Autumnal Fire | Capital Brewery

340 Reviews
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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 LeRose
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three tasting opportunities. On draft, out of the tank at the brewery, and bottled. Loses a lot in the translation to bottle, IMO. Draft and from the tank - outstanding and that is where I base the rating. Reddish/gold color, a little thick and heavy but good for a cool fall day. Malty sweetness, minimal bitterness, somewhat heavy on mouth feel. Definite toasted malt, grainy, caramel/toffee. Seemed to me it lost the caramel/toffee notes on bottling. Capital brews outside Madison, but ships tankers to Stephen’s Point for bottling, and the warehouse was really warm - thinkin’ that isn’t good. Out of the tank was by far the best taste draft was close, bottling definitely not as high quality in the flavor.

Review from notes.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Autumnal Fire pours a dark clear amber color with a very small white head. There is a strong malty aroma with an Oktoberfest like spices. The taste has a strong malty taste, almost vinegary, a nice hint of spices, has a warm taste. Good full taste, nice to drink. Overall this is a very good doppelbock, somewhat different, has a nice spice note.

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Photo of NilocRellim
2.81/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle. Nice red/amber colour with a slight cream-coloured head to it. Typical carbonation. VERY sweet nose to it... very fruity (fig) and a lot like a honey-mead nose. For %7.8 ABV it was surprisingly smooth. It was WAY to sugary for my taste and very malty. They use Honey-malts which is why is smells and tastes so sweet.

Would I buy it again? No.

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Photo of DentistDave
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, poured into a pokal glass

Appearance: Fairly clear amber-copper color. Minimal head with minimal lacing.

Smell: Caramel, cherry, butterscotch. Malts and breadiness is there as well.

Taste: Sweetness is there as is the malt and bread. I can really taste the cherry. The alcohol definitely comes though in almost a rum-like way. The alcohol is even more apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Kind of sticky.

Overall: Dopplebock is not really my style, but this was pretty good. I think Capital has better beer, but I would drink this again.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to thebigredone. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a translucent reddish almost cherry copper with a tint of yellow honey. Pretty much no head, no lacing, and fairly minimal carbonation.

S- Honey and lots of malts that produce a bready, light caramel/butterscotch, and a very light cherry aroma. Slightly below average aroma strength.

T- Butterscotch malts, honey, finishes with some cherries, light rye, and a touch of booze. Lightly sweet cherry malty taste that lingers for a little bit.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, easy drinkability.

O- Dopplebocks aren't my favorite style but this one was pretty decent. Nothing amazing but easy to drink and fairly enjoyable. In my opinion not as good as the ratings suggest, but I'd recommend trying it out.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out fiery copper color with a three finger cream-colored head that lasts for two-three minutes, with minimal lacing left behind on the glass. Medium-heavy body, and medium-light carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes of toasted bread and sweet chestnuts with hearty sticky toffee, molasses, caramel-covered apples sprinkled with crushed walnuts, and a dab of tobacco. Light leafy herbal hopping on the finish. It's easy to see why this one has garnered quite the positive reputation. Sweet without being cloying, higher ABV than typical without much hotness, good balance between bread dough and caramel sauce.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Autumnal Fire indeed as this beer pours a deep reddish amber with hints of deep pumpkin orange. An off white head doesn't stick around long and oily lacing sheets down the sides of the glass rather than sticking around.

Rich toasted bready malts and an earthiness fill the aroma with a light caramel background.

Definitely on the sweet side, the malts are dripping with caramel drizzled fresh baked toasted bread goodness with hints of sun ripened orchard fruits (think apricots). The earthy and spicy hop flavor helps keep the sweetness in check, and adds a light bitterness in the finish which is semi-dry despite the malt sweetness. Alcohol is only noted as a faint but enjoyable booziness.

The mouthfeel is medium, firm but very very smooth.

I've heard this beer likened to an Oktoberfest style beer and I understand why with the similarities of malts and European hops. Not your average beer however! What an easy drinker, I've been waiting for it to warm somewhat but it disappears at an alarming rate! I've been wanting to try some of Capital's beers for some time and now I know they have quality brews.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Not quite a finger of light mocha head with just a hint of orange. Body is a cloudy deep amber/orange.

