Chad9976 (1021) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Remember when you were a kid and you were convinced you wouldn’t like a food without actually eating it? I’m still like that way when it comes to some things as an adult, namely – organic beers. I decided to make Wolaver’s Will Stevens’ Pumpkin Ale my introductory organic beer since I’m a huge fan of pumpkin beers. I’m glad I did because this is exactly what I look for in a pumpkin beer: a fairly complex palate with genuine spice and smooth drinkability that satisfies. What was I so afraid of?
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
This beer may be organic but I can tell it’s filtered since it pours to a shade bright orange or copper and is crystal-clear. Plenty of carbonation is noticeable, although it dies down fairly quickly. Its head is rather small, off-white and foamy and dissolves a little quicker than I prefer.
The aroma is very inviting, though, with nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin scents quite prominent. I don’t get any kind of grainy or boozy aroma, either, which is good.
I guess I was expecting an organic pumpkin beer to taste like an organic pumpkin pie (which tastes very vegetable-like since it’s not the canned stuff with sugar added). Thankfully that was not the case of Wolvar’s Pumpkin Ale. In fact, if the brewery kept it a secret that their beers are organic I never would have tasted a difference.
The flavor here is just what you want in a pumpkin beer: very distinct flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin and all well-balanced so none overshadow any of the others. Taken together they add up for a tasty liquid potpourri with a slightly bitter ending. It’s fairly rich but at the same time it doesn’t dance on your palate. But where other pumpkin beers tend to fail, Will Stevens’ brew succeeds since its thick palate doesn’t wash itself away.
In retrospect I probably would’ve enjoyed an even more intense palate, but what’s here is very satisfying.
The irony of “spicy” beers is that their palate is often so complex and intense they’re difficult to drink. Wolaver’s is able to have it both ways. The mouthfeel is rather heavy with a seemingly creamy texture. The spices don’t overwhelm so as to give the beer a gentle, soft mouthfeel. It finishes extremely smooth and leaves a pleasing aftertaste.
I’m not entirely sure of the ABV of this beer, but would guess it to be under 5% ABV (the bottle doesn’t say, neither does the brewer’s website). Considering the taste and drinkability I think it would work extremely well as a session beer.
I think Wolaver’s Will Stevens’ Pumpkin Ale is one of the most versatile pumpkin and fall seasonals on the market today. It’s extremely drinker-friendly in terms of taste and finish and having the organic certification makes it something of a politically-correct or “green” beer. I could honestly see Joe Six Packs substituting this for their Sunday afternoon football “light” brew (although I’m not sure it can compete price-wise).
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
mar (4468) - Dallas, Texas, USA - FEB 6, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle from thirdeye11. light amber with a cream head. nutmeg, pumpkin, ginger and more spices on the nose. light on the palate with flavors of ginger, pumpkin and some nutmeg.
thirdeye11 (5339) - Dallas, Texas, USA - FEB 6, 2010
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
( 12oz bottle) Pours clear orange with nice oily bubbles. Nose of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and gingerbread. Taste of bitter pumpkin, hairspray, and light sweetness. Nice oily body with lots of spices and good creamy carbonation.
alobar (2509) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Clear amber color with aroma of spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Spice falvor of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove with hints of pumpkin. Not overdone with the spices. Decent beer. Not much pumpkin flavor though.
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 30, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz bottle pours clear copper with lasting modest off white head. The aroma is just loads of pumpkin winter spices and then hints of pumpkin and lemon like acidity. Wow. The taste begins with an all too brief pulse of pumpkin that gets swallowed up by wintery spices, cinnamon, pepper and cinnamon covered graham cracker cookies. This is a very spicy brew covering up what little pumpkin there might actually be in it.
pyromt30 (27) - Lebanon, USA - NOV 29, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours darkish organge with nice white head. Flavors of pumpkin and some spice. Well balanced although a bit heavy. One of the best pumpkin ales I have tried
Rusty (1533) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a brownish orange with a white head. Aroma is pumpkin pie spices, a little pumpkin and malt. Flavor is cloves, nutmeg, and other pumpkin spices, pumpkin, cinnamon. Finish is bitter cinnamon and spices. Another pumpkin beer with too many spices and too little pumpkin. But still a good effort.
HogTownHarry (5908) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - NOV 25, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle ( 12oz ). Slightly hazy orange-amber with a large lasting fizzy-frothy off-white head (4-). Aroma of spicy pumpkin, with nutmeg and a little soap. Taste follows, a bit more soap and spice - get a bit overly bitter and harsh in the finish. Watery, very lively body .... not bad.
hopscotch (8375) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 15, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle… Clear amber ale with a small, flimsy, white head. Decent retention. Sweet, spicy aroma – nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and caramel. Full-bodied with a buttery mouthfeel and lively carbonation. The medium bitter, moderately sweet, spicy flavor features nutmeg, brown sugar and a heaping helping of hops. Spicy, bitter finish.
puzzl (3216) - New York, New York, USA - NOV 11, 2009
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottled. Soapy, "pumpkin" nose if cheap pie spices are what you consider to smell like pumpkin. Kind of smells like cinnamon and nutmeg that has been sitting in the pantry for 10 years. Just old and stale and lifeless. Moderate body, lip-coating but not sweet, with more lifeless character in the malt, and the inevitable pie spice finish. Even for the already bad (mostly) Pumpkin Ale style this one is still worse.