Product description: Fortem (Latin for “The Strong”) is a new-age imperial IPA that draws upon a range of influences, all while exhibiting DNA from Firestone Walker’s own forays into the IPA style—including Double Jack and Luponic Distortion. The intent of Fortem is to achieve power through balance, delivering amped-up aromas and mouthfeel while keeping bitterness on a leash. It blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and a rounded texture.
Firestone Walker Brewing – Firestone Walker Leo v. Ursus: Fortem – 16 oz. can poured into specialty glassware. 8.2% abv.
Appearance: Pours a fairly translucent dark yellow. There’s a white sudsy head at first but it quickly fades away. Slightest bit of haze, but nothing blatant. It’s so weird to have to explain that this beer does not look like butterscotch pudding.
Aroma: Strong ripe melon, soft pine and a little bit of mens body wash/ deodorant. Very pleasing and somewhat familiar.
Taste: Citrus oil, pith, honey dew with rind. Citrus flavors drop to a long earthy finish. Absolutely no alcohol presence.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with prickly carbonation.
Overall: In the most loving way possible, I must say this is a fresh coat of paint on the rock solid, hoppy clean ale program Firestone Walker has mastered years ago. What tickles me to no end, is that like the Luponic Series, there is way less of a chance of picking this up past its prime. Back to the beer for a moment, while at a glance, this is just another perfect Firestone IPA, the new generation hops do shine through, and that can’t be understated. Anyone looking for a true, clean west coast IPA should enjoy this or the next release from the Leo v Ursus series. Hopefully they stick to the lower end of the abv spectrum at 8.2%, as this was a very easy drinking double IPA.