Up now, Gabe’s second guest review, this time on Rumpkin!
Rumpkin is an old friend. SURE, we’ve met under some sketchy circumstances. Late night, at a bar with live country, after drinking beer all day. It made me wake up in the middle of the night, cold-sweating, and with a nose bleed. FO REALZ. My best friends and I coined the term “Moment of Darkness” for when you decide you should open a bottle of this. It’s the opposite of a moment of clarity. Deciding “let’s open some Rumpkin” after a day of drinking is one of the worst ideas anyone can have. It’s deciding your night is going to turn into a glorious, shitshow. The type of shitshow that is absolutely unforgettable, but there’s no chance you’ll actually remember it. But boy, it’s a beautiful, strange, creature.
Which is why when Alex came over, we opened two bottles of it! One from the current release, and a vintage one from two years ago.
So, who are we kidding, this isn’t gonna be the most “technical” review of a pumpkin beer you’ve ever read. I’m “sipping” on two bottles of 18% beer. I’m not a superhero. Up until I tried Almanac’s Dark Pumpkin Sour this was not only my favorite pumpkin beer, but also the only pumpkin beer I bought and my favorite very boozy beer (suck a dick Utopia). It’s glorious, have I mentioned that? It’s also aged in rum barrels. I have no idea how they make this shit. For all I know, Adam Avery, America’s coolest dude, crushes pumpkins with his bare fists into rum barrels and after a couple years, this is what comes out. It’s not too hot for all the booze it packs. It’s not too pumpkin for a pumpkin beer. It’s the pumpkin cocktail you can only order your favorite bar, where you bartender knows you just enough to be okay with overserving your sorry ass, but is annoyed enough by your antics to let you destroy yourself.
And now, for my take on Rumpkin:
Few memories of pumpkin ales past have left as lasting an impression as Rumpkin has on my mind of seasons past. I quiver in my boots knowing that I might meet Rumpkin again on a dark and, well this time lovely, night and that his ABV that trumps all other pumpkins will smack me across my unsuspecting cheek before I have a chance to brace myself. This year was no exception to my trepidation. I not only tried batch 3 from 2013, but batch 5 as well. Aging takes a huge toll on this ale’s appearance and aroma for the good, but this years pours far lighter than my recollection served me. This bright citrine yellow had a heavy weight of oak, rum and vanilla on the nose. Cutting thru the dense rum was a playful cinnamon and squashy pumpkin making this a trickster of a heavy hitter and far too easy to drink all of without the needed aid of friends.
Rum soaked but not to a palate wrecking point – playful pumpkin does hold it’s own in this medicinal wallop of an ale. Abandon hope, ye who enter Rumpkin alone. 92/100