Autumnal Fire
Capital Brewery

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Bock - Doppelbock
Ranked #14
Ranked #4,586
4.07 | pDev: 10.07%
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States
Notes: With a deep copper hue and rich malty flavor this renowned doppelbock warms like burning embers of a mid-autumn fire as the nights grow cooler. You may be tempted to share, but keep this Fire for yourself. It’s that good!
Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 604 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Milktoast75
Milktoast75 from Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter. Deep copper color. Strong ice tea look. Tried to get a good head on pour but maybe a half inch that dissolves quickly. Toffee, fruit, malt, caramel on the nose. Malt taste up front with a muddled bunch of flavors. Was hoping for a BIG flavor of something. Like malty caramel or rich bock (this is billed as a doppelbock). Light carbonation. Very easy drinking because there is not much in your way.
Disappointed in this years version. Tasted watered down. I’ve had much better versions over the years. It’s good. But should and can be great.

Oct 14, 2018
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark caramel orange body, two finger white head that made me a bit suspicious, but it all worked out in the end. Good retention, lots of lacing. Smells of toffee for days; lots of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, pumpernickel bread. Overly sweet nose. Flavour is similar; heavy toffee, caramel, biscuit with a bit of honey drizzled on top, light nuttiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, even a bit sticky, good carbonation, moderate grassy bitterness on the finish. Big doppelbock with a slightly sticky finish.

Oct 22, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy, dark orange with a one-finger, foamy, white head. Much carbonation.
A wonderful, Carmel malt smell. The hop pops just the right amount. And leaves just a bit of bitterness. The breadiness also brings an enjoyable factor.
Taste of Carmel malt as well. This is amazingly smooth! This is probably the best Capital beer.

Oct 21, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite doppelbocks and always a treat when I can find it... and save it.
While its aroma is its least strong feature, its taste and mouthfeel are exceptional. Sweet malts balanced by just enough hops to check the sweet. In the mouth, it one of the smoothest lagers I can recall and as smooth (or smoother) than all but the top five oatmeal stouts. If you have the patience to let this lager warm, you are in for an even finer treat.

My only complaint: they don't make enough of Autumnal Fire.

This beer is listed in the "1001" and deserves to be there. Randy Mosher, my favorite beer reviewer living in Chicago, made an interesting point in his "1001" review that I share: "Most craft-brewed lagers stick pretty closely to Bavarian styles and the few examples that push the boundaries -- such as Autumnal Fire does -- stand out. "

In the Big Picture, this might also be why many of the better lager brewers are from the Midwest: we deviate less from the American norm !

11/1/18 I'd been saving a copy for about two years since bottle date (my guess based on this not staying on the shelf long.) And two years is a bit too long for clarity in Look and Taste. But, Autumnal Fire still sits fine in my mouth.
I took this opportunity to go on Capital's website and see that they have new labels and a new brewmaster (and a female to boot!) Who says that after 30 years in business things can't change ?

Apr 24, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.61/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A dark brown pour, thin head, 1/5". Aroma was thick, roast, molasses and brown sugar.

So much alcohol noticeable. Thick viscosity. Devoid of hops, steroids and prunes. Fucking dark bitter coffee malt notes.

Not my style, I just can't get into something that the alcohol runs so strong in. I mean, there's 20%+ beers I really dig, but this just tastes way too strong for my tastes.

Feb 06, 2016
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Sound_Explorer from Washington

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle I tried was the 2013 version, still have a 2014 to try as well but this review is for the '13 so here it goes.

Bit of head on it and a nice amber color to it. Smell was the typical malty style from a dopplebock and definitely sweet which rolled into the taste of course. Bit of a malt bomb but the style is supposed to be one. Very much a classic interpretation on the style that comes off well. A bit malty and sweet for me but very very solid for sure. A good example to give someone who is new to the style for a classic take on it. Enjoy and I will edit this for the 2014 version if there is a big difference.

Sep 27, 2015
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Lesingnon from Wisconsin

4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep coppery-brown that pours with about a finger of white foam. Head quickly recedes to a thin ring, not really any evident lacing.

Scent: Has a very prominent scent, big on the malt. Biscuity sweetness is definitely the aroma that jumps out at me here.

Taste: Heavy on the malt flavors, just like the smell biscuity-sweetness really jumps out at me. And it blends nicely with some balancing hop bitterness.

Feel: Very smooth and easy-drinking, you'd never guess the ABV is as high as it is from drinking it.

Overall: I'd been wanting to try a Doppelbock for quite a while, and this certainly didn't disappoint. Certainly a beer worth drinking as the days shorten and cool.

Sep 13, 2015
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dmgallag from Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Tastes medicinal to me. No real aroma or positive mouthfeel going on here either. I don't know, if you like cherry cough syrup this is maybe your thing. Not going to try this one again.

