There are a few styles of brown ale, but for me, there are two categories. Some are classic session beers, like Brooklyn Brown Ale, Pete's Wicked Ale or Newcastle. They have some malty taste, but they keep a low profile and generally a low abv, with the intention you'll drink it in long sessions, like an eight-hour social gathering. Then there are the nutty, malty sweet browns, like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown, Oak Pond's Brown, or Bar Harbor Real Ale. Geary's Autumn, which has been my favorite Geary's brew for years, is in the latter category.
I say this not only because of the round, malty flavor, but because at 5.8% abv, this is a bit strong for a long night out. Delicious beer, but it's changed a bit over the years.
Just a couple of years ago Autumn Ale had a real carbonation bite. I think the carbonation is markedly softer than it used to be.
On a different front, the label has changed. I was first drawn to this beer by its warm, watercolored label. But these days, it uses these days ridiculous 3-D lettering. Come on, guys. Why would you abandon the 2006 label? Well, even if the label has gone downhill, the lower carbonation is a smart touch.