By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
Brewed: San Francisco, California
Strength: 6% ABV
As was the case with last week’s pick, our beer of the week is, once again a seasonal beer from America. Brewed by Anchor Brewing Company – America’s first craft beer source, it’s unsurprising that the Californian brewery’s autumnal favourite is made using maple leaves, paying homage to the native Californian tree. Blending two caramel malts, pale malt and a hint of maple syrup, what’s most prominent with Big Leaf Maple is the malty complexity.
When poured, the beer offers a deep copper complexion that’s topped with an off-white head that remains throughout. As for the aromas, there’s a clean mixture of herbs and piney hops and a little citrus, but nothing to pungent, the taste however is surprising. Unexpectedly, there’s very little maple syrup flavour, most probably due to the fact that the yeast eats the majority of the sugar. Instead, notes of caramel and toffee lend the beer a hint of sweetness, although the finish is medium with a lingering bitterness. Fans of maple syrup may be disappointed but the overall product is pleasant, resulting in highly quaffable American red ale.
Anchor Brewing Company’s Big Leaf Maple Autumn Red is readily available in America, and is carried by a number of specialist beer shops in the UK.