Anchor BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red | Anchor Brewing Company

202 Reviews
Anchor BigLeaf Maple Autumn RedAnchor BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red is a quaffable, well-balanced red ale with character. Its malty complexity and coppery color come from a combination of two caramel malts, pale malt, and a hint of maple syrup. To complement these flavors, we used three additions of Nelson Sauvin hops in the brewkettle and a unique blend of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Cascade for dry hopping. The result is a distinctive fall seasonal with extraordinary depth and intriguing aroma.

Added by tdm168 on 08-09-2013

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 975
Photo of Greg_Nall
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label gave a minimum of information, and once poured into a Tankered offered over a finger of head with medium bubbles in a light tan color, lacing lasted for a couple minutes.

I'm calling a moderate aroma strength, nose to glass, with low malts, and medium hops giving off a floral scent.

Flavor yielded malts in the medium low range without giving any recognizable taste (to me anyway), with the hops in the medium-high area and again having a floral taste. The Flavor intensity seemed to be moderate with the hops dominating. Finishing with a hoppy mouth.

There was a clean mouth feel with good carbonation

I enjoyed the beer, and would have another

* I tend to grade low, but hopefully consistently, and tend towards maltier brews.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/17/2013. Pours lightly hazy orange copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of orange zest, lemon zest, apple, pear, caramel, toast, brown sugar, wood, light maple, herbal, light pine, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt and hop notes; with decent strength. Taste of orange zest, lemon zest, apple, pear, caramel, toast, brown sugar, wood, light maple, pine, herbal, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, apple, pear, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light maple, wood, pine, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of hop and malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice amber ale. Good balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- reddish color, thin head

Smell- malt, slight amount of maple

Taste- some malt, slight amount of maple

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would definitely drink it again. Had light flavor but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a frothy, white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with some earthy hops.

Tastes of the toasted malt base with a layer of earthy hops on top. Malts lead off with toasted bread, toffee, and caramel. Touches of maple come in the middle, but does not have any sweetness to it. Hops come in and add some earthy, herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is okay, but comes off pretty flat.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz iconic "snub" brown glass bottle with brown/gold branded pry-off pressure cap and understated label art acquired as part of a six pack and served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are well above average given the brewery. "Red ale brewed with maple syrup." Date code: BLQ. 6% ABV confirmed.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Has been refrigerated since purchase. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a four finger wide head of nice off-white colour. Good thickness. Decent creaminess. Has an even smooth consistency and a pretty soft complexion. No lacing really clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper with amber hues. Superb vibrance. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's looking real good for an amber but isn't unique or special. I'm really looking forward to trying it. I don't find any flaws.

Sm: Caramel, a hint of toasted malt and a kiss of bready/crust malt character, piney hop notes, caramalt, floral hop notes, and some vaguely fruity hop notes. I have to really search for the maple syrupy, but I do find a bit of it. Pale malts.

It's a very clean aroma - there's no yeast character or alcohol presence. A pleasant appealing aroma of above average strength. I don't find any off-notes.

T: It's a bit more bitter and hopped than anticipated, with some untamed bitterness surfacing in the late second act. Luckily, the sweet caramalts and pale malts beat back the hop bitterness on the climax, restoring balance. Hop character is a bit atypical for an amber - there's some light bubblegum and hints of tropical fruit (which lends the finish an unbecoming sweetness). But there's also your standard hint of citrus and plenty of floral hop character. I did expect it to be more evocative given the hop choices here. It doesn't quite have enough toasted malt character to really bring it into red ale territory, but it's an interesting cohesive build and I do like it. There's a nice subtle hint of maple syrup about the climax, which is a nice touch.

It's not a gestalt beer. Fair complexity and subtlety. No real intricacy or nuance per se. Average to above average depth of flavour. Average intensity and duration of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol presence is noticeable.

Mf: Smooth, clean, wet, and refreshing. Nice thickness and body. It's got a pretty nice presence on the palate; quite approachable. Complements the flavour profile well. A bit overcarbonated, but it's tolerable. Kind of chewy.

Not astringent, oily, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy. Texture does not feel custom-tailored specifically to taste.

Dr: It's a very drinkable amber/red ale, sure, but there just isn't anything unique or special here and it comes off unremarkable. As much as I respect Anchor, I can't see myself buying this one again but there's really nothing egregiously wrong with it. There're just far better red ales available at or below this price point and nothing about this specifically tickles my fancy. I wouldn't recommend this to friends as-is.

