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brewguyver 09-22-2012 01:11 PM

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Awesome thread! Adding my 2c as well.

Did a pumpkin beer tasting last Saturday (bottle only - no draft) and ended up with a wall of shame. Most of the beers were thin, had watered down spice flavors. The Post Road and saranac were particularly unappealing.

Other interesting notes
- small patch pumpkin had a distinct smell of terryaki sauce and the taste faint taste of black malt)
- shipyard pumpkinhead has a nice smell of spicy honey, but tastes like hard cider gone slightly off. Tough to describe, but you'd know it if you've had it.
- Saranac's offering has an acidic nose that is slightly akin to vomit. It doesn't taste like vomit (thankfully) but it's not good, either.
- ichabod pumpkin smelled a little like the seafood section of my favorite Asian grocery store. Had a weird maltiness that I couldn't place, along with a lack of body.
- wolavers tasted like someone boiled cinnamon, and then diluted it with more water. I rated it a 2 when I drank it, because it wasn't undrinkable.
- Post road had a faint nose of pumpkin and spice, but the body was incredibly tannic and astringent. This won the award for worst pumpkin beer, and it's traditionally one of the least drinkable pumpkin beers of the season.

I did notice untapped has people rating these beers much higher on draft in their local markets. The cynic in me says that brewers are taking advantage of a seasonal "fad" and putting out a sub par product. However, the ratings seem to indicate shelf stability problems.

The saving grace ...

Dogfish was definitely the best of this group. I didn't love it, but I may have been burnt out on the odd flavors. It had a nice spicy nose, and the pumpkin spice came through well in the flavor. Was still a little light on the malt - too bland behind the spice for my taste. Supposedly it is far better on draft.

Overall the 2012 King is Pumpking. Had it twice this year an I couldn't get my nose out of the glass. Awesome.

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Aschecte 10-11-2012 02:48 PM

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Ok here it is my review of Samhain Pumpkin ale the King of all pumpkin ales on this thread. KingBrianI right here from HBT also happens to be the brewmeister of this recipe and deserves all credit for this amazing seasonal yet should be year round treat. This of all the homebrews I do each year falls into the category of tradition it is the only beer I brew with my family and just like making a pumpkin pie, carving a pumkin, or taking the boy out trick or treating it has become something we all look foward to doing as a family each fall. This beer also happens to be amazing. Without further ado here is my review of Samhain Pumpkin Ale.

A- Dark with ruby highlights and fair clarity, off white tanish fluffy head with a 2 finger depth that holds on for what seems like forever but when fading leaves a copious amount of thick lacing along the glass walls.

S- If you can imagine the smell of pumpkin pie this is it but with a cookie like malty backbone. Aroma's of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove all intermingle with the perfect balance of pumpkin and a malty quality that is accentuated by the toasted maris otter that gives it a baked cookie like quality that is unique and perfect for this style.

T- The taste follows very closely to the aroma produced. The balance of this beer is what sets it apart from other beers of this style not overwhelming in any of it's individual aspects but by no means underhelming either. The first taste is the spices which may as well be pumpkin pie but quickly gives way to the pumpkin and malt which are blended perfectly.

M- The mouthfell is medium-full and is due to a strong malt back bone of Golden promise, maris otter, wheat amoung other grains. The carbonation is pretty solid as well though as homebrewers we have ability to make this of our liking I choose to go with about 2.5 volumes of co2 and find it to be a perfect balance of carbonation.

O- Each year I go to alot of fall parties and each year pumpkin ales seem to be a love hate topic either falling short from too much pumpkin or too much spice or conversly not enough of either and is a pumokin ale by label ony. I also happen to be the President of one of the largest homebrew clubs in the Hudson Valley of New york and since I have introduced this to other home brewers I have got nothing but perfect reviews and compliments of this Pumpkin Ale. I have also made this my family's Thanksgiving day drink of choice. With a perfect balance of spice, pumkin, and malt I strongly reccomend everyone to brew this fabuous recipe. If you like pumpkin ales you will not be dissapointed in this beer and I'm sure you will agree this is by far the King of Pumkin ales.

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