Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tasting Notes - Pumpkin Beer: Smuttynose Pumpkin

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company, Portsmouth, NH
Style: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 6.3%

Date Poured: October 2009

When I lived in Maine, this was the best Pumpkin beer available in New England and it was a fall tradition at my house. Smuttynose became available in Georgia this year and this fall saw the return (for me) of Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.

From Executive Brewer Dave Yarrington's notes on the Smuttynose blog about the first batch of Pumpkin Ale in 2003:

So we started with a base beer that is orange in color and fairly hoppy. We knew the spices would need some sweetness for balance so we used a mixture of crystal and carastan malts. To this we added pumpkin pie spices at the end of the boil. We actually found that adding pumpkin into the fermentor at the end of primary gave us the most interesting pumpkin flavor, and so that's when we add the puree. We've gotten a great response to the beer which I think is well desreved. (sic)

It's hazy orange in the glass with a thin ivory head. Lots of bubbles rising in the glass. Smells of clove and just a touch of nutmeg.

Very fizzy in the mouth. The malt is masked by the carbonation. Bitter in the finish, herbal hops. Detect just a little pumpkin flavor, especially in the finish. Cloves and cinnamon in the mouth. Crisp and a fairly clean finish.

It doesn't deliver the pumpkin and sweet spice flavor at the same level as Terrapin Pumpkinfest but it's a pleasant beer, well crafted and very drinkable.

Smuttynose Brewing Company

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