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Autumnal Fire - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Autumnal FireAutumnal Fire

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 72
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 01-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Map Room in Chicago.

This was a crystal clear, dark copper colored ale. It had a medium-sized, off-white head.

Scent was fairly mild. A little bit of hops, not sure how to characterize. More malt, coming across as sweet, fruity esters. I am probably not doing the aroma justice, but I was having a hard time with the smoke in the bar.

Taste was quite good. Malt was more forward, showing itself as mainly dark fruits - raisins & grapes. Almost vinous. Hops were similar to aroma, in that they were quite mild. They gave the beer a little bit of a grassy taste. Finish brought a little pepper.

Mouthfeel was medium, with medium carbonation. Very refreshing, finishes slightly sweet. A little slick in texture, and some warming from the alcohol.

I thought this was a very good beer, and dangerously easy to drink for the listed alcohol (8.2%). I think I still prefer Celebrator, but I almost look at these as two different animals. The Celebrator has better flavor, but this one is a bit easier to drink. Tough choice....

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger deep espresso foam colored head with no retention, and no lacing. Body is a clear copper.

Smell - apples, plums, pears, and diacetyl.

Taste - same as the smell. Fruit and diacetyl. Decent, but not great. A weak wash of the apples, pears, plums, followed by diacetyl.

Mouthfeel - thin bodied, fluid, and dry.

Drinkability - it's not bad , but it doesn't impress my palate either boldly or subtly.

Photo of terrabyte
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nutty brown color with a hint of red. The head wasn't very tall.

Smells wonderfully earthy with a touch of fruit. Delicious.

A strong tasting beer. Some caramel and sweet fruity flavors. Sometimes it seems like orange, sometimes like something else. Raisins and peaches? I don't know! There is a very interesting conflict of tastes in this brew. One of the fruits doesn't match and clashes with the malts, but it's good and hearty. The aftertaste is where it's all at, though. If you breath after swallowing, the smell really enhances the aftertaste.

Light carbonation and easy to swallow. Light and creamy.

I've been looking forward to trying this beer ever since they announced it at my first tour of Capital Brewery. Their batches are small, and although they have amazing consistency, the bottle I'm having tonight isn't as fruity as the bottle I had 2 weeks ago, which was a little different than what I tasted out of the tap the first time at the Keg & Cork event.

And it's true what they say, this beer can catch up with you. Enjoy.

Photo of sacrelicio
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-amber/copper, finger sized head, minimal lacing

s-Decent, malty, not very overt or complex. boozy, fruity, creamy

t-caramel, booze, bread, hoppy, cream, bitter chocolate

m-good, medium-full

d-very good, easy to drink a lot of this

overall, i don't see what the fuss is all about regarding this beer. It's good, but it didn't do anything amazing for me.

Photo of murrayswine
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper/amber in my chalice.

A little under in the smell department. I have gotten more malt sense in the nose from other doppels, but none the less they are not hugely floral beers, so I understand it's lacking.

The taste is absolutely delicious, I love it's early easy toffee, and it's silky hop balance. I could easily drink an unhealthy amount of this beer. The balance gives the ease of warm bread.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

The drinkability is unreal. This is the ultimate German-style session beer.

Photo of expatsteve
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped a bottle I've had in the basement for a year to see how it aged. Here's the verdict.

Appearance: Orange brown, turns ruby red under light. Pours without much head, and leaves only a little lacing on the sides of the glass. Low/med viscosity. Medium visibility.

Aroma: Pungent fruitiness - a rich nose full of molasses, oranges, raisins, with a spicy sweet finish.

Taste: This beer has really developed in a year--plums, raisins, a few cherries over a molasses, caramel and mild cocoa foundation. A little soy nuttiness in the finish. Bready finish underneath with just the faintest hints of booze.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for a doppelbock - lighter body, with a sweet malt finish.

Drinkability: Fruitier and sweeter than when I last had it, with little by way of detectable booze or hops. This might be a little sweet for some folks, but a year in the cellar has really helped this beer develop even more depth than it had before.

Photo of shbobdb
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing a side-by-side with Eisphyre. It is a rare day that you have a Doppelbock and its Eisbock right next to each other.

