Autumn Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

216 Reviews
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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 UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, nut, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

full bodied and delicious this dark brown ale pours a sturdy black color with almost no head. nose as dark roast coffee, candied sugars, mild alcohol, and fall leaves. quick crisp finish and a big bad body, this is perfect for the season. the lack of carbonation doesn't hurt it, as this beer gets better and better as it warms, mellowing out with a little alcohol tinge at the end. not a typical brown ale, definitely not a porter, this autumn ale is a great evening sipper. one of the better breck brews

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and very dark brownish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left some bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of Munich malts in the nose. Some hints of caramel and molasses become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite malty and has flavors of caramel and nutty malts along with a light amount of sweetness. No hop bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is nice and malty but still quite easy to drink with its lighter bodied; however, it tastes like it is a little one dimensional and could use a little hops.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So, is Autumn-Warmer going to be an upcomming catagory? It's not quite a harvest ale because of the moderate hopping (not highly hopped). Not quite a winter warmer (not spicy or the right season). What the beer is, is a really nice non-Oktoberfest Fall-type beer. Quite reminescent of Scottish ales, but light on the peat-smoked malts, but on target with the deep malt profile, toffee / cocoa hints, and moderately high malty texture. Medium hops certainly off-set the sweetness, while adding a mild grassy, piney flavor. Fermentation spices and lactose-like sweetness add character and smoothness. Lingers with a hint of toasty sweetness and hop bittering. Another high quality, well balanced brew from Breckenridge.

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Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out cola brown with a very modest cap that fritters away leaving a speckled pattern of lace

Smell: Treacle and Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bar; perhaps a hint of toasted grain

Taste: Sugary-sweet, with the candied tones from the aroma combining to produce a taste rather akin to Dr. Pepper; a bit grainy in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit cloying
Overall: Well, certainly unusual, but when I want a Dr. Pepper I will buy when and when I want a beer I want a beer

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Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderate.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Smells vaguely of cherry. Some amber hops, caramelized/lightly toasted malt is present as well. Lots of malts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Tastes quite malty, with hints of fruit - though perhaps not cherry. The malt is on the whole well handled. I don't care horribly for the caramel. It's pretty simple all around, but pleasant. The malt is too heavy for the balance to be right. The finish is bland and off.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body generally.

Dr: Drinkable but largely unremarkable. I might try it on draught but it's far from special. Only give it a spin if you're a huge fan of the style. Elsewise, move along.

10/22/13: Picked this up again by accident. 12 fl oz bottle review; truncated notes below. I wanted to check in on this one given it's been almost two years since my first review of it. Served into a Spaten stangenglas for shits and gigs. Served cold. Side-poured. Reviewed as an old ale because it identifies clearly as such on Breckenridge's website.

A: No bubble show.

Pours a respectable khaki colour head with some nice creaminess and thickness. Soft supple complexion. Head retention is well above average.

Body colour is a semitransparent dark dull amber. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's a bit underwhelming.

Sm: Munich malts, caramalt, spicing (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon), pumpkin fruit gourd, brown sugar, chocolate malt, and a restrained generic hop character. It seems more like a hybridization of a festbier and a pumpkin beer than an old ale. The ABV is clearly a bit low for an old ale as well. It's a generally appealing aroma of moderate strength.

No yeast character is detectable.

T: Heavy Munich malts, caramalt, amber malts, and some chocolate malt with an edge of cocoa dust. Hop presence is quite timid, and evokes vague stonefruit at best. Okay balance. This is quite the schizophrenic brew; kind of a winter warmer, kind of a festbier, sort-of-but-not-really a pumpkin ale, and anything but an old ale. Some toffee. Plenty of malty sweetness.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Messy incoherent balance. Unfocused build. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Do I like it? Not really.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thick and heavy on the palate, with overdone thickness and overbearing presence. Overcarbonated as well. Unrefreshing. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Kind of syrupy.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, rough, or buttery.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. Not sure what they were after with this one, but it really needs focus. If we're judging it strictly as an old ale, its build is completely wrong. It's not particularly evocative of the Autumn season, either, even in terms of unpredictable Colorado weather (I lived there for 15ish years). As much as I wanted to love this beer - which is from a brewpub I love visiting - I have to say, this needs some work. A subpar Autumn seasonal. Hides its ABV decently. Maybe it'd get a biteen better with age? I wouldn't waste the cellar space.

I stand by my initial 2.8 rating from two years ago.

Low C

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

American Brown or Munich Dunkel? Hard to say...

Into a tulip it first appears jet black, though when held to the light you can see a glint of smoky dark ruby, that becomes fully crimson when backlit. Fluffy, sticky cap of foam, billowing above the rim of the glass, forming peaks and crags as it slowly settles. Excellent retention, with a sticky sheet of lace that adheres inside the glass.

Nutty malty aroma, dry roasted almonds, tobacco.

