Last week we broke down some very good beers brewed with fruit. This week we explore veggies or more precisely gourds – so I guess it is technically a fruit as well but we won’t let semantics get between us and our enjoyment of some good (gourd) brews. That’s right folks it is my favorite week of the year: Pumpkin beer week!
Previous articles I have discussed pumpkin beers that I love. This time I am going to have one I’ve never had before, one I haven’t had in years (and never reviewed before), and one that isn’t like any other pumpkin available.
Pump(KY)n from Avery Brewing Company out of Boulder, CO.
Served: Served from the bottle, at just under refrigerator temp into a goblet.
Appearance: Jet black with no head and no lacing.
Smell: I’m getting a little coffee, cinnamon, clove and brown sugar. I’m also getting a hint of the bourbon but it is not hugely apparent in the nose.
Taste: Heavy dark burnt pumpkin flavor. I also get vanilla and molasses. The bourbon is very present here as well. It is almost too hot as the whiskey makes it extremely sweet bordering on cloying but it is 17% so I guess that explains it.
Mouth feel: Syrupy and sweet (and high alcohol). The super sweet flavor disappears fast leaving only minimal burnt pumpkin and brown sugar taste on the back of the tongue.
Overall: This is a unique beer. I didn’t notice the huge ABV till I got home with it. I like big bourbon beers but I’m afraid this one may even be too big for my palette. I will say this; the sweetness definitely mellowed as I let it sit – like a good wine when allowed to catch some oxygen.
Mummy Train from Flat Earth Brewing Company out of St. Paul, MN.
Served: Served from a bomber bottle at a little below refrigerator temperature into a goblet.
Appearance: Clear dark orange, with a ridiculously wild amount of head that receded fairly quickly. Not the pour effect I’d hope for from a beer.
Smell: Lots of pumpkin and pie spice (especially clove and cinnamon) in the aroma, not much else.
Taste: Tastes ok but light and a little creamy almost watered down. The pumpkin is there but there could be so much more.
Mouth feel: Really, really light. I feel like there is a separation between the pumpkin flavor and the beer itself. Like a beer that has pumpkin flavor added to it after the fact.
Overall: Moderately disappointing. I was expecting the best when smelling it but was completely underwhelmed in the final product. I remember trying this several years ago (previous brewer at a different location) and it was more pumpkin-forward but the body was still pretty light. Either way it wasn’t anything more than an ‘aight from me.
Jack O’Traveler from The Traveler Beer Company out of Burlington, VT.
Served: Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet at a little colder than refrigerator temperature.
Appearance: Dark orange with a thin ring of tan bubbles and a small head that receded immediately.
Smell: This smells spicy like pumpkin meets ginger ale. The effervescence gives it a slight Seven-Up or Lemon Pledge like smell.
Taste: I know this is a shandy beer but it tastes like a spiced ginger ale. I’m getting a hodge-podge of Pumpkin, cinnamon, lemon, vanilla, candied ginger, and flat cola/cream soda. It kind of reminds me of an overly cola’ed Long Island Tea.
Mouth feel: Very bubbly and gaseous in the glass, I hope that doesn’t carry into my sleep tonight. This is easy drinking and refreshing and low in ABV. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve assumed this was an under-carbonated non-alcoholic beverage.
Overall: Yeah it kind of has that flat craft soda/ginger beer taste but it works. This is refreshing like a cream soda and Seven-Up mixed together. I just wish it had more carbonation. I will definitely get more of this and may look for it on tap to see if the body is better on draft.