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Autumn Maple - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Autumn MapleAutumn Maple

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,579 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,579
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 115
Gots: 261 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with 17 lbs. of yams per barrel (in other words, a lot of yams!), this autumn seasonal is a different take on the "pumpkin" beer style. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, and fermented with our traditional Belgian yeast strain, this bold and spicy beer is perfect on a cold autumn evening.

ABV: 10%, IBU: 25, SRM: 15, Release: Fall

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 09-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,579 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dborginis
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow this stuff is killer. Pours a reddish-copper with some head that quickly dissipates.

Smells heavily of booze and spices. Very sweet and boozy, its a pleasant taste, but gets to be too much over time.

A fair amount of carbonation, but the alcohol just makes it tough to drink more than a few ounces of it. Like I said, a pleasant taste, but very hard to drink.

dborginis, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of boatshoes
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked a bottle of this up from New Beer Distributors in NYC on a recent trip and visit to the shop. Quite a selection, though questionable freshness on some brews. That's for another section however.

Appearance- Pours a deep shade of brown with about a finger of off-white head. Fairly mild looking with decent levels of carbonation and some lacing left as I drink this one.

Smell- Very sweet smelling with lots of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and sweet spices coming through. Smells almost like a pecan pie perhaps.

Taste- Similar to the nose, with huge amounts of sweet brown sugar and molasses, a subtle spiciness, and flavors of candied yams coming through. Just a hint of alcohol on the back of the tongue as it goes down. Pleasant but very sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I found the mouthfeel to be a bit thin for such a sweet beer and the carbonation to be somewhat prickly as a result as well. A bit disappointed in this respect as I anticipated it would feel and drink more like a barleywine. Combined with the somewhat cloying sweetness of this beer after a glass, I put a bit of a hurting on the drinkability.

Overall, a decent and interesting dessert beer. Very aptly named Autumn Maple, and if you're into sweet fall dessert beers, this is definitely worth a shot.

boatshoes, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip, forms two inches of head over a cloudy rust orange with amber highlights. Too boozy for lacing, I guess. I love the crystal foam it gets on the side with a swirl.

Smells of Belgian yeast, some pumpkin, raisin, a little brown sugar. Booze hits you there as it warms.

Taste carries through on the smell with some slightly tart character & sweetness like dark fruits & nutmeg. Noticeable spices, but not that different from a Belgian brown, which was the base style. The booze really picks up in the taste. There's kind of a cloying sweetness in the aftertaste that's a little hard to take after a while.

Mouthfeel's kind of tingly & really hits the alcohol sensors. A bit rich after a while, like eating a heavily seasoned pie.

Overall not bad. A sipper for sure, & I'm not sure it delivered as heavily on all the fronts it purported to (didn't detect any maple, for instance). It seems very similar to a lot of big, alcoholic American-Belgian styles. Had I no context & didn't know all the ingredients, I'm not sure it would have made much of impression. I'm curious how it might age.

OneDropSoup, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of pinotboy007
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep brown with a decent cap and not much lace.

S - Pumpkin/squash pie with some vanilla.

T - Pumpkin pie/yams (I suppose) with sweet malt, toffee and brown sugar, raisins, and alcohol.

M - Has a refreshing bit of creamy fizz.

D - Perhaps for dessert - this is a slow-sipper, especially given its high ABV. I'm not a fan of this style so I'm trying to be fair.

pinotboy007, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of Domingo
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber to brown color with a rocky head from a normal pour.
Smells spicy and yeasty (like a normal dark Belgian) but with some nutty sweet nuances. I get a little spice on the nose, but I can't really pick much else out other than maple and maybe some cloves. Nothing too unusual.
The spices come through mainly in the finish. Up front it's a Belgian inspired brown ale. Nutty, a little cocoa, followed by a bitter spicy yeast. The finish leaves remnants of maple sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of allspice.
I had no issue splitting a bomber of this as it doesn't taste 10% at all. I'd have guessed 7-8%.
Not bad, but not really memorable either.

EDIT: On tap this beer carries more weight and is a better experience.

Domingo, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a brownish-red color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of spices - cinnamon and nutmeg - with a good amount of vanilla, all with an earthy undertone. As it warms a sweet maple aroma comes out more.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Nondescript sweet malts and spices hit the palate first and are followed by a husky, almost vegetal character that somehow isn't out of place. Midway through the sip a very small amount of vanilla enters into things and carries through to a sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished the bottle however I'm not sure about any more.

