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Samuel Adams – Harvest Pumpkin Ale (2014)

AlexAA: froth topping a burnt sienna translucent ale giving off an aroma of thick molasses, cinnamon and all-spice. As it warms, pumpkin joins the mix. 7/10

AlexTM: heavy caramel & mild smokiness combine for a dense maltiness that you could cut with a knife, cinnamon & all-spice become more prominent as ale warms on a pillow of fresh pumpkin. 6/10

AlexP: Fresh, watery pumpkin has picked a fight with the malty playground bully. 4P

AlexO: Each year, the recipe gets better, but I don’t want an aftertaste that makes me want to floss malt out of my teeth. 70/100

NicAA: Brick red with fast fading head. Aroma of clove, light piney hops and a smidge of pumpkin. 6/10

NicTM: Light mouthfeel, high carbonation. Tastes much more interesting than the aroma suggested. Rich malt, warming clove and sweet pumpkin. A little caramel note, perhaps from brown sugar which is nice, but i’d like to see a bit more cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. 7/10

NicP: The pumpkin that’s there tastes pretty fresh and meaty, either they used more this year or got better gourds. 3p

NicO: More interesting than previous seasons, Harvest Pumpkin does now actually taste like a pumpkin beer. I’d like to try it on draft to compare. Would make a solid pumpkin beer float. 71/100

Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin 2014

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

Redhook Brewery – Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter

NicAA: Rich, pitch black brew with a fluffy chocolate head. Cocoa-pumpkin aroma is very inviting…9/10

NicTM: Medium body and silky mouthfeel. Toasty espresso, sweet chocolate and maple syrup notes and smooth puree pumpkin. Spices are wonderfully muted, and tie the flavor of the porter base to the pumpkin. 8/10

NicP: In pumpkin porters the strong flavors of the toasted malt can also overpower the pumpkin, but not so here. Nicely done. 3p

NicO: Porters are wonderful bases for a pumpkin beer, and this is a solid offering. I’d like a little more maple syrup to make this stand out, but I’d happily drink a six of these next to a fire. The spices come forward as it warms, but only enhance the malts and pumpkin and don’t overwhelm. Hooked. 87/100

AlexAA: toasted aroma of smoky espresso and pumpkin wafts up from this root beer colored porter 7/10

AlexTM: very carbonated with a fine layer of maple syrup evening out the bumpy, earthy cedar, and letting the sweet pumpkin pour thru w/ a touch of nutmeg and smoke. 8/10

AlexP: Nice and gritty – like a pile of toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned by open roasting 4P

AlexO: This porter begs to be enjoyed in front of a campfire – the maple syrup gives it the homey taste of spiked camp coffee. 84/100

Red Hook Pumpkin Porter

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. – Pinchy Jeek Barl (2014)

NicAA: Deep cola colored brew, brown sugar aroma, molasses notes and bourbon. 7/10

NicTM: Oddly dissimilar to the nose. Light first taste into good malty richness, and bourbon, but seems to  skip over the light pumpkin and spice fast.

NicP: hiding under the Wild Turkey…it’s a little overwhelmed and could have used a bit more spicing as a compliment. 1p

NicO: Warming bourbon but oddly hollow. Very light for the 8.5%. Too light of a pumpkin beer to be aged in bourbon barrels, it’s overpowered in smokiness. Smoky then hollow. 70/100

AlexAA: Deepest shade of brown with a lovely ruby tint, curious aroma of sweet caramel and butter without a hint of bourbon. 8/10

AlexTM: Mildly oaky, smooth traces of bourbon, but dense with creaminess & vanilla like cream soda, minimal spicing 8/10

AlexP: Sweet pumpkin but overwhelmed but the heavy dousing of buttery cream – like all of the whipped cream on a sliver of pie 3P

AlexO: Despite neither a strong bourbon profile or pumpkin, this is what I imagined Butter Beer would taste like to a Muggle.  83/100

Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl 2014

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

Wachusett Brewing Co. – Pumpkan (2014)

AlexAA: sunkist soda orange-like with a faint whiff of nutmeg and sunny pumpkin to it. 7/10

AlexTM: The pumpkin brightens up with sugar from out of the can with lots of carbonation, and dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg. 8/10

AlexP: Candied pumpkin – sweet, overly ripe, and yet, I’d trick or treat for cans of this. 6P

AlexO: Candy corn and pumpkin beer held hands behind a closed door and now we have this sweet, canned offering. 84/100

