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Fireside Chat - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Educational use only; do not reuse.

328 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 328
Hads: 1,124
Avg: 3.41
pDev: 31.96%
Wants: 39
Gots: 182 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elgiacomo on 10-19-2010

Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation.

Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fireside Chat Alström Bros
Reviews: 328 | Hads: 1,124
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is brown, head is tan, head presents about 1/2 inch thick and seems to linger well, no real lacing on the glass.

Smell seems light for a stronger and spice ale, maybe more of strong porter like presence at first, but then some subtle spices such as clove and cinnamon emanate as it warms.

Taste is adds to the spice profile, with some ginger presenting, malt is a bit more chocolatey, not overly roasted.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, a little bit of sweetness at first, then some fuller bitterness and spice on the tongue, then a pronounced drying at the end.

Overall, this brew hides its strength well and is a bit less spiced than many warmers.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have been trying more and more of this 21st Amendment Brewing Co. and I really like them. I picked up a six-pack of cans that was already chilled down real nice. This one has 7.9% ABV and 45 IBUs. It is a great beer
to drink in the fall and winter so let’s go through all of its attributes.

Look-It pours a deep dark mahogany. A bright light will coax out some deep red hues. The lacing is drooping and wet and the head starts out fluffy and off-white.

Smell-It smells of brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, plums, and raisin bread crust.

Taste-It tastes of nutmeg, candied cherries, vanilla, and has almost an egg-nog flavor as well. The alcohol warms as you sip it and is accompanied by a variety of holiday spices.

Mouthfeel-It is creamy and rich, but not too sweet.

Overall-I think this is a great beer to sip on by the fire and to have at night when it is cold outside. I like to pour this into my special 21 oz. deep crystal goblet. Cheers!

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Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A spiced dark English-style Winter Warmer? It's quite a mouthful. Really fruity with a very pleasant gingery taste. Pleasantly spicy without overdoing it. Is there allspice and cardamon?

Fairly sweet with a nice malty foundation. Some bitterness in the aftertaste. This is rated at 45 IBUs. Dark mahogany in the pint glass. Not much carbonation. Long nose of spice and roasted malt. On tap at the brewery restaurant (01/21/2012).

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Photo of rangerman21
4.06/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark amber with a decent off white head
S- Spices, bready, almost like a graham cracker
T- Balanced with nice spice notes, bitterness is very subtle
F- Very nice and crisp
O- Good wintery beer that isn't just overly spiced. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ordybill
4.68/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ can into an "Ass Clown" brewery pint glass.
Aroma- World class smell, you can smell the whole spice rack in this beer. nutmeg, cinnamon, malt and some others make this a special aroma.
Appearance- Pours a reddish-brown and has a small white head.
Taste- I truly love this flavor, I have noticed that I am in the minority rating this, but hey each there own.
Palate- A medium bodied lightly carbonated creamy textured beer.
Overall- A great beer for me, this is the first winter warmer style beer I have had and I think the next one I try will be hard to top this one.


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Photo of baconfromwalmart
2.54/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

L: Dark brown with a fluffy 1/2 inch beige head that stuck around for a bit. Looks like a slightly flat cola. This looks promising!
S: Bready, malty, a really slight hint of molasses.
T: Initial bitterness on the sides of the tongue, finishes with a pretty sharp bitterness in the back of the throat. Tastes like burnt rye. All I'm getting is harsh burnt bitterness with a little alcohol heat at the end.
F: Thin
O: Dang, I had such high hopes for this one! It looked and smelled really good, but the taste and mouth feel were just not there. I wish I could taste even one more flavor. I generally like this style of beer and don't mind kick-in-the-back-of-the-throat bitterness when it is balanced out with something else. This one is a dud. Bummer.

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Photo of Crotalusrob
1.17/5  rDev -65.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let me just start this semi-long winded review on how much I disliked this beer...I disliked it so much that I stopped what I was doing at 4 AM to come and write my first review on beer advocate. I’ve been reading reviews on this site for over a year now and I’m on it quite frequently, I’ve been meaning to start writing reviews for months now and well...Holy god damn shit this was the perfect inspiration. I by no means am an expert, and I fully understand that everyones palate is different, I’m sure there’s someone on this planet who can find something to like about this beer but they are probably a tad slow or dying of some kind of horrible disease that effects their senses...but I digress

A: Dark brown and red with a surprisingly deceiving head, I looked at it and said “wow that looks like a good beer”

S: Dark (dark wasn’t a smell until now) black coffee mixed with a small amount of 10-W30 engine oil, maybe an odd type of weird dried fruit scent in there some where, uhhh and alcohol and water scents as well

T: Dark (also a taste now as well), burnt, thick with coffee and weird dried fruit on occasion oil, lots of a bitter taste and a very strong presence of alcohol, some weird spices , very very harsh and unenjoyable, this should be called “fireside unnecessarily horrible yet intentional suicide”

M: Thick, chalky, harsh, rough...I keep taking a small sip of this after every section of this review and...god this is just really bad.

