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Fireside Chat | 21st Amendment Brewery

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342 Reviews
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Fireside ChatFireside Chat

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by elgiacomo on 10-19-2010

For Trade:
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Reviews: 342 | Ratings: 1,240
Photo of Guppy314
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a can, pours as clear deep amber with a tan one-finger lasting head. Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg (remnant of eggnog) with caramelly malt. Taste is sweet malt forward with lots of spice notes (cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove) as you'd find in an eggnog. But it is a bit of a cacophony plus some metallic taste, so not world class.

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Photo of seedyone
4.44/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n HUm, NYC. Lush is the word. A deep, dark ebony liquid topped with avery light tan head.

Aroma is coffee-like with a hint of spice. Cinnamon, vanilla, vague clove & something that has a bite are haunting this pint.

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Photo of PhillyB
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First of all, I got this beer six months to the day from its 'enjoy by' date. Still a very enjoyable experience!

Look: A pretty beer. Black and totally opaque, with a bubbly tan head that dissipates very quickly.

Smell: Pleasant, if a bit on the mild side. Dark chocolate, and oddly enough coriander.

Taste: Much beefier than the aroma, with the addition of a dried apricot/date.

Feel: Slight spice nip on the initial swing, but buttery towards the end.

Overall: While I get the impression that much of the spice has died down, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. A very well-balanced and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Clear 14.75-oz. porter/stout glass
From: Discount Alpine Liquor in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $9.99 for a 6-pack
Purchased: April 3, 2016
Consumed: April 3, 2016
Misc.: Enjoy by Jan. 31, 2016

Was semi-looking forward to this beer. I definitely like winter warmer beers, but 21st Amendment has just been OK the few that I’ve tried. Plus I noticed the “Enjoy by Jan. 31, 2016” on the bottom of the can when I got home (I don’t think it was on the box), I’ll try to not let that affect my review.

Poured a dark auburn, murky color with four fingers of khaki, frothy head. Average amount of spotty, foamy lacing in the sides of the glass. Very good retention all the way down. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled nutmeg, dark apple, maple walnut, cinnamon (wishful?), dark peach, dark apricot, hints of slightly spoiled milk and cranberry. (Smell - 3.50)

Tasted not as spicy as I would have thought. Got those dark dried fruits - apple, grape, cranberry, apricot - along with nutmeg, rye, roasty malts, almost Scotch Ale like, and still light cinnamon. That 7.9 percent ABV is hidden. (Taste - 3.25)

Medium body. Oily texture. Lively carbonation. Somewhat warming finish. (Feel - 3.25)

Not that good of a Winter Warmer in my opinion. Granted the enjoy by Jan. 31 didn’t help, but still. (Overall - 3.25)

3.36 | 77 | B-

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Photo of farrago
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Produces a finger of dark tan foam, fairly even surface with bigger bubbles aggregated around the point of pour, moderate retention, the lacing is slightly weak. The liquid is a fairly clear deep brown hue, fades to a yellowish cast at the edges, plenty of active bubbles visible. The nose serves up caramel, cocoa, mocha, cinnamon and nutmeg, the abiding chocolaty qualities have a good roast to them, mix of apricot, cherry, apple fruit, hint of coal or earthy ash but pretty much sticks to the sweet side of things. Light-bodied, starts off with broader palate coverage and then all but totally fades away by the finish. Before that occurs one may discern stronger coffee and roast notes here, bittersweet dark chocolate, toffee, cola bean and pie crust notes. The flavors lack the intensity to create enduring sweetness. The carbonation adds prickle but it comes off as hardening rather than refreshing. There’s no great flaws on display, however, overall it lacks depth in all the areas which might have it excel.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice tannish and creamy head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a cloudy and slightly opaque brown color with a bit of reddish hue to it. The overall look is pretty decent and strongly resembles a brown ale but is very nice to look at.

The smell is pretty nice. The smell has a light malt toffee note to it with a much stronger and dominant spice note. The spice notes consist of cinnamon and ginger along with other notes that I can't really identify. It isn't bad but the malt note is comparatively week.

The taste is also pretty nice. The taste is nice and does not really disappoint as a winter warmer. The taste certainly has spices such as cinnamon and ginger along with a bit of other spices that I can't identify. The malt notes are decent and give a bit of a toffee note that mixes well with the spices to create a good winter taste. However, the malt presence is pretty weak for the style and it comes out more as a spiced brown ale.

The feel is nice but lacking. It's a pretty smooth beer with some biting carbonation that gives it a bit of a nice texture. The main problem is that the body feels a bit too thin that it borders on being slightly watery. Essentially, it feels more like a brown ale than anything else.