NicAA: Glowing ruby, clear, with a nose of a little cinnamon and some pumpkin puree. Sweet malty backbone, very light pine hop. 7/10

NicTM: Fizzy and malty first impression, light body. Subtle spice, nutmeg and cinnamon mostly, touch of pumpkin. 7/10

NicP: Mostly in the nose, and in the taste it is a little more artificial than the nose suggests. Would benefit from a little molasses or brown sugar. 3p

NicO: A session pumpkin that won’t overwhelm with spice or sweetness. Didn’t dig it as much as last year, little too much fizz and not enough fall. 75/100

Wachusett Pumpkan 2014

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

Ithaca Beer Co. – Country Pumpkin (2014)

AlexAA: Healthy wallop of pumpkin followed by cinnamon and ginger in the aroma of this cloudy, amber ale 9/10

AlexTM: Honeyed pumpkin is wrapped in caramel malt weaving ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon around it in light accents while finishing dryly. 9/10

AlexP: The pureed pumpkin works in equal partnership with a hearty malt presence with neither too heavily grounded or too buoyant. 5P

AlexO: No gimmicks – just class. Clean pumpkin, wise spicing, and malt combo that proves your pumpkin offering can stand solidly next to non-pumpkin beers. 92/100

NicAA: Cloudy bronze, thin head. Lots of sweet brown sugar coated pumpkin in the nose, with some cinnamon, a touch of ginger. 9/10

NicTM: Light carbonation and fairly thin, but fresh tasting and not as sweet as the aroma suggested. A little orangey, light spicing. Quaffable. 8/10

NicP: Lots of it, and not overly sweetened or seasoned. The pumpkin is upfront here, and confident. 5p

NicO: Big country pumpkin here, wholesome tasting and rustic. Nothing overstated about this beer, but maybe it lacks a wow factor. A pumpkin beer for actual gourd fans. 80/100

Ithaca Country Pumpkin

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

California Cider Co. – Ace Pumpkin Cider (2014)

NicAA: Clear and effervescent straw, with a nose of straight up apple and pumpkin. Maybe a little cinnamon. 8/10

NicTM: Sweet, sweet apple makes way for meaty pumpkin and dry spice hints in the finish. Cinnamon and nutmeg, light touch of clove. 7/10

NicP: Apple and pumpkin are a good mix, and this has a pumpkin profile, albeit a little puree tasting. 4p

NicO: Very sweet moving into dry in the finish, this is a solid offering, but there are more exciting and fresh tasting pumpkin ciders out there. 74/100

AlexAA: Golden and clear, heavy all-spice and the tartest of apples are given off in the aroma of this cider. 6/10

AlexTM: saccharine apples in heavy-handed brown sugar play fisticuffs with solid sweet pumpkin made earthy by the all-spice. 7/10

AlexP: Pumpkin plays hard to get from the bromance of apples. 4P

AlexO: You had me at tart, which is why this cider doesn’t have me. Too much, too sweet, too soon. 66/100

Ace Pumpkin Cider 2014

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in 2014 Reviews

 

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. – Imperial Pumpkin Ale (2014)

NicAA: Brooding ruby pour with a full nose of wonderfully balanced clove, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg, tied with warm brown sugar and whole, juicy pumpkin. 9/10

NicTM: Lightly carbonated, dry in a mulled wine-esque way, with spices just as balanced as the nose suggests. Little orange zest hint in the finish. Opens up as it warms, and warms as it opens up. 9/10

NicP: Whilst this is a big flavored brew, the pumpkin is tasty, provides a little sweetness, and not overwhelmed. 5p

NicO: On those almost wintery, crisp nights, when you grab that favorite blanket and snuggle up with that fluffy cat…pair it with this. Being British, I also want to drink this on the 5th of November whilst setting off fireworks in my back yard next to a big bonfire. Outstanding. 92/100

AlexAA: A dense amber that pours out a thick cinnamon aroma laced with traces of cardamom and pumpkin giving textured layers of scent. 8/10

AlexTM: Really let this complex Imperial warm and you’ll release the cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom into the chocolate undertones, and cover up the heaping amount of sweet pumpkin. 9/10

AlexP: The pumpkin is sliced thickly and seasoned VERY well into generous helpings of roasty toasty meat. 5P

AlexO: So savory that I want to pack it into a pipe and smoke it while wearing a jaunty cap and elbow patches. 90/100

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin 2014
 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in 2014 Reviews, Uncategorized

 
 
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