Up now, guest reviewer Russ’ take on Roadsmary’s Baby!
It is safe to say that arranging for your wife to be ravaged by the Devil himself and birth his horrific offspring is not the typical approach to starting a family in the city. The Stratford, CT-based brewers also opt for “the road less traveled” here by aging their pumpkin ale in rum barrels. They do not indicate how long they age it, so we’ll assume it is quite young –- increasing the likelihood Roman Polanski would be attracted to it. I’m typically as tolerant of the heavy vanilla character that Caribbean rum barrels impart as Mia Farrow’s anorexically vanilla character is of suspicious abnormalities in her pregnancy. Which is to say I’m really fine with it, and with Two Roads’ addition of vanilla beans, you’d expect a full on vanilla assault from this beer. That does not happen, as the 6.8% offering is surprisingly subdued in terms of richness.
The now-classic packaging on this popular line actually plays better on the high-contrast can than on a bottle. Despite a reasonable head on the dark amber pour, the nose is almost non-existent, just a faint whiff of metallic spice. Or maybe that’s just cold season congestion speaking. Roadsmary hits the front of the palate with aggressive carbonation and a bright and light feel that seems to place it closer to the summer than the winter side of autumn drinking. The real pumpkin –- artificial flavors be damned — lands in the middle of the sip gulp with more of a sweet pie filling quality than squash-like taste. The underwhelming vanilla and hint of nutmeg come through late, and are followed by a mildly bitter spice aftertaste. It doesn’t linger and is the only inkling of a hop character. The overall experience isn’t bad, but certainly lacks the life-affirming intensity of a marital squabble with John Cassavetes.
All in all, Roadsmary is an easy drinkin’ yet reasonably flavorful pumpkin beer that could be purchased by the twelver and consumed en masse without filling you up. As if you’re drinking for two (plus the wrathful post-partum army of Hell).
Side Note: Because anagrams play into the mystery in Rosemary’s Baby, I was trying to find an appropriate one for Roadsmary, but the best I could create were “ass bay by ramrod” and “a brassy boy dram,” neither of which made much sense.
And now, Alex’s take:
(In preparation & celebration for Brit pumpkin’s soon-to-be-born Son)
One would expect Lucifer’s spawn in alcoholic ale form to bear some traits of both mother and fallen angel father, so it is unsurprising that this canned pumpkin beer permeates the air with an incredibly complex combination of scents. Smelling simultaneously of brown sugar malts, rum, vanilla beans, and, last but not least, pumpkin, it pours unsheathed from it’s can a dark shade of russet. Scent set aside, this baby’s flavor is equally a battle of lighter versus darker flavors, layering back and forth between sinister rum, meek vanilla, warm brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, splintering oak, and edgy nutmeg. This malt-fortressed ale combines with the vanilla bean for a crumbly crust, and the rum soaked brown sugar almost conjures up a sensation of plums or raisins. Thankfully, among this smorgasbord of a combination, there is no tannis root.
This ale might not glow as red as Adrian’s eyes, but it will certainly summon up your inner demon with it’s boozy sweet charm. 75/100