Close Encounter Harvest Ale | Fordham Brewing Company

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Close Encounter Harvest AleClose Encounter Harvest Ale
29 Ratings
Close Encounter Harvest AleClose Encounter Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Fordham Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GrandpaGeorg on 08-19-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of dgherm
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Danflurry
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of dbow56
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An overwhelmingly grain forward beer. Simple packaging, but a hidden gem for those light malt lovers. The taste never dulled as the next one went down. The drinkability of this beer masked its higher alcohol content. Unfortunate this beer isn't made anymore.

 258 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of pwoody11
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

Nice amber ale.

Aroma and taste carry a nice carmel and malt character and tastes finishes off with some adequate citrus and hop flavors.

If I hadn't have had Nugget Nectar before this, I'd most likely give it a better score. I really enjoyed the beer and would pick it up again, just not if the nectar was available.

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Photo of bamadog
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Mkroadrush for including this one as an extra in a trade - a nice surprising beer! Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep coppery color that is blended well with a lot of ruby when held to the light; starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger off-white creamy head that dwindles rather slowly to a thick and chewy looking skim that evenly covers the whole surface; body is clear and shows very slow carbonation; lots of sticky lacing is left behind.

Smell: Nose is a little weak, but I do manage to pick up sweet caramal malts and a slight bit of citric hoppiness.

Taste: Actually, it's pretty solid. Sweet malts that are caramel in flavor are right up front and the dominant flavor; malts are followed by a slightly burnt and toasty graininess and a very mild presence of citric hoppiness that help to give some balance to the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A little thick and slick; mild carbonation is just enough to keep it lively; a very firm coating of stickiness is left all over the mouth.

Drinkability: I've been into warmer and maltier beers lately due to it being the middle of winter, and this one really fits the bill nicely; very nice flavors and a moderate balance as well; a very do-able ABV makes for a great drinking beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $4.75 at Taco Mac in Decatur, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby-toned body with a very thin, particularly wispy, white head.

Smell: Toasty, lightly sweet-scented, caramel-coated nose with notes of citrus and earthy spiciness.

Taste: Deep maltiness with a blend of caramel and brown sugar with a nice degree of toastiness to it. The combination of Willamette and Cascade hops provide a taste of lemony citrus and an earthy, spicy herbal tone. The malts rebound effectively for a toasty, lightly spicy, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a solid, decent brew - amply malty, hearty, and spicy. Sure, I don't see myself racing out to buy a case of it, but maybe, just maybe a pint now and again will do in a pinch.

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Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac in Decatur, GA.

Pours a clear amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of fresh leafy hops with good amounts of citrus aromas and milder amounts of caramel malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly toasted caramel malt flavors up front segue into solid hop flavors - mostly citrus. Midway through the sip a bit of diacetyl creeps in there before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without much problem and could have another.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer but would have been more so if the diacetyl flavors hadn't been so prevalent. Still, a decent beer that's worth a shot.

 815 characters

Photo of yourefragile
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, purchased pretty much solely based on the label, so I have low expectations for this.

Pours a ruby amberish color with a thin light tan head that has decent retention with some streaks of lacing. Caramel and malt on the nose, fairly mild, with a slight medicinal, alcoholic note. Thinnish medium body with low carbonation, not very pleasant. Seems like a cross of an amber with a brown, strong malt backbone but little else in the way of flavor. Finish is watery and flavorless, yet something unpleasant lingers for a long time making this unpleasant. This doesn't really fit any particular style, and while that's not always a bad thing, in this case it has just a general lack of character and flavor.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. 6.2% ABV and an empty space marked "Bottled date". SIIIGH.

Thanks go out to NeroFiddled for this otherworldly brew!

A - Clear and rusty bronze with ruby lowlights. A tall but quiet pour revealed a low, loose cream-colored head with low retention. Bits of lacing were left on the glass.

S - A deep woodsy pine and light, but prominent, grapefruit citrus signals some great hop action. The background is filled with a good backbone of toasty amber malts with a hint of caramel. The aroma isn't anything amazing to behold but it is very inviting and delicious as well as being incredibly well-balanced.

T - The deep woodsy pine and fresh grapefruit citrus from the hops greets your palate with a probing glee. You've gotta pause to admire the hardworking malt backbone that keeps everything in order like the director behind the camera. The malt is a solid toasty amber. Not weak at all, it stands up to the hops to provide a good balance. The finish is lightly dry and bitter with a citrus twang.

M - Smooth and a bit soft from the rich malt backbone. A citrus and pine twang finish out the medium-bodied beer with a dry and bitter kick. Definitely feels good in the mouth.

D - A few of these on a cool fall afternoon would make for a nice day. It's one solid beer I really enjoyed and could have a few of. I like the label too. Cool design.

 1,401 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fordham's Close Encounter Harvest Ale pours a clear deep-copper colored body that appears almost chestnut brown resting in the glass. It's creamy off-white head also appears a little darker at times, almost becoming tan. Unfortunately, the head drops rather steadily, but at least it leaves some nice thin splashes and streaks of lace behind.

The aroma delivers a waft of dark caramel that's just short of becoming scorched, a note of bright red fruit, and a hint of leafy and floral hops.

The flavor follows suit, but opens up to reveal some more toasted notes in the malt, some apple and soft pear in the fruitiness, and a wider hop character that's just a touch minty and spicy (or is the alcohol combining with the hops to give that impression?). A solid, underlying bitterness anchors it, and it finishes dry a very slight note of caramel-coated fruit followed by lingering leafy and minty hops and a bit of spiciness.

