I have had it on the back burner to write this one for a while now, but could never quite find the words. I still may not, but I’m going to give it the old college try. Iron Fist Brewing Co. is up in Vista, which is in Northern San Diego County, or so-called North County around here. I have never had any other beer from this brewery, but after trying this one, I’m not sure I need to. This lovely concoction is a smooth, not-too-light, but not-quite-heavy Belgian style golden ale that comes bottled in a capped 750ml champagne-style bottle. This is necessary (I assume) to contain all the malty deliciousness inside.
It pours a rich dark orange color, with bright white foamy head that really sticks around and lays like a light blanket on top for a good while. The smell is mostly that of the heavy sweet malts and very little hoppiness. The first thing to hit me in the taste is the sweetness coming from all the malts packed into this beer, which apparently is unusual for a Belgian strong ale. Generally, these beers are higher on the abv, with this one clocking in at 9.5%, and have a more hoppy profile than this one does. While I would consider 9.5%abv a pretty hefty alcohol content, it is anything but overpowering. In fact, I think it works well with all the malts to bring a warmth that I usually find with the holiday ales or wine. The lack of hoppiness isn’t a problem either, as long as you don’t expect a lot of them to come through. The finish is pretty much just that warmth from both the booze and malts, with the slightest hint of the sweetness.
While it is unfortunate that this beer is hard to find, at least for me, I completely understand and recommend snapping this one up when you find it.