Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale (2011)

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is 6.0% ABV.

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

Appearance: A light pour produced about a finger of light tan head that dissipated after about 2 minutes. This left only a small ring around the glass with some thin lacing. The color of this beer was a cloudy orange/amber, which revealed moderate carbonation.

Smell: The nose gives of some vegetal pumpkin, strong pumpkin pie spices, and very clear hops. The spices discernible are nutmeg, allspice, and little cinnamon. This smelled hoppy and inviting.

Taste: This has some bitterness up front as a result of the almost peppery spicing. I also get some bready malt. After this, the hops came through a bit and lasted towards the finish. This added a smoother kind of bitterness than experienced at the beginning. The pumpkin is still noticeable in the taste, though it is certainly more subdued than in the nose. There is also some very timid honey like sweetness that seems to act as a binder. The finish is hoppier with some bitterness, which left a slightly chalky aftertaste. The taste of this beer is nice and balanced. The hops aren’t too aggressive, and the spice is more mellow than the nose would suggest.

Feel: This is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It coats the mouth decently, and feels sort of round. The carbonation makes the feel of this almost fizzy, which is only a good thing here.

Drinkability: I think this is quite a drinkable pumpkin ale. It comes off as well-balanced, with no particular dimension hitting you in the face. It is pretty smooth, and the ABV isn’t too high to work your way through a few of these. I give it good marks here.

Overall: I like this beer. I’ve had it in years past and also liked it then. It seems to be a consistently enjoyable pumpkin ale. The balanced hops and spices are enjoyable, and the pumpkin isn’t completely lost. Even so, I would have liked a bit more pumpkin. I find that this is relatively mellow, and because of the lack of a real powerful pumpkin presence, nothing really exciting or unique. This is a good hoppier alternative to similar beers like Brooklyn’s “Post Road” or Stegmaier’s pumpkin ale.

Overall Rating: **1/2

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