An Ode to an Earlier Season

I came across this seasonal offering about a month ago. Now I really like fall and winter beers. They are nice, and spicy and full of yummy deliciousness. Yet the spices we associate with the festive season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (at least in America) are really spices that I associate with the islands: Nutmeg, Pimento, and Cinnamon. Toss a Scotch bonnet in and you have a gorgeous jerk marinade. So in addition to being the flavours or winter, to me, at least, they are also the flavours of summer. With that in mind, I present this quite tasty seasonal offering:

Smuttynose Bewing Co.: Pumpkin Ale

Tasting Conditions: It sat in the fridge for about a month before being drunk, well chilled. Traditional 16oz pint glass. I enjoyed it as a celebratory drink after finishing finals.

Eye: A nice amber with a little Champaign-like fizz. Very little head, and dissipated quickly. Nice bottle with a big ripe pumpkin on the front.

Nose: The nose of this beer was very impressive. It hit me like a kick in the butt. There was lots of cinnamon, and just a touch of the namesake pumpkin. The smell was strong enough it was obvious even from the bottle. It smelled almost like mulled cider but without the apple, which suggests cloves, a dash of orange, and a hint of nutmeg. A little harshness on the nose was evident as well.

Mouth: The first thing to hit me was a pleasant sweetness and warmth. A definite taste of pumpkin. The ale had a certain lightness to it, with a very nice effervescence. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of an IPA, though it’s definitely darker. There was a hit of the spices that I smelled, and a very definite cinnamon-like heat, though the other cinnamon flavors were much less noticeable. On the downside, there was a certain soapyness, though I don’t mind that flavour.

Conclusion: A wonderful winter seasonal. I definitely enjoyed it. Perhaps one of the few Smuttynose offerings I can say that about. As a seasonal, I have a hard time keeping it stocked but I’ll probably keep an eye out for it when the seasons roll around again.

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