Autumnal Fire | Capital Brewery

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Brewed by:
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 01-26-2002

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Reviews: 340 | Ratings: 587
Photo of joncocktotone
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Forget Christmas in July! Hallowe'en/Thanksgiving rolls on at Chez Wood this evening in anticipation of my upgrade to a chalice later tonight.

Well, well, well. This 2005 vintage held up quite nicely in the depths of my cellar. I got a dense, thick finger of creamy light-tan head with excellent retention off of my initial pour. Color was the most beautiful example of ruby that I have seen in a while and when coupled with its NE-quality clarity, I had to put it down for fear that I was not worthy of its magnificence. The nose smelled like hickory-smoked bacon: sweet and smoky all at once and I fell to my knees and began to kowtow in its presence. The head had begun to fall by the time I stood up and the lacing was going to require a jackhammer to remove. I sat back down and buckled the lap belt that I keep on hand for just such situations. We made a wide left off of Army Street (southbound) away from Potrero Hill, and northbound up to Russian Hill and I was off and running. The smokiness had died down somewhat over time, but it was still evident on the tongue, but the chewy malt had hung in like a champ and soon I was behind it, headed east on Mansell until it turned into US 101 South. That beer, with its Charger and its passenger with the Remington pump, kept me on my toes until the finish, down around Brisbane, when it exploded in the back of my throat with a smoky paroxysm of flames that is simply haunting.

OMFG, AutumnalDave, this beer is from and for you, brother! You gifted this to me right before I got bound up in travel and forgot about it. I remember having some at Capital during Ale Street News' inaugural visit, but it was nowhere as memorable as it was today.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights and a small, nut coloured head. The aromas are sweet, malty, and full with a nice bit of alcohol in the mix as well. The taste is sweet and malty with some wonderful nuttiness in the mix as well. The middle of this brew is very dessert like and reminiscent of caramel as well. Of course the finish is awesome as well with a lovely soft pretzel like flavor ensuing. The mouthfeel is thick, but not too syrupy as some doppels are and the drinkability is excellent as well. This is up there with the Liberator as far as US doppels go!

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Photo of cokes
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a feather in Capital's hat. I twitch in the anticipation of this one's release every year. The twitching usually starts around March.
Crystalline scarlet-copper. A pale-orange head sits royally above this glorious elixer. Fades to a skimming, but never leaves entirely.
Malts stampede into the nose. Fruity sweet, and bogglingly complex. Grape, raisin, orange peel, liquorice, toffee, sweet bread. Makes you want to eat the glass.
Flavor is equally delectable...actually moreso. Starts with a quick jab of toasted grain, which is quickly slaughtered by the onrushing sweet malt avalanche. Grape and raisin notes are first on the scene, quickly followed by tart apples, liquorice, carmel/toffee. Sublte spices provide an exclaimation mark. Faint nutmeg, ginger and clove notes.
******Deep breath*****
A touch of spicy hops closes the deal. Until the next sip unleashes the fury yet again.
Moderately thick in the mouth. Never cloying. The medium carbonation stays steady throughout.
Incapacitatingly drinkable. Drink this until your cerebellum ceases function. Menacing.
Amazing. One of Wisconsin's very best. Shit, one of THE very best.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a deep beautiful scarlet color. A little head fades to nothing. Similar to some barleywines I've had. Deep, thick malt aroma. This beer is a dopplebock, but the body is in the medium to medium-full range. The taste is wonderful. Deep, smooth malt. Also get some notes of vanilla, oak, dark fruit and wood. If I were to compare this beer to another, I'd look at the JW Lees Harvest ales for similar taste profiles. This beer tastes as much like a barleywine to me as it does a dopplebock. I think the a/v for this beer is around 8.5%. I can't pick up any sign of alcohol though. Brewed to perfection by the Lager Master, Kirby Nelson. This is definitely one of the best Wisconsin brewed beers.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew must have been from last fall but had no problems holding up.

The body is a hazy brown color, with a cream foam head on the top. Its got a big malt scent. Same with the taste, big malt character, some well mixed hops. Slight alcohol taste but it is well hidden. Full mouthfeel, syrupy. Almost seems like a lager barelywine. Excellent brew.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass. 7.8% ABV 2009 on neck label but no date.

