Up now, Gabe’s guest review of Dark Pumpkin Sour!
If you’ve ever thrown a party, you realize the best guest, the one that brings the most to the party, might not be the one that shows up right on time. Fuck, sometimes that guy sucks. He’s awkward. You barely know him. And you are still getting set up and maybe you’re still wearing a robe. But I digress. The point here is that this beer might be late to the party. But that doesn’t make it less great. It’s a perfect early fall beer, this is the beer that should be showing up on shelves “too early for pumpkin beer.”
As soon as I poured it, this beer and I started warming up to each other. It has an extremely light body and about as dark as amber gets, it’s very inviting. It’s that guy who as soon as he gets to the party, starts cracking jokes and making everyone talk and have a good time. It smells more like a Kriek than anything. I’m not complaining about that. At all. And because it barely smells like pumpkin – and with no hint of all the pumpkin spice stuff – I expected it to hide its pumpkiness in the taste. But hey, good news: it did NOT. The faint smell of pumpkin and the fact it says pumpkin on the label are all the pumpkin you get. YAY! It’s mostly a playful tart up front that plays nicely with a sweeter note I’m only assuming comes from pumpkin. There’s a touch of alcohol heat in the back, but even that is playful since it gives a nice clear finish. I’m not a n00b, I realize sour beers are tough to make and expensive and yadda yadda yadda fuck you, but I wish I could just buy these shits in 6 packs and drink all of it as soon as the leaves start turning. If you’re basic and you want some sweet mess, well, a. you’ve got issues and b. this ain’t for you. This is just a great American sour. I wish it were a little more carbonated, but that’s just me trying to find something wrong with it. 99/100
Up now, my take:
Pumpkins sours, you make the rockin’ world go ’round. Pumping (absolutely NO pun intended) fresh energy into a sometimes tired category of pumpkin beers comes just enough funk to turn the party on it’s side and keep me going strong for a sprint to the finish of 61 consecutive pumpkin brews. Almanac isn’t messing around when they say Dark. Pouring a cloudy milk chocolate hue with slight ruby edges when held to the light, a pleasing tart aroma with delicate traces of pumpkin wafts from this California barrel aged sour. Upon sipping this beauty, it’s plummy depth from the red wine barrels that it allowed it’s wild yeast to get all funky fresh in smooths out over heirloom pumpkins hiding their one time only visible selves. Oaky, vanilla notes subtly mix with mild caramelized malts and dark fruit lusciousness in this wild ale leaving a rich jewel of a pumpkin.
This is the elegant vamp at the pumpkin party. She’s layered, she’s decadent, she’s tart, but she’s a lady. 98/100