We are about six hours away from Christmas at the time of posting this, but I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. BreweryReviewery has gone through a lot of changes this year and has seen a large influx in traffic. Thank you for everyone who helps make this site possible. I will be doing a year end review around New Years, but until then, I am going to enjoy my family and my days off of work. I’ll also be working on my keezer (chest freezer + kegorator = keezer) that Santa brought me.
Today’s pumpkin beer comes from Cape Ann Brewing Company out of Gloucester, Ma. Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout’s label depicts the towns famous statue dedicated to those who lost their lives fishing. I’m a bit of a statue freak (I love how they are cast and built and all of that) and the Gloucester statue is really a piece of art. Anyway, this is a beer review, not a statue review.
Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout pours jet black (image that!) with a thin, off-white head. I couldn’t tell if it is clear or not because this beer does not allow light to pass through it. The nose smells a lot like gingerbread. It has that sweetness to it, but a faint spice that is nice. There were also some pumpkin notes that added to the wonderful aroma.
The taste is very roasty with pumpkin flavor at the end. It was much more of a gingerbread/pumpkin pie combination than your normal pumpkin beer. The spices were not the showcase, the subtle flavors are. This ale is full of flavor and it all balances very nicely. The bottle says that it is a stout brewed with pumpkin and spices but it hits a wonderful harmony with the malt where all three pieces can really shine. This is a really good beer that I would be happy to buy again.
I’ve had a lot of pumpkin beers, but this is unlike anything I’ve had, which might be a reason I really liked it. It is very drinkable, but it is a bit rich. Apparently this beer is brewed under contract with Olde Saratoga Brewing in Saratoga Springs, NY. If you see it around, grab it, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Continue reading
How can you not grab a beer named Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale? Perhaps that was the same thought that River Horse Brewing Company out of Lambertville, NJ had as well. To make it better, they made a hippopotamus out of pumpkins for the logo. I love it, creativity at its best. I’ve enjoyed a fair number of other River Horse beers with my favorite being their Tripel Horse.
This pumpkin ale pours a cloudy amber color with a thin, off-white head. I should mention that this beer is part of their brewers reserve and is batch 006 to be exact. On the nose I found a lot of pumpkin pie notes. There was a bit of brown sugar and heat in there as well. For a beer that comes in at 9% ABV, the heat wasn’t overwhelming. Again, I think it gets broken up by the spices a bit. The label says that it is “brewed with pumpkin puree and spices.”
On the first taste of Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale I noticed the heat, and a lot of it. The malt isn’t very prevalent and the spices are there in force. Think of a normal pumpkin beer and double the spices and you get this beer. They are really out of balance with the rest of the beer. It does have a surprisingly nice aftertaste. This beer is also thick, chewy even.
I found this beer wanting to be really good, but it isn’t there yet. It isn’t balanced enough and the spices and heat come out a bit too much for my liking. I am wondering if I would of waited a few months for the heat to dissipate and the spices to lose their strength if this would of been better. I think the brewers are onto a good recipe, it just needs some tweaking. Maybe lowering the ABV down a bit and thinning the mash out would help, along with backing off of the spices. It has some good reviews on the major beer review sites but it wasn’t for me. Maybe you would like it better. Continue reading
This week will feature another series of backlogged post, pumpkin beers. I was at the beer store this weekend and I was surprise at how many pumpkin beers were still around, so some of these beers might still be out there for the season. Our first beer comes from Easton, PA out of the Weyerbacher Brewing Company. Their Imperial Pumpkin Ale has gained a bit of a following. I love the label art, crying pumpkins in the background made me giggle a little.
Weyerbacher’s brew pours a burnt amber color. It is perfectly clear and has a thin, off-white head. The nose is slightly caramely, with lots of pumpkin meat. The pumpkin spices are in there as well. The label says that cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, and cloves are all present in the beer. I have no idea what cardamon is, but I know what to expect from the other beers. For a beer that comes in at 8% ABV, I didn’t get any heat. I believe that the spices help hid the odor. On my first taste, I noticed how much this beer comes in stages. The front is malty, the middle carries some pumpkin flavor, and the end is spicy. There is a bit of heat in there as well.
This is a thick beer. Generally a 8% beer is going to be a little thick, but not the way this is. This beer almost has a syrupy quality to it. It is pretty drinkable though. Most 8% beers I can’t drink a ton of, but this is enjoyable enough to have a few. While there is some heat in there, it isn’t overwhelming like some “imperial” ales seem to be. Continue reading
The last Oktoberfest I have to review for the year comes from Saranac, aka Matt Brewing Company, out of Utica, New York. Saranac is one of the first craft breweries that I ever had. Maybe it was because you could get a variety case for under $25, or the fact that I wanted to try some new beers, but in any case, I have been drinking Saranac beers for a number of years. Through all of that time, I never had their Oktoberfest. What’s even better, this beer came as a gift.
Saranac’s Oktoberfest pours and orange, amber color with a thin, slightly off-white head. It is crystal clear as all of the Oktoberfest beers have been (and should be for that matter). The nose has a bit of sulfur on it as a few other examples have had. There is also a grainy malt smell with some bread and slight roast thrown in there. I didn’t get any heat or hops on the nose, which is fine in my book.
The taste has a malty front, with some spice, which is followed by a spicy back-end. There was a lot more of a hop bite than I expected. The typical hops used in Oktoberfest beers do have a bit of spiciness to their flavor profiles, but this was the first Oktoberfest I reviewed that really featured the flavor.
I think this is a nice Oktoberfest. It is slightly more hoppy than other beers of the style, but all-in-all it is a solid beer. It goes down easy, which is something I love in a malty beer. Saranac Oktoberfest also comes in at 5.4% ABV, so you could drink a few and still be standing. It is a good beer if you have the chance to try it, but there are some better examples out there. Continue reading