O: I’m extremely open minded when it comes to all beer, 99.9% of what I try that I’m not a fan of I can at least find something positive to say about it, and I usually end on an “I won’t buy it again but I’d drink it if it was offered to me” type of note. NOT fireside chat, I will never drink this shat again. It’s just not good, I’m not trying to be a jerk it is just a sincerely bad product.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
2.42/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Poured a dark brown mahogany body with slight red or ruby highlights. Head was just shy of 2 fingers and was very frothy, creamy texture against some larger bubbles. Left a few streaks of lacing, and always appeared lively.

S - Smell is very sweet and fruity at first with an immediate wallop of cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some other things from the spice rack in there... very spiced smelling. The sweet fruity aroma is almost raisiny, with a thick bready malt note. Like some sort of overly sweet and rich holiday desert.

T - Taste follows the nose but is engulfed in an astringent finish that swallows it up like a black hole. Nothing can escape the astringency... accept the cinnamon and the sweetnes. So yes.. no real malt, hops, just a drying astringent holiday cookie that was overcooked. On top of that, somehow in the face of massive astringency, the sweetness is just immense... I think cloying is a harsh word and I try not to use it in my reviews without some restraint... but this... this is cloyingly sweet beer.

M - Thick, sweet but still astringent.

O - This was neither refreshing, nor could it possibly perpetuate any fireside chat. Maybe I should smoke a cigarette like the guy on the can to add some flavor. Sorry for the diatribe, I often find myself liking most of the new beers I try. This one would be a drain pour if I wasn't committed to writing this review based on a fully drunken beer to give it the benefit of the doubt that it gets better as it warms. It doesn't.

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Photo of beyah
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : Deep Amber , two fingers head.
Smell: Malt, Caramel, Spices.
Taste: A very interesting winter warmer, spice hits the back of the tong.
Overall: An OK winter warmer, but not my favorite.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Dark brown body with a tan head. Smells almost like a gingerbread nut brown. Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread. With a light bitterness. Light bodied, kinda watery. Overall, this is just okay.

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brownish copper with a half finger of head. Mild bready nose. Malty with a touch of sweetness. The body is hearty enough to pass as a Winter Warmer. Nice dry finish.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can into a teku glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with ruby tones. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade. The retention is pretty decent, but the oily texture means little lacing is left on my glass. Whatever, its still an attractive brew. (4)

Smell: I'm getting mild hints of caramel mostly. There are additional hints of smoke, graham cracker, cinnamon, and molasses as well. The spicing is very subdued here - and I consider that a good thing. Y'know, just from smelling it, I'm not really sure why it's a 79... (3.75)

Taste: At first, I get a little more spiciness (cinnamon, nutmeg, et al) than I did from the nose. Still, by no means do the spice notes dominate. The mid-taste and back end bring not only caramel, nuts, and molasses, but even some smoke as well. Some piny hop notes also help finish this off. Not bad at all, I must say. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: I like how the malt sweetness doesn't weigh down on the palate, instead leaving the palate dryly. There seems to be an astringent prickle post-swallow, but that only makes it more drinkable. Also giving it good drinkability is its high carbonation. (3.5)

Overall: You know what? This works. It's not hilariously over-spiced, nor is it hilariously under-attenuated. I'll even call it well balanced. These are the kinds of beers I like: ones where I don't expect much, but I end up being pleasantly surprised. (3.75)

3.63/5: One of the more solid (and underrated) winter warmers I've had

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Photo of traub30
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Very complex malt flavors including coffee, slight smoke, nut, but not as bold as it looks. Slight burnt nose and after taste, which isn't overpowering. Overall a good Winter beer.

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Photo of HarlequinBuckeye
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine absolutely loves this beer, and looks forward to winter every year just so he can buy it. I do not share his enthusiasm. While there is no doubt that this is a high quality brew that 21st Amendment has crafted with lots of TLC, it just isn't for me.

Beer pours out reddish-brown, and is very creamy. Moving on to smell, which is undoubtedly this beer's strongest point IMO, is absolutely wonderful, and MUST be experienced in a snifter. Hints of nutmeg, caramel, chocolate and cinnamon all delight your nose as you take them in all at once.

As for taste, all the aforementioned smells are detected, along with hints of molasses and ginger, and a faintly floral hop aftertaste.

It is exceptionally creamy, smooth, and goes down very easily. Much gentler than most heavy ales.

All in all, this beer is very "meh" to me. It's just too spicy and hefty for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a nice hearty brew, even many winter warmers, but this is almost like a three course meal in a can. Definitely a one per sitting brew.

I would also say that this brew is named accordingly. It's a great brew to pour for yourself and a friend and sit down next to the fire, catch up with one another and talk about the old times while sipping it slowly. If my buddy ever offers me another I most certainly will not reject it, but I don't think this one will ever make it's way into my fridge.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark crimson, light carbonation
Odor: Malts, Caramel, and maybe a hint of vanilla
Taste: I struggled to figure this one out, it has spices that tend to build up in the back of your throat. Extremely complex each sip brings different notes. Slight bitterness but not overpowering.

