Monday, September 26, 2011


Brewery: Weyerbacher (PA)
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 8.0%
Grade: A-

As I've noted many times before, very few pumpkin ales taste much like pumpkin to me — a symptom of the fact that pumpkin itself doesn't really have all that much flavor, and pumpkin in beer is hard to work with. Only a couple pumpkin ales capture the creamy pumpkin pie flavor that works so well, and all the rest settle for a sort of spiced light-brown ale. They taste of pumpkin spices, sure, but not quite like something with pumpkin in it.

Weyerbacher, as it happens, just gets those spices right. Not the "pumpkin pie in a bottle" flavor I crave, but at least the spices itself. The malt profile of this beer is on the nose — not too sweet, not too rich, not too cloying. The spicing is what marks this one as a definite winner. There's not much you can say about that; it's just right. Notably, I think the brown sugar flavor is stronger in this one than most, and it blends into the malt well, better than the other spices usually do. 

It also happens that Weyerbacher is one of the first pumpkin beers I remember seeing, five years back when I started looking for such things. I consider this one of the standard-bearers for the style. It doesn't seem especially unique, what with so many other similar beers being released in recent years, but it still does what it does better than most. If you can't find Southern Tier Pumking, go for this one.

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