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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: 1,235
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can as well as on tap into a english style glass. A clear mahogany pour with a thick and fluffy khaki head. A wonderfully wintry & roasty aroma that features some caramel, toffee, red apples, pears, plums, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of anise. More thin than medium-bodied. Lots of maltiness upfront taste-wise. Some caramel and a roasty nuttiness at the forefront. A biscuity transition. Finishes kinda sour and dry with some surprising grassy notes. Plenty of spiciness throughout. Some alcohol warmth is present. A drinkable and pleasant enough winter warmer.

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Photo of nhindian
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A - To start with, this is just an awesome can. Images of FDR by a freshly-stoked fireplace makes it impossible to not feel cozy and warm. It pours a dark chestnut, with flaming highlights much like the color of the fire in the can. Has a foamy 2-fingered head on it that has moderate retention, and as it shrinks it leaves behind a nice coating of lacing.

S - Aroma has an unusual, yet enticing combination of sweet and spicy. Not sure what spices come through here, smells a bit like cinnamon and nutmeg, and I'm also getting a bit of chocolate as well.

T - However, the taste seems like a bit of a jumbled mess. The sweetness is actually quite cloying and lasts far into the finish. The chocolate actually comes through a bit more pronounced here as well. The spices are notable as well, but seem to clash with the sweetness rather than complement it and after the first few sips, it just wasn't very enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderately low carbonation. Finish is on the longish side, but unfortunately isn't preferred as its quite sweet.

D - Drinkability is low. This beer had promise and the initial flavor was fresh and unique, but it just kind of falls apart. I was looking at my glass wishing it would be gone sooner, but I had to wait a bit.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy Canned beer day. Fireside Chat out of a can into a Three Floyds imperial 12 ounce glass.

Beer is brown with a good head of small off white to tan bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Head has some retention on it and stays for the long haul. Carbonation moderate to low.

Aroma is sweet and has some spices in it. At this point I looked up what kind of beer this is, another winter warmer. sigh...

Beer is medium to light in body with some cookie sweetness up front and some biscuit breadiness in the midpalate leading to a low bitterness and a clean finish. I'm not sure why this is rated so low, as far as a winter warmer is concerned the spices were not overwhelming but they were present, the mouthfeel and drinkability were fine, I'd have it again but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of auro0006
3.79/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed having this beer on tap and thought it was a fantastic warming, winter beer.

The color was a dark, copper-amber color. There wasn't a very large head, but it was a nice tan color with great aromas.

The nose released fantastic aromas of winter spices such as nutmeg and cardamom. Caramel, toffee and hints of roasted malts also rose from the head.

The body was nicely carbonated and crisp. There were flavors of caramel, biscuity malts and roasted malts. Toffee and warming spices were detected towards the finish. The finish was long and brought out warming alcohol.

This is a great ale to enjoy during a cold, winter day or night.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a deep brown with a half of a glass of tan foam that slowly faded leaving some good lacing down the glass
S - caramel malts are strong with hints of some orange zest and cinnamon. It is definitely unique, I can't say I love it but its not that bad either.
T - Faint hints of the sweet malt with the orange zest coming through along with the cinnamon making its presence known in the finish. The caramel is there after the fact giving this one an interesting flavor overall. The spices are there but not overbearing but do linger throughout and after.
M/D - pretty nice beer to drink, the mouthfeel is smooth and well carbonated, definitely a good campfire beer on a crisp autumn night.

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Photo of PearlJam1221
2.43/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Interesting beer. Dark brown with a nice tan head.. good lacing and head retention, especially considering ABV. STRONG spice taste... can't quite figure out which spices it utilizes, but they're absolutely overpowering. This beer was ok to try... but I'm not tempted to have another.

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Photo of Infamous7100
2.82/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nothing special on the pour. A dark brown, near opaque hue with about a half finger tan head.
Smells extremely sweet and spicy. All kinds of malts and spices like cinnamon and clove. I suppose some Carmel is there as well.
Taste is not what I wanted. The spices completely over shadow the beer and hence, the palet. I suppose a better description is the balance is way off. Not so much a beer as much as it is some sort of holiday beverage. Some cloying and burn at the back.
Decent about of carbonation and slick feel on the tongue. Slight bitter hang on the finish.
Due to the sweetness and poor balance of this beer, one is enough for me. I love a good malty winter warmer, but this one goes overboard on the spices.

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Photo of negroobserver
2.61/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was very excited when I happened upon this beer at whole foods recently and I immediately bought a six-pack. I had never had any beer from this brewery, which made it even more interesting.