May 15, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: slight fruit, bread, sweet malt, strong malt aromas, slight toast, light caramel, no hops, fruit is grape, no roast or burnt malt. Appearance: Brilliant deep copper, off white fluffy head but low retention, ruby highlights, not a lot of lace but some legs. Flavor: rich malt sweetness, a little alcohol that shows up especially in the aftertaste, some hop bitterness in the background for balance but overall leans to the malt. Pleasant mix of alcohol, and malt, long malt after taste. Mouthfeel: Medium full body, medium low carbonation, slight warming, creamy, smooth. Overall Impression: very drinkable, not cloying, smooth, strong and rich.

Mar 18, 2015
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper, mostly hazy but translucent. Very little head, but a touch persists. A bit of lacing, but not much.

S - Very subtle sour note, with a bigger toffee hit.

T - Follows through with the toffee nose, sweet and delicious. Close brings that light sourness, along with a bit of bitterness.

M - Mild carbonation, but brisk and easy to drink, with no sign of the solid ABV.

O - A delicious malt-forward flavor. Sweet, with the ABV well hidden, but definitely there. Solid.

Jan 29, 2015
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Cyberkedi from Georgia

3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Crisp, strong aroma has a malty core with an underpinning of honey, cinnamon and cloves. Pours a clear, dark copper, almost mahogany, with a fairly thick light wheat head. Malty flavor has firm earthy, caramel, and honey tones with just hints of spice and wood. Texture has decent body and fizz, leaving an earthy, slightly woody finish and a persistent tingle. Happy Autumn!

Jan 05, 2015
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GPHarris from Alabama

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a tulip glass that left a thin ring throughout. the body was a mahogany color.
s - chocolate and roast.
t - chocolate and roast flavors dominate.
m - medium and coating.
o - decent beer but didn't wow me.

Dec 19, 2014
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazed reddish-orange-tinted amber with a thin head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of dried fruits, caramelized grain, hint of alcohol warmth.

The taste is of sweetened dried fruits - apricot and tangerine - with caramelized grain and bready notes. There is a spicy dry touch in the finish. Booze gives warmth without being too hot.

It is full-bodied and smooth. Strong, yet refreshing.

Overall, a wonderful traditional doppelbock. Reminds me of Paulaner Salvator (more than the darker Ayinger Celebrator). A great example of the style - a very enjoyable brew, especially on a cold autumn day!

Nov 16, 2014
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, date, brown sugar, light nuttiness, light chocolate, slight tobacco/leather and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark fruit and dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, date, brown sugar, light nuttiness, light chocolate, slight leather/tobacco, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, raisin, plum, fig, date, brown sugar, light nuttiness/chocolate, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of big dark fruit and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/dark fruit balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and slightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome doppelbock style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of big dark fruit and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Oct 30, 2014
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UrbanCaveman from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a bell glass at approximately 40 degrees F.

A: Pours a honey-gold that is not unlike the color of fresh synthetic motor oil, and settles into the glass as a beautifully clear light amber. I half expected to see some sort of mosquito trapped within the beer, waiting to for us to unlock the genetic secrets of the velociraptor from within it. It formed a decently thick head of perhaps a finger and a half, which quickly died away in a rush of fizzy sounds to leave only a slight white ring around the edges of the glass. No lacing was left to speak of. Bubbles rise steadily from the bottom of the glass the entire time it sits in said glass.

S: Sweet and yeasty, the nose is not unlike glazed bread, reminiscent of some sort of honeyed doughnut. There's some hints of cherry and I daresay banana faintly in the nose as well.

T: Definitely a sweet beer, with caramel and honey bun flavors striking right out of the gate. A yeastiness makes itself known as the beer moves across the tongue, and the sweetness fades a little to let some cherry and cinnamon in along the sides. This beer finishes with a burst of cherry and raisin, and some faint hints of wood, beneath the last of the honey bun sweetness.

M: Smooth and creamy, this beer drinks like a runny syrup, clinging to the teeth and tongue well after the swallow. It's almost full enough to warrant a "chewy" descriptor, but not quite.

O: As a raging malt addict, I am a fan of this beer. The blend of doppelbock and Oktoberfest works well to create a full-flavored, complex profile that is refreshingly devoid of any noticeable hop presence. I see myself picking this up annually during trips to Chitown, and enjoying it every time.

Oct 21, 2014
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joncocktotone from Vermont

5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I restrained myself as my neighbor knocked over the last one I had brought with me from WI. Neither a tear or neighbor dropped to my deck as much as both should have. The only plus is that my deck boards never smelled so good. Best beer ever! Perfect in everyway.

Jul 27, 2014
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brewskifan55 from Mississippi

3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 release; poured into a goblet

A: Clear amber. Some lacing. An off-white half finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Bready malts, grain, hay, barley.

T: Sweet, malty with molasses and bourbon heavily mixed in. Nutty. A bit of chocolate. Very smooth. Almost like a shot of Kentucky bourbon. Nice.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: Looks like a year really set this one straight. A great sipper. The bourbon really makes this one a solid brew.

Jan 18, 2014
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tronester from Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear amber orange in color with a medium tan head. Solvent alcohol and brown sugar in the aroma. After that is some sweet toffee flavor. A hint of bitterness in the finish. Rich mouth feel. Velvety smooth carbonation. Overall an excellent dopplebock.

