Up first, special guest reviewer Kathryn’s take on Maple Mistress!
I’m sure there is an opera character out there who could be called the Maple Mistress. Though she sounds more like Strawberry Shortcake’s slutty Friend. Like most operatic characters this beer is pretty epic with a 9.2% alcohol content and a strong spice on the nose. However, this gal is a sly one. I expected a much darker hue, but she pours a light chestnut. I also expected a saccharine taste given the ABV, but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and butternut still come out clear, and the sweetness isn’t overpowering. It starts surprisingly fizzy with plenty of carbonation and has a nice dry finish. Still sweet, this squash-based beer from Saucony Creek is full-bodied yet dangerously drinkable, best had on a chilly evening with your mistress or gypsy lover. 88/100
And now, Alex’s take on Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale:
Maple Mistress summons the cutting remarks of Anne Bonny’s cutting remarks to her soon to be executed fellow pirate lover Capt. Jack Rachman after the British Navy overtook his ship, “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang’d like a dog” with a bold, brassy imperial pumpkin ale that will make a scallywag out of the drinkers of weak pumpkin ales. Pouring a dull amber with a head of fine froth, this ale releases an aroma of rich butternut squash and the promise of oncoming rum notes. This medium-bodied ale boards up into itself a loud flavor waiting to be unleashed with more butternut squash than pumpkin stacked flapjacks doused heavily in maple syrup. There is a slight burn from this almost 10% ale about halfway thru a sip of this ale, but it burns in a pleasant way as though giving you fire for sea legs. Unlike most other rum-influenced pumpkin ales, this mistress allow for her spiciness to complement instead of clock the vegetal heartiness of the butternut squash and pumpkin, adding balanced amounts of cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla to the savory blend. As though sailing off after a successful pillaging of the palate, this ale finishes in a rum-caked maple syrup sweetness that lingers long after the incident itself.
The manga-inspired, pancake-bearing wench on the label may play for lighter crowd appeal, but actually detracts in my mind from the ale itself and the vicissitude enducing power of terror that these piratical maids of all sorts actually possessed. As though it had been stored in a rum flask, this ale drops anchor into solid pumpkin territory while not losing any of it’s swashbuckling balls…errrrr, breasts. 90/100