Tuesday, October 11, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top Autumnal Beers

For all you regular readers, this post is a sequel to our list of North American summer beers. With fall coming, there are quite a few tasty seasonals with substance, flavor and weight. This list is a little stout heavy, but all five of these are very drinkable brews and for the most part easy to find. Keep in mind, the number are not indicative of any ranking, as these are all solid choices. 

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, this red ale is medium bodied with notes of caramel, some coffee and some hops, but not to an overwhelming degree. For an 8% ABV beer, it is surprisingly easy to drink and has a fine, crisp finish. Being a seasonal, it is usually found in the months of September and October, but you shouldn't have much trouble locating a bar with it on tap or picking up a 4-pack at your local supermarket/beverage depot. 

Dogfish Head's early fall classic features a blend of pumpkin, sugar and spices that may make you think of pies, but this beer is balanced to the point where the sweetness does not beat you over the head. It has a medium-light body and goes down very smooth. An excellent pairing with savory fall feasts, it is available in quite a number of places, but will likely only be around until Thanksgiving or so. Make sure to give it a try before it's gone for the year (or stock up!).

This delicious, full bodied stout is full of chocolate and coffee flavors that linger on after the first sip. As with most strong stouts, it is almost 9% ABV, but is very drinkable. Can be a bit bitter, but that is what you want in a good strong stout. This great beer is available up until the end of the year, and should be tasted before then! Again, many establishments should have this on tap and in 4 packs (although the price is admittedly a bit steep for 4-packs). 

Truly worthy of the famed mystic's name, this imperial stout can be be hard to put down, but is very complex and rewarding. Old Rasputin is a very, very heavy bodied stout with very complex coffee tastes that become more satisfying as it warms. OR is widely available, and excellently priced as well, coming in at just under $10 for a 4 pack. This one is a challenging beer that is worth the effort (or you may want to share with a friend). 

This take on the Marzen style beer from Samuel Adams is "a good choice" for those looking to try an Oktboerfest style lager. For a big brewing company, this Octoberfest is well done with a medium body, a caramel palate and some hints of roasted malts. It is of course widely available, so pick up a 6 pack or a pint and try it out. Like most of the other beers on this list, it is a seasonal, so get it while you can! 

Obviously there are hundreds, if not thousands of exciting ales out now, ready to be consumed before the winter beers hit the market. Feel free to leave suggestions to this list and tell us your favorite fall beers! 

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