Oct 26, 2013
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rajendra82 from Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful, auburn colored body was clear, and the beer displayed little carbonation, and formed no head. The smell was a mixture of sour dark skinned fruits, caramel, cocoa and coffee. The taste was very fruity, brimming with flavors of cherries, and fig, as well as showing off some vanilla, toffee, and just a hint of chocolate. The body was thicker than medium dense, with sticky initial feel, and a dry finish. I believe this is the first beer from this brewery I've sampled. It probably won't be the last, based on the quality of this one.

Aug 25, 2013
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YoDude from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Capital Autumnal Fire, aged 3 years 7 months in my beer cellar, 7.8% ABV

Appearance: Poured ruby brown with a very little head and lacing.

Smell: Toasted malt and caramel notes, no pronounced hop presence, no obvious off flavors.

Taste: Dried fruit and cognac sweetness. A molasses finish lingers. There is also a slight aftertaste of old leather, but not unpleasant.

Mouth feel: Medium body and low carbonation, coating the back of the tongue and upper palette with black licorice. Also a nice warming alcohol finish.
Overall: Capital was the first American craft breweries to combine the Oktoberfest and Doppelbock styles into one amazingly drinkable strong beer. The cellar aging has brought forward the more bitter flavors to balance with strong sweetness of the young beer. This is a great cognac-like after diner beverage to enjoy by an open fire with a maduro leaf cigar.

Serving type: A 12oz bottle and poured into a Capital Brewery Snifter.

May 18, 2013
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ri0 for sending this bottle.

A - Pours a dark amber color with a nice frothy head and moderate carbonation.

S - Candy caramel/toffee malt aroma is first and forward followed by plums, figs, and roasted honey malt.

T - Follows the nose with a generous portion of roasted German caramel/toffee malt, honey, dark fruits (plums, figs), some cherry, and a little bit of alcohol.

M - Thick body, bready and chewy, and sticky.

O - This isn't a style I would normally reach for but it is quite good and worth a try if you like the German style beers.

Apr 15, 2013
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AltBock from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle with a simple autumn colored label of the Capitol Building with red hop buds on both sides. The Government warning, a bottled year, as well as another smaller picture of the label can be found on the neck label. My bottle was bottled in 2012.

When poured into a Pilsner glass, this Doppelbock was an impressive clear honey amber with a glimmer of sunshine at the bottom. The head of foam wasn't as nice as the color, but it was still pretty nice. It was about 1/2 an inch in height and was light beige in color. It had decent retention that left behind a string of foamy rings and a few spots of lace around the glass. I loved that color!

The aroma was more about the day old bread than than the roasted malts. The main focus of the aroma was that of day old wheat bread that's about to go stale. Behind the bread was a drop of roasted malt, a nice whiff of sweet caramel, and a pinch of milk chocolate at the end. I wish the malts came out more to overshadow the going stale wheat bread.

I found the taste to be a little odd. It tasted like the day old wheat bread mixed in with the roasted malts to form one taste. Day old malts?? The caramel in the aroma was replaced by a subtle fruitiness. That was a little odd too. After the fruitiness, the beer then finishes up with a taste of baker's chocolate, and a crispy hop bitterness. In other words, the taste was odd for a Doppelbock.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied, lightly crispy, and with a faint aftertaste. This aftertaste was that of day old wheat bread, a touch of roasted malt, and some crispy fruity hops. The wheat bread taste lingers on for a while.

Even though the Doppelbock was a little on the odd side, it was still pretty good. I have had worse Doppelbocks than this. I still wish the roasted malts were allowed to shine more and that the caramel wasn't replaced by fruits in the taste. Would I drink it again? Yes, I would. I'm glad I finally got to try this Doppelbock. I've been wanting to try this Doppelbock for some time.

Mar 14, 2013
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic beer in the Oktoberfest style, but more. Pours a dark reddish color with off-white head. The nose is sweet, with some spice. Lots of caramel malt, toffee and some spice on the palate. Full bodied. An intriguing beer.

Jan 14, 2013
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the beer was a brownish red color with virtually no head. The beer showed appropriate retention and lacing. I was a little disappointed with the aroma as it was more faint than anticipated. Sweet malts dominated the aroma. In the initial taste, one tastes the sweetness of the malt like a sweet bread. A sour note hits the side of the tongue while darker fruits dance in the background. There is a hint of carbonation in the background. Molasses and dark chocolate develop as the initial taste matures. In the aftertaste, the taste sours while coating the back of the throat nicely. A slight warming sensation can be detected. Capital does doppelbocks exceptionally well.

Jan 13, 2013
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liamt07 from Canada (ON)

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from buzze40, into a tulip. 2012 vintage.

Reddish-copper with a cream coloured head. Decent clarity in the body, good retention and lacing. Nose of toasty grains, dark fruits, sweet malts and some caramel apple. Taste has more sweet toasty grains, caramels, some fruity malt character and a bit of bread. A tad sweet in the finish. No sense of the ABV, and this is smooth as heck. One of the better doppelbocks I've come across.

Jan 08, 2013
Autumnal Fire from Capital Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 604 ratings