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I know I’ve made something of a big deal out of how I’m no longer interested picking up random pumpkin beers anymore, but I couldn’t help myself when I came across this one.  Scottish ales have a way of drawing me in and this one being a Scottish/pumpkin ale combination seemed too intriguing to pass up.

 

Beer Name: Pumpkin Down

Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company (San Diego, CA)

Style: Scottish Ale with Pumpkin

ABV: 5.8%

Description: Setting out to offer up a unique take on pumpkin beer, the brewery used their Scottish Ale as a base and the added a “boatload” of roasted pumpkin and some subtle spices to round it out.  You can read all about it here.

Appearance: Dark amber body topped off by a thin, fizzy off-white head that did not stick around long enough for the photo.

Smell: Faintly sweet caramel malts overtaken by that usual blend of pumpkin and fall spices.

Taste: Similar to the smell but not as spicy as I might have thought.  Nice blend of toffee sweetness and biscuity malts up-front.  This was followed by a pronounced vegetal pumpkin presence that started up around mid-sip and hung over the remainder of the beer.  The pumpkin taste peaked just at the finish of the sip where it was joined by a moderate hit of spices to close out the experience.

Mouthfeel: The body was on the thinner side and the carbonation level was slightly above moderate.

Hype: Just my personal hopes and dreams.  I like Scottish ales and I’ve like several other offerings from this brewery, so I was pretty interested in how this would taste.

Overall: I didn’t like this nearly as much as I had hoped I would.  The pumpkin taste came on just a bit too strong which in turn made the spices, which were otherwise subtle, a bit too pronounced for my liking.  This meant ending each sip on kind of a down note which was disappointing after such a promising start.  Could have used a bit more body as well.  Oh well, just another lesson to be learned about the dangers of pumpkin beer I guess.