Ichabod Pumpkin Ale

New Holland Brewing Company

Appearance

This pours a beautiful amber color that shows off a fairly murky body. It produces a finger of white head that spends little time hanging around. There’s no significant sign of lacing. Instead I’m left with a thin membrane of fizz.

Aroma

The aroma is quite nice. While there’s definitely a sweetness from sugar or molasses of some sort, there’s also a brighter quality to it brought forth by the hops. I get strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses making up the spice profile. There are hints of clove and fresh pumpkin beneath as well.

Taste

Surprisingly the taste is much less sweet than I anticipated. I’m first confronted by a slightly metallic hops character that douses my palate with a bit of pine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and a bit of allspice. The back provides a bit more sweetness by way of an agent that I find hard to identify outside the malt in its base. The back also produces the largest interval of pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin, though mild, is fairly fresh tasting and does a nice job of matching the beer’s foundation. The finish and aftertaste are defined by the hops and the consistently moderate spice profile, particularly cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s fairly smooth outside of the minor sharpness from the spices and hops combination. It’s wet on the palate, and at times can feel quite watery.

Overall

The fresh pumpkin is definitely the key to this one’s success. While this one doesn’t orchestrate a harmonious environment of pumpkin, spices and foundation like others, it does at least provide a solid and natural tasting pumpkin flavor. It’s drinkability also earns it some points. However its foundation and spice profile simply doesn’t feel super balanced with the pumpkin itself. It’s a bit strong on the hops, cinnamon and clove, resulting in a less than amazing entire experience. But again, I’m after that natural pumpkin flavor. Had it tasted artificial, delivered an overly sweet underbelly or provided an experience absent of pumpkin entirely, I might not have recommended this one. If you want sweet pumpkin pie, perhaps pass on this one. If you want a more rooty, earth-toned pumpkin option, you might want to give this one a go.

3.0