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?