I was very disappointed. The beer had a dirty brown color with what appears to be floating sediment or spices. It smell really good with a strong hint of spices, particularly cinnamon and cloves. The taste is severly lacking. I found that the spices are overpowering and really take the flavor and texture of the beer away. The carbonation was strong and the mouth feel not very exceptional. Overall, I found that I didn't enjoy the beer very much and didn't really want to have another.


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Photo of beveritt
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentatiion: Poured from a 12 oz can into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts FDR sitting next to a fire and across from a chair with and elf in it. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles to a thin yet complete coating of foam leaving behind nearly complete lacing coverage. The beer itself is a clear, deep mahogany. No sediment remains in the can.

Smell: Caramel and toffee malt with distinct notes of bitter orange and cinnamon.

Taste: Very slightly sweet malt with loads of caramel. The spices that presented themselves in the aroma are here, but much more bitter from the boil. These blend seamlessly into a mild hop bitterness that lingers well after the sip with hints of cocoa.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is very good.

Drinkability: A nice blend of malt backbone and spices. Might revisit this one.

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Photo of garrettparkal
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Im a big fan of the beers i've had from 21st Amendment until this one. The taste is just not there, and it seems slightly over carbonated.

The spices are subtle, and the aftertaste is bordering on stale.

Wouldn't go out of my way to buy this again.

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Photo of AdamF
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly fruity.

I tried this for the first time at a craft brewfest. For a beer that pours a cola brown, it's lighter than I was expecting. But it still packs a lot of flavor.

I'm a fan of the spices. They aren't fragrant but they come through in the taste and the finish.

For me, Fireside Chat is more of a nice change of pace than something I'd drink every day. It's the only canned beer that I currently look forward to drinking.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Looks like a winter beer should. Dark brown but you can see through it in the right light. Not too much lacing as you go on.

S: Smells spicy, but I can't quite put a finger on it. Enticing though.

T: Not quite there, like its lacking something. Not necessarily disappointing however. Definitely some unique tastes in there, but nothing strong enough that I can put my finger on it. I was expecting it to be spicier i think. Has a nice finish with spices and slight bitterness hitting the back of your tongue. Nice aftertaste.

M: Higher-ish carbonation for the style. I think I would have liked it to be a little more subdued. I think it takes away from the whole experience.

D: I could have one or two of these but that lacking spiciness would get annoying after that.

Decent beer though. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of ZAP
1.47/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I think somebody found some old Jeremiah James recipes laying around the Cold Spring brewery and decided to use it for this 21st amendment beer which is contract brewed at Cold Spring.


This has that same vinegar, spoiled eggs flavor and aroma of those classic Jeremiah James beers...the spicing on this one masks it a little and the body isn't bad...medium full...but overall this is one of the worst winter spice beers I have ever had.


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Photo of KevinFed
2.04/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Weak offering. Drank the first one out of the can, the first sip was shockingly bad. The spices (aroma & taste) overwhelm all the taste of the beer. 2nd can into a pint glass, mellowed the spice, but still terrible. Great color, good head, but could not get 2 beers down. Save your $10.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours deep ruby red with a touch of brown, head is a thin finger, which is light brown with a tinge of red.
S: apple and prune sweet aroma, along with light amount of cinnamon and nutmeg.
T: more spicy with malt sweetness, and a light fruitiness. not really any hop to speak of.
M: thin, only the spices seem to coat the mouth.
D: first can i had i thought was good, this can not as, must be a different batch as it was a few months apart.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great artwork on the can.

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

S - It smelled of traditional Christmas spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. A mild caramel malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted spicy - not hop spice but spices. Again, more nutmeg and cinnamon. A slight dried fruit flavor like figs and plums mixed with strong maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - I was glad to finally try a can from 21st and this was a pretty nice one. Loved the artwork and it was pretty tasty, too.

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Photo of dciBA
2.74/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a standard pint glass. Brownish dark amber color with a foamy tan head that fades quickly. Certainly interesting looking. Smell is pleasant with some toasted nut and a good amount of baking spice. Mostly nutmeg.

The taste is where this beer takes a turn for the worse. Not really picking up much of anything. Some muted sweet malt, and a lot of generic sweetness. There's also an odd sourness in the finish that lingers on the back of my tongue. A little warmth as it goes down is a nice touch for the style but certainly doesn't redeem this one.

Mouthfeel is good, maybe a bit over carbonated but still smooth. It's definitely a sipper, just not one I'm particularly enjoying. Glad I only bought one can.

*EDIT* as the beer warms the sourness really dominates the flavor making it hard to finish. Changed score to reflect that.

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Photo of notsoprobeer
4.12/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color was a deep brownish orange. The tan colored head was creamy, had very good retention, and left a nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I noticed in aroma was the complex mix of spices. Although I couldn't identify what they were, they provided a nice introduction to the beer.

After the first taste, I was struck by how well balanced this beer was. The malts, hops, a mild sweetness, and the kick of the alcohol all hit my palate at once. After the initial rush of flavor, I noticed the mixed spices. It also had a sweetness similar to what I tasted in Back in Black. While I thought the sweetness seemed a bit out of place in Back in Black, it worked well in Fireside Chat. After it warmed up, the malts were more pronounced. Carbonation level was good and it had a nice mouth feel.

Fireside Chat had everything I want in a holiday beer--a more pronounced malt profile, "warming" from a higher alcohol content, and something unusual thrown in the mix.

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Photo of Briken
2.15/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ruby cola color with big brown fluffy head with great retention. Chocolate, cola, molasses and herbal aromas. Salty chocolate and guarana, birch, juniper and other herbs/spices. Astringent bitter linger with light sweetness. Thin feel with moderate-high carbonation.

No matter what I could not get agood taste out of this. The only thing that helped a little was allowing it to warm further. Still, flavors were muddy when not overshadowed by an overwhelming astringency.

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Photo of woemad
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. No freshness date.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, with a good sized, creamy light tan head. When held up to the light it took on a dark ruby hue. Webs of sticky lace remained behind on my glass.

Spicy and roasty in the nose. Smells like it might be fairly sweet.

Roasted malts and spices vie for attention. There's an odd sweet flavor that I just can't pin down, but it's not unpleasant at all. I was hoping for a little more complexity, but it doesn't taste bad at all.

Medium bodied, with a slightly prickly mouthfeel.

Fairly drinkable, though perhaps the spices might get a little cloying were I to have more. It's a bit strong for session drinking as well. Still, you could do worse.

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Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a ruby toned amber with a thick, 3 finger head of light tan foam that slowly fades out. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, cocoa, cinnamon, and mild hops. Pretty nice so far!
Taste is of the aromas with some notes of sauteed bananas, smoked wood, and some allspice berries with brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly warming, with moderate carbonation in the finish.

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Photo of JayQue
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly good winter warmer. A few different things going on here as well as the Christmas spice potpourri. Poured into a pint glass as a murky mahogany color with red highlights when held to a light. Nice big fluffy off white head with good retention and some lacing. A fairly good looking beer.

Smell was fairly robust as well. Malty, Christmas spices and some Belgian yeast aroma.

Tasted ok. The flavors didn't blend that well, but it is nice to find a winter warmer that is not just Christmas store spicy and thin. I liked the Belgian aspect (yeast and spices) to break up the cinnamon/nutmeg monotony. There is a solid bready malt backbone that keeps the flavor somewhat together.

Mouthfeel is about average, at least not watery. Drinkability is ok as a slow sipper on a cold night. Pleasant but one would probably do it.

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Photo of mralphabet
2.07/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz can poured into Pint Glass

A: Golden brown in color, nice fluffy tan head about a fingers worth. Head settles to a nice thin layer with wonderful lacing all the way down the glass... Wonderful looking beer.

S: Wild mix of malt, spice, caramel and yeast. Interesting ..

T: From the smell to taste is a big step down.... it is extremely tart and strangely sour, with a very light sweetness mid way through, with a warming alcohol burn. Wow this to me is just bad....

M: Medium bodied and very carbonated, yet dry.

D: Looks great, smells pretty good and un-drinkable!!! Just cannot get anything other than the look and smell out of this one. Sorry 21st Amendment, another bad one.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint glass

Pours a ruby-brown color, with very little beige head, no visible carbonation. Smell is like a spicy lager with caramel.

Taste is surprisingly bland, surprisingly sweet, I can taste some nutmeg I think.

Mouthfeel is rather still, a little dry, not thick or sticky. Too much sweetness to be very drinkable, to me.

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Photo of Samashley
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first had this beer at my local bar, South, in Park Slope Brooklyn. I've read a lot of reviews about the beer in the can version, and I think that the draft may be a bit different. I'm not usually one to have this particular style of beer, but after taking a sample of it and drinking a full pint, I kind of liked it. The first smell was deceiving, it smelled like a barbecue. But the taste was nice. It was medium bodied, slightly carbonated, and had a mild casky smoked taste. It followed with notes of chocolate and a subtle maltyness that I felt hid the alcohol content quite well. Good end to my night after drinking triples.

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Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.42 out of 5 based on 1,235 ratings.
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