Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Addendum: One More Pumpkin Brew!

Sorry folks, couldn't resist one more quick review of a pumpkin brew.   This sneaky bastard managed to elude my attention at the LCBO, but considering the pedigree of the brewery, I figured a review was in order. 

Beer: Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery (NY, NY)
Type: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5%

Brooklyn is one of the bigger craft brewers in the American northeast (according to its website, it is the nation's 40th-largest brewer), and has developed quite a following for its flagship brands: Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55, Brooklyn Brown Ale, and perhaps its greatest success, Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout, a flavorful Russian Imperial that sits pretty at 10% ABV.   I fell in love with their Black Chocolate Stout last year, picking up the last 6 bottles I could find, and successfully managed to age two bottles for almost a year.   With all this in mind, I assumed that their seasonal offering, Post Road Pumpkin Ale, would be just the ticket to cap off another busy fall drinking season.

 Ehhhh, not so much.
Poured into a nonic ale glass.  Amber-golden, my deft pour left behind a thin, frothy head with excellent retention. Some lacing left on the glass.

Nose is ginger, nutmeg, allspice, caramel, hops, a touch of pumpkin.  Pleasant.
After a few sips, I came to the conclusion that this was not my favorite pumpkin brew of the season.  But it wasn't bad, all the basic pumpkin pie notes were all there.  The problem was that the spiced notes of the brew were altogether overpowering - the taste was very rich in ginger, molasses, nutmeg and allspice - but the bread-malt and pumpkin notes weren't given much of a spotlight.  Tasted a great deal like a spicy red ale than a pumpkin brew.  Becomes almost oppressively bitter by the end.  

Medium-light bodied, perhaps a touch on the light side. The spicy bitterness left a somewhat unpleasant feeling in the mouth.

Not my worst pumpkin brew of the year, but certainly not among the better ones either.  Too imbalanced and spice-heavy to really get going.  The flavors themselves weren't bad, but judging within the pumpkin ale style, this one was far too spiced to really work.   A bit surprising considering Brooklyn's brewing pedigree; I had high hopes for this one.   I guess it wasn't to my tastes.  If you like spicier beer, this might be the ticket - as for me, it didn't really do the trick.  (Grade: C+)

That's it!  No more pumpkin beer for me this season; I've reached my yearly quota.  As things get colder and the percentage of Christmas commercials achieves near totality, it will soon be time to start cracking open holiday brews like doppelbocks, winter warmers and strong dark ales! 

'Till next Hallowe'en....

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