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..
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 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?
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.
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