Whole Hog

Stevens Point Brewery

Appearance

This pours a cloudy orange color and produces a full finger of lightly tanned head. This gradually reduces to a hefty color, driven by an active body and surface coat. If you didn’t know it was a beer, its body would have you thinking its a cider.

Aroma

Every year this one seems to represent the epitome of pumpkin pie at the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and a brown sugar character all seem to be present and strong enough to smell from feet away. It also provides notes of sweet malt underneath. It’s a mouth-watering aroma to be honest.

Taste

The taste is fantastic. I’m immediately introduced to a great blend of pumpkin, spice, and a sweeter base. The spice bill is instantly noticeable and follows the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and some hints of vanilla, and clove seem to be present. They rest on top of a mostly malt-driven foundation that is sugary and sweet but not at all overwhelming. As I transition, the palate begins to better recognize a fresh pumpkin puree. It meshes with the spices incredibly, and is enhanced by the perfectly balanced base. The back and finish briefly target the alcohol content, just enough so that you know it’s there but without ever stealing the stage from the pumpkin pie ingredients. The finish and aftertaste are saturated with more fresh, well-balanced pumpkin flavor. The flavor is so brilliantly concocted that it’s hard to decipher its characteristics in phases.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This makes for a texture on the palate that helps highlight the flavor. It also makes for a warming feel considering it’s alcohol content. It’s smooth, creamy, and generally delightful all the way down.

Overall

I’d be hard pressed to believe Stevens Point has changed their recipe much. The past three years has been dominated by this option (for what I’ve been able to get ahold of at least). This year is really not much different. It’s one of the best examples of liquid pumpkin pie in a glass. Its sweetness is grand without cloying at the palate. It’s balance is undeniably strong across all ingredients. It’s body isn’t syrupy but does everything to emphasize its flavor. The pumpkin and the supporting spices are immaculately coordinated. It’s just a fantastic pumpkin beer. It will easily be among the top of options on our list, and will again be one of the best options you can pick up this season if you happen to find it.

4.5