A Sampling of Pumpkin Ales

With a month into autumn, after having devoured numerous pumpkin-flavored goodies, we thought we’d join in on the exploration of the various pumpkin ales. Although the selection was impressive, we chose several based on brewery, ABV, and name (clearly, a very scientific method.) Below, we describe our thoughts on five pumpkin-flavored beers: Evolution Craft Jacques Au Lantern, the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 21st Amendment’s He Said Tripel, and Flying Dog’s The Fear.

Beer: Jacques Au LanternJacques Au Lantern
Brewery: Evolution Craft Brewing Company
State of Origin: Maryland
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV%: 6.30

This mildly carbonated ale has a relatively subtle pumpkin taste. The spices are evident in the aroma and taste, but the caramel-colored liquid is more watery than creamy. While the taste is certainly not unpleasant, it’s also not very distinctive.

 


Beer:
 Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Company
State of Origin: Pennsylvania
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV%: 8.00

This ale had a beautiful amber color. The spices, especially cinnamon, and pumpkin were definitely prominent, and the taste lingered on the tip and sides of the tongue. On first impact, the carbonation was strong, with the alcohol being slightly apparent (especially with larger gulps.) Overall, this ale is heavier on the pumpkin and spices than some of the other pumpkin beers on this list. It provides an enjoyable warmth on a pleasant autumn evening.

Pumpkin ales

Beer: Punkin Ale
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
State of Origin: Delaware
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV%: 7.00

The Punkin Ale was considerably less spicy and more smooth than the Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It was also less carbonated and easier to drink. The color was bright orange and hazy, and the head was on the larger side. It was definitely enjoyable to drink.  If you’re looking for a tasty but smoother pumpkin beer that only hints at pumpkin and spice, then this ale is for you.

 

1025140045Beer: He Said (Tripel)
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
State of Origin: California
Style: Tripel
ABV%: 8.20

He Said is not a pumpkin ale, but it is brewed with pumpkin and various spices. Because of this, it is quite different from all of the ales on this list. The taste is very much that of a Tripel–bitter and acidic, with a particular bite and a hint of spice. The aftertaste is sweeter when gulping, while spicy when sipping. The pumpkin, however, is not very apparent.

Beer: The Fear1026140005a
Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
State of Origin: California
Style: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
ABV%: 9.00

Oh, so sweet! This ale is delightfully dark brown, with a large head, and tastes incredibly malty. It smells like spice, which creeps in slowly after the sweetness has settled all throughout the mouth. The beer is mildly carbonated and easy to drink. Although it’s an impressive 9.00%, the alcohol does not permeate the taste. If you’re a fan of malty, stronger beer, this is definitely worth a try. While the pumpkin is not especially noticeable, the spiciness and sweetness of this ale make it an enjoyable choice.

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