Monthly Archives: November 2011

Redhook Late Harvest

redhook_late_harvest

Late Harvest is a seasonal amber ale from Redhook Brewing, of Woodinville, Washington. It’s a medium weight beer, with a slightly floral and slightly metallic nose, but not particularly strong. It’s well-balanced between the malt and the hops in the middle, and the finish is earthy and dry, with a little bit of hopiness.  This is a really nice amber ale, and one of Redhook’s better beers.

I give it a 3.7 out of 5.

Terrapin Pumpkinfest – The Final Chapter In A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series

terrapin_pumpkinfest

The Thanksgiving weekend is winding down, and so is this series.  For the last pumpkin ale I’ll be reviewing this year, I’m having a Terrapin Pumpkinfest malt beverage, brewed with pumpkin and spices.   There’s pumpkin and nutmeg on the nose, a it’s got a medium body with pumpkin, cinnamon, and other spices in the middle.  It’s got good spice flavor, but not overpowering.  There’s more sweetness here in the middle and the finish than with most of the beers I’ve reviewed this series, but not as much as there is in Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale, reviewed earlier in this series.  This is a seriously nice dessertyish pumpkin ale.

I give it a 4.3 out of 5.

This is part 8 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat – A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

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It’s finally Sunday, the last day of a lazy four-day weekend, and time to relax with a Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat ale.   So you’ve caught me again.  This is not a craft beer.  The second from a mega-brewery in this series, and this one is from that most mega of breweries, Anheuser-Busch.  No matter, it’s a pumpkin ale, and I still maintain that it’s better than the monstrosity that they market as Jack’s Spice Pumpkin Ale.  The Pumpkin Wheat bottle tells me that it’s brewed with Belgian yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and you can actually taste the spices in this one, unlike in Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, reviewed on Friday.  The nose is pumpkin and spice, but the yeast doesn’t really seem to be adding anything to it.  More pumpkin and spice in the middle, and here there is a hint of characteristic fruit of Belgian yeast, but not a lot. The finish has a bit more spice, and is otherwise uneventful.   This is a decent pumpkin ale, for a mega-brewery beer.

I give it a 3.2 out of 5.  

This is part 7 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.  

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

ichabod_pumpkin_ale

Saturday evening, and that means more left-over turkey, and a glass of New Holland Brewing’s Ichabod Pumpkin Ale.  It’s brewed with pumpkin,  (of course?) cinnamon, and nutmeg.  It’s got a strong pumpkiny scent, and a lot of pumpkin and some cinnamon and bitterness in the middle, and a smooth, earthy finish.  This is a really nice beer from New Holland, and one of my favorite pumpkin ales this season.

I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

This is part 6 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

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It’s now Saturday afternoon…Time for a turkey sandwich, some re-heated corn and stuffing, and a pumpkin ale.   Tonight we have Brooklyn Brewery’s offering, Post Road Pumpkin Ale.  It claims to be more of a traditional pumpkin ale, and in my opinion, it succeeded.  There isn’t much in the way of spice, like with some of the others I’ve reviewed.   It’s not what I’d call a fruity beer at all, actually. The pumpkin balances hops in the middle, and the finish is dry, with a hint of cinnamon.   This is a solid beer for any ale lover.

I give it a 4.4 out of 5.

This is part 5 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

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Ok, so Blue Moon is brewed by MillerCoors, which means it’s not a craft beer.  But it is a pumpkin ale, which is more important for this series.   And it’s better than Jack’s Spice Pumpkin Ale, so it’s not the worst non-craft pumpkin ale I could find.  But I digress.  Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a pumpkin-wheat ale, so I expected it to be a bit milder than average, which it is.   The bottle claims there are spices in there (cloves, allspice, and nutmeg) but I can’t taste them, so I’m guessing it’s only a tiny hint.  There’s a bit of pumpkin in the nose and the middle, though not a whole lot, and a slightly bitter finish.   It’s an ok beer, but not a good one.

I give it a 2.9 out of 5.    

This is part 4 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

weyerbacher_imperial_pumpkin_ale

Weyerbacher Bewing’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale is the big beer of pumpkin ales, at 8.0% ABV.  It isn’t as spicy as the ales I’ve already reviewed in this series.  It is brewed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom and Cloves, but they’re supporting characters in the cast that make up the flavors of this beer. It has a medium to heavy body.  The nose has a lot of pumpkin and a hint of spice, and the middle is sweet, slightly tangy, and mellow.  You get just a bit more of the spice in an otherwise uneventful finish.   It’s a solid effort.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

This is part 3 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Weekend Pumpkin Special Series Cont.

smuttynose_pumpkin_ale

So it’s Thanksgiving evening now, which means it’s time for seconds, and another pumpkin ale.   This one is the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.  I’ve been pretty impressed with the beers that I’ve had out of Smuttynose Brewing lately, and their Pumpkin Ale is no exception.  The nose is bready and spicy, with cinnamon and nutmeg evident.   The middle is bitter from the hops and the pumpkin and slightly bready, and there’s a spicy bitter finish.   It’s got a light to medium body,  lighter than the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.  This is less of a dessert beer than the Dogfish Head offering, and more of the beer lovers ale.  It’s a very nice beer.


I give it a 4.2 out of 5. 

This is part 2 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – A Thanksgiving Weekend Pumpkin Special Series!

dogfish_head_punkin_ale

Happy Turkey Day!  Pumpkin ales are one of my all time favorite seasonal brews, so I’ve decided to do a special 8-part Thanksgiving weekend review of some pumpkin ales.   First up is my all time favorite, Dogfish Head Brewing’s Punkin Ale.  It’s the closest you can get (that I’ve tasted, anyway) to pumpkin pie in a glass.   It’s brewed with pumpkin, (of course!) as well as brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and all of them shine through.  The nose is bready and spicy, like you’ve walked into a bakery.   It’s got a medium to heavy body, and the pumpkin and brown sugar are predominant in the middle, fading back to a spicy finish with a hint of bitterness.  I really love this beer.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

This is part 1 of a 8 part Thanksgiving weekend series.

New Belgium Hoptober Golden Ale

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Hoptober is brewed with pale and wheat malts, and, well, a whole bunch of different kinds of hops.  Five kinds in fact, according to the bottle.   It resembles a pale ale, with a lot of hoppy bitterness, but a bit richer and smoother and bready, which I’m attributing to the wheat.  Medium body, good bitterness, this is a nice seasonal from New Belgium.

I give it a 3.8 out of 5.