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Fixed Gear

Fixed Gear

Judges Rating: 
88
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Silky smooth and loaded with luscious, sweet caramel and vibrant citrusy hop notes, Lakefront’s Fixed Gear is the quintessential American amber ale. Not unexpectedly, hops are the keynote to the aroma, with notes of thyme, verbena, and tangerine right up front floating over a bed of cookie dough malt sweetness. The hops struck Lee as “bold, faintly catty and laced through with juicy grapefruit.” He enjoyed the hops’ give-and-take with the underlying lightly sugary malt. Topped by a mountain of billowing, creamy white foam, this deep, dark amber brew with coruscating flashes of crimson and claret around its edges, fairly shimmers in the glass. Emphatically bitter, yet balanced by rich caramelly malt, the flavor is dexterously balanced between hop and malt with no one element outshining the others. Tim lasered in on the hops, pulling out hints of verbena and hyssop, and likening the effect to “warm, spicy herbal tea backed by a solid crystal malt backbone.” Tom found the flavor more balanced, with a “lingering assertive bitterness” working in concert with chewy caramel malt. Digging a bit deeper, Tom teased out a lightly roasted café au lait counterpoint to the sweetness. All judges commented on the skillful cloaking of the beer’s substantial 6.8 percent ABV. Fixed Gear is not a middle of the road amber ale – its brash flavors and muscular bitterness are not for the faint of heart.

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