A - The glass looks like it's filled with static, liquid fire. The gorgeous color is completely clear and shades of copper red to pumpkin orange and pale straw yellow highlights shine vibrantly. A perfect fall beer topped by a three-finger off-white cream head. Densely packed and well retained, it's a stunning beer to see. Little lacing spots but the foam lasts forever.

S - Incredibly sweet toasted malts with a brown sugar dash to it and a light touch of maple syrup. No hop aroma, just a toasted, heavy malt presence with an inviting sweet, rich nose.

T - This beer is bursting at the seams with malty goodness. The sweetness is potent with the brown sugar staying at a very low level. The toasted malts are bready and have a delicate hop finish to accompany them. The whole thing is very well balanced with a crisp and lightly dry finish and just a light hint at the alcohol level with a low-level spiciness. Not hot but warming in the stomach.

M - Smooth and rich, the sugars boost the body like crazy. It's definitely medium-full in body and robust. It finishes dry and crisp like a crunchy pile of leaves. Well carbonated for the style.

D - This is one of the ultimate fall beers and I couldn't pick anything better to enjoy this day with 70 degree, windy, and crisp air outside. It's magical. Delicious and awesome as a fall seasonal, it warms you up a bit without having an alcohol flavor. I'm sad my 6 pack is almost gone!

This beer also has one of the coolest labels I've ever seen. If it was in poster-form I'd be putting it up right now. [Not the label shown on this page.]

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant rusty red color, lightly plummish at glass's bottom, but altogether the perfect match for the deep violets, bold oranges, and dark maroons twisting from the treetops this season. Head is a dark cocoa, but sadly short-lived.
Aroma is full charge of maltiness, rich, invigorating, massive, mystical, portentous and potent. The more the nose is opened, and the aroma allowed to seep into the mind, more effects and associations gather in the imagination.
On first taste, a brief, but well-appreciated phalanx of hops drop on the tongue, followed closely by sweet, thick, chewy malt. Delicious stuff this, with bright fruit flavors, cherry, grape, appearing on the palate, as well. Sweet and warming, and though Capital is oddly tight-lipped regarding ABV, I'd guess this at somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5%. Alcohol is felt more in the middle, but is adequately matched by the flavor, deep and generous, of this full-bodied brew.
A lasting, lingering flavor, with considerable weight on the palate, this is just the thing to cradle in your hands when autumn stands up tall and starts to show it's true power, bidding you to prepare for the hard months to come. Before the barleywines and imperial stouts become de rigeuer, Autumnal Fire is the perfect doppelbock to fill in as the comfort against the cold.

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Photo of erwin08
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep coppery red color. transparent with about an inch of head.

S: this beer smells awesome! strong malty sweet smell.

T: tastes sweet of carmel and toffee almost fruity. a little spice as well.

M: silky smooth upfront with a bit of zip and tingle on the tail end.

D: very drinkable. don't typically like dobblebocks but this beer is fantastic.

why are the best ones always seasonals? this one is worth loading up on during those fall drips into wisconsin.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped a bottle I've had in the basement for a year to see how it aged. Here's the verdict.

Appearance: Orange brown, turns ruby red under light. Pours without much head, and leaves only a little lacing on the sides of the glass. Low/med viscosity. Medium visibility.

Aroma: Pungent fruitiness - a rich nose full of molasses, oranges, raisins, with a spicy sweet finish.

Taste: This beer has really developed in a year--plums, raisins, a few cherries over a molasses, caramel and mild cocoa foundation. A little soy nuttiness in the finish. Bready finish underneath with just the faintest hints of booze.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for a doppelbock - lighter body, with a sweet malt finish.

Drinkability: Fruitier and sweeter than when I last had it, with little by way of detectable booze or hops. This might be a little sweet for some folks, but a year in the cellar has really helped this beer develop even more depth than it had before.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a reddish-brown color with a ring of off-white lacing around the glass. The aroma is sweet, and of alcohol, bready malts, spices and dark fruits. The flavor is sweet, malty, and bready with a spicy fruitiness. It’s a full-bodied beer that finishes dry and alcoholic. Another very nice beer from Capital. Love it!

