In the beer world, October is known for two things: Oktoberfest (obviously), and the onslaught of Pumpkin beers! Oktoberfest as a celebration has a rich history which would be a shame to glaze over, so consider this a warmup! Plus, the Oktoberfest post will have a larger sample of beers for your perusal (and my enjoyment).
1.) Dry Dock Imperial Pumpkin - 9% abv
Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices, cellared since fall 2015.
Color: hazy, with a nice light-amber color.
Nose: mild sourness to start, with a bit of roasted coriander nuttiness.
Palate: medium body. Slightly sour pumpkin with some nutmeg. Tastes kind of like that awesome spot in the pie where the crust meets the filling.
Finish: a little more spice comes through on the finish, with a tinge of bitterness at the very end.
Thoughts: a pretty solid pumpkin ale. I'd rate it slightly higher if it didn't have those sour and bitter notes.
2.) Southern Tier Warlock – 10%
Imperial Stout brewed with Pumpkin - cellared since fall 2016.
Color: motor-oil-black. I'd love to tell you if it's hazy, but it's way too dark to tell.
Nose: cocoa and vanilla, roasted coffee beans.
Palate: a heavy dose of pumpkin pie crust with tons of vanilla. Not a lot of straight pumpkin flavor. Hints of nutmeg here and there.
Finish: finishes with a lingering cocoa note that reminds me of a Wendy's chocolate frosty. Has a hint of dark chocolate bitterness, and hints of slightly burnt pie crust that has a little pumpkin on it.
Thoughts: there's barely any pumpkin in this beer, as it's mostly chocolate and baking spice. As such, it doesn't really fit into the pumpkin category, but is still a standout stout!
3.) 2017 Avery Rumpkin - 16.9% abv
Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices, aged in rum barrels.
Color: dark amber with a fair bit of haze.
Nose: not much on the nose except a hint of whiskey. the ginger shows up after some air.
Palate: gingerbread with a ton of spice. Slightly peppery, pumpkiny, rumy spice.
Finish: rummy pumpkin with loads of vanilla.
Thoughts: this is a legit pumpkin ale, with quite a bit of pumpkin and gingerbread. A bit too sweet to be enjoyed, but not at all boozy considering the high ABV.
4.) Avery Pump[KY}n – 17.22%
Porter brewed with pumpkin and spices, aged in bourbon barrels. Cellared since spring 2015.
Color: nearly pitch black.
Nose: dense coffee, dark chocolate, and nutmeg. Can definitely feel the bourbon influence here.
Palate: full bodied and robust. Flavors include roasted malt, sweet chocolate cake, and roasted malt.
Finish: finishes with a roast malt and cocoa, similar to that Wendy's chocolate frosty flavor. Cloying sweetness.
Thoughts: this is a heavy hitter that takes quite a bit of effort to get through. Like the Warlock, there's not a lot of pumpkin here, which makes it tough to truly consider in the category. Even with age, the malty sweetness was overwhelming.
Bonus - 50/50 mix of Rumpkin and Pump[KY]n
Color: super dark brown
Nose: rummy, roasted pumpkin.
Palate: sweet roasted cocoa and nutmeg. Very slight gingerbread notes.
Finish: sweet vanilla. Too sweet to really enjoy.
What's your favorite Pumpkin ale?
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