Late Harvest Autumn Ale - Redhook Ale Brewery, Portsmouth
The Christmas seasonals are starting to hit the shelves so I thought it was the perfect time to pick up a bottle of Redhook's Late Harvest Autumn Ale. As the name would imply, this is Redhook's fall seasonal. This beer is not a Märzen like most Oktoberfest seasonal beer, this is much more of an Amber. The Late Harvest does have a number of Märzen characteristics, which makes it an interesting Amber. Make no mistake about it this is definitely an Amber. The first thing you'll notice when you take a sip of the Late Harvest is the hops. The hop flavor is a bit different than the dry, spicy Amber flavor you'd expect. The Late Harvest has a much more grassy flavor like you'd expect in a Pale Ale. What sets the Late Harvest apart from other (early harvest?) Amber beers is the rich, warm malt flavor. The malt really takes the edge off of the hops and balances the beer out nicely.
Redhook Late Harvest still has a little too much of that grassy hop bitterness for my taste. Considering this is an Amber, I think it has too much of an IPA flavored hoppiness. I didn't dislike the Late Harvest but it really wasn't what I was expecting from a fall seasonal Amber Ale.