Autumn Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

588 Ratings
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Autumn AleAutumn Ale

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our fall seasonal combines the malty goodness of a German lager with the clean crispness of an American ale. Brewed with Munich malts and a delicate blend of Bavarian hops, it's a full-bodied treat with a nutty-sweet middle, a warming alcohol level and notes of toasted grains. A pre-winter winner.

21 IBU

Added by Bitterbill on 10-08-2002

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Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 588
Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours like a standard stout - black, light brown to tan head.

Nose has a whallop of roasty components. Very chocolatey also.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, but the nice roastyness, malt, and chocolate make it worth it.

Finish is somewhat short. Although this beer is a notch down in flavor components compared to a winter ale, it is significantly more drinkable. Very satisfying.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown bordering on black ale with chestnut highlights that appear almost purple at times. A thick tan one finger head gets off to a promising start, and then fades quickly to a bubbly collar. A swirl brings back one finger, but then it goes away again....this head is playing peek-a-boo. Lots of really nice lacing going on here.

S - Roasty, rich, and complex scents of firewood and roasted grain. Remeniscent of burining leaves in autumn. Chicory almost in it's bitter characteristics, but also smooth and somewhat chocolatey underneath.

T - Deliciously earthy and roasty, but very smooth at the same time. Sweet and well balanced in it's malt characteristics, it's slightly bitter but never overwhelmes the palate. Hops provide a nice sharp edge to contrast the round roasty malt.

M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated, slightly chalky in the middle and somewhat dry at the finish.

D - Superb. This stuff is very complex and interesting, but the nice thing about it is that it's very well balanced, and none of those interesting qualities ever become annoying or overbearing.

This is my first experience with an old ale, and if this is any indication of what the style is supposed to be like....sign me up for more of this!

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Photo of drcarver
4.4/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awesome beer. The folks at Breckenridge either had a ton of trials, really know what they're doing, or go really lucky. This brew is phantastic.

A - Deep copper-brown color with a slight 1 finger off-white head that lasts. Lacing lingers on the side.

S - Caramel and sweet malts come through but there is a bit of floral hop hanging in the back

T/M - BALANCE. For a high malt based beer this is so well balanced it goes down and smooth. The caramel hit the tongue but the hops mellows it. Then it washes away clean.

D - Oh its drinkable.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.37/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle with unnotched dates on the side of the label...what is the point if there is not any notches? Pours a dark crimson color that seems to be fairly clear but it is hard to tell, the beer is quite dark. Not much foam, maybe 1 fingers worth of light tan head. Fades at an average clip and does not leave much lacing.

Nose is malty, more akin to a schwarzbier than an olde ale, it is missing much of the fruitiness and alcohol aromas. Not much hops in here and the overall smell is pretty clean for an ale.

Taste follows suit with the nose for the most part, but there is a very nice, notable smoke flavor that really helps out the complexity of the beer. Carbonation is low and the alcohol level feels nowhere near 6.7%. It is not what one expects when cracking open an olde ale, but this is a really tasty beer that I will surely buy a sixer or more of next year. Surprisingly delicious and very smooth. Good job Breck!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a beautiful pour from this beer, resulting in two fingers of thick, light-tan head. The color was a deep, cola-brown with lovely garnet highlights. The nose had a big malty-sweet presence. The mouthfeel was medium to full and I got a really unexpected smokiness on the tongue. The finish had a slightly sharp quality, followed by a return of that smoky flavor. I just wish that the weather was not so warm because this would be perfect on a more typical autumn day.

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Photo of Wadestep
4.34/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good bark beer, very much like a stout but very little head. End finish less smooth than some stouts, but very good overall. Light stout. Coffee and some chocolate.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I picked this autumn ale, during the summer. Poured a dark mahogany red, brown color. Good clarity and decent head. Though the foam lasted there really wasn’t much lacing.

The smell is malty, with some toasted and limited roasted malt aromas. Some syrupy notes with more of a brown sugar essence. A touch of maple notes as well.

The taste is malty with some nice phenolic characteristics. The malt has a good flavor with roasted and some nutty flavors that mix well. The taste isn’t really astringent though. Some plum and raisin flavors that mellow and balance out the beer. At the end is an almost lactic flavor but suble. Flavor is very good.

There is a lighter note in body with some wispy flavors. Very light for an old ale but good overall. Really feels like a light porter but still good, no matter what the season is.

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Photo of SamN
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark, deep blood red hues to light, seemingly opaque. While clear, the red hue is so deep is seems almost black. Quite impressive, bold coloring from Breckenridge. Smell is mostly well-toasted bread grains, caramel sweetness, dark fruits like figs or even grapes, grassiness, peanut butter. Quite rich aromas, and taste follow closely thankfully. Rich malt flavors, like toffee and butterscotch, with a clean grain finish, minimal hops bitterness, mostly in the finish to round of the dominant malt characteristics. Mouthfeel is about medium bodied with light, subtle carbonation that makes it seem bigger, thicker.

Wow, never expected this from Breck. A great, great ale with lots of autumnal charm and inspiration. Goes great with that not-quite-cold-but-there's-that-chill-in-the-air weather. Tasty, easy-to-drink, a sessionable old ale? Guess so, lucky CO.

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Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice effort...perhaps their best beer...a little light in the shorts for an old ale but very drinkable and tasty.

Pours a dark brown color...tan head....nose is outstanding...sweet malt and nuts, perhaps a hint of vanilla....body is medium at best...smooth, creamy.

Nice sweet malt taste...has just a little booze to it....reminds me a little of bock crossed with a nut brown ale....

Whatever the case this is the type of beer that will short if you sit and analyze the hell out of it but if you just drink it and enjoy it you will love it.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow. Open and pour and be shocked at the deep, intense color. Nice. It has a thinish head, but that color is amazing.

The aroma is very complex and nice. It has all kinds of malty smells. Very nice and unique.

The taste is also malty but also with some hops taste. It is a nicely balanced taste. The finish is sweet and pleasant. Overall, this is an interesting, unique variant of the style. I like it and would buy it again if I were looking for a dark change of pace.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter balloon glass.

The beer is a rich dark coffee black with slight brown barely coming through the edges in the light. A nice light cream colored head recedes rather quickly leaving a cirrus cloud wisp on top. Very light lacing remains on the glass.

The aroma is subdued, but very clean. A nice sweet vanilla note comes through, as well as buttery biscuits and roasted malts.

The taste is warm up front. Dark roasted malts, sweet vanilla, a bit of oak with faint bitter coffee notes. A slightly tangy hop bite in the finish.

The mouthfeel is clean and dry.

Overall, a really nice sipper on a crisp autumn evening, yet very drinkable so that you can have a few and not be overwhelmed. I like the vanilla-oak notes I get in the body. Definitely a good brew to have after rakin', as the bottle suggests.

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Photo of malarichm
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a. dark amber red mahogany. Little head and medium lacing.
s. rich brown sugar, molasses and smoke
t. quite complex with molasses, roasted malt, smoke, brown sugar, cinnamon and clove in the front with a touch of hops in the back
m. surprisingly clean, with lingering malt behind medium carbonation
d. very drinkable for anyone who likes malt

I first tried this beer at a local liquor store's beer tasting. It was by far the best malt/fall seasonal beer there. I am finally drinking the final beer in the sixer and I have not become board with the flavor whatsoever. This is a great example of a fall seasonal for the relaxed craft drinker.

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Photo of ConsumerOfBeer
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely loved this one. Very dark and crazy lacing!

A: 5. Seriously. Wonderfully dark, a small, very thick head with some of the craziest lacing I've seen in a while- stayed in the glass long after I was done drinking it.

S: Nothing particularly overwhelming. Caramel hints.

