Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale (2013)

DSC03735

Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale is 5.2% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A harder pour produced 2-3 fingers of thick and frothy light beige head, which clung a bit to the sides and settled to a thin layer after about 5 minutes. This has a golden light amber color, and is mostly clear with just a very slight haze to it. Carbonation bubbles rising suggest moderate carbonation.

Smell: I get good vegetal pumpkin with some slight sourish citrus notes, and a warmth of complex spicing to this one. I get ginger, clove, and allspice. Maybe there is come nutmeg in this too. There is some light toasty and somewhat bready malt and a kind of honey sweetness to this. Smells pretty good.

Taste: This packs a lot of spice into it. I get some fairly bold  but not caustic spice up front: clove, allspice, ginger, and maybe some of the other usual suspects. The spice profile is on the darker, woodier, and more bark-like side with clove and allspice doing quite a bit of work. There is also a pepper-like quality to the spice-profile. This also has a nice and noticeable vegetal pumpkin quality, which is accented by some light citrus notes. I get some fairly smooth malt, with the earthy and peppery spice adding some complexity. It has some honey and caramel-like sweetness to balance with all the spice. This finishes with a good bit of honey sweetness, moving into an aftertaste of peppery and woody spices. Pretty good taste.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. It is fairly soft in texture, which is really nice. The citrus notes and intense spice break that up a little bit, for a fairly dynamic feel. Pretty good marks here.

Drinkability: This is decent on this score. The spices do begin to weigh me down a bit, though each sip does contribute some citrus and sweetness to break things up. The aftertaste does leave me wanting less coarse spice on my tongue.

Overall: I enjoyed this offering. I think of it more like a spice ale with pumpkin, than a pumpkin ale with spices. Its name fits this persona, which is good. I really enjoy the warmth of the spices, but wish the aftertaste wasn’t so dominated with coarse spice. I did like the dynamic feel. As usual, I would want a bit more pumpkin flavor. But I often say that, and many don’t quite agree with me on that one. The bottle has some mountains and pine trees, which is quite fitting given the flavor and feel of this beer. It would be good for folks who like a lot of earthy spice in their fall beers.

Overall Rating: **3/4

DSC03736About Two Beers and their offering: Two Beers Brewing Company opened in Seattle, Washington in 2007. Two Beers professes a strong love for “all things Pacific Northwest and the outdoors”. One of their company slogans is “Life is just a  little more honest after two beers”. Early on at Two Beers, head brewer Joel VandenBrink worked with just two 27 gallon fermenters. So they started small, only producing 100 barrels in their first year. This year, their brewery in the SoDo district of Seattle is producing 6,000 barrels a year.

Two Beers makes their pumpkin spice ale with pumpkin, crystal and munich malt, Super Galena hops, and a spice blend of clove, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. It is 19 IBU’s, and has an original gravity of 1.054, which takes it to 5.4%. Two Beers’ pumpkin spice ale won a gold medal this year at the Washington Beer Awards.

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