Stone/The Bruery/Elysian (2011) “La Citrueille Celeste de Citricado” Pumpkin Ale is 5% ABV.
I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.
Appearance: Pouring steadily and with some vigor at the end didn’t bring about much head other than small bit of light tan foam. This beer has a cloudy dark reddish brown color, with not a whole lot of light getting through. The bubbles visible at the top suggest moderate to heavy carbonation.
Smell: At the front, I get dark roasty malt, some vegetal notes, and earthy spicing unlike any other pumpkin ale I’ve had before. The spicing is dark and herbal, and complemented by some lemon notes and a nice sweetness of molasses and dark caramelized sugar. There isn’t much by way of pumpkin in particular on the nose. But the roasty spicing and complexity makes for just a great aroma.
Taste: I get some starcy vegetal potato, some dark sugar sweetness, and some spicing. This has enjoyable dark spicing with some toasty malt in the background. The spicing is sort of herbal, with great earthy qualities. The flavors are subdued, probably due to the 2 years this sat in a bottle. Even so, there are still some bright elements coming from some lemon notes. This has a starchy sweet potato pie flavor, with all the complexity of the spicing making this more interesting than a sweet potato pie. The molasses and dark sugars aren’t heavy and complement the dark spice and starchy potato well. The flavors are good, but don’t give off a whole lot of pumpkin. This finishes with the dark and herbal spicing grabbing more of my attention, which are still there but subdued some in the aftertaste.
Feel: This offering is light bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation. This feels nice on the palate, with some smoothness and comforting starch that is made more complex by the earthy spicing and sugar. Enjoyable feel.
Drinkability: This is low in ABV, and noticeably light on the palate, with the exception of the strong roasty and earthy spicing. This spicing is a bit strong, which keeps this from being incredibly drinkable. Otherwise, good on this score.
Overall: This was surprisingly good for a beer of 5% that wasn’t intended to age for 2 years. I knew about this, and didn’t have any the year it came out. Suddenly and a bit confusingly, it popped up a few weeks ago at one of my local craft beer stores. I was a bit puzzled, but went ahead and pulled the trigger on two 12oz bottles. I knew they were 5% beers and 2 years old, so were not apt to age so well. I also knew the bottle said “Drink fresh Do not Age”. But I couldn’t help trying it, as all three of these breweries collaborating on this are powerhouses. In any case, and back to this beer, it is a tasty one. The flavors are a but muted in this, I’m guessing because of the age. The spicing is unique and enjoyable, as is the balance. I could definitely go for some more pumpkin, as this doesn’t have very much. This is a good offering, which was good to try. But 4$ for a 12oz is a bit steep for something that was probably a lot better fresh. I wonder what this tasted like 2 years ago.
Overall Rating: **3/4
About this collaboration: This three-way collaboration between The Bruery (Orange County, California), Elysian (Seattle, Washington), and Stone (Escondido, California) happened back in October of 2011. Head brewer Tyler King and founder, Patrick Rue of The Bruery worked with Dick Cantwell (Elysian) and Mitch Steels, the brewmaster at Stone. The brewing and bottling took place at Stone, who have done a number of triple-collaborations over the years.
The name of this beer means “the heavenly pumpkin of Citricado” in French. The name of the street that the Stone facility is located on is called ‘Citricado Parkway. So that explains some of it. I’ve seen a video where the collaborators talk about the name of this beer, and where at least two of them defer in trying to pronounce it. So I am not sure why they chose the French. In any case, this tasty beverage is made from pumpkin, yams, toasted fenugreek, lemon verbena, and birch bark.