Beer: BigLeaf Maple Autumn Amber
Brewer: Anchor Brewing Company
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brief background: This is the first year that Anchor has produced BigLeaf Maple Autumn Amber. The brewery has created some new and wonderful beers over the past few years, and this is no exception.
Description: Anchor’s BigLeaf pours a deep reddish amber color with a frothy white head that disappears quickly, but leaves a delicate lacing on the glass. The aroma is extremely pleasing to the nose with scents of sweet maple, caramel, a slight nuttiness, and earthy citrus hops underneath it all. Thankfully, the taste follows suit with the nose and the palate is first hit with earthy and citrus hops before being washed over with a maple and toffee sweetness that instantly makes one think of fall evenings, and finishes long and dry with a maple sweetness lingering on the taste buds. The body of this beer falls somewhere between light and medium, giving it a very session-beer quality. The carbonation is impeccable for the style: enough to cleanse the palate but still leave a lingering stickiness of the wonderful flavors. BigLeaf is another absolutely wonderful beer from Anchor Brewing Company and the perfect new addition to my fall seasonal lineup of beers.
Food pairing: Amber ales traditionally go well with a wide variety of meat dishes and BigLeaf is no exception; however, the strong maple flavors can make for even more interesting food combinations. For an interesting mixture, try starting a lazy weekend morning off with maple pecan pancakes, bacon, and a glass of BigLeaf. If you are looking to do your drinking a bit later in the day, try pairing this beer with a hearty bacon-wrapped shrimp dinner with smoky barbeque sauce for a true delight. BigLeaf also holds its own when matched up with desserts, especially those we associate with the fall season. To really end your day on a high note, try having a slice of cinnamon apple pie and a side of vanilla bean ice cream with BigLeaf and enjoy all the wonderful flavors that the autumn season has to offer in one sitting.
Is it worth trying? Of course it is! Anchor Brewing Company consistently brews fantastic beers, and BigLeaf is no exception. While I do love pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers this time of year, it seems that there is an overabundance of them with more breweries making new ones each year. It’s very refreshing to see a brewery bring a new fall seasonal beer to market that is not following suit with what has already been done many times; not to mention, BigLeaf is delicious. Be sure to add this beer to your fall seasonal arsenal and enjoy the impending fall weather!
Rating: W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Wegmans, Dickson City; Goldstein’s Deli, Kingston; and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.