Big Shot | The Fort Collins Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Big ShotBig Shot
112 Ratings
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:
A wonderful winter warmer, Big Shot Hazelnut Brown Ale will leave you wishing the season would never end. Its smooth, nuttiness flavors is the perfect finish to a long day of playing in the Colorado snow, or maybe just wishing you had been.

Added by Beaver13 on 12-09-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 67
Reviews by KTCamm:
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

More User Reviews:
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 oberon
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although the weather right now here in NC is definently "NOT" winter-like the winter warmers are out in full force.This poured into an impy nonic more of a mix of amber/bronze with a very thin quick to fade slight off white head.Light but pleasant aromas mainly of roasted nuts with a hint of brown sugar,mouthfeel is very light and near watery in my mind.Flavors are on the lighter side,slightly roasty with notes of earth and nut.Eh its not horrible, but its nothing to seek out thats for sure.

 496 characters

Photo of dacubz
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beaver13
1.24/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

1 liter swing-top bottle. Pours a light reddish-amber with a thin and soapy head that goes down to a smokey film.

The aroma is nutty, maple sugary caramel malts with a little bit of chemicals and vegetables.

The flavor is nutty and bready with a little maple sugar. It has a very watery mouthfeel with very little carbonation that washes out the flavor. It has a little bitterness at the end. There is an chemical off-flavor that I can't quite identify.

This is probably the worst FCB beer I've had, very unpleasant. My first drain pour - I could've struggled through 12 or maybe even 22 oz of this, but not a full liter. As much as I like their other beers, this was a huge disappointment, I wonder if I got a bad bottle (although at $9 a pop, I won't revisit it).

 774 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.

 434 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

typical brown bomber bottle, no freshness info offered. Pour pretty standard brownish amber, it looks like a brown ale typically does. Amber on the darker side, clear, medium tan head, initially fluffy, morphing to a thin film and just leaving some stringy and minor lacing. A little nutty in the nose and then typical toasty, caramel, malty notes. Nice brown ale. Drinkable, smooth, moderatly tasty and worth a try.

 416 characters

Photo of mkrass
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

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 caddybuyer
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Medium red brown amber with marked clarity, a light tan head that settles quickly, but a very attractive brew.

S-Malts and toasted nuts, very nice.

T-Sweet malts predominate, with a mild hop dry finish. Again, very nice.

M-Well balanced

D-Very drinkable.

Overall this is a decent brown ale. Not sure why this is a seasonal brew...there is really nothing special about it...just a solid everyday beer. That being said, it is well done and enjoyable....but between the Christmas tag on the neck, and the snowman on the label, I expected a little bit of a seasonal twist, which never materialized.

 601 characters

Photo of IPAylor
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty much the reddest brown ale I've seen, somewhere between summer sunset and rust. Definitely not a true brown, that's for sure, but I like the color anyway. Big pillowy off-white head lasts a few minutes before settling to a longer-lasting skim.

Aroma offers strong malt presence, not unexpected of course, but it's very nice, and usually my favorite aspect of brown ales. Lots of hazelnut--so much that I was thinking "flavor shots?", but without really knowing I'll give Fort Collins the benefit of the doubt and hope it's "all natural" and not "natural flavors." (Although, geez, look at the name...should I be concerned?) What else does it bring the nose? Well, more nuttiness for one, some pumpernickel bread, caramel and a trace of vanilla.

Flavor is probably what Leinenkugel's was going for--and failed at--with their Fireside Nut Brown. Huge creamy hazelnut flavor again makes me mildly suspicious of the methods they used to achieve it, but whatever, it's undeniably tasty. Flashes of root beer, huge caramel, and a finish that leaves you with unsalted mixed nuts on the palate. Definitely some hops happening here too, evident mostly in the finish but also with warming. They help offset the sweetness and add a layer of depth to the beer.

Nice creamy texture, round, slick, buttery, lightly sticky. Appropriate for what's going on in the flavor.

