Wick for Brains

Nebraska Brewing Company

Appearance

This pours a bright yellow-orange color and produces under a finger of fizzing, white head. This dissipates quickly leaving behind no sign of lacing nor any type of interesting surface coat. It also has a light haze to its body.

Aroma

This aroma is composed of notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. However the spice bill isn’t the most prevailing portion of the smell. It’s got a clean, vegetal quality to it that showcases some squashy pumpkin and a mild but balanced mix of malt and hops. Yet the aroma is all that strong.

Taste

The front is defined mostly by the malt in its base and a spice bill that follows the nose. Ample sweetness provides a stage for cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger. Also include are notes of a raw pumpkin ingredient. As I move to the back, the pumpkin seems to intensify. The base is never the forefront of the experience, however it remains balanced from front to back. I get pumpkin pie crust and and increase in sweetness and pumpkin towards the finish. As I finish I taste a bit of a citrus character come through. It’s a nice accent to the pumpkin and spices. While there isn’t much in terms of an aftertaste, I do experience a slight metallic tone on the palate, perhaps due to the canned packaging.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer that has mild (perhaps even moderate) carbonation. I say perhaps moderate because it does accent the spices on the palate to provide a bit of texture. Beyond this, there’s nothing too unique about its feel.

Overall

I have to admit I like this much more this year. I feel it’s fairly balanced, super drinkable and provides a solid pumpkin flavor that’s derived from the base, the spices and the included pumpkin itself. It’s a rarity to have all three utilize nothing more than staple portions and still provide a solid, engaging flavor that doesn’t skimp on the pumpkin aspect. While it’s a good pumpkin ale, there is (as I mentioned) nothing uniquely distinct about its experience. Otherwise this one is just shy of top tier this year. I must also applaud the bomb label! Always fun to see it distance itself from others on the shelf.

3.5