Saranac Pumpkin Ale

Matt Brewing Company (Saranac)

Appearance

This pours a copper color and produces a full finger of white, frothy head. It takes a bit of time to dissipate but when it does it leaves nothing more than a thin membrane of interest on its surface. It’s also an almost perfectly clear body.

Aroma

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are all present at the nose. They’re front and center, and disallow any notice of it foundation. It’s tough to tell whether a natural pumpkin ingredient is mixed in.

Taste

This one is quite sweet. The front is defined mostly by the spice profile, which follows the nose pretty closely. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are all present. This sits atop a very sweet foundation. As I transition I find the sugary sweetness to increase, thanks in part by a heavy malt-driven foundation. It’s got a sugar cookie quality to it. There is, however, a strong pumpkin flavor, one that couldn’t be created simply by spices. Clearly a strong pumpkin puree is involved, and is appreciated. Its finish is sweet and filled with pumpkin pie flavor that will leave the palate wanting more.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s crisp and clean feeling, and utilizes its immense sweetness to emphasize a texture. It’s a bit chewy, but overall very drinkable.

Overall

This option has come a long way over five or so years. It is, yet again, super sweet and malt-driven. It’s not super complex or sophisticated, but it is more balanced than previous years. I remember when its flavor tasted completely artificial. Now, however, there is clearly an emphasis on natural pumpkin. Had it felt syrupy or cloying, the entire experience would be less than pleasant, but it’s not. It’s driven by its foundation. It focuses on a good blend of spices and pumpkin. And it’s super drinkable. Sounds about right for anyone who’s a casual fan of pumpkin beers…

3.5