Picked this up on a whim, largely due to the fun/different label suckering me in like a kid in the candy aisle. Glad I did. The depth of flavor satisfies the part of me that loves super-malty beers (bocks, doppelbocks, etc.). Reminds of Lagunitas' Lumpy Gravy, too, so if you liked that, check this out.

 1,671 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.

 1,196 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red/orange with 1 finger of sand colored head. Great head retention & super lacing

S: An almost dirt like smell, maybe mushroom? Then vegtal notes,
T: Nutty malt & dryness up front with a hint of brown sugar. I get choclate & toasty bread on the back of my throat. Breadyness continues as this warms. Later comes a little warming alcohol & some earthy hops bitterness. Finishes with a hint of choclate, brown sugar & more breadyness

MF: Chewy for the abv with low carbonation

Drinks fine if you can past the funky smell, maybe the perfect session when you have a cold or sinus infection? Been a long time since I had abeer that smelled this bad & still tasted good. I'd certainally try this again

 714 characters

Photo of hiphopj5
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very clear dark brown and amber with a two inch sticky sandy head.

S: Very sweet malt presence with spices tied nicely together, nutmeg mostly but with a bit of orange peel and ginger thrown into the mix as well.

T/MF: Good deal of malt bitterness here that scrapes at the roof of your mouth but at the same time this bitterness is balanced nicely by a mix of sweet and spice. Really strong fresh bread taste initially but then tapers off into a deeper bitterness. The body runs on the lighter side of medium bodied and very crisp carbonation that spreads taste pretty evenly across the pallet. The finish is more protracted than I would have expected and leaves a lingering hop bitterness on the tongue. No real distinctive tastes but not as complex as I was hoping for either. A decent beer but not great.

D: Pretty good offering and not a bad price for the area I live in but if I have a taste for a brown ale this will not be my first choice.

 960 characters

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.


 608 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.

 658 characters

Photo of Segelstrom
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of MmmIPA
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the cover of this bottle.

Chestnut colored body with a one finger tan head.Leaves some nice webbing lacing.

Notes of nuts and some fruit notes.

Some sweetness and nuttiness.I cant really taste the hops in this one.

The mouthful is high carbonated but easy to drink.

Not a bad brown ale.I wish it wasnt so overly carbonated though.

 342 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of wcudwight
4.26/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Enola for sharing a bomber with a pal.
Amber/Auburn in color with a thin head that was more of a fine foam on top. Small ring of lace.
I love the smell of a good winter warmer. Hazlenut, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg. Ahh I miss the holidays. But alas I'm back at work and the holidays are long gone.
Caramel malt with a bit of roastiness that really adds to the beer in the best of ways. Mixed in the malt backbone is a plethera of spices. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, corrander. Mmmm this is good.
Medium bodied with a wonderfully dry finish.
Very drinkable. This may be my favorite winter warmer this year. Even better than my beloved Cold Mtn.

 647 characters

Photo of umustdrink
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear mahogany brown color. Offwhite head fades to a film. Minimal lacing.

S - A light smell overall. Brown sugary and nutty malts with some green bitterness.

T - Starts out with a light bitterness and some very light malts. Malts and bitterness pronounce into something slightly more flavorful, but not much. Finish leaves a light but tangy bitterness.

M - Medium consistency with slightly elevated carbonation.

D - Easy drinking but not too much in terms of flavor.

 475 characters

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.

 553 characters

Photo of gbontrag
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Self described as "A big hazelnut brown ale."
Pours thinnish looking from a wonderful flip-top moonshine-lookin' bottle. It a shiny, oily hazelnut color. The froth is thin and fades to a veneer of patchy bubbles quickly.
Aroma is fruity toffee...
Tastes of fruity nougat candy bar with caramel. It has a bock-like leather and nutshell flavor. Nice; yes it's a little thin for a "big" beer, but it's got a big dark peanut brittle bite. There's dark sweet cigar smoke wafting by. Chewy dried bing cherries.

I reviewed this in december, and tried it again in March. By March it had shriveled on all levels, see PrAna's review. Fresh it was decent.

 650 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Shot from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 112 ratings