Spice Of Life
Iron Fist Brewing Company

Spice Of LifeSpice Of Life
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
85
Avg:
3.74 | pDev: 15.24%
Reviews:
22
Ratings:
72
From:
Iron Fist Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  12
SCORE
85
Very Good
Spice Of LifeSpice Of Life
Notes: Brewed with bitter orange peel, coriander, and grains of paradise.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 72 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MAB
MAB from Canada (AB)

3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A hit-and-miss beer-- the color was nice but the head didn't stick around.
The aroma was spicy but the flavors didn't match. I didn't get any orange or coriander (spice) notes on the tongue, just bitterness. Not that I mind bitterness, but I wanted something else.
The mouthfeel was about the only thing that met my expectation.

This reminded me of a homebrew, mainly because of the sediment-- a blast from the past!

Not a bad beer, but others are better.

Dec 21, 2015
Photo of Trosevear
Trosevear from Canada (AB)

4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Day 9 from the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

L: A Hazy yellow brown colour kinda looks gross :/ hahah

S: Super citrusy smelling with a slight amount of coriander. But super orangey smelling.

T: Orange strait off the tip, then there is a slight coriander taste followed by a slight bit of spice almost like a pepper spice.

F: Super light mouth feel bit it does have a nice amount of carbination.

O: Actually a super nice beer from tis brewery!!

Dec 10, 2015
Photo of L0GlC
L0GlC from Canada (AB)

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy orange colour with a medium frothy head. Smells of malt, coriander, citrus and hops. This beer is loaded with malt flavour and the slightest hint of citrus. Mouth feel is spicy and light. Overall a good beer and while I had it in the winter I think it would be really enjoyable in the summer heat.

Dec 10, 2015
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Bunman3 from Canada (AB)

3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is an extremely interesting beer - thank you to the Craft Beer Advent Calendar folks for pulling a very interesting selection out of the pile. I have not previously encountered this style, but I am glad I got the opportunity. This beer pours copper and organge, with little in the way of foam or head. The nose is subtle - a bit of yeasty spice and faint fruit. The flavour is truly enjoyable - caramel malt, orange zest and coriander all play a role in the taste profile. I am thrilled to have the chance to try this style of beer!

Dec 09, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, day 9 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar - nice to see a new offering from this Cali brewery available as such around here.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves a few instances of ice shelf lace around the glass as things slowly recede.

It smells of grainy, bready pale and caramel malt, an orange pith fruitiness, some zesty coriander and earthy rainbow peppercorn spice, brown sugar, and further leafy, herbal, and grassy bittering notes. The taste is grainy, kind of doughy caramel malt, blood orange rind, well delineated earthy white pepper and coriander seed spice, some consistent free-range dark sugars, and more zingy leafy, dead grassy, and herbal hoppiness.

The bubbles are fairly active in their supportive and occasionally playful frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, the spice and fruit here of the kid gloves school of engagement. It finishes off-dry, the base malt putting down roots, while the guest citrus and spicy elements carry on flitting about.

A pleasantly spiced, um, spiced ale, the grains of paradise working well, as expected, with their typical comrades in arms - orange and coriander. Some left-of-center holiday warming ale for the newbies and veterans alike who are wading their way through this Advent 'experience', circa 2015.

Dec 09, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Basin 141 in Montrose, CA.

Pours a clear dark golden-orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, earth, spice, yeast, and slight fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, yeast, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is straightforward but solid all around.

Serving type: on tap.

Aug 09, 2015
Photo of rand
rand from California

4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From 750 mL bottle to Lost Abbey tulip glass

Amber in color, super-frothy head. The nose is sweet, toffee-malts, oak, fresh garden herbs, citrus zest. The added cilantro comes out on the palate, adding zest and harmonizing with the brew's funky undertones. Flavors are nicely reigned-in given the added spices, with malty sweetness at the front of the palate. The finish is relatively short, with lively phenols lingering.

This was a lot better than expected, given the reviews. We've been sitting on this bottle for six months or so, I wonder if it just needs some time.

Oct 01, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of coriander, orange peel and paradise grain is quite sublime with light caramel malt notes and some residual sugars. Taste is also dominated by grain of paradise with some orange peel and some light coriander with light caramel malt. Body is about average with good carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer and probably the best I tried from this brewery with great balance between all ingredients.

Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed brassy amber colored ale with a small white colored head.

Smell is fruity and spicy with a honey like malt aroma. Orange, grains of paradise, mild ginger. Finally mild coriander.

Starts out semi dry and spicy, grains of paradise mostly. Apples and some orange flavor. Coriander is in here but it isn't a strong flavor. Overall this is tame for the style and that is a good thing Bière de Garde can get quite funky.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good beer. This beer is nothing if not easy to drink.

I REALLY wish the fad with grains of paradise would go away I'm not that fond of it.

May 14, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

I apologize to IF for giving this a "false" bad review, but after careful consideration, I concluded that the bartender mixed this beer up with another one (Victory Saison du BUFF) when my wife and I ordered our drinks.

Anyway, this one was served in a ball-stem goblet, a hazy darker amber color with a small, fizzy, white head. Nose of citrus zest, caramel, spice, and barnyard funk. Taste is markedly Belgian in nature, notes of dried citrus rind, coriander and peppery spice--I'm familiar with the flavor of grains of paradise, and it was clearly present here--yeasty, and decently funky. Medium body, decently flavored and pretty nice overall, though admittedly by the time I got to this, my palate was still recovering from the terrible beer that preceded it.

May 15, 2012
Photo of larsenju
larsenju from Wisconsin

3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you DearthVader for the obscure extra (the best kind).

A-Crystal clear light amber body with very little head, and very thin lacing.

S-Light phenolics lead with a little citrus and crisp biscuit malt. I cannot decide if the citrus is a yeast product, or the result of the addition of spices, either way it is pretty well balanced in and refreshing. Lately I have been seeing an influx of beers using grains of paradise, I think this beer may have been a little better without them.

T-Again, light phenolics dropping off to smooth citrus and some hop like spice. I would really call this closer to a Saison than belgian pale. It is a little watery both in flavor and texture, I would suggest finding a way to fill out the body a little bit.

M-Thin with a lower carb than expected. Again, the beer just needs to be filled out a little.

D-Refreshing and light, I hear it really shines on tap and I could see how that might work out. A very generous extra from a very generous trader, I would gladly pick one up should I see one on the shelf.

Jun 21, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
badboyrsl84 from California

3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick gold color with a little white head just lacing the top of the glass

Smell - coriander, funky Belgian spices, smells really good.

Taste - very flavorful. Funky Belgian spices with a hint of coriander.

Mouthfeel - carbonation is present but doesn't rule the beer. Finishes clean with no hint of alcohol.

Overall - very likeable beer, not normally my go to style but Iron Fist did this beer justice for me. I would drink this again.

May 31, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays from California

4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a light orange with a medium white head, some lace.

S: Spicy notes, nice sour malt, with a hint of hops.

T: Great spicy flavours, grains of paradise stand out particularly. Lemon and oranges with a Belgian flair, great flavour.

M: Light to medium-bodied, crisp, easy going and refreshing.

O: Really good beer, very impressive from Iron Fist, looks like I'll have to look into the rest of their lineup.

May 04, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
Retsinis from Arizona

3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had this as part of a tasting flight at Iron Fist a few weeks back, but have since had it again from the bottle, enough that I am comfortable posting a review of the beer.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass, shared with 2 others.

A: The beer pours a dark and hazy orange amber color, and a nice half inch of white head rose and settled leaving some lacing.

S: I some citrus, sweet malts, light tropical fruits, peaches, mild tangerine, yeast and clove.

T: Orange peel and coriander is quite prevalent in Iron Fist beers it would seem, and this one is no exception. Citrus notes upfront, and in the middle, some mild spice and herbal hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Light to medium carbonation, smooth, and dry on the finish.

O: Light and refreshing, with the alcohol well intergrated. Good summer beer for hot weather, as a number of Iron Fists offerings are so far.

Apr 18, 2011
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting murky Belgian.

A little hazy in the chalice. Medium amber. Very fruity aroma, like peaches. Initial taste is sweet and spicy followed by surprising bitterness. Quite a load of orange flavor. Maybe the peel adds to the bitterness. Good carbonation in the mouth, leaves its trace on the glass. Hops are hard to pin down with all the spiciness, but are strong without any of the usual Pale Ale profiles.