Overall this is an interesting beer that has an earthy character I'm not averse to but that I'm not a huge fan of. Still, a different kind of beer for the autumn months that's worth a shot.

glid02, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml botle pours a murky copper body with a large beige head that retains poorly. Subsequent pours reveal a powdery sediment that looks like spice additions.

Aroma is heavy on the spices, lots of nutmeg and ginger. Yeasty esters are also prominent. A vegetal note that seems more pumpkin than yams is underneath.

Medium bodied mouthfeel has a Belgian yeasty character.

Taste finds the nutmeg and ginger spiciness once again leading the show. Vegetal character still screams pumpkin. Molasses is not noticed, but the maple syrup emerges nicely as it warms. Some herbal hop bitterness isn't bashful, and provides some good balance. Some warming alcohol in the finish.

I expected this one to be a malt bomb. Far from it, however! It ends up evenly balanced and is an intriguing sipper to usher in the changing od the autumn leaves.

merlin48, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml consumed by the fire, looking out as the wind and the rain raged one - nice setting!

Poured a hazy orangey/amber, not overly dark, nice thick head rises up, maintains at least some lacing.

Nose is much more Belgian-y that I expected, lots of esters coming off the yeast, coupled with the spices it gives off a strong Belgian profile. Hints of cinnamon and cloves, light pumpkin smell.

Taste is much more in line with yams rather than pumpkin, fresh and earthy while still sweet. Nice Belgian yeast profile makes this more than your average pumpkin ale, hints of maple syrup and molasses though it's not very dominant. Pumpkin pie spices are lightly applied. This is not over-the-top yam/pumpkin in any way, it's allowed to lightly complement the Belgian characteristics. Light hop drying in the finish.

This is a really unique beer that I enjoyed drinking - though what I was really craving was a well spiced pumpkin beer. Still, hard to fault the integration of yam into a balanced, drinkable beer. Well done.

ritzkiss, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark orange color and a cloudy texture. There was a somewhat small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated and some OK lacing.

S: Smelled of Belgian yeast, malt, and a variety of spices.

T: A solidly complex taste - though a little wild - of Belgian yeast, malt, cinnamon, a little pepper, and a sweet, sugary quality.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied, though not as much as other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

D: This is a decent, drinkable American version of a Belgian beer.

avalon07, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a mostly white head that didn't last very long at all; not much lacing; murky burnt orange brown color

S - Belgian yeastiness; dark fruits; some spices touch of cinnamon and vanilla but both very mild; nice enough

T - Yeasty, dark fruits; spices; muddy pumpkin-pie like flavors that are just a bit dense and all over the place; nice, but a little messy

M - Medium; soft carbonation, not bad

D - A definite sipper, but this wore thin on me after a while...dense and a little too sweet for what I would like out of what the brew seems to be aiming for...

Overall, not bad, but I don't think I would need to revisit.

Nickls, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of originalsin
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at my local whole foods about two weeks ago. Wasn't quite sure about distribution and how much was produced/the perceived rarity of this one but was glad to get my hands on one and waited for a worthy occasion. Had a girl over for dinner, cooked, and realized we didn't have any wine. Ah ha! Autumn Maple did more than suffice.

Truth be told, she enjoyed it more than I did. But hey, I'm not complaining about that...

Appearance is a nice mahogany color with a small tan had and no lacing. I'm trying so hard not to smell pumpkin in this one but I'm pretty sure I do. Does that even make sense? Otherwise the scent of sweet potatoes mingles with those of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some caramel.

I expected a bit more from this beer on the taste front. "A Belgian Ale brewed with..." I thought I would be blown away by the taste of this one but in that regard this beer is a bit too quiet. The scents noted mostly translate into the taste here. Additionally, there's a bit of a bready element and a bit too much alcohol.

It's light to medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation. Again, not quite what I expected. This beer suffers in the mouthfeel category in my opinion. Drinkability is good nonetheless.

originalsin, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of Aenema
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark mahogany topped with a 1.5 finger tan head and minimal lacing.
Smell - Nose is mostly of sweet potatoes and yams with notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Taste - Similar to the nose, but less flavorful than expected. Cinnamon, yams and nutmeg stand out.
Mouthfeel - Medium-light body with a fizzy, high-carbonation and slightly dry finish.
Drinkability - Although fairly drinkable a bomber was plenty. Not a very sessionable beer.
Overall - Lots of potential that just didn't click. Unfortunately this beer sounds much better; or even much more interesting, than it really is.

