Saint Arnold “Pumpkinator” Imperial Pumpkin Stout (2013)

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Saint Arnold “Pumpkinator” Imperial Pumpkin Stout is 10% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: I gave this a steady pour, which produced about a finger of chestnut head, which dissipated quickly. This has a very dark reddish brown color, with very little light getting through it. Some red is noticeable when held to bright light. Small bubbles rising along the sides of the glass suggest moderate carbonation.

Smell: This has a nice dark smell, with roasted malt, and dark fruit of roasty squash, cherry, and some spice. The spice gives off something like cinnamon and a nuttiness that is accented by some anise. Great spice to the aroma. The fruitiness is nice, with the darker cherry being more noticeable than the squash. This also has a nice dark sweetness, with some molasses and chocolate. Great complex aroma. Wonderful.

Taste: This beer is bursting with great flavor. There is nice dark roasty malt, strong pumpkin and other dark fruit, carefully done spicing, and a smooth complex sweetness. It tastes much more like some kind of imperial and thick dark ale with a bit more sweetness than a stout. But it tastes great. There is nice strong roasty pumpkin, chewy dark cherry, and some other bright fruitiness. The spice is done well and adds some pleasant complexity of cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some clove, and some notes of anise. This has some nuttiness, like from nutmeg or graham cracker. It also has a great complex sweetness of dark malt, dark brown sugar, molasses, and notes of chocolate. Very round, bold, and smooth flavors. Seriously good.

Feel: This offering is medium to heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. It is velvety and a little creamy, with some of the spice adding a little soft texture. It is noticeably stronger in ABV than a standard 6% beer, but doesn’t come off boozy or punchy. Very smooth and round feel.

Drinkability: For a very flavorful and higher ABV beer, this does really well here. It has great complexity, and a wonderful sweetness. The higher ABV is not lost, though. I’d have a hard time recognizing that this is 10% percent. Great here.

Overall: This is a great pumpkin ale. It is the best pumpkin stout I’ve ever had, though it is not a sort of paradigm imperial stout. This beer has great roasty pumpkin flavor, and a lot of other flavors complementing that. The 10% is fairly hidden, and the body is smooth and has some creaminess and great sweetness. The roasted pumpkin and dark fruit are just wonderful, while the spicing is nicely done. It tastes round like it has aged in a barrel, though no oak or booze notes are coming from it. This is a must try, if you get the chance. I’ve heard this is pretty hard to get, even in Houston.

Overall Rating: ****1/4

2013-11-25 22.32.08About Saint Arnold and “Pumpkinator”: Saint Arnold was founded in Houston, Texas in 1994 by Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol. They chose Houston as it was then the largest city in the country that did not have a craft brewery. Saint Arnold is Texas’ oldest craft brewery, and distributes to Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado.

“Pumpkinator” was originally released as a member of Saint Arnold’s “Divine Reserve” series (number 9 to be exact). It is made through a painstaking process that takes a 24 hour operation for 2 days. Lots of canned pumpkin goes into this beer with some “pumpkin pie” spicing, molasses, and brown sugar. The grain bill includes some Pale Two-Row, Caramel, and Black malts. Cascade and Liberty hops are used to add just a little hop flavor. Finally, right before bottling, this is dry spiced with some more of the “pumpkin pie” spicing. Saint Arnold notes that it is the most expensive beer they have brewed. A big thanks to Lennie Ambrose, marketing and events director, for helping me do this review.

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Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine (2013)

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Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine is 12.0% ABV.

I poured some of a 375 ml bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: A steady pour produced not much by way of head, aside from some froth around the sides of the glass. This is a very hazy burnt orange/red, with noticeable sediment. It looks to have mild carbonation.

Smell: At the front, I get strong sticky liquor, like from rum, as well as roasted pumpkin, strong spice, and some dark fruit. The brandy smell to this is very pleasant, and doesn’t overwhelm the other aromas. I get good roasted pumpkin, and some sweet dark fruit of date and fig. This also has a little bitter citrus as from orange peel. The spicing is hard to pinpoint, in part because of how complex the aroma of this beer is. But I think I get some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Overall great aroma.