T: Sweet, close to a porter really. Hints of coffee, hops (but not as much as a normal porter), sweet, caramel, and toasted hints. Almost like a dessert beer.

M: Sweet. Moderately carbonated, ever so bitter with the slightest taste of a domestic. Sticks to my mustache.

O: Definitely will drink again.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark mahognay with a solid half finger head.

S- Toasty malt aroma with earthy hop notes and an ever so slight hint of smoke.

T- The rich toasted malts blend almost seemlessly with the light touch of earhty hops. Malt complexity continues to drive this beer with with some mild roasted notes and what seems like a hint of smoke.

M- Solid medium body with smooth carbonation.

D- I'd prolly grab this again, or try to clone it.

An enjoyable fall treat, pick some up.

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Photo of shand
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Autumn Ale pours out a very dark brown with a beautiful clarity. The aroma is chocolatey and malty, with a touch of spicing. On the tongue, a full and wonderful roasty flavor quickly envelops the mouth. There's some bitter chocolate and a bit of fall spicing in here too. Full-flavored while not being overwhelming, it smoothly fades out a little while after the sip. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and fairly smooth, and the drinkability is great. Overall, this is an excellent beer that does a great job of balancing drinkability and flavor. I wish we had seasons here in Florida, because I'd love to kick back with this on a cool Autumn night on my deck back in New Jersey.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%

Not your average seasonal. Pours a very dark brown with a tan head. Smells of chocolate and coffee, almost stout like. The taste was very rich with hints of coffee and dark chocolate but also a toasted nuttiness to it. Very enjoyable. A little thick to the point where you might only be good with two per sitting but still a very delicious beer.

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Photo of PhillyRiver
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Never had this before but thought I should try some seasonal, non-pumpkin brews. Love Breckinridge's Vanilla Porter, so bought a single bottle of this Autumn Ale today. Poured into clean Belgian-style tulip glass, first beer of the evening. Was surprised that it poured completely black and tastes heavily of molasses. Why is this not called a porter? I really liked it, as I do like porters. (Am now into my second beer, my go-to local, Yuengling Porter.) The Autumn Ale has a very thick, smooth, almost syrupy mouth feel. After it was done, I felt like I'd put on lip gloss, but in a good way. No head to speak of, will make lace if glass is tilted and swirled, but it doesn't last at all. That's OK - it tasted delicious if not terribly complex, and alcohol was the exact right amount of buzz for a fast drinker after Friday deadline stress, 6%. Would definitely buy another.

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Photo of Marraybay
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent: Very much a porter or stout. Pours a near jet black with a great opaque white foamy head. Taste is largely sweet, with a transition to a slightly bitter finish. Does it scream autumn? I'm not really sure of that, but would enjoy drinking this year round.

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Photo of Ford
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

wow.. much darker brown than I anticipated.. looks good though.

Oh.. this is really good. Not much bitterness. It came out around the same time as most of the Oktoberfests so I wanted to compare it to some of those beers as I was drinking them at the time.

This one has some similarities, but is a bit smoother... caramel and malts are there..

Really good beer. I'd love to have this fresh off the tap.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of the true Oktoberfest style, but that doesn't stop me from buying all that is available each year. It just seems like the right thing to do. Although this is not labeled as Oktoberfest, I was expecting it to be. As soon as I poured it, though, I knew it wasn't. Deep, dark mahogany color and commanding malt aroma. I love the uniqueness of this brew, with slightly sweet caramel notes balanced with toasted nut flavors. Hops hide in the background for the most part. I'm surprised at some of the tough reviews on this one; I think it makes for a remarkable transition to the forthcoming winter season.

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Photo of jtslay
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find that this beer was so balanced. The roasted malt imparts a sweetness (caramel) that makes this beer very refreshing and drinkable.

I wasn't expecting this style for an autumn brew. It was a nice surprise though. I am still confused about the style as others have mentioned. Good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of BulletProofTrappistMonk
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

To me, the taste is exceptional. Everything else is good. Head was gone immediately. Carbonation was maintained. I favor dark stronger beers, and recommend this one to those with the same tastes.

Just noticed that the description says 6%, but I thought my bottle said 7.5%.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderate pour at cellar temperature from the 12-ounce bottle yields a two-finger light tan head over a dark mahogany nearly opaque body. Pretty beer. Head soon fades to a thin ring around the edges, but it leaves some lacing.

Smell. Coffee!? That's perhaps odd for the first aroma of an Old Ale. Very pleasant, but unexpected. Burned malt. Burned whole-wheat toast. Rum-soaked raisins. Peppercorns. Dark chocolate. Burned sugar. Smells really fascinating.

Taste is rich and heavy, with all the flavors matching the smells: coffee, burned malt, burned whole-wheat toast, rum-soaked raisins, peppercorns, dark chocolate and burned sugar. All this with a fascinating sour-dry finish.

Mouthfeel is soft and round, a little thick-ish and even a bit sticky.

Drinkability is okay. There is a bit too much alcohol and somewhat too much burned malt to make this sessionable. Two or three, maybe.

I guess I'm way outside the average on this one, but I really like this beer. I loved the burned-toast and espresso flavors. My advice would be to drink this above cellar temperature, at least 50 or 55 degrees.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into traditional pint glass. Bottle promises that this brew "warms the soul, sooths the spirit."

A - Pours a deep, dark mahogany that is not cloudy at all. Light tan head is decent, maybe 1/3 inch. Head is slightly rocky yet fades quickly.

S - Definitely dominated by the dark roasted malts, with a bit of a nutty scent (smell gets much more pronounced as the beer warms).

T - No big surprises here as its very similar to the smell. No bitterness at all, fairly sweet.

M - Smooth and creamy yet nice and light for such a dark looking beer.

D - Very drinkable. Not one to ponder over, but very enjoyable in its own way. Kudos to Breck for trying something different than the usual Oktoberfest seasonal brews. A nice transition into winter.

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Photo of becktone
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 9-14-09

Eye: The label states it correctly...this one is mahogany in color. Its highlights are garnet, deep dark blood red. Head formation and retention are extremely weak. Definitely need help here. No nice creamy or foamy head, just some odd scattered large and oddly shaped bubbles that cling to the surface of the beer...It looks unattractive for a beer.

Nose: Weak aroma altogether. What I do get is a nutty and toasty aroma. Not much more than that, small amount of malt sweetness, and maybe some small amount of vanilla...more of a general vanilla, not strong like vanilla bean, but just hinting at vanilla. Pretty laid back and easy going...I'd like something a little more complex and robust, something a little more potent. I like what I smell but I'd just like more of it, more upfront...filling the room more.

Tongue: Nice malt backbone and nice hop profile to support it. Starts off with a sweet malt character, not too much malt though...with some fruitiness...followed by some of those grainy notes associated with munich malt, followed by some noble hop charcter. Fruitiness is much more of a character here than I expected, medium dark fruits, not as dark as rasins but semi dark. Getting some definite roasty grainy and sweet caramel notes, notes of vanilla too. Very lightly smoked/burnt notes combined with the roasty and toasty character. They all roll into one to create a very nice beer. This one works very well, a great beer. I can see myself coming back to this one. Very nice malt character, pretty much what I'm in the mood for when the fall comes round.

Edit: Yes, The more I'm drinking this the more I realize its slightly smoked. Not like a rauchbier though, no greasy bacon smoke...just woody smoke....

Feel and Drinkability: Meidum body with medium to medium high levels of fine carbonation. Immediate finish isn't dry, but after a min or two the mouth is fairly dry, the smokiness and roasty toasty notes settling in contributing to a drying effect. This is one I can see myself definitely buying again. A good beer and something that would definitely hit the spot as it gets cooler outside. I'll mostly likely pick up a sixer of this later this year.

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Autumn Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 588 ratings.
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