Saranac Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Saranac Pumpkin Ale is 5.4% ABV.

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

Appearance: A steady pour gave about a finger of off-white head that lasted a minute before dwindling to a very thin fizzy foam that sat atop the beer. Very light lacing is noticeable. The color is a mostly clear, but just slightly hazy, light amber with an orange tint. Lots of bubbles suggest medium to heavy carbonation.

Smell: I get clear vegetal pumpkin and spices to start. The spices seem to be cinnamon and allspice, and they have just a tinge of artificiality to them. This isn’t a huge detractor, but it is there. There is also a light brown sugar sweetness that is clearer towards the end. This smells like it is on the sweet side, more in the pumpkin pie style of pumpkin ales.

Taste: To begin with, I get the vegetal pumpkin and some malty sweetness. This pumpkin flavor has some slight lemony notes to it, and this fades into the toasted malt and the light brown sugar/honey-like sweetness. The spices are clearer towards the finish, and again seem to hold strong with the cinnamon and allspice. The aftertaste has some of the spices hanging on, though it is fairly smooth and not as bitter as it is in many other pumpkin ales. Similar to the smell, there are slight notes of a sort of artificial tasting spice or sweetness. This isn’t terribly overwhelming, but is noticeable.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. It is fairly smooth and decently warm for something this low in ABV. The sweetness really adds a pleasant feel to this.

Drinkability: This beer is quite drinkable. It is on the sweet side for sure, and the pumpkin flavor forms a nice backbone. The spices are clearly there, but don’t overwhelm or bombard the palate. This may be one of the most drinkable pumpkin ales I’ve had. If one was planning on drinking a good number of beers, and wanted a pumpkin ale, this would be a good pick.

Overall: I do like this beer, especially for what it is. It has clear pumpkin flavor, and has an alright balance for sweetness and spice. There are some artificial qualities to it, but they are not such large detractors. This drinks well, and has an alright feel. The price, which is something to consider, is good on this one. It cost me $6.99 for a 6 pack. This is another good quality. This isn’t the most flavorful, unique, or interesting pumpkin ale by far. It is fairly solid, for a middle of the road, cheap, and decently drinkable pumpkin ale that accomplishes having pumpkin flavor.

Overall Rating: **


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