Fire Island Beer Company Ocean Beach, NY Lighthouse Ale The first dual review: A New York brew as rated by Max, and then me. Chalk up my unremarkable photo to the unremarkable Lighthouse Ale. Out of the bottle, the writing is on the wall early for this ale as a warm reddish hue gives way to a thin, lacy head that looks like a damaged doily.
The mouthfeel is like an eager puppy, leaping into your arms only to pass out with exhaustion minutes later. The initial taste is a dense, rich caramel with orange and clementine accents, but what is so amazing about this ale is how quickly any real taste evaporates in a second flat. The finish is non-existent for an ale and it gives off almost has a soapy whisper as it goes down. What is tragic about Lighthouse is that it is a local brew which I hate to pan, but also that, with a little more care put into finishing, it already has the density and color to be a nice session beer at 5%. Alas, it doesn’t, and in fairness, I got this brew as my four-year-old son told my wife to buy it at the supermarket because it has a (rein) deer on it, and he loves Rudolph.
A quarter-inch, orange-tinted head expires rapidly, deflating to a nothing more than a matrix of exploding carbonation. That carbonation is lively and visible through a slightly gauzy, but transparent copper and maple syrup brew.
The nose gives off mostly malt – graham cracker, some sweet cinnamon-and-sugar, and the slightest hint of toast with orange marmalade. The mouthfeel is quite good – a creaminess melds surprisingly smoothly with all that frenetic effervescence.
The creamy body makes feints at a similarly milky taste, but splits in two. Initially, some sweet malt pops it’s head out, intimating at French bread crust, but breaking away just as messily. The other flavor is a bit of stone fruit, but there is no richness that one might expect from such ale tones.
The finish has a hint of hops with a bit of mint and lemon, but is actually pleasantly smooth. However, that smoothness would be more impressive if the beer offered more to the palate from the start.