With Halloween rapidly approaching it’s time to make a final push through my fridge and clear out the remaining pumpkin beers. I am going to have one last blind tasting coming up, but for now we’re looking at another couple of beers I picked out to just enjoy on their own.
Up first was The Great Pumpkin by Cambridge Brewing Company. It poured an orangish/dark amber body with a thin off white head. The smell was a mix of sweet malts and pumpkin. Pretty much par for the course so far. The taste was a bit more intriguing. It started out with smooth vegetal pumpkin followed by a bit of fall spices. These spices then faded away as the beer transitioned to a rather complex finish that combined sweet malts, hints of vanilla, and an ever so slightly boozy ending despite being only 5.4%. Mouthfeel was medium plus with not much carbonation and complimented the rest of the beer quite well. Although the spices and vanilla finish can build up a bit at warmer temperatures, they never get to the point of dominating the beer or risked throwing it off-balance. I enjoyed this one and will continue to make it part of my yearly must haves.
Beer number two was Pumple Drumkin by Cisco Brewers Incorporated. This was the other co-favorite from last year and I had been eagerly anticipating its appearance in this year’s tasting. Checking in at 6.0%, it poured a darker amber/brown body with only a thin, fizzy quick to dissipate head. The smell was all sweet malts and didn’t really give away any hints about this being a pumpkin brew. As for the taste, it was by far the hoppiest of the pumpkin beers I have had to date. Upfront there was a mild earthy hop bitterness followed up by sweet malts and subtle pumpkin tastes in the middle. It finished with a very light cinnamon/nutmeg/all spice combo that blended into the pumpkin flavors and was offset by just a bit more hops. The beer was medium bodied and moderately carbonated, more in line with a typical IPA than a lot of the other pumpkin beers I’ve sampled. I really liked this beer as sort of Pumpkin Ale/IPA hybrid. It was a bit spicier on the finish than I remember it being, but this is still a beer I will continue to make a part of my fall season.
So that rounds out this latest round of pumpkin tastings. Again, there will be one more set of reviews before I reveal my final rankings and provide some final thoughts on the pumpkin experiment.