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Old 10-08-2012, 09:28 PM   #61
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Saranac Pumpkin Ale

This beer poured a really nice deep orange/copper. It shines in the light like a new penny. Very little head, despite a vigorous pour. Aroma is slightly vegetal or compost heapy. Some spice coming through as well along with a lot of munich malt-type sweetness on the nose. There's a slight toastiness and I'm occasionally getting a brief whiff of vanilla. My first sip was like "wow, oh.." Like good, then bad. It started with a lot of potential, malt, vanilla, light spices, but almost immediately went slightly sour and thin. Subsequent sips are better, never quite seeming as tart and thin as that first sip. The finish is almost watery, though. The sourness is similar to that of that sparkling mineral water German's love so much. (That stuff still tastes like crap even after degassing, as I discovered on one of my first business trips to Germany. There's nothing worse than being hungover, in a meeting, and the only water available tastes like carbonated PBW.) There's a smooth maltiness mid-palate, and that's where the vanilla hits as well, but these nice flavors are flanked by that tart, mineral character. So overall, not a terrible beer. I just wish the malt would follow through and not end in a bubbly, watery mess on the sides of the tongue. Never having been a big fan of Saranac, I can't say I'm surprised. I'm guessing there are a lot of non-malt adjuncts in here, along with some spices and vanilla extract.

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:46 PM   #62
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Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

This one looks a bit different. Really nice dark mahogany color, bordering on ruby, with a creamy, tight head. Very attractive looking. First aroma I pulled out was a dry grainy kind of thing, but it turned into sweet brown sugar and strong spices almost immediately. Lots of cinnamon and ginger in the spice character. I'm smelling medium-color malts too - munich, medium crystals, etc. Also hints of chocolate milk powder just above threshold. Flavor is rich, but dryish. There's an almost savory, meaty character to the beer. There isn't as much malt flavor as you would think from looking at it. For some reason, I've got a feeling some melanoidin malt was used in this beer. The spicing only shows up right in the finish, and pretty lightly. Body is moderate. This is definitely an interesting beer. Moderate body but pretty dry, somewhat savory, little malt flavor outside of the meaty mushroom thing and a little Quik powder without the sweetness. I'm actually a little perplexed by it. Maybe give it a try? If you're into something different for a change? I'm going to go try to get unconfused by drinking lots of beer now...

EDIT: As it warms I'm getting a lot of pumpkin flavor. It's presenting as a slightly tart, pumpkin juice kind of flavor.

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:01 AM   #63
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Are you looking to try Avery Rumpkin?

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:12 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
Are you looking to try Avery Rumpkin?
Definitely, if I could find it. I've not ever seen it around here though. Looks like a crazy beer.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:30 AM   #65
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Yup, I too have been looking for it. I honestly might just call Colorado and ask them if any has been shipped yet, and where.

---EDIT--- It has been released on 29 September. Guess I could call the local beverage warehouse to see if they have it yet.

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Old 10-09-2012, 02:09 AM   #66
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+1.Must have this. ! Im pretty much a anything Avery fan.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #67
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I know we are talking about commercial pumpkin ales but bottom line is Samhain pumpkin ale from kjngbrian1 right here on hbt is by far better than most commercial recipes IMHO. I know a lot if people who have tried this and would also agree.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #68
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Well thanks! I'd have to agree, actually. I'm actually planning on doing a review of my Samhain in this thread in the next week or so. I made it a little stronger than normal this year, and it's really nice.

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:38 PM   #69
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Big Boss Brewing Company's Harvest Time

This used to be a pumpkin beer but I'm not sure if it still is. The label just claims "ale brewed with spices" so maybe there's no pumpkin anymore.

Anyway, onto the review. It poured a clear orange-amber with a small coarse head that died down very quickly. Spices dominate the nose with a background earthy something (pumpkin maybe?) and some malt sweetness. I'm almost getting a thick, round vanilla in there too. Flavor is really nice. Starts slightly sweet with nice round malts, and you notice a really nice, round mouthfeel. Then it dries out and there's a really nice toasted malt kind of flavor. Some moderate carbonation in the finish and very low bitterness. The spices dance around in the aftertaste a little. There's a very slight tartness in the flavor I was also picking up in the aroma that I associate with beers actually made with pumpkin, so maybe they still are using it in here. I'm getting more vanilla now in the finish that seems to help round out the mouthfeel even more. As it warms the finish is turning slightly metallic.

Overall, a pretty nice beer. Nice, subtle spicing, great mouthfeel, multi-dimensional malt character and the impression of real pumpkin being used in amounts high enough to actually taste (unlike breweries who add a minuscule amount just so they can say "brewed with pumpkin"). Pick this one up and give it a try if you can find it. It's a local brewery and I'm not sure how far they distribute.

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #70
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Whew! Rough day so it's Pumking Time!

Southern Tier's Imperial Pumking

Pumking pours a clear, deep gold with orange hues. A creamy head quickly dissipated to a thin cap on the beer. Aroma is great. You guys know about this beer by now. Strong aroma of buttery crust dominates. Gingerbread and a little fruit (strawberry?) are also present. Flavor is great too. This beer isn't as sweet as everyone says it is. It's very low in bitterness, which is probably why people say that. You do get a strong impression of sweet confections, though. Butterscotch candies, shortcake and butter cookies are all in there. It finishes somewhat fruity, though I'm having trouble picking what fruit it tastes like. I still feel like this beer is subtly spiced, though lots of people say they think it is overspiced. The spices are only coming through gently for me in the warm, tingly finish where it seems like ginger is the dominant contributer. Surprisingly, I'm finding the beer a bit more difficult to drink than in past years. I don't know if that's due to the beer changing, or my current mood. I'm also being reminded of a couple of my attempts at gruits in some way. Probably due to the extremely low bitterness. That lack of bitterness might be what's causing me to become fatigued in drinking it and could be why there is a large contingent that can't drink this beer. I'm a bit less infatuated with this beer than in past years, possibly because I have been drinking a lot of my Imperial Samhain Ale lately, which largely outclasses this beer. That's not to say Pumking is a bad beer -- it's probably my favorite commercial pumpkin beer I've had this year. But that artificial butter cookie flavor is so strong, and the bitterness so low, that it can be difficult to drink a whole bottle. So grab a friend, and a bottle of this beer, and see if you agree.

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