Fall will shortly be upon us my friends. And with that comes pumpkin season, which means you add pumpkin to pretty anything out there in the world. I think the most obvious category in this sense is beer! Besides the delicious Octoberfest beers that come out this time of year, I do get excited for pumpkin beers. Not in the ‘Basic Bitch’ sense. Instead the reason I enjoy pumpkin beers so much is because of how particular I am about them. It’s almost a challenge for me to find a pumpkin beer I wholeheartedly enjoy and want to drink till seasons end. Recently I was given the opportunity to try a new pumpkin beer. Coming new out of Rohrbach’s in their Neoteric Series is The Great Pumpkin. I had been told from a good friend that this beer is spot on and will be most satisfying. As always my hopes are high. Hopefully we do not walk away disappointed!
The Beer: The Great Pumpkin by Rohrbach Brewing Company
On their website under the Neoteric Series beer section you will find some fun information on what Rohrbach’s has decided to put into each can of The Great Pumpkin!
‘An Imperial Pumpkin Spice Ale packed with flavor. Brewed with natural pumpkin, large additions of lactose sugar, brown sugar, and blend of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg spices for a rich, tantalizing pumpkin pie brew with an amber hue and a whipped-cream head. The warming sensation brought upon the imbiber is a result of the spices and high ABV!’
Cracking It Open!
The Great Pumpkin pours exactly what you would expect it to! A very attractive, crystal clear amber color that is packed with carbonation! The aromas are packing some strength. Even with some distance between me and the glass, at least a foot, I am still getting hints of the full effect.
The aromas are packed with quite a few flavors. Just to get the obvious out of the way there is a pumpkin aroma, but it’s not the strongest. It sits more so as a background or canvas for the rest of the aromas to rest on. More noticeable is a very strong nutmeg aroma. This was the first one I picked up on. From there, sits a pleasant combination of cinnamon and ginger. I would advise everyone, do not take a shallow sniff. Make you it’s deep, hard sniff. Therefore you will be able to get the full affect of the aromas!
Down The Hatch
Hmm…with my first sip I find myself very intrigued! The way the flavors flow is very impressive and enticing. In the beginning there is a very mellow flavor of pumpkin with a small touch of brown sugar. This is a very simple start for what turns out to be a not some simple beer. So after you slip past the simplicity of the pumpkin and brown sugar, notes of nutmeg make their advancement upon you. They are a bit subtle but once you get toward mid sip you will fully notice the nutmeg. Moving on from this point there is some warming touch from the nutmeg but that will dissipate and what comes forth are flavors of cinnamon and ginger. Now mind you the nutmeg is still there but it seems to pull the cinnamon and ginger flavors forward to conquer your palate. And of course the pumpkin still has that background presence very similar to the aromas.
After mid sip I am noticing another slight warming presence in the beer. I’m thinking it might be the higher ABV, but also some of the ingredients thrown into the brewing process. So after mid sip, along with the warming feeling there is one major flavor I am picking up on and that is cinnamon. Now I don’t know if that is just me. Who knows, please feel free to leave a comment if you’re getting something else. But it does change quickly. After the cinnamon, once you move towards the swallow there is a very strong presence of nutmeg again. (In all my life I never thought I would be such a fan of nutmeg until this past Christmas.) The nutmeg is the settling factor at the end of each sip. Very enjoyable and very smooth. I mean even the burp is perfect.
The aftertaste is exactly how Rohrbach’s explain The Great Pumpkin, ‘tantalizing pumpkin pie brew.’ It tastes very much like a pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel itself even possess the texture one has after eating a pumpkin pie. It’s genius!
Yeah man! I am loving The Great Pumpkin, for quite a few reasons. First and foremost, it tastes and feels real. It doesn’t taste like an extract infested brew. Secondly, there are numerous pumpkin beers out there that are strong in pumpkin flavor, but they don’t have a beer taste to them. When I’m drinking a beer, regardless of what style or what flavor I want to know I’m drinking a beer. And it’s the pumpkin beers that fall guilty in this factor. Not The Great Pumpkin, yes it does taste very similar to a pumpkin pie, but it doesn’t let you forget this is beer, and that’s what I look for specifically in pumpkin beers. The flavors themselves move very smoothly, as complex as it is the transition between flavors was smooth as glass. Even having an ABV of 8.4%, The Great Pumpkin was smooth. So in that case beware, as smooth as this beer is, don’t be pounding these at your best friends Halloween Party. Instead do yourself a favor, save them for a fire where you can sit and drink them at a slow pace and fully enjoy them!
What are your thoughts on pumpkin beers? The Great Pumkpin just got added to the list of my favorites, that makes 3.