I’m in Seattle, Washington for work, and the conference I was attending wrapped up for the day. Since I was in Redmond, it gave me a chance to stop at Black Raven Brewing for lunch. After getting back to the hotel, I headed over to Pike Market to do some sightseeing and visit this brewery as well. I was able to sit at the bar and watch my St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs against Atlanta. The only tough thing was trying to explain the “in-field fly rule” to a couple of Australians sitting at the bar next to me. Since I’m a huge fan of pumpkin beers, I thought I’d give Pike’s a try.
Location: On tap and served in a large tulip shaped glass at the bar at Pike Brewing in Pike Market in Seattle, WA.
Numbers: 8.5% ABV, 30 IBUs, 1.080 OG, 262 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brow in color and a bit hazy, with only a few highlights visible when held up to the light. There was a thin, creamy head on it, which left a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was mostly cinnamon with some pumpkin and other spices.
Taste & Feel: The body was solidly medium-to-full and the mouthfeel was fairly smooth. There was a bit of somewhat sharp cinnamond and other spiciness up front, giving it a bit of an abrupt introduction, which took a few sips to get used to. In the middle, there was a light molassas and brown sugar sweetness with light cinnamon spices. There was still a good amount of cinnamon in the finish, as well as some pumpkin-like vegetable flavor. In the aftertaste, the spices were a bit muddled and lasted for a minute or two.
Food Pairing: Obviously, a pumpkin beer goes best with some pumpkin pie or turkey. However, with all the cinnamon, spices, and sweet flavors, I’d probably go more with turkey or other somewhat bland foods. The food would help to cut down on the spices a bit and balance the flavors out.
Overall Impression: As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of pumpkin beers, so I tend to be a bit critical of them. The spiciness in this beer took a bit getting used to, and unlike other pumpkin beers, it didn’t seem like it was a classic pumpkin pie spice blend. I felt like the flavors were all over the place and became muddled in the finish. Overall, I thought it was OK, but I’ve had much better pumpkin beers.