I'll plan on revisiting this when it's fresh to see if this review is off-base.


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Photo of sweemzander
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish brown amber color. Produced a nice cap of tan froth. Solid retention and plenty of lacing.

(S)- A rustic light creamy nuttiness to it. Ever so slight sweetness to it from the maple. Definitely fits in with the season!

(T)- Very bitter up front with some grassy-like hop notes. Underlying sweetness, but lacking flavor compared to how nice the smell was.

(M)- A good carbonation level. The huge bitterness is disappointing since it masks all of the sweeter maple and rich nutty backbone.

(O)-Not bad, but kind of glad I got a single of this. It started off great, but the flavor just turns into this overly bitter mess for my tastes

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Shaker pint glass. Date stamp: 3G9 (2013 August 29)

Appearance: Clear amber (orange-red) with an off white to light tan thin head. Sheets and fine strands of lacing noted.

Smell: Light citrus hops (orange and lemon) with a hint of pine. Some maple came out but only as the beer was fully warmed up.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness up front, malt barely detectable, can't pick up the maple at all. Finish is citrus, and then a short delay followed by a piney bitter finish. Once the beer was a lot more warmed up there was more of a sweetness in the middle that maybe, just maybe, was maple in flavor, but it was there and gone again bookended by hops.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice thickness, little bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: The maple that is emphasized in the label is not really present, and overall I think this is more of an APA than an American Amber given the flavor profile. Not a bad beer though, just not what I was expecting - not enough malt backbone. An above average beer.

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Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark orange color with a 1" head that lasts a long time. Thick lace develops.

Smell: light caramel and fruit sweetness is all that comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, red apples, a bit of maple sweetness, and a mild bitterness are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a nice fall beer that puts you in a good mood on a cool autumn day. Easy to drink.

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Photo of jpro
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz poured into a small tulip glass.

A: Copper-amber; cream, one-finger head; nice sheets of lace.

S: Caramel malt; citrus rind; maple becomes more pronounced as the beer warms; sweet; quite unique aroma.

T: Toasted malt; fairly hoppy... more bitter than expected; maple is lost in the flavor profile, unfortunately.

M: Pretty average feel... medium-bodied / moderate carbonation.

O: An interesting fall beer from Anchor... looking forward to this year's Christmas Ale, though! This one's good but not great - probably wouldn't seek it out again.

*from notes 11.13.13

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Born from the savory sweetness that only maple can provide, this American Red Ale doesn't just rely on barley and hops to tell its story. It takes advantage of the special Canadian syrup.

The beer pours the expected dark amber that gives the style its name. Crystal clarity really shows off those red hues. Capped with a tall column of fluffy foam, its head retains its structure until deep into the session. Its jigsaw lacing offers an attractive decor on the glass while the beer fades.

Grain sweetness is the aromatic anchor that grounds the beer while whiffs of maple, butter pecan, bread crust, light toffee, and slight butter cream waft over the nose. A glimmer of citrusy orange peels peak through the sweeter and more hearty notes.

Its taste is much more beer focused as the grainy-sweet flavor projects a toasted barley, nutty, crusty and toasted attitude. As the maple folds into the mix, notions of Cracker Jacks candies come to mind. Its malty-dry center well supports those sweeter maple flavors until the hop bitterness kicks in at its finish. Dried orange peels, mild grass and pine cones round out the beer's malt-forward flavor.

BigLeaf Maple is a medium bodied through and through. Though its malt dominance carries the ale, its texture is malty-dry in mouthfeel as well as in taste. This allows the husk spices to play a role in the beer's balance as much as hop dryness does. The soft spiciness of alcohol warms the gullet while the maple sweet soothes it a second later.

After the heat of summer and just before the chill of winter, this ale captures the taste of fall like few do. It's perfect for a day or raking leaves, carving pumpkins or chasing the pigskin.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from House of Trembling Madness in York, England (£2.55, 355ml):
Caramel amber with some orange & a 3cm, foamy & thick head that holds well.

Malty with a sugary, sweet backbone and hints of maple, naturally and as the label on the neck promised. There is some toffee and some fruits but other than some light orange I found these hard to distinguish. There was some more malts towards the end as well.

