Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Beer Update 2014

Fall is slowly winding down but the weather has been perfect for my pumpkin beer obsession.
As the season changes, the leaves are now on the ground or already raked up and the limbs are bare but fall is still my favorite season.
Thanksgiving is around the corner and the pumpkin beers are disappearing but I wanted to share just a few more that I found this season to add to last year's post.

Last year, I decided I wanted to try the various versions that breweries had developed. (My friends must have realized this because one day I came home and found a gift on my front porch...thank you Beer Fairy!)

This year, I decided to continue to try as many new pumpkin brews that I could find from traditional to ciders to the specialty bombers. Eventually, I figured that I need to develop a favorite one for the years to come, and decided I needed to make I am sharing my personal opinion to what I have tried. I have planned to break down the reviews in categories of 6 packs, bombers under $12, and bombers over $12. 

If you have a favorite that I did not cover, leave me a comment. I am always open to try a new one out there.

My ultimate favorite is still- (stocking up on this one!)
Shipyard Brewery - Pumpkinhead

Some favorites from last year
A couple of new ones from this year...

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale-$9 a 6 pack
I only know Shipyard because of this beer. It is a nice balanced, refreshing beer. The spice is there and the pumpkin is evident without being too much. MY FAVORITE
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin-
An intense version of Shipyard's flagship beer, Smashed Pumpkin is a bit on the high ABV side than Pumpkinhead, at 9 %. I only had one of these and never went back for it. I remember it having a little more pumpkin pie element to it.
Cambridge Brewing Company Great Pumpkin Ale-$10 for a bomber
The spices are subtle and the finish of the beer is dry. 
Southern Tier Pumpking-(Imperial Ale)
By far my favorite beer that I have found but the problem is that I can't find anywhere. This beer is the definition of pumpkin pie. It even has an almost creamy finish, like the butter of the crust is coming through.
Southern Tier Warlock-(Imperial Stout)
The darker counterpart to Pumpking. Lots of similarities and obvious differences. One thing that I feel that makes the most sense is drink Pumpking in October and Warlock in November as the weather changes.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale-
Easy drinking but full bodied pumpkin flavor, not to spicey
Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale & Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat-
Easy drinking but not ones I go back for on a regular basis.
Harpoon UFO Pumpkin: Light on the aroma and spice, Harpoon combines pumpkin with the drinkability of a wheat beer. It works well, if that's what you're in the mood for. You could drink more than one of these and not feel like you downed a whole pumpkin pie. Not the best beer we tasted, but far from the worst.
New Belgium Pumpkick-(2014)
Last year, not a fan. It was light and the cranberry/pumpkin flavors did not seem to meld well. This year, it seems like a much different beer. Stronger pumpkin flavor with a bit of sour but not too cranberry tart. Really like this one, this year!
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale-
Least favorite, honestly cannot remember much about this beer.
Samuel Adams Fat Jack-$8 a bomber
Surprisingly tasty compared to their 6 pack beers.
Uinta Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale-
First pumpkin beer I ever tried, so I have to get at least one 6 pack a season. Definitely a real pumpkin taste. Spicy but mellow. 

Obviously, I cannot try them all but follow this link to Beer Advocate to see what others say my choices as well as others.

New one I just found this weekend-
Cambridge Brewing Company-
Overall a well balanced pumpkin beer. Cloudy, amber color. Made with sweet pumpkins which is a prominent flavor in this beer. Not to spicy but definitely pumpkin!

1 comment:

  1. You may run out of time before trying all of these a second time.