The Fireside Chat, when poured into a goblet, presents itself as midnight brown with a thin tan ring encircling the edge. The initial visual impression leans towards a promising depth, setting the stage for what’s to come.

Aroma: Infused with a holiday spice profile, the scent carries notes of dried dark fruit, reminiscent of Belgian-like yeast, and a touch of gingersnaps. The aromatic ensemble seems to promise a festive and complex experience.

Taste: However, the journey takes a sharp turn on the palate. The bitterness dominates, accompanied by an astringent spice that almost resembles the texture of a pencil. Sassafras, spruce, and German hops join forces, but rather than harmonizing, they contribute to an overall abrasive taste. Adding to the challenge is the prominent presence of alcohol, disrupting the hoped-for balance.

Mouthfeel: In terms of mouthfeel, Fireside Chat doesn’t shy away; it boldly embraces a full-bodied character with an assertive high carbonation. The robust texture makes its mark but may be too overwhelming for those seeking a smoother drinking experience.

Overall: Despite the allure of its visually appealing can, the inner content of Fireside Chat left much to be desired for this reviewer. The clash of bitter and astringent elements, combined with the assertive presence of alcohol, creates an unbalanced and somewhat unpleasant tasting experience. While the attempt to be original is commendable, the execution may not resonate with those seeking a more enjoyable and refined beer.