Beer 32 of winter – an autumn ale?

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Brewer: The Bruery Craft: Autumn Maple ABV: 10%
What’s that you say? Why am I drinking an autumn ale in winter? You have a posed a good question. Here’s a good answer.
My Uncle Bill, who is a fellow craft beer enthusiast, will often bring me a craft beer when he visits. This was his latest gift to me when he came up at Thanksgiving.
Gubby has great taste in beer. Oh, Gubby stands for Great Uncle Billy, which my kids call him. So that is how he will be known. Since he brought me an autumn ale, I wanted to find the right time to open it up. But I don’t age beer. I believe beer is meant to be drank. Or is it drunk. Drinked? You know what I mean.
So I knew I wanted to drink it within a month or so after receiving it. Well, today is Monday. So that seems like a good enough reason to me. It also happens to be unseasonably warm where I live, right outside of Philadelphia. It feels more like autumn than winter. And, since I am a teacher, I am on winter break right now. So I’m not planning on doing much tomorrow.
The nose picks up the malt and a bit of the spiced notes right away. I also get a solid presence of sweetness from the maple syrup and the molasses. But wait until you taste this craft. Wow.
Sweetness upon layer of sweetness upon layer of sweetness. The molasses comes through first. A nice resiny sweetness. Then the earthy sweetness from the yams comes through. And finally the maple syrupy sweetness like I’m eating a smothered pancake appears.
Only after those layers subside does the spiced character introduce itself. It adds a much needed depth and change to this malty, earthy, syrupy sweet craft. Mouth-puckering. Shaking my head in subtle disbelief.
I will say that I do enjoy the fact that this is an autumn beer without pumpkin in it. The Bruery was intentional about that in using yams instead. And I like that flavor. But this craft is probably a bit too sweet for me. I need more spice. Or more hops. Something to match punches with all of that sweetness.
Ultimately, I like the boldness of this craft. It is sweet (have I mentioned that at all), and it does not care. And as I said, I like the use of yams to add the earthiness it needs. I will also say, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like this craft. That’s saying something for someone who’s had over 600 different beers. But, I don’t think I’d ever have this again. Unless one of the best gifts on earth, the gift of beer, was given again. Cheers.

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