Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere!

Fall is here! I LOVE fall. I'm especially looking forward to cooler temperatures after the beastly summer we had in Ohio. Besides the climate, I also love fall food and drink! Cider, apples and of course, all things pumpkin! John and I are on a quest to try all available pumpkin beers. So far, we're off to a good start. Here are my first 4 tastings........

Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale: This can only be found in the Sam Adams Harvest Collection 12-pack. And you only get 2 in there, so share wisely. Or hoard them, your choice. From the bottle: "brewed with over 11 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, adding a full body and sweetness to this dark reddish amber brew. Deep roasted malts, including a smoked malt, lend a distinct roasted character while traditional pumpkin pie spices give the beer a subtle spice note." This was the first pumpkin ale I had this season so I was very excited about it and thought it was delicious. Then I started tasting the others. While this has pumpkin flavor, it's not as present as in some of the ones listed below.

America's Original Pumpkin Ale: This is a microbrew from Buffalo Bill's brewery. From the bottle: "a true original microbrew that uses baked and roasted pumpkins. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are added to create what as been described as 'pumpkin pie in a bottle'." I totally agree! This is my favorite out of the bunch. It had the most pure pumpkin flavor to it, in my opinion.

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale: This is also a craft beer we tried in the pumpkin world. It has the added bonus of being spooky (Headless horseman!) From the bottle: "Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. A rewarding complement to many dishes, Ichabod pairs well with autumnal foods such as poultry and root vegetables. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert!" I think I shall! I really liked this one. Heavy on the pumpkin flavor and smooth drinking.

Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat Beer: I've never had any other Shocktop offerings because John doesn't really like it so we never buy it. But, owing to my mission I had to do a tasting of this. For $1, how could I pass it up? From the bottle: "traditional Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with ripe pumpkins and autumnal spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. This seasonal unfiltered wheat ale has a deep amber color and is crafted with a refreshingly distinct pumpkin spice that fully captures all the flavors of fall." This was good on its own merit but side by side with others, it wasn't my favorite. Not nearly as smooth as I hoped for and slightly bitter. The pumpkin did not come out as much as I like.

Which is your favorite? What should I try next?

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