I heard about Schlafly’s pumpkin beer about 4 years ago, and while in St. Louis for a friend’s wedding, we stopped by the Schlafly Tap Room specifically to try this beer. Due to the high alcohol (my memory tells me it was around 9% ABV back then), it was served in an 8oz snifter. I think they started bottling this last year, and I’m sure they lowered the ABV when the started bottling it. This beer will always remind me of the great way we kicked of my friend’s wedding weekend – which also happened to include the Cardinals winning the World Series.
It has a dark copper color with a quickly dissipating head, although there appears to be plenty of carbonation in it. The aroma is very heavy and has a cinnamon and clove smell to it.
The body is light and crisp with plenty of carbonation on my tongue. There’s a bit of a caramelly flavor before giving way a huge cinnamon and clove spiciness. The flavor of the spices, especially the cinnamon – was a bit harsh and lasted into the aftertaste. There was also a slight bit of alcohol heat to it, which it seemed the cinnamon was attempting to cover up.
If I had to pair this with a food, I think it would actually be vanilla ice cream. Come to think of it, a pumpkin ice cream beer float might be kind of good – pumpkin… good, vanilla… good, cinnamon… good, beer… good.
While the cinnamon and clove spiciness is a bit harsh for my liking, it could potentially fade a bit if I let it sit. Perhaps this could be an even better beer around Thanksgiving or Christmastime – let the spicy harshness fade a bit and let the alcohol heat warm you on a cold winter night. However, even right now, its still one of the better pumpkin beers.