Kennebunkport Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale (2013)


Kennebunkport Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale is 4.7% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a “craft beer” glass.

Appearance: A slow and hard-at-the-end pour produced just a finger of thin off-white head, which was gone pretty quickly. The color of this  is a very clear yellow/light orange. This has a lot of bubbles to it, suggesting moderate to heavy carbonation.

Smell: This smells of heavy and almost artificial spice, with cinnamon, ginger, and maybe some more of the usual suspects. It has a slight or very slight (or maybe just in my imagination) pumpkinish smell. I get some honey and light brown sugar sweetness in this, some mild sour tones, and just a trace of hops. Not a very good aroma, and not very appealing.

Taste: This is sweeter than I was expecting. I get some honey sweetness and some, again, artificial-like spicing. I get cinnamon and ginger, and I think nutmeg. The spice feels heavy, like it was dry-spiced too aggressively or perhaps over-spiced right at bottling. There are some slight sour tones to this, and just a little bit by way of hops. The malt profile is pretty thin, and doesn’t have any great properties. Overall this tastes pretty watery, with artificial spice, and a sweetness that is both unappealing and unbalanced with the rest of the flavors.

Feel: This offering is light bodied, with medium to high carbonation. It is very thin, and has some unpleasant additions of artificial-like spice. Not good here.

Drinkability: It might be thought that this must be drinkable, for it is so thin and is on the sweet side. But it isn’t so drinkable, because of how artificial the flavors in this are, and because it is unbalanced. Unfortunately, this gets bad marks here too.

Overall: This is the worst pumpkin beer I’ve tasted this year, and unfortunately not one I can think of substantive good things to say about. I wouldn’t recommend it. It reminds me of the retired (that is, no longer being brewed) Michelob’s “Jack’s” Pumpkin Spice Ale, which I wrote some notes on the first year I did this blog in 2011.

Overall Rating: *

DSC03742Kennebunkport Brewing Company and their offering: Kennebunkport Brewing Company (or KBC) is located in Kennebunk, Maine. It is the brewery that is associated with Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brewpub, and was established in 1992.

This pumpkin ale was bought at Trader Joe’s, and was brewed  for sale at Trader Joe’s. Thanks to my friend Tim for providing a bottle for review. What is interesting about this one, is that it is apparently the same beer as Shipyard’s “Pumpkinhead”. I spoke with the folks at Federal Jack’s Brewpub/Kennebunkport Brewing Company early this season about their beer, not knowing then the relationship with Trader Joe’s. During the conversation it came out that Shipyard brews this beer for them, and that it is the same beer with a different company name put on it. The particular beer I reviewed was made, bottled, and labeled ‘KBC’ for sale at Trader Joe’s, but one could also drink this beer at Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brewpub/KBC. So lots of different names for one beer. From what I heard, the Shipyard beers began at Federal Jack’s, and eventually moved away to another bigger brewery location.


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