UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012
It’s funny how the same beer can taste differently depending on the
circumstances in which it is drunk. When I first tried Blue Moon Pumpkin
Ale it was a few bottles at a family BBQ and I wasn’t paying much
attention to the taste and wasn’t very impressed at the time, either.
it at home in a pint glass while concentrating on the taste really
brought me around on this beer. However, the question will forever be:
do I now enjoy it because I’ve developed a taste for it; or is it a
genuinely good beer? I think both instances are true, since some of the
best beers in the world are considered “acquired tastes.”
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
clear beer with a beautiful color is always appealing to me and such is
the case of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. This is a copper/reddish beer that
is absolutely crystal-clear and forms a small creamy head which doesn’t
linger long and doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass. Some carbonation
action is present upon initial pour, but eventually the glass becomes
almost completely tepid.
Considering the name you’d expect an
aroma of pumpkin, right? I wouldn’t go as far as saying this beer smells
like pumpkin, but there definitely is a very autumn spicy scent of
nutmeg and clove. At least there is no generic “beer” odor.
the dilemma of drinking Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale: yes it does have a
pumpkin/autumn flavor but only if you’re specifically looking for it. If
you drink the beer straight from the bottle you’re going to get a
fairly generic ale taste – there is no distinct bite of hops, nor is
there any gimmicky flavoring present.
After taking the time to
sit down and really savor the beer I noticed a completely different
palate. The presence of pumpkin, and the spices of nutmeg and possibly
cinnamon, were definitely noticeable. Clove is also a major addition to
the flavor complexity. I can’t help but wonder how natural or artificial
these flavors are, though. After all, as I write this it’s August and
pumpkins are generally harvested in October. Since this beer is made by
Coors, I wouldn’t be surprised if the flavor is mostly synthetic, but
since it’s a pretty tasty beer it’s forgivable.
ales are usually the harshest beers other than certain cheap
mass-market brews that are mostly water, alcohol and adjunct
ingredients. Such beers tend to be enjoyed with meals and in moderation,
but Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale is surprisingly smooth for a beer with this
much spice. You might enjoy a few bottles of this at a Halloween party,
but it’s not on par with ridiculously easy-to-drink summer beers.
ales are by no means light. At 185 calories Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale is a
heavier beer than Guinness, technically. Considering its potent flavor
and ingredients, it would actually be surprising if it were any lighter
than it is. In fact, I don’t think Coors would have been wrong in
watering it down just a tad to make it easier to drink. As it is, this
is a fairly smooth beer for a niche, seasonal brew, but it’s likely too
heavy for Joe Six Pack.
Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale has received mixed reviews, which leads me to
believe it’s a perfect example of an acquired taste. The problem is the
unfamiliar drinker doesn’t have much motivation to buy a beer they most
develop a taste for. However, after taking the time to savor this brew I
can say it was well worth my effort.