Fireside Chat
21st Amendment Brewery

Fireside ChatFireside Chat
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #265
ABV:
7.9%
Score:
81
Ranked #44,780
Avg:
3.56 | pDev: 15.73%
Reviews:
374
Ratings:
1,357
From:
21st Amendment Brewery
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  47
Gots
  280
SCORE
81
Good
Fireside ChatFireside Chat
Notes: Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation.

Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.
Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 1,357 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Hooded
Hooded from Texas

1.9/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Notes from 4/20/2020.
Poured from a 12oz can into a Rastal nucleated Teku glass.
The body is a very dark brown with 2 fingers of tan head. Retention is a little above average leaving a not quite thin cap. 4.00
The aroma is very low in strength and all I can get is a hint of sweetness and spice. 2.75
The taste is a little below medium-high in strength and I'm trying to get past the unfortunate medicinal flavor. There's some spices, and then the awful medicinal flavor attacks. It's like someone took an ancient leather shaving kit that has old dried smeared toothpaste and shaving cream, and stinks of stale aftershave. Then they poured water into the shaving kit, thoroughly shook it up, and poured it into a glass. There's a moderate bitter finish which perfectly excentuates the medicinal ancient shaving kit flavor. 1.00
The mouth feel is medium in thickness, a little creamy, and has a low astringent finish. 4.00
Overall, it's irredeemable. 1.00

Apr 30, 2020
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
HorseheadsHophead from New York

4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark appearance. Cola brown. Black in the middle and dark brown on the edges. The head is creamy and tan with great retention and lacing.

The aroma smells like brown bread, burnt sugar, and roasted nuts.

The taste is rich brown bread and toffee with lots of dark chocolate. Hints of ginger and generic spice, but the malt dominates over the spices. Finishes with a touch of earthy hops and lingering roasted, black coffee bitterness.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky.

A fine beer. I wish the spices were a bit more prominent, but it's a delectable Winter Warmer.

Dec 29, 2019
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Beautiful clear mahogany pour with 2+ fingers of foamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Very attractive beer.

S: Malts and spice. Christmas in a beer can, with nugmeg, clove, and cinnamon.

T.F: Semi-sweet and malty... overspiced with all of the above... cloying and earthy. Some hop bitterness for balance. Medium bodied.. a bit boozy... and a shit-ton of spice at the finish.

O: Not really my thing. It's a spice-rack extravaganza with a big boozy malty beer. Not one I'd grab again.

Dec 09, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First had this in 2012 at Canfest (now defunct, marketing company bought it, ran it into the ground). Was the perfect beer to have there as opposed to taking a chance on an entire six pack in the wild (retail).

Rolls into the glass as a brown cola like color. Big ol' 1" beige head on the top, very good retention, was waiting to be able to drink this one. Aroma of dark fruit. Was hoping for the malt to lead the way first, but here its yeast and spice rack derived therefrom.

Taste, ok there's more of that dark fruit bitterness, more than desired. Supplement that with some nutmeg and coriander alongside every other conceivable addition from the spice rack. The combination of the high alcohol and high bitterness is not a winner in my book. I think I prefer my winter warmers to be less about the belgian spice rack and more about a rich malty existence. While substantially less strong, almost watery for style, I still prefer the Samuel Smith's version.

Nov 18, 2019
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Dark, illuminating mahogany/cola color that's clear and easy to see through. Really foamy, thick sudsy tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon come first. Others include dark fruit, Christmas spices, coriander, brown sugar, cloves, prunes, molasses, herbal hops, and maybe some toast.

Taste is much like the aroma and feels lightly smooth. Very pleasant aftertaste of lingering spices and warmth that really does make me feel like I'm by a fireplace. Altogether very well balanced and impressive.

Jan 05, 2019
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice & elegant can artwork. It's well balanced & the spices are not overwhelming. This is a good winter beer & the high abv is well hidden. Cheers! A-

Dec 16, 2018
Photo of 322wingedfoot
322wingedfoot from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From draft at 21st Ammendment. From the tap list: “ A subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew.We begin with a rich, dark, warming English-style ale and add a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.” 45 IBUs. Nice beer & not too spicy.

Nov 25, 2018
Photo of MichaelProcton
MichaelProcton from North Carolina

3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark (almost cola-like) brown that doesn't let much light through. Little active carbonation, though it produces a nice, fluffy khaki head. The smell really delights and fills the room from the moment it hits the glass. Spice and big dark fruit...like something that would be nice to drink warm steeped like tea! The taste is not quite as impressive. Although the spices ring through, the malt flavors are kind of muddled. I wonder if this is one that needs to warm up a bit to really be appreciated. The ABV is well-hidden, though, and the mouthfeel is nice. Full, but smooth.

