caramelly malts does suffice but fails to go that extra yard. It is tasteful but not tasty. Again, it is surely easy-going, definitely better than average but am I guzzling the beer down? Not exactly. That being said, they have hit the style profile right on the mark.

Which leads me to believe that when it comes to Irish Reds maybe we should stress overall drinkability, not flavour. After all, these beers are meant to be simple, easy to please ales. This example is most certainly quaffable; moderate carbonation, sufficient maltiness, balanced sweetness and a dry, almost abrupt, finish make for a good session ale.

The last few swigs are revealing wonderfully nutty and estery essences that I suppose come only with warming. The brewery has those to thank for a last-second increase to the flavour score. Regardless, I'd say that overall Pumphouse has crafted a highly quaffable, reasonably flavourful beer that is a solid representation of the Irish Red style.

Photo of Stonepot
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great dark red color with a creamy head. Drank it out of a big ass heavy glass mug with a thick handle. Made me feel manly and tough. I love that glass so much, it makes me feel indestructible, like Superman. If I drink too much then my arm gets sore. The beer is great too, but the glass was the hilight. I think I will name it, Elmer.

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/amber with a nice creamy white head.

Smells very nutty, sweet caramel malts and some butterscotch, very interesting!

Nutty upfront, some vanilla and caramel, very subtle hop background, mostly dominated by sweet malt, maybe a bit watery though...

Decent creamy mouthfeel, doesn't leave much of an aftertaste, but overall a decent red ale, probably wouldn't buy again.

Photo of mrmanning
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from the LCBO- A deep but transparent amber with a frothy but short lived white cap. The aromas here are all about malts. Caramel and toffee, brown sugar, molasses, quite toasty too, with a smidge of grassy hops. Sweet caramel is the main flavour contender, with toffee, rye bread, spicy roasty malts, and grains. Creamy and sweet finish, with just a touch of hops to balance. Pretty good, though based on the hype on local beer forums, I was expecting a bit more.

Photo of bobsy
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This amber/red ale category is really a catch all that reminds me of the Quebecois fashion of naming beers after colours. While you can come across intense hop bombs, you can also fing malt-dominated brews, and the Pump House definitely leans toward the latter.

An attractive deep copper pour, with strong red tones, Fire Chief's Red Sports a finger of smooth light tan head, which coates the glass in lace and shows good retention. Its an encouraging start and already a vast improvement over their blueberry ale. The aroma contains caramel and milk chocolate with a slight soapiness in the rear. The taste is all malt up front with a slight hop bite in the finish. Caramel and chocolate dominate, with hints of toasted walnut, followed by a delicate citrus. The caramel and chocolate do make for a pleasant beer, and it almost feels like a traditional English brown ale. While no one element stands out, including its medium-light body and moderate carbonation, it is a pleasant drink, and certainly approachable.

The new brewer at Pump House really knows his stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's made some tweaks to this recipe. Whether he has or not, its a solid brew.

Photo of mintjellie
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish-brown with a finger of off white head quickly fading to a thin cap. No lacing left behind.

Smells of dried fruit. Sweet raisins. Toffee is present as well. Hop presence isn't noticeable. Pleasant, but very malt-forward.

Tastes sweet. Dried fruit and toffee. Some nut flavours are here as well. Hops are very subdued, confined to a really mild bitterness toward the end. The beer gains a little roasted character as it warms up.

Body between light and medium, moderate carbonation. I've made my way through this bottle pretty easily.

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, on a pleasant summer patio on bustling 109th street in Edmonton's university area.

This beer pours a clear, medium red brick amber colour, with two fingers of densely puffy, foamy off-white head, which settles at a lolling pace, leaving some decent storm cloud lace around the glass.

It smells of fruity, biscuity caramel malt, mild nutty notes, subtle store-brand honey, a further toasted bread character, and softly herbal, earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a hint of toffee, a hollow orchard fruitiness, some soft nuttiness, and a touch of floral, leafy hops.

The carbonation is averagely sedate, the body a fairly solid medium weight and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, with a tempered dose of biscuity malt and earthy hops lingering.

An above-average Canadian red ale, with a nicely rounded overall flavour. I could very well see enjoying a few of these, given the occasion.

Photo of Sammy
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber colour with a good amount of foam. Very malty aroma. Initially, a creamy slightly overcarbonated taste but the bite is fine, and I did get initially some hops. Then, the rest of the beverage was caramel, with some yeast. This is too sugary sweet.

Photo of TerryW
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New at the LCBO, grabbed a six. Decent looking beer, nicely red. Moderate head settles to a heavy film that surrenders nice lace. Properly handsome.

After that pretty much average across the board. Subdued malt aroma. Equally subdued taste, some malt, slightly woody. Somewhat odd mouthfeel - thin, a little dry and puckery.

Overall an average sort of beer experience. Won't get you all excited, but nothing offputting either - simply a middel of the road brew.

