Posted by: Scott | November 30, 2009

Autumn Maple Review

Ah, Thanksgiving. This year I had plenty to be thankful for: a supportive family, money to pay the bills this month, and three beers to complement America’s most famous feast. But now—now my beers are gone, and I am thankful for nothing! I kid.

The aperitif, Duvel, which I mentioned in my last article, was a bubbly, golden highlight to the pre-meal warm up. After dinner, Moylan’s Old Blarney Barleywine settled our stomachs. With the fowl of the hour, however, we drank The Bruery’s Autumn Maple. The label says they used yams, molasses, maple syrup, and fall spices to make this strong Belgian-style ale; I think the brewers emptied a fully stocked horn o’ plenty into the mash tun. But the beer was good—for the most part.

My 750 ml bottle unleashes a dark brown torrent. Carbonation roars skyward in a mushroom cloud of foam—then crashes down and disappears before I can jot a note about its creamy, off-white color (I have a good memory). So where’s the head? Did someone slip Diet Coke into my beer bottle again? I take a sniff—which is difficult without a head—and detect maple syrup immediately. My first sip reveals more maple syrup chased by sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and spicy Belgian yeast. Its body is light with cola-like carbonation. An intensely sweet brew, but aside from that, there’s not a ton going on here. The flavors don’t kick you in the teeth and shout “taste it!” the way a Chimay Blue or De Dolle Oerbier does. Autumn Maple simply didn’t linger long on my palate.

But it tasted pleasant and received several compliments from guests, which makes me think it might make a good gateway into the style. If you like your strong ales sweet but simple, Autumn Maple (and its well-hidden 10% ABV) will probably make you a very cheerful drunk. I, however, was hoping for a bit more boldness and complexity. Perhaps a bit of cellaring would transform Autumn Maple into the beer it strives to be.

Thursday: My top five winter beers!



  1. this one was good to try and it is obviously not a “drinking” beer, but it was too sweet up front for my taste. Was enjoyable to sip alongside dessert, however. good review.

    • By “drinking,” do you mean chugging? 😀 This one would probably make you feel all kinds of bad if chugged, haha.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I enjoyed this one though I only had a small amount. It is definatly a slow sipping beer and not one I would have all that often. Good overall.

    • I felt mostly the same way. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Looking forward to the next article. Been wondering which winter beers to pick up. (besides Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale)

    • It’s a comin’! Though I’ll definitely be mentioning the Celebration Ale … so you’ve already got one up on me.

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