Sampled 12/31/03

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Photo of JRdaSconnie
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: 2011 vintage bottle pulled from fridge with tasting starting cool and progressing to warmer. Served in old-style Leinie's Perfect Beer Glass.

A: Deep red to coppery color, beautiful clarity, small co2 bubbles. Off white head 1 1/2 fingers to start, diminishes to foamy ring within a few minutes. Light lacing.

S: One of my favorite smelling beers, other than its big brother Eisphyre. Caramel/crystal malts, bready, light nice booziness.

T: Similar to smell. Big malt, caramel, some raisin/dark fruit underneath. Light alcohol but not hot. Love it.

M: Full without being heavy. Really helps increase to roundess of flavor in this beer. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Definately in my top five. I'm a Sconnie and a malt-head so this is about as good as it gets. Eisphyre is almost like drinking straight out of my mash tun so that beats out AF by a bit for me. But, I hoard this beer. Kirby Nelson is the man.

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Photo of OHLRangers
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into standard pint. Got a sixer of this from nflmvp out of the blue, apparently as a thank you for our face-to-face trade at GToM. Steve, I am in your debt, sir!!

As close to a perfect beer for my tastes as I have found. I love a good malty brew, and this one fits the bill. Throw in a bit of a spicy mouthfeel and finish, a nice alcohol burn and just perfect malt blends makes for a fantastic beer.

Could have a bit more carbonation but that is a small criticism. Very drinkable, almost too good for a beer that can knock you on your kiester if you had a few too many!

Love those folks in Mad-town! And thanks again Steve! I can't wait till we trade again.

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Photo of ADR
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally, at a liquor store near me...I tore into the case before the owner even got the price entered into the scanner.

Thick pour, very yellow head, and an overall color of premium light maple syrup. Wonderful mouthfeel, much heavier than a Fest but not sticky. Flavor notes of light rum, some raisin, and a serious buttery toffee and floating caramel impression on the tongue. First rate cinnamon spice close. Satiny smooth, with senses of vanilla. Warming alcohol, great for cool weather. Exceptional amount of good old-fashioned great malt flavor and highly unusual in not needing a more "classical" balance. We have a first class brew here, one of the finest beers I've had.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Listed at 8.5% ABV on-tap at the Map Room.

A - Pours a clear bright ruby/mahogany with a thin off white head.

S - Sweet caramel and fruits (raisins, plums and figs). I pick up some slightly toasted nuts also.

T - Caramel apple, sweet but not cloying, figs and raisins, slightly toasty. A very tasty and complex beer.

M - Medium to full mouthfeel. Silky, smooth and creamy all at the same time.

D - Much better than I remember in the bottle. The 8.5% ABV is well hidden in smell and taste until a few pints sneak up on you. This one doesn't exactly fit in with other dopplebocks in my opinion but it is a fabulous beer anyway.

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Photo of sweethome
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

One of the best american beers in my book.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a bottle of '07 and a bottle of '08 in a trade with eyncognito, thanks Ian!

'07 & '08 - 12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - '07 - cloudy amber color with a good sized beige head that eventually thinned out to a light ring despite the constant stream of carbonation bubbles.
'08 - clear amber color with a small beige head that completely vanished in a few minutes.

S - '07 - heavy dose of malty sweetness and some graininess.
'08 - roasted malt, sweet caramel aroma.

T - '07 - doppelbock heaven, this beer is sweet and delicious, slight taste of alcohol as it warms up.
'08 - I didn't give it a chance to warm up, as it was too delicious. Sweet malty flavor all the way through. The fresh '08 version caused me to bump up my rating to a 5.

F - '07 & '08 - medium bodied with a good carbonation feel.

D - '07 & '08 - a very tasty brew that's easy to drink, be careful of the elevated abv.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a great fall color. Very nice oranges and yellows and reds. Great looking brew. Smells of rums and fruits. Very sweet. Great tasting. Alcohol right up front that warms you right up. Nice hops and spices. Amazing flavor. Wonderfully drinkable and feels just right in the mouth. Wow what a great brew. I have to give props to bashiba for shipping this one to me. Well done.