Good drink with food, which was spicy sausage and bitter radicchio with brown rice. Kind of over-spiced for casual drinking but well worth a taste if you like interesting takes on Belgian styles.

Mar 26, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace from California

4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro

Pours a honey orange color with a very nice white head and lacing. Kinda cloudy.

Aroma is not strong but pretty much Belgian. Little bit of clove.

Taste is good. Solid pale ale Belgian flavor. Coriander and orange peel is nice.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. Little low carb.

Overall a solid beer. I would try it again and buy a bottle. Glad to try a newer small brewery in the area

Mar 14, 2011
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor from California

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/peach color with light, bubbly head. Not much retention, but a fair amount of bubbles stay around at the edges.

Smell: Yeasty with some fruity undertones. Lots of orange, but not in a typical spicy citrus way.

Taste: Cool, fruit flavors, particularly orange peel (so without the usual citrus acidity and spice), together with a bit of sugar. Coriander is quite apparent, and there's some hints of black pepper too (particularly towards the finish). The yeast comes out particularly in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with very mild carbonation. Quite smooth.

Drinkability: Pleasant and easy to drink. Low ABV.

Enjoyable, but I think the sweetness could be a bit much for some; I'd rather share this bottle with someone, I think. Nice work from this brand-new brewery; I'll be sure to try out some of their other beers.

Mar 12, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla from California

3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an amber brown in color with yellow highlights and had a half finger of head leaving some good lacing sticking to the head.

S: huge orange citrus aroma upfront on the nose with belgian yeast character, some spices like corinader are nocticeable and various grains.

T: the orange character also dominated the flavor but had coriander spice accents with belgian yeast notes and a touch of underlying grains.

M; the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had sweet, citrusy, yeasty, and grainy finish.

D: it honestly drank pretty damn good but was just too over the top with the citrus orange character.

Feb 10, 2011
Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
BrlyHpsWtrYst from California

4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep red-amber tight laced white head

S: Orangey spice reminicent of orange pekoe, nice peppery spice, grains of paradise

T: Spice hits the palate first then a big orange, slightly sweet at first then drying quickly, delicous. Spot on for the style

M: Fairly lively, nice carbination feel, this beer has more body than I expected and sits a little oily on the palate after the finish

D: Good, although the heavy spice notes can be a little fatigueing to the palate, it still is inviting and fresh, almost cleansing with every sip.

O: A very nice example for the style, well thought out and balanced

Jan 20, 2011
Photo of Douglas14
Douglas14 from California

4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a super red-amber color with a nice head that fades away too quickly. The aroma is awesome. Very Belgian-y with very subtle spiciness - sometheing that I unfortuantely rarely experience anymore. The taste is similar. Lot's of fruit and spice, both of which are balanced nicely. The mouthfeel is medium and it finishes dry enough for you to want another sip!

Awesome beer...especially for their first batch. Keep it up IF!

Jan 12, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11/21/10

On tap at Iron Fist.

A: Amber with a white head.

S: Quite floral, with strong coriander notes and some grains of paradise. Lots of orange

T: Lightly sweet with bitter orange peel notes. I detect coriander, grains of paradise, and some alcohol. The finish is lightly spicy, with orange and coriander lingering.

M: Lower high carbonation with a creamy and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: A spiced Belgian Ale. Not a super drinkable style. There was nothing wrong with this beer, but it's nothing I would drink again.

Nov 22, 2010
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brokensail from California

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Iron Fist

A: The pour is a dark golden-amber color with a nice white head.

S: Lots of orange, especially in terms of the peel. The amount of orange aroma is actually impressive. There's also a fair amount of coriander. Strangely enough, I also pick up some fennel and dill, don't ask me why.

T: A good earthy and grassy flavor with plenty of sweet oranges. The orange peel provides a bit of a bitterness and some more citrus flavor. A decent maltiness and some strangely warming flavors.

M: the body is medium with a low to moderate level of carbonation.

D: I wasn't really expecting to like this one, but it was one of my favorite beers at this brewery. A nice blend of spice notes and the base beer.

Nov 14, 2010
Spice Of Life from Iron Fist Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 72 ratings