New Holland “Ichabod” Pumpkin Ale (2012)

New Holland “Ichabod” Pumpkin Ale is 5.2% ABV.

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

Appearance: A steady pour gave about a finger of off-white and thin head. This dissipated pretty quickly to leave some light lacing and just a touch of head on top of the beer. The color is a medium orange/amber that is fairly cloudy. This appears to have light carbonation.

Smell: Up front I get vegetal pumpkin and some warm spicing of cinnamon and allspice. There is also a caramel-like sweetness which balances well with the spices and some other slightly sour notes. I’m also getting some fragrant hops in the smell. The smells in this work well. I’m now looking forward to tasting it. That is, right now.

Taste: This has vegetal pumpkin up front with some slight sour notes. It also has some warm and slightly coarse spicing of cinnamon, allspice, and maybe some ginger and something a bit woody. The sweetness, which has some light caramel tones, is tame and takes a backseat to the spice and hops. Speaking of hops, this has a nice and well-balanced hops presence. You do get the hops, the pumpkin, and the spices together. This finishes with the slight sour notes giving way to the bitter and ginger-like spicing. The aftertaste holds on to the fine-grained bitter spicing, some of the fragrance of the hops, and some sourness. This has nice flavors and is pretty well-balanced, aside from some maybe too sour notes that draw a bit too much attention.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with light to medium carbonation. The feel is decent, with some warm spicing, slight sourness, and somewhat fragrant hops. It is fairly smooth, except for some of the sourness which detracts a bit from the feel. Alright marks here.

Drinkability: This is decently drinkable, and goes down fairly easy. The bitterness from the spicing and the sour notes weigh this one down a bit, and keep it from being so smooth. Even so, it is light enough in ABV to (for the most part) allow one to work through a few of these.

Overall: This is decently well-balanced, and enjoyable. The flavors aren’t so unique or interesting; but they are nice. I like the hops presence, and the warm spicing. One problem, for me at least, was that the sourness in this hangs on after a few sips and drags on the palate. This makes it difficult to make out some of the other flavors  as well when sipping the beer, and covers up some of the pumpkin flavor. This may be a good one for folks that like hops. I like hops, but do wish the pumpkin was not lost in some of the unpleasant residual from the aftertaste.

Overall Rating: **1/4

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