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Photo of vishneda
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Fantastic copper color with a nice almond head. Head retention is kind of weak. Has a good clear body. Gives the impression of a mix between a dopplebock and a marzen. Grains with a pinch of caramel and brown sugar on the nose give a sweet aroma. Light pine presence from the hops falls into the scent.

The flavor is good and malty -- as expected for the style. I sensed caramel or brown sugar notes in the flavor. It's sweet up front with a nice nut character in the middle. The hops provide a mild spiciness and gives the beer a little edge, and a touch of earthiness and biscuit provide the required balance.

If you like some of the darker versions of this style this one might be a surprise to you. Its lighter in color and body. The carbonation is pretty light and the beer has a slick feel. Very drinkable for the ABV.

Overall a great beer and worthy of a shot to anyone who likes this style.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium dark reddish-brown. Clear. Medium off-white head with good persistence.

Smell - Rich toasty malts. Caramel and prune.

Taste - Rich sweet maltiness. Dark and toasty with very prominent fruitiness. Noticeable warming alcohol. Molasses and prunes.

Mouthfeel - Medium full and creamy.

Overall - A couple of these and you might not miss summer quite so much.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy dark orange with a good amount of carbonation. Sightly Brown half finger head.

Smell - Sweet caramel, malts, butterscotch, chocolate, and yeasts. Very rich smelling to say the least; the butterscotch is a nice touch

Taste - Wow, very malty and caramel flavors with a strong chocolate and yeasty kick. Everything in the flavor is rich and a pleasure to enjoy

Mouthfeel - It's very thick and heavy with a moderate carbonated kick that adds depth to the flavor but could be toned down just a bit. With that said, it does feel rather crisp to drink.

Overall - This is hands down one of the best Doppelbock-style beers I have had yet! It tastes wonderful, it has a great aroma and it feels crisp on the palette.

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Photo of bsp77
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into beveled mug.

Appearance: Rich, clear mahogany with a fantastic red glow when held up to the light. Small off-white head, which leaves fine bubbles down the side of the glass.

Smell: Strong cherry, caramel, toast, biscuit and noble hops. Smells like a cross between a Marzen and a standard Bock, with maybe a tad more noticeable alcohol.

Taste: A blast of semi-sweet cherry and biscuit malts, with some caramel and other fruit underpinnings. The noble hops provide a touch of spicy, dry counterbalance.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a creamy, chewy body that isn't as chalky as some Doppelbocks are. A slight warmth serves as a reminder about the alcohol.

Drinkability: Simply a fantastic beer. While this should be a sipping beer, the tendency is to want to drink it like a Marzen. One of the best Doppelbocks out there, even if not truly to style.

Ok, now that I have officially reviewed this, I can now emphatically state that this, Founders Harvest Ale and SurlyFest are my favorite Autumn brews. At least for now; we will see if I can find something to top them next year.

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Photo of mynie
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Autumnal Fire sounds like the name of John Tesh album, but whatever.

Gorgeous pour. Dark red bock malt, clear as clear can be, topped off by a nice white head.

Smelly insanely bocky. Gigantic malt. Syrupy and, well, fiery. Rounded sweet like monkey bread or cake frosting. I'm almost expecting some vanilla or cinnamon nodes even though none show up.

Tastes as bockysweet as it smells. It's like some kind of god damned european candy. The bready sweetness is rich and intense but in no way syrupy or burny. Lots and lots and lots of fresh candy malt. Nothing else going on here, no other way to describe it. This here is a malt bomb.

Probably the easiest drinking +8 ABV beer I've ever had. If I ever find this on tap I am not making it home in one piece.

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Photo of atsprings
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Brandoman63 for the Want List extra! Pours a nice crisp dark orange with a decent head that diminishes to a thin layer. Aroma is rich fragrant burnt caramel and brown sugar, quite pungent and inviting! The taste is also a wonderful blend of caramel, brown sugar and molasses, even for a hophead like me, this is a truly spectacular malt showcase! The beer is medium bodied with fairly well hidden alcohol. This is a truly wonderful dopplebock, easily the best American one I've had the pleasure of trying.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
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.

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Autumnal Fire from Capital Brewery
4.07 out of 5 based on 587 ratings.
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