This pours a lightly hazed, light amber color and produces two fingers of hefty, frothy head. This burns down at a moderate pace leaving behind signs of some lacing to come.
The nose takes in a blend of spices and coffee. There’s obvious notes of coffee bean, as well as a spice bill consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. It provides the suggestion of a balanced base to come, with an odd aromatic sensation of spice (hot) character. I think this may merely be due to the coffee and spice mixture though…
This isn’t exactly what I would have expected. There’s a clear attempt at making sure the coffee flavor is front and center. It’s introduced right out of the gate and persists through to the aftertaste. It’s a lightly roasted flavor and is paired with some mild bitterness. Contrary to what many may consider a fault, I actually quite enjoy the fact that the coffee sensation is dialed back a bit. It pairs nicely with a spice bill that follows the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice seem to exist atop a well-balanced base that is malt-driven in the front but a bit more earthy in the back. The back also intensifies the pumpkin flavor a bit. A slightly overcooked gourd plays with the coffee character into the aftertaste.
This is less heavy and less textured than I expected. There’s a minor amount of carbonation, and the spice bill seems to add any sharpness that exists (which is not a lot). Considering its ABV I’m also surprised at how little the alcohol influences the feel. It’s merely a smooth, very slight velvety feel, and leaves the palate somewhat dry.
I expected a richer roasted coffee sensation, and/or a more robust pumpkin flavor, and/or a more dynamic mouthfeel. That doesn’t sound good, but the upsides do outweigh the false expectations. The beer is fairly balanced. Yes, the ingredients can be underwhelming but nothing seems broke or unbalanced. I’m honestly more interested in this as an ale, generally speaking. The pumpkin flavor falls behind the spices, the coffee, and the weird spice (hot) sensation it provides (that is likely just my palate). That said I admire its flavor regardless, and I applaud its ability to resist spotlighting certain ingredients. I think the coffee aspect is a welcomed dimension to the pumpkin beer experience, particularly when it is as lightly involved as it is. While it’s a decent coffee pumpkin beer, I wouldn’t recommend it to those who prefer Freaktoberfest, or Punkuccino. Nevertheless, it’s worth a try.