Full of malts upfront with some sweetness from the maple and a bitter taste coming through just after this. Some caramel follows this and some citrus and a few hops too.

Sweet with hints of bitter although the subsided some as the beer settled. A medium with soft carbonation and a little spice. A smooth beer with a slight citrus tang around the middle.

Not to bad a beer all in, one that I wasn't sure about initially but it was one that grew on me some and improved as it was given a chance to further open up and heat up a little. Not one that I'd suggest looking out for but more than worth a try if you happen across it.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper color, with a big cloud deck of off-white foam.
Aroma-Citrussy hop notes
Taste-Toasty and hoppy-faint sweetness-subtle, burnt-leaf bitterness. Tasty, tailgating-worthy offering. Burger or bratwurst friendly.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - amber with a frothy ivory head, great retention and chunky lacing is left down the glass
S - malty aroma of caramel, bread, toasted grain, piny hops, not much for maple
T - sweet but bitter with piny hops in the forefront, malty caramel, bready, a touch of maple, very juicy hops are nice
M - medium bodied, resinous, drying, hop oils stick to the palate
O - very nice autumnal ale. I was hoping for the maple to stick out a bit more but this was good regardless

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a relatively clear medium amber in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint reddish brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium sized finger tall cap in the center and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus (grapefruit + orange zest) hops along with some lighter hints of nelson sauvin hops which contribute an aroma similar to gooseberries. There are some lighter aromas of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of caramel malts with some light hints of maple sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of nelson sauvin (gooseberry) hops and moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith and citrus/orange zest hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness are present but fade relatively quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp upfront.

O: This is a pretty hopped up version of an American Amber/Red, which is something that I really enjoy - somewhat reminiscent of an APA. I wish the maple was a little more present than it is but otherwise this is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium clear amber with a huge yellow cream head that gets tacky as it dissipates. Nice retention and gloppy lace down the glass. Big brown bottle shows giant geometric bubbles in the bottle from the pour. Pretty beer.

Interesting nose. Toasted malt. I actually get the faintest whiff of maple. A little woody caramel and vanilla. A little mild on the aroma side.

Dry ale. Big bitter up front, like super-brown bread crust. Hops have a good bite, but not piney nor citric. Pure bitter. Unrelenting in this department, and long bitter in the finish. Malt exists and you actually get a moment when the palate is clearing that there is bread toast. That's as easy drinking as this gets. This is an oversized bottle that you'd want to share, and have with some rich food (stew??) to help cut thru the fat and depth. On it's own, it's a little harsh.

Medium body, excellent body and structure.

I'm ok with this, but this is one I need to be in the mood for, or plan a meal around. Killing this bottle by itself on a Friday night is just an ok experience, and willingness and enjoyment diminish with each sip.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with this bottle. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a hazy copper color with a finger of yellowish tan froth that fades back leaving strings and spots of lace.

The aroma has quite a fruity and floral hop appeal that blends into almost a belgian-like note of pink bubblegum. Some earthen and more herbal to citrus notes appear with more whiffs. The malt is quite caramel or toffee in character.

The flavor is malty with quite a toasty bready grain aspect. A bit of herbal hops, slightly fruity and floral. Some citrus and herbs appear more evident with each sip and a mild grassy bitterness. Kiss of alcohol that has that previously described pink bubblegum note sbout it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and an interesting seasonal that is unique and easy drinking. When you read the label, you almost feel like there is a hint of maple earthiness blended in with the malt character. Overall a solid and enjoyable seasonal that I will probably seek out again.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle and into a tumbler at the Fernwood Bar in Big Sur, CA.

Raul's not tripping like Toronto's Mayor after a few puffs from a glass pipe, but he was kind of feeling this one well enough. Nice lil' Red that wasn't overly malty/syrupy, and was smooth like Raul on ice skates.

I wouldn't recommend that my children search for it, but if you see it and want to chill hard like Tebow in Bible study, Raul would recommend it enough.

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Photo of Kooz
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours orange, but not quite red. Nice head, but it dissipates pretty quickly.

Very subtle nose. There a slight sourness to it, but it doesn't come through in the taste.

The first sip was good, but it was overpoweringly bitter without much other flavor that I could discern.

There is a good mouthfeel. It's got some body yet still tastes light.

