This pours a copper orange color that draws the eyes to a fairly clear body. It produces a finger of white head that shows great retention and signs of lacing to come. Most noticeable is the fact it sticks around for awhile, consistently providing an active surface coat.
The aroma is definitely on the sweet side. There are strong notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and more subtle notes of ginger and pumpkin. I get a bit of a graham cracker character and a hint of alcohol as well. It smells like a pretty spicy option.
The taste follows the nose. This is one of the more complex options due its collaboration of spices, alcohol and pumpkin. Its spice profile is heavily defined by cinnamon but is also supported by nutmeg, ginger and brown sugar. There’s an earthy graham cracker character that adds some interest beneath the spices and on top of a seemingly balanced mix of hops and malt. This eventually gives way to a malt forward experience. While the pumpkin itself eventually emerges, it’s consistently matched by the strong spice profile and the constant hint of booze. The back is sugary and sweet, and I’m left with a boozy pumpkin aftertaste.
This is a medium-bodied option with a slightly sharp texture to it. This is likely due to the reliance on spices. The alcohol does its best to round it off. There’s a seemingly endless battle between tartness and sweetness on my palate.
While there seems to be a lot going on with this one, it does do better than its brother, Pumpkinhead. It has an impressive drinkability for such high alcohol content. It’s fairly balanced and is certainly more complex than Pumpkinhead. It’s heavy on spices (just as it’s marketed) but is nicely rounded out by the alcohol. Unlike Pumpkinhead, it does provide solid notes of pumpkin to at least supplement the other aspects rather than be defined by the other aspects. If you’re into spiced options, there may be no better choice than Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin. Give it a go!