Fireside Ale
Salt Spring Island Ales

Fireside AleFireside Ale
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Salt Spring Island Ales
British Columbia, Canada
Winter Warmer
3.09 | pDev: 19.09%
Jan 05, 2016
Nov 16, 2004
Notes: Our Salt Spring Style Winter Warmer, is brewed in the Old English Tradition. With a rich ruby colour, a complex fruity nose and 7% alcohol, Fireside Winter Ale is meant for sipping and savouring near a warm fire on a cold night. Low hop bitterness allows notes of fresh and cooked fruit to come through backed by flavourful malt. A slightly dry, acidic finish provides a contrast that leaves you wanting more.
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Photo of LampertLand
Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

3.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Saltspring Is. Ales 'Fireside Winter Ale' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6.30
A-pour is a dark gold from the bottle to a clear dark amber in the glass with a thin beige head leaving a streaky lace along the pint , last pour from the bottle is murky
S-caramel & cinnamon
T-sweet rich dried fruits , caramel malt
MF-ok carbonation , full bodied
Ov-so sweet & doesn't really warm the body , took a very long time to drink this beer
prost LampertLand
Jan 05, 2016
Rated: 3 by schopenhauerale from Arizona

Dec 02, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by canucksBC from Canada (BC)

Jan 29, 2012
Rated: 3 by EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

Nov 21, 2011
Photo of enki
Reviewed by enki from Canada (BC)

4.47/5  rDev +44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Not sure what is up on the reviews for this beer, but I picked one up from the Salt Spring liquor store while visiting this summer, and was very pleasantly surprised.

While the reviewers seem to have placed this as an Irish Red, it is VERY definitely a Belgian style beer (think ). Very tart, tons of body, estery and fruity, and very tasty. Nothing at all like the "English Style" written on the bottle, unless English tradition is a trip to Flanders for Xmas.

I can only assume that the beer has changed a lot over the last few years, as apparently there were QA issues in previous batches. Mine came from a dark brown glass lever-cap bottle.

I would ABSOLUTELY buy this beer again, and really enjoyed it. Perhaps waiting for summer gave it the time to age that it needed?
Jul 20, 2011
Photo of lumikuuro
Reviewed by lumikuuro from Canada (BC)

2.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2
500ml bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy, brownish amber. Thick, off white head receding to a foam and thick rim but leaving no lacing. Highly visible carbonation.

Aroma: Pronounced Christmas cake aroma, honey, treacle, cinnamon, allspice. Something unbalanced in here as well, however, like smelling someone else's after-poor-quality-beer alcohol breath.

Taste: Christmas cake, sweet and rich, spiced, soft malt. Very gently vinous. Reminiscent of Wychwood Bah Humbug. Definitely successful in achieving the English style they claim. The 7% abv is hidden well. However, that unpleasant aspect of the aroma is also evident (although not as obviously) in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but lingers on the roof of the mouth. Soft.

Drinkability: Nice flavours, but a shame about the offputting aspects of the aroma and taste. They're on the right track with this beer, but perhaps they need to refine their brewing techniques. At this moment in time, I won't be drinking this one again.
Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Grunewald
Reviewed by Grunewald from Canada (BC)

2.44/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
A - poured from a 500ml flip-top bottle into a pint glass. It pours red-orange with suspended red particles. The head dies down quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - estery malt and strawberry jam

T - strong astringent/tart citric rind (like a Flanders Red Ale but characterless, seems tart for tartness's sake), somewhat metallic and a grapefruit rind finish

M - medium carbonation, medium body and a semi dry finish that leaves you thirsty

D - reminds me of a Flanders Red Ale (specifically 'Rodenbach Grand Cru'), but the flavors are dead and metallic
Dec 29, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
Reviewed by ritzkiss from Canada (ON)

2.3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Stood out to me because it came in the ceramic, swing top bottle. Expected quality that came with the quality bottling - boy, was I shocked.

Pours a cloudy, cloudy copper with very little light head, very little lacing. Not really what I expect from a winter ale.

Taste is slightly bitter, watery (very little hops), with strong citrus flavors. Again, not the taste you expect for a winter ale.

Light all the way. Unique flavor but NOT a winter ale. Would not want to sit around the fire and sip this one. Maybe a low end micro-brewery summer beer that is passable around the BBQ.

Cool bottle. Not so cool beer.
Jan 22, 2009
Photo of BreWolf
Reviewed by BreWolf from Canada (BC)

3.07/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
I bought this only for the bottles. It comes in blue flip tops and old school ceramic flip tops. definitely go for the ceramic. the beer is strong 7% and I think it effects the taste. there is a noticeable sweetness to the taste. Not my favorite but definitely drinkable.
Nov 30, 2007
Photo of BDTyre
Reviewed by BDTyre from Canada (BC)

3.2/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Not much better than last year. Sour taste to it, not much carbonation but too much head. Cloudy glowing orang colour. Smells slightly sour and off. Not entirely unpleasant, but not something I can get into.

As much as I like Gulf Islands, I'm wondering what's happened with this beer.

I like the bottle still.
Dec 25, 2005
Photo of Derek
Reviewed by Derek from Canada (BC)

3.08/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
500 ml, BLUE, flip-top bottle.

A: Reddish-copper, pours with plenty of head, not well retained, but it leaves a hint of lace.

S: Fruity, with a slight lactic sour smell.

T: Well balanced. Starts slightly sweet, fruity through the middle, with a slightly tart, dry aftertaste. Very light bitterness, without any hop flavour. There's a depth of light flavours... but I'm really not sure if that lactic aftertaste is meant to be there.

M: Moderate body, moderate to high carbonation, with some acidic pricklyness.

D: A decent sipper, but I continue to wonder if it has gone a little off.
Dec 19, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
Reviewed by canucklehead from Canada (BC)

2.43/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
OK I said I would never touch this beer again but hey this is in a new blue bottle. The beer is not infected but their is a case of the missing hop backbone. Too much malt has created a soft sweet beer that collapses into a mess when it warms up. These guys can make good beer but once again their Xmas beer sucks.
Dec 12, 2005
Fireside Ale from Salt Spring Island Ales
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 12 ratings