Monday, October 31, 2011

Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout

Happy Halloween, everyone! In this very anti-climatic episode I take a look at another novelty pumpkin beer - Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout by Cape Ann Brewing out of Gloucester, Mass. Although this beer is contract brewed just 33.6 miles north of me in Saratoga by the Mendocino brewery. I like stouts and I like pumpkin ales - but can the two styles be merged into one? We'll find out....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 30, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: Typical stout cosmetic features of opaque black body, a large, khaki-colored frothy head which retains well but doesn’t lace.

Smell: Mild pumpkin ale aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. Slightly sweet dