Anchor BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red

2013 Anchor seasonal release inspired by a native California tree and including its syrup.

Anchor Big Leaf Maple Red Ale

Red Ale brewed with maple syrup, 6% ABV – Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA 

Ahhhh, maple syrup. I fondly recall my family going to the Wisconsin State Fair every year when I was growing up, and stopping at the booth featuring maple sugar candies and maple syrup sundaes. I always looked forward to that, and have loved maple syrup to this day. I’m also a fan of red ales, with their combination of caramelized specialty malts and American hops. And as previously noted, Anchor Brewing has a special place in my beer-lover’s heart. Sounds like a great combination to me!

BigLeaf Maple pours out a bright & clear coppery-amber, and starts with 2 fingers of pale foam that settles to a solid covering layer.

Aroma is mainly floral hops with some grapefruit and light caramel malt. The Anchor website lists Nelson Sauvin, Citra and Cascade hops.

This one hits my palate with grapefruit, sweetish yet tart & lots of it. I do love Cascade hops! Tangy. Caramel malt rides underneath in a supporting role. Moderate bitterness arrives late. Grapefruit returns in the finish, slightly pithy. I think I detect a faint maple note that floats in & out (unless it’s the power of suggestion). Flavors start to fade out then return for an encore. The lingering aftertaste is pleasant and more-ish. Ever-so-faint hint of a light smokiness appears as things finally subside.

Medium body, moderately high carbonation. Scattered, patchy foam clings to glass.

The maple plays a minor supporting role while the hops really shine in this one. I found it to be quite tasty and would definitely have it again. Might work as an accompaniment to pumpkin cheesecake, or go with a turkey burger with smoked gouda.

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