Taste: This has strong but round brandy and oak, as well as some strong, smooth, and somewhat bright roasted pumpkin. It is certainly very malty, and has a lot of great sweetness. There is some fruit like dates, as well as some bitter orange peel. I also get some strong vanilla, and some well-dosed spicing. For spicing I am getting a lot of nice nuttiness, and I think there is some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. This finishes with a bit more of the dark malty sweetness and smooth brandy, which continues into the aftertaste with a little lightly bitter spicing. This is an incredibly flavorful and round pumpkin offering.

Feel: This is medium to heavy bodied, with light carbonation. It is round from the oak and strong sweetness, but not sticky or cloying. The roasted pumpkin and spices bring a warmth, and nothing really drags. There is also a creaminess to the feel, which is lovely. Even more, though one can tell this is a strong beer, it doesn’t end up boozy. Great marks here.

Drinkability: This is a strong and full-flavored barleywine. Even so, it is very smooth and drinks well. Definitely a sipper, but not harsh or too punchy. Great for a night that is already at 25 degrees F. Good here.

Overall: This is a wonderfully flavorful and complex pumpkin ale. It reminds me quite a bit of Lakefront’s brandy-aged imperial pumpkin lager, which I also loved. Yet I think this Almanac offering has clearer and more pronounced pumpkin. Alamanac’s offering is round, and has wonderful complexity. I love the brandy, the great and strong roasted pumpkin, vanilla, dark fruit, and orange peel that I get in this. It feels more like a beer of 10 percent, though the aroma suggests more than that. Overall this is among the best pumpkin beers I’ve ever had. It is sweeter than I’d ideally want, but such is the nature of many barleywines. If you get the opportunity to try this, I think it is worth it. It is something of a must try. It goes for $11 for this 375ml bottle, which is of course a little steep. But it is so delicious, festive, and has very solid pumpkin. A special thanks to Julian from Craftshack.com for very generously sending this bottle for review. You can check their site or follow them @Craftshackbeer on Twitter. They have a lot of great beers and some rare beers to choose from!

Overall Rating: ****1/2

2013-11-24 22.11.11Almanac and their heirloom pumpkin barleywine: The Almanac Beer Company was founded in 2010 by Damian Fagan and Jesse Friedman. They have a special emphasis on brewing seasonal craft beer (that they term “artisinal ales”), by use of locally sourced and grown seasonal fruit. They note on their website that for each harvest, they team up with a different Northern California farm to source the fruit used for the next batch. They also have a “Farm to Barrel” line of beers, which consists of their barrel aged beers done in oak.

The heirloom pumpkin barleywine is part of Almanac’s “Farm to Barrel” series. To make this beer they roasted over 500 pounds of local heirloom pumpkins that they sourced from La Tercera Farms out of Bodega Bay. The pumpkins were then added to the barleywine base, and then aged in brandy barrels for a full year! After this process, the pumpkin barleywine was blended 50/50 with a freshly brewed ale that has some “pumpkin pie” spicing in it. I have to say, for all the work that goes into making this beer, it is worth it. Try this one if you are lucky enough to get a chance.

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McAuslan St-Ambroise Citrouille “The Great Pumpkin Ale” (2013)

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McAuslan St-Ambroise Citrouille “The Great Pumpkin Ale”  is 5.0% ABV.

I poured all of a 11.5 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A moderate pour gave a finger of thin light tan foam. This was gone in a minute and left no lacing. The color of this beer is a clear dark but bright red/amber. The color is very appealing. This looks to have moderate carbonation.

Smell: Up front I get some vegetal pumpkin with roasty elements, strong and interesting toasty malt, and light spicing. For spicing I am getting some nutmeg, and maybe some cinnamon too. This has some dark sugar and a good amount of vanilla. The toasty malt, smooth sweetness, and spice make for a great aroma.

Taste: This has good and surprisingly strong flavors. I get some clean pumpkin with some vegetal and roasty elements. I also get some spice, which is restrained and well-balanced, some nutmeg and maybe some light clove. There is some of the darker fruit flavor in this that a lot of the imperial pumpkin ales have. This brings in some almost juicy sweetness, which is balanced with some brown sugar. I get just great roasty and toasty malt to this, which adds a nice richness and warmth to the flavors. It is also reminiscent of dark golden brown pie crust. On the slightly dry finish there is some mildly astringent vegetal pumpkin and a little bitter spicing. Some mildly bitter spicing hangs out in the aftertaste with some sour notes. Good flavors in this one, and great balance.

