BBB63 (6510) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 22, 2009
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle and served in Duval snifter: Tasted head to head against the Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin:
Hazy orangy amber hue with a fading head and okay lace. Shipyard wins the appearance battle (3-4). The aroma has notes of fresh pumpkin meat, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, doughy pie crust and brown sugar. Yep smells just like a classic Pumpkin Pie. The Clipper City wins the aroma battle by a wide margin. (8 -6) Now on towards the make it or break it sense data for all pumpkin brews...
The taste is full frontal kicking in your face pumpkin and spice. Big sweet malts, big traditional pie spice supported by a mild doughy background. What hops may have been used in this beer have long been beat into submission by the spice overtone. Just seems too one note and suffers the common issue I have with the genre, too much spice and not enough beer. The points go to Shipyard here (5-7). The mouth feel is slightly aggressive and the one moment that the 8% ABV shows up in a snappy bite. Still the mouth feel is quite average and gets the score you would expect. I give Shipyard a slight nod here as well (3-4). Overall, while the Clipper City is hardly the worse Pumpkin beer I had, I am let down by expecting this to be the more drinkable and complex of the head to head matchup. Boy this is a shocking outcome, (11)
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - NOV 21, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
THOUGHTS: Very nice. A bit like Pum King. It’s definitely in my top four pumpkin beers. Breweries should just stop making non-imperial pumpkin beers. This had the perfect amount of spice for this amount of body and alcohol. The spices went from the tip of my tongue to the back of my throat. It went great with light cinnamon applesauce. When it was done, I found myself wanting more.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a hazy, medium orange with a small, off-white head that mostly diminished and left fair lacing. The aroma was moderate caramel, along with nutmeg and other spices, and pumpkin pie. The initial flavor was rather sweet and a little acidic; while the finish was sweet, sour and a bit acidic with an average to long duration. There was caramel malt, pumpkin pie, tons of spices with some major nutmeg and more pumpkin pie. The medium body was somewhat syrupy with fizzy carbonation and a slightly chalky and light to moderately astringent finish.
ben4321 (5414) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - NOV 16, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Location: 22 oz bottle from Gilly’s, 11/16/09
Aroma: The aroma has some of the nice pumpkin spice and other spice characteristics I like in this style
Appearance: A mostly clear orange color with a thin lasting head, and light, drippy lace
Flavor: The taste is also lots of spice malts with a nice hop backing, spice is more cinnamon and nutmeg then pumpkin
Palate: The carbonation is pretty high for this beer, the mouthfeel is pretty nice, and a bit dry, and a bit of alcohol feel
This is a pretty good Pumpkin beer, but my main complaint is that the pumpkin spice is not as predominant as I would like it to be. That is only a minor compliant though, as I did enjoy this beer. As winter beers start to show up more, and this style is less available in stores, I can already tell I’m about to start missing the pumpkin beers. This is a quite good one.
Acetobacter (816) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 15, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Enjoyed from a 22oz bomber in a tulip glass. The beer pours a medium to slightly dark amber color with a small head that quickly disappears. The nose and palate are strikingly similar to Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpking Ale, to the extent that the two are essentially dead ringers for one another. Lots of nutmeg, cinnamin, and a touch of store-bought pumpkin pie spicing. Hops are irrelevant and note noticeable. Malt makes an appearance, but is unfortunately vastly overshadowed by the spicing. Overall, this can’t hold a candle to Dogfish Head’s Punkin or Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumpking, but it is a nicely done seasonal that belies its strength.
Brigadier (3475) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - NOV 11, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
650 ml bottle
I am always game for a new pumpkin seasonal so as soon as I saw this on the shelf (reasonably priced no less) I picked up a bottle. It took a while to get through but the payoff was worth it.
Aroma / Appearance - Mildly carbonated with a orange hue the color of the setting sun this glowed brilliantly. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and a squash character gave it some depth but nothing too rich. As with any solid pumpkin ale the aroma of warm pie filled the air.
Flavor / Palate - Strong and spicy the kick settles down after a while. Leaving a trace of nutmeg on the throat it hides the ABV dangerously well. Like pumpkin pie mixed into alcoholic form this is a well done seasonal.
radagast83 (6795) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - NOV 8, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap. Pours a dark transparent orange color with a very thin white head. Aroma is of pumpkin pie - completely pumpkin and spice. It is very smooth and the alcohol is quite hidden.
blklab2007 (2118) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 7, 2009
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
draft came with an amber color and a thin off white head. aroma has plenty of pie spices, light hops, and wet herbs. mouth feel is a little light and the carbonation on the low side. flavor as in the aroma is dominated by the spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, mild bitter hops, brown sugar, and some vegetable.
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 7, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2009 Bottle - Thanks beachbum25! - Pours a hazy amber orange with a small white head...aroma is spicy grain, slightly vegetal, sweet malt...flavour is similar, pie spice, some pumpkin nuance, not really pumpkiny, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg, old grain and brown sugar...finish is lingering spice and a slight alcohol kick...decent...
awiseman01 (469) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - NOV 7, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from Crown#6. Pours cloudy/crystal dark orange with rising bubbles and minimal white head. Nose is slight pumpkin spice and some spicy hops. Taste is relatively smooth, slightly carbonated, slight pumpkin flavor and a decent amount of hops. A little odd overall, not my favorite pumpkin brew.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - NOV 7, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2009
Name: Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin
Date: October 12, 2009
Appearance: hazy orange, wispy off white head
Aroma: big sweet pumpkin aroma with lots of spices
Flavor: sweet pumpkin and malt flavor, well balanced spices, light bitterness follows the spices
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 11/20
Score: ** /4