This pours a really dark amber color. It looks brown, however when it’s under good light I can see vibrant hues of orange and red. The head is thick and super frothy. It shows signs of moderate lacing to come. Its bubbles create randomly sized craters in its surface coat. It’s an all around good looking beer.
The aroma is defined by the spices. I get cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove and perhaps a hint of molasses at my nose. These seem to evenly cover a balanced foundation of malt and hops. It’s fairly bright and reminiscent of damp soil surrounded by pumpkin spices. That’s not to say there’s no sweetness involved. It’s a nice, equally portioned aroma.
The spices are evenly distributed on the palate, from the immediate beginning to the very end. They follow the nose with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and clove. The hops profile is more present in the front while the malt focus really takes hold of the back. Its back end is a lot sweeter than I expected and is defined by a toasty malt character. This acts as an infrastructure for which the pumpkin can build on. A good dose of pumpkin flavor is manufactured and supported well into the finish. The finish and aftertaste are splendid. They provide a well-balanced base, a harmonious collaboration of pumpkin and spice, as well as just enough sugary sweetness to make you want more.
This is a medium-bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s a very creamy option, and provides a really enjoyable texture thanks to its balanced base. The mixture of malt, hops and spice do a fine job of coating the palate with pumpkin flavor.
This is a good pumpkin beer. It’s notably balanced and fairly complex. The relationship the spices have with the base character provides a stage for pumpkin flavor to shine on. It doesn’t deviate from front to back nor fade over time. Clearly Anderson Valley’s aim is to provide a solid pumpkin flavor. Though nothing is overly unique or novel about the experience, it simply doesn’t do anything wrong. Match this with the ability to provide a fresh pumpkin flavor and you’ve got yourself an option worth coming back to.