Blue Point Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Blue Point Pumpkin Ale is 6% ABV.

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

Appearance: A hearty pour gave just an 1/8 of an inch of head that quickly dissolved. No real head retention, and very minimal lacing. The color is a bright orange/amber. The beer is quite clear, and appears to have moderate carbonation.

Smell: I get some pumpkin up front that is on the vegetal side, though it doesn’t smell super fresh or crisp like some others (i.e., Wolaver’s Organic Pumpkin Ale). This has some brown sugary sweetness to the smell. There is also a heavy roasted malt backbone, that is complemented by some clear spices. I get cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps a little bit of ginger.

Taste: Up front, the spices are pretty clear. There is cinnamon and nutmeg, and something a bit coarse. There is also a malty sweetness that comes on strong. The spices fade into this malty sweetness, so that you aren’t just bombarded with the heavy spices.There is clear pumpkin flavor in this, but it is weaker than the smell suggested. The finish, which seems to come quickly, is astringent and adds a very little bit of hop presence with some sour notes. The aftertaste lets some of the spices linger.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. The finish lets the carbonation come through a bit more. The spices do drag a little, and the finish is a bit astringent. This detracts a little from the feel.

DrinkabilityThe sweetness in this beer would seem to enable an easy drinking experience. And given that this is not high in ABV, it would seem that this would be a great contender for drinkability. I don’t think it is, though. The sweetness doesn’t last that long, since the astringent finish seems to kick in early. The spices also drag a bit with the aftertaste. So this doesn’t get great marks here.

Overall: I like this beer alright. The pumpkin has a presence, and the spices aren’t too overwhelming or distracting. This is nice. The sweetness is also nice, and doesn’t make the beer too syrupy. This is all great. The downside is that the flavors seem to rush by, leaving you with a sourish and not terribly pleasant finish. I think that this beer smells better than it tastes. The flavors are also nothing too interesting, which isn’t a requirement of course. This is not a bad pumpkin beer, it just isn’t a main competitor to the great ones.

Overall Rating**

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