S - Tons of malt and bread. A little bit of rye, but not a whole lot going on. Burns a little which I am not used to on a 7.8% beer.

T - Wow, here is where this beer comes together. Nice balance of bready/biscuty malts and some sweetness. Molasses type sweet. Maybe a little tobacco.

M - Such a full body and thick. Great carbonation. Wonderful mouthfeel.

O - Just a great balance of malts and sweet. Nice work Capital.

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

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer is dark orange to brown in color, appearing hazy and sporting a thick, creamy off-white head. The aroma offers toffee, malt, bread, butterscotch, some sweet fruits. Really nice and easy drinking. Exceptionally smooth feel. Very light in body and creamy on the palate. I would definitely have this again.

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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 hoplover82
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear deep burned orange color with a solid, medium, creamy dark ivory colored head that has good retention and ok lacing.
S-The aroma is right on point for the style! With TUNS of sweet, fresh baked bread and dark fruits and burned caramel. After the beer warms a little, I think I'm picking up on some noble type hops as well.
T-The flavor is a little less impressive than the aroma, but still very nice. *(as the beer warms up a tad, it becomes a lot better)*First I get sweet bread, backed by the caramel, but the sweetness is perfectly balanced by the medium to mild bitterness. As it warms, the dark fruits are coming out a bit. I love to experience how a beer opens up as it warms, and this one is a prime suspect for just the thing. Prunes are there for sure, maybe some rainins and mild hop notes too!
M-This beer has a medium to full body that it very creamy, with a semi-sweet finish.
O-Overall, this beer was very nice to drink! I highly suggest this beer. I'm glad I found it in the fridge at my local cigar shop. We can't even get this where I live here in south texas, so I was excited to see this beer. There was a whole case of it! And it's fresh too. I don't even know how brought this down here, but thanks to whoever you are. And Cheers everyone!

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

Bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City, IA
Bottled in autumn of 2011
Poured into an Ayinger Celebrator Glass

Pours a 2cm head of very dense foam, composed of small bubbles, and a pale tan-white in color. Head has very good retention, lasting several minutes as it declines to a thin cap atop the body; lacing i substantial and complex, resembling something of a doily (at least on my glass). Body is a transparent dark reddish-amber, with numerous streams of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Generally, very attractive, and it's hard to think of how a doppelbock could look better.

Aroma is expectedly grainy, with toffee and cracker-like scents derived from them. Significant doses of dried cherry esters are also noticeable, giving this a fairly standard doppelbock scent.

Tasting opens with pleasant caramel malt flavors adjoined to dried, dark cherry fruit esters. Caramel malt intensity builds up through the mid-palate, which also features a slight bit of noble hop presence. Slight ethanol becomes noticeable on the back of the palate, along with continued caramel malt and cherry esters. Long-lingering caramel malt meets graham cracker aftertaste.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied with plentiful, but soft-feeling carbonation that makes this pillow-like and creamy on the palate. Some warming ethanol felt in the nostrils primarily, not much on tongue or throat. Finishes out dry and slightly sticky from the amount of malt used.

5/2013 review of 2011 bottle:
The aromas have become significantly muted, mostly of faded bread and caramel malt. The flavor is still of caramel malt and cherry-like esters, but the intensity is quite a bit lessened. Ethanol is no longer detectable. Aftertaste is of toasted bread and caramel, no longer a graham cracker or noble hop component.
Summary: I wouldn't let this age more than a year.

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

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Only freshness date is 2011 on neck label although there are some random numbrs on bottom of bottle. Received as a gift from brother Greg.

A: Reddish-brown with 1/2-1-finger nearly white head with quick fade and a few vertical streamers of lace.

S: Caramel and fudge with raisin, date, and vanilla aromas as well. Deepens with warming. Hops are herbal/tea-like.

T: Tee flavors are a little boozy but a pretty smooth and a solid reflection of the aroma with caramel, milk chocolate, raisin, and fig newton cookie flavors. There is a big dose of bready, shortbread maltiness. The hops are much less substantial with only a little balancing bitterness.

M: The alcohol is a little more evident with warming but is not overbearing. The body is medium-full with low carbonation to leave a fluid, smooth feel.

O: A great doppelbock that avoids the sweetness trap and provides a nice sweet/malty punch.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish brown body with striking clarity. Off-white head is slight, but well-retained.

