Rogue Chatoe Rogue “Pumpkin Patch” Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Rogue Chatoe Rogue “Pumpkin Patch” Pumpkin Ale is 5.6% ABV.

I poured some of this 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A robust pour gave about 3 fingers of light tan head that dissipated over a few minutes to leave a thin layer of head and some medium lacing along the sides of the glass. The color is a cloudy and dark red/amber. This appears to have light to medium carbonation.

Smell: Up front I get clear vegetal pumpkin along with some slight sourness and medium spicing. The spicing isn’t so clear as to advertise some particular spices, though this seems to have some cinnamon and clove in it. On top of this there are some grassy and earthy (but not bitter) tones that add some depth to the smell. There is also something like light toasted malt. This beer smells fresh and inviting. It’s nice to smell the vegetal pumpkin with the earthiness.

Taste: To start there is nice strong vegetal pumpkin, along with some pleasant earthy tones and a somewhat bright sweetness. This also has a nice hops presence, which adds complexity along with the darker malt flavors and the strong vegetal pumpkin. I also get some spicing in this (that is on the light side) that seems to have definite cinnamon, and some other standard fare pumpkin pie spicing. As for the sweetness in this, I think I’d compare the tones to a sweet nectarine or something. It is bright and pleasant. This finishes with a bit of the brightness of the pumpkin, some sweetness, and a touch of sourness; however this fades away to leave a slightly bitter and earthy aftertaste. The flavors in this are unique and have that nice earthy thing going on. I think this works really well with the vegetal pumpkin and well-balanced hops. I was quite taken by how balanced the flavors were, and by how unique the pumpkin (and other) flavors are in this.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. The feel has some nice bitterness from the hops, some nice slightly sour sweetness, bright vegetal pumpkin, and great earthy flavors. All of this gives that feel some great character. I really enjoy the feel on this one, though could see those not too keen on hops not being fans.

Drinkability: This does pretty well here. It has a nice sweetness that helps the earthiness, bright flavors, and the vegetal pumpkin along. It is also average in ABV. I could see one finding a nice film and working through this 750 with no problems.

Overall: I like this one, and was (given my first impression from the smell) taken by how much character and flavor it had. This has a lot of good things going for it: strong vegetal pumpkin, bright sweetness, nice earthy tones, and a decent hop presence. It has quite a unique character to it that is hard to capture. It tastes fresh, but still gets across some warmth (in virtue of the earthiness) that one wants (or at least, I want) with a pumpkin ale. It is very well-balanced. It is not too sweet, nor do the spices take over. There also isn’t an intense bitterness that grabs hold  at the end, as with some pumpkin beers. I think this is a really successful pumpkin ale. This is probably now my favorite of the non-high-ABV pumpkin ales. Formerly my pick of non-high-ABV pumpkin ales was Wolaver’s, which is still quite good in comparison to this. I just like this one a little better. This has more complexity. What a good pumpkin beer this is!

Overall Rating: ***3/4


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