Pumpkin Down

Ballast Point Brewing Company

Appearance

This pours a dark amber color and produces a finger of slightly off-white head. This dissipates to a light surface coat the rest of the way through. It shows signs of moderate carbonation amidst its hazy body, and glimmers a ruby color under good light.

Aroma

The spice profile is strong at the nose and headed by cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Underneath these seems to be a sugary, malt-driven foundation that suggests a sticky pumpkin flavor to come.

Taste

The taste follows the nose closely. I’m quickly introduced to a sugary, caramel foundation upon which a pumpkin spice profile builds quickly. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and perhaps a hint of brown sugar all lead the front. While it’s seemingly malt-driven, the transition does produce a balanced stage of sweetness and bitterness. The back is slightly toasty and showcases a character that represents what one might expect out of a spiced Scottish Ale. It’s an enjoyable personality. The back and finish are both dynamic, rich, and full of continuous pumpkin flavor. While the spices clearly define the pumpkin personality, I do feel as though I’ve been subjected to some good, natural pumpkin.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It’s smooth, drinkable, and contains just the slightest bit of texture thanks to to its foundation’s balance. This keeps the palate satisfied and interested. It’s a nice feeling all the way through.

Overall

It’s nothing extravagant but it’s a good, available pick up. Because of its complexity and balance, this option would be a solid spiced beer regardless if it were marketed under a “pumpkin” category. The pumpkin itself is nicely highlighted, the spices are well-blended, and its Scottish inspired foundation retains the attributes you’d want out of a solid ale. Ballast Point makes good beer. This seasonal option only adds to their accomplished history.

3.5