Smells very sweet and malty, a little like cake, with strong fruity esters. As odd as it may sound, the most accurate description of the smell for me would be strawberry shortcake.

Flavor opens with heavy brown malt sweetness and a slight toastyness. Next an earthy strawberry flavor hits, followed by a bit of sharp greenish hops along with a slight alcoholic nip that balances out the sweetness, resulting in a fairly clean finish.

M: Medium-body, a bit sticky, but sharper carbonation/alcohol keep things pretty crisp.

Big bold flavors with a crisp clean lager finish. This beer never fails to impress me.

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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 brewmudgeon
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

autumnal fire

a 3.5 clear coppery body with a short, tight off-white head that leaves with some haste but leaves a slim ring. no appreciable lace.

s 4.5 smells more lovely maibock to me than typical doppelbock. maybe something between a maibock and that long-running but unusual doppelbock that has tobacco notes (can't think of the name of it). lightly toasted bread, caramel, curl of lemon rind. no unintegrated alcohol noted.

t 4.5 no surprises, but more leafy hop than the nose could detect. very nourishing. this is the sort of melanoidinally malty liquid bread that i could actually see doing one of those beer-only fasts with. caramelized bread crust, smooth, pleasing noble hops on the back end perfectly counterpoint. this stuff is the real deal. unlike some reviewers, i do not detect any heat or unwelcome alcohol. it seems to be there pretty mildly and in fully integrated fashion, adding a little spice along with the hops' leafy love.

m 4 medium to full on the body and not too much co2.

o 4.5-5 this is my kind of doppelbock/hopped up maibock! makes me contemplative and even prayerful. dear lord, i realize first impressions are sometimes overly promising, but please allow autumnal fire to remain the same today, tomorrow, and always. amen.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 12oz bottle to tulip glass.

Pours mostly opaque amber and red, although presents with a spectrum from deep amber to yellow at the edges. Head is off white/greyish, with super fine bubbles, nice retention and lacing. Smells very yeasty, sweet caramely malt, raisin, and some notes of honey and sherry. Taste is mild caramel malt, raisin, finishing with some breadiness/graininess and slightly off dry. Some indication of a little oxidation. Mild carbonation, lightish body, pretty smooth. No alcohol noticeable. Overall, quite drinkable and an interesting interpretation. It's been awhile since I've had this fresh, so I can't comment on what the aging has accomplished; but based on other reviews, aging appears to have mellowed out the sharp edges.

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Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.
2010 vintage

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with one finger of mango-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel is heavy, bordering on oppressive but kept interesting by an assertive vanilla thread. Spirituous qualities are hinted at, without being overtly boozy.

T: Begins sweet, with soft and mild malt that is all multilayered bread and caramel qualities. Acidity is restrained, adding a lively tweak to the early profile that keeps malt from weighing unfairly on the palate. Rustic honey and herbaceous earth become evident during the middle, joining with persistent malt rather than competing with or replacing it. This beer finishes in familiar mild fashion, tasting slightly spirituous and roasty.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, soft and even delicate--wheat-like--on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This traditional American-brewed doppelbock and its siblings seem to be Madison's Capital Brewery's claim to fame--and with good reason. It seems to have no sharp edges whatsoever, once it gets past the nose and enters the mouth. Flavors are masterfully tame without being boring, with none of the angst and urgency present in the smell. Although a little insubstantial for the style, the texture is still pleasurably smooth. It begs to be paired with slow-cooked winter meals and roasted anything, but is kind enough to the palate to be enjoyed on its own.

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Photo of Haus
2.72/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark burnt orange with small offwhite head that disappates quickly. The aroma is rich and malty with caramel foremost, some breadiness-earthiness. The flavor is smooth, deep malt with raisin and toffee character and dark toast. There are just a touch of herbal hops..licorice? The finish is a little bit boozy and leaves a sticky aftertaste.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.8/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark doppelbock, comes out substantially brown, very thin head, 1/4" tops. No lace. Aroma was chewy brown sugar candy and a sticky syrupy molasses smell.

Alcohol pungent, noticeable on the first sip. A soy sauce like sludge mouthfeel comes around. No hops. Prunes and toffee. Maybe some caramel, but its hard to pick out with the alcohol being so in your face.

