Malts: Great Western pale, Crisp 77° Crystal, Munich, Cara-Vienne, roasted, chocolate and Special B
Hops: Bittered with Magnum and finished with Saaz
Special Ingredients: Pumpkin in the mash, kettle, and fermenter
Sampled: 22 oz. bottle
Full Disclosure: Sample provided by brewery
Description: "Pours dark as night with creamy tan head. A little smokiness on the nose with malty bittersweet chocolate and a little coffee with subtle earthy pumpkin and spices for an overall nice and creamy mouth.” — Elysian Brewing Co.
Random thoughts: Dark O' The Moon is the first Elysian beer I've profiled and it's part of my Great Pumpkin Beer Roundup. I've been looking forward to tasting it as a change of pace from the other similarly styled pumpkin beers. On a different tangent, I love the this beer's label!
The tasting: Pours pitch black in color with a dark tan head (made of very fine bubbles) that dissipated fairly quickly. I was surprised by the lack of head retention. Aroma of roasted malts, espresso, chocolate, clove, and cinnamon. While the flavor was similar to the aroma, the only spice I only tasted was cinnamon. This was a surprise because most of the other pumpkin beers I've tasted have featured nutmeg and clove as the primary spices. As expected, hop bitterness is minimal. It has some earthy bitter notes which seem quite appropriate for the style and season. Dark O' The Moon is medium bodied, has a smooth mouth feel, and finishes with roasted malt and cinnamon.
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again! In my humble opinion, a pumpkin ale should have spices that are remincient of pumpkin pie. Dark O' The Moon has that. But this beer was memorable because of its differences—the style (stout) and the spice mix (which favored cinnamon). Oddly enough, I didn't taste pumpkin--even though it was added in three different stages of the brewing process. Perhaps my palate just doesn't register gourd. Regardless, I'll revisit Dark O' The Moon next fall.
Have you tried Elysian's Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout?