Wednesday, November 2

Beer Review: Fort George North V Strong Ale

"A holiday tradition continues at Fort George Brewery with our Fifth rendition of the North series. Originally brewed to attend the Great American Beer and Barleywine Festival in Alaska we change this beer every year, but keep the Strong Ale base as a constant. Last year we imagined a Christmas tree being thrown into the beer and devised a recipe that included spruce buds, cranberries, and a giant candy-cane. This year we took another holiday icon, the fruitcake, and designed our holiday seasonal in its’ honor. A mash of barley, oats, wheat, rye, rich caramel and honey malts are mildly spiced with Cascade and Saaz hops, fermented with Fort George house yeast then allowed to condition on hand-splintered, rum inspired oak. A Glase Fruit concoction that includes cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel is dissolved into the finished beer to add the final touches. Designed and bottled to age, we are sure this version of the Fruit Cake will not be passed down for generations, but opened and imbibed at many a cheerful gathering."

Fruitcake? I do like the sound of rum-inspired oak... I think I tried this at last years Holiday Ale Festival. We'll see if I even go to this years.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Every so slightly cloudy dark rich amber brown brew. Off white finger of foam settles to a pillowy blanket and large ring in the glass. Looks like a strong ale to me!

Smell: (3.5)
- Some strong caramel notes, and a bit of a rubbing alcohol punch to the face. Esters, fig, and some citrus notes present.. as well as an herbal grassy hop. Lot's of bready grainy goodness. Just by the smell, I think they were right about the aging.

Taste: (3.5)
- This is pretty darn good! Smell threw me off. And then I also just now read that it is only 7.5% alc. by vol. which is hidden somewhat well in the taste at least. Nice dry hoppy touch.. earthy and grassy. Nice subtle fruity touch, some esters, fig, raisin.. not a really huge amount of citrus though.. but it is there so slightly. Little oakey flare.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Bit dry actually. I think there is some serious hopping with this one. Medium bodied, slightly creamy, and carbonated as it should be. Average carbonation. Little cloying, puckering.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall I like it a lot better than most other winter seasonals out there. But to me it still isn't a super excellent beer. I don't know if any winter beers are as i am normally not the biggest fan of the style. But it certainly shows some determination, and uniqueness in brewing. I am, and always will be a fan of Fort George Brewing. Unless they go soft on me ;)

B / 3.58

( Rating Scale)


  1. Sounds like I need to put a sticky note on the bottle I picked up reminding me to let it age.

  2. haha.. I am guessing it will be a lot better next year. I wouldn't age this one too long though.