Brew In Review: Pumpkin Ales – Round Two

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Ales – Round Two

In September I tried out the first wave of pumpkin ales of the season. Since that post, more pumpkin ales (and lagers) are available. I have to say the first set of pumpkin ales I reviewed were much stronger than this group. While the first group I tried had great pumpkin flavor, this second group derives its pumpkin pie flavors from the spices, rather than a strong pumpkin flavor. This group also reminded me that pumpkin ales are not an easy beer to produce well.

Lakefront Brewery Inc.

Pumpkin Lager

Indian Wells Brewing Co.

Spicy Pumpkin Ale

Boston Beer Company

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol By Volume
6.0% 5.0% 5.7%

Medium hue of orange. Small head. Clear with a vibrant orange color. Small head. Dark with a thick white head.

Strong nutmeg aroma. Smells most like pumpkin. No pumpkin or spice aroma.

Not a whole lot of pumpkin flavor. There is a ton of spice and the nutmeg is a very strong flavor component. Although its a lager, it bears a strongresemblanceto Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale. Not too much pumpkin taste. There’s some spice, but its hard to discern exactly what spices are present. Roasted malt flavor, which overpowers the subtle spice and pumpkin aspects. This is more of an amber ale than a pumpkin ale.

Mouth Feel
Very light and refreshing as to be expected with a lager. Not sure how much actual pumpkin (I’ve heard they use canned) is added to this brew, but its impressive that it is as light as it is with the addition of pumpkin. This one suffers from the flaw of many pumpkin ales. There’s a slick, soapy mouth feel that is a tad off putting. There’s average carbonation present. Perhaps a higher carbonation wouldalleviatethe sliminess? Just average. Medium body and average carbonation.

While I was not impressed with this group of beers, I still have anaffinityfor pumpkin ales. Any recommendations for others worth giving a shot?

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