Fistmas | Revolution Brewing

very good
80 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing
Illinois, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red ale brewed for the holiday season with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue and the aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Steeped with ginger root and orange peel.

31 IBU

Added by cadaugherty on 12-02-2010

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Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 614
Photo of MattyG85
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber/ruby red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big two finger off white head that slowly settles into a thin creamy patch.

Smell: A toasty and fairly spicy balanced aroma with a scent of caramel, biscuit, and spice. Toasted malt with a scent of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and toast with yeast. Spice hints of ginger. Fruit hints of orange peel and grapefruit. Earthy hops with some grass and pine. Sweet hints of brown sugar. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and spicy balanced taste with notes of caramel, biscuit, and spice. Upfront toasted malt notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and toast along with some yeast. Spicy notes of ginger. Some notes of orange peel and grapefruit. Earthy hop notes of grass and pine. Sweet notes of brown sugar. A very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty good Red Ale. Good caramel malt and hop balance with some nice ginger and orange peel notes.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful clear light brown deep red hue. Leaves a nice one and a half finger off white head that retains nicely.

Smell has aromas has huge fresh hop aromas forward. Really nice potent floral hop aromas forward. There is a light spice aroma that is hard to pinpoint, something herbal, cardamon? Light piney hop aromas over a rich caramel malt.

Taste is great more fresh hops are forward notes mainly of pine and herbal hops. There is a nice floral flavor midway that makes me think maybe some honey. Malt is very lightly sweet and flavors of caramel.

Mouthfeel is good lots of hoppy oil give this a medium body with a fair amount of stickiness. Not much bitterness for all the hops in the nose and flavor. Moderate carbonation, very drinkable.

Overall this was in interesting take on a Christmas ale. Tons of hop which surprised me. With this as hoppy as it is, it should be drank before Christmas.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a brightness and clarity, both complete, in an orange-red body. The off-white head, foamy and fairly stocky. It holds itself up determinedly at perhaps 3/4 finger and distributes steady, hearty lace.
Pine is there behind grapefruit, both juice and zest, with mild pith and a gentle, easy sort of spicing to back it up. It's plenty strong, backed up by bready and toasty malts but almost brilliant in its juiciness. The orange peel smell and taste is just right, enough to give it that zesty something without coming too hard. The same could be said for the spicing, mostly notes of cinnamon and allspice, possibly nutmeg.
This is a smooth ale and softly carbonated. It sits between sweet and dry and finds the middle, both elements making their case while keeping it civil so there's no clashing. There's abalance in the crispness between bite and flow, so to speak, and the entire session it remains soft but strong.
This is definitely one of the better Winter/Christmas beers out there, and one of the best spiced beers available overall.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Now this is good. My first sip of any Christmas beer is always tentative - you never know what the spice load is going to be. This is a warm, soft on the tongue, drinkable Christmas Ale. That 12 oz. went down as easy as anything I've had in the last month.

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Photo of ConradSomm
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Loved the 2013 release. Generally not a big fan of Christmas beers but this one is atypical in that it doesn't have a fruitcake or spice profile. You definitely get the orange and ginger root. Big, juicy, and flavorful.

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Photo of HerrFaust
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours garnet with a generous head. I had in the wide-mouthed Mug Club mug.

S-Festive. Christmas wreath. More going on in the aroma than taste. Spot on for an American Christmas beer. I had first in a flight with, among others, the Great Lakes x-mas--a fave--and the Rev blew it out of the water.

T-The hops (chinook) really dominate. Crazy, the beer really approaches as a winter warmer, but the hops hit as crazy pine in the front, with the citrus and spice coming in at the end, some sweetness.

M-the Chinook and generous carbonation really lift this beer off the palate. Think of a SN Celebration mixed with a fuller Anchor Christmas.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

12 Fl. Oz. Can
Packaged on October 22nd, 2014
Reviewed on December 3rd, 2014
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Light brown body with a copper glow. Average sized foamy head collapsed and left a good amount of sticky lacing.

Floral hops really stood out. Strong backing presence of festive spices (think nutmeg, coriander, clove…. you know, your average wassail blend)

Hops crossbred with spices hit the tongue first. The spices were pleasing… bold flavours but nothing too overwhelming. The brewery states they infused this red ale with ginger and orange peel… exactly what the tastebuds detected. The bulk of the spice lived in the malts. Semi-sweet notes of spice cake contained the vibrant hops, balancing this one out quite well.

Not bad at all. Well executed spiced brew.

