Up first, Seth’s guest review:
Clear appearance, lighter than an amber, darker than a lager – appropriately, similar to the hue of a pumpkin. The aroma is mostly spice, and not much else. As expected from the smell, it’s a very light, crisp taste, finishes almost as light as a cider. Not much body, and a thin mouthfeel. An appropriate amount of pumpkin, so as not to overpower it. Similar amount of spicing – generic, some cinnamon and allspice, noncommittal in regard to sweet vs. savory. Slight bitterness in aftertaste.
Though Sea Dog was always known to me as a higher quality microbrew or craft beer growing up in Maine, the Pumpkin Ale falls somewhat short. It reminds me of something at a college party in fall – thin and watery, through a thin veil of fall flavors to give a better alternative to Natty Light. The texture and amount of flavor is more appropriate for a summer ale, or a generic lager; sheer refreshment value is its saving grace. 65/100
Here’s my take:
Few topics of conversation get me more twitter-pated than Maine. Maine, that glorious state of pine trees, lobsters, L.L. Bean, puffins, Otto pizza, Moxie, moose, and much, much more, you captured this born-and-raised girl’s heart three decades ago and I haven’t asked for it back since. That being said, and with no disrespect for the one area code “to rule them all” state, Maine is a rather large culprit in the unforgivably sub-par pumpkin beer brewing blight that plagues the industry. Pumpkin beer should not be a thoughtless, compulsory addition for every brewery. If you don’t care about nurturing the hopes and needs of a fine pumpkin ale recipe, then will actually receive praise for not adding to an already flooded market of pumpkin mediocrity. Sea Dog has undoubtedly felt the need to pump out an ill-advised ale, and tonight I sip protestingly from that marigold brew. This wheat ale gives off little to nothing of a whiff of cinnamon, nutmeg, and malty sweetness. The onset is far more present, albeit in a harsh, difficult to swallow way. If I said this tasted like a melted cinnamon candle spiced with potpourri, it would be an insult to the time and effort it takes to melt said candle, sprinkle in the potpourri, strain out it all out, and then chug. No taste of pumpkin, despite subliminal attempts from the orange of the label. The slight bite from the bready malt, gumminess from the wheat, and crisp fade all verify just how little thought went into this beer. Maine, I don’t hold you responsible, but I do wish you’d scold your breweries more to keep this from ever being bottled.
The loose change jingling around in your pocket of pumpkin beer. It adds up to something, but it ain’t much. 53/100
On a side note, this is the second sink pour of the RMP season.