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Red Wagon IPA | Fire Island Beer Company

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Red Wagon IPARed Wagon IPA

Brewed by:
Fire Island Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JoeyBeerBelly on 11-07-2009

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 132
Photo of Avantyawn
2.12/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ugh...I had this on tap and it was really pretty good, perhaps I can review it on tap sometime, but from the bottle it is not very good.

A: The best thing this has going for it is the look from the pour. Thick ample head, murky amber orange, apple cider sort of look

S: This is really an IPA? Maybe this is just a bad batch, but it smells only of caramel sweet malt and sour candy and sharp yeast. There is nothing hoppy smelling here.

T: I am being charitable with a 2 rating. It tastes awful. I think this is going down the drain... It tastes like sour dough bread dipped in beer. Not good at all. Again, on tap it was good! But for this review, the bottle tastes really bad.

M: The mouthfeel is ok. Has a sort of grainy thick chewy mouth to it, and sharp tingly carbonation.

D: Sorry, I can't even finish the bottle, so I have to give this a poor drinkability. It just doesnt taste good.

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Photo of anotherpg
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Begins with a light lace head, which disappears quickly. Amber in color. Smells and tastes more of grapefruit than anything else. Drinks clean without being overstated on hopes. Not a big IPA by any standards but a solid beer that I would guess is better on tap.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2/1/2010. Bottle. Pours a deep orange with a thick white head. Aroma of caramel malt, floral hops, toasted malt. Flavor of sweet caramel malt with some bitterness in the finish. Has some English IPA notes and hop character. Decent to drink, but nothing special.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a murky golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was mostly sweetness from the malts with some subtle citrus and faint hop notes. The taste was also dominated by the malt which made the brew more sweet than anything alse but did had a touch of citrus and underlying hop notes. The brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, and very mild citrusy hoppy finish. It drank decent to me but was not realla good interpretatiom of an IPA.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Drew for this tick.

A: The pour is a hazy dark orange color with a finger's worth of off-white foam.

S: A definite harshness to the nose. There's some solventy/bleach character to it along with acidic grapefruit juice, and some caramel malt.

T: The flavor is pretty bitter, which is nice enough, along with citrus peel in terms of the hops. The malt is there too, and provides what is overall a pretty substantial sweetness.

M: The body and carbonation are both medium.

D: Not a terribly good example of an IPA. At least the flavor was an improvement over the nose.

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Photo of oregonskibum
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is dark orange, fading to a burnt yellow along the edges. Pours with a 1/2 inch off-white head, some lacing along the glass as the head slowly resides.

S: Citrus, floral, maybe a little pine from the hops, but generally mild for a IPA. Caramal and faint hints of brown sugar are also present, in equal proportion to the hop aromas. Not bad, but no remarkable for a 7.0% IPA.

T: Lots of bready malts and caramal flavors come close to overwhelming the citrus hops flavors. A little on the sweet side with a fairly low level of bitterness. Finish is likely the best part of the beer. Reminds me of a light colored amber more than an IPA.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body. Fairly crisp and inline with style.

D: Not bad, but not that good either. I'm not sure what they were trying to achieve, but it lacked the bitterness to balance out the malts. Maybe it would be worth trying fresh on tap, but I doubt I hunt this one down again.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Sweet Afton in Queens. This was tasty beer, but I think the low reviews come from the relatively low bitterness for the style. I'm sure it's still around 50-60 IBU, but for a 7% IPA with considerably more bitter competition, this beer doesn't stand out. Still, there's a lovely and classic mix of citrus and pine hops - very American. It reminds me quite a bit of Harpoon IPA.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Woah, I was shocked to see this beer only has a common rating of a "B". I haven't even tasted it yet but I can smell it, and it's great. Lots of bright citrusy and floral hops amidst a rich caramel malt base. Beyond that I get perhaps a bit of yeast, but that's it. It's quite rich and inviting.

The appearance, however, might be considered lacking. It doesn't say "bottle conditioned" or "unfiltered" on the label, but it's cloudy. That doesn't just happen, it must have been intended; and I personally don't mind a bit of yeast in my beer. For me, however, I do want to see a good head with some solid retention (that shows the quality of brewing to me), and that's not there. Ding. And DING.

I should note at this point that although it's listed as an "American IPA" on Beer Advocate, Fire Island never calls it that. It may be more of a hoppy red ale than an IPA, but that's semantics. They may have chosen the IPA designation for marketing purposes to suggest that it was hoppy and bitter. Or not.

I still don't find anything odd in the aroma, so on to the flavor. It's very much as the aroma suggests, which isn't surprising because 90% of what we "taste" is actually an olfactory perception. So, nice hops, nice malt (perhaps a bit full), and a good balance. There are some leafy, piney, and grassy hop notes that emerge across the middle, and then linger into the bitter finish. It's malty and leafy with a dusty dryness and a residual note of apple-like fruitiness. So what's missing?

The mouthfeel, not unlike the maltiness, is a bit full. I don't think it's beyond style guidelines, however, and it certainly doesn't hurt the beer on a hedonic scale.