Jul 27, 2018
Photo of CMEG
CMEG from Maryland

2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This is another disappointment from 21st Amendment. This is a brewery that is capable of much higher quality. The beer is very monolithic - its got all the right elements of a winter warmer - the spice, etc - however, nothing special. The beer pours with a light head, has a pleasant aroma of fruit, and a mouthfeel that is expected. But the taste lets you down - I wish it were a more memorable beer.

May 05, 2018
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper brown color with a thin dark beige head with short retention.
Nice English aroma with notes of cocoa, lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, toffee, cream chocolate and prunes in caramel.
Flavor with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, cola, some earthy and herbal hops, coriander, maybe ginger, molasses, prunes and cloves. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness. It feels lower than its 45 IBUs.
Bordering medium body with appropriate mild carbonation. Alcohol of 7.9% is well disguised.
Flavorful and balanced Winter Ale that is well below average cloying levels of the style. Don’t expect a sipper. This is more versatile.

Apr 14, 2018
Photo of MurphyMacManus
MurphyMacManus from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. can into tulip pint

Look: mahogany brown with a dense, cream-colored head

Smell: brown sugar, dark fruit, christmas spices

Taste: toasted malt, christmas spices, slight medicinal alcohol, minimal hop bitterness (mostly in the finish); balanced

Feel: medium body; tight carbonation. Finish is long.

Overall: It's a tasty beer, but it doesn't have the sweetness or alcohol warmth that I associate with other winter warmers.

Mar 09, 2018
Photo of IronLover
IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep, reddish brown in color, similar to dark tea, with excellent clarity. Poured with a tall, creamy, light beige foam with medium retention. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and light coriander aromas with sweet dark malts and light earthy hop notes. Medium bodied with medium carbonation and pleasant warmth from the middle to the finish. Medium high coriander and nutmeg flavors up front with sweet malt beneath. Medium hop bitterness through the middle followed by pepper and pine notes with light cinnamon. Boozy heat ramps up near the end and gets a little prickly. Finished with peppery notes, lingering spicy hop bitterness and sticky sweet malt notes. Aromas and flavor were very spicy, reminiscent of potpourri and Thanksgiving. Despite the medium body, the feel was a bit thin.

Mar 09, 2018
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into a glass. weird code followed by 1231. i take it to be this years offering.

slightly dirty brown with hints of red body. decent off white fluffy head. good lacing.

smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and other Xmas spices.

taste follows the nose. not unpleasant mixture of spices, not overly strong.

mouth is a tad below medium, finish is Christmas spices.

overall, an okay Christmas ale. not something I would want to have several of at a time, but nice once in a while.

Jan 22, 2018
Photo of mderhammer
mderhammer from Ohio

2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer should be reserved for the 2nd hour of "fireside chat"...meaning drink something better until you feel warm inside; the flavor profile is not very welcoming. The IBUs come out almost sour. If this was more of a cream stout base I would rate it better. I won't buy again next year.

Hammer

Dec 17, 2017
Photo of Stoutmaster9
Stoutmaster9 from California

4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superior can art, as usual. Spot the Elf, make a wish!

It was difficult, at first, to calibrate my taste buds to Christmas ALE, as opposed to an inescapable winter IPA, but after the first half pint, I was totally into it, even a challenge NOT to finish the six pack by the evening's end!

Dec 15, 2017
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear cola/brown body with coarse ambient carbonation, tan velvet solid fluffy head. The nose is warm, eliciting notes of rum, caramel, raisin, baking/Christmas spices, and bread crust. The taste is sweet, with bread crust, caramel, butterscotch, and mild cinnamon and allspice in the background. The bread crust aspect lends some bitterness and anchors the sweetness. Body is medium, pretty soft, with mild carbonation in the background.
Great beer! The bitterness of the bread crust was too much of an anchor for me, but otherwise this was a great warming ale. The warmth and sweetness of the malt was great, the seasoning was in the right amount, and the alcohol was stealthy but potent. Top contender for all my Christmas parties.

Nov 06, 2017
Photo of teromous
teromous from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottom of the can: "Cold Spring, MN CQB19 0050"

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dark brown with a deep mahogany color when held up to the light. The surface of the short eggshell white head is smooth with some bumps and ripples like the surface of a wall.

