Endless Beers: Anchor Big Leaf Maple


Fall beer season isn”t over. Remember – fall really isn”t over until Thanksgiving is over. So pack up the winter decorations, don”t you DARE say the “C word” or anything related to peppermints, candy canes, or mistletoe. Now, open your mind to even more fall beers! We looked at Anchor Big Leaf Maple last year and enjoyed the taste of a balanced sweetness of malts and spices.This year, we”ll give you the handy tasting profile, but we also have some suggested pairings and FALL concoctions made of the Big Leaf Maple. As always, the tasting notes:

Appearance: Copper, but lighter than last years – more translucent but still with a red hue.

Aroma: Sweet scent with slight hints of maple and caramel. A bit of a floral scent follows (mostly from the hops combination during the boil and dry hopping).

Taste: Malty with caramel undertones (maybe a little maple syrup flavor too), followed by spices and the slight bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel: A dry, crisp brew at the finish.

Overall: Definitely a warming brew, but without the strong alcohol flavor. Sat out on my porch on a cool casino evening for this drink and enjoyed it. The Big Leaf Maple fits the fall season and is a satisfying drink. It has good balance if you aren’t up for the sweetness of most Oktoberfests and Pumpkin brews.  I also appreciated the hops that came through the beer. Still a refreshing brew – and pretty much sticks with the same flavors as last year”s vintage.

On to the exciting part…our endless concoctions:

  • The Pumpkin Maple: This is a simple recipe, but makes for a nice sweet flavor – the way FALL is supposed to be. Ready? Half Big Leaf Maple…Half Pumpkin brew – I recommend Southern Tier Pumking. If you want to take it to the next level, you can even serve it out of a pumpkin.
  • Pecan Apple Pie: Start with a little less than a third of fresh apple cider, then add a third of the Big Leaf Maple. Finally, top off with the Abita Pecan Ale.
  • Mulled “Barley Wine”: A weird…intriguing take on Barley wine. Pick out your favorite apple wine and heat up with mulling spices. Once heated to the right temperature, pour the Big Leaf maple into a glass, leaving an inch or two of room left in the glass. Top of glass with mulled wine.

Endless Pairings:

  • Cheeses: Italian Truffle Sottocenere with roasted walnuts and dried cherries
  • Entrees: Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Honey-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Rustic Mushroom Soup
  • Desserts: Pumpkin Souffle, Pecan Pie
  • Cigars: Rocky Patel Edge Toro Corojo, Drew Estate Java

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