This pours a mostly cloudy, dark, amber-red color and produces nearly a finger of white head. This dissipates almost immediately, leaving no signs of lacing and no interest in terms of a surface coat.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and brown sugar dazzle the nose and make for a graham cracker aroma. It has strong, sweet undertones of pumpkin crust and mild notes of (what I think is) vanilla. It’s a rich aroma that clearly mimics liquid pumpkin pie.
First and foremost, this is a 2016 batch sample. With that in mind, I’m not surprised to find the taste to be influenced strongly by the spice bill and alcohol content. The front is defined mostly by the spices which follow the nose – cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a few others. These match with a pumpkin ingredient that is emphasized greatly by the foundation. There’s a malty base in the front that injects a whole lot of sweetness, and then is matched by some brighter tones in the back. The spices stay consistently strong and play the support role to the pumpkin flavor. There’s no real dynamic to the transition – nothing takes the spotlight. Instead, this is a blend of ingredients that harmoniously delivers a liquid pumpkin pie flavor throughout. The finish and aftertaste are malty and saturated with pumpkin spice and booze.
This is a medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s smooth and warm, thanks to a prominent spice bill and a higher ABV. It’s toasty, pleasant, and drinkable. But it’s also warm and velvety.
As I mentioned, this is a 2016 batch. That said, it’s well rounded and its complexity is quite nice. It provides a solid pumpkin sensation and seems to be a well-balanced beer all around. It’s essentially liquid pumpkin pie, but with a heavy injection of alcohol. This may be due to its age, or simply a larger emphasis on supporting the alcohol in this batch. Nevertheless, it’s a strong, robust pumpkin ale that would suit those who want a slightly boozy, sweet, and complete pumpkin beer option.