With the Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, I’m almost positive that The Brew Club has now reviewed all of the Blue Moon Beers! We’ve done the ‘regular’ Blue Moon wheat beer, Rising Moon for Spring, Full Moon for Winter, and Honey Moon which is Blue Moon’s Summer beer offering.
Say what you will, but I think the naming scheme is kind of clever! If you are looking for some background on Blue Moon as a beer and as a label, I’d suggest you check out Bob the Brit’s review of the Blue Moon Wheat Beer to learn about how Molson-Coors has created quite a successful lineup of very decent beers. Or, even check out the Blue Moon website.
The Blue Moon Harvest Moon comes to the review table at tough time for a couple of reasons. One, I’m a big fan of the Pumpkin Ale concept, but I’ve found more often than not that its just not an easy type of beer to pull off. Most of the ones we’ve tried so far have been so-so at best. And second, I’ve recently had the Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale which to me WAS a really good pumpkin ale – my favorite so far. The bar has been set pretty high by the Dogfish Head Punkin’. How does the Blue Moon Harvest Moon stand up?
The answer – not too bad, but not quite good enough to become my favorite Pumpkin Ale. Let’s see how it went down.
Harvest Moon poured into my very fancy glass in a rather unremarkable way. It didn’t create much of a head as you can see in the picture, and there wasn’t any lacing to speak of. A little flat perhaps? The beer itself was a beautifully clear amber color – perfect for autumn. The Harvest Moon beer just looks great!
Getting on to the smell, I found the Harvest Moon to be one of the more ‘Pumpkiny’-smelling beers, whereas some of the other Pumpkin Ales had a stronger spice component. (I’m thinking the Post Road Pumpkin Ale here.) According to the label, this beer is made with some nutmeg, allspice and clove which is the same stuff found in most of these Pumpkin Ales I guess. It just seems like some do the spice thing more or less than others, and I think that’s the biggest difference overall. You can pick up on these spices along with some nice malt and surprising to me, alcohol.
The taste followed closely to the smell of the beer. It was spicy yet sweet, and there was some pumpkin flavor in there that wasn’t too strong or too weak. Again, the alcohol seemed to come through in the taste a little more than I had expected or really liked. FYI, this pumpkin ale weighs in at 5.7% ABV.
While I think Harvest Moon is good on the Pumpkin-to-spice ratio and nicely balanced from a malt/hop perspective, it just left me thinking it was nothing special really. The alcohol flavor and smell seemed to be a little too pronounced, and there was an unpleasant stickiness that I also didn’t care for. Put simply, there are better pumpkin ales.
Wrapping this up, I would have to say that I’m not too thrilled about this offering from Blue Moon. As I mentioned above, I think we’ve tried all the Blue Moon beers, and I’m not happy to say that Harvest Moon is my least favorite of the bunch. Regarding Pumpkin beers, the Dogfish Head Punkin’ is still my go-to Pumpkin Ale and the Blue Moon Harvest Moon therefore is given 2 stars.
What’s your favorite Pumpkin Ale? Do you like the Pumpkin Ale idea but have a hard time finding a good one?