North V | Fort George Brewery + Public House

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Very Good
13 Ratings
North VNorth V

Brewed by:
Fort George Brewery + Public House
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This year we took another holiday icon, the fruitcake, and designed our holiday seasonal in its’ honor. A mash of barley, oats, wheat, rye, rich caramel and honey malts are mildly spiced with Cascade and Saaz hops, fermented with Fort George house yeast then allowed to condition on hand-splintered, rum inspired oak. A Glase Fruit concoction that includes cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel is dissolved into the finished beer to add the final touches.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by bstave:
Photo of bstave
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Dogfish Head tulip pint glass a couple times. A very nice gift from a friend.

A- A great looking beer. It poured a nice red amber with good carbonation and a one finger creamy off-white head.

S- Smell is oak, bourbon, and fruit as it warms. A lot like a Belgian really.

T- Taste follows nose. A lot of oak in this one and the bourbon is pretty big. I like it. Not getting a lot of the fruit mentioned on the label, but it doesn't disappoint. This getting better as I drink it.

M- Mouthfeel is creamy and nice. Lower ABV for strong ale (7.5%) lends to a nice warming but not hot like some strong ales from alcohol. Very smooth.

O- Probably my favorite Fort George beer with their stout in a close second. I liked it very much. Seek this one out if you can find it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of seanthornton152
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Hobbit
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Docer
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Every so slightly cloudy dark rich amber brown brew. Off white finger of foam settles to a pillowy blanket and large ring in the glass. Looks like a strong ale to me!

Smell: (3.5)
- Some strong caramel notes, and a bit of a rubbing alcohol punch to the face. Esters, fig, and some citrus notes present.. as well as an herbal grassy hop. Lot's of bready grainy goodness. Just by the smell, I think they were right about the aging.

Taste: (3.5)
- This is pretty darn good! Smell threw me off. And then I also just now read that it is only 7.5% alc. by vol. which is hidden somewhat well in the taste at least. Nice dry hoppy touch.. earthy and grassy. Nice subtle fruity touch, some esters, fig, raisin.. not a really huge amount of citrus though.. but it is there so slightly. Little oakey flare.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Bit dry actually. I think there is some serious hopping with this one. Medium bodied, slightly creamy, and carbonated as it should be. Average carbonation. Little cloying, puckering.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall I like it a lot better than most other winter seasonals out there. But to me it still isn't a super excellent beer. I don't know if any winter beers are as i am normally not the biggest fan of the style. But it certainly shows some determination, and uniqueness in brewing. I am, and always will be a fan of Fort George Brewing. Unless they go soft on me ;)

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of klipper
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of marct
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of ccrida
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, North V is a ruddy auburn with a tan head with a nice, clingy thickness, leaving a few impressively thick chunks of head on the side of the glass. Score one for never using soap on your beer glass!

Smell is an odd but enjoyable mix of fruit and phenols. Belgian fruit cake for sure, just not as overt as one might expect. The sweeter sugars of the 'cake' open up as it warms. Pleasant, if not my ideal taste in beers, even with an admitted sweet tooth in the Belgian styles.

Taste is similar, it's really just a muddled BSDA, with a fairly obvious bourbon backbone.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is ok, it's easy enough to sip on, but there's not a lot to think on here, I think the bourbon overpowers it too much. Which is a weird thing for me to say! It just overly tempers the fruit-cake nuances. I think I've only had maybe two others in this series, but I recall liking them quite a bit more...

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A late evening snowfall makes the yard look perfectly 'wintry', so I decided to try the North V tonight. Purchased out of curiosity over the holidays, I tried a sample midway through last month's Holiday Ale Fest in Portland. It was interesting then, although other beers may have clouded my perception... Anyhow, this is a 22 oz. bottle, poured to a tasting snifter, repeatedly.

Label excerpt: '...we took another Holiday Icon, the Fruitcake, and designed our winter seasonal in its honor.' See description above.
7.5% ABV ~ IBUs Hard to Tell

A: Pretty pour, it's a sultry amber with good clarity and plenty of small streaming bubbles. A dense cream, a light almond color, builds to a half-finger before receding. Lace holds well in simple, undulating ribbons.

S: Surprisingly grassy and piney, even a bit 'minty'. The label says Cascade and Saaz were used sparingly, so the slight spiciness and sappiness shouldn't be a surprise. Strength is decent, complexity lacks.

T: Hmmm, not nearly as fruit-sweetened as I expected, was thinking candied fruit and gumdrops and got a more amply spiced and woody flavor. The more I sip, the greater the 'oak' intensifies. The label mentions cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel in the mix - but, frankly, none are distinguishable. There is a nice honeyed grassiness and a grain mix that's pretty appealing. For making a 'Fruitcake'-inspired beer I actually like... that earns a '4'.

M: A rather 'biting' mouthfeel, crisp and sharp. Body is only about medium and sort of trails off instead of building. Much stickiness on my lips and a gummy texture after. There is an easily-found boozy warmth. Wonder if it would mellow with some age? Might look for another bottle to tuck away in the cellar.

O: Not bad overall (it honors the lowly Fruitcake well, I suppose), fruit flavors and rich malts that surprised my tastebuds. I'd like to have a mellower feel and a bit more intensity aroma-wise... but it's a good beer for me. Props to Fort George's creativity on this one.

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Photo of madtappers
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Beer was exteremly fresh when I got it, only had been in store for less than an hour and from the reports from Fort George's on website I had it in hand before it was even for sale at the brewery.

Pours a nice red hue with a decent white head.

First smell is of a bourbon but not over powering, no hints of hops or fruit.

My first drink I was expecting a overpowering bourbon beer based on the smell. But, to my suprise it was very subtle hint of bourbon with a hint of cherry and pineapple?

Was drinkable for the high alcohol % and the fact it sat on bourbon soaked wood.

Not quite the "fruit cake beer" it is advertised as but a well made american bourbon aged strong ale.

Worth the $9 plus dollars for this one-off beer!

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Photo of ricke49
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of djbreezy
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass served on-tap at Brickhouse in Vancouver, WA.

appearance - dark amber/crimson, big head

smell - caramel/sweet malt, perhaps some dark fruit

taste - some sweetness, caramel malt body, nothing mindblowing

mouthfeel - slightly oily, medium body, slightly dry

overall - nothing really standout about the brew, it was fine to drink, the alcohol is fairly well hidden

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North V from Fort George Brewery + Public House
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 13 ratings