Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

New Belgium Brewing

Appearance

This pours a crystal clear, light-gold color and produces about a finger of pure white head. This fizzes at the surface for a solid amount of time, and is sustained by a great amount of carbonation.

Aroma

This aroma is strong and blasts the nose with heavy amounts of cinnamon and brown sugar. There’s also nutmeg and perhaps a hint of vanilla. Notes of meaty pumpkin seem present but they’re hard to find under such a heavy coat of cinnamon and sugar. It’s almost like gingerbread at the nose.

Taste

Wow, this is quite intense. I’m immediately greeted by the spice bill which, like the nose suggested, is driven by cinnamon. Nutmeg, a bit of allspice, and what seems to be pepper are all present. The base is malty and graham cracker-like. It’s toasty character acts as a nice foundation for the spice bill. As I transition, the pumpkin quality is highlighted a bit more. It’s pretty fresh tasting, and its ‘peppered with pepper’ – I mean it’s like a spicy pumpkin flavor. It finishes with a bit of bite and some heat, but it plays surprisingly well with the pumpkin flavor. The aftertaste is more of the same. It’s a pretty straight forward experience, but an enjoyable one.

Mouthfeel

This is a light-bodied beer, almost like a pilsner, and has a fairly heavy amount of carbonation. It’s grainy and a bit sharp on the palate almost solely because of the peppery quality it has.  To be frank, the combination of sweetness, spiciness, and light weight makes the feel perhaps the most intriguing part of the experience.

Overall

I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this one. I also happen to enjoy hot things. That said, it’s also quite unique – to infuse such a spicy character with pumpkin and the typical fall spices. This gives it a unique dynamic. It’s overall balance is good in the sense that everything blends well, but it is definitely leaning on the cinnamon and pepper-like character. Remarkably light, hot on the palate, rich with pumpkin…this is one that will grow on me greatly, and one you should make sure to try if you have the chance.

3.75