As I mentioned in my last post, when I reviewed Elysian’s Blight Pumpkin Ale, I’m in Seattle this week for work. My first stop after landing was Elysian, because it was between the airport and my hotel downtown. As a fan of great pumpkin beers, I tried to order their Great Pumpkin Ale, but they were out. So I went with their Blight Pumpkin Ale first. When it came time to order another beer with my meal, I went with this one since it also appeared to have a pumpkin connection.
Location: On tap and served in a large tulip shaped glass at Elysian Brewing by the fields in Seattle, Washington.
Numbers: 6.5% ABV, 19.35 Plato/1.080 OG, ~ 190 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: Great Western Pale, 77 degree crystal, Munich, Cara-Vienne, roasted malt, chocolate, and Special B, with pumpkin seeds in the mash, and pumpkin in the mash, kettle, and fermenter; Hops: bittering – Magnum, finishing – Saaz; Spices: crushed cinnamon.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark black in color, and when I held it up, very little light was visible through it. The head was thin and dark tan in color, and it fell rather quickly to just a ring around the edge of the glass. There was almost no aroma, only a faint bit of roastiness and cocoa.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium to full, and the mouthfeel is smooth, almost velvety. There’s a very light, dark bready, roasty flavor up front. The roastiness grows in the middle, with some cocoa sweetness joining in. In the finish, the roastiness fades a bit, with some coffee-like bitterness and light cinnamon coming through. The aftertaste lasts for a half-minute or so with some roasty coffee flavors and hints of pumpkin seed (which I wouldn’t necessarily identify if I didn’t know it was in the beer).
Food Pairing: This beer had mostly roasty and cocoa flavors, which I think would go nicely with some BBQ. I’d choose a pulled pork sandwich, with some molasses and brown sugar BBQ sauce. I think the molasses and brown sugar would pull the roastiness and cocoa sweetness out of this beer, and help tame the roasty coffee aftertaste.
Overall Impression: This is certainly a dessert beer, with plenty of roasty and chocolate cocoa flavors. I thought it was a pretty good stout, except… wait, isn’t this a pumpkin beer? Yes, and despite having “pumpkin in the mash, kettle and fermenter,” it was pretty much undetectable. Even the cinnamon was light and only noticeable in the finish. Overall, I thought it was a good, smooth, stout, but since I was expecting more pumpkin, I felt a bit let down.