I know that by looking at the calendar we’re getting into the Winter Beer and Christmas Beer season – and the stock of seasonal beers in the stores has certainly gone that way as well. But dammit, its still November which means there’s still time for one last pumpkin beer review!
You may know that I’m a big fan of variety packs because if a beer I never tried is not to my liking, well, I’m not stuck with a whole six pack of them. Variety packs allow me to hedge my bets, as well as try some new beers.
As a matter of fact, of the inventory I just mentioned, I had only previously tried the Oatmeal Stout – so the IPA, Brown Ale and Pumpkin Ale were new to me. Cool!
As it turned out, the Pumpkin Ale was the worst (relatively speaking) of the bunch. That didn’t surprise me, it seems most pumpkin ales are a bit yucky, save a few examples, but I still wanted to try it.
Touching on a few cool things about the Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale – and their whole line of beers in general, I suppose is this organic thing and the proximity thing. All of the ingredients in the Wolaver’s brews are organic, including, in this case, the pumpkins which were harvested from a local farm in Vermont where Wolaver’s is located.
Part of the charm here too is that the beers are not filtered. All their beers have that hazy, cloudy look, which to me is just fine. I know a lot of folks want their beer to ‘sparkle’. Wolaver’s do not, and after having this variety pack, I’ve come to like what they do to differentiate themselves. (The new labels are a big plus too compared to the old ones.)
So, when are we going to get to the Wolaver’s Organic Pumpkin Ale? Right now!
As I mentioned, its a little hazy in the glass. As I look at it, I imagine all those organic thingies floating around in there that will make me want to hug a tree after drinking it. (I resisted the urge.)
The aroma is more subtle compared to other Pumpkin Ales, not as spicy, which is good I think, and yes you can smell something like vegetation which must be those organic Vermont pumpkins but if I had a blindfold on I’d have a hard time guessing.
The taste was interesting, and oddly enough, I found that this beer tasted much better to me when it was colder. (Usually they taste better to me as they warm a bit.) I thought it had a nice pumpkin flavor, not too much, and it worked well with the other flavors in the beer. It wasn’t bitter, or overly carbonated either. A nice drinker.
Wow, as this beer warmed it took on a whole different character! I’ve heard this mentioned before, but this was the first time I experienced it. The beer started to taste like catsup. Yup, an odd tomato flavor started to become apparent as I went along. Needless to say, this wasn’t something I signed up for, and I went from liking the beer, to not-so-much.
So, in a nutshell, I like the Wolaver’s line and their beer-making philosophy, and I liked (not loved) the Pumpkin Ale to a point. Once it warmed and morphed into a katchup beer, well….
Moral of the story? Try it, but drink it cold! (That’s how I finished the rest of them!)
What do you think of Wolaver’s organic brews or their Pumpkin Ale? Did you get that ketchup thing that I did?