Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale is 8.5% ABV.
I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: A steady pour produced a half inch of light tan head that dissipated over the course of two minutes. This left a very thin ring of foam around the sides of the glass. The color is a mostly clear dark reddish amber. This appears to heavy carbonation.
Smell: I get roasted malt and sweetness up front. This roastiness is strong and fairly earthy. This is combined with some well integrated spices. I also get some cinnamon and nutmeg. This also has a strong and dark molasses sweetness to it. There is some pumpkin in the smell, though it takes a definite backseat to the spices, roasty malt, and sweetness. Good and inviting smell.
Taste: I get roastiness and sweetness up front. This nice roasted and toasty malt is set aside a dark and earthy molasses sweetness. The spices, as in the smell, are integrated into the earthy and dark sweet flavors.The pumpkin flavor is more pronounced than in the smell, and has a nice roasted quality to it. It is weak ,though. The finish is sweet with some of the earthy spices adding some complexity. The aftertaste has roasted malt and a bit of subdued bitterness. Overall the flavors in this are on the dark side, and earthy. I like the flavors, but wished the pumpkin was a bit more front and center.
Feel: This is medium-bodied, with medium to heavy carbonation. The roastiness and sweetness add to the nice and rich warm feel. It isn’t too thick, but still has some decent body to it. Alright feel.
Drinkability: This is decently drinkable. The flavors are fairly well-balanced, and so none really jump out and overwhelm the palate. The ABV is middle of the road, and doesn’t pose any impediments to going through a couple of these.
Overall: I like this one alright. The dark and roasty malt flavors, along with the dark sweetness and well incorporated spices are enjoyable. The pumpkin isn’t so strong. It is noticeable though. There is nothing really bad about this beer. The flavors are alright, but they aren’t so dynamic or interesting. This is pretty good, given that it is from a fairly widely distributed or larger production pumpkin beer maker. This one was darker than I remember it being last year. Not bad, but nothing exciting or very flavorful.