Autumnal Fire. Hmmmm. In homebrewing discussions, brewers often divide themselves into bakers and chefs. Bakers follow the rules carefully and try to create a consistant product that is easy to fit within style-guidelines. Chefs, on the other hand, have that wild creative touch which may create a true work of art, or an undrinkable mess.

Capital brewery is a hard-core baker brewery. This makes their Pilsner and Helles beers *awesome*, as these are very demanding styles that almost require bakers. Doppelbocks, on the other hand, need the delicate touch of a chef. This beer is, well, it has all the parts of a good doppelbock, but no soul. Rich prune mixing with chocolate and toffee . . . why, it seems like it has everything. I can't put my finger on what it is missing, but this beer is incomplete in some way. Perhaps I am unfairly comparing it to German Doppelbocks, like Celebrator or Korbinian, but I expect the best from Capital, and they did not deliver here.

This is their best Doppelbock, but it isn't amazing.

Photo of bjohnson
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for this offering.

A: Pours a dark amber with ruby highlights. Nice one and a half finger cream colored head that dissipates quickly with retention hugging the sides of the glass.
S: Spicy aromas with bready malts in the background. Slight tart presence.
T & M: Spicy bready malt flavor dominates the palate. Low carbonation allows the sweet caramelesque maltyness to coat the tongue and cheeks. Thick as it goes down. Nice malty aftertaste. Medium bodied and well balanced. Warming in the chest and belly.
D: Drinkable, yes. Good tasting bock that I would definately have on tap if possible.

Photo of OldSock
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 12 oz bottle, many thanks to lankenhauser! In my mug this beer pours a deep golden brown, a bit light for a traditional doppelbock, but its still an attractive enough look. The two finger off-white head slowly falls to a wispy covering without leaving any lacing.

Smell – Big malty aroma, with some distant dark fruits. Not as sweet as some of the big bocks out there and not over-hopped like many American versions.

Taste – Again a wave of toasted malt and caramel sweetness with just enough bittering hops to stop it from being cloying. Lagered to an unbeatably smooth flavor that has no trace of yeast byproducts. It doesn't have the dark complexities of a top-shelf doppelbock, but it also avoids the high octane-rough flavor that so many versions fall prey to. Its a solid flavor, but it lacks nuance and depth.

Mouthfeel – Medium full body with light carbonation, just what it should be.

Drinkability & Notes – Easy to drink for the style, great body and low carbonation adds to the smooth flavor. The first half was fine on its own and the second half was great with some roast pork.

Photo of mcallister
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost looks like a barley wine. Lovely caramel color with a quick to fade pure white head and little lacing.

Nice cinamon aromas with peachy tones. Caramel malt with toasty textures.

Nice balance of caramel malt, and RS. Slight alcohol burn in the chest. Nice creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Slight flavors of mollasses. A delicious refreshing dopplebock.

Thanks too nflmvp for this one.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a warm reddish-brown body that is clear and has a nice soft gentle carbonation. The head is a creamy light tan mat that fades to a mass of big bubbles after a bit.

S- The small of sweet toasted caramel malts is thick with a nice faint hops keeps the malt in check.

T- The taste of sweet caramel roasted malt has some notes of slightly darker malt that give it a good depth. The finish has a soft green hop bitterness that is enhanced by the carbonic acid of the fizz and a faint oxidation note.

M- The mouthfeel is medium with a fizz texture in the finish. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is a nice doppelbock with good complexity and nice sweet malt that is not over sweet. The hops were soft and they left me wanting more hops, but they really helped keep the malt in balance. I get the feeling this sample is not as fresh as it could be, but it was very nice.

