The Bruery Autumn Maple

Reviewed by on September 17, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: The Bruery

  • Origin: Placentia, CA, US

  • Rated On: September 17, 2015

  • Best Before: bottled July 21, 2015

  • ABV: 10.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Spiced Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Autumn Maple is this Orange County brewery’s fall seasonal ale release, and instead of the typical pumpkin, they’ve added yams, molasses, and maple syrup to get the desired effect.  Oh, and it’s 10 percent ABV, for those keeping score at home.  Extra early points for the maple leaf front and center on the label, too!

This 750ml bottle pours a murky, dark orange-brick amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly tan head, which leaves some approaching island profile lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of zesty gingerbread and sugary mashed yams, a battened-down Belgian yeastiness, some prominent dark orchard fruit as it warms, mixed savoury spices (ok, some nutmeg, clove, and star anise put their hands up the fastest), a subtle caramel malt sweetness, and some cozy, coddling alcohol esters. The taste is quite yammy (it’s a word now) up front, that holiday side dish thing hard to dismiss, with a hearty attendant caramel/toffee malt, even more muddled seasonal spices, a gentile yeastiness, some bruised banana, overripe plum, and rotting pumpkin fruitiness, reduced brown sugar, very weak weedy and earthy hops, and a crazily respectful boozy warming. The bubbles are pretty understated in their plain and barely supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, the various sugars fencing anything else out, it would seem. It finishes near-sweet, among all those yam, dark sugar, malt, alcohol, and pastry spice essences.

Maybe it’s just me, but this totally reminds me of being in Denver the past couple of years around this time, with the weather alternating between sunshine and cold-ass rain, and the autumn (read: pumpkin) beer offerings very forceful and insistent in their flavourful attacks on my very being. Yeah, I’m gonna miss that this year, but thankfully this offering, with its initially overly apologetic yam and dark sugary backbone, does the same trick, with subversive style, and just a soupcon of aplomb.

Brady White

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