In the mouth it's firmly medium-bodied, and gently zesty with a fine-bubbled standard carbonation.

The strength never really shows, especially at the outset when you're mainly finding malt, and even in latter parts of the glass when it begins to get a touch spicy. It's quite drinkable, and fairly complex and rich. Very nicely done!

 1,261 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap, poured into a pint glass

a: deep red, 1/4" tan head with fair retnetion. light lacing

s: caramel and toffee, citrus hops

t: caramel, toffee, slight chocolate. Not a bitter beer, but does have a nice citrus hop finish.

m&d: medium bodied, slight slick mouth, good drinkability


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Photo of ImusBeer
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this at the Mall taco mac on draft.

It came coppery red in color with an offwhite head that died really quickly, a shame.

Smell was almost non existant not much here at all.
Taste was similar to newcastle? some spices but otherwise in interesting.

Mouthfeel was light and thin

I could leave this one alone.

 314 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear mahogany brown with a 1/4 inch of foam that quickly disappeared to just a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - Caramel and toffee aromas, a bit of fruit and something else i can't place

T - Mostly malt flavor with hints of fruit, very sweet in my opinion

M/D - A bit thick, medium bodied, and a bit overly sweet for my taste. I wanted to try this one and now I have and I can move on to another.

 416 characters

Photo of DeepSix
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a a pint glass. Dark amber color, no maybe its actually red.

Earthy notes of malt here, sweetness here, but its along with some cereal like, smell. A bit of hops too, but not so noticeable.

Very sweet beer, nothing at all like a "American Amber / Red Ale" label, but maybe I don't know them well, I'd like to think I do. I'll give it the benefit of doubt. Like I said very sweet, almost to the point of a barleywine, a little of hops, but its pretty well drowned out. A medium body, and you can even "feel" the sugar, along with minor carbonation.

This isn't a bad beer, but it doesn't seem to be what it says, unsure if BA got it wrong or these brewers, or I just don't know the style. Anyway, I'm more going for "personal taste" in this review rather then reflective of the proximity to the style. It's awful sweet though, I can dig a sweet beer, it generally have to have, well less weird taste to it. Like chocolate or something.

 950 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep amber with 2 fingers of poofy off-white head. Thin layer of creamy retention that flares up well, leaving some decent lacing that slowly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is light and subtle earthy hops, spice, thickish smelling malts, and citrus.

The taste is pretty much the same with a subtle earthy hop profile set against a beefy tasting mix of caramel, spice, and citrus. Finishes with a light, dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an extremely creamy carbonation that fills the mouth and moves pretty easily.

Well if you can get past the fact that they call this a Harvest Ale, it's pretty decent. Much more malt forward than expected but it's flavorful enough and both the body and drinkibility were good.

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Photo of YankChef
3.02/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH funky shape pint

appearance: very bright cherry red and almost completely clear. head dissipates very quickly

Smell: Slight maple booziness, with hints of spice... black pepper?

Taste: Sweet upfront with a molasses type of heavy sweetness, following is a crisp hop punch to balance, the maple is also present here to and the spice is sort of tied in with the hop bite

Overall: Decent beer, I would pit it akin to redhooks fall harvest but I would say that beer is much more drinkable than this one. Glad it was only 1 in a mixed 6.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was darker than most amber ales I have had. Just a shade lighter than Dr. Pepper with some nice, deep red highlights. Big head fades away and doesn't leave much lacing at all.

The aroma is different, too. Lots of caramel and bready malts. I mean a lot of malt. almost reminded me of a doppelbock I had recently. Light citrus hop scent peaks in and out.

The flavor follows the same line. Malty with only a slight hint of hops. Caramel and dark brown sugar dominate. Tastes good...just different.

Nice medium body. Smooth and easy to drink. It's a good beer, just not close to what I was expecting.

 608 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an interesting beer, but I am not sure it is really all that good.

Pours deep amber red with a big stiff head that falls to poor lacing. The smell is intensely bready and yeasty. The taste is bready, like proofing dough, with a sour cherry malt character. There is little in the way of bitterness or hop character. The finish is plummy and raisin-like with a clingy mouthfeel that highlights a certain sourness on the back end.

Interesting. Yes. Good? Dunno

 468 characters

Photo of Gavage
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a amber / orange color with a 1/2" head that breaks down quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: some soft citrus and floral hops are present but are hard to detect.

Taste: caramel, orange, ripe red fruit, and some mild floral hop bitterness make up a pretty lame harvest ale. The malt profile was very thin indeed and the anticipated hop bitterness was not there.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Very brief aftertaste. Lighter side of a medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: so-so at best. When spotting a harvest ale I expect a hearty beer with plenty of hop presence. This one is boring and has you looking for another selection before you finish it.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Deep and clear copper hue with a one finger dense tan head that slowly settles to an even thin cap.

Very light candy aromas, a little bit of fruit, and a touch of caramel from the grain. Brown sugar that transitions to a light bitterness that runs for a while. Full bodied with light carbonation, giving the beer a thick feel.

An okay beer, but not quite sure why they called it a harvest ale. I felt the malt flavor was a bit thin.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While I poured this beer into my glass, a ruby red body is covered with an off white head that settles to the ring of the glass and doesn't lace too much. The smell is all malt. Has a very caramel and toffee. There is a hint of yeast in the aroma as well. The taste is very similar to the smell. Very smooth and sweet malty taste.

This is a pretty good Red Ale. You'll enjoy this offering from Frodham.

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Close Encounter Harvest Ale from Fordham Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 29 ratings
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