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Beer Review: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

   February 20, 2010

I first had this Pumpkin Ale over Christmas, brought to me courtesy of Bob Jarrett over at The Wine Tree in Evansville, Indiana.  He’s introduced me to several really good beers and is a member of my extended (through marriage) family.  He makes me look like a beer novice with his knowledge of beer.

I have had good and bad experiences with Pumpkin Ale, so I approach each one with trepidation. Will this one be overspiced or will it be a beautiful example of this variety? One never knows..

The Pour
This pours to a honey brown color, with a very small off-white/beige head that doesn’t last long.  The head really never reaches enough thickness to leave lacing on the glass. I suppose it would, if you poured it vigorously enough. I tend to pour the first half of the bottle down the side of a glass held at a 45 degree angle, with the second half poured straight into the glass. This looks somewhat effervescent.

The Nose
The nose doesn’t leave me hopeful for what’s to come.  There are very noticeable spices present, definitely some cinnamon and clove. Some pumpkin is detected too. It actually smells like a very good slice of pumpkin pie, but the spices in the nose concern me. Will this be an example of an overspiced mess?

The Taste
After my first couple of sips, I was beginning to think this might be an overspiced pumpkin ale.  But by the time I got about a quarter of the way through the bottle, I realized this was a really good pumpkin ale.  It’s very much like a bubbly slice of pumpkin pie, in a very good way.  You can tell it has a higher ABV, but the warmth it gives you on the finish really works well for this beer.  It makes it feel like a warm slice of pumpkin pie recently fresh out of the oven.  The spice I was so afraid of in the nose turned out to be present in the beer in just the right amounts.  This is a medium bodied brew.

Overall
This was smoother than I expected it to be.  It seems to be neither dry nor oily, but somewhere pleasantly in the middle.  It is nice and creamy, though the higher ABV does give it a little edge on the finish.

Recommended: Yes! Along with Dogfish Head’s Pumpkin Ale, this is one to try.

Price: Not sure…this bottle was part of an auction package

ABV: 8%

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9 comments

  1. I have yet to try a pumpkin ale I really love (yep, even Dogfish Head’s was just pretty good to me) … I should to give this a try sometime. Thanks!

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  2. You may just never love one! Pumpkin ales are not something I seek out, but as pumpkin ales go, this is a good one, I think

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  3. I love a good Pumpkin Ale, especially in the fall. I’ll have to put this on the short list for September. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. It’s definitely a good fall beer…between the pumpkin and the higher ABV, it makes you feel the season

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  5. [...] beer reviewed is phe­nom­e­nal. As you read, you can learn about things such as the “warmth [Schlafly Pump­kin Ale] gives you on the fin­ish,” or why a beer with a 10W-40 body is a [...]


  6. [...] about Schlafly…they are a brewery I am still unsure of at this point.  I really enjoyed their pumpkin ale, but I think I am generally just undecided about them right [...]


  7. [...] say about Schlafly…they are a brewery I am still unsure of at this point. I really enjoyed their pumpkin ale, but I think I am generally just undecided about them right [...]


  8. [...] say about Schlafly…they are a brewery I am still unsure of at this point.  I really enjoyed their pumpkin ale, but I think I am generally just undecided about them right [...]


  9. There is NO better pumpkin ale than Schlafly and I have tried them all! Unfortunately they do not make enough and it is very hard to find. I just bought a 64oz growler at my local bar tonight because it was the last of it in town. Highly recommend it if you can find it!

    Lexington, KY

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