85 (B)

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can pour - bought and enjoyed around a mile from the brewery. This is a stellar seasonal ale. Beautiful copper to caramel in tone, pours with a foamy white head. Not overly spiced - the ginger and orange pieces are balanced and joined by an almost minty feel which invokes candy canes and peppermint. Complex and warming. A local favorite

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a tulip

A. A beautiful slightly dark amber color. Quite a bit of haze. 1 finger khaki head.

S. I get some cracker or biscuit hair aroma with caramel and a nice amount of spice. Notes of nutmeg.

T. Backing up the nose big nutmeg and ginger with caramel and a sweet make character. Some piney hop flavor that finishes just a little bitter. Very enjoyable.

M. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation for the style that slowly subsides on there swallow and finishes a little chewy.

O. This beer really surprised me. Easily one of my favorite Christmas beers that really takes notes for the season and puts them on full display. Very well done.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a nice amber with a little bit of tan head. It leaves a nice film on top which last to the bottom.

S: Some citrus hops, but then the caramel malts and ginger come through.

T: Malty and spicy. A nice amount of ginger but definitley not too much. Earthy.

F: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Revolution is in NY!!!

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Photo of BSiegs
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark red amber in color, extremely clear. Ample off white head, good retention and lacing. Aroma is excellent, big pine, citrus, spice, sweet malt. The taste follows, malty, citrusy, piney. The orange peel definitely comes through more powerfully on taste. Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish. An excellent red ale and great take on a winter beer. Some spices come through, but well balanced.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. can poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a clear nutty brown mahogany color. Produced some off-white froth. Decent retention.

(S)- A nice rich nutty but sweet profile to it. Some nutmeg spice with bits of raisin.

(T)- Slightly woody, but with a nice raisin sweetness. I like the nutmeg spice this has. An ever so slight juniper berry fruitiness to it underneath.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Very minimal bitterness yet the spices and fruitiness goes well with its mellow sweetness.

(O)- Been enjoying almost everything Revolution has been putting out and this is one well balanced; not overly sweet beer great for the holidays.

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Photo of illtexzona
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Das Santa Boot

A - Pours a reddish brown that lets through lots of light. Crispy two finger thick off white head. Thin fast moving lacing

S - Comes at you like a fresh cut Christmas tree. Lots of grapefruit and citrus coming through from the hops. Hints of brown sugar and spice.

T - The juniper/citrus hits you from the front and doesn't let go. As it settles you get a little of the spice and malt that starts to melt into the overpowering hops to form a nice marriage. Washes a little sweet.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation. Leaves a little stickiness.

O - This is a pretty big beer for a holiday ale. Not your typical all malt and spice blend. Offers some complexity that was not real predictable, but that becomes less potent and very easy to drink by the end of the bottle. I plan on grabbing another bottle before the season is over.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

With the overwhelming need to beat beer drinkers over the head with abhorrent amounts of spices, it seems that beer makers underestimate our ability or appreciation for subdued taste- opting rather for the effect as if a Yankee Candle store just threw up. However, Revolution Brewing says, "we'll have none of that..."

With a light crimson pour, the beer's reddish tone is bright as only the faintest of haze lifts the abundance of bubbles to the top. There, an arid and fluffy off-white bead builds into a lather. Long lasting in its stubbornness, it laces the glass with well-defined rings at each sip.

Bright and juicy aromas are unmistakably of ripe Ruby Red grapefruit. Its plumb and vibrant scent rests just ahead of toasty malt notes of fresh-baked bread crust. Light nuttiness rises along with spicy scents that are reminiscent of cinnamon and freshly zested orange peels.

The fresh-toasted malt taste greets the early palate with short-lived toffee sweetness before its ginger-snaps dry malt taste carries forward. Juicy with grapefruit and orange pulp, the middle is all hop flavor to appease the taste buds of hop-heads. But the ale trails with a spicy zip- again light cinnamon, ginger and alcohol spices ensure a clean and refreshed palate.

Effortless on the palate, the ale is as dry as you'd want an IPA. But first its light sweetness and lightened carbonation provides a dry creaminess that wisps away in order to prefer a malty-dry finish with spicy warmth that's hard to quite put your finger on.

Fistmas is what well-spiced beers should be. The base "beer" flavor is easily understood and brewed to perfection, while the spices add intrigue and complexity without overwhelming the beer. "Fistmas"- isn't that also a name in the adult films industry?

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: shiny copper, finger khaki head, solid lacing

S: pine + grapefruit nose, winter spices

T: same as nose, solid bread malt, spicy/pine bitter

M: med/light body, mild oily, light crisp

O: Different and highly enjoyably Festive brew.
I will get again to be sure. Wish was a little
bit heavier in body, but as is, excellent
semi-sessionable holiday beer.


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Photo of cadaugherty
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice addition to the RevBrew Lineup served in a big mug.

Appearance- Red/Amber hue with a big frothy head that holds for quite some time. The look of this beer just says holidays to me as it seems to glow in the mug.

