I’ve made it no secret that I really enjoy the vast majority of Clipper City Brewing Company beers. I probably had about a dozen or so of their styles, but this is only the fourth review of theirs to make it on this site. I only live an hour or so from Baltimore (right down 95) so I feel like I have some allegiance to this brewery. For better or worse, I try my best to review things fairy without bias.
I was at the local beer store this past weekend, with the intention of loading up on pumpkin, fall, and Oktoberfest beers. One of the first ones I saw was this beer, The Great Pumpkin. How could I not buy a beer named “The Great Pumpkin?” The cartoon for which this beer is named is one of my favorites. I college my philosophy professor even had us do a study into The Great Pumpkin. I can’t remember the reason for the study, but I do remember liking it. I digress.
The Great Pumpkin pours a nice burnt orange color with a thin white head. This beer is also crystal clear. This baby rocks in at 8% and the label reads it as an imperial pumpkin ale. I guess this goes along with Clipper City’s Heavy Seas line of big beers. The label also says, “beer brewed with pumpkin and spices.”
The nose on this imperial ale smells very much like a pumpkin pie. The spices are distant, but present. There is some sweetness there as well. I didn’t get any pumpkin meat like what you can find in some pumpkin beers. I also didn’t notice any heat in this imperial offering. On the first taste those distant spices come rushing up and kick you in the face. They are a bit strong, but not totally overwhelming. There is a nice pumpkin pie finish to the beer along with some heat.
This one is a slightly different pumpkin ale than what you normally see. There are not a lot of imperial pumpkin ales out there right now and this one does a pretty good job at helping to define the “style.” It is a drinkable beer but the spices are a bit heavy handed in my eyes. Grab it while you can and be careful, these babies only come in 22 oz bottles.