Overall, it's a slight disappointment, but not bad.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ruddy amber with sepia carpet that trails.
Autumn leaf, lots of malty caramel, a touch of maple, and winter spice.
Big toffee apple sweetness with woody, spicy, orange rind hops.
Polish caramel and gooseberry finish and tightening linger.
Medium, soft, clingy.

Looks nice but the nose is a bit sickly sweet. The malts bury the fruit off the Nelson, leaving the spice and citrus (Citra + Cascade) to end up tasting like EKG. Chewy enough for the season, and there is some maple, but a bit simple - at least to start. Just when you expect it will cloy like mad when it warms up, all the dry-hopping comes out.

Actually a true amber, masquerading as a winter warmer.

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Photo of zacharrry
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I normally don't get too excited about anything from Anchor but this one sounded too good to pass up. Maybe I was just excited to finally be able to buy a six pack of a red ale (any red ale!) for a low price, but I thought this was a great fall beer. Not as sweet as the name would make you think, but fans of Imperial Reds will definitely find this enjoyable. Sad to see it leaving the shelves (I've already gone through two six-packs).

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Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a deep iced-tea brown with a huge, thick, fluffy, cream colored head that took some time to fade into a rocky film that left a complex network of sticky laceing down the glass.
S: lemon and citrus hops come through alongside rich notes of molasses. I get hints of brown sugar, caramel, and toffee.
T: more bready than the nose suggested with flavors of bready yeast, lemon verbena, orange zest, maple, and slight caramel. The finish tastes like toasted wheat bread and the aftertaste is citrusy and lightly bitter. Maple syrupy is definitely not super sweet or cloying.
M: Medium body, soft, delicate and fluffy carbonation, with a smooth creamy full mouthfeel.
O: Great mouthfeel and a decent flavor that I can’t really complain about, I was just expecting more of a maple presence. Definitely another solid beer from Anchor though.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into an english pint. Pours a hazy red with a finger length light tan head that dissipates into a cap and leaves a light amount of lacing. This beer has the unmistakable smell of Welch's grape juice with a small trace of maple syrup in the background. This is a very malt forward beer, and it leaves behind a full assortment of berries in the background. There is a light bitterness detected on the finish. Not nearly as big as I would have thought, and it is very sessionable.

Overall: Don't let the maple fool you, the fruitiness to this one is the story. This is a really good beer.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a copper and clear color with an abundant light tan head that has very good retention and side glass lacing.
Smell: sharp orange rind with some peppery hoppiness.
Real dry on the palate, too much so for me. Its bitter and dry enough that the roof of my mouth has to strain for a little saliva.
Hops dominate the Malts, interesting beer, that would go good with steak or some Bar-B-Q ribs. Certainly not a thirst quencher on a hot day.

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Photo of mactrail
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Rarely does a beer start out with such a bitter herbal flavor. It's exactly like green tea when you forget and let it steep for 15 minutes. The amber color is attractive with nice swirls of foam in the globe glass. I try to get a faint hint of smell, but it's like a concrete basement with a hint of herbs hanging up to dry, and a touch of plastic air mattress.

The body is really thin and the bitterness just eats at you. There doesn't seem to be the faintest hint of malty sweetness to go with the spoiled fruit flavor and the medicinal bitterness. The bigtooth maple is one of my favorite trees in Washington and I like the adventurous idea to use its sugar, but this stuff has a sourish tang rather than anything like maple.

Overall, this is flat, harsh, and barely drinkable. I just don't understand how a brewery with the resources of Anchor can continue to make so many mediocre beers.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red/amber with a solI'd bout of creme foam. Rises to two fingers and holds. Lacing is great.

Tart malts with smooth toastiness, earthy hops, apple-y notes, a hint of maple syrup, and a kickback of soft and spicy spruce.

Classic Anchor seasonality with evergreen hops, robust malts, hints of spice, and solid balance--all of that, plus a swirl-in of maple syrup. Very tasty and almost warming with a brandied honey note. Lightly apple-y, like a tannic red apple skin, but very short on the sweetness that that would imply. Estery, still. Excellently toasted with a gentle snooze alarm of booze. Well-done.

Rugged and spicy with some warming fusel alcohol. Big brushstrokes of carb that almost singe the palate in the crescendo. Body holds its own with a medium wooliness. Still, a great autumny feel.

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Anchor BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red from Anchor Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 975 ratings.
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