Ahhhhh Autumn! Kids are back in school. Shorter days and longer nights, i.e. the end of daylight savings time. The NFL and NHL are back in session. Halloween and Thanksgiving. All of that stuff is great, but since Craft Beer is a muy importante subject on this here blog, our attention is laser focused on the latest and greatest fall beer releases.
Anchor’s Big Leaf Maple Autumnal Red is one such beer, and I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am to see that the word pumpkin is nowhere to be seen on the label. While I am not completely opposed to a pumpkin beer every now and again, it’s far from my favorite beer style, so if I stumble upon a fall beer that doesn’t say pumpkin on the label, you can rest assured that I’m going to give that beer a try!
Now that you know a bit more about this beer, let’s make like a kid with a huge pile of freshly raked leaves and dive on in to this review…
- Appearance: Slightly cloudy, ruddy orange-red color. Thick off-white foam that climbs to about an inch and then dissipates really slowly leaving lots of sticky lacing and settling down to a thin layer that covers the top of the beer.
- Aroma: As expected, there are oodles of sweet notes coming off this beer. I know the label says “maple”, but to me it’s more of a caramel thing, with some orange marmalade coming through too. There’s a hint of hoppy goodness in there too, but it’s pretty darn subtle.
- Taste: Velvety smooth texture with an almost creamy carbonation. Not as overly sweet as the nose would suggest. The flavors are caramel flavored malt with a mild bitterness playing background to lend some balance. Not much in the way of flavor transitions with this beer. Straight ahead and easy drinking is how I would describe it.
- ABV: 6%
In case you couldn’t tell from my tasting notes up above, I really enjoyed Anchor’s Big Leaf Maple. It’s not too sweet, nor is it too bitter. It’s also infinitely quaffable. And as an added bonus, the Big Leaf Maple is an Autumn only Craft Beer release that has absolutely nothing to do with the word pumpkin. That makes me happy. Once again, bravo Anchor!