Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale hits the ground at 5.7% ABV.
I poured some of a 12 oz bottle into a stemless wine glass.
Appearance: A conservative pour yielded 1 finger of light brown head that very quickly dissolved. This left a little bit of very thin lacing. The color is a dark reddish amber. There were some small bubbles visible, revealing light to moderate carbonation.
Smell: The smell has sweet and breaty malt, and moderate spicing. The spices that come through are cinnamon, nutmeg, and strong allspice. There is also some light brown sugar, but no real discernible pumpkin.
Taste: I taste bready malt up front, followed by some pumpkin flavor combined with considerable brown sugar sweetness. The spices come closer to the finish and hit pretty strong, bringing some nutmeg and a lot of allspice. The finish is heavy on the spice, and this brings a very dulled spicy aftertaste. The flavors are overall pretty malty, with brown sugar and dense spicing.
Feel: This is a medium bodied ale with light to medium carbonation. It doesn’t coat the mouth very much, but comes across in the finish as slightly sticky and dry.
Drinkability: This is not an undrinkable pumpkin beer, but it is not smooth or a mentionably good drink. It is sort of chalky, with the spices becoming monotonous and heavy. The ABV is middle of the road for the style, providing no impediments to having a few. Even so, it doesn’t drink very smoothly.
Overall: I’m not big on this beer. The spices are montonous, and too heavy. They hang on the palate, and create an unpleasant experience over time. The pumpkin flavor also gets lost in this, especially since there isn’t much else going on in terms of taste. I think this beer is overly-spiced, and sort of boring. It isn’t so much an offensive flavor as it is just not anything to speak of.