I’m back with my second part of pumpkin beer tasting. We had four left in the fridge, and one of them we had last year!
Real roasted pumpkin is used when brewing pumpkin beer. I read that to incorporate the pumpkin, it’s either put in the mash or soaked with the grains as the water heats. I’m not an expert on brewing and I’m sure breweries do it in other ways too.
Here are the contestants:
My initial impressions were that the Dogfish Head would be the best, and that I wouldn’t like the lager very much. I was surprised… my impressions were WRONG.
We had the same tasters as last time. Here is what we thought!! Again, we did not talk at all and tired not to look at each other while tasting! SL: me. MS: Matthew Smoot. BE: Brad Efting
Shipyard Brewing PumpkinHead Ale
SL: Cool label! Nose: Rich, malty, spice and cinnamon Taste: Cinnamon dominant, some pumpkin, more of a lager finish, complex. Overall: Average, but it’s definitely a beer that you would say, “yes, that is a pumpkin beer…uhh, could I have another sip?”
MS: Nose: Pumpkin, spice, vanilla. Taste: Cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, clove, and 100% f&!*ing delicious, light body. Great overall!
BE: Nose: no review, Sonya walked by with a cake and I smelled the cake instead. It’s gone so I must have liked it!
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
SL: Nose: Unsweetened pumpkin, like out of a can. Cinnamon, nutmeg, velvety. Taste: Very strong on the brown taste, heavy malt, pie without the ice cream, not overly sweet. Overall: not a session beer, heavy, rich, does not really taste like a pumpkin beer after all the other pumpkin beers we’ve sampled. Disappointed because this was my favorite before I actually had other pumpkin beers simply because it’s rich and dark!
MS: Nose: Nutty, roasted malt, by comparison to others I don’t detect the pumpkin and spice. Definite brown. Taste: Drinks like a brown ale, mellow pumpkin, roasted caramel malt. I thought it was the best…. but not tonight
BE: Nose: Like a pumpkin candle (oh wait, that still may be the cake baking!) Taste: like the bud light of pumpkin beers. I’d drink it if no other beers were available, but I would not buy it for a pumpkin beer
Shocktop Pumpkin Unfiltered Wheat
SL: Nose: Vanilla, brown sugar, pie, orange. Taste: Orange, wheat overpowers everything, like drinking fruit juice, grassy. Does not taste anything like pumpkin. Overall: Nothing special, treat yourself to a better belgian wit and sit this on the bench for the season, or drink it after you mow the lawn!
MS: Nose: Citrus (organe) with faint pumpkin. Taste: Zesty citrus, where’s the pumpkin? Lemony. Overall: more like a belgian wit, needs a slice of orange
BE: Nose: Like fresh pumpkin pie. Taste: this is the corona of pumpkin beers. Could drink all day while laying on the beach or in a pile of fresh fallen leaves
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
SL: Nose: Best nose I’ve ever smelled on a pupmkin beer! Smells like pumpkin ice cream and nutmeg. Taste: session beer, very nice (and I normally hate lager!), sweet, could pair with dessert, nice balance of spice. YUMMMY! It’s a real treat!
MS: Nose: cinnamon, nutmeg, warms the nostrils, apple cider spice. Taste: Good body, cinnamon and nutmeg, dry finish, pumpkin too! Great beer!
BE: Nose: Best smelling pumpkin beer. Taste: Like I dug my hand into a pumpkin and ate a ball of the slimy filling. Good stuff!
Oddly enough, the three of us had the same overall votes unanimously!
1. Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
2. Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
3. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
4. Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat