1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Autumnal Fire - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Autumnal FireAutumnal Fire

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

531 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 531
Reviews: 328
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 71
Gots: 19 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Autumnal Fire Alström Bros
Ratings: 531 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

OldSock, May 03, 2006
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.

mcallister, May 02, 2006
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.

rhoadsrage, Apr 24, 2006
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.

kmo1030, Mar 23, 2006
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.

kmpitz2, Mar 21, 2006
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.

jj21, Feb 27, 2006
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.

Jredner, Feb 26, 2006
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.

blackie, Jan 30, 2006
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.

walleye, Jan 18, 2006
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.

indy169, Nov 16, 2005
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.

assurbanipaul, Nov 04, 2005
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.

zjungleist, Oct 26, 2005
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.

MuddyFeet, Oct 12, 2005
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.

beveragecaptain, Oct 06, 2005
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.

dirtylou, Sep 17, 2005
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.

DaPeculierDane, Sep 15, 2005
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.

battlekow, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Let's see how this stacks up against their Blonde Dopplebock, which is some tasty shite.

Pours a gorgeous fiery red/amber with a white creamy head that lasts for a minute or two. Smell is extremely malty with alcoholic and citrus notes. Taste is more of the same, one malty SOB with hints of floral hops, warming alcohol, and some apple skin cideriness. Mouthfeel is crisp, body is medium to full. This is a damn good dopplebock. I could probably only have a couple but that's ok, it's a dopple anyway. I might have to give it the edge over the Blonde. Another winner from Capital here. Glad to have these guys in my backyard.

One-year cellered edit thanks to expatsteve:
Nose is much more pungent than I remembered with burly citrus and caramel malt notes. Body is much than fresh and without the hops bitterness making this quite sweet. Booze has mellowed in the mouth as well. Still a fantastic beer with a sweet new profile.

Golden2wenty1, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really strong seasonal. Pours a golden-orange color with good about of co2. Head rises to and inch and falls above the high alcohols. Smells sweet, fruity, and alcoholic. Tastes sweetness reminescent of over-ripe oranges, apples, peaches, and pears. A good amount of peppery spice comes along the body. Full and rich in the middle with a thin syrupy texture. Finishes sweet and a little fusal because of the alcohol. It's a sipper.

BEERchitect, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A refreshing break after tasting Oktoberfests all night. Has a heady doppelbock aroma worth sticking your nose deep into the glass. Not exactly as "red" as other comments have led me to believe, but a rich color nonetheless. Deep and rich bock taste, befitting a GABF medalist.

DrunkMcDermott, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of beergeek279
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a German tumbler glass. The color is a dark amber with a very nicely lingering tan head. The smell is plumish-sweet with the lightest touch of noble hops. The taste is very plum, almost candi sugar-ish sweet, with a definite tartness in the flavor that accentuates the flavor nicely with a good smoky backing in the beer, and just a balancing touch of hoppiness with a nice Tettnang/Hallertau bitterness....ohh, and the alcohol (supposdly in the 8.5% range) doesn't show up at all. Mouthfeel is very chewy. As for a drinkability, unfortunately the alcohol overwhelms the sessionability in this case...just too good!!!!

Thanks to the 'monk for this simply fantastic beer. I've always held out that Penn is the best lager brewery in the country, and every time I've mentioned that someone has come back with Capital. Well, I can see their point, as this is a fantastic beer. While this may not be the traditional doppelbock, this is such a good, enjoyable beer, with a nice tartness that brings out the plumish nature of a good dopplebock. Very nice, and one I'd be glad to have again!!

beergeek279, May 30, 2005
Photo of granger10
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the too generous CRJMellor

Pours a ruby color with auburn hues around the sides. Nice medium frothy head. Really cool looking, I don't think I've seen a beer with this color before. Head recedes after a couple of minutes, moderate lacing

Aroma sure is doppelish in nature with caramel, alcohol, and some residual sweetness. However, it is a bit faint for my liking.

Taste brings me lots of sweetness. Brown sugar seems to be really concentrated upfront but then there's a toffee flavor without the nuttiness better yet let's call that caramel. Butterscotch is prevalent to me, it's hiding under the sweetness. A cherry liquer alcohol comes towards the finish. Slightly spicy flavors in the aftertaste. That might be from hops but I'm not sure. The malts and sugars linger.

This beer is really robust for its color, its almost syruppy on my tongue. A little less lively than I would have hoped its got a decent mouthfeel overall.

This really is drinkable, I don't notice the alcohol too much and the sweetness draws me back as its not too cloying, atleast for one bottle. However, after about 3 or 4 I could see this beer really becoming cloying and too syruppy. But this one bottle just made me want more. Very nice but not quite the level of their Dark D-bock. Thanks Craig.

granger10, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a med translusent amber, with a light lace for a head.

the aroma is very malty, with a little fruityness, and slight hop.
the flavor is mostly malt, with some fruity over tones, and a very light carmelized backdrop, some hop bitterness is present but not he main atraction. mouth feel was smooth, little sweet.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange comprising red and brown hints. Head is off-white, mostly lasting. Aroma is deep, malty, very fruity and somehow delicately farmy in its herbal and earthy suggestions. Diplomatic and gentle melon, peaches and several fruit notes yet not hiding its substance (8.5% after all). Mango and not quite ready greenish oranges accompany obvious leather tones. Very approachable at first, but developping into a surprisingly bold fruitiness and more alcohol at it reaches room temperature. Medium bodied, light-medium carbonation is appropriate. Excellent and charming doppelbock example with unique characteristics, but is it really better than 95% of the german examples? Further samplings shall tell hopefully.

Rastacouere, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of sweethome
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Twist-off that opened so easy with no sound. Scary. Pours well beautiful "autumnal" color of burnt orange. Small head that gives way to lace on the top. Only loses a little here due to the quick loss of the head.

Nose is incredible - very german maltiness, and very rich. A turn on a dopplebock. Nutty maltiness, dried fruits, noble hops.

Big, silky mouthfeel. Quite thick for a lager. Rolls out on the palate in a simply splendid way. Rich, chocolate hints, plums and raisins. Just a hint of a root astringincy. Noble hops clean the palate well on the finish, but leaves a pleasing residual sweetness.

The alcohol provides pleasing warmth. A perfect companion for a cool autumn eveing, but doing quite well on this bitterly cold Chicago night.

A real work of art. I have cellared this in past years and a year does it well. I also like doing vertical tastings of this beer. Won't hold up for many years like a barleywine - but does well for up to two.

One of the best american beers in my book.

sweethome, Jan 17, 2005
Autumnal Fire from Capital Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.