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Beer Review #142 The Greater Pumpkin

I mentioned that I went to the beer store looking for pumpkin ales and that I found one from Clipper City Brewing Company. What I didn’t mention is that I actually bought two pumpkin ales from Clipper City Brewing Company. The Great Pumpkin is another imperial pumpkin ale, but this time it is aged in bourbon barrels. They also kicked it up a percentage point, to 9% ABV, just for fun. I’d never had pumpkins and bourbon before, so this was an interesting experience.

The Greater Pumpkin pours a nice orange color. It is not as burnt looking as its predecessor. The white head and clear beer as still there though. The nose is a mix of bourbon and bourbon. Seriously this thing smells boozy and wonderful. There isn’t much else but as it warms there is some slight oak notes that appear in the nose.

On the taste I found that the spices present in the last beer were toned way down in this one. Either that or they were covered up by some other flavors. The bourbon is strongly in there and mixes nicely with the pumpkin flavors. There is a fair amount of heat in there as well and some vanilla. It is a weird combination of flavors but somehow it works out nicely.

For a beer labeled “The Greater Pumpkin,” I actually liked the previous beer more. This one doesn’t have enough pumpkin and has too much bourbon. The heat is more noticeable than the last beer as well. Don’t get me wrong, this is still an enjoyable beer, but it is not one that you can drink a lot of. Again, grab it while you can as I don’t think these will be sticking around too long. (more…)

Beer Review #141 The Great Pumpkin

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. (more…)