Fistmas | Revolution Brewing

very good
80 Reviews
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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: 612
Photo of tjsdomer2
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright red with nice tan lacing. Points for festiveness.

Smell: Nutmeg, clove, and orange rind. Very subtle overall, but definitely evident. Mostly a lot of caramel.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially there is sour orange, followed by nutmeg and a hint of clove. Very tasty as it warms. Mouthfeel also has a lot of character, with a great balance of acidity and yeasty carbonation.

Overall: I didn't love this at first, but it really grows on you.

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Photo of superdoopersauce
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A holiday beer which isn't over-spiced. Gentle and malty with a bit of bursty back-of-tongue character and a bit of frontward bite courtesy of semi-liberal hopping. Pours smooth and leaves moderate lacing. Scent is floral and spicy, but not representative of the taste.

Excellent bar drinkabiliy. Awesome label. Tastes good with rock-'n'-roll.

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Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep copper with ruby highlights and a fairly quickly dissipating foamy khaki head.

Resin, pine, and grapefruit leap from the glass. The hops are fairly dank and dominate initially, but notes of cola and sweet malt surface late.

Flavor reflects the subtle spice more prominently, becoming toasted and nutty at the finish. Slightly sweet caramel malt, is overtaken by ginger mid palate, with light bittering hops and hints of grapefruit rounding out the finish.

Body is moderate to a touch syrupy, with moderate to slightly low carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

If the flavor had followed the aroma more closely, I would've been much happier with this one. I'm not big on cola or ginger, and that's mostly what surfaces for me. Definitely an interesting combo. Flavoring hops become more noticeable as it warms.

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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 MacQ32
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pours deep brown with a hint of amber, light tan head, retention is fairly weak, good lacing.

S - light caramel malts, light citrusy grapefruit hops, cinnimon, maybe some nutmeg/other spice.

T - sweet caramel malts, almost an altbier type flavor before light hop bitterness and a good wallop of grapefruit/orange citrus (wallop is relative to the style). Light cinnamon/spiced notes, very light.

M - lighter bodied, good carbonation, fairly thin/very drinkable

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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 matjack85
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this at the Revolution Brewpub in Chicago. They ran out of their Oktoberfest beer a week ago and broke out the Christmas ale the first week of November, so I tried this instead. Served in a pint glass for $5.

The beer had a brick red/brownish hue to it and was pretty clear for being so dark. 1-finger off-white head that lasted awhile with good lacing.

Not as spicy as expected for a Christmas ale. Instead I got some bready malt, caramel, plum, and citrus.

My waitress told me that this isn't made with the traditional holiday spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Instead they added ginger root and orange peel to it. It mostly has a bready malt flavor with a touch of caramel sweetness. A pretty good dose of piny hops add bitterness and the orange peel adds a citrus touch along with more bitterness. Plums add a fruity component and he ginger root accounts for the mild spice flavor.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Although it seems well thought out with plenty of complexity, I really didn't care for the overall flavor of this one. Maybe I just miss the traditional spices. In any case, I won't be ordering it or looking for it again.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well, for the first beer of the day, ..., it should be better. This may be a bit too cold. I'll let it warm...OK, that's better.

I don't have a proper glass in this crappy hotel room, so I am drinking from a plastic cup. It still looks pretty good. The nose developed a bit as it warmed, showing mostly a weak spice aroma. The taste filled out closer to room temperature to something nicely balanced and reserved. Nothing over the top and not a big brew. Just a hint of spice.

The aftertaste is very pleasant and satisfying. Like most Revolutions, I will not go out of my way to buy this again, but I wouldn't refuse one if it were offered.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rusty red with a finger of airy off-white almost cinnamon colored foam.

Baking spices, orange peel, caramel, toffee, and some earthy hop aroma.

Hops come out more to play in flavor than aroma, but there is still a strong character of baking spices, namely cinnamon and nutmeg, with a light citrusy flavor and some caramel sweetness.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, spiced, warming.

Overall, not my favorite from RevBrew but decent nonetheless.

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Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a deep auburn with an off-white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing and retention. Very nice nose. The aromas are full of fresh hops. Smells like an IPA. Lots of grapefruit and orange, followed by sweet caramel malts. The flavors are malty, but the hop flavor still comes through. Lots of orange peel. Lots of sweet honey. Subtle pine notes. The holiday spices aren't that noticeable. The sweetness from the malts really cut down on the hop bitterness, but once again the hop flavors come through. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium-bodied. Slightly slick and syrupy with moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a nice brew from Revolution. It has alot of IPA/Red Ale characteristics. The spices seem to take a backseat. Nonetheless, it's fitting for the holidays. Drink this as fresh as possible.

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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 jzeilinger
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark caramel amber color with calm and minimal foam. Dies down to leave a light lacing ring around the glass. Swirling the glass creates a light, but sticky leftover resin that oozes down the sides of the glass.

S - Juniper, roasted caramel, honey, cloves?, nutmeg?. Overall aroma is light.

T - Juniper, toasted caramel, malt forward, light pine bittering.

M - Thin medium body.

