Review: Pumpkick, New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style:  Pumpkin Ale
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • Malts:  Pale, Munich, Caramel
  • Hops:  Target
  • Special Ingredients:  Pumpkin juice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cranberries, Lemongrass
  • Sampled:  12 oz bottle

Description:  What’s that bite of tartness doing in a pumpkin beer? Adding the unexpected kick of cranberry juice to brighten this traditionally spiced seasonal ale. PUMPKICK is brewed with plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but it's the cranberries and touch of lemongrass that send your taste buds sailing. — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Two years ago, New Belgium released Kick as part of their Lips of Faith series. Pumpkick, New Belgium's new fall seasonal, shares some of Kick's ingredients.  I was a big fan of Kick and gave it a 4 star review.  This is my first gourd brew of the season and I'm drinking it as part of my series on new pumpkin beers.

The tasting:  Orange in color, just like a pumpkin. Hazy with a white head that dissipates slowly. I noticed small particles of sediment floating evenly in suspension. Spice dominates the aroma. Allspice, nutmeg and cinnamonthe three amigos of pumpkin beer, greet you. At the first sip, a rush of flavors comes through. I notice a mild tartness and fruity notes, but the individual flavors are difficult to identify. The malt flavors are mild and don't stand out. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor, and hop bitterness is low. Pumpkick is light bodied, softly carbonated, has a smooth mouth feel, and finishes dry with with spice.

Rating:  3 star. Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me!  If I didn't have the benefit of the description, I would have had no clue that pumpkin juice, lemongrass, and cranberry juice were used in this beer. At the end of the day, I don't really care because I like the result. The odd combination is unusual, but interesting. If you're looking for a pumpkin beer that doesn't taste a like the typical pumpkin beer, give Pumpkick a try.
Have you tasted New Belgium's Pumpkick? 

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