Terrapin “Pumpkinfest” Pumpkin Beer (2014)


Terrapin “Pumpkinfest” Pumpkin Beer is 6.1% ABV.

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

Appearance: My pour was not so gentle, and it tossed up less than a finger of off-white head. This didn’t last long, and dwindled to leave no lacing and just a thin ring around the sides of the glass. This has a very bright and beautiful orange/amber, with moderate haziness. The bubbles in it suggest moderate to heavy carbonation.

Smell: I get a nice spice profile, set against some vegetal pumpkin and some somewhat toasty malt. The spices are warm, and give off ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This also has some caramel to it, and some hops that are sort of lemony. Nice spice which complements the other aromas. Fresh.

Taste: This has good vegetal pumpkin, with just some slight sourish tones. The squash and sourish tones are nicely balanced in fact, and don’t have the deep sourness a lot of vegetal-y pumpkin offerings have. This also has a warm blend of spices- I think ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Behind this there is a smooth base layer of sweet but not overly sweet caramely malt, with a little toastiness and some bread. And then you get some bright hops, with a mild lemony character. This finishes dryer, with some of that hops presence fading into some slightly bitter and peppery spice with a bit of lemon on the tongue. No one flavor dimension takes over, and nothing is distracting. It has really great balance. Fresh, bright, enjoyable.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation plus. It has a smoothness to it that is pleasantly interrupted by some spice, some mildly sour squash, and some hops. Really fresh, and dryer than I was expecting.

Drinkability: This drinks really well for a pumpkin offering that has notable spice. I like all of the flavors, and the freshness of it. The only thing that holds back the drinkability is some of the sourness and lemon which lingers. Even so, this does really well here.

Overall: I have enjoyed this beer for years. I most always want to revisit it, as I think it is just a solid offering that has stayed solid. This year is no different for me. Good pumpkin, good spice, nice balance, and a very pleasant drink. For those looking for a good balance in a vegetal pumpkin offering, this is one of the best. It is also a fun brew as it combines some of the oktoberfest style with a pumpkin ale. So it doesn’t blend in so easily with the many pumpkin offerings out there. It shares the same name with a VA offering I previously reviewed this year, St George’s “Pumpkinfest”. This year, Terrapin’s takes it.

Overall Rating: ***

DSC03789About Terrapin and “Pumpkinfest”: Terrapin Beer Co is located in Athens, Georgia. They have been brewing beer there since 2002. One of my favorites is their “Wake ‘N’ Bake” Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. I wrote more about them and this beer in my 2013 review of Terrapin’s “Pumpkinfest”.


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