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Big Shot | The Fort Collins Brewery

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Big ShotBig Shot

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beaver13 on 12-09-2005

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 111
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance- The beer pours a deep amber color with a tiny fizzy off white head. The head fades very fast leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of a sweet caramel and doughy smell mixed with a very strong showing of hazelnut. Along with these smells comes some aromas of molasses and a decent showing of some fruitiness. Overall the aroma of the brew is quite nice and inviting.

Taste – The taste of the brew begins with a rather strong sweet flavor, being a mix of a lightly roasted bready tastes mixed with a stronger showing of some caramel and doughy tastes. There is a little bit of a hazelnut flavor which grows stronger as the taste moves onto the end. Along with these nut taste, even more sweetness and a rather decent showing of molasses and a bit of harvest fruits hits the tongue. In the end, when a little bit of a spice flavor of cinnamon and nutmeg as well as flavors brown sugar and molasses coming to the tongue, one is left with a rather sweet and malty taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the rich and sweet flavors of the brew the feel is rather nice with it creating a good medium for the flavors to be sensed on the tongue.

Overall – A rather nice sweeter brew overall. Lots of rich sweet flavors in this one without a whole lot of booziness sometimes found with winter warmers. A good brew overall.

 1,571 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, no date. Pours transparent light amber with a below average sized off-white head; some lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, and caramel. The taste follows initially with sweet malt and hops followed by mostly caramel and hazelnut in the finish. Not very intense smell or taste. Below average body and medium carbonation. Overall, it's a good WW, but really needs more intensity to match up to others in its category.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a small glass: color is amber, transparent, effervescent, large bubbles, head is off white but does not produce a top or have any lacing or lingering qualities.

Smell is caramel and biscuit, then some nuttiness and toffee, fairly thin aroma then some earthy hops.

Taste is also thin, watery with nuttines and toffee prominent but a back end finish that seems to thin out; caramel, toast and biscuit are noted.

Mouthfeel is thin and mildly over-carbonated with some lingering sweetness from the toasted malt types.

Overall, a thin beer with some nutty flavors and lingering sweetness.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the 12 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---THANKS RANDY!

Pours a reddish mahogany with a modest head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, light layer, and decent lacing. Nose of subtle spice, caramel, light cocoa, and light orange rind. Flavors exceed the nose with caramel malts to the front that fade to a subtle chocolate and toffee note that mingles nicely on the back with subtle sweet orange zest and subtle herbal hops. Excellent balance with smooth moderately carbonated medium mouth feel. A winner. One of the better warmers of the year I have tried.


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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Must...resist...pull to quote...Billy Joel song... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear garnet topped by a half-finger of glowing dirty white foam. The nose comprises walnut, rich toffee, and mild greenery. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger green component. There's also a vague sweetness that flows into the finish. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this isn't a bad brown-ish offering, but the flavors are a touch bland, and the overarching experience is not one I'm likely to remember for very long.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is caramel and residual sweetness. The flavor is caramel, toffee, medium sweetness, light fruit and a mix of slight tartness and warming in the finish.

 158 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Dark amber body with cream colored head that recedes to a film. Rings of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Faint spices, caramel, spicy cedar wood.

Taste: Opens with some spices and sweetness, great balance. The finish leaves some spicy heat on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Overall: I enjoyed this a lot. Very balanced with nice holiday flavors that don't taste like everything else out there.

 445 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a perfect pint glass. 12/7

Pours medium amber, reddish rust colored. Little layer of white foam, some lacing. Thicker around the ring. Bready toasty nose. Toffee. Rich toasty flavor, thin beneath, soft fade out. Quite toasty. Little bit of hazelnut in there. Very good.

 305 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear, copper-red in color, with a nice cap of off-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt,caramel, roasty, and a subtle hint of smokiness.
Overall, nice character and flavor, a decent winter warmer.