Feel: This is light bodied, with moderate carbonation. The feel has some richness and complexity due to the roastiness and the spices. But nothing overwhelms or drags. It has a lot of flavor, but is still fairly light on the palate. Great here.

Drinkability: This does really quite well here. It is lighter, and drinks very smoothly.

Overall: This is the fourth Canadian beer to join the ranks this year. I’ve known about this offering for a bit, but haven’t had the opportunity to taste it until now. Thanks so much to Julian from Craftshack.com for sending this bottle for review. You can check their site or follow them @Craftshackbeer on Twitter to buy some or to see their seriously well-crafted selection of beers, replete with a good number of rare beers. I was glad to receive this St-Ambroise offering, as it is very good. It has great balance, and interesting and enjoyable flavors. The vegetal pumpkin, toasty pie crust, sweet brown sugar, dark fruit sweetness, and evenly dosed spicing are all done well. It has a brightness, but also some darker and toasty flavors. It has a lot of flavor for something this light in body and ABV. I would certainly recommend this offering. I’d say it is in the pumpkin pie style, though brings some vegetal pumpkin and astringent notes that add complexity and keep this from being one of those sweet but uninteresting pumpkin ales. This is worth the try, and worth the money it typically goes for (about $10-11  per 4-pack).

Overall Rating: ***1/2

2013-11-23 15.17.35About McAuslan and their St-Ambroise pumpkin: McAuslan Brewing opened in Quebec in 1989. It was founded by Peter McAuslan, president, and his wife Ellen Bounsel, the master brewer and vice president. There aren’t very many female master brewers. One that comes to mind is Kim  Jordan from U.S. based New Belgium. McAuslan might be comparable to New Belgium, actually, since McAuslan has grown quite a bit since their opening, now amounting to a multi-million dollar business employing 40 people and producing 3 brands of beer: McAuslan, St-Ambroise, and Griffin. New Belgium is the third largest craft brewery in the U.S (last I remember). So two great breweries led by female master brewers. Why aren’t there more ladies?

McAuslan’s pumpkin ale is sold under the St-Ambroise brand. They use pumpkin and spices of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg. It is one of their most popular seasonals, being delicately flavored with Blond and Caramel malts. Their light hopping is done with Cascade and Willamette hops, and takes this to 18 IBU’s. A great refreshing and delicately flavored beer out of Montreal.

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Uinta “Oak Jacked” Imperial Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Uinta “Oak Jacked” Imperial Pumpkin Ale is 10.31% ABV.

I poured some of a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: This got a steady pour with some vigor at the end. This created two fingers of light tan head, which lasted a long time and left thick lacing along the sides of the glass. This has a slightly cloudy and beautiful bright red amber color, and looks to have moderate to heavy carbonation.

Smell: I get some dark fruit, with some sourish vegetal pumpkin. Not heavy spicing, but I do get some nutmeg to it. This is malt heavy, and has a lot of oak to it. The malt has some toastiness, and is accented by some dark sugar and molasses sweetness. There is maybe a little alcohol to the nose, but it is otherwise pretty smooth. Decent aroma. A lot of oak.

Taste: This is sweeter than I was expecting, but has great bold flavors. There is some strong pumpkin on the vegetal side, which brings in some bright fruit of plum and date. The spicing is nutty with a little clove, and has something kind of earthy like dark bark to it. The oak is really smooth and rounded. This has strong sweetness with dark fruit, molasses, and some brown sugar.This finishes on the sweet side, with some stronger spicing at the end, and some slight sourness from the pumpkin as well as a mild alcohol bite. There is some oak and dark malty sweetness hanging out in the aftertaste. Overall, there are good, smooth, and strong flavors to it.

Feel: This offering is medium bodied plus, with moderate carbonation. It is heavy and on the thicker side. But it has a creaminess, and isn’t sticky. The oak is nicely rounded and helps the feel to be great. There is some alcohol to it, but for a 10% beer, it doesn’t bite as much as I was expecting. Great feel. I love the oak.

