Today I’m spending the day watching TV and being lazy. Tonight a couple of friends are coming over for dinner. Meanwhile in blogland, Silvio is bringing us a triple pumpkin beer review. Before I turn the blog over to Silvio, I want to remind you to vote for me and send me to Reno next month. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and read Silvio’s post below.
Unlike Josh, I am a huge fan of Fall. Football, cooler temperatures, leaves crunching underfoot….and Fall beer – it all works for me. So when I read his recent pumpkin beer review, I knew I had to follow suit. After a quick consultation with him, I made a monster pumpkin and October-fest beer store run. I literally have 10 different types of those beers in my fridge as I type. And let me tell you, I’m super psyched to try them ALL!
First up, Buffalo Bill’s America’s Original Pumpkin Ale. Dedicated LIBA readers will remember my gushing review of this brewery’s Orange Blossom Cream Ale – seriously one of my favorite reviewed beers ever. Fortunately, the pumpkin didn’t let me down. Very little foam head from the pour, confusing because there’s a ton of carbonation in my glass. The color is an opaque, light orange color. The aroma was great, with lots of spices. I got nutmeg and cinnamon, and must have smelled the beer ten times while drinking it.
The taste is interesting. Not as much spice as the smell, and kind of fruity with hints of citrus. It’s not sweet like pumpkin pie, but more like how fresh pumpkin tastes. It’s tangy in the aftertaste when the spices finally kick. Overall, this is a pretty good beer, with a decent 5.2% ABV. It tasted a bit too much like the Orange Blossom Ale to be an amazing pumpkin brew, and the aroma is its best asset.
Next up, Post Road’s Pumpkin Ale. I’ve never heard of this beer before, but apparently it’s made by Brooklyn Brewery. The pour was much foamier, and while it thinned out quickly, a slight crown hung around the glass. The color is a deep orange, and it’s just a little cloudy. However, the aroma is incredibly spicy, about ten times spicer than the Buffalo Bill. It reminded me of a super-charged Hefeweizen, with cloves, cinnamon and, nutmeg. The bottle lists it with a 5.0% ABV.
Unfortunately, the super-strong spiciness kind of ruins the flavor. It’s a weird taste, way too much spice and barely any sweetness. The spices are so dominant it’s almost a bitter beer. I struggled with an analogy, but my wife nailed it by saying it tasted like sticking your tongue into a jar of cinnamon. The brew gets better on the aftertaste, with some nutmeg for sweetness, but the burn of the dominant spices is hard to get over. I powered through my glass, but couldn’t drink more than one of these.
Last but not least, the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. This beer was a late addition to my cart at the store, frankly because they were cleaned out of the display section and I only got one when the clerk brought a case out of the back to restock. Apparently, they can’t keep them on the shelves for more than a few hours! The pour was decent, with a little foam that dissipated right away. There’s very little carbonation in this beer, and it’s got a clear golden color.
I was a little disappointed because the smell has almost no aroma. I detected some indistinct spices, but only after almost putting my nose in the beer. The taste is a really nice balanced mix of spices and sweetness, and this reminds me of a more traditional pumpkin pie flavor. I let the glass sit out for a little bit, and as it warmed, the spices really came around with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of brown sugar. I also really taste alcohol, much more than the other two. With a 7.0% ABV, it makes sense.