Saranac Pumpkin Ale (2011)

Saranac Pumpkin Ale is 5.4% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A conservative pour gave less than 1 finger of off-white head that dissolved to leave just a bit of foam and some thin lacing. The color is a hazy and deep orange/copper.  There were moderate carbonation bubbles visible.

Smell: The smell has light caramel, sweet smelling pumpkin, and some fall spices. These spices include some cinnamon, but more clove, allspice, and vanilla. This is in the pumpkin-pie style of pumpkin ales.

Taste: This had some pumpkin and spices up front, with some bread-like or wheaty elements. There is still noticeable pumpkin, but more spice than pumpkin for the taste. For the spices, the cloves and allspice are dominant over the cinnamon. This beer also has some caramely sweetness, which is restrained a bit by the wheaty and bready notes. The short finish was spicy and a bit fizzy. The aftertaste was still spicy and slighty sour. These spices also lingered on the palate. The tastes in this beer are nothing terribly exciting. Even so, this is decently flavorful and enjoyable.

Feel: This is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It doesn’t hang or coat the mouth for very long, though the spices do hang for a bit.

Drinkability: I think for an easy drinking pumpkin ale, this is quite drinkable. This is relatively low (for the style) in ABV, and it drinks pretty smoothly. This gets decent marks for drinkability.

Overall: I think this is an alright beer. It could stand to have more complexity, say a bit more of a hops presence or something else to make up for the otherwise more one-dimensional flavor profile. It is not an inventive or interesting beer. Even so, it is pretty decent for a drinkable pumpkin ale that has some flavor. It doesn’t completely overwhelm the pumpkin flavor with spices like so many other pumpkin ales in this style do. It also drinks pretty well. I think it gets a little boring after a few. Past this, this also gets decent marks for price (as it sells for around 7 bucks a six pack).

Overall Rating: **

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