Drinkability: This is a big beer. The oak and sweetness round it out quite a bit. There is some pumpkin, but a good bit of dark fruit and some spice. Not a beer for drinking fast, but something decent on drinkability for the strong beer that it is.

Overall: This is a big beer with good spice, and more spice as I drink. I get enjoyable pumpkin, but it seems to get a little lost as I proceed. There is great juicy dark fruit, which is bright with date and some dark plum. The alcohol gives a noticeable bite, but the oak and strong sweetness help. This is a great barrel aged beer. There are definitely not a lot of oak aged pumpkin ales that don’t have bourbon or rum, etc. in the barrels. So I think this is very nice. The pumpkin isn’t super heavy, but it is noticeable and smooth. The spicing is also not overdone. I think this is among the more serious imperial pumpkin ales on the market. If it chilled out on the booziness and had some more pumpkin it would easily be in the upper echelons of imperial pumpkin ales.

Overall Rating: ***3/4

photo 1 (1)About Uinta and their “Oak Jacked”: Uinta Brewing began in 1993 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Due to dramatic increases in demand, in 2001 they built a 26,000 square-foot facility for their new base of brewing operations. Uinta is named after a mountain range in northeast Utah, and takes inspiration from the Utah landscape in creating, naming, and labeling many of their beers. Currently they offer three main lines of beers: their Classic Line, Organic Line, and Crooked Line, with some of their more special and limited offerings being part of their Crooked Line series. The folks at Uinta have one of the most environmentally conscious breweries I’ve come across. Since 2001 the brewery has been 100% wind-powered. They were also the first Utah company to reach this mark. In addition, Uinta has also added significant renewable energy by installing solar-electric panels on their roof in 2011. This is among the breweries on my short-list to check out when it becomes feasible.

Uinta makes their “Oak Jacked” as part of their “Crooked Line” series. They use real pumpkin and spices. It is aged in oak barrels, adding more complexity, and rounding some of the flavors out. It sits at 10.31% and 39 IBU’s.

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Rogue Chatoe Rogue “Pumpkin Patch” Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Rogue Chatoe Rogue “Pumpkin Patch” Pumpkin Ale is 5.6% ABV.

I poured some of a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: This got a careful and then hard-at-the-end pour. This tossed up a half-inch of light beige head, which dwindled to a very thin layer on top of the beer, and left no lacing. This has a beautiful and very clear medium to dark red/amber. Lots of bubbles rising seem to suggest moderate to heavy carbonation.

Smell: The aroma is pleasant with vegetal pumpkin, a dark fruit sweetness, and  soft but complex spicing. The spicing seems to give of cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some clove too. The pumpkin has some roasty tones to it as well, though some roast seems to come from the malt. This smells smooth, with some light brown sugar, vanilla, and some fruity sugar like from plum. Great aroma.

Taste: I get some vegetal pumpkin with some roasty dimensions, some smooth spicing, and a dark fruit sweetness. The pumpkin flavor is pretty clean with this, and doesn’t give off a lot of astringency. The spicing, which seems to consist of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, is strong enough to add to the flavors but balanced enough to not overwhelm. This is helped along by the smooth and slightly toasty malt, as well as the vanilla and plum-like sweetness that brings some fruity notes. This finishes on the sweet side, with just a touch of citrus right at the end. Some smooth malt and spice hang out for the aftertaste. Overall rounded, tasty, and well-balanced flavors. Good.

Feel: This offering is light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. It is smooth and has a touch of creaminess. The mild citrus and the spice add some complexity. Nothing super deep or structured, but certainly a good feel.

Drinkability: The smoothness, not high ABV, and rounded flavors really help this one out here. Great marks here.

Overall: This is a very good pumpkin ale. It is among the best non-imperial pumpkin ales I’ve had, with good vegetal pumpkin with roasty dimensions, as well as nicely balanced sugar and spice. On top of it all, the feel is good. This is a very well exucuted pumpkni ale with clean pumpkin flavor and nothing dragging or hanging on too long. It is a bit overpriced for 11+ dollars for this 750, especially for something this low in ABV. But it is good. I think I liked it a bit more when I reviewed it last year. If you’ve got some extra cash, and want something non-imperial for an autumn meal, this would be among the good options to look at.

