Wednesday, September 10, 2014

'Country Pumpkin' Pumpkin Ale (Review)

To help celebrate (and recover from) my recent finish at the Pine Creek Challenge 100k (RACE REPORT) I picked up a six pack of Ithaca Beer Company's seasonal brew, "Country Pumpkin," which as you might have guessed is a Pumpkin Ale.

Acohol content, 6.3%, bottled dark, with simple labels and packaging that evoke the autumn and Halloween seasons, Ithaca Beer Company (which for me is a local company), describes Country Pumpkin as a “medium-bodied harvest ale brewed with a medley of flavorful malt, pumpkin puree, Magnum hops and a touch of seasonal spices.The masterful blend of 2-Row, Vienna, Munich, Caramunich and Honey malt with Magnum hops balances the sweet pumpkin with an aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice to create a rich, malty ale for the autumn season. Delight in the deep golden-orange glow while savoring the complex, malt-forward flavors and surprisingly dry finish of our new curcubitaceous ale.”

The ale does indeed pour a "deep golden-orange," but maybe my taste buds simply are not attuned enough to taste the claimed complexities. Country Pumpkin is surprisingly drinkable, and by no means bland, and yet very little about its flavor suggests that pumpkins, or other claimed spices, were involved in the process. After swallowing I can pick up the slightest hint of bitterness at the back of my tongue that reminds me of pumpkin seeds, and yet that flavor is so similar to that of hops that I might just be grasping at straws.

I’d buy it again because it is a decent ale. But to these taste buds the ’pumpkin’ thing is almost just a gimmick.

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