The First Nail (2015)
Fremont Brewing Company

The First Nail (2015)The First Nail (2015)
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Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Stout - American Imperial
4.36 | pDev: 8.26%
Jul 15, 2021
Feb 14, 2015
The First Nail (2015)The First Nail (2015)
Notes: None
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4.34 by kjkinsey from Texas on Jul 15, 2021
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by LiquidAmber from Washington

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. A 2015, properly cellared bottle. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a somewhat fizzy, thin brown head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, cinnamon and licorice, a hint of cocoa. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, cinnamon, light cherry, licorice, milk and dark chocolate. Nice lingering cherry, licorice and cinnamon. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess and good mouth feel. Well, I was planning to drink a Rusty Nail tonight from one or two years ago as my 2018 bottle heads to the cellar. I grabbed this and poured before realizing that despite the nearly identical graphics, this is the base stout, The First Nail. This is one of those mistakes that it is impossible to regret. With three years on it, this was due for drinking anyway, and it has aged very nicely. The cinnamon is the dominant flavor, but not really forward; chocolate, cinnamon, licorice and a light cherry note are all well balanced and integrated. This stout is so complete and flavorful, it's almost odd anyone thought it should be further aged, until I remember that this could have some bourbon on top and I'm looking forward to my Rusty Nail in the future. Fremont really has mastered the barreled stouts and strong ales and this is one of fine creations. Excellent.

Jul 07, 2018
4.59 by rjp217 from Massachusetts on Jul 07, 2018
Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by stevoj from Idaho

Catch up rating from last night. First in a line of many imperial stouts. Color and pour normal, silky smooth body, up front ABV and following burn. Body right on for an oatmeal stout.

Mar 16, 2018
4.43 by dshansen1184 from Washington on Nov 26, 2017
4.5 by Eziel from Ohio on Oct 24, 2017
Photo of Radcpa
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Radcpa from Washington

Very dark appearance with slight tan head. Aroma is a molasses sweet. Taste is a rich lightly sweet molasses without any hint of alcohol or bitterness.

Oct 10, 2017
4.74 by raspy22 from Arizona on Jul 15, 2017
4 by ADTaber from South Carolina on Jun 18, 2017
4.46 by Dicers from Colorado on May 29, 2017
4.62 by Texasfan549 from Texas on May 27, 2017
4.13 by Pearlstreetbrewingco from Florida on Apr 13, 2017
4.44 by Bunuelian from Minnesota on Feb 26, 2017
4.52 by siege06nd from Virginia on Jan 06, 2017
4.35 by billab914 from Virginia on Jan 06, 2017
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy/creamy light brown head. Retention is impressive for a beer this massive and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: The nose is wonderful. Deep and welcoming. I won't even start with what's there because what isn't there is even more amazing. This has absolutely no booziness to it. That said, it has everything I want too. Rich caramel and molasses under a roast laden base. Next is the licorice. The smoke is present enough to know it's there, but only acts in a complementary role. The cinnamon rounds it out to give it a nice spicy kick. Sweet overall with a powerful neutral maltiness.

4.25 T: There is some booze in the taste, but it seems more in line with 7 or 8% and not 11.5%. Rich and spicy, more so than the nose. The smokiness meshes flawlessly with the caramel and molasses. Notes of semi-sweet chocolate, licorice, and roasted barley fill in underneath. Again the cinnamon adds a spiciness that enhances the subtle warming on the finish.

4.25 M: Heavy body. I usually love a rich, velvety body like this, but it's a bit too cloying, causing amylase globs to form in the mouth. Otherwise, good moderate carbonation and plenty of creaminess.

4.5 D: This is one hell of a brewery and they seem to have the big beers down. While I like some of their other beers better, this one is perfect for a cold wintry night.

Dec 01, 2016
4.5 by oline73 from Maryland on Oct 27, 2016
4 by BeerOps from Illinois on Oct 01, 2016
2.08 by deonreds from New York on Aug 19, 2016
4.25 by t2grogan from Arizona on Aug 08, 2016
4.43 by JeanJacketLover from Massachusetts on Aug 01, 2016
4.24 by drone from Oregon on Aug 01, 2016
4.25 by JamLand from District of Columbia on Jul 26, 2016
4.59 by Tunic from Washington on Jul 15, 2016
Photo of TNasty1126
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by TNasty1126 from Washington

(This was enjoyed release day July 9, 2016) On Draft at the brewery

Appearance: Deep dark with no head and no transparency.