Aroma- The ginger and orange peel come out immediately in a very pleasant way (not overwhelming the way many spiced beers can feel). For me the smell is the best part of this beer.

Taste- The spice notes are there along with just a touch of bitterness from the hops (which I am told are chinook). Again the spices are far from overwhelming and begin to fade about halfway through the beer.

Mouthfeel- Perhaps a bit thinner than I would like but the creamy foam helps round it out a bit.

Drink- This is a beer that goes down easy and could easily be sessioned over the course of a long evening at the brewpub.

Overall this was a great beer to be greeted by after walking in from 25 degree weather and strong winds, which in my head is what a Christmas beer should be about.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. can into a pint glass.
The beer pours a medium-brown with ruby highlights in the light and a thin, tan head.
The aroma is really nice, full of orange and spice.
The taste follow the nose, I pick up plenty of citrus, a bit of ginger and holiday spices but nothing overwhelming. A nice blend. A very nice, lightly bitter finish. As it warms, I picked up a few chocolate notes.
The mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Overall, a very nice beer for in front of the fire or sitting by the Christmas tree. Well done.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great seasonal beer for that cold winter trip to the bar or when partying. Great amount of hops flavoring. My favorite Christmas beer wouldn't choose any other. Very drinkable/enjoyable.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pours brilliantly clear ruby amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is moderately hoppy - mainly citrus as well as moderately malt, sweet and caramel. Orange peel also comes through in the nose and melds nicely with the hops. The flavor hoppy, bittersweet, and rather citrusy, quite pleasant. The beer finishes with hop flavor and bitterness balancing out the sweet malt. The carbonation is moderate as is the body. Overall a very flavorful ale, orange peel/ginger component is nice but still subtle allowing the hops and malt to shine, well done.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber orange color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank

Smell: Caramel, biscuity, doughy, bready, gingerbread, and orange peel.

Taste: Total gingerbread cookie flavor. Ginger, caramel, doughy, biscuity, orange, and bready malts. Slight bitterness and chewy notes too.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a little chewy, herbal, festive, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Not too shabby for a holiday beer. I do have to say that there is a balance between malts and the ginger and orange peel. I'd grab another before it's gone till next late fall.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A beautiful looking nut brown beer. Scent is fairly understated, a bit of ginger,cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is similar, with a well balanced touch of hops and a solid malt backbone. I am wary of holiday beers but will definitely go back to this one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the Fistmas...its probably one of the best Xmas ales I have had. The beer pours a rich clear amber with thin creamy head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent carries fresh hops that lean towards a pine with slight citrus. The taste follows the scent and is well balanced. There is a subtle hint of Belgium malt/sugar in this beer. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall I like it...nice job Revolution!

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can in to pint glass, canned on 11/8/2013. Pours lightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, orange rind, caramel, bread, floral, grass, pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of bright hop and moderate malt/spice notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, caramel, bread, floral, grass, pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, caramel, bread, floral, grass, light pine, light ginger, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance and complexity of hop, malt, and spice flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spiced pale ale style. All around good balance and complexity of hop, malt, and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a vibrant amber color with a small head that leaves some lacing and has little retention. The smell consists of grapefruit, bread, and pine. In the taste there's a unique orange flavor that I really enjoyed as it deviates from the typical winter flavors, and there's some bread coming from the malt, and the malt outweighs the hops here. This actually tastes more alcoholic than it is. The mouthfeel is medium and the beer goes down very, very easily without being too thin. Overall, this isn't the best Christmas beer out there but the flavor profile makes it stand apart and certainly worth trying.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: A solid finger of head caps this beer for half a minute then fades into a paper-thin cap that coats the entire surface of the beer. Aside from a small mound of foam in the middle, being fed by the etchings on the bottom of the glass, the cap is a uniform thickness. The color is pretty, a deep, reddish, copper, like an old penny.

SMELL: Pleasantly spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove perfectly with bready aromas and a touch of caramel.

TASTE: Bready notes and the spices from the nose both come through on the palate, but the caramel comes from the back of the pack to the spotlight here. It seems like it’s going to get too sweet, but pulls back just in time.

MOUTHFEEL: The very beginning of the sip feels like it is going to be a little thin, but a wave of big, sweet (but not cloying) malts washes over the palate making this more like medium to big bodied. The Fistmas is also just a tiny, little bit sticky. Carbonation is clearly visible, but less noticeable in terms of feel, just a light tickle.

OVERALL: Someone once used the phrase “it would make a nice glaze for a ham” to insult one of my homebrews (and yes, that was probably all it was good for), and I could say the same about this beer as well. It would make an amazing ham glaze, however, this one is just as good to drink and I bet it’d pair pretty great with that glazed ham.

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Fistmas from Revolution Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 614 ratings.
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