So I've been waiting patiently for the cooler weather to arrive in order to drink and review my pumpkin beers this year but a wonderful reader's comment regarding last years review of Shipyard Pumpkinhead made me feel obligated to start reviews a tad earlier. Being told I need to "develop a more inticate[sic] pallate[sic]" in order to be able to better appreciate the "subtle nuances" of this subpar beer will do that. I certaintly don't mind people expressing opinions regarding their take on certain brews(everyone's palate is different of course) but attacking my palate because I don't appreciate a beer. Not cool. Sorry, but in my opinion, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale just isn't that great of a beer. Let's be honest MOST of Shipyard's beers are just ok.
Anyways enough bitching. Moving to Florida from New Orleans is a cultural nightmare but it does have some perks and one is a much better beer selection. In fact, the Pumpkin Ale selection is plentiful. At Chans we have six: Jack's Pumpkin Spice, Weyerbacker Imperial Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin', Brooklyn Post Road, Blue Moon Harvest Moon and Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. Notice Shipyard Pumpkinhead is not on this list. Out of date issues will do that to you. The Smuttynose was one pumpkin ale that really stood out from the others. This company adds real pumpkin to the mash and uses traditional spices. On to the review:
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewery
Beer: Pumpkin Ale
Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass
Appearance: This beer poured a nice hazy orange(pumpkin color perhaps?) with a nice big white head which disappears quickly. Lacing present throughout and makes a nice webbing pattern.
Smell: Right off the bat I'm hit with pumpkin pie smells: cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin.
Taste: Wow. This one is interesting. Very pumpkin pie like with the pumpkin tasting very organic or real rather than pie filling. That makes a huge difference in the quality of this beer. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg are present but not overpowering because the beer has a nice malty backbone with an interesting hop present. That hop presense helps balance the malty sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.
Overall: Without a doubt this is one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had. THIS is what pumpkin ales should taste like. Fall in a bottle.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas