Review: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Saint Louis Brewery

  
Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
The St. Louis Brewery — St. Louis, MO

Stats:
  • Style:  Vegetable Ale
  • Bitterness:  16 IBU
  • ABV: 8% ABV
  • Malts:  2-Row and Crystal malted barley, Munich malt, wheat malt, chocolate malt
  • Hops:  Marynka
  • Special Ingredients:  Brewed with pumpkin squash and a blend of spices
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle
  • Full Disclosure:  Sample provided by brewery

Description:  "Our Pumpkin Ale has a bold, big pumpkin taste, flavored with Pumpkin squash, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. It has a mild character, with little bitterness and a malty backbone, allowing the flavor of the Pumpkin squash and spices to take the lead.  While pumpkin beers were produced in the early days of the American colonies, they were different from the pumpkin beers we know today.  Colonists used pumpkin and squash as the fermenting medium, since malted barley was scarce.  Once malt became more readily available, it replaced these alternatives to grain.  In the 1990’s, American craft brewers reintroduced the style to the delight of pumpkin beer drinkers.”  — Schlafly Beer

Random thoughts:   Spoiler alert—spoiler alert! I first tasted this beer in August at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland. I liked it a lot and it served as an inspiration for my Great Pumpkin Beer Roundup.

The tasting:  Deep copper in color, clear, with lots of effervescence floating through the glass. It has an off-white head that disappeared very quickly. Strong aroma of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and caramel malt. Flavor of nutmeg, clove, caramel malt, and alcohol. In the middle, a mild brown sugar sweetness and hot alcohol emerge. The alcohol kick surprised me as it was hidden in the aroma by the spices. It's medium bodied, has a smooth mouth feel, and finishes with alcohol, clove, and a light bitterness. The alcohol leaves a very dry sensation in the mouth. At 8.0% ABV, I think it would age well and expect a year in cellar would temper the alcohol bite.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  Here's an idea. If you're totally stuffed after Thanksgiving dinner and just don't have any room left for Nana's pumpkin pie, drink this. It's pumpkin pie in liquid form (with a healthy ABV to boot).

Unfortunately, Schlafly beers are not available in Oregon. Schlafly distributes within a 300 mile radius of St. Louis. Hmmm—I have a buddy in St. Louis. I wonder if he'd like to send me a mixed pack of Schlafly beers for Christmas...

Have you tried Schlafly Pumpkin Ale?  If you're a Schlafly fan, what are your favorites?


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5 comments:

mmcooljam said...

I was fortunate enough to try this at BBC11 for the night of a million trillion bottles. I've wanted more since then. Actually everything I tried from Schlafly I enjoyed. When I saw this review I got excited and thought I could score some in PDX. Nice gift!

Jeff Alworth said...

Marynka hops? What the ... ?

Sanjay said...

@Michael, like most of the bloggers, I had many samples at Night of a Quadrillion Beers. This one was memorable for me. I'll be searching for Schalfly beers when I travel to the Midwest.

@Jeff, I also never heard of Marynka. I found this at GlobalHops.com:

Marynka: A typical bitter hop with dual characteristics, i.e., it contains both high aroma values and high content of bitter substances.

Brewing Character: Mainly a bittering hop for the most part. Marynka is an all purpose hop. It is very versatile combining good bittering potential with a high aroma. It is grown in Poland, recommended for any pilsner, lager , ale, or wheats. Comparable with: English Golding, Chinook Marynka is used by many top brewers.

John V said...

You may get some info on this hop on our www.hops-extracts.com.
We are the proud supplier of Polish hops to US Craft Breweries.

Cheers, John Varisella

John V said...

You may get some info on this hop on our www.hops-extracts.com.
We are the proud supplier of Polish hops to US Craft Breweries.

Cheers, John Varisella

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