My wife and kids just left for religious education, so, after a long day of work, I got to come home and sit down and enjoy a beer. I think this is one of the last few pumpkin beers I bought a few weeks ago to enjoy around Halloween. So far, not many have been great. Hopefully, this one will turn the trend.
Location: Poured into a Stella Artois chalice at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7.5% ABV, 22 IBUs, ~220 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: two-row, pale, caramel; Hops: Northern Brewer, Fuggles; Other: pumpkin puree
Appearance & Aroma: It’s brown in color, with deep orange highlights when held up to the light. It’s slightly hazy with some sediment in it. There was a decent head on it, which fell after a few minutes to a thin, soapy layer of bubbles barely covering the top. The aroma is mostly pumpkin pie spices with some woody notes and floral hints in the background.
Taste & Feel: The body is solidly medium and the mouthfeel is smooth with a hint of crispness. The flavor up front is somewhat sweet with cinnamon and caramel flavors. The sweetness and the spices both grow in the middle with pumpkin flavors predominate. In the finish, the spices come through with nutmeg being the one that seems to dominate, becoming a bit harsh. The nutmeg and other spices stick around for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: The finish on this beer had a lot of nutmeg in it, so you’ll need something that can stand up to the big nutmeg spices – like a steak with baked potato or BBQ.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the front part of this beer – including the cinnamon and caramel with pumpkin sweetness – but the spices in the finish weren’t balanced, with the nutmeg being almost cloying for me. It seemed like the base beer had a lot of potential, but the spices weren’t managed appropriately. Overall, it was OK, and is one I might try again (to see if the spices are balanced differently next year), but it’s not one I’d add to my list of great pumpkin beers.