First Frost | Fullsteam Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
80 Ratings
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First FrostFirst Frost
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fullsteam Brewery
North Carolina, United States
fullsteam.ag

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana) — literally, “fruit of the gods.” Sweet and savory, with natural notes of cinnamon and apricot, the orange-globed persimmon fruit truly is heavenly. But it’s not until after the first frost that persimmon turns from astringent and bitter to a luscious fruit worthy of the gods.

This bountiful yield produced a complex, fruit- forward winter ale. The beer’s notes of holiday spices come entirely from the native persimmon and the beer’s Belgian ale yeast. At 12% ABV, it's a strong beer -- a fireplace ale for sure -- brewed with the harvest in mind, not a specific style.

Added by Verecund on 02-06-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
80
Reviews:
28
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
20
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 336 of 800

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a rocky head that streaks lacing

Smell: Floral stone fruit, with a spice cake aspect - persimmon pie, in its essence

Taste: Persimmon pie, right off the bat, with all the fruit and holiday spicing that entails; by mid-palate, some earthy hop bitterness intrudes on the sweet flavors, just in time to keep the sweetness from cloying; the finish is nicely balanced and very fruity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with moderate carbonation

Overall: A fine brew for Fullsteam's first bottled effort; the flavors are balanced and the alcohol is held in check

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Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for opening a bottle of this. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderately-hazy orange color with a single-finger white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of light spicing and a bit of fruitiness. The taste adds a bit more fruit and a bit of earth. The persimmons are there, but not over the top. Body is light with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well and was a nice take on the style. Certainly couldn't tell that the ABV was this high.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a large tulip glass a clear amber shade with a lacey slight off white head atop.Spiced yeasty esters in the nose along with a noticeable sour element.Belgian yeast flavors with a tannin-like fruitiness with a light lactic touch in the finish.Not bad a little different than I was expecting but quite good.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy burnt orange/copper in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden honey colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the entire surface of the the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted, pale, and caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness. Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of persimmons and light aromas of holiday spices (nutmeg, allspice, black pepper). Light to moderate aromas of light fruit (apple + pear) and spicy yeast.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted, pale, and caramel malts with a moderate amount of caramel + light fruit (apple + pear) sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of holiday spices (nutmeg black pepper, and allspice). Moderate flavors of spicy saison/Belgian yeast and a moderate to slightly stringer flavor of persimmons which contribute to the lingering sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very enjoyable, very interesting, and quite easy to drink considering the strength. I like the combination of the sweetness (which is present but not cloying), spices, and fruit flavors.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of mactrail
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uniquely fruity and very drinkable amber ale.

Beautiful amber brew with dark caramel and red highlights. Nice foam, and lingering carbonation in the mouth. This is just an intriguing beer with dark notes of dates and maybe licorice with the edge taken off. The body is not heavy but the flavors are rich. If you like persimmons you would be surprised to not really taste them. But if you're adventurous, you'll discover an indefinable new flavor. Thanks to Fullsteam for a great experiment that should be an annual event.

I love interesting flavors for beers, and some like this persimmon seem to be just right. Label notes they "foraged" 75 pounds of wild persimmons, and this is the native American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) not the familiar comercially-grown Japanese varieties. And the frost in the name refers to the time-honored way of ensuring the astringency in the fruits is mellowed.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to jason for sending me this as an extra no less, wow man.

very nice, and very dark which surprised me a bit. Full brown color with a nearly opaque consistency, this was a nice looking warmer right out of the gate. Nice two inch head of tan settled down quickly and eventually left behind only token side glass lace, but some nice carbonation could be seen coming up from the bottom.

The aroma was light at first, but as it warmed seem to pick up a bit in intensity. Lots of caramel, cinnamon and dark earthy hops were stealing the show on this one. Quite nice actually just a bit light for me. The flavor was much nicer though. Rich with a healthy dose of cinnamon and spice but not enough to really push it over the top and make it mind-blowing. Interesting as it warmed as some tart fruit started to come forward and the caramel getting sweeter, turning the feel almost over on it self from a nice medium body to almost syrup like by the time I finished it. Smooth and creamy the aftertaste was solid, leaving me linger on a nice note of dark fruit and a subtle vinous like bitterness. Somewhere lost between a drinker and a sipper, it was easily very enjoyable though.

Overall I thought this one was very well done. A good, classic take on the style that definitely did not disappoint

 1,303 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tdm168
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber purchased at the brewery. Bottle says 9.1% ABV.

