Monthly Archives: September 2013

California Cider Company – Ace Pumpkin Cider (2013)

AlexAA: crystal clear gold, no carbonation, strong cloves and pumpkin in the scent 7/10

AlexTM: brown sugar drunken apples poured into clove-sprinkled pumpkins, spice edge fades to very sweet 6/10

AlexP: Not nearly as many as the apples, but strong enough to dominate the nose. 4P

AlexO: if finish wasn’t so sweet, I would enjoy it more. it’s not tart enough in the beginning, and lacks a crispness. 63/100

NicAA: Clear liquid gold, no visible fizz. Strong pumpkin puree aroma and big cinnamon, along with sweet apple. 8/10

NicTM: Very low carbonation, medium body. Upfront a little tart apple and some cinnamon. Moves into sweeter pumpkin. 6/10

NicP: Tastes a little artificial here. Pumpkin holds its own with the apple but has a chemically something going on too. 4p

NicO: Kind of artificial, like a pumpkin wine-cooler. A bit cheap and tarty, but hey, can’t that be fun sometimes? 67/100

Ace Cider

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Cambridge Brewing Company – The Great Pumpkin (2013)

NicAA: Clear bronze w. thin head. Aroma of roasted savory pumpkin meat, v. light spice and a touch of brown sugar. Fresh. 8/10

NicTM: Medium body and carb. The pumpkin is there right off the bat, in a subtle spice weave. More savory than last year. 8/10

NicP: Fresh and in spades. High quality meaty pumpkin which is a nice savory balance to the brown sugar/molasses. 5p

NicO: Savory profile will satisfy the non-pie pumpkinbeer fans. Pure quality that comes from actually breaking gourd. 85/100

AlexAA: highly carbonated and rich rust in color, fresh vanilla and generous, fresh pumpkin combine in this aroma 9/10

AlexTM: caramel, pumpkin, and the lightest spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg starts sweets and buttery and fades into hops 9/10

‘AlexP: Balanced, fresh, & massacred by those who know that fresh pumpkin is the best ingredient when fresh and proportional 5P

AlexO: W/ slight toast, slight hops, & a whole lot of buttery pumpkin, this dessert beer surprises w/ a savory finish 93/100

Cambridge Brewing Company Great

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Harpoon Brewery – UFO Pumpkin (2013)

NicAA: Hazy and flocculent orange with fast fading head. Yeasty aroma with sweet pumpkin and a touch of fall spice. 8/10

NicTM: Light body, med carb. Flowery house yeast leads to pumpkin, fast chased by nutmeg, cinnamon and a dash of clove. 8/10

NicP: Smooth and tasty pumpkin here. Pretty much spot on amount for this mix. 5p

NicO: Best as draft. Unfiltered pumpkin beer often wins at retaining flavor, which is true here: farmy, rough, charming.84/100

AlexAA: very hazed marigold w/ fluffy 1/4 inch head – cinnamon, slight cloves, and pumpkin perfume on this one 7/10

AlexTM: heavy pumpkin on a loaf of brown sugar and molasses – cinnamon cuts thru unfiltered density and barley. 8/10

AlexP: lots of fresh pumpkin – the meat is heavily sweetened malt combo but spicing adds depth. 6P

AlexO: This is Wolaver’s older sister who’s wearing too much make-up – pretty pumpkin underneath, but too much sweet. 81/100

Harpoon UFO

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Saranac (Matt Brewing Co.) – Pumpkin Ale (2013)

AlexAA: tawny, golden brown w/ a prominent aroma of cloves, and a sprinkling of nutmeg on a bed of pumpkin 6/10

AlexTM: highly carbonated, heavily malted, and many, many tablespoons of vanilla which most of the spices are hidden by. 7/10

AlexP: Pumpkin has a creaminess, non-spicy role in this beer, albeit a little overshadowed by vanilla. 3P

AlexO: Stark contrast b/n aroma to taste – it’s like cream soda, and an option for those out-cloved and out-nutmegged. 65/100

NicAA: Golden-brown with wispy head, aroma of thin cinnamon and light pumpkin, a little sweet malt. Nothing exciting. 6/10

NicTM: Fairly high carbonation, thin. Cinnamon and a tiny touch of nutmeg on top of malt makes a bland spice profile. 6/10

NicP: There is pumpkin here and the amount or quality of it isn’t the problem. It’s just not accentuated by anything. 4p

NicO: Let’s face it pumpkin alone isn’t an exciting flavor. In a dull beer base, with no garnish, you get bland beer. 60/100

Saranac Matt Brewing Company

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


New Belgium Brewing Company – Pumpkick (2013)

AlexAA: straight-up cinnamon on the nose of this light orange tinted brew. 6/10

AlexTM: very light bodied cranberry beer, where cinnamon pops in and out making sense only at times. 5/10

AlexP: Slight pumpkin in the midst of cranberry tart and mild cinnamon…confusing 2P

AlexO: Thanksgiving finale…this is NOT that. Beer is watery cinnamon, & cranberry skews it to a C-level Vitamin Water 51/100

NicAA: Clear bright orange with thick, creamy head. Aroma of subtle fall spice, very light cranberry, hint of pumpkin. 7/10

NicTM: Light and watery, like pumpkin wash with a hint of cranberry in the end. Like a weak juice, w. aggressive cinnamon. 5/10

NicP: Thin and washy pumpkin which clashes a little with the cranberry and weird spicing. 2p

NicO: Hoped for a chewy pump-cran pie and I got weird pump-cran wash water that someone dumped a ton of cinnamon into. 58/100

New Belgium Pumpkick

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Southern Tier Brewing Company – Imperial Pumking (2013)

LIVE review at Foundry on Elm, Davis Square, Somerville, MA.

