Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus is 4.0% ABV.
I poured some of a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.
Appearance: This got a moderate and hard-at-the-end pour, creating a finger of off-white and fairly thin head, which didn’t last too long and left no real lacing. The color is a very bright and clear orange/iced tea. This looks like it has mild carbonation.
Smell: This has an acidic aroma with distinct sourish notes and some slightly funky yeast. On top of this is a thick layer of fruity sweetness, like from pear and apricot. I also get some caramel. There is no real spice presence to this one, and little hops to speak of. A little bit of citrus is also noticeable. An interesting and bright aroma.
Taste: This has some bright and slightly sour notes to it. The yeastiness and funkiness are more subdued than I was expecting, and there is a nice herbal presence. This has some pumpkin flavor that is clean and on the vegetal side. It also has a lot of sweetness, like from some brown sugar and some fruit. I get pear in this, as well as some bright citrus like from tangerine. The sourness gets more pronounced as I drink this. A finish of herbal sweetness with some sour notes leads into an aftertaste of citrusy sour notes, which linger for a while. This has bright and interesting flavors.
Feel: This is light bodied, with light carbonation. The feel is bright and punchy from the sour notes, fruit, and sweetness. It is sort of sharp in places, but rounded some from the sugar. Decent feel, and less intense than some of the stickier and more punchy lambics.
Drinkability: This is pretty drinkable for a beer with a notable and strong sour presence. As mentioned, the sugars in this mellow it out some. It probably wouldn’t be so drinkable for those used to light american lagers.
Overall: I also reviewed this beer last year, as the first non-U.S. beer on the blog. This is still the only Belgian beer to be reviewed here. This year I like it, but not as much as last year. I like the herbal profile of this, as well as the clean and clear pumpkin. The pumpkin is great and bright. This also has nice complexity for something so light in body and ABV. The sour notes are nice, and are balanced well with the brown sugar and fruity sweetness. I think the aroma was more interesting and smelled more inviting than the taste. It has a great aroma. I do like the taste, though. It is unique among the many standard “pumpkin pie” pumpkin ales on the market. If you like lambics or sours, this would be a good one to try. It was a bit pricey at 12 bucks for the 750. Importing it from Belgium does cost money. So I’d say try it if you are moved by the style.
Overall Rating: ***
About Timmermans and their offering: Timmermans is the oldest lambic brewery in the world. They began in 1702, and have been brewing their beer in the same open fermentation style in the same space since then. So over 300 years of brewing history. The John Martin Company bought Timmerman’s in 1993 and began overseeing the brewing operations. The John Martin Company was founded by the Martin family from Britain in 1903, after they moved and settled in Belgium. They have rights to a number of different brands of beverages in Belgium, both alcoholic and not, ranging from Orangina, Schweppes, Guiness, Martin’s Pale Ale, and Timmerman’s. Timmerman’s, the oldest brewery still in production, has a great rich history which can be found on their website.
Timmerman’s makes their Pumpkin Lambicus with an open fermentation process and some discreet sugar added. Timmerman’s doesn’t note whether they add brown sugar to this beer, though they recognize that it gives off some brown sugar, which they say is “remembering and accentuating the convivial touch of Halloween”. Unsurprisingly, it is not a traditional style to have pumpkin in a lambic. So it is pretty cool to get a festive fall beverage out of the oldest operating brewery in the world.