Holy wow, I've been doing this blog for 4 years now. Four years! And this is my 4th annual pumpkin beer review. And yes, I still love pumpkin.
I generally find cider a little too sweet, and this was no exception. However, the orange label on this Woodchuck called to me. It also informed me that this beverage contains 6.9% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and is made in a small batch (2 1/2 hours on their assembly line) with pumpkin added at the end.
It drank like a regular cider, and mostly tasted like an apple cider. There was a little bit of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg) but it was pretty subtle. The body felt a little more substantial as well, perhaps from the pumpkin. Very sweet, still very strongly apple-flavored. Crisp, pleasant, but not that...Pumpkin-y. B-
Next was Screaming Pumpkin Spiced Ale from the local Michigan Brewing Company. I had this on tap last year and blogged about it! I liked it, but it was semi-frozen into beer chunks. No one likes that. No one. This time I tried it from the bottle, and enjoyed it. This is attractive - hazy orange, big fluffy head, some lacing. The aroma was strongly spicy. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon - these flavors also all dominated the taste. Cloves in particular stood out, as well as a little actual pumpkin flavor, and caramel malt sweetness. The focus is really on the spice rather than the pumpkin, and it is very spicy. A good local seasonal brew. B+
Oh I have some love for Southern Tier's Pumking. It's a big beer - not just a pumpkin beer but an "Imperial Pumpkin" beer.This has been my favorite pumpkin beer for a few years now. I only get it once or twice a year, and I always look forward to drinking it. This year was no exception. I got to share a bomber of it with a couple of friends. Everything about this is Halloween to me. The scary jack-o-lantern label. The bright orange color (pretty)...It smells like candy. Candy corn, to be precise. Brown sugar, real pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla. It tastes like actual pumpkin, as well as pumpkin pie spices, caramel malts, and a touch of hops. After it warms the spices stand out more, and it is darn good. Yes it is sweet. Yes it is a bit boozy at 8.6% ABV. That is why we share. Creamy, smooth, delicious. A
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