Malty and lightly sweet, finishing somewhat dry. Toasty with a bit of malt complexity, little to no bitterness. Fairly straightforward and tasty, though the body is a little thin, supporting the Munich Dunkel theory. Ok, would drink again. Not reinventing the wheel, but not every beer needs to.

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Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a deep black color with a one finger head. It leaves a little lacing.

S - Very malty smell. Roasted aromas, as well.

T - It tastes of coffee and roasted malt. It has a nice bitter quality, too.

M - It is dry and crisp. Medium-bodied.

D - I really enjoyed this beer. I've only had one other Old Ale so I have little to compare it to, but it is quite nice.

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Rare Vos Glass

Pours a small light light tan head that fizzles very quickly. No lace. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Deep burnt malts, molasses, burnt caramel, some grassy hops. Not too much here.

Taste: A lot of burnt malts. This beer kind of reminds me of a schwarzbeir. A big roasted taste. Burnt caramel with grassy hops. Some chocolate. A little booze shines through. That's about it.

Mouthfeel: Big surprise, very roasted feel, a little crisp from the decent amount of carbonation. Light to medium bodied, despite the dark color. Ends with a big roasted malt aftertaste that I wasn't expecting from the beginning of this beer.

Overall, this beer was a little different than a lot of fall seasonals. I liked that it was original, but it was a tad smokey for me. Still, I'd take this over some of the other seasonals out there.

EDIT: Still trying to figure out how this is an old ale...

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Photo of superspak
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 11/11/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a small fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a spotty lace cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, raisin, plum, pear, biscuit, toast, chocolate, light roast, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, raisin, plum, pear, biscuit, toast, light chocolate, herbal, and toasted earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, plum, raisin, pear, biscuit, toast, light chocolate, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal carbonation and medium bodied; with a very slick, moderately creamy, and fairly bready mouthfeel that is ok. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a decent old ale. Good balance and robustness of malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and smooth to sip on for the abv. Could use more carbonation. Pleasantly enjoyable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/5/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, caramel, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of maple, caramel and coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There’s a decent hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a clearish, very dark brown body with an inch of light beige froth. Light, very light lacing throughout.

Smell: Aromatic tones of dark malts wrapped in notes of chicory and licorice root with a vague but obdurate fruitiness and background earthiness.

Taste: Dark malts lead with tastes of cocoa and a lightly roasty mix of coarse-ground chicory and licorice powder. Medium-low sweetness. Munich malt-derived caramel arrives somewhat late in the taste. Appleskin and grapeskin fruitiness -- curious! Earthy, mild hop character and bitterness. A bit more fruitiness, chocolate, and "chicorice" before the drying, longish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied at best. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: Good enough at best, for a beer, but never once did it make me think, "Oh! Now, there's a taste of the Autumn!" There's a taste of something, alright, but not a taste of Autumn.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What better day to drink Autumn Ale than when it's -6 degrees with a -19 degree wind chill? The label says this beer warms the soul. I hope that it warms the body as well.

Dark brown that becomes darkest russet when backlit. It looks like the chocolate malt and roasted barley were put to good use. The head looks like the inside of a Three Musketeers candy bar, both in terms of color and texture. Sheets of shotgun-riddled lace grace the glass and add visual interest to an already good looking ale.

Where oh where have the chocolate and roasted malts gone? The nose would suggest that nothing darker than Munich malt (the third member of the malt bill, along with pale malt) has been used. The beer is sour fruity and smells nothing like an old ale as far as I'm concerned. Speaking of concerned, I'm now concerned about how good Autumn Ale is going to be. And the answer is...

... not very. That isn't strictly true, but it is a letdown since it still doesn't taste much like an old ale. It tastes like a cross between a porter and an Oktoberfest; more the former than the latter. Sour, dark fruit leads the way; with earthy, dark caramel-coated Munich malt not far behind. It's an odd conglomeration of flavors that doesn't really work.

I'll say one thing for this Breckenridge seasonal, it's an original take on the style. Trouble is, originality is only worth so much and is far down the list from a whole host of things, not the least of which is enjoyable flavor. Warming increases flavor intensity, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

The mouthfeel is fine for a porter, good even, but lacking for the stated style. I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt since it's one of the beer's best attributes. More viscosity would be great though.

Breckenridge Autumn Ale has failed to warm my body (a minimum of 8% is required for that) and it certainly hasn't warmed my soul. It doesn't remind me of Autumn and it isn't much of an old ale. What's left? A crazy patchwork of a beer that doesn't fit comfortably into any one style, but that is, nevertheless, drinkable in a 'low expectations' kind of way. A better old ale shouldn't be that hard to come by.

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Photo of russpowell
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD indiscernible.

Pours chestnut with 1 finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Some toasted malt & cocoa

T: Roasted malt with some coffee grounds up front. Dryness, brown sugar & smokeyness, slight fruittyness (apricots & raisins) as this warms along with some tannins. Finishes a bit dry with more coffee grounds, a kiss of leafy hops& a bit of baker's chocolate. Drinks more lake a stout

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, a bit of smoothness

Drinks pretty good, but make me think coffee stout, not old ale, so I have to knock it down for taste

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Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up as part of a mix a six - poured chilled from the brown bottle into a willybecker.