 264 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This Winter Warmer is lighter than the style tends to be, a hazy and translucent brown-orange. The strong light brown head displays good retention and quite a bit more than a modicum of heavy lacing.
The overall effect of this beer in both the aroma and the flavor, while strong enough, is generally mild. It's herbal and woody with leafy floral and leafy hops particularly into the finish offset by caramel. There's also something I wouldn't call tinny but is certainly close to the term I might use. Malts are fairly weak, not offering enough balance to counteract an ashy, aspirin-like note to the bitterness at points, though they're enough to keep it in check though it's there. There's no real spicing to speak of. Toast and earth are allowed to add some substance to the overall flavor as it goes.
There's a light body, and that tinny sort of note that's present translates somehow to the feel. It's not quite the same thing as one might find in a lighter English style, though similar. It's lightly crisp.

 1,013 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rather pretty coppery color with a swirling foam cap. Lots of carbonation in the mouth. Warm and Very slightly malty with a not-unpleasant mustiness. Other than that, it's a rather bitter but not very hoppy amber ale. I don't see how this could be called a Winter Warmer, unless it's the buttery tang.

Thin and a little woody. A faint hint of caramel, but mostly the dank bitter light-weight murkiness. This is not a terrible beer as far as pouring it down the throat, but looking at the list I can say this is the least flavorful Winter Warmer I've ever had. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 646 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber body with a thin yet sticky white head. Rich sweet malt smell; almost smokey in character; slightly charred aroma. Taste mirrors the aroma overall with the addition of a robust bitterness coming through at the finish and lingering afterwards on the taste buds; somewhat nutty. Medium-bodied.

Strong on the malt character and no over-dominating alcohol notes present. A pretty decent winter ale.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.19/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Nearly clear deep amber color. Two and a half fingers of beige, creamy/frothy head. Retention is average with moderate amounts of irregular lacing.

2.0 S: Light caramel with a strong toastiness. Not really anything in terms of spices.

2.0 T: Same deal but with a touch of spice. Really surprising how bland this is.

3.0 M: Medium body. Perhaps a touch too much carbonation. Not particularly creamy.

2.0 D: Easily the most boring winter warmer I've ever had. I'm a big fan of the style, but this doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

kinda weak for a winter seasonal, but not a bad beer. pours a nice looking red/brown color with a nice white head. smells malty and thin, watery a bit, nothing inspiring here. flavor is decent, a little sweetness in the malt and some burnt caramel. mouthfeel is thin thin for a winter seasonal, but its drinkable. fair carbonation and a good aftertaste, but im not moved by this.

 379 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a 3 oz taster glass at Fort Collins Brewing's tasting room. Reviewed from notes. This is a Winter Warmer (right now it's listed as a brown ale).

A: Pours a half finger head of slight cream and fair thickness. Retention is downright bad. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Caramel, light amber hops, and light spices. Toasted malt. A mild strength aroma.

T: The foundation is primarily toasted malt, with a surprisingly bitter finish. Lots of well handled caramel. Not as much spice as I'd want from a winter warmer. Not real balanced on account of the finish. Pretty simply built.

Mf: Pretty coarse but still fortunately wet.

Dr: Decently drinkable but I won't have it again on account of its lackluster quality. It's pretty disappointing for the style.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice off-white head, lots of foam. Brew is clear dk. brown. Nice lacing, and the brew is thick.

S - Very nutty. Lots of dark syrup. Basic.

T - Very nutty. Good brew. No heat, higher ABV. Smooth.

M - Awesome bitterness rises out from this one... Decent carbonation too.

O - This is about the only brew i'll buy from FCB... Never dissapoints, always consistent. Nice job.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a deep red color that nearly looks brown. The head is almost not even there. The smell of the beer has a good amount of Christmas berries and spices. The taste also has the spiciness but doesn't really have the best balance I don't think. The mouthfeel is a little heavy which is good for the winter brews. Overall I've had no real desire to try this one again. I suppose it the mood struck me I'd give it another shot.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark red-brown color with an off white head and not too much lacing. The nose is sweet malts, a bit of spice, light fruits, and some caramel. A bit of light chocolate. The taste is pretty bland with a bit of caramel and some very light fruit. Pretty normal body without much going on. Nothing terribly off with this one, it just ends up being a pretty plain beer.