Look I'm not a big fan of doppelbocks, so take this review with a grain of salt. I've never been a big fan of capitals stuff either, they make a ton of brews, but none of them memorable for me in a go out and get it kind of way.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle generously provided as an extra by a generous trader.

A - Ruby brown, clear, and a tiny head.

S - Fig and molasses and bread aromas. Like a fruitcake or like that canned bread stuff. Raisin bread with caramel sweetness.

T - Raisin, breadiness, and a bit of alcohol. Sweet and almost rum-like. Definitely a cornucopia of flavors, this beer has a whole lot going on. Cherry, and plum. No bitterness until a hint in the finish.

M - Medium to full in body, the beer is wet and sticky throughout.

O - Overall I had a hard time focusing on any one flavor in this beer. It really has a lot going on. I'd probably look forward to Autumn if I lived in Wisconsin, because this is really tasty.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- The body of this beer is a great color. It is almost like a red wine with how deep the ruby hue is on this one, although of course it is crystal clear see through. The highlights on it are more copper, but still, a good looking body. The beige cap only ever reached about a half finger and then died away to a ring of film.

Smell-There are definite notes of raisin and dark fruit on the nose. It is really buttery from the caramel malt that is packed in here. Not really boozy, but I was still able to catch a bit of brandy heat on the nose.

Taste- It is getting the double bock notes right, but it is just kind of off. The really sweet raisin qualities are here. As is the buttery-caramel backbone, maybe it is the mouth feel that I find hard to take. The booze actually isn't a problem in the drink, I don't feel any heat from this higher ABV offering. I think the sweetness isn't dialed in quite high enough. Too much of the malt and not much of anything else. That and the finish is a little too astringent.

MF- It is not as good as it could be. There is too much carbonation, resulting in a harder to drink beer than this should be. Silky smooth is something this beer is missing, and a more medium bodied feel would be appreciated.

Overall- The flavors of a dopplebock are there, certainly, but it just isn't as pronounced, or last as long as it should. This also leads to problems with the mouth feel, which is unfortunate. Capital Brewery is awfully close to a good doppelbock, but this just isn't quite there.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A- Clear, dark amber. 1 finger thin off-white head. Almost no lacing.

S- Sweet amber malts. Slight smoke, sweet dark fruits.

T- Sweet malts, roastiness, vanilla, slight scotch characteristics.

M- Medium body, lower carbonation. Easy drinking for almost 8%.

O- Very tasty beer. Mix of roasted malts and sweet malts make for a great taste.

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Photo of adman08
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a reddish, clear, amber color with a moderate amount of slightly off-white head.
S-The most prominent aroma I get is vanilla, fairly sweet smelling. Theres also a slight roasted aroma and a little caramel.
T-Sweet with a slight vanilla flavor, some caramel and some roasted malt.
M-Sweet, very smooth, not too thick. Light carbonation.
Overall, a very good dopplebock. The flavors are sweet and the beer is very smooth. I think this compares very well with some of the German dopplebocks.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep dark amber color with a small light khaki colored head that recedes quickly leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas are initially remind me of an Oktoberfest on steroids. It begins with a boat ton of toasted maltiness coupled with above average sweet bready/biscuity maltiness. As it warms you get the sweet toffee and darker caramels which add to the complexity. Pretty above average for a lager in my opinion. There is some doughy yeast in the background as well.

The tastes begin with a large amount of German Munich maltiness highlighted by toasted bread coupled with a slight nuttiness. As it warms you get more of the sweet toffee and caramel malty flavors. The yeast adds a nice subtle fruitiness and a light butterscotch which emerges as you continue to sample.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. This beer drinks rather rich and full despite the lack of dark roasted malts which I expected to find here in this Doppelbock.

Overall this is a very good beer but it lacks as far as a Doppelbock goes. I want a lot more dark roasted malts in my Doppelbocks, but it is still tasty regardless. I would classify this as an Imperial Oktoberfest or a strong plain Bock, as the toasted and sweet bready malts really dominate all facets of this beer. Definitely a nice style to enjoy this time of year and I would definitely prefer this to other, blander Oktoberfest styles but that is to be expected with the higher ABV and presumably higher/more complex malt bill. Definitely worth a go if it is readily available to you but you do not need to "seek" this one out.

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