Long Trail Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Long Trail Pumpkin Ale is 5.5% ABV.

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

Appearance: A steady pour gave just a small amount of foam that quickly dissolved leaving a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass and even thinner lacing. The color on this is a bright copper/orange. This beer is quite clear and appears to have moderate carbonation.

Smell: I get vegetal pumpkin up front, followed by some pumpkin pie spices. The spices, which are fairly prominent in the smell, seem to consist of cinnamon, nutmeg, and perhaps some allspice. This also has a light brown sugar sweetness to it, and a very light malt presence . The aroma is fairly warm, and seems to be in the pumpkin pie style of pumpkin ales.

Taste: This has fairly intense flavors, certainly more intense than I was expecting from the smell. I get sweet brown sugar, and caramelized pumpkin flavor up front. There is also some vanilla flavor in this, which pairs well with the sweetness. The sweetness also has elements of rock candy. This beer has a nice but not overwhelming spice presence, with cinnamon and nutmeg. They pop fairly close to the beginning but disappear rather quickly. The quick finish lets go of the spices and favors the sweet and roasty pumpkin. This leaves a caramel and light brown sugar aftertaste. The flavors in this are strong, and really showcase the pumpkin.

FeelThis is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. It has quite a smooth feel that is made more complex, and I think better, by the not very long lived spice profile. The caramelized pumpkin flavor makes this silky and quite nice.

DrinkabilityThis is quite drinkable. The caramel sweetness and roasted pumpkin invite one to take sip after sip; and the spices, which add a little dynamism to the flavor and feel, make the sips more interesting without losing the smooth qualities that make it drinkable. Decent marks here.

Overall: I have to say, I was surprised by how good this beer was. Having not had the Long Trail Pumpkin Ale before, I didn’t have much by way of expectations. Still, from the pour and aroma, I thought it to be a sort of middle of the road pumpkin ale, with some heavy spice and nothing too complex going on. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised. This wasn’t incredibly complex. The flavors were quite good though. The roasted pumpkin is strong. And this is sweet and smooth. I do think that it is perhaps a bit too sweet, though. The spices also add a nice pop, that is, before they head out with the early finish. This is a really good tasting beer, though. It might be the little (less mature, and not as strong)  brother to the Williamsburg Alewerks Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Overall Rating***


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