The Great Pumpkin Beer Tasteoff10/28/2015
Happy Humpday loves! Fall is in full swing and with Halloween literally right around the corner you can find pumpkin everywhere. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie to my personal favorite; pumpkin beer! Unlike a few years ago when pumpkin beer was a strictly a run of the mill "pumpkin ale" there are now pumpkin stouts, pumpkin Shandy's and even pumpkin IPA's so there really is a pumpkin beer for everyone. With all of these new options I decided to try out a few pumpkin beers that might not be your "every day" pumpkin ale and share my findings with you. Keep in mind, I only scratched the surface of the different pumpkin beers out there so just because one of these don't sound like your "cup of tea" (or pint of beer) don't give up! So here we are, in no particular order, the pumpkin beers:
1. Uinta Punk'N: With 4% ABV this was one of the lower alcohol percentages of the pumpkin beers I tried. It had a definite pumpkin smell but was spicier than some of the other pumpkin beers I tried, this one had a true light pumpkin, earthy flavor with a slight hoppy finish.
2. Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale: This one came in at a 6.5% ABV and is a blonde based ale so it was lighter than some of the others and a typical pumpkin ale. It had a slight hint of pumpkin on the nose and had a strong dry pumpkin flavor that was slightly spicy.
3. Traveler Jack-O Shandy: This was one of the beers I was most intrigued by. When you think of shandy's you think of summer, so I was definitely curious about how this was going to taste. At 4.4% ABV it was on the lower alcohol level but one of the sweetest as well. You could immediately tell this was a shandy and not your typical ale. It starts sweet but you can taste the pumpkin and spices with a little hint of lemon. This almost reminded me more of a pumpkin pie than anything.
4. Rivertown Brewing Pumpkin Autumn Ale Spiced Beer: This beer has a 5.2% ABV so it's about the same as an average beer. At first I thought it tasted like a lighter Oktoberfest beer but after a few sips it started tasting more like a lightly spiced water than anything. The pumpkin flavor was very light and even the spices were hard to distinguish. Definitely the lightest of the beers I tried, it was very easy to drink but didn't have a lot to remember it by.
5. Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale: This was the one I was the most excited about trying strictly for the bourbon barrel aspect of it, I was curious as to how the bourbon would mix with the pumpkin and spices. At 10% ABV this was by far the highest of the beers I tried and you could immediately taste it on the first sip.It's definitely a low pumpkin, low spice flavor but you do get the spicy, pumpkin aroma with hints of oak. The bourbon taste was present with a drier finish but not overwhelming although I will say the warmer it got the more pronounced the bourbon taste got.
6. McKenzie's Hard Cider Pumpkin Jack: This is completely different from the other pumpkin beers I tried since it's actually a cider. I'm a huge fan of all the other flavors of McKenzie's Hard Ciders so I was definitely interested by the thought of a pumpkin cider. At 5% ABV it's pretty average for a cider and it definitely had the cider appearance. The cider definitely has the pumpkin pie flavor instead of the straight pumpkin or spices you got with most of the other beers.It had a smooth, mild finish. The closest thing you can get to drinking your dessert!