Aenema, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into St. Bernardus chalice.

A - Slightly hazy with a reddish brown color. A finger of light brown head rises. Retention is short before falling to a thin collar but forgivable due to the 10% ABV. Minimal lacing.

S - Somewhere between a Belgian and a pumpkin ale. A good deal of vanilla with a moderate dose of allspice/cinnamon/nutmeg aroma; again like a pumpkin ale. Molasses and caramel make appearances alongside a bit of Belgian chalkiness. Overall quite sweet and spicy smelling reminding me of the holidays to come.

T - Mostly in line with the aroma but a little more subdued than I would've guessed. Early on the brew is fairly sweet. A good deal of dark bread with pumpkin pie-like spices and a good dose of caramel with added dimension from the maple and molasses. Somewhere in the middle the Belgian character takes over with some phenols, chalkiness, and a dry, overripe fruitiness similar to plums, raisins, and indistinct berries. Alcohol presence and bitterness is a bit strong in the finish, washing away flavors that I wouldn't mind hanging on to for a few seconds.

M - Medium bodied with medium high carbonation. Autumn Maple sort of thins out during the finish and the carbonation is a little on the high side. I would prefer a thicker and slightly sweeter beer.

D - Easy drinking, even if the alcohol is rather noticable. This is a pretty interesting hybrid of Belgian meets pumpkin ale, but I wouldn't mind a more substantial mouthfeel.

PatrickJR, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of eyncognito
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle received from the ever generous HopHead84. Thank you Shane.

Pours a copper brown color into my Chimay chalice. A white head barely emerges and disappears quickly. No lacing is present. Carbonation is barely visible, not a terrible thing, but a place I would note for improvement. If you didn't know, you'd swear you smell pumpkin. Needless to say, I truly love yams, so when I heard about this beer, I did not think, "huh, weird." I thought, "all right, about time." Nose hits you with pumpkin pie, spices-nutmeg, cinnamon, clove (mild), and allspice. I'v already envisioned what this would smell like with a hot cider mix. Also, hints of the maple sweetness and malt mingle with a mild scent of vanilla, spiced rum, and raisins.

Taste doesn't smack you in the face with pumpkin pie, or yams, yeah whatever. The point is that the initial push of flavor is the sweet malt, toffee and brown sugar, raisins, before the clowning achievement of then delivering the pumpkin pie-in-the-face and the accompanying spices. A gentle alcohol oompf at the end reminds you that you are dealing with a beer that weighs in at 10.5%. Well played in that regard for sure. Mouthfeel is the only thing that seems pedestrian. It is neither a detriment to the drinkability of this beer, nor is it a place where it shines. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice and chewy, incredibly light carbonation, with a well done dry, almost herbal finish.

I almost want to drive the drinkability score up to 4.5, but it falls a hair short due to the carbonation. That said, this beer is in the upper echelon of pumpkin/yam/fall harvest beers. Should Wisconsin start getting the Bruery (and I hear we might), this beer would be a welcome guest for fall and winter festivities.

eyncognito, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter.

Opaque burgundy hue with a two finger light brown head that settles to a thin cap, with a thin rim along the glass. Small islands of small bubbles develop in the middle.

Lots of spicy phenols, along with a bit of pepper and allspice. Ripe dark fruit is in the background. The maple comes through a little. The alcohol is well hidden.

Tons of dark fruit in the flavor, along with some spice that's heightened by a lot of carbonation. No maple syrup. The alcohol creates a nice warming feeling in the mouth. Full bodied, high carbonation. The spices linger for a while after each sip.

A rather enjoyable beer, recommended.

