Redhook “Out of Your Gourd” Pumpkin Porter is 5.8% ABV.
I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a porter glass.
Appearance: Pouring steadily produced a finger or so of light brown and thin head. The head was gone in about 2 minutes, leaving no lacing. The color on this is a deep dark brown, with just a little bit of burgundy light coming through. This looks to have light carbonation.
Smell: I get some mild dark malts with a little bit of roast, some vegetal pumpkin, and some woody spices. Working hard to discern the individual spices in the aroma, I am coming up with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This has some molasses to the smell, and a little bit of vegetal pumpkin with some sour notes. The aroma is fairly tame, and again has nice dark and woody spicing paired with the dark malts.
Taste: I get vegetal pumpkin with wood and tree-bark dark spicing. The spicing has some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove (I think). This isn’t incredibly roasty, but does have some dark malt to it. For sweetness there is some molasses and some dark sugar. The more I drink this, the more the sweetness comes out. This finishes to let the sweetness fade into more vegetal pumpkin and spicing, leaving an aftertaste of light sandy bitterness. Overall, the flavors in this are pretty good. I particularly like the dark malt and woody spicing as they are paired with the vegetal pumpkin.
Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. It is lighter in body than I was expecting in a porter, or as I was expecting from the aroma. It is also higher in carbonation than I was expecting. There is nothing really dynamic or heavy with the feel; the feel is smooth and pretty enjoyable. It is a little over-carbonated for my tastes.
Drinkability: This does well for drinkability. It is smooth, has some sweetness, and nothing really hangs very much. Decent marks here.
Overall: I heard of this beer last year, but didn’t see it on my local stores’ shelves. This year I thought I’d do a review, as this is probably the largest distributed pumpkin porter. And I like it, for what it is. It is a lighter-bodied porter with some decent pumpkin flavor, and some smooth dark malt. The woody spice is also nice, and contributes to a mellow and chill feel. I’d want a bit more body in my pumpkin porters, like the incredible Alaskan Pumpkin Porter, or the Epic/DC Brau Imperial Pumpkin Porter. If you like the lighter-bodied dark beers, this may be for you.
Overall Rating: **
About Redhook and their offering: Redhook began in 1981 in Seattle, Washington. They started in an old transmission shop in the Ballard area of Seattle. Having grown quite a bit since then, with large production locations in Woodinville, Washington, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Redhook is now owned by the company Craft Brew Alliance. Craft Brew Alliance is a large company marketing big names like Widmer Brothers, Kona, and recently, Omission. About one third of Craft Brew Alliance’s company is owned by the beer giant AB/InBev. Redhook’s flagship beer, their “ESB”, which I’ve known since my early days in the restaurant business, can be found in almost all states in the U.S.
Redhook makes their pumpkin porter with pumpkin puree. For spices, they add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg into the whirlpool. Being a fairly mild and smooth porter, it has a small amount of Northern Brewer hops for the boil. To finish this off, they also add some maple syrup during fermentation. Last year, this beer was only available in the New England area. In 2013, it is available in 48 states from early August til late September.