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Old 09-23-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
ryan83
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Default What's Your preference in Pumpkin beer?

So in the past couple days I've had the opportunity to try a few different Pumpkin ales. Southern Tier - Pumking / Schafly - Pumpkin Ale / Dogfish Head - Punkin Ale. This was the first time I've had had pumpkin ale so I basicaly had no idea what to expect. Heres my thoughts but I'd like to hear yours (I'm not giving a look/smell/taste/feel just an overall)

Southern Tier - Pumking (Tap)
I think this beer was fantastic, however in limited amounts. This beer was almost something you would have as a desert. The flavor was thick and powerful all the way through, strong pumpkin and spice. I couldn't drink this beer all night but the flavor was amazing.

Schafly - Pumpkin Ale (Bottle)
This was another great pumpkin beer. This beer was very sweet, apparent pumpkin aroma but the spices over powered the overall flavor. This was a little lighter in body to the Pumking but very different qualities. Another really good beer

Dog Fish Head - Punkin Ale (Bottle)
Slight pumpkin and spice aroma, more malty . The body was full and the pumpkin and spice was in the middle and end. In my opinion this was very different than the other two. The flavors were great but something you had to wait for. This was the most drinkable beer.


In my opinion all three beers were great and pumpkin ales leave room for creativity because it appears the guidelines are not set. If I were going the drink the southern tier i would prepare myself for the beer to take over, the Schafly almost the same, I could drink this at the end of the night but only in limited quantities. The Dogfish head will get you in trouble, the flavors are subtle but present. The Dog Fish head would compliment a good dinner and could be drank throughout the season.

Although all beers were very good and all have a place and time my vote is for Dog Fish Head because the other two take over and would have a good meal competing for your attention where as the Dog Fish head would compliment a seasonal meal. Pumpkin beer is all a matter of what you're looking for and I think it's more a matter of personal preferance than anything.The problem with the Punkin Ale is it's extremely drinkable and you could have many before you realize what you've done to yourself.

Anyway i know this isn't a beer review forum but my purpose was to find out - What's your preference in Pumpkin Beer? Strong upfront flavors that hit you in the face or a subtle complimentory flavor that leaves you wanting more?

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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Dogfish pumpkin ale is my go to pumpkin ale. I have had the southern tier pumking in bottle and didn't like it. I think it may be the biscuit malt, it seems a bit unbalanced. Buffalo bill's pumpkin ale is downright terrible, it tastes water and that is unacceptable in a commercial beer. I think New Holland Ichabod Ale is another decent one. Weyerbacher is another good one as is Saranac.

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Rock Art Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout is my favorite. It is an 8% Stout and goes down oh so good. I pick it up from the brewery in 22 oz bombers and also in 5 gallon kegs for my home pub. The guy that came up with the recipe came over to my house and we made a Pumpkin Imperial Fur Stout, I still have a bit of it in bottles. Neither of the two has the pumpkin spice taste. Don't care for that.

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
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I'm curious to try the Sixpoint Autumnation a friend of mine in Brooklyn told me about recently. It's apparently a pumpkin ale that clocks in at 68 IBUs. I had a Smuttynose Pumpkin ale the other day and was surprised at how hoppy it was for a pumpkin beer.

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Old 09-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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I'm a fan of the more subtle pumpkin beers. Brooklyn Brewery makes the Old Post Road Pumpkin Ale and I think it's pretty good. Just enough spice and pumpkin to make it interesting.

My fiance and I are currently going through all of the Pumpkin ales at our local liquor store. We'll let you know which one is voted "The Best".

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is hands down my favorite - tons of spice and flavor. Second is the Heartland Brewery's (here in New York only) Smiling Pumpkin ale.

Dogfish head has always been one of my favorites but this year the product tastes weaker than previous years. I'd thought it was just me then another guy at work that I talked to mentioned it to me. He also loved it and has drank it each year and said this year it tastes weaker in flavor. Was good to hear another person have the same finding without me having to even mention it.


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Old 09-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
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Funny - I was having this same conversation with a guy at work this morning. He recommended the Dogfish, so I'll probably give that a try.

Never been a Blue Moon fan, but saw they had a Pumpkin Harvest Ale so gave it a try last night. Zero pumpkin or spice taste. I was really disappointed. I guess that puts me in the crowd of liking the big up front taste.

I also brewed a pumpkin ale recently (kit from Midwest supplies) to which I added 2 cans of pumpkin puree. They've been in the bottle for about a month - tried one after 2 weeks and it didn't really have a pumpkin taste either. Oh well...

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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I agree about the Punkin Ale. I'm not super into Dogfish beers but I love that one.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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IMO a good pumpkin ale is going to have a lot of the pumpkin pie spice flavor. I brewed a pumpkin ale last year and used a few cans of Libby's pumpkin and wasn't convinced adding the pumpkin benefited the beer any. If I had to do it again, I'd probably start with a solid brown ale and add some pumpkin spice to that and omit the pumpkin all together.

That being said, that's probably why I love Schafly's pumpkin ale and could drink it all fall provided it wasn't so damn expensive.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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I'm not a big pumpkin beer fan, but I've tried a number of them. 2011 ST Pumking was much better than the 2010 version, but I'd still have to say that my top pumpkin beers are Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin and New Holland Ichabod.

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