This pours a dark, ruby red color and produces a very thin, tan head. Though small in size, the head seems to make a strong effort to stick around. It shows very little signs of lacing and only a mild amount of carbonation coming to its surface.
The aroma is undoubtedly defined by notes of coffee and vanilla. The vanilla is stronger smelling than I anticipated. Usually one might expect heavy strength from coffee notes alone (which it does provide). The combination of the two make me work to locate the pumpkin spices. I’m honestly having a tough time extracting them from the one-two punch of coffee and vanilla. However strong these two are, they still smell great.
I’m immediately greeted by the vanilla character. It’s supplemented by the usual suspects of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. There’s a faint but present blanket of pumpkin lying beneath these. It’s also a bit rooty in character. As I move to the back, I’m confronted more so by the cappuccino aspect, and it certainly brings forth a strong flavor. Unlike many options where coffee beans are obvious and uncomplicated, the coffee character here is super smooth and dynamic. It partners with the vanilla nicely on the tongue. Vanilla kicks into high gear towards the back, and provides hints of pumpkin spice as I move into the finish. It’s a pretty complex taste that relies heavily on coffee and vanilla but doesn’t entirely forget the need for pumpkin.
This is a medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s really smooth most the way but eventually provides a spike of texture. This is due to the emphasis on the spices and the sticky combination of vanilla and coffee. The aftertaste is fairly dry.
This is a strong character. I don’t know what other way to put it other than “it kicks you in the mouth” with its ingredients. I do feel the vanilla is especially strong, however, along with coffee, it provides perhaps one of the better supplements to pumpkin flavor. I’m surprised at how well it’s able to retain any balanced pumpkin taste. I’m also surprised at how well the light head persists through the experience. The entirety of the added ingredients might seem a bit clawing to some, but such a sensation is soothed by its sweetness and sticky mouthfeel. Overall it’s a good pumpkin beer that obviously cares as much about mixing things up as it does providing a traditional pumpkin beer experience. Go western New York!