Overall, a nice winter warmer but a bit lacking in flavor and smell. There are better versions of the style but it's worth getting if you're looking for something interesting.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: January 7, 2016... GLASSWARE: Mad Elf tulip... OCCASION... returning back from LVR/Jefferson wrestling match and an emotional day giving Uncle Vincey back to God... APPEARANCE: purplish brown body that loses its opaqueness when held to the light; head is slushy dirty snow, clumped and riddled with holes; head is resilient, and releases quality lacing as the glass drains ... AROMA: mineral aromas immediately, with cinnamon, pepper, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, sugary malts and baking bread... a fruitcake is also detectable, as the holiday milieu would suggest--inviting, overall... PALATE: reasonably medium-bodied, with strength and warmth but a stout-like drinkability at 7.9%...aftertaste is chewable and palpable with an odd note that detracts slightly...otherwise, nothing outstanding in this department... TASTE: a chocolate fruitcake is best employed when describing the Chat--a full-flavored, toffee, caramel and milk-infused, toasted bread beer that feeds as it is sipped...secondary flavors of port, fig and medicinal undertones make for an interesting combination.... OVERALL: a dessert beer that packs in a variety of flavors and keeps the alcohol humming without infecting its vibe...finishes with a maltiness that endears it to wintertime...effective in its attempt and enjoyable to a degree, though it lacks more hop complexity...still, the toasted quality evokes the feel of a winter's eve, and the malts make for a hearty drinking experience...

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$ 18/12pack ($ 0.125/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA
Can BB 1/31/16 at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma – weak, smells like sweat – no identifiable spices
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), tan, frothy, slooowly diminishing to irregular three to seven mm ring and partial layer
Lacing excellent – wide curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor – weak cinnamon in a brown ale base; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.25, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

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Photo of Wiffler27
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

pours a mahogany, with a deep deep ruby hue. thick head as well.

smell is subdued with some spice to it. maybe some cinnamon, almost a slight rye aroma.

taste is full of spices. not bad but unique. some cinnamon and a weird aftertaste. almost like a spiced pumpkin ale version of a christmas. not near as mild as GLBC Christmas Ale.

i taste an old ale with spices added to it. i don't mind spices in my beer but this combination just doesn't work for me.

not a huge fan of this beer. have had much worse but the spiciness hangs on the tongue, in a bad way. possibly a drain pour.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a globe snifter.

Unbelievable amount of head for a 12 oz beer poured into a giant snifter. It's marvelous and just doesn't quit. Beige colored. The color of the body is dark chocolate black and 100% opaque. This is starting off on a great note.

Aroma is of the spiced variety; notes of licorice, plum, molasses, scorched sugar, oats and barley. A distinct mixture of wetness and wood. Perverted as that may sound, it's true.

Quite a bit of prune around the teeth, matched with an equitable level of hop bitterness; followed by notes of chicory, ginger, molasses, and horehound. Brown sugar gets lost in the mix but is still present. The finish is of harsh alcohol, astringency, and plum skin. The harsh astringency wins out at the finish, overcoming the otherwise great qualities of this beer. For this reason I had to dock points.

Feel is wonderfully dense and creamy, with a distinct dryness that compliments the density. High carbonation but doesn't sit in the tummy nicely. Apart from that, not much I'd change here.

Overall, this is a beer i'd try again. It's not phenomenal but it is competent and better than many winter warmers of the season.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ogie's in Providence, served in a nonic:

Appearance: nice mahogany brown, with some lighter mocha color on the edges. Solid tan head comprised of tons of little bubbles. Body is dark, but translucent on the swirl.

Smell: didn't really get all that much here. There's a little bit of spice present.....cinnamon or allspice....and lots of roasted malt. That's pretty much it, and neither was very potent. Weak, especially if it's going to be advertised as a "winter warmer."

Taste: again, not much in the way of spice or any dominant flavor. Felt watered down and thin. Fair amount of bread, with a tiny amount of spice, and a lot of light roasted malt.

Feel: light to medium body, with a good amount of crispness and carbonation. Felt like a light English-style porter in body and mouthfeel.

Overall: I'll spend my precious calories elsewhere. Even at a price of free, I'll probably choose something else on tap.

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Photo of Denmar24
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Fireside Chat use to be one of my favorite winter warmers....until this year. I am not really sure what happened, I can only speculate that they were shooting for wider appeal. Maybe they will get it, but I seriously doubt it. This beer is now a massive disappointment which is unremarkable in every way. Very average beer with no qualities worth seeking out, or that you can't find in other beers year round. Spend your money elsewhere.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle dark brown with a 1/2 khaki head that settles to a thin film on top. The smell is of grain, subtle fruit and Autumn spices. The taste is of bready malt, cinnamon and a touch of hop bite on the finish. The aroma is promising but, the flavors are all muddled and watered down.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yardhouse

A: Pours deep reddish brown with a frothy khaki head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Toasty, kinda nutty, toffee sweetness, light pine, and a little spice.

T: Toasty malt, a little spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, light pine, and some toffee sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: I've had this one in years past and I remember it having a bit more spice presence. As it sits now it's a very average but not offensive beer. With any luck I can retry it and have a better experience.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.36/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can to snifter. Appearance is Deep dark reddish brown, like mahogany. Big creamy head, off white. Aroma is clove, nutmeg, orange, roasted chestnuts, honey, Brown sugar. Taste is honey, fig, date, raisin,pecans. Like a liquid mincemeat pie. Delicious. Low carbonation, but creamy and smooth. Quickly becoming one of my holiday favorites. We’ll see how it fares in the upcoming blind holiday beer tasting. I can almost hear FDR on the radio.
December 2015
Finished 5th amongst 19 Holiday beers in Blind tasting. 3rd on my list.

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Photo of MaxMinardi
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little bummed. This was hyped up to me pretty hard. My first time trying it wasn't anything too special. Poured out of the can into a goblet. Second time I did the same, but the beer was just a bit warmer. I noticed a lot more flavor the second time. Definitely had that iconic 21st Amendment taste to it. Not sure if that's a good thing but at least they're consistent. At $8.99 for a sixer, it's certainly not a bad deal, but now that I've tried it, I don't know that I'll be kicking down any doors to have it again.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a ruddy burnt brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute leaving some light stringy lace all around the glass.
The smell started off with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, caramel and toffee malts.
The taste was pretty much the same with a nice lingering malty aftertaste leading into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation ran good - nice and low for the style.
Overall, nice winter warmer, pretty sure I'll have no problem downing the rest of these.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an easy drinking winter brew. Not as deep and chewy as others, but full bodied and satisfying. Light, present, but nicely infused spice. I'll behaving many of these by the fire

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass from the tap at Fetch here in Warwick, NY.

Appearance: dark Amber with heavy rust colored tint with medium bubbles on the body creating an off-white head rising about 1/4" off the body. Drops with sticky lacing but settles very evenly.

Smell: Light cinnamon scent, light oranges but super light.

Taste: Has a cinnamon hop taste with hits of sweet citrus. Light malted feel that reminds you of a bitter cinnamon black tea.

Mouth: medium carbonation, not truly sticky. A little dry and slight chewy.

Overall: Descent brew, granted there are better winter warmer beers out there. Has much room for tweaking. Worth sharing a 4-pack with friends especially this time of the year. Salud!

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Photo of brureview
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark chocolate almost opaque color in a Stone Imperial pint glass with a 3F head.

The aroma is excellent: chocolate and spice.

The body is a bit too light, and detracts from the taste which is cocoa, chocolate and spice. The beer is malt forward. The taste doesn't match the intensity of the aroma.

If the body were thicker, this would be an excellent beer. Perhaps the recipe should be tweaked.
I tasted the beer on the warmer side, bringing out the malt and chocolate.

Overall, a very good beer which could develop in future brews as an excellent winter warmer.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 1/31/16 stamped on bottom of the can.
This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a ruddy amber color with a one finger white to tan foamy head that had some stringy lacing here and there.
The smell had some vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, toffee, and caramel. Added cake-like aroma fills in the edges nicely.
The taste was mainly sweet through previously mentioned flavors. That cake-like substance comes back to surround my taste buds nicely. There's a light aftertaste of the cinnamon and cake that fills in on the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a somewhat heavy sessionable feel. I mean that by the spices kinda hit a bit hard but allow the malts to slide along my tongue.
Overall, I say this was a nice winter warmer that I would have again.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass best before 1/31/16. Pours mahogany, with a one inch light tan head that leaves some lines of lace behind.

Smell is hazelnut, vanilla, peat, brown sugar, cinnamon, and English toffee.

Taste follows perfectly with everything blended beautiful, hazelnut, being most dominant and everything else lending a hand.

Body is medium, the perfect amount of life, not dry, and very drinkable.

Overall this is a very nice winter warmer and at an excellent price. Starting to come back to my malty roots and appreciating some other styles.

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Photo of stevoj
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Can from Winco. A pretty solid brew, I'm sensing an English ale under the spice bouquet. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla all present, as accents, not overdone. Solid malt body carries it well. Body a bit thin, lets see where this goes with a little warmth.

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Photo of Act25
3.89/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm going in the other direction on this. LIke the brewer, love this beer, but it's sweet.
I enjoyed it as the first late afternoon brew on a fall weekend when coffee was the other option.

A - Pours a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of white foam. It left steady wisps of lace on the glass.

S - Coffee and holiday spices - nutmeg, cinnamon with ample caramel malt aroma.

T - It tasted spicy - dried fruit flavor like figs and plums mixed with strong maltiness.

M - Crisp, sharp and smooth. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

O - I contest this is as good as most winter warmers.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is brown, head is tan, head presents about 1/2 inch thick and seems to linger well, no real lacing on the glass.

Smell seems light for a stronger and spice ale, maybe more of strong porter like presence at first, but then some subtle spices such as clove and cinnamon emanate as it warms.

Taste is adds to the spice profile, with some ginger presenting, malt is a bit more chocolatey, not overly roasted.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, a little bit of sweetness at first, then some fuller bitterness and spice on the tongue, then a pronounced drying at the end.

Overall, this brew hides its strength well and is a bit less spiced than many warmers.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 1,240 ratings.
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