Overall Rating: ***1/2

DSC03710About Rogue and their offering: Rogue Ales was founded in Ashland, Oregon in 1988. Brewmaster John Maier previously worked as an assistand brewer at the wonderful Alaskan Brewing in Juneau. (See my review of Alaskan’s wonderful pumpkin porter.) Since coming to Rogue in 1989, he has led the brewery to win a number of awards in some of the most prestigious beer competitions.

Rogue makes their “Pumpkin Patch” as part of their “Grow Your Own” series. They grew their own hops, barley, and pumpkin to go into this beer. The pumpkin patch is about 77 miles away in Newport, Oregon. After harvest, the pumpkins were all roasted and added into the kettle. The ingredient list includes locally grown pumpkins, Carafa II, Crystal, Great Western 2-Row, and Wheat malts. They use locally grown hops, spices of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, as well as some vanilla, orange peel, and a pitch of Pacman yeast. This beer sits at 25 IBU’s, and is 5.6%ABV.

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Mendocino Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Mendocino Pumpkin Ale is 5.0% ABV.

I poured some of a 12 oz bottle into a “craft beer glass”.

Appearance: A boisterous pour gave up about a finger of light tan bubbly head, which quickly dissipated to leave just a bit of thin lacing. The color of this offering is a fairly clear dark amber. This looks to have moderate carbonation.

Smell: Vegetal pumpkin, warm spicing, dark brown sugar, and roasty malt come out at first. The pumpkin has some slight sour notes, and balances nicely with the warm spicing and sweetness. For spicing I am getting cinnamon, and I think some nutmeg and ginger. This has smooth malt, and more roastiness to it than I was expecting, like from a nice porter. Good aroma.

Taste: To start there is some bright and astringent vegetal pumpkin that is well balanced against the other flavors. The sour notes don’t take over, and are nicely set against some strong roastiness, smooth dark sweetness, and spice. For the spices, I get some cinnamon and (I think) nutmeg and ginger. There is also something roasty like coffee or chocolate. The sweetness in this comes in sort of bright, like from some citrus and mild hops. This finishes with some of the smooth roastiness and spice, leading way into an aftertaste with some subtly sour notes, mild hops, and roast. Nice fresh malt in this one.

Feel: This is light bodied, with moderate carbonation. The feel is pretty smooth and a little creamy with dark sugar, spice, and roasty notes. Some bright sour vegetal pumpkin cuts through in parts. And the roast is great. Good here.

Drinkability: This is certainly on the drinkable side. The sweetness and roast round out the bright astringent pumpkin. The sour notes do hang a bit in the aftertaste. This is good on this score, though.

Overall: I like the flavors in this. It has good roast, especially for something this light in body. The pumpkin flavor is vegetal and is a good contrast to the roasted malt and smooth and warm spice. It also has great complexity for something so light. So great marks here. As for criticism, I suppose I’d like the astringency to not hang on so long, and for this to be a bit more robust in malt and roasty malt flavor. This isn’t a major problem for me, though, as this isn’t intended to be so heavy. Mendocino’s pumpkin ale is a delicious offering. A little different than a lot of the standardly spiced “pumpkin pie” styles of pumpkin ales. Well worth the try.

Overall Rating: ***

2013-11-24 14.54.20About Mendocino and their offering: Mendocino brewing has its roots in the Hopland Brewery, which began in Hopland, California in 1933. Hopland was the first brewpub in the state of California, and only the second in the entire U.S.. The brewery took on the name ‘Mendocino’ in 1983, 50 years later. Mendocino underwent an expansion in the 90′s, opening up their most recent facility in Ukiah, CA. Mendocino is just 30 minutes down the road from Anderson Valley, who’s  “Fall Hornin’” pumpkin ale I reviewed earlier this season.

I corresponded with Ben Wilkinson, brewing supervisor, who told me a bit about how Mendocino makes their pumpkin ale. This is in fact the first year they have produced the pumpkin ale, which joins their recently updated seasonal list. For the brewing, they add over 3 lbs of pumpkin per barrel! Spicing of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger goes into the boil, giving some complexity to the flavors of this. Finally, some cocoa nibs are added to the fermenter for both a rich roasty flavor and a richer texture. Ben noted that this first batch was 200 barrels, saying that more could be made next year depending on its reception. I thought it was great, and the folks I corresponded with who have tried it also liked it. A great flavorful but still sessionable pumpkin ale. So grab some if you get the chance.

