Anderson Valley “Fall Hornin'” Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Anderson Valley “Fall Hornin'” Pumpkin Ale is 6.0% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz  bottle into a “craft beer glass”.

Appearance: Steady and aggressive at the end was my pour. This gave about a quarter inch of thick chestnut colored foam, which hung on for a good while, still covering the surface of the beer. The color is a very clear but dark amber with a strong red hue. This looks to have heavy carbonation.

Smell: I get good moderately strong vegetal pumpkin, and a nice layer of spices. I get cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, as well as some nice and smooth brown sugar. This has some nice smooth and roasty malt. There are also some soft slight sour notes to this. The spicing is very smooth and well done on the nose. This smells creamy, even.

Taste: This has nice vegetal pumpkin presence, and a great smooth spice profile. I get cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Though, these aren’t all so crystal clear. The spice profile really blends well to create an emergent spice flavor that has some wood tones to it. I get some nice smooth slightly roasty malt. For sweetness, this has some restrained molasses and chocolate. These flavors are really smooth. This finishes with some of the molasses sweetness, which fades to leave a little bit of soft bitterness in the aftertaste.

Feel: The feel is great. It is nice and creamy. There is some smooth spicing, and some soft tones of vegetal pumpkin as well. This has a really good soft feel.

Drinkability: This is very drinkable. The malt and dark spice flavors do make this heavier on the palate than a light american lager, of course. But it still drinks so well, especially for something that has a good dose of spicing. The spicing is like a beautifully muted trumpet. That is, I didn’t know it could be so present while being soft.

Overall: This is a good pumpkin ale, with bold but not outrageous spicing. It has great soft flavors, and lets the vegetal pumpkin have a presence too. This is a must-try for those who love the spice-profiles of pumpkin ales. I do wish the pumpkin had a little more space on stage; but I am still overwhelmed with how creamy and soft this and its flavors are. Definitely a good pumpkin ale.

Overall Rating: ***

DSC03495About Anderson Valley and this Offering: Anderson Valley started in 1987 in Boonville, California, at The Anderson Valley. It was founded by David Norfleet, Ken Allen, and Kim Allen, at a time when they were first making 10-barrel batches for the brewpub, “The Buckhorn Saloon”. They moved to a 30-barrel setup in 1996. Still growing, Anderson Valley opened up a large scale Bavarian-style brewhouse with 85- and 100-barrel kettles in 2000. More recently, in 2010, the brewery sold to Ken White. Ken increased capacity yet again, and began the “Bah’l Hornin'” series of beers, which the “Fall Hornin'” is an exemplar of.

The “Fall Hornin'” utilizes Crystal, Maris Otter, Munich, and Pale Two-Row malts. They also add bravo hops, dark chocolate, and of course, pumpkin puree. There is a spice bill, though Anderson Valley doesn’t advertise it. Sitting at 6% and 20 IBUs, it is so smooth and velvety. I’ve only had this in the bottle. I’ve got a can of this hanging around. I might add some notes here when I try the canned version, for comparison.

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