Pours a dark amber with a thin fizzy, soap-bubble head that quickly fades. The nose is complex; baked apples, raisins, dark fruit, bread, barley malt. The flavor is also complex; sweet, candy sugar, pears, baked apples, barley malt, bread, dark fruit, alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, warm, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

This is delicious! It's complex, flavorful, and intriguing. It doesn't have the typical winter warmer spices. Instead it offers a more unique, fruity, rich, complex, malty, enjoyable beer. I will definitely get this again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber that my friends brought from NC. This is bottle 712 of 800 for the 2011 batch. The beer pours a light hazy, amber-copper coloring with a substantial cream-white, dense bubbled foam head. Smells of sweet malt, fruit (persimmons), and peppery spices. Flavors are a tangy sweet and sour malt flavor, with effervescent crisp and toasted notes. Persimmons semi-sweetness are present to balance the peppery flavors. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and it has a toasted malt flavor on the finish with fruity notes and peppery characteristics, once again, in the aftertaste. Great winter warmer, and could likely support a higher ABV, but tasty nonetheless.

 676 characters

Photo of sendbeer
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by bmannig, thanks Ben. Beer is the first bottled example from Fullsteam. Nice.

Beer is hazy and kind of orange with a nice soft white head moderate carbonation and some lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is estery and spicy with a little bit of nutmeg or allspice and this spectrum of bubblegum esters, sweetness and breadiness. It's smells good but there is a lot going on in the ester department.

Beer is nice, light in body, sweet up front, lots of yeastiness in it with some mild fruit. I don't think the persimmon comes through very much but I can taste the fruitiness of it. It's a decent beer, a good winter warmer for sure. I'd have it again.

 673 characters

Photo of AngusOg
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've been looking to get my hands on this one, and when I finally did I think it lived up to its billing. Nice flavor profile of Belgian yeast spiciness with some really nice fruity flavors, slightly tart. High drinkability, esp for a 12% abv, which I didn't realize until I checked the bottle after starting to feel a bit buzzed about half way through. Definitely enough to warm your insides in the winter (or at least numb you to the point where you don't notice the cold). An awesome and little bit different take on a winter warmer, appropriate and highly enjoyable for the first snow storm here in Western NC. Would definitely seek this again in the future.

 671 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall I was a little disappointed in this beer. I have fond memories of harvesting persimmons in childhood, and I love the taste of these underutilized fruit. The Southern variety is something special and packed with flavor, as long as they are harvested very ripe to avoid the astringency. No problem with that here- in fact, no real problem with flavor at all- there is very little of any kind. You get a vague musty fruitiness, some very light tartness, and a bit heavy fry maltiness with a hint of bitter. Very, very little persimmon flavor, just that muskiness that could be from any sort of fruit and some sugars that are a bit too converted. I'd be fine with that if some interesting (but clean) funky flavors had been created, but that didn't really happen. Pours a murky chestnut as well, with a short but reasonable tan head. There is at least a promise of persimmon in the aroma, but that simply isn't delivered in the flavor. I really wanted to like this beer, but it just isn't happening for me.

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Photo of lupercmda
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Axnjxn
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of dirtylou
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, 750ml, split

Muddy amber body - really minimal head. Aromas of dry malt, sugars, and earthy dark fruits. A bit of a floral taste, malty, earthy, spice, corriander. Interesting, though not particularly great. A bit of a dry finish - more belgian dark than winter warmer to me.

 290 characters

Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Ryan (can't remember his BA userhandle) for sharing this one at one of our weekly tastings. Bottle 477 of 800! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a two finger cream colored head that subsided to one slwoly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, mango, oranges, citrus, and clove. The flavor was of sweet malt, mango, spices, and clove. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. The mango and fruit flavors in this one really put this over-the-top for this style. This might have actually just become my favorite Winter Warmer I have had to-date. Just shocked me on the aspects going on in this one. Definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on it!

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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, #1779.

Pours a deep copper that looks almost black in the glass with a small fizzy beige head that recedes to a small collar and collection of bubbles fed from the middle.

Aroma is fruity with the persimmons definitely coming through, but sweeter than just the fruit, caramelized sugar maybe. There are hints of spices but very faint.

Taste is also dominated by the fruitiness which comes is two waves - first, the slightly tart persimmons, second, the fruity esters.Then some spices, which are more prevalent than in the aroma, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation, fruity and dry in the finish.

This is my first Fullsteam brew and I'm really enjoying it. It's certainly a unique take on a winter warner.

 762 characters

Photo of Domvan
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerBeast
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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First Frost from Fullsteam Brewery
4.04 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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