Shipyard “Pumpkinhead” Pumpkin Ale (2011)

Shipyard “Pumpkinhead” Pumpkin Ale joins us at 5.1% ABV.

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

Appearance: A moderately heavy pour produced 2 fingers of off-white head that hung on for a couple minutes, dissipating to just a little seltzer-y foam and thin lacing. The color is a very clear golden light-amber, revealing moderate carbonation bubbles.

Smell: The smell is light, with some biscuit-y malt and fainter spice elements. The discernible spices, which become much clearer upon closer inspection, are cinnamon, nutmeg, and some ginger.

Taste: The flavor is spice-forward, with no real sense of pumpkin. The taste also makes the spices less clear, though the ginger comes out more. This prominent spice flavor stays throughout the middle, where there is also a honey flavor. The finish is fizzy, and pretty sour. The sourness lingers in the aftertaste.

Feel: The beer is thin, watery, and very carbonated. I think it’s too carbonated. The beer doesn’t coat or hang on the palate per se, but does leave a sticky feel.

Drinkability: This beer is quite thin, and not high in ABV. In fact, it doesn’t seem like it is as high as 5.1%. This should make for an easy drinking ale. Still, the overcarbonation and the sour notes keep this from being one that drinks well.

Overall: This beer is not a winner. The pumpkin is not there, and the spices are too prominent and poorly incorporated. In addition, this beer is sour, becoming more sour with the drinking. The over-carbonation also doesn’t add anything. I know people that enjoy this one; I just don’t. If you want a Shipyard pumpkin beer, definitely go for their “Smashed Pumpkin” instead of this one!

Overall Rating: *



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