This pours a dark, crystal clear, cola color. There’s a full finger of bubbly, chestnut-colored head that quickly dissipates to a fairly active collar. It shows signs of mild lacing to come.
The smell consists of your expected pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc. These notes blend in with a base aroma that smells super sweet and toasty. It’s a nice tingle on the nose. I also get mild notes of alcohol seeping in to the aroma.
I’m greeted by the spice profile that follows the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove all seem to be present. There’s also an immediate, but very mild sensation of fruity wood. It’s foundation starts with a clear, malt-driven character that makes for a sweet, roasted setting. As I begin to transition, the palate quickly adjusts to a highlighted vegetal pumpkin character. It’s fresh, vibrant, and clearly injects a natural pumpkin flavor into the experience. Towards the back, the hops begin to balance the foundation, making for a more earthy bitterness into the finish. The back and finish continue to provide a balanced base and a nice bittersweet blend of pumpkin pie spices. Lastly, the alcohol can’t be missed. It’s not overwhelming or aggressive. It lightly coats the palate all the way through and plays a support role more than anything. It’s a fairly dynamic taste all around.
This is a medium bodied-beer, leaning on the heavier side because of its syrupy booze character. It’s got mild carbonation and is otherwise velvety in feel. It goes down surprisingly easy considering its ABV and provides an enjoyable warmth the whole time. The palate tends to remain dry after indulging.
In years past I recall the alcohol being one of the priorities to this option. It seems this year is a bit different. To my surprise the raw, vegetal pumpkin flavor is highlighted more. It’s balanced, complex, and provides a harmonious experience from front to back for the most part. It’s ability to raise the pumpkin flavor using a prominent spice profile and booze is impressive. I do wish the transition regarding the base was a bit more fluid. The front and back are clearly separated by the malt and hops ingredients. I also wish there was more heft to the body, perhaps more carbonation, or creamy texture to it. Nevertheless, this is a good, strong tasting, gentle feeling option worth indulging in, and is certainly upgraded from last year.