This pours a cloudy orange color and produces a full finger of frothy white head. It wastes no time dissipating to a light surface coat. There seems to be a mild amount of carbonation that keeps the surface active.
At the nose is a brighter gourd smell and a blend of spices. I get notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice but most noticeable is a metallic undertone. There’s some sweetness present but it’s not as pronounced in as I recall in previous years.
The taste is much more promising than the aroma. It’s certainly a spicy option, with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and a pinch of ginger swirling around the palate. They blend well and stay level from front to back. The pumpkin is quite nice, providing just enough gourd taste to disallow the spice bill from overpowering the experience. Granted, the spices are still front and center. As I transition to the back, the alcohol turns up and coats a foundation that becomes increasingly sweet. The finish is sugary and spicy and the aftertaste provides a lingering alcohol. The only abrupt note is the metallic undertone to the experience. I find this to oddly off put a lot of the other aspects of the flavor.
This is a medium-bodied beer with a light texture to it thanks to mild carbonation. The sweet and malty make up, matched with a strong alcohol content, makes it a rounded, slightly warm feeling all around.
What’s nice about this year’s batch is it’s balance. The spices aren’t overwhelming, the sweetness is enjoyable, and the pumpkin is more clear than it ever has been in this option. It’s complexity, considering the alcohol aspect, is impressive. If you’re into spiced options, this one is definitely worth trying as it’ll provide a pleasantly balanced, spice-forward experience that retains an appreciation for the pumpkin.