Wolaver’s Organic Pumpkin Ale (2011)

Wolaver’s Organic Pumpkin Ale comes in at 5.4% ABV.

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

Appearance: A conservative pour yielded a little bit of off-white head that quickly dissolved. This left just a little bit of thin lacing. The color is a very cloudy orange/copper. Minimal carbonation is visible.

Smell: The smell is faint and citrusy, with a little bit of pumpkin and some nice spicing. My friend R-bone compared this to a strong orange smell. I think this is right. The spicing I notice has ginger and coriander, with some light cinnamon.

Taste: This has a very clean pumpkin taste, with restrained spicing and some solid citrus/orange flavor. The spices are as they were in the nose, getting across ginger, coriander, and light cinnamon. The pumpkin flavor is impressively strong, especially for such a clean tasting ale. This is sweet, though that is balanced by the citrus. It also has some good underlying malt notes. The finish is spicy with lots of ginger. This leaves a very slightly sour aftertaste. This tastes very nice.

Feel: This is medium bodied, and pretty creamy. It coats the mouth nicely, and isn’t coarse because of its spicing (like so many overly-spiced pumpkin ales can be). It has very modest carbonation, which is just enough for the requisite stage setting (though nothing to hog the spotlight).

Drinkability: This is an incredibly drinkable pumpkin ale. The pumpkin and spices work really well with the citrus and sweet notes. The ABV also isn’t too high for having a good number of these.

Overall: I find this to be quite an enjoyable pumpkin ale. It is spicy, but not too heavily spiced. The spices are also crisp, and discernible on their own. They don’t meld together like those spice profiles often slated as having “pumpkin pie spices”. This beer is also quite clean, in a really interesting way. The pumpkin flavor is there, but not obscured or lost in too heavy spicing or flavors. I find this to be the best of the easy drinking pumpkin ales I’ve had. The higher ABVs tend to be the ones that are really flavorful. This one blew me away.

Overall Rating: ***1/2

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