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Photo of InkedinRi
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark ruby red! Not much going on the nose.. Taste is good.. Spices and more spices.. Almost reminds me of a pumpkin beer.. Over All a good beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

EBD 1/31/15. Pours a clear dark amber with a beautiful deep dark ruby hue. World class head volume, lacing and retention. Light nose of dark fruit (figs) over light spice (cinnamon, ginger) with notes of burnt molasses. As it warms, light alcohol notes are noted with a bourbon quality. Almost light medium body with a bit of smooth texture. Slightly below normal carbonation with little effervescence in the finish. The flavor profile is somewhat intense, quite complex and very well balanced. It begins with a wisp of fig that flows into a light sweet molasses with a burnt character. In the middle, these yield to the spices that impart a mild spicy bitterness. The finish is a slow fade of bitterness to caramel sweetness. As the sweetness fades, a slightly astringent aftertaste lingers of ginger over light cinnamon. The 6.9% alcohol is totally hidden.

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Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a deep clear brown with light tan head that mostly burns off, with just a little holding on in the center of the glass. The aroma is lightly spiced and dark roasted malt. The taste is similar to the aroma but more robust with some distinct cardamom. It has a lighter body and just a hint of carbonation.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was hesitant to take the plunge, but bad weather here....I needed a winter warmer.

Pours a murky brown colored ale with a decent sized beige foamy head. Major lacing.

A lot of dark fruits and spice in the nose. Plum, fig, prune, cinnamon and nutmeg round this out.

Taste is spicy on the buds with a big malt backbone and more spice on the finish. Cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, light molasses and some coffee-like aspects here. Semi-bitter finish. A lot going on here trying to warm the tum-tum.

Overall this was pretty good. The 7.9% is very deceiving. Sitting around my fireplace I indeed had more than my fair share chatting about the here and now.....and even the past. Vault time.

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pouring a deep chocolate brown, boarding on black, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat gives off an aroma of nutmeg, clove, and allspice. The somewhat coffee-gingerbread like smell is slightly bitter, but malty, with hints of molasses. As noses go, it isn’t that complex. It starts off sweet, but moves toward the the bitter side of the spectrum. Despite this, it’s balanced, and doesn’t overwhelm the palate with bitterness. The mouthfeel is amazingly balanced, and doesn’t actually feel as heavy as it looks. The flavors are of nutmeg, clove, smoke, espresso, and touch of fruitness. The malt is also strong, giving off flavors of burnt caramel, molasses, and burned sugars. The finish channels a lot of the espresso and earthiness, and finishes somewhat like dark chocolate on the palate.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a growler in a snifter, this interesting winter ale pours a brownish red with a thin tan/off white head, and nice lacing. Nose of chocolate, cinnamon, sweet malts of brown sugar, toast, and some allspice. Flavors follow the nose with a brown sugar and cinnamon flavor hitting up front, and a light allspice flavor knocking on the back. Malt gives this spiced ale some good balance, although at times the cinnamon is a bit heavy handed. Nice mouth feel, very smooth yet coating with a light bitter aftertaste from spices. A solid winter ale. Improves greatly as it warms with other flavors coming through nicely...some orange and almost a gingerbread cookie like taste. Very interesting, bold, and different.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.37/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I live close by his Hyde Park estate so had to try.

A: Very clear dark amber, almost brown. 2 fingers of foam based head.

S: Good amount of chocolate and dusting of cinnamon, but metallic at first whiff.

M: Medium body, but light in feel. Not necessarily warming per se, and slight cloying .

T: Cinnamon dusted truffle, but not nearly as decadent. There's a roasted chocolate finish, burnt marshmallow. So, this beer kinda tastes like a s'more, which means, I'd actually like this more in the summer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I got myself into trouble drinking pints of this at a pub, not knowing how strong it is on the alcohol, because it never shows it! A few of these and I was real loose, which is always fun. Dark brown it looks like a porter, but the roast on the grain is only medium, and there is very little bitterness. What bitterness is in here is balanced out by a brown sugary middle and a drying spicy finish that may include anise and clove. A darker take on the winter warmer, it's rich and satisfying in the feel, very full bodied and lightly carbonated. Surprised how drinkable it is, which is how I got wasted on it in the first place. I have liked all the beer I have had from these guys, cool they have wider distribution now. Not my favorite here, but is think it is underrated.

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Photo of Roguer
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Quick notes:

Beer looks good, very dark but somewhat clear. Nice full, chocolatey and fruity aroma.

Flavor is similar, with notes of chocolate, plums, prunes, and dry spices.

It doesn't all come together perfectly, though; the chocolate is just enough to tease; the sweetness is a little too overripe; the dry spices a little too clashing.

Ultimately, it's not a bad beer, but it's not one I'm likely going to reach for again.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L - Clear dark brown modest short lived kaki head, that leaves thin rings of lace.
A - Some malt, some spice, the spice seems obligatory and out of place.
F - Similar to nose; balanced, muddy spices. Modest finish.
M - Medium body, light alcohol, properly carbonated, a bit of a slick texture.
O - This is an ok beer, but who is expecting, "ok" from a Winter Warmer? The muddyness and out of context spice diminishes the drinkability. If you order this beer, you will still enjoy your meal, but it would be nice if 21st Amendment cleans it up.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.