Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Stegmiaer Pumpkin Ale is 5.5% ABV.

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

Appearance: A vigorous pour gave about a finger of light tan head that dissipated over about two minutes to leave basically no foam and no noticeable lacing. The color is a light orange/amber that is just slightly hazy. This appears to have medium carbonation.

Smell: I get fairly mellow vegetal pumpkin, along with some forthright spicing of (I think) cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This has a caramel-like malt sweetness. This has an almost coppery scent, which cheapens it a little bit. Otherwise, it has a nice sweet, light pumpkin, and strong spice aroma.

Taste: I get vegetal pumpkin, fairly strong spicing, and a nice caramel-malt backbone. The pumpkin is strong enough to keeps its flavor throughout, and the spicing is fairly strong with allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The malt has wheat-like elements, but otherwise strong caramel tones. This finish lets go of some of the sweetness to embrace more of the slightly bitter spicing. The aftertaste has somewhat of a coppery feel, and some more dull bitter spicing. This is in the “pumpkin pie” style of pumpkin ales. It has decently well-balanced flavors, and a nice pleasant sweetness. The copper that I get makes it feel a bit cheap; but that is really just a small feature here. I like the flavors in this.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with medium to heavy carbonation. The sweetness in this makes for a decently smooth and pleasant feel, which is also made more complex with some of the slightly coarse spicing. This is pretty smooth overall, and fairly light on the palate.

Drinkability: This is quite drinkable, has a low ABV, and a pleasant sweetness. Its being fairly light on the palate helps here. It is fairly easy drinking, though has some cheapish copper notes and a lingering dull bitterness. This gets decent marks here.

Overall: I like this beer, but remember liking it a little more last year. The pumpkin flavor is nice, and strong enough to maintain its presence alongside the spices and the caramel-malt sweetness. This is also on the light side, and has a nice smooth sweetness. As noted above, there is a sort of slightly cheap coppery feel to this, which detracts a bit from the drinking experience. That and the slightly dull aftertaste are the two things I think of for criticism. Past those however, this is a pretty solid middle of the road drinkable pumpkin ale. The flavors aren’t so intense or unique; but they are enjoyable. I would pick this up for something to drink a few of socially, or for something light for one of the warmer fall days. It is worth trying if you like the not so bold or heavy beers.

Overall Rating: **1/4


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