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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Commercial Brew Discussion > Pumpkin Ale Throwdown
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:08 AM   #41
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First review of the season!

Buffalo Bill's Brewery's Pumpkin Ale

Poured a faded orange/gold. Very slight haze but not particulates. Small head quickly dissipated. Aroma is faint, but pleasant. Some slight spice notes, sweet malt and very faint yeasty esters. Flavor is a bit thinner than I expected. Slight sweetness (though not really a malty sweetness) dominates before quickly going watery with a slightly medicinal spicy finish. Very little bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to low and a bit like sparkling water. The flavor is actually very reminiscent of slightly sweetened sparkling water with a strange spice note. I'd be very surprised if there was any pumpkin used for this beer. And I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot of non-malt fermentables added. And it has a twist-off cap, which, although I don't need to keep bottles anymore, still lowers my opinion of the beer. Not a bad beer, but very little going on here. I'll not be buying anymore of this one this year.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:54 AM   #42
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+1 didnt care for that one last year.Dont think Ill even bother. Wish I could get half of what you have there.Pumpkin head-blaaach-slightly better than last year,still colabeer.
Just had the Smashed PUmpkin-have to say I notice more cinnamon and orange mild citrus/tart tones more - Im thinking this would be better paired as suggested on the bottle.Still good but I think Im won over with Pumpking this year.Less graham and more bready/shortbread piecrust creamy.
Thanks again for revewing . Try a smuttynose pumkin if you can,its more of a hoppy one if you dont think thats weird-I think it works.

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Old 09-18-2012, 01:11 AM   #43
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Cottonwood Pumpkin

Poured a brilliant, crystal clear dark yellow with a touch of orange. An aggressive pour produced a two-finger bright white head that fell to a thin cap. Aroma is of powdered ginger and cinnamon creating an aroma that puts me in the mind of chlorophenols, but not quite. There is an underlying caramelly sweetness that comes and goes in the aroma. Upon first tasting it, the first thing I noticed is that it is nicely full in the mouthfeel. Starts slightly sweet with a touch of an interesting, slight tang, that transitions into a full, thick finish with an almost chemically spice character lingering into the aftertaste. Carbonation is moderate and lends a slight carbonic bite to the finish. Overall, not a bad beer, but nothing special either. The spices come off a little chemically, which combined with the slightly carbonic finish, detracts from my enjoyment of the beer. I was pleasantly surprised by the thick mouthfeel, though. Worth trying, but only buy one.

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Old 09-18-2012, 05:04 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
I think the most well balanced medium type pumpkin ive had would be lakefront brewery's pumpkin lager. Nice medium of everything farily flawless lager.

I tried the pumking again and got alot more citrus bittering in the next bottle and less of the graham but still fairly grahmy thats why i always like to try a new one a few times. I also liked smashed pumpkin a little less after the next bottle, hmm but still preferred the smashed,but honestly my favorite may have been Lakefronts pumpkin lager this year from what I was able to try.

I didnt get the opportunity to try the others you had but tried a dozen or so i heard shefly's pumpkin was really good but was always out when i would try to seek it,so it must be decent. Just thought i would throw some opinion here. Definatly a fun pumpkin adventure, all the winter ales are coming out now.
I think I'll put this year's lakefront pumpkin lager on schedule for tonight's tasting. Stay tuned!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #45
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Lakefront Brewery's Pumpkin Lager

This one pours a beautiful bright orange. Crystal clear in the glass and a fast-dissipating one-finger head. Aroma is nice and of clean sweet malt supported by background notes of spice. I'm really enjoying the flavor. Sweet malt upfront with toasty undertones. Very smooth with very little bitterness. Nice clean finish thats fairly sweet. The carbonation is spot on and really supports the beers flavor. The spices (I'm getting cinnamon and ginger) are nicely subtle, but well balanced with the beer. Moderate to full body is enjoyable. Overall, a really nice, well made beer. I'm not pulling a lot of pumpkin flavor out, but the spices are well done. I recommend trying this one if you can get it.

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:52 AM   #46
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Bad day... Time for a beer.

Harpoon's Pumpkin UFO (Unfiltered Offering)

Poured a slightly hazy deep gold. Small head quickly dissipated like that of soda. I think the second pour is going to be a little more cloudy. The beer has very little aroma. A little spice, a little malt, maybe even a bit of tart cherry? Swirling it around a bit to kick out some aroma persuaded a strange tart, somewhat savory note to appear. Just took a sip. That savory note is present in the flavor as well. Very unusual and it's hard for me to place. Very "rounded" flavors in here and a fullness of body. Malty, but not very sweet. Moderately low bitterness. I think the savory character is maybe that of a pumpkin that started to go a bit soft. Maybe some toasted pumpkin seeds in there too? And biscuit malt. Have I mentioned before that I loathe biscuit malt? Finish is smooth with a touch of sweetness. A bit of bitterness lingers on the palate mixing with very subtle spicing. I took my dog out to use the bathroom halfway though this review and upon coming back in the savory/spoiled aroma had filled the glass and I got a nice big whiff of it. This is a very unique beer. It has flavors I've never experienced in a beer before, and it may be worth trying just to experience something new. I can't say I completely enjoyed the experience though. It's not that the beer is unpleasant, just that the moldy pumpkin kind of vibe I'm getting from it is drawing all of my attention and leaving little room for me to try to pull out what else is in this beer. I'm sure some of you would go bananas for it though. Just poured the rest of the beer in and it was much cloudier. This pour has a lot of that sour hard-to-describe aroma. I think the beer is a little oxidized and I think there has been some autolysis of the bottled yeast as well. Anyway, it's definitely different from the other pumpkin beers I've had.

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:00 AM   #47
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Shipyard Brewing Company's Pumpkinhead

Twist-off cap. But pours a brilliant gold, much lighter than many other pumpkin ales. A foamy white head quickly dissipated. Aroma contains lots of cinnamon, and sweet, bready malt. There even seems to be a touch of spicy hops in the nose. Getting right into a sip here and it is really nice. Starts sweet with clean malt and that cinnamon again. I get a spiciness on the side of the tongue along with a bit of bitterness mid-palate that is followed by a drying, toasty finish. Mouthfeel and carbonation are both moderate. They really went heavy with the cinnamon on this one, but it's not over-the-top. It's combining with something in the beer to give a slight lemon flavor in addition to the plain powdered cinnamon flavor everyone is familiar with. This one's not a bad beer at all, with nice malt flavors and a unique spicing. I recommend trying one if you can get it.

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Old 09-22-2012, 02:10 AM   #48
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I had some Pumking on tap tonight. Spicier than last years, I think. More gingerbread than capn' crunch this year. Still pretty damn good.

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Old 09-22-2012, 02:13 AM   #49
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By the way, I'm impressed with the iphone 5 camera!

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #50
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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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