My wife and I love Halloween. How much? We start celebrating it around late August and take pride in getting at least one decoration on the outside of the house before the rest of the neighborhood. And let's face it, it's the best festival of the holiday season. It's the one of the year when you get to be a kid and be whatever or whoever you want. The only requirement is to have fun. No obligations to see family, send cards, but presents or be nice to each other. And big orange moons, horror movies and scary costumes are far more enjoyable than stupid sweaters and mind-numbing "feel good" Christmas movies. And what better way to celebrate than indulging in all things pumpkin? If you've read this far it's a safe bet that you haven't tried pumpkin ale before, but a high probability you've already sampled some of seasonal pumpkin-flavored coffee, waffles, ice cream, cheese cake, biscotti and so forth. Some of it is really awful, Pumpkin Pringles spring to mind. So does that nasty Halloween wine that comes in the orange bottle. I know you have seen it at the liquor store. By the way, if you want a nice fall wine, I highly recommend a good Gewurztraminer (Gewurz Mendocino County is am excellent choice). At any rate, pumpkin ale has gotten fairly big the last few years - with more and more breweries getting on the bandwagon. Now, pumpkin ale is like sushi - you either love it or hate it. No sitting on the fence on this one. So this might not be for you. That's OK. I'm sure you may be pondering the possibilities of Coors Light. What follows is a small sample of what the local stores offer. There is quite a bit more out there, but our livers can only handle so much in one evening of review. And when you do a beer tasting at our house - you are expected to finish the bottle. Small sample sipping is for amateurs and not allowed. Cheers!
Nose: Strong overtones of spice then pumpkin
Color: Clear, deep orange
Nose: Sweet, creamy pumpkin pie
Color: Light and golden
Taste: Good pumpkin pie flavor. VERY creamy smooth. Goes down easy. A light shandy with a pumpkin punch
Nose: Earthy tones
Color: Golden or a darker amber - almost yellow?
Taste: Almost stale, a little spice noted, little pumpkin flavor or spice. Finish is harsh. Slight aftertaste.
Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
Nose: Flavorful bouquet - sweet, spicy, robust, pumpkin pie smell very strong
Color: Deep orange, very dark, thick
Taste: Tastes like it smells. Great blend of spice, sweet pumpkin and creaminess. Delightful.