Beer Review: STARR HILL LAST LEAF MAPLE BROWN ALE

Beer Review: STARR HILL LAST LEAF MAPLE BROWN ALE

Starr Hill Brewery has ventured into the realm of autumnal delights with their Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale, a 6.1% ABV classic English Brown Ale that caught my attention. Let’s break it down.

A Maple-Infused Introduction

Diving into this 12 oz. bottle, poured expertly into a specialty flute, the visual appeal sets the stage. A deep amber to brown hue greets the eye, accompanied by a fleeting tan foam. The packaging date of 8/8/16 suggests a bit of aging, but we’re here for the taste, not the date.

Aroma: Pancakes and Maple Syrup Dance

The aroma commands attention with assertive sweet maple syrup and a waft of breakfast pancake. There’s a subtle background of toasted malt, indicating a thoughtful brewing process that goes beyond mere adjuncts. The maple presence feels authentic, avoiding the pitfalls of artificiality.

Flavor: Maple Harmony with Brown Ale Roots

The taste mirrors the aromatic promises: a well-executed integration of maple with a robust base beer. The initial burst of maple flavor is bold, but the mid-palate and finish gracefully transition into a classic brown ale profile. The balance is commendable, with a touch of dark bread crust character making its presence known. Notably, the beer avoids an overly sweet disposition, opting for a slightly oily, rich mouthfeel that elevates its overall stature.

A Gimmick-Free Triumph

In the realm of flavored beers, Starr Hill’s Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale stands out for its lack of gimmicks. Rather than relying on overpowering sweetness, it takes a dependable base beer and imparts a nuanced maple character. This approach allows it to distinguish itself without succumbing to the pitfalls of excessive sweetness. As we step into the fall season, Starr Hill Brewery has crafted a winner with Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale, offering a well-constructed and thoroughly enjoyable option for those seeking a flavorful yet balanced brew.