St. George “Pumpkinfest” Pumpkin Beer (2014)

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St. George “Pumpkinfest” Pumpkin Beer is 6% ABV.

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

Appearance: Quite the careful pour frothed up a few fingers of off-white whipped egg-white foam. This lasted for a good while, still hanging on as I’m writing about this beer. The color is a light orange/amber, with some definite sediment and haze to it. Many bubbles rising suggest very heavy carbonation.

Smell: For aroma I get some vegetal pumpkin, and some light spicing.  The particular spices aren’t so clear, but I get somethign like cinnamon and ginger. This is also sort of bready, with some toasty malt. It has just a little bright hops. The aroma also has a lot of CO2 to it. It stings the nostrils, again suggesting heavy carbonation.

Taste: This is a very fizzy beer, which makes picking out the flavors not as easy of a process. I get some pumpkin which is on the vegetal side. I also get some nice spice that has some warm dimensions and some moderate to strong bitterness. Cinnamon, ginger, and probably some other things. This has a malty sweetness with bready notes. The finish has a little bit of brightness from the hops, leading into an aftertaste of slight sour notes and mild lingering bitterness. The flavors really get overshadowed by the very heavy carbonation. You can’t make out the pumpkin or the spices so well.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, but certainly over-carbonated. You get so much fizz that the other aspects to the feel are unable to make an impact. Not good here.

Drinkability: This offering is not so great here. The over-carbonation really detracts from it, making it hard to drink. What I get in the aftertaste is some lemony and bitter notes, and the feeling like I just drank a lot of soda too fast.

Overall: This is not so great overall. I think there is good spicing, and interesting flavors to it. But it really just is over-carbonated, to the point where I don’t enjoy it. When we recently did a blind VA pumpkin beer tasting, we opened two other bottles of this beer, both of which were bought as individual singles. Both of those bottles were also seriously over-carbonated. I wonder how much of their production of this beer was like this. As it stands, I can’t really finish this beer. So I can’t really give it a good rating. Previously, I really enjoyed this beer when I did my 2013 review of “Pumpkinfest”. It was also harder to get last year. I wonder if this production problem is related to scaling up. Or, perhaps, this was just a bad batch of it. I know this beer has been great before, as last year I did a non-blind VA pumpkin beer tasting (which I didn’t post about), and this was one of the favorites. Hopefully it will be more dialed in next year.

Overall Rating: *

photo 3 (1)About St. George and this offering: St. George Brewing is located in Hampton, Virginia. They make a number of their own beers, and also help with contract brewing for a few other local breweries. I recently heard that they are doing some work for Back Bay Brewing out of VA Beach, whose “Witch of Pungo” Pumpkin Ale I recently reviewed. I also previously wrote more about St. George and their “Pumpkinfest” in my 2013 review of St. George’s “Pumpkinfest”, a beer that shares the same name with Terrapin’s pumpkin beer/Oktoberfest offering.

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