The color is dark nutty brown with translucent clarity and thin beige cap w/ stringy lace and ultra fine bead. The smell is very bready with a roasted grainy scent and light yeast ester with gentle fruity tinge and a light stone fruit ester with mild woody notes and hint of raisin. The feel has low roast and mild yeast with slight spice and gentle yeasty tang with moderately high carbonation with medium body and semi-dry nutty feel.

The taste is lightly caramel in the front with a toasted malt and nice fruity yeast flavor with somewhat bready flavor and mild spice w/ a gentle earthy sweet dried fruit taste like cherry with a mild hint of hops which are in the background with a gentle bran cereal quality with slight dry herbal tinge in the finish. Overall this brown is a quality dark ale with plenty of drinkability and subtle dry maltiness yeast breadiness that is very pleasant. This is a beer I would get again for the fact it is well brewed clean and doesn't taste sweet even though it is malt dominated.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I actually applaud the American brewers who put out Autumn beers instead of Oktoberfests. This one pours a clear ruby-sienna topped by a finger of sandy khaki foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, dry biscuit, and cinnamon. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light caramel and some very light toasted rye bread. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It's not all that complex, really, but the simplicity is well-executed.

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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 WVbeergeek
2.97/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a dark caramel cola colored body with a rich forming tan head flows thick with a nice lace that sticks to the glass evenly with much intricacy. Aromatics offer up somewhat mint like edge black licorice chocolate with spiced bread dough blends of this seasons offerings. Flavor has yeast driven mild chocolate with herbal qualities that result in sweet cloying tones at times, with fruit accents and mineral water hardness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some prickly carbonation, definitely soothing on the palate. Drinkability does me alright with festive qualities of a winter warmer/old ale this one hits early in the fall not bad at all that bad and even a nice mix up from the typical O fest of the season.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the label, "It's special" in an oval, above the rest of the design with Autumn in a bedangled banner, and Ale in a circle surrounded by leaves. Just above the word Autumn, the phrase, "After Rakin'" there we have it, this is Breck's autumnal answer to the summertime "lawnmower beer."

Deep dark brown color, thick and cloudy, with a slim, cocoa-tan head above.

Aroma is nutty and sweet, caramel toned, with whispering hints of maple, with the ghost of whiskey underneath.

Climbs on board the palate assuredly and spares no time in lounging around the mouth. Slightly Chewy mouthfeel, flavors of nuts and maple, cocoa, spices...but very mildly pronounced. Fuller bodied, but not so substantial. Warm and tasty, though. Peppery, malty finish.

Put short, a nice transitional ale, as we regrettably leave summer behind and embrace richer, darker tastes,'s already chilly out, and October looms overhead. This is a nice, easy drinking ale, and very welcome in my glass.

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Photo of Tone
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, roasted malt, hops, hint of pale malt, and a slight caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, a good, session-able brown.

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Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know what's old ale-like about this, it doesn't have the big sweetness and there's a touch of roasted grains. It's not a bad beer, but I find it bland. The undercarbonation doesn't help, but what are you going to do? At least it goes down easy. Out of the winter beers, I'd call this one nice, but forgetable.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on October 4, 2014.

The pour is a darker amber color with a long lasting off-white head.

The aroma is fairly routine with a decent enough malt character followed by a a slight hop character. But nothing jumps out.

Medium body.

The taste focuses on the malts more than anything else. Fairly sweet. Mild bitterness. Not bad in the whole scheme of things.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another pretty average beer from Breckenridge. I keep hoping one of their beers will hit the spot, but really I haven't found one yet with the possible exception of the 471 IPA. This one pours a very dark brown, but with just the faintest head. Fairly roasty in the nose with a hint of cocoa powder, and some gentle malt. A little thin in flavor, especially upfront, but the finish delivers some more of that same moderate roastiness and dusty cocoa. Not a lot of depth, but pleasant enough, I guess. Also relatively gentle in the mouth with a soft finish. Certainly drinkable, but not moreish.

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Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a dark brown with crimson edges when held to the light. The small, tan head slowly fades out. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is caramel, roasted nuts, toffee, mild cocoa, and a touch of graininess.
Taste echoes the aromas with more of a citrusy, floral flavor coming through with a fair share of hopping.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, semi-sweet of toffee, along with a nutty, grainy, mildly bitter finish.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label says it's deep mahogany, so I'll go with that. There's a good 1 finger head of foam and lots of lacing.

The smell is very light. Some bready malt and some roasted malt with a light touch of chocolate.

The taste is the same as the smell. Light note of chocolate, stronger notes of roasted malt and bread and a slight astrigency right before the finish. It has flavour, for sure, but what's there doesn't appeal to me all that much. Hey, that happens from time to time...;^)

It has a good medium mouthfeel and the carbonation is on the light side of medium.

Bottom line: It's worth a try but it's not something that exactly grabs your attention.

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