NicAA: Bright orange effervescent, no head. Rich biscuit malt, vanilla, fall spice and brown sugar. Pie! 10/10

NicTM: Med body and carb. Pie crust with sweet filling, hint of coconut, vanilla, spice, sugar. Mirrors aroma. Delicious! 10/10

NicP: Hidden in the delicious web of spicing and sweet malt, the pumpkin peeps out from under the pie crust 4p

NicO: Full of the confidence and brash richness of a true monarch. Maybe the throne is safe for another season…? 97/100

AlexAA: glowing, light orange with enough vanilla and pumpkin in the aroma that you can taste the pumpkin pie. 10/10

AlexTM: Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, & the lightest coriander, but vanilla wraps it together like a slice of pie. 10/10

AlexP: You have to have a plethora of pumpkin to compete with this wall of flavor, and it’s there, balanced and tasty. 4P

AlexO: This is buttery, melt in your mouth, pumpkin beer. Again, I would let the King take me behind the middle school..99/100

Southern Tier Pumking

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Woodchuck Cidery – Special Reserve Pumpkin Cider (2013)

NicAA: Bright clear orange, no head and the sweetest apple and pumpkin aroma. Mouth watering! 9/10

NicTM: Delightful sweet/tart apple cider, mixed with tasty sweet pumpkin. No spice, just juicy goodness. Med body/carb. 9/10

NicP: Two main players here and pumpkin is happily one of them. As it should be, tart apple compliments the pumpkin sugars. 5p

NicO: Apple and pumpkin sittin’ in a tree, K.I.S.S…wait, pumpkins don’t grow on trees. Halloween candy in a glass. 90/100

AlexAA: cloves and apple carry the aroma of this crystal clear amber cider. 8/10

AlexTM: slight vanilla tops this brown sugar soaked apple that pairs with a solid foundation of pumpkins 9/10

AlexP: After spicing & apples fade, there sits pumpkin in natural state. Nice when it’s naturally sweetened only by apple 6P

AlexO: Good cider doesn’t stop apples from enriching texture – add pumpkin & you’ve got cider that you can rake w/. 86/100

Woodchuck Special Reserve

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Samuel Adams – Harvest Pumpkin Ale (2013)

NicAA: Deep ruby with thin head, clear. Sweet aroma of malt and pumpkin hints, with light spicing. Hint of orange peel. 8/10

NicTM: Very low spice, quite bitter hops. No sweetness like the aroma suggested. Woody quality. Medium body, high carb. 7/10

NicP: More than last year, and props for using fresh. Sadly, it’s just not backed up. Cinnamon alone doesn’t cut it. 4p

NicO: Better than last year, still a way to go. Bitter, and traditional style needs more spice. Nothing revolutionary. 69/100

AlexAA: deep, blood red tinted brown, light head, aroma of molasses, sweet malt, and allspice 6/10

AlexTM: thin body, drinks lighter than it looks, heavy malt overpowers spice, cinnamon is faint 6/10

AlexP: I know they use 17 lbs, but I think the ratio is off w/ the 4 malts. 2P

AlexO: Sugary malt takes over what might be a nicely spiced, fresh pumpkin beer – a better recipe than last year, tho 61/100

Sam Adams Harvest




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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Curious Traveler – Jack ‘O’ Shandy (2013)

NicAA: Rich straw color, clear, light foam. Brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg predominantly. Smells like pie! 8/10

NicTM: Very light body, watery mouthfeel. Nice spice with lemon actually working well with the pumpkin and fall spice. 8/10

NicP: There’s a decent amount of sweet gourd in this. Amazingly the lemon helps bring it out, rather than clashing. 5p

NicO: I admit, expected it to suck. Lemon-pumpkin shandy? Ew! Wrong. Tasty fall BBQ beer that won’t leave you crapulous.77/100

AlexAA: lemon and cinnamon dominate the aroma on this mahogany toned shandy 7/10

AlexTM: Holy lemon peel, Batman! Very light-bodied w/ pumpkin mixing in the intense sweetness. Combo has a tea effect. 4/10

AlexP: Difficult to gauge in this shandy, as the lemon is the main character, but it is distinguishable w/ sip after sip. 4P

AlexO: Mad points for the label w/ mustachioed Pumpkin. Not my jams, but if you like twisted teas, it might be yours. 55/100

Curious Traveler Jack O Shandy

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in 2013 Reviews


Wolaver’s Organic – Pumpkin Ale (2013)

AlexA: hazy unfiltered blood orange that has chunky fresh pumpkin w/ lightly sprinkled smoky cinnamon on the nose 8/10

AlexTM: thin body, this is a harvest, earthy pumpkin empowered taste w/ a dry finish – a touch of nutmeg fleshes it out 7/10

AlexP: When they say organic Vermont pumpkins, they mean it. These pumpkins are blasting Phish right now. 6P

AlexO: The hippie cousin of pumpkin beers. I want to drink it out of mason jars. Fresh, Raw, Crisp. Delightful! 77/100

NicAA: Clear amber with thin head. Aroma of sweet pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla. Not much fall spice. Fresh. 9/10

NicTM: Nowhere near so sweet as the aroma. Low carb and light, malty, a little nutmeg, pumpkin and hints of vanilla. 7/10

NicP: The pumpkin in here is tasty and fairly plentiful. This has a rough pumpkin quality, but that’s not a bad thing here. 5p

NicO: Light spice lets the organic VT pumpkin shine. Fresh and clean, but…like an unseasoned veggie plate, not exciting.79/100

Wolavers Organic

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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in 2013 Reviews