Nose: smell is full of dark fruits, licorice, and cinnamon.

Taste: follows the nose heavy with licorice, toffee, some coffee and figs. cinnamon becomes more prevalent at it warms.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation, oil like viscosity and smooth as velvet.

Overall: This beer is deliciously deep and dark. this is surprisingly better than I had anticipated.

Jul 11, 2016
4.68 by Mehinaman from Washington on Jul 10, 2016
4.59 by Erik-P from Canada (BC) on Jul 09, 2016
Photo of rrock44
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by rrock44 from Washington

Like woemad, I picked up this gem at my local Albertonson's - bottled 2/10/15. Thanks whoever aged this for me. Look - dark, brownish black with tan head. Smell - to me the licorice really stands out. Slight cinnamon. Taste - chocolate, molasses, licorice, then the cinnamon really kicks in. Feel - thick, rich, and creamy. Overall - love this beer. I wish I came across this beer last February because it would be interesting to see how this beer drinks fresh vs. some age.

Jun 13, 2016
4.9 by hollywood_15063 from Pennsylvania on May 31, 2016
4.25 by N1Nkasi from Connecticut on May 30, 2016
Photo of woemad
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by woemad from Washington

22oz waxed bottle purchased about a month ago at Albertson’s in Kennewick, WA, for $9.99. According to the stamp on the neck, this was bottled at 9:10 AM on February 10, 2015. Why is this not available in any bottle shop I went into for the last year and a half, then suddenly popping up in a corporate grocery store in south-central Washington?

Poured into a River City snifter, this is the color of syrupy despair, with a dark, mocha colored head that dropped quickly, leaving spotty lace.

The nose was initially of bitter, smoked malts. As it warmed, the cinnamon and licorice could be detected as well, even though I expected it to have mellowed away over the last 1 ½ years. Neither of these latter aspects are in the same league as the smoked malt aroma, which is closer to something along the lines of soy sauce than say, bacon or smoked salmon. There are also traces of a chocolate-like aroma and a bit of coffeeish roastiness.

A combination of sweet, mollassesy and bitter, smoky maltiness hits the tastebuds first. Midway through comes the spicy cinnamon notes, with licorice riding along as more of an aftertaste than anything else. Licorice-phobes will be relieved to hear it’s a pretty mild, mellow flavor, rather than the big, black licorice blast of something like Ouzo or Sambucca (though I personally happen to enjoy those, especially Ouzo). Along the way are minor flavors of chocolate, coffee, raisins, even a bit of pipe tobacco. Mildly bitter at the finish. While there was some discernable alcohol flavor, it's nowhere near what could be expected from a beer clocking in at 11.5 % abv.

Creamy, velvety mouthfeel to this, like a thin milkshake.

I had my doubts about what this would be like at it’s age, but it’s great stuff. I can’t help but wonder if a fresher bottle might have been brash by comparison. I will certainly pounce on one if I should happen to find one, you know, for science. Between this and the two bombers from Trickster I found at the same time, I think I’ll be hitting the beer section at that particular Albertson’s regularly whenever I’m visiting my folks.

May 29, 2016
4.02 by IrishColonial from Texas on May 23, 2016
Photo of Kevinpitts
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Kevinpitts from Illinois

Drank with 14 months of age on bottle. Kind of a funky beer. Lots of sweetness at first. Still present, but faded as beer was drank. Cinnamon flavor is very pronounced as well. Very good ,though a bit funky. Had a weird maple flavor maybe? Different.

Apr 14, 2016
4.25 by rspauldi from Texas on Mar 24, 2016
4.38 by dheldman from Minnesota on Mar 06, 2016
4.35 by Farnswurth from Illinois on Feb 17, 2016
4.53 by OldGriz from Washington on Jan 20, 2016
3.78 by Raziel313 from California on Dec 29, 2015
Photo of Tilley4
4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Tilley4 from Tennessee

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Fremont knocks it out of the park with everything I try from them... They can't make a bad beer... Deep, dark, boozy, loaded with licorice and smokiness, just absolutely delicious... Rich and creamy... This beer is just stupid good... Can't say that I get any Cinnamon but who cares? It's over the top good... Delicious... A sipper...boozy... Loaded with dangerous delicious flavors...

Dec 28, 2015
4.5 by NWer from Washington on Dec 18, 2015
The First Nail (2015) from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 99 ratings