Tasting: #47 Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Eureka, its time to share some tasting notes. I would like to apologize first for not posting in a long time. My uni life and the preparations for an upcoming yeast class already consume most of my spare time lately. Anyway, things now look a bit better and I even found some time to brew again. I would like to talk about a batch brewed in Spring 2012, my first Pumpkin Ale. The beer matured for quite a while now and I tried it before but it tasted very similar as described below. Unfortunately, most of the bottles were over carbonated and as soon as you opened the bottle, the whole sediment in the bottle got whirled up. Lets pour some Smashed Pumpkin Ale in a glass and lets see how it tastes like.

smashedpumpkinAroma: Lots of spices (mostly nutmeg), light sweetness in there as well. Reminds me of a Christmas cookie. The spices are not overpowering as well. Nicely integrated and actually a very nice aroma profile.

Appearance: Orange-brown and hazy appearance, some chunks float in the liquid (parts of pumpkin and other stuff), nice white frothy head.

Flavor: Spicy and phenolic with some citrus and herbal background. Unfortunately I cannot taste the Christmas cookie on the palate. Flawless.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation level and finishes with a fair bitterness level.

Overall Impression: Not the best beer I ever brewed nor the worst one. Judging from the tasting, its hard to tell whether there is real pumpkin in this beer or not (beside the pumpkin pieces in the glass). The spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander) play the game here. Even some of the hops are detectable (used Cascade, Willamette and Columbus).

This was for sure an educational batch to see how hard it is to brew with real pumpkin and what impact the pumpkin has on the finished beer. In my opinion, brewing with pumpkin is not as easy as I thought. The small pumpkin pieces made it nearly impossible to get the pumpkin out of the beer again. Best seen in the pieces of pumpkin floating in the glass. On the other hand, the pumpkin did not add much to the aroma and taste. I am not too surprised about that because there are some “pumpkin” beers out there without any real pumpkin. The spices make the beer rather than the pumpkin. Thanks for reading and cheers.