Harpoon “UFO” Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Harpoon “UFO” Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale is 5.9% ABV.

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

Appearance: A robust pour gave about 3 fingers of off-white and frothy foam. This dissipated into a thin layer of still frothy foam that left some thin lacing. The color on this is a very hazy light yellow/orange. This has a good bit of sediment floating in it, and appears to have medium carbonation.

Smell: This has nice vegetal pumpkin, some nice citrus notes, a fruity sweetness, and some warm spicing to start. The spice profile definitely appears to have cinnamon in it. I also get some ginger, and maybe some of the other “pumpkin pie” spices that are a lot less prominent than the cinnamon. This beer has enjoyable wheat and grassy notes, and some light toasted malt. The sweetness I am getting is like honey and orange. Overall, this smells pretty good.

Taste: This starts with prominent (though somewhat subdued) vegetal pumpkin. This pumpkin flavor is then accented by some warm spicing that has bitter and peppery characteristics to it. There is also strong and grassy wheat, which nicely blends with the other flavors. I also get some of the standard pumpkin pie spicing: some cinnamon, (I think) some ginger, and something earthy and woody. Quite similar to the smell, the sweetness is like orange and honey, and works alongside of the lightly toasted malt. The finish adds a bit more of the orange with a touch of sour, and leads into a slightly bitter and somewhat earthy aftertaste. The flavors in this are decently balanced, and work well with the strong and forward wheat.

Feel: I’d say this is medium bodied, with light carbonation. It is fairly smooth, and almost creamy. The wheat notes and spicing adds some character to the otherwise entirely mellow feel. There is also some yeast and sediment which seems to also add some texture to the feel as well. Pretty good feel.

Drinkability: This is quite drinkable. The mellow feel and smooth flavors help this one quite a bit here. The one thing that does detract a little from the drinkability is the leftover bitterness from the spices on the aftertaste. These do hang on a bit, though aren’t so overpowering as to warrant any major complaint. Pretty good marks here.

Overall: This is a decent pumpkin ale. The flavors aren’t so interesting or complex; but they are well done. The pumpkin is also clear and enjoyable, even though it isn’t really featured such as to get the spotlight. Overall, this is smooth and enjoyable, and worth trying. It is a bit more interesting than beers like Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale or Blue Point’s Pumpkin Ale, though isn’t as interesting or flavorful as say, some of my locals that I think are pretty good. These include Blue Mountain’s Pumpkin Oatmeal Porter, and the O’Connor Punkelweisse. This would be good if one wanted a decently smooth and flavorful six-pack to drink while watching a sporting game or doing an otherwise non-beer-related activity that might best be paired with a smooth and drinkable beer.

Overall Rating: **1/4

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