I always had a pretty basic rule: Beer should taste good e3nough on its own without adding limes, berries or…..pumpkins.
Now keep in mind, im an upstate NY transplant to California, so i miss seasons. When i watch my NY Giants destroy Bay Area football teams, i think about my parents in Gloversville, NY, watching the same game with a roaring fire and the smell of a roast wafting through the house. Outside, leaves of every color imaginable falling in the crisp air.
So when i find something that reminds me of those days and the flavors, i go with it. Hence, pumpkin ale.
I am no pro at all with these seasonals, but i know what i like. I experiment, i will try anything once. Its just the theory i have to get past. The theory that….fuck…this is a beer, that tastes like pumpkin.
Dogfish Head makes one of my favorite beers ever, the 90 minute IPA. So naturally, when i see them making a pumpkin ale, im going to try it. Initially, when i opened the bottle, and poured it into my favorite beer jar, the smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, and autumn hit me like Brendon Jacobs on a 3rd and 2 goaline smash. The taste however, isnt as smashnose. It has an initial bite of a strong ale, with a softer spicy middle and finishes smooth with the tiniest sweetness of pumpkin. Just ENOUGH to say, “Yeah…this is punkinney.”
We had the beer with a coffee-rubbed pork shoulder i slow made, slow cooking it for about 7 hours, and THIS is why this beer was made. I decided then, that this beer, like alot of my go-to Belgian ales, is to be paired with a fall food, like the pork, or my bourbon sweet potatoes.
Either way, drink this while you can, especially if youre out of your climatic element. I really enjoy this seasonal beer, and look forward to it every Sunday when im watching football and cooking a roast. Just like at home.
My score – 91 out of 100 jack-o-lanterns.