O - Meh

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: nice clear copper color, poured with decent head that kept thin veil
S: malty with good hop spicy backbone, medium nose
T: well-balanced with roasted malt up front and spicy subdued hop finish, not much spices noticeable
M: very drinkable, smooth, well-balanced, almost sessionable
O: well-made, highly drinkable beer, nothing unusual but decent overall

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Photo of Redrover
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a couple of bombers of this one. Served in a standard pint, the beer is dark copper bordering on brown. It has a decent beige head and lacing.

Pine, citrus and caramel malts in the nose.

The taste is similar to the smell; it is slightly sweet but with some decent bitterness. A bit of pine, a dash of lemon & grapefruit all balanced by some light brown caramelized sugar. Maybe a bit more of toffee and caramel in the finish as the hops fade a bit at the end.

Mouth is nice and slightly coating.

Not sure what makes it a holiday beer, but it is a darn good beer.

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Photo of jsulko
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a reddish brown color with a decent sized off white head.

Smell is sweet with carmel and spices. Very strong fragance.

Taste is a bit of a let down after the smell. Slight sweetness and spices but not as much going on as the smell would lead you to believe.

A bit of a letdown, the first beer from Revolution that was not a hit for me.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Oct 24,2012
(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense reddish-brown body with a thin bubbly ring of foam and a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- The slightly tart lemon hops has a strange bitterness to it with a soft clean toasted malt note in the finish.

T- The soft tart flavor has some orange zest notes that come through when it opens and some lemony hop in the finish. There is a hint of taste and malt sweetness that grows with a soft pungent hop bitterness that lingers with a ginger spice warmth aswell.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a finish that coast the mouth and not enough fizz or alcohol to cut it.

O- There was an interesting blend of tart hops and toast notes but the aroma was really clean and the flavor was pretty light. I didn’t really get any of the spice flavor that was in the beers description.

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Photo of mecummins
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fistmas poured a semi clear light brown color with hints of orange amber to it. An off white, one finger head rose quickly and gave a reasonable amount of light lacing. I took a sniff and my first thought was of a freshly cut pine tree. I could also detect some cardamom and ginger scents.

The first taste was very similar to the aroma. There was also a bit of malty sweetness and a back note of orange peel under the pine and spices. This balanced out the earthiness of the beer nicely.

It sported a well carbonated light to moderate mouthfeel and a medium finish, but I think anything heavier would have felt very out of place.

It was a decent spiced ale and showed some well thought out work by the brewers. I'd drink it again.

Bottled date was 11/19/12 and I consumed it on 12/16/12

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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 jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep amber with a craggy off white head. Smells reasonably hoppy with an underlying maltiness.

Slightly sweet leftover sugar with a good dose of hoppyness. Burnt caramel, buttered toast and piney hops. I like it. Lingers in the mouth pretty nice. No detectable alcohol.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent nut brown color with a fingers worth of white head that leaves behind just a bit of lace.

The nose brings notes of piney hops, a bit of nutmeg, and sweet caramel malts.

The flavors are well-rounded and balanced as the hops meet with sweet malt. There is that same pine hop note as the nose suggested but when tasted, there is also some citrus fruits offered by the hops. The malt acts as a backbone here and has a nutty and sweet flavor to it. Nice finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty smooth.

Overall, I was impressed with this beer and found it easy drinking. Definitely not over the top but definitely one I would purchase again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Darkness snifter. Appearance is crystal clear red with a thin collar of white head. Sticky lacing present, poor head retention. Nose features deep earthy spices, notes of spruce, earthy hops, pine, candied fruit, and brown sugar. Taste leans heavy towards the bitter hoppy side of things with a decidedly earthy profile. Spice and herbs are present, but not in the spice-rack-dumped-into-the-kettle kind of way that many Christmas brews are. The hops play nicely with the spices. A touch of clove and spruce in the middle which prevent any sweetness from coming through. The finish is dry and quick. Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation with a medium body. I was hesitant to try this as I often times am not a fan of spiced xmas brews, but this was a nice surprise. The spices are present, but tame enough to let the beer qualities shine through.

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Photo of Etan
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First bottling just appeared on the shelves. Let's check it out. 22oz into a tulip.

A: Pours an orange-ish brown with a nice egg-shell head. Good lacing.

S: Assertive tropical hop notes - pineapple, mango - and some minor slightly roasted maltiness in the background.

T: Hops come in first, with some mild citrus and mango notes, followed by spice (ginger?) and some hop bitterness. Pleasing bready grain comes in at the end to round things out.

M: Between light and medium-bodied with fine carbonation.

O: This is ok; everything's pretty well-balanced and it tastes fine. The hop + spice combination is a little weird but it sort of grew on me.

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Photo of KDawg
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap and it was poured into a pint glass. Pours a medium brown/amber color with a quick head

good aromas of fruitcake, malts and citrus peels. Kind of straightforward and slightly muted as well

Medium bodied with a nice feel and very good flavors of spices, fruitcake and malts

A very good christmas beer. If the aromas were more pungent this would be extremely good. It's enjoyable, but doesn't lend itself to being drunk a lot

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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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Fistmas from Revolution Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 612 ratings.
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