So, every couple of months my husband’s office goes out and buys a bunch of cases of beer and mixes and matches them. Currently, we’re working on a batch of pumpkin brews and Oktoberfest beers.
Now, I’d like to say something about the pumpkin wagon. Specifically, that I am not on it. It seems like a lot of breweries are content with throwing some cinnamon and sugar in a beer, thinking up a clever name, and slapping a pumpkin on the label. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of thought put into the end product of the beer. That said, I’ll start my reviews with the best of the bunch.
The Traveler Beer Company: Jack-O Shandy (5):
This beer is pretty, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” Cinnamon and citrus with a juicy pumpkin taste. All the flavors are balanced and my husband had this finished before I got more than a few steps. I’m not familiar with this brewery, but I’ll keep my eye out for them.
Wolaver’s Fine Organic Ales: Pumpkin Ale (3):
It’s okay. A bit of a bitter aftertaste. Some cinnamon. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this brewery. They’re consistently mediocre.
Penn Brewery: Pumpkin Roll (2.5):
Sweet, cinnamony, pumpkinish, and a bit cloying in the heat. A better beer to split than to have alone.
It is autumn time again, and with it comes the rights of fall. The rights of fall include drinking and smashing pumpkins, whether they are your own or belong to your neighbors. If it were any other season it would be inappropriate, but now is the time when dead leaves crunch underfoot and little goblins go door-to-door for tricks, so why not treat yo self?
This cloudy amber-colored pumpkin ale appears cloudy amber with dissolving head that sinks like a doughnut made of bubbles. Golden bubble doughnuts fall to the bottom of the glass as my explanation for what look like crumbs settle.
Pumpkin pie nose reminds me of these holiday dinners where as a kid I would hesitate to eat dessert and skip straight to the Christmas tree, burying my face in these ornaments made of gingham cats stuffed with clove. The nutmeg is like that ornament, bunting my senses with welcoming spice.
Flavor is caramel and a burnt sugar with custard build. Thin carbonation burns and brightens the heaviness of the 9% abv, rolling like pebbles at the bottom of the ocean. Sandy mouthfeel with pumpkin and clove waves crashing against hops.
Overall this is my pumpkin go to beer. I am always looking for something to take its place.