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Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged “Smashed Pumpkin” Imperial Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged “Smashed Pumpkin” Imperial Pumpkin Ale is 12.0% ABV.

I poured some of a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A hearty pour tossed up a half-inch of off-white head, which slowly dissipated and left no real lacing. The color of this is a bright medium burnt orange, with a slight haze to it. This beer looks to have heavy carbonation.

Smell: To start I get good strong bourbon, strong and smooth vanilla, round oak, and some roasty pumpkin with some spicing. The spicing isn’t so clear, and takes a backseat to the other strong aromas. I sense some cinnamon with some helpers. The bourbon, vanilla, and roasty pumpkin are the big players. This also has a prominent booziness. For my tastes, it has a wonderful albeit intense aroma.

Taste: The flavor of this is also wonderful. There is strong bourbon that isn’t overpowering, very smooth vanilla and oak that lasts throughout, and some roasty pumpkin with spices. It is much smoother than I was led to believe from the aroma. The bourbon is pervasive but doesn’t end up harsh, which is quite a feat for something this bold. The pumpkin is on the roasty side, and is accented by some spice. The spice bill seems to include some cinnamon and some nutmeg, maybe with some ginger thrown in as well. This also has a lovely and strong honey and toasted malt sweetness, adding some more depth and roundness. This finishes sweet and smooth with the honey and some of the spices leading into an aftertaste of muted honey and some spice soaked in bourbon. Just delicious and round flavors.

Feel: This is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The feel on this is warm and round. It has some depth and structure from the bourbon and the spice, and some smoothness from the oak, vanilla, honey, and roasted pumpkin. It is also creamy, with a rich smooth texture. Outstanding feel.

Drinkability: For something this bold that is 12%ABV and has strong bourbon, this is very good on this score. This is a definite sip and savor, something to enjoy the complexity of. There is strong bourbon, but it is very well balanced and rounded on the edges. I”m blown away by how different and how much smoother this beer is than the “Smashed Pumpkin” I reviewed last night.

Overall: I think this beer is  a huge success. Not that I don’t like Shipyard, but I was expecting this to be a bit harsher and rough around the edges. This is mostly because of my experience with their bold and delicious though somewhat boozy “Smashed Pumpkin”. To compare the two, I even poured a little glass of “Smashed Pumpkin” from the half a bottle I sealed last night. And it is really quite stunning how different this bourbon barrel aged version is. The complexity is really amped up with this bourbon barrel version, as is the roundness. “Smashed Pumpkin” is more acidic, and not as round and complex. In any case, I have to say that this is my favorite bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale I’ve ever had. Its close contender would be Heavy Seas’ “Great’er Pumpkin”. But I find this offering from Shipyard more complex and round, with less of a cidery quality and more of a creamy and bold imperial ale personality. In any case, this bourbon version comes very highly recommended. If you get the chance, make this one happen! I’m having it next to a warm fire, and couldn’t be happier.

Overall Rating: ****1/2

2013-11-18 23.34.42About Shipyard and their Bourbon Barrel “Smashed Pumpkin”: Shipyard Brewing opened in Portland, Maine in 1994. I wrote a little about them last night, when I reviewed their “Smashed Pumpkin”. Shipyard is quite a large brewery, having produced 158,000 barrels in 2012 alone. They also make some popular brands of soda called, “Capt’n Eli’s Soda”.

Shipyard makes their Bourbon Barrel Aged “Smashed Pumpkin” by aging an imperial pumpkin ale in bourbon barrels for over 100 days. The grain bill includes Pale, Whole Wheat, and Munich malts. They use some Saphir and Willamette hops alongside of a top-fermenting English ale yeast, and hit 12% ABV. Given the mention of Saphir hops on their bottle,  which is not claimed to be part of their “Smashed Pumpkin”, it looks like a little more goes into making this beer than merely aging their “Smashed Pumpkin” in bourbon barrels. Whatever the magic is, I hope they continue to do it.

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