This pours a rich orange color and produces about a finger of white head. It simmers to a surface coat that is kept active by some heavy carbonation. It has a mild haze to it but also showcases an evenly spread, light amount of sediment.
I get notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, but even more pronounced are notes of clove and the base character. The aroma in its entirety is quite mild. It has both vegetal and slightly metallic qualities to it. Pumpkin seems present but is also quite mild.
Up front I find a spice bill defined by cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. Together they provide a bit of a graham cracker flavor. Underneath I find a mild layer of pumpkin. The front presents the same vegetal and metallic qualities I found in the aroma. The back, however, focuses on the foundation. It showcases a solid malt profile but the hops profile is just as strong and rounds the experience out nicely. Oddly, though, this also emphasizes the sharper spices (especially clove) providing a bite that lasts. The finish and aftertaste produce an enjoyable mix of vegetal pumpkin and pine, enough so that it matches and tames the biting spices. This aftertaste is actually my favorite part of the experience.
This is a medium-bodied beer with some heavy carbonation. The feel lifts that spice profile and helps emphasize pine taste of the hops. It’s grainy, glassy and sometimes a sharp texture both in front and back. However this sharpness also gives the experience some character.
To be fair, this is labeled as a malt beverage. It has a fair balance and a decent complexity to it. The pumpkin is noticeable and the mouthfeel provides constant interest. The herbal character created from the hops, the spices and vegetal pumpkin is applaudable. All that said, there’s a lack of sweetness that many might dislike and at times the base character might ignite the spice profile a bit too much. Nevertheless there’s nothing acutely wrong with this option and it does seem to be more interesting than previous years. At the very least, they have a great new label! Give it a go and see what you think.