So, it's a rich, malty and hoppy ale with a good bit of fruitiness, hop character, and a rock-solid bitterness... what's not to like? That it's not really an "IPA"? OK, I can agree with that, but it's still definitely a drinkable "B+" beer.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. There's no bottling date or freshest by information on the bottle and I think this might have been a stale bottle. I'm going to review it anyway since personally I think this is a brewery issue that could be solved by printing the date on their bottles. If I have it again and it tastes fresher I will edit this review to reflect that bottle.

Look: very orange with a foamy white head. There's not much retention on the head but it leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: smells very sweet. Its all malt all the time in the smell. There's a little spicy hop but not much.

Taste: incredibly sweet for an IPA with pretty much no sign of hops. There's a bit of hop spice in the finish but otherwise this is incredibly sweet for an IPA. This is why I think the beer might be stale. Kind of disappointing. It does hide the 7% ABV easily. I'm surprised to see it so high.

Feel: fairly heavy for an IPA. Also tastes kind of flat.

Drink: I could see this being sessioned in a pinch but its not something I would want to session by choice.

Overall, I think the bottle was bad but based on what I tasted I would have to say to not bother with this one, which is a shame because I like to support NY breweries.

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

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a fairly uninspired and slightly cloudy red/brown (dark fender vintage star burst) with a 1 finger soff white crown that shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Faint floral and earth hop aroma...leaves, grass, etc. Malt is right btw caramel and toffee.

Taste: Same as nose but with a nice herbal hop bitterness over a caramel apple.

Mouthfeel: Crisp medium body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad but the flavor profile is just too disjointed. The strong herbal bitterness over fruity caramel malt just doesn't work with the body. Tastes like a Diet Barleywine.

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Photo of bensamra
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance is very cloudy compared to other IPA's
Smell is malty with hunts of coffee
Taste is unique
Mouthfeel is just wonderful
Drinkablility goes down with any objections

I would recommend this beer, after I first had it I was given a black and tan with this red wagon and a lion stout which I loved. It has a very malty taste and very drinkable.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4.26/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was given this bottle by a traveling rep who promised me it was as close to brewery fresh as one could get. Perhaps this can account for my review which is more favorable than the already positive reviews on BA.

Color is a burn orange with an amber center. Carbonation is moderate, more carbonated than cask but significantly less than most other bottled IPAs. Lace retention started off heavy with a thumb width ring sticking to the top of my pint glass, but oddly, without leaving any lace below the initial ring. Flavor profile is reminiscent of a more sophisticated Cascazilla. Yes, Cascades are here and here in proportion. Malts notes of apricot and thin caramel malt strike a great balance. Entertaining and satisfying, I am impressed with this beer.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy amber color with a medium, quickly dissipating off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a bit of lace.

Smell: Fruity sweetness, with floral hops and a slight touch of grassiness.

Taste: Begins fruity and sweet, finishing with more fruits and a touch of biscuity flavor and a touch of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thick body with light carbonation and a sticky finish that dries out slightly toward the end.

Drinkability: A bit sweeter than I would expect from an IPA, but the sweetness and hops are still balanced rather nicely. This isn't the best IPA, but it still is good and seems to go so well with Fire Island. Wouldn't drink this much, but when I'm in Fire Island (as now), this really matches the character of the place.

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Photo of errantnight
2.54/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber with moderate lacing and reasonable retention.

Aroma is flat, some creaky old hops, a bit of citrus but mainly earth and mint and just a touch of diacetyl around the edge.

Fortunately the butter is virtually undetectable on the palate and there's a pleasing balance and some reasonable caramel malt character. Under the category of IPAs which aim for balance it's appropriately bitter to balance the sweetness, but the hop character is miniscule.

The body feels right, nice crisp lift to the finish that turns this from a chore to a mere disappointment.

Mislabeled in today's day and age (or in need of a reformulation) and brewing process needs a touch of work, but it wouldn't be painful if I had to choose this to avoid going macro.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with moderate carbonation and 2 inches of off white head.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet fruits and malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops and some fruit. Little bit of bitterness to it, as well as earth or dirt.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - An ok IPA, but nothing really jumped out at me. Would try again but wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Half Time, Poughkeepsie.

Pours pale amber with yellow-white rocky head that clings. Caramel and red grapefruit candy nose. Yellow cake and apricot malts with hops of warm spice and some citrus. Dry, salty leave. Light-medium, slight chew, no burn.

Brewer was at the store; he said Willamette, Warrior and Cascade, so I see where the earthiness over c-hops comes from. He also said it was designed to be sessionable, and it hits that. But while the light body helps the drinkability, it is a bit thin for the flavors.

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Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness/bottling date info. Pours clear, copper hued amber, respectable staying power noted on the oat meal head, that holds onto a thick collar. Leaves low thick sheeting and strands of lace. Faint nose of light peppery hops and perhaps a hint of vanilla. On the malty side for an "IPA", with citric, pine hints but not really showing off much of a hop presence or crunch. Decent brew, but nothing special. Better then a macro fer sure, good "IPA" for a newbie. Works as a sessioner in a pinch or in a marinade in place of an amber ale.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JoeyBeerBelly for the extra!

