Last year, The Brew Club embarked on an unofficial ‘Oktoberfestathon‘ where we reviewed a poop-load of Autumn seasonal beers, Oktoberfest beers and even a couple of Pumpkin flavored beers. Well, its that time again! Brace yourself for Oktoberfestathon ’09! Our first contestant is Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewing!
The Post Road Pumpkin Ale is, according to its label, based on Pumpkin Ales that were brewed by 18th Century colonial American beer nerds. Pumpkins were used in the beer because they were abundant, local, and ‘melded perfectly with malted barley’.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever just eaten pumpkin without any spices or flavoring, but generally its not as tasty as one might think. Sure its ‘pumpkiny’, but I think that the flavors we all have come to love when associating with pumpkin are actually a combination of spices and additives to the pumpkin which creates that wonderful flavor.
Think pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, that kind of crap.
Pumpkin in itself is pretty lame tasting. If you don’t believe me, go eat one.
What’s the point? Well, much like pumpkin pie is made delicious by the spices added to the pie mix, so it is true for many Pumpkin Ales – particularly this one.
This 5% ABV pumpkin ale is beautiful in the glass, very amber and clear. The head is a slightly off white color and the aroma, as previously mentioned is more on the spicy pumpkin pie variety than just pumpkin.
Drinking the Post Road Pumpkin Ale, I get a sense of pumpkin on the flavor, but to me the spotlight is again hogged by the spices that are added to the mix. I’m not complaining, its just that you taste the spices in this particular beer much more than the pumpkin flavors.
As a matter of fact, there is a spicy burn in the aftertaste – something like cinnamon. Like I said, it isn’t bad, but perhaps a little too much on the spices in this beer than maybe need be. I think a better name for this beer might have been ‘Spicy Pumpkin Pie Ale’ or something along those lines.
Trying to sum up the Post Road Pumpkin Ale, I think its a decent beer and I think it would be great to enjoy around a fire on a cool Autumn night. I’d have it again, in the sense that I wouldn’t turn one down, but I don’t see myself buying it again. I have a feeling it isn’t going to be my favorite Pumpkin Ale of the season!
Looking back, its definitely better than Michelob’s Jack’s Pumpkin Spice, but not quite as good as the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale. We’ll see how it does against this year’s batch which includes the Dogfish Head Punkin next!
Do you have a favorite Pumpkin Ale? If you do, why not tell us what it is and why you enjoy it?