Pumpkin Down

Ballast Point Brewing Company

Appearance

This pours a burnt amber color with glimmering hues of red under good light. It provides a finger of chestnut colored head. There’s light lacing as well as a fairly active surface coat. The final intriguing aspect to its alluring appearance is its beautiful haze that plays off the coloration.

Aroma

I get a strong sense of cinnamon and nutmeg at the nose, supported by hints of allspice and brown sugar. While the spice profile smells balanced, I definitely pick up on a mild but sticky pumpkin undertone.

Taste

I’m first introduced to a metallic caramel flavor, blanketed by cinnamon, nutmeg and hints of allspice and brown sugar. It’s earthy front is mixed well with the spice profile and sets the stage for a toasty transition into the back where its Scottish character really takes shape. The back is sweeter and the pumpkin flavor strengthens its presence. It tastes fresh and well-balanced. It finishes a bit thin but with a satisfying spice profile still intact.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It’s smooth and drinkable, but is more thin than I anticipated it being. The palate remains engaged all the way through.

Overall

This is a nice Scottish styled ale that provides complexity and balance in both the fundamental ingredients as well as the added pumpkin ingredients. The spices are strong and supportive without being overwhelming. The pumpkin taste is mild but natural. I’d describe this one the same way I describe all their beers: dependable. Bonus points for being a successful pumpkin take on a Scottish Ale.

3.5