BeerSox, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light chocolate brown color with honey highlights; a rather small tan head that quickly settled into nothingness. The aroma is of nice spicy belgian yeast; banana and clove, brown sugar, and figs. The maple aroma comes through as the brew warms. The taste is vinous, a plum fruitiness, an earthy spice tone, light lemon tartness. The molasses and maple syrup add the sweetness to the brew but are fairly subtle and blend with what I imagine is the yam. Not much yam flavor but I pick it up towards the end. The feel is moderate to thick, light carbonation

Anthony1, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of lackenhauser
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice orange hue to it though a tad hazy/muddy looking. Nice aroma-somewhat bready and biscuit like. Decent level of spices going on. Pumpkin like aroma is definatley there-yeah I know it isn't a pumpkin beer! Solid malty taste up front. Again a nice "pumpkin like" flavor-can I tell the difference between a yam and pumpkin? I doubt it. Moderate caramel and sugary sweet taste. Yeasty and earthy notes come thru in the finish. A Belgian pumpkin beer for sure. Good body-sweetness may make it a bit slick overall. Very drinkable and enjoyable. The initial booziness I found rapidly faded into more of a spice quality. My gears are turning for next years homebrewed pumpkin beer after this one. Well worth trying.

lackenhauser, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of organicbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Ruby. Brilliantly clear. big tan head that quickly disapeared.

S-Rum raisin with some clove thrown in. Nice that this isn't an over spiced mess like most pumpkin beers. Some perfumy alcohol. Very nice

T-Raisin. Some alcohol. Dark Crystal malts. Rummy. No hop flavor

M-Medium thick bodied but not sickly sweet. Medium carbonation, could be a bit higher.

D-Much better than all of those over spiced pumpkin beers out these days. Actually a nice base beer with a bit of spice underneath. Alcohol is a bit too high to have more than one.

organicbrewer, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of stephens101
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with random blocks of red and is topped with a dense quilting of tan lace which recedes at a medium pace as small bubbles pop here and there on top. When all is said and done a thin sheet is left on the surface and a few specks of lace cling to the glass. A sweet malty aroma floats to the nose upon initial inspection. Beneath that is some spicy funk and some mild ester fruitiness. Way down below exist some notes of pumpkin and brown sugar. Tastes spicy and a bit yeasty with a pleasant, balancing bitterness in the end. Feels a little dry going down, but there's a small core of offsetting creaminess. Mouth-feel is medium and a slight alcohol heat sticks to the back of the throat. Really enjoying this beer, but might wish for just a bit more umph in the taste department.

stephens101, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Bung
2.85/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

750ml. Cloudy dark orange pour, nice off white head and some lacing. Aroma has some pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice with sweet potato fries. Not really any aromas you'd expect to accompany a beer. Taste has some of the aroma, but also has a sour note that just lingers throughout. Candy sweet, no maple or malt sweetness. Fairly clean though, light bodied, right at the end of the spectrum of acceptable carbonation. Alcohol is not real apparent. I'm going to really struggle finishing the whole bottle. Sweet with sour and the Belgian yeast really just doesn't do it for me. Definetely one to share with others. Interesting and worth trying, but I think there are many reviews here that want this to be better than it really is.

Bung, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of timtim
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i would have called it a quadruple, but that's neither here nor there. such a strange and interesting fun beer. its seems as though the "extra" ingridients mimick the flavors that would already be present, and amp them up making every single character shine. dark sugars, maple, dark fruit, rum soaked raisins, burnt toffee, caramel, and creamy oh so good candied yam. it's almost like the yam stays in the middle and the rest dances around it as the strong, boozy elixer goes down. creamy, full, long, warming, boozy finish. really need to be able to step back from the crowd to enjoy this one, and it is also a serious sipper, so drinkability goes down a bit. not for the faint of heart.

timtim, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of younger35
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just received this brew moments ago from the super generous Gibby. I've really like all I've tried from The Bruery as I'm a fan of big unique brews. I get excited every year for Pumpkin brews (yes, even though this doesn't have pumpkin, I'll count it) and this one has been on my radar for quite some time. Drank from my Lost Abbey goblet.

Appearance- Pours a nice hazy brownish crimson with a fairly nice half finger dirty white head. No cap remains with a very thin collar and zero lacing.
Smell- Very spicy and kind of boozy with a deep dark fruitiness. Cinnamon and clove dominate with a pinch of nutmeg and pumpkin (or yam but it smells more like pumpkin than anything else). Some rum covered raisins, plums and prunes add that aforementioned dark fruitiness. Brown sugar (or even a candied yam), caramel, toffee and butterscotch are all prevalent. Maybe even a pinch of yeasty spiciness too.
Taste- Starts light sweet with a definite maple syrup aspect and a big fruitiness. Candied yams add a sort of deep dark earthiness that is fairly different than what you'd get from pumpkin. Some prunes, raisins and rum soaked cherries are deep and dark and very fruity. I sort of get the molasses when I search but I'm not sure I'd pick it out if it wasn't on the label. Loads of brown sugar and caramel mix in well amidst the spices of nutmeg, anise and a pinch of cinnamon. The taste isn't near as boozy as the nose seemed but I think that might have been enhanced from the rum like scents.
Mouthfeel- Fairly light feel for what I expected but somewhere around mediumish. A light spritzy carbonation makes for a fairly zesty feel.
Drinkability- Well in all honesty its not 100% what I expected but saying that, I still really enjoyed it. The nose really makes this smell like a typical Pumpkin brew and has that great Autumn brew nose. The taste is a bit different as the potatoes are fairly influential but that's what makes this brew interesting right? Good stuff from The Bruery yet again and huge thanks to Jeff!

younger35, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Pours a murky brown amber with a good light tan head. The head is lasting and laces okay. Has a sweet aroma of yams, spices, and maple syrup. The carbonation is good. Has a good flavor with spices and a slight burn. Has a full body. The texture is watery but it is the best watery beer I have tasted. Has a good finish and a nice aftertaste. This is a good beer.

Birdiebeagle, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a moderately clear deep amber color. The head is decent sized, but it fades fast, leaving only a bit of a ring, no lacing. Alright looking. Smells like candy and sweets upfront. A bit of orange zest, starchy sweet potato casserole with a little burnt bits, a bit of toffee, a tiny bit of syrup. It's nice, a little too sweet smelling for me, not enough beer, but nice. The taste is pretty good too. Very similar to the smell, but it's a lot harder to distinguish everything. It's just a rush of sweet candy flavors A(though the beer itself isn't sweet and syrupy) with a mildly spicy finish. I'm interested but not impressed. The alcohol is a little too strong for me. It's not very heavy for a 10.50% beer, which is surprising. The carbonation bites on the finish. Not bad, but not a whole lot of fun. And for the strength, I'm surprised that it's so easy to drink. Though it reminds of a whiskey drink or something a little bit. Interesting enough to try.

taylorhamrick, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Autumn Maple does indeed look well suited for the Fall. Its colour is a reflection of some of its contents; a perfectly equal blend of earthy, soil-spattered orangey yams and the viscous, sappy mahogany of maple syrup. As far as beers go there doesn't exist one more murky than this. Nor does there exists one with a better head. This fantastically spongy, khaki-tinted lining is printed like a stucco ceiling and leaves soapy, ribbed reams of lace.

My initial remark about the aroma is that it could surely hold its own with many of Belgium's best Strong Dark Ales. This yeast was definitely the right man for the job: its phenolic, clove and pepper-like zest and the estery nuances of over-ripe dark fruits are a perfect compliment to the sweet, roasty malts and the warming, forward nature of the alcohol.

But it doesn't end there. The yeast has a lot of competition - yams, molasses, maple syrup and pumpkin-pie spices were all added into it as well and they do not go unnoticed. There is the faint impression of sweet potatoes (or I guess, yams) that marinates well with the fiery, roasted red pepper-like notes of the yeast. Swirling kick starts the spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice can all be detected (the vanilla, however, not so much).

The molasses and maple syrup are much more evident in the taste, notably because of their excessive sweetness. With the mouthfeel already considerably thinned out by the alcohol and made so piquant from the spices, all the sugary, overwhelmingly intense sweetness becomes just that: overwhelmingly intense. It can be enjoyable but only in smaller portions; I'm even more happy now that I shared this big bottle.

Someone get me a slice of vanilla ice cream - quick! I know that no actual pumpkin was used but I swear that this tastes more like pumpkin pie than a lot of pumpkin beers do. I'm not even so sure this would pair well with that beloved traditional Thanksgiving dessert given it tastes so much like it. Warming seems to have slightly diminished the impression of the yams and lightly accented the maple syrup. The spices, fortunately, stay mellow.

Maybe it's that I find the idea of quitting your day job to start up a brewery with your family in Orange County to be romantic, but I've fallen in love with just about every beer the Famille Rue puts out there. I appreciate their creativity and respect the difficulties of successfully making those visions reality. This brewery has had some quality control issues in the past but if this year's Autumn Maple is any indication they've got them sorted out.

biegaman, Oct 12, 2009
Autumn Maple from The Bruery
85 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.