adavis234 (286) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - AUG 31, 2010
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pour is a nice light brown, almost orange color with a thin, wispy offwhite head. Good look for an autumn ale. Nice, light caramel malt aroma with a bit of cinnamon and a soft hop background. Starts with a light, lemony citrus hop kick before the malts take over. Malts are roasted with the slightest hint of caramel and a warm, cinnamon-wood finish. I’m not much of a Red Hook fan but this is good for the style.
Boliv (1148) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 30, 2010
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours clear copper with a small eggshell head. Aromas of roasty caramel, a little gourd, brown sugar, and a touch of pumpkin spice. Flavors are roasty malt, caramel, and cinnamon. A little sweet and sour, with medium carbonation. Alright.
puboflyons (1883) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 27, 2010
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
From the 12 fl. oz. bottle - 2010 batch. The pour is a nice looking copper-chestnut color with a thin beige head. The aroma has a bit of malts but there are also fruits along the lines of pears or peaches rather than your atypical fall aromas such as apple or pumpkin. The mouthfeel is medium. The taste has a bitter, lingering bite but it really does not remind me much of autumn at least when compared to other autumn ales. Drinkable in its way.
poisoneddwarf (1622) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - AUG 27, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle into English pint. Aromas of cotton candy, caramel, grain. Pours a pale copper with a medium head that dissipates fairly quick, leaving a fine blanket of foam and some pretty good lace. Taste is sweet and sour and finishes long and bitter. Highly carbonated with a medium-high body. Overall, a pretty nice amber.
Totochtin (73) - Washington, USA - AUG 26, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a coppery light brown with gold highlights and quickly dissipating off-white head. Light aromas of toast, raisins, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and pear. Starts moderately sweet with notes of apple, chocolate, and spice, finishing with mild coffee bitterness. Medium body, chewy texture, average carbonation.
SphinxTX (2876) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - AUG 22, 2010
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. Pours a very nice looking hazy amber with lasting off-white head. Aroma of subtle caramel, very faint smoke and obvious citrus/pine hop presence. Flavor has a decent malt back bone, light nuttiness, grassy, faint sweetness, pine and light fruit notes, bitter finish. Mouth feel is pretty solid, medium body with high carbonation. Overall, it’s ok....
AirForceHops (2722) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 19, 2010
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at Redhook Portsmouth. Pours a very nice light brown almost red color. Scent of toasted malt and light cinnamon. Lightly hopped taste at first, then slowly mellows to a sweetness that leaves a very nice smooth aftertaste.
mothman (120) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 15, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory glass. No freshness date noted.
Pours a nice head with decent lacing. Smell is of light fruits and a hint of hops. Taste is similar. Definitely taste some hint of apples here. If you let it linger enough, you can taste the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and the carbonation is pretty decent, keeping a short layer of head the entire time.
Definitely a good fall beer. I would recommend this.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 10-12-2008 01:01:55
jkwalking05 (3502) - Arlington, Texas, USA - MAY 17, 2010
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Golden orange with a decent off-white head. Aroma is of leaves, cardboard and malt. Taste is of leaves, grain and malt.
Chad9976 (1082) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 3, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Seasonal autumn beers usually fall into two categories: Octoberfest beers (or at least those based on the style) and [nut] brown ales. Usually a beer in the former style will incorporate that into its name, but beers of the latter style often try to have catchy or gimmicky names, such as Red Hook Late Harvest Autumn Ale. Clearly, this is an attempt at making a weak brown ale cheap enough to sell on the mass market while also appealing to casual and serious drinkers alike. However, I just wasn’t sold.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer poured surprisingly rough, but has a beautiful shade of copper/burnt umber, clear complexion. Only a minor amount of carbonation was noticeable. The head was a small, off-white and soapy which didn’t last long, but did leave quite a lot of lacing on the glass, surprisingly. The smell was faint and unremarkable for the most part with only weak traces of malt and a tiny amount of roasty qualities detectable.
English-style brown ale is one of my favorite types of beer, but when an American brewer attempts to turn the style into a limited seasonal it seems the result is more often miss than hit. Late Harvest Autumn Ale definitely has all the usual signs of a brown ale, but they are very subtle and would be virtually unnoticeable to the casual drinker. For a more experience drinker, I was wondering why the so-called roasty, nutty qualities were so weak. Caramel malts are used to brew this beer, but they were equally weak.
The best way to describe the taste of this beer would be to take just a good brown ale and water it down. Yes, it does retain the basic elements of this niche style (which most beer drinkers really appreciate and enjoy), but without the strength of a true craft beer.
Since the beer’s taste is so mild, it really doesn’t surprise me Late Harvest Autumn Ale has such a soft mouthfeel and finishes so smooth. Since this former micro brewery is now owned and operated by Anheuser-Busch, it doesn’t surprise me a pseudo craft ale such as this might be watery in order to make it more drinker-friendly.
If I beer is going to have a taste like this (i.e. very mild), why have such a heavy body? At 5.9% ABV and 190 calories per bottle, Late Harvest Autumn Ale is quite a heavy body. Yet it seems to be marketed towards a drinker looking for something tasty for session drinking. The three bottles I drank more than filled me up. They definitely satisfied my body, but not my palate.
When American macro breweries attempt to cash in on seasonals or niche brewing styles the result, more often than not, is a let down. Red Hook Late Harvest Autumn Ale comes really close to being what it’s trying to be, but this discerning drinker just wasn’t buying it.