We're Not In Love With Four Corners' Heart O' Texas.
Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it's local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!
This week, we sipped on Four Corners Brewing Co.'s Heart O' Texas Red Ale.
Fast Facts on Four Corners Brewing Heart O' Texas Red Ale.
Style: American Amber Ale.
ABV: 6.3 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 35.
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge — or Large Marge — that connects vibrant Downtown Dallas to less affluent La Bajada in West Dallas, used to be dubbed by some locals as “a bridge to nowhere.” Today, said “nowhere” is defined as one of the city's hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods, Trinity Groves.
An incubator for start-up concepts, Trinity Groves plays host to a variety of bars and eateries, all of which share an outdoors space and a fantastic view of its adjacent bridge and Downtown Dallas. Also within this cluster is Four Corners Brewing Company, one of Trinity Groves' first concepts, and West Dallas' first brewery.
Much like the neighborhood in which it sits, Four Corners Brewing Company is thriving. Think of the brewery today and you quickly connect with its iconic rooster logo and colorful branding, which is a play on Mexican Lotería cards. You may have tried a few of its well-known All Day Ales too, such as the El Chingón IPA or Block Party Porter, which include fully removable lids — a first for Texas craft beer.
Today, we see if Four Corners' Heart O' Texas prominently displays the fruits of the brewery's labor.
Background on American Amber Ale.
With a color ranging from amber to deep red hues, this style primarily focuses on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high. When drinking an American Amber you should expect a balanced beer with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness in most examples. The style can fall within a medium to medium-full body with medium to high carbonation. The range can run from basic ale to American brewers who brew faux-Oktoberfest style beers that are actually ales instead of lagers.
Heart O' Texas pours a clear slightly red-tinted amber color. With a light pour, the large off-white head devours the glass, nearly reaching the top before receding completely, leaving a light lace around the edges.
This beer's aroma is rich and malty, with citrusy hop notes, sweet caramel, molasses and some nice dark fruit. Some alcohol warmth is also noticeable on the nose.
Immediately, Heart O' Texas greets you with a mix of sweeter fruit and caramel along with light roasted malt and bready flavors. The sweeter fruit flavors are a mix of cherry and plum, but these are light in comparison to the caramel. As the taste moves forward, the caramel grows more intense and is joined by a more buttery toffee flavor at the expense of the fruit. A little bit of a woody and slightly grist-y grain flavors come to the tongue at the end, leaving a rather oddly sweet, woody and slightly stale grainy taste to linger on the tongue.
Heart O' Texas is a clearly over-carbonated, which greatly distracts from the entire experience. The beer is medium-bodied with a bready mouthfeel and finishes dry.
Unfortunately, Heart O' Texas falls flat — especially when comparing this experience to past ones with Four Corners' otherwise admirable efforts. There are good flavors deep within the beer, but the fact that it's over-carbonated, combined with that grist-y and stale malt taste, makes it a one-and-done beer for me.
That said, I want to be clear: Four Corner's has not lost me, not by a long shot. The Block Party Robust Porter is one of the best sessionable, full-flavored beers found in North Texas. And the 360-degree, fully removable lid is just plain fun. Everyone should have Four Corners on their radar.
My suggestion? Skip the Heart O' Texas as your first experience with the brewery and go straight to their All Day Ales. Better yet, join them for a brewery tour on Saturdays and try the full lineup. The all day Alehouse is open seven days a week, too.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Four Corners Heart O' Texas a 4.
What's happening in the area brew scene? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
• Saturday, May 23. Dallas Brew Bus May Tour.
• Saturday, May 30. Five-Year Anniversary at The Common Table.
• Saturday, June 6. Two-Year Anniversary at 903 Brewers.
• Saturday, June 6. Brews Travelers 365/Dallas Brew Scene Campout at Cedar Creek Benefiting Open the Taps.
• Saturday, June 20. Best Little Brew Fest in Texas at Old Town Lewisville.
Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community's Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Peticolas' Velvet Hammer: 10.
• Community's Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
• Community's Legion: 10.
• Peticolas' Lost Epic: 9.5.
• Community's Ascension Porter: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Temptress: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Goatman: 9.5.
• Community's Public Ale: 9.5.
• Peticolas' Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Revolver's Blood & Honey: 9.
• Martin House's Imperial Texan: 9.
• Community's Trinity Tripel: 9.
• Peticolas' Irish Goodbye: 9.
• Four Corners' Block Party Porter: 9.
• Cedar Creek's Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Deep Ellum's Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Rock Ryder: 8.5.
• Rahr's Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• BrainDead's Gritz: 8.
• Community's Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
• Cedar Creek's Fisticuffs: 8.
• Lakewood's Punkel: 8.
• Four Corners' El Chingon IPA: 8.
• Martin House's Day Break: 8.
• Deep Ellum's GOURDzilla: 8.
• Peticolas' The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
• Deep Ellum's Pale Ale: 8.
• Revolver's Bock: 8.
• 903 Brewers' Sasquatch: 8.
• Peticolas' Wintervention: 8.
• Armadillo Ale Works' Brunch Money: 8.
• Martin House's Salsa Verde: 8.
• Cedar Creek's Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
• Lakewood's Holiday Bonus: 8.
• Lakewood's Hop Trapp: 8.
• Lakewood's Hopochondria: 7.5.
• Martin House's Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Antigoon's Revenge: 7.5.
• Community's Texas Pils: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Zomer Pils: 7.5.
• Cedar Creek's Dankosaurus: 7.5.
• Bearded Eel's Purple Unicorn: 7.
• Shannon Brewing Company's Irish Red: 7.
• Texas Ale Project's Somethin' Shady: 7.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Cedar Creek's The Lawn Ranger: 7.
• Martin House Brewing Company's Cellarman's Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
• Lakewood's Till & Toil: 7.
• 903 Brewers' The Chosen One: 7.
• 903 Brewers' Sugar On Top: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway XPA: 7.
• Armadillo Ale Work's Quakertown Stout: 7.
• Revolver's High Brass: 7.
• Community's Pale Ale: 7.
• Martin House's River House: 7.
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Sir William's Brown Ale: 7.
• Community's Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
• Audacity's Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
• Peticolas' Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Nightwatch: 6.5.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum's Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Rabbit Hole's Tweedleyum: 6.
• Rabbit Hole's Off With Your Red: 6.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Lakefire: 6
• Armadillo Ale Works' WunderMelon: 6
• Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Deep Ellum's Numb Comfort: 5.
• Audacity's Sunset Boulevard/a>: 4.
• Shannon Brewing Company's IPA: 4.
• Grapevine's Monarch: 4.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• Miller Lite: 1.