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Beer Review #31 Pumpkin Ale

10-27-03I have had extremely limited access to seasonal beers here in Lubbock Texas. I can’t even get Sam Adams Octoberfest, yeah it is pretty bad. So every time I go to the store I look for any seasonals, if I find one, I pick it up. I recently found Buffalo Bill’s Brewery (actually it is brewed by Pyramid Brewing Company) Pumpkin Ale. I was all over it, and it was on sale!

Pumpkin Ale claims to be “America’s original pumpkin ale.” I have no idea if it is true, but it sounds good. It comes in a 5.2% ABV and has a plain orange cap. It was surely distinctive. Pumpkin Ale pours orange and is slightly hazy. There is a slightly off-white head that quickly diminishes. Almost reminded me of a soda’s  (or pop for those of you in the Midwest) “head.” It was there for a second, furiously bubbling, and then gone.

10-27-05The smell is mostly nutmeg with cinnamon, ginger, and all spice in there as well. Pretty much the spices you would expect from a pumpkin beer. There is some malt sweetness in there as well, but not much compared to the spice. The first taste I noticed some malt upfront with the spices in the end. Not really any hop notes in there. The spice takes over the ending notes. I kept drinking trying to find a few more flavors, but I couldn’t. The pumpkin part of this beer comes in as pumpkin pie spice, not pumpkin flavor.

The mouthfeel is very watery. There is good carbonation, it just is very light in your mouth. Pumpkin Ale by Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is a decent pumpkin beer, but there are much better examples out there. As I said before, this beer delivers on the pumpkin spice aspect of a pumpkin beer, but not much in the way of  pumpkin flavor. If you like trying seasonal fall beer, namely pumpkin beers, try it out to see how it compares. Your tastes might differ from mine, but I would not be picking this up again as there are a few other seasonals that I enjoy more than this. (more…)

Lancaster Brewing Company Sampler Beer Review

This isn’t so much of a beer review as it is a sampler review. I recently celebrated my birthday and decided that the best way to do that was to sample some microbrew from a local place. I live in Lancaster, PA so I went to Lancaster Brewing Company. They have some great beers, and package 4 of them (Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat, Amish Four Grain, Hop Hog). They also package a few seasonals, but at their brewpub in Lancaster City they have a lot more to choose from.

Looking at the image on the left, there are 13 sampler glasses! That’s the most I’ve ever had from a microbrewery sampler plate. They were all 5 oz. glasses and it only costs $15. Not a bad deal at all.

There were actually only 12 beers on tap, but they then decided to make a black and tan type drink by combining the Milk Stout and the Strawberry Wheat into something they called a Chocolate Covered Strawberry. I like the Milk Stout by itself, not so much on the Strawberry Wheat, but when combined, both brews go to a new level. I’ll be reviewing a bit more of their brews in the near future. I mainly wanted to comment on the quality of the beers (with the exception of the Oktoberfest, when it is January and the Oktoberfest is still around, it’s not good) and how great they made my birthday. (more…)