Photo of kmo1030
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazed reddish brown with a little bit of a tan head.
darkly fruity smelling with very mild dark fruit aromas, not to say the aroma is weak, but the fruit aromas are mild. subtly malty with caramel and tofee. sometjhing seemingly lemony citrus-like on further inspection. brown sugar in there too.
fruity again in the flavor with the subtle mild fruit, raisin and fig mostly, not understated though. toffee and carmel malltyness combines with the fruit to a nice effect bringing out and almost strawberry flavor, how i have no idea, but it does seem connected.
the body is thick medium bodied, with fine carbonation, and very creamy.
very nice drinkability, i feel ike this could have more booze than it lets on, but it's just a hunch. the glass was gone before i knew it.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tea color with a light head that really sticks around well throught the drinking of the beer. The clarity is only moderate, with a light carbonation bubbling from the bottom of the glass. The nose is nice and fruity. Good notes of fif, almond to almost candied cherry, with a toastyness playing behind it. With a big inhale, there are faint notes of spice as well. Flavor is dominated with the fruity fig. The toasty melanoidans hit secondarily to break up some of the fruityness. This one is working well for me. There is a touch of deep caramelization as well that accentuates the fruity sweetness. Feel is on the thicker end of moderate with a light to moderate carbonation that doesn't break things up too much. Defnately a nice beer. Not something to drink a lot of too fast, as the flavors are very bold, but something to savor and enjoy. Definately a better beer than I gave it credit for before. I'll get this one again.

Photo of jj21
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App: Deep copper with full tan head, good lacing on the glass
Smell: Roasted Maltiness
Taste: Malty, sweet caramel. Good warm qualities
Mouthfeel: Full body. Spicey cherry like finish
Drinkability: Great Aftertaste. Another great Dopplebock from Capital Brewery.

Photo of Jredner
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spicy caramel and malt aroma with hints of dark fruits fill the nose. Tan/orange body holds up a smallish white head and little lace. Sweet and alcohol spicy caramel malt. Dark cherries and poundcake are big flavor elements. Very nice flavor and a very nice beer.

Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint creates a .5" off white head. The beer is a clear, medium-dark amber in color.

smell: First I get some aromas of dark fruits, maybe raisins and dates. The smell is pretty sweet and malty. Some spicy German hops give some balance to the aroma. Light alcohol aroma. Smells good.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is just under medium, and the body a slick medium.

taste: Mmmm, nice and malty. A sweet, dark malt fruitiness glides slickly over the tongue. There's some caramel, and even a bit of nutty toasted character in there. After the swallow a light alcohol sharpness is noted, followed by a gentle bitterness.

drinkability: A good beer that is a pleasure to drink.

Smuggled a bottle of this back from my trip to Madison. The code 2585 12 is printed on the neck of the bottle.

Photo of walleye
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another beer I got in a trade and I do not know who sent it. lost my papers that I try to keep track of trades but thanks to the one that sent it.poured a amber, with a off white head that didn’t leave any lacing. aroma caramel, fruits that leaned to being over ripe( not in a bad why), roasted malts, didn’t pick up any alcohol. flavor, the fruit comes out 1st, than caramel, and malts, with a nice touch of alcohol. good beer.

Photo of indy169
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fitting name for a fiery beer.
Autumnal Fire from Capital Brewery of Middleton, Wisconsin.
I have noticed a lot of brewers taking chances (Dogfish, Bell's), and another lot playing it safe with a formulaic craft-technique. Autumnal Fire leans a little too much to the craft side. While it has got many of the elements of a great beer, it poops out before hitting the finish line. AF smells nice enough. Heady, strong. It looks cool. A deep and cloudy red-amber with a retained head gives it the appearance of a lively beer. The taste is smooth, thick, soft and earnest. Non-offensive in almost every respect. It even holds its own when put aside its Oktoberfest/Doppelbock peers. I try every year to really like this beer, and each year I come away let down. It may be my own fault for expecting too much, but hey, other brewers are connecting with my palate and the Fall Seasonal (Oktoberfest typically) is the style that sets the benchmark for a brewery as far as I'm concerned.
So next fall I'll pick up a 6-pack and hope that this promising, yet overrated brew finds its own personality. Middle of the road is not greatness, it's dangerous.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy amber with a medium tan head. Nose is caramel and sweet with a touch of fall spices.

Taste is rich and malty. Lots of spices at work here, some mild pumpkin, allspice, cloves. Mildly sweet, more caramel, some light syrup flavors. Aftertaste has a little apple in it, no trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy and sticky, more heft than an average O'fest, more flavor range than an average d'bock. A bit thicker than most seasonals but if it was available locally, it would make my annual fridge list.

Photo of zjungleist
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep honey-brown in color, with next to no head. The smell is fairly sweet, with definite roasted malts and nice background of bitter hops. The taste is very bold, with loads of heavy malts and only a touch of a hoppy finish. The taste is quite lingering, and expands to great depths of malty-ness. As it warms, the flavor get a nutty charecter, which is pleasant. I admit, the mouthfeel is pretty thick, even a little oily. It's also fairly warming, but I'm not sure what the abv is, so that may be expected. This beer makes a nice alternative to some of the more common oktoberfest beers.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another thanks to DirtyLou,

Pored a shiny red. Slight brown tinge. Kind of like a wood stain. No head and no lace.

Nose is roasted malty and a bit nutty.

Flavor is a like roasted chestnuts. The malts are nice and toasted. Bits of raisin and plum. Some nice sweet caramel.

Medium body. Very mild carbonation that goes well with the style.

A nice slow drinking beer that gets better as it warms. Warms the palate.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Bright, reddish-brown color topped with a half inch of off-white foam. Huge malty flavor with a little fruit. The flavor is a beautiful balance between the sweet and the bitter. Starts off with a creamy sweet malt flavor, with a bit of vanilla. Then comes in some bitter tea flavor along with spicy hops. Throughout is a fruity cherry flavor. Mouthfeel is full. This is a great dopplebock and my favorite beer from Capital.

Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single purchased at Riley's

I've been meaning to try this one for a few weeks so i picked up a reasonably priced single.

appearance: vibrant and beautiful ruby/copper pour, fizzing bubbly white head that vanishes pretty quickly...a very impressive looking brew

smell: dark fruits, thick malts, nice caramel, slight alcohol, sweet cherries, raisin, plum...pretty inviting

taste: very impressive! Quite a tasty doppelbock, if i remember correctly I prefer this to Celebrator. Very sweet with a great malt backbone...sweet cherries, ripe plum, mild raisin, mild caramel, bananas...alcohol masked quite well

mouthfeel: great carbonation, flavor dances on the tongue

drinkability: exceptional

I will admit I was worried this was "overrated"...I have been far from moved by any capital brews thus far (I thought wild rice was pretty terrible, and i probably should have rated it lower)...The oktoberfest is pretty good but this one is extremely impressive. Im not too familiar with their line yet, but they appear to be a very versatile brewery with a specialty on some traditional german styles (go figure!)...I'm probably going to try and track down a 6 pack tommorow.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bartender told me this was 12% ABV. From the taste, I think its more like 8 or 9.

Minimal carbonation, very smooth, and strong.

Poured with no head but I didn’t mind because I was enthralled by the deep burnt orange color. Just from the look of it I can tell that this is going to be a great fall beer.

The nose is tantalizing. Those furious Deutscher malts that one finds in all the best dopplebocks are abundant here.

The first taste is nutty and it leaves a beet taste in my mouth. For some reason I’m also reminded of rutabaga. I think this means that the beer is earthy. At any rate it keeps making me think about roots the whole time I drink it.

I sip it slow like warm brandy. It feels energizing and my lips and tongue are pleased with the slight residual sweetness left on them after each sip.

Not a beer that I could drink more than one or two of though. After 18 oz or so, a mucus formed over the roof of my mouth and it started to reject something in it. This happens to me when I drink to much Barley wine too. I think it's my mouth's way of saying I've had enough.

Photo of battlekow
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Autumnal Fire is a pretty amber/red color with a beautiful beige head that, once gone, does not provide particularly good lacing. Its combination of extreme maltiness and fairly prominent alcohol in the nose and taste give it an appleish character, plus some caramel from the malt. Mouthfeel suffers a bit from the stinging alcohol, but the beer feels pretty full and crisp in your mouth. I liked the Thomas Hooker Liberator better as far as dobbelbocks go, because it was more chocolately and hid its alcohol better. However, Autumnal Fire is a damn fine beer in its own right, just not as "dessert-y" as I was expecting.

Autumnal Fire from Capital Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.