Recently, I purchased the Sam Adams Harvest Collection Variety Pack specifically to try this Harvest Pumpkin Ale. See, this is the first year that this beer has been made available to the public, and its only found in the variety pack.
Apparently, the Harvest Pumpkin Ale was made just for the Samuel Adams people to enjoy at their annual Halloween party. Someone must have thought that it would be a good idea to make it available to the masses considering just about every brewery on earth cranks out a pumpkin ale for the Fall. Most of them are terrible in this reviewer’s opinion!
Most of them are too pumpkiny tasting, some are too heavy on the spices, some too much on the alcohol flavors, and a few are pretty good like the Dogfish Head Punkin which to me is the best rendition of the style. So, how is this Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale going to be?
Good! So good, that I hope that Sam Adams makes this beer available in six-packs alongside their very tasty Oktoberfest in the future!
This beer pours a slightly hazy brownish color with a tanish-colored (although small) head. The aroma is very, very nice. Their website indicated that the ingredient list is cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg, and considering that they use 11 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, you’re going to get some pumpkin in the nose as well. Overall, very nicely balanced and I’d even add some vanilla to that mix. Mmmmm.
Taste is right on! As I mentioned, the Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale is not over the top with spices, and the pumpkin that you taste (and you do) is not overly vegetabally either. To me, the beer is nice and malty up front, and the blend of balanced spicy flavors, roasty pumpkin, and I keep coming back to vanilla – really makes this a tasty beer.
I’m going to say that I was really impressed with this beer from Sam Adams. Some people knock these guys because they are growing so fast its questioned if they can be considered a craft-brewer anymore. To me, that does not matter as I’ve been impressed time after time with their quality beers.
Pumpkin Ales are tough to do right for some reason. Believe me, I’ve tried enough of them! That said, I really liked this Pumpkin Ale and I would even say I liked it just as much as the DFH Punkin – but for slightly different reasons.
I wish that there were more than two if these in the Harvest Variety Pack. (Note to Sam Adams – while good, skip the Boston Lager, Black Lager and Irish Red in the variety pack and replace them with more Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale and Dunkelweizen!) Better yet, produce this in six-packs and I’d buy it without hesitation!
Until then, you’ll need to grab the Harvest Variety Pack to get a taste of this brew, but considering that the other beers in the pack aren’t bad either, its worth the price.
Nice job on the pumpkin ale Sam Adams! I think you nailed it.