Photo of berley31
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a very small, off-white head and a clear, amber body. Average malt smell (some coffee in there), with light yeast present. Medium body on the palate, with a thin texture and soft carbonation. Slightly bitter finish. Taste is malty with an average duration, and moderately sweet. A better amber ale than I would have expected... somewhere between macro and micro.

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - beautiful malty aroma fills the nose with some nice earthy hops in the background.
A - light thin head that quickly dissipates (could be due to pour or glasswear cleaning?). Clear amber body.
M - medium carbonation. Body is a little light for what I was expecting from the malty aroma.
T - Taste follows the nose nicely. Light chocolate in the background. Nice complexity to the malt. Very slight but smooth bitterness from the hops.
D - I would like a bit more body, but still a great red ale that I would definitely drink a six-pack of.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug resulted in a dark red with a decent amount of sticky head that stuck around for a bit and left lacing down the glass. Taste was somewhat smooth with some caramel and malt flavor. It also tasted.... a little bit flat? No date on the bottle, but it is a bit scruffy and has a "Canadian Brewery of the Year" label (Pump House won back in 2005) so maybe I got a bottle that had been kicking around for a while. Despite that it is still a good taste with some good drinkability.

Photo of jaxon53
2.68/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my boy FishGetter, for picking up this brew while in Canada. Served chilled, in a pint glass, from a 341ML brown bottle.

Appearance: Fire Chief's Red Ale pours out a clear amber copper color. A semi hard pour yielded about a finger of thin, off-white head. Head faded quickly into a thin ring of foam around the glass. Slight spots of off-white lace were left randomly on the glass.

Smell: Tons of biscuity malt dominates the nose. Mild notes of plum and raisin. I really don't notice much of a hop aroma. Has a bit of a spicey yeastiness to it. Not a very strong nose.

Taste: Flavor is a bit of a mess in my opinion. Completely unbalanced. Not much more than a strong malt flavor. A slight hoppiness in the background. Has a bit of a chemical like flavor that is quite a turnoff. A bit of raisin is again noticed.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Drinkability is rough. The heavy unbalanced flavor gets boring very fast. This is definitely a beer I won't be seeking out.

Photo of ofosho
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(From a limited, dated journal): Lively carbonation, nice retentive brown head. Medium brownish-red hue with hints of cherry and coffee in the nose. Rather dry, medium-bodied with a noticeable hoppy aftertaste but strong malt flavor. Caramel notes were lovely after the beer warmed up. Serve 'warm'! I poured this into a dirty glass, but this red ale was perhaps my favorite of the beers I enjoyed in the Maritimes. Awesome stuff.

Photo of nighthawk
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Giving this beer another shot at a review, after many more pints and six-packs have given me a better overall impression than my previous review. 341mL bottle with no freshness date (Pumphouse seems to be putting them on the boxes, not the bottles these days, and this one was purchased as a single) poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep copper-amber, with lots of red hues. Head is off-white, foamy at first, settling to a thin haze. No lacing.

Some tropical and dark fruit in the nose. I can't quite put my finger on it, sometimes it seems to be cantaloupe or peach, other times more like prunes or dates. Some caramel sweetness too.

Taste is also malt-centric, though I find it to tend more toward the caramel and toasty biscuit end of the spectrum, while the fruit fades into the background slightly. Hops only seem to come out near the end, lending the slightest bit of leafy bitterness to the mix.

Medium to light body, low, smooth carbonation and sweet through and through with a clean, fairly refreshing finish.

I do like this beer, and find it tasty and refreshing, enough so that I will gladly drink a few in an evening at home or the pub. Not particularly complex, but it is competent. Try it if it's around.

Photo of DogFood11
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this 6'er at a liquor store in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It states 5.5% abv on the label. It is a light copper color with minimal head and retention although the carbonation is lively.

This one leans towards the amber side of the category. I've always loved this category because reds can be so hoppy and ambers can dominate the heavy side. Hops are subdued and more of an afterthought. Slightly toasted. There is a general malt sweetness to this and then in the aftertaste is a sharp woody bitterness. Like green bark.

Notes: I have nothing but time....nothing but time to investigate the beer scene here. This is an average to below average amber. Nothing stands out and it is a bit rough around the edges.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This red ale pours out a striking burnt copper hue with impressive clarity. The head is a massive spongy cream colour with great retention, and settles down to a thick cap.

The malt on the nose is nutty, toasted, with a good dose of sweet caramel. Dry grassy hops make an appearance as well.

A medium-bodied creamy mouthfeel carries a malt dominated flavour profile similar to the aroma. The malt starts off a sweet caramel, then picks up a more toasted character in the middle, while the finish is nutty, accompanied with the faintest presence of hops, which only seem to gain ground well into the aftertaste, which is dry and grassy, not quite herbal.

Quite a pleasant red ale, most certainly leaning towards the malty side, but there's enough going on that this can't be accused of being one-dimensional in that regard either. The hops really seem to come out once it's warmed up a fair bit, and do tend to linger long into the aftertaste once the glass has been emptied. This would do well as a session ale.

Fire Chief's Red Ale from Pump House Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.