Ithaca “Country Pumpkin” Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Ithaca “Country Pumpkin” Pumpkin Ale is 6.3% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz  bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Only a little bit of off-white and thin foam appeared, which was gone before it came. The color is a bright medium orange/amber with a moderate haze to it. It looks like it has heavy carbonation, as I watch the surface of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is fairly tame. It has some vegetal pumpkin to start, with some spicing to follow. The pumpkin aroma is very clean and crisp. The spicing lends some warmth to the aroma, and smells like some standard pumpkin pie spicing with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. This also has some brown sugar sweetness to the aroma, and a citrusy hops presence. Good aroma.

Taste: This has fresh and clean-tasting vegetal pumpkin, with an evenly dosed and well-balanced spice profile. The spicing is as the aroma suggested: pumpkin pie spice that in this case has the cinnamon and ginger being clear. There is a tinge of artificiality with the spicing, but nothing serious. This also has some grassiness along with a smooth sweetness of honey. The fresh and clean pumpkin binds this all together into a great harvest invoking pumpkin beer. This finishes dry with more presence from the hops that bring a little citrus. The aftertaste has vegetal pumpkin and some mild spicing pleasantly hanging on.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with heavy carbonation. The feel has a little bit of texture from the spicing and what feels like some starchy pumpkin. It has some nice pops from the pumpkin, the grass, and the hops. As noted, it is also very clean. Good marks here.

Drinkability: This is does very well here. The spicing doesn’t hang. The flavors are good, clean, and not weak by any stretch. Yet they don’t weigh you down.

Overall: I quite like this one. If you are looking for a clean pumpkin beer that is not a heavy-hitter but still has good flavor and good pumpkin flavor, this is a great choice. It reminds me quite a bit of Wolaver’s, which I’ve enjoyed for years. But I do like this offering from Ithaca a little bit more. I think the balance is nice, and the pumpkin feels more front and center. The flavors are also have a bit more pop. In any case, I definitely recommend this among the harvesty and the non-imperial pumpkin ales. It would also be great for those who don’t want to be bombarded with a lot of spice.

Overall Rating: ***1/2

DSC03600About Ithaca and their “Country Pumpkin”: Ithaca opened in December 1998 in Ithaca, New York. Founder Dan Mitchell began with an aim to bring beer to the already craft-industry oriented folks around the Finger Lakes. They have since picked up a couple of medals at the Great American Beer Festival, and have grown well beyond the Finger Lakes. You can get their beer in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Ithaca makes their pumpkin ale with pumpkin puree, and spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. The recipe uses Caramunich, Munich, standard Pale 2-Row, Vienna, and Honey Malts, as well as Magnum hops. What’s maybe more important is how these ingredients are blended. The balance is very good with this beer.

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