Aroma: There is a light bit of what smells like it might be clove and a bit of a faint nutty aroma.

Taste: Up front there is a spicy flavor with what tastes like clove and cinnamon. It stays this flavor all the way through the drinking experience. At the end there is just a touch of a bitter flavor.

Mouthfeel: It is an easy drinking beer with a moderate level of spice and just a bite of bitter at the end. The body is medium and it finishes wet.

Overall: This isn't the kind of Winter Warmer that would be sipped and savored slowly, but rather one that could be consumed like a regular beer during a holiday meal or party. It has a moderate spice level and it doesn't taste alcoholic so it fits nicely in that middle ground between a regular beer and a heavy Winter Warmer. I wouldn't rush out to get it for a special occasion but it would be the perfect beer to pick up for a party or a dinner with friends. I would recommend it and I would drink it again.

Nov 03, 2017
Photo of hreb
hreb from Washington

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can served in a can glass. Beer pours cola brown in color and for some reason forms an enormous tan head, filling half the glass. Pleasant, warm, seasonal aroma suggests to me roasted nuts. Flavor is creamy but bold, with toast, burnt grain, spicy hops. I find winter warmer to be a style the benefits from restraint and lower ABVs than this offers, since drinkability can easily suffer. But this is well enough executed that drinkability is kept up, due to a combination of balanced flavors and great mouthfeel.

Oct 20, 2017
Photo of OzmanBey
OzmanBey from Massachusetts

3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Being a history geek I saw this and had to get it, not everyday Franklin D. Roosevelt graces a can of beer, the smell is nice malty smell, the taste is a nice malt taste with a hint of hops and a very nice spice notes that come out as the beer sits in your mouth. It's a very nice almost sweet taste that you don't find in too many beers, it's a nice twist in the Yuletide beers that I think everyone should try. Worth at least trying.

Oct 16, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance is a dark brown almost black colored body with a full one and a half finger white foamy head that rises just above the pint glass to mushroom cap a bit, gets a bit foamy but once it starts to die, there is barely any lacing, just some little spots here and there. The smell is quite Brown ale-like as there’s a fair amount of nutty roastiness but has a decent amount of a dried fruit-like substance with some spices coming through in an earthy sort of way, I’m thinking chai and maybe some ginger. The taste is mainly sweet but a decent spicy element includes itself into that same earthy aspect, a lightly spiced (chai/ginger-like) aftertaste, dry finish. Its somewhat easy on the palate. Overall, I say this is a pretty good winter warmer, well worthy of coming back to.

Jul 04, 2017
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basaywhat from Illinois

3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz can. Pours a light brown with an inch of tan head a little bit of lacing. Smells of vanilla, caramel, and spices. Taste is sweet caramel, chocolates, and spice.

May 10, 2017
Photo of flaskman
flaskman from New York

3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It was on draft at my favorite dive in Buffalo NY in a 16 ounce IPA glass. It was very dark brown with about 1/4 inch head. The lacing was weak and the head didn't last very long. I found it to be a tasty beer. It reminded me of a spiced porter that was a little thin. The spice was done nicely. The brew was slightly sweet but not too sweet and balanced well with the spice. I thought that it was a decent winter seasonal that if on draft I would try again. I am not so sure I would spent the money on a 4 or six pack but I enjoyed it enough to order another. (they had just run out of Rare Vos :-)

Feb 26, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Taste: Rich grainy barley malt, spice cake, malty finish. Bread like, spice cake nose. Copper/Brown, mostly clear, tan head with sticky well dined ring of lace. Full but not heavy body. A meal. 45 IBUs

Feb 15, 2017
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can with a Nov. 2016 canning date.

Appearance: Pours with a clear, dark copper colored body topped by a frothy beige head. Decent retention and

Smell: spiced bread; intermittent off notes.

Taste: Lightly bitter and moderately spicy. Light bready notes and spices linger on in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Medium+ carbonation. A little sticky.

Overall: a dark spiced winter ale that is not over spiced.

Jan 18, 2017
Photo of timmos1
timmos1 from California

2.92/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I really wanted to like this one. On tap at San leandro. For a winter warmer it's just not sweet or spicy enough. At 7.4% and 45 ibu, it should be easily identified as winter beer. It's 45 here and it warms me up but the hop aftertaste is just bitter. Smoky, dirty hop flavor, little sweetness. I think I'll choose a different winter warmer than this one. Do like label art though.

Jan 16, 2017
Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 1357 ratings