Poured into a Dogfish Head glass (tulip pint?): 3 fingers glistening, lumpy head over a deep amber body, translucent. Thick "foamcore" lacing, sticks to the glass in chunks.

Floral & grassy hops dominate the aroma, with a mild balance of caramel & graham cracker malt.

Taste is more balanced than I expected: lemony hops, earthy, zesty, but more subdued than in the smell. Also a restrained caramel, slightly toffee malt. Aftertaste definitely on the bitter end, but not knock-your-socks-off-bitter. Show tea shows up later.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with active carbonation.

Nothing really standing out with this one, but that in itself is kind of outstanding & I appreciate that about it. A modest IPA that knows the meaning of moderation & is very content to be what it is. One of the few IPAs that I'd consider "sessionable."

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me by Dave, owner of Bellport Beer & Soda. Good pick.

Odd color, sort of a sepia influenced orange. 2 finger off-white head leaves a thin retention that still manages to stick some lace onto the glass.

Rich toasted malt aroma with some English yeast type fruity esters and of all things...marshmallow. There's some floral citrus hop in there somewhere but it's certainly not IPA worthy. Taste is chunky, robust malt with underlying orange marmalade and swamp hop bitter. Again, not IPA worthy.

It's no Red Rocket or Nugget Nectar but if you switch the style to say ESB, it's dead on. I like it regardless of false advertising.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Joeybeerbelly for this one!

A- Body is a translucent, medium amber, orange hue. Pours with a decent 1-2 finger white head that eventually fades to a thin moderate collar. Very small traces of lacing left here and there. Body is nearly transparent.

S- Nose is mild and hoppy components are the highlight. Pine stands out the most but there is also an earthiness to it. Sweet caramel malt provides a good backbone.

T- The initial flavor is mild and offers an earthy hop flavor with a mild accent of citrus and scant caramel malt backbone. A touch of pine and a little bit more citrus comes through for the finish. Left to linger is a mild to moderate strength residual hop bitterness. Entire flavor profile is mild to moderate strength. No intense flavors here.

M-Medium carbonation and light to medium weight body. Little hop oils present in the feel.

D- This is a solid, decent example of a classic American IPA. Nothing exciting about it- but it definitely fits the style's profile.

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Photo of plaid75
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at T.J. Finley's, Bayshore, New York.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a spicy hop and a moderate crystal malt.

The taste consisted of the same front loaded hop spice, with some pine and pepper. The malt arrived soon thereafter and was rather robust for the style. The flavors seemed a bit disjointed however.

The mouthfeel leaned slightly to the heavier side of the style.

Overall a tasty IPA.

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Photo of billab914
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours copper in color wit ha one finger white head. The head retreated to the sides of the glass but left moderate lacing.

Aroma is mildly floral with some citrus and some sweet malt. Taste is moderately hoppy with some citrus and a decent amount of malt sweetness as well. More of a sweet finish then a bitter one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good. Overall a nice easy drinking and good tasting IPA.

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Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately had this beer after another IPA that I enjoyed more. This was a good ipa but not among my favorites. A little flat, not quite as hoppy as I'd like and lacking in the bitterness. However, definitely within style and something i'll get again if it's available somewhere else or if I can find it in a bottle.

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Photo of portia99
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from JoeyBeerBelly as winnings from the Sunday Night Football Squares Wk15. Thanks Joe! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a brilliantly clear medium amber color with a finger of white head. Foam lingers briefly and falls to a nice collar and a few loose islands on the surface. A little bit of foamy lacing is left on the glass.

S - Smells of bitterness and lots of earthy hops with some fruity aspects too. A decent amount of caramel in the background and a mild touch of phenolics that is just barely perceptable.

T - First impression is that this is a nicely balanced beer. Good malt backbone with caramel and a light sugary sweetness. Some bready and grainy aspects too. Hops are largely displayed in a full, round bitterness with a bunch of earthy flavors.

M - Medium bodied - a little bit more full than most IPA's, carbonation is of a medium level, but plenty lively and fits well here. Bitterness sits in the mouth and finds its way to all corners...and stays well past the swallow.

D - Pretty good session IPA. Definitely not a hop bomp of an IPA...good, well balanced. Enough hops to satisfy, but balance is the key word. Everything works well together, but major hopheads might be left wanting a bit more.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got the chance to try this one courtesy of JoeyBeerBelly. Thanks for the extra!

A- Pours a clear amber/copper color with a creamy white foam that leaves great lacing.

S- Some faint malt and floral hop aromas.

T- This has alot more hop bitterness than I would have expected! Sharp floral and citrus hop flavors initially with a well rounded malt center that helps to balance the finish.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D- Nice easy drinking brew.

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Red Wagon IPA from Fire Island Beer Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.
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