 393 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a rusty, ruby red with copper highlights. Nice light tan and bone white head that hangs around to a nice foam. A littlw too red to be a brown ale in my opinion. The aroma has tased malts and spicey hops. The malts are a little difficult to pick up on in the nose. The taste Is spicey hops up front taht make me think of ginger and musty, wet grass. The malts are a little on the powdered side, but offset the spicey hops a bit. I like a bit of roasted malts, maybe some nutty flavors in my brown ale. But this example is lacking. This beer was nice to try, but not all to sessionable to me. This was a little oppressive to my palate.

 639 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Skiing and drinkin' beer. That snowman on the label looks like he's having a great time!

A - This one is a deep garnet that shows cranberry highlights when held to the winter sun reflecting off the snow outside of my house. A one finger beige head shows only average retention and leaves a nice, but small, amount of lace on the glass.

S - Holy malt bomb Batman! I smell oatmeal cookies, brown bread, hazelnuts, bourbon, buckwheat, peanut brittle, warm whole grain muffins, and a small hint of dark chocolate way off in the distance. Smells hearty and good, like winter wheat.

T - I smelled very little hop presence in the nose, but hops make themselves known in the flavor profile of this beer. This is a bitter brew that combines a "autumn leaf" hop note with unsweetened hearty toasted grains and a hint of black coffee.

M - Thinner than it should be. This one actually comes off as a bit anemic. Initially very grainy, the finish is pretty hoppy and bitter.

D - I love the nose, but there is something about combination of the thin-ish body and bitter finish that I don't like. Still, it ain't bad... I just wish it would have kept the momentum of the super-malty and bakery-fresh nose.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coppery amber with a decent, if not too thick, light beige head. Aroma is not strong but still appealing, mainly malty with hints of spice and miso. Flavor is malty and woody with a spicy undertone, OK if not spectacular. Texture is fairly smooth, fizzy and tingly.

 278 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber - $5.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a remarkably clear, garnet-hued body with a frothy, downright sudsy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Simple aroma of toasted nuts with small, meager, not particularly inspiring notes of cocoa, fruit, and earthiness. Well, the snowboarding snowman on the label seems to be having fun. At least somebody is, I suppose.

Taste: Robust nuttiness with a teeny hint of toast and cocoa. Thin drizzle of sweet dark syrup. There's a hint of earthy spiciness from English hops and no more than a low degree of imparted bitterness. Light touch of golden raisin fruitiness. Earthy, dry maltiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. If nothing else, it's at least got a nice, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: For awhile, I was politely excusing these less-than-festive, dubiously titled winter releases in the spirit of giving during the holidays. But now, I'm starting to just become annoyed and disappointed with them. Big Shot is a fine, standard brown ale, but doesn't invoke any thoughts of the season beyond it's label and name.

 1,123 characters

Photo of GarrisWH
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear, reddish amber with a thin, white head. Even though the head is minimal, it sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Earthy, roasted malt aroma with a hint of nuttiness.

T - Toasty, bready, roasted malt flavors up front with a slight sweetness and a nutty quality. Earthy hops bring a bit of dryness to the finish. Pretty simple flavors, but tasty nonetheless.

M - Medium body with a lighter carbonation that lends a smooth feel.

D - A decent enough brown ale with pretty nice flavors, although lacking a bit in complexity. This could perhaps be better marketed as a sessionable, year round brown ale as opposed to a winter warmer.

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Photo of bruachan
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

looks a little light for a brown ale--sorta like an amber. a touch hazy. minimal head

sweet smelling and a little roasty. the aroma is weak and the lame head is, i am sure, partly to blame.

tastes like a sweet brown ale with a touch of kilned astringency and hop character. the malt depth is not particularly impressive, however. tasty but nothing to write home about. hop bitterness mounts with time

it's worth $5 but not significantly more. what makes this a winter warmer or seasonal beer of any kind?

 508 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a deep amber copper color with about a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavor - quite nutty, hazelnuts, caramel, brown sugar, a tad buttery, light spices. Thin bodied with ample carbonation. I probably would pass this one by next time I saw it.

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Big Shot from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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