O’Connor “Punkelweisse” Pumpkin Dunkelweisse (2012)

O’Connor “Punkelweisse” is 6.5% ABV.

I was served a 16 oz pour in a pint glass at a Norfolk, Virginia restaurant.

Appearance: There was about a 1/2 inch of chestnut-colored frothy foam that lasted for a few minutes to leave a little bit of head and medium lacing. The color is a murky and opaque dark red/brown.

Smell: The smell was pretty faint. I got toasted malt and some spice, perhaps. It smells a bit like cinnamon, though is faint. There were also some light citrus notes.

Taste: To start with, I got fresh, crisp pumpkin that gave a bit of a punch. It was then decently malty, giving way to toasted malt and a grassy/wheaty backbone, with some citrus in the finish. I also taste some spice, I think cinnamon. The taste was interesting. There was some sweetness to it, with some light molassas notes and some banana. I wouldn’t call this beer sweet, though.

Feel: It is light to medium bodied, leaning more to the medium-bodied side, with very light carbonation. The feel is velvety and soft, and really quite enjoyable. It isn’t too viscous, or real chewy. It is just velvety.

Drinkability: This one is pretty easy-drinking. The dynamic taste invites one to have sip after sip to reach that pumpkin and malt over the citrus finish. The feel also invites more sips. This is nice to drink. It is also low in ABV.

Overall:  I think the pumpkin flavor is nice, especially up front. The more I drink this beer, the more the flavors come out, so that the spices and underlying malt and sweetness are stronger. The flavors are also interesting. It gets good marks for dynamic flavor, and for the feel. I also like that it is a bit off the beaten track for pumpkin beer. For a pumpkin beer, I like it. The pumpkin flavor is there, though it isn’t so central that I’d think of this as a paradigm pumpkin beer. I do wish the flavors were balanced a little better, but know little of how to make a Dunkelweisse with pumpkin. I tried this beer down in Norfolk, after making a bunch of calls and finally finding a place that had it on tap (rather than places that used to, or places that had it in their walk-in and needed to be encouraged to put it higher in the lineup). So it took a little time to find a place.  It was worth the effort, especially since I like the people at O’Connor Brewing Company. An interesting Virginia pumpkin beer.

Overall Rating**1/2


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