Archive for the ‘Pumpkin Ale’ Category

This is a beer that sat in my basement for a few years. I picked it up during our Maine trip and given the ABV, I thought it could use some time to mellow.


ABV: 11.4%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Shipyard Brewing Company has released the first in its new line of limited edition bourbon barrel aged ales. 2,100 bottles (350 cases) of Bourbon Barrel Aged Double ESB are quickly selling off store shelves in Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, and California. In October, 350 cases of Bourbon Barrel Aged Smashed Pumpkin will be released in select markets. In December, a limited number of cases of Bourbon Barrel Aged Prelude will also be released. These brews have all been brewed and carefully cellar-aged in small batches for over 100 days in decanted bourbon barrels. This line of unique beers allows Shipyard’s brew house crew to blend their creativity and passion for beer to create these special, limited release brews. These 750 milliliter (1 pint 9.4 fluid ounce) bottles are all hand filled, corked, and individually labeled with the bottle number. Recommend serving temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit in brandy-style stemware. The suggested retail price is $14.99 per bottle.”

Random: I miss Maine. I think we need to go back soon.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of cream-colored head. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a deep mahogany with no visible carbonation. The nose was pungent with notes of vanilla, pumpkin and a lot of nutmeg. There was toasted oak as well. The taste didn’t have nearly as much booze as I expected, given the ABV. There was also notes of vanilla, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg up front. A ginger snap characteristic came through too. There also wasn’t nearly as much bourbon barrel as I would have thought. The body was medium thickness with light carbonation. It had a quick and spicy finish with pumpkin pie. I picked this up a few years ago at the brewery for $14.99, which came to $.68 per ounce. This was a solid offering, I just wish it had a touch more bourbon barrel.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Two Departed Soles beers in a row. We picked this one up in a mixed six-pack and since I had limited exposure with the brewery, I wanted to see how they would handle a seasonal. Let’s crack it open.


ABV: 5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Even Gluten Free folk deserve a seasonal beer, and GOPP is the first of its kind! An amber ale base with real pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg combine to produce a delicious seasonal that tastes so much like a #DefinitelyNotGlutenFree Pumpkin Ale, it is downright scary. But it is 100% Gluten Free!”

Random: Before everyone gets all over me for drinking a really old beer, I had this beer on October 1st. Now you can really see how big my backlog is.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dirty yellow color and cloudy. As a result, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose had pumpkin puree along with clove and cinnamon. It smelled like a typical pumpkin beer. The taste started with a sour lemon note and then went into pumpkin. It had the normal pumpkin spices with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. It had a light body with a lot of carbonation. The finish was almost instant with pumpkin and spice. I paid $2.17 for the can, which came to $.18 per ounce. The beer reminded me more of pumpkin seltzer. I wouldn’t rush back to having this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The other half and I have been binge watching “Quantico” today. It’s a bit challenging to keep track of the plot since it takes place in two different time frames, but I still enjoy watching it. I tend to like crime shows, so this one is right in my wheelhouse. Although, this season is a bit more confusing since it now involves the characters being in both CIA training and still in the FBI. Either way, it’s better watching it with a beer.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Nutty and semi-sweet cheeses like Gouda and Gruyere, roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash, pork with sweet glazes…and Mom’s pumpkin pie.”

Random: Butternut squash bisque is one of my favorite soups.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, cloudy mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had notes of pumpkin with cinnamon, wood and vanilla. On the nose, there weren’t any IPA notes. The taste was also filled with pumpkin notes. I picked up ginger, cinnamon and vanilla. There was also some grass and dried grapefruit. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cinnamon and vanilla. A bottle of this was $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. Conceptually, I found this beer to be really interesting, but I got way more pumpkin notes than IPA. Despite that, I enjoyed it a lot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

As the years pass doing the blog, I end up drinking fewer and fewer pumpkin beers every year. The fact that they come out in July doesn’t help either. I’m not organized enough to buy them in the summer and hold them until the Fall, so I end up having most on tap when we go out.


ABV: 6.3%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our fall seasonal is an unfiltered amber ale brewed with pumpkin and spices. We add roasted pumpkin to the mash and traditional pumpkin pie spices to the kettle, and then ferment with a Belgian yeast strain.”

Random: We’re watching a marathon of tiny house shows. This episode, the buyers requested a climbing wall.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of head. What was there was ecru colored. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a bright orange color with only limited carbonation visible. The nose started with spice. I specifically picked up cinnamon, clove and ginger. The taste started with graham cracker and quickly went into the same spice notes that were in the nose (cinnamon, ginger and clove), but also had some allspice and nutmeg. There was also a clover honey sweetness. It had a light body with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with the spice. This was an easy drinker for the style, but I wish the Belgian yeast made more of an appearance because it would have made the beer more interesting.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s finally Spring! Grass is growing and it’s time to plant things. I’m still planning on planting my vegetable and herb garden, I’m just going to expand it a bit. One thing I won’t be growing is pumpkins, since the plants take over everything. But, at least I still have pumpkin beer.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A brilliant toasty richness paired against skillfully layered pumpkin spices. Boasting hints of vanilla and gingerbread flavors, this medium bodied, balanced beer gently riding the coattails of a thick cloak of balanced ale goodness. Tasty. Distinct. Dark. These Dead Souls will be dancing.”

Random: Last year, my sage plant refused to die. It lasted until January.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It went away very quickly and left no lacing on the glass. A crown was left on top of the dark, mahogany body. It appeared to be clear and had light carbonation visible. The nose had notes of cinnamon and nutmeg with roasted malts. It had a touch of smoke as well. The taste started like a weak porter. There was cocoa with brown bread. What didn’t come through at all was the typical pumpkin pie spice or pumpkin. I let it warm up and it still didn’t come through. I’m guessing since this was on the shelf for a while, it just aged out. The body was way too thin with light carbonation. It had a very quick finish with dark chocolate and roasted malts. A can of this was $1.54 ($.13 per ounce). This beer wasn’t a good porter and it didn’t have any pumpkin pie spice. With that being said, I would give this another chance if it was fresh.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Whenever I go to a beer store that has a mix-a-six section, I usually see some leftover seasonal beers that are on sale. This beer is leftover from pumpkin beer season, which now seems to run from July to September, so I know this beer is not the most fresh, but I’ve never seen it before, so I decided to give it a shot. It’s available in six-packs and on draft.


ABV: 5.4%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Celebrate the harvest season with our classic autumnal brew. This crisp ale brewed with spices has hints of pumpkin pie and a rich, malty aroma.”

Random: Seasonal creep is beyond irritating in beer. It’s resulted in me having less and less pumpkin beer every year.

This brew poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose had a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon, almost too much. There was also ginger and clove. There was no sweetness to back up all of this spice. The taste started with a note of bitterness, which I’m not used to in pumpkin beers, and it was definitely not pleasant. It had a musty pumpkin taste next and then went into muted clove and nutmeg. Cinnamon came through next. The body was on the light side with light carbonation. The finish was thankfully quick with lots of spice. A can of this was $1.50 ($.12 per ounce). This beer was not balanced and the musty note made this difficult to drink. This isn’t worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Since I created a new spreadsheet on all the beers I’ve had, I can take a look at different metrics (yes, very dorky, I know). After reviewing this beer, I looked at the pumpkin beers I’ve reviewed. This will be review #53 of pumpkin ales. I review an average of 7.6 pumpkin ales a year, with the biggest year being 21 reviews in 2014. In 2015, I reviewed 7 and so far in 2016, I’ve reviewed 3. So, this year looks like I will hit above average for them. This one comes with a great reputation and many sites put this as a top beer in the style. Hopefully, I agree with them.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Handcrafted using real pumpkin and savory pumpkin pie spices with hints of all natural cinnamon and nutmeg. Perle hops balance with rich Munich, Roasted and Caramel malts for the full-bodied taste and exceptional flavor.”

Random: This seasonal is available from August 1st to September 30th and comes in at 10 IBUs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of ecru colored head that dissipated slowly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color with moderate carbonation. The nose was incredibly fragrant and inviting. There was a lot of graham cracker, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin. It had one of the most authentic pumpkin spice aromas that I’ve ever smelled on a beer. The taste, which I fully expected to be a disappointment, but it was just as amazing. It had a lot of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Then, vanilla, allspice and graham cracker came through. When the beer warmed up, there was a molasses characteristic to it that gave it some sweetness. The alcohol was really hidden. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with pumpkin spice. A single of this was $2.12, which came to $.18 per ounce. I would say that this wasn’t a bad price for one of the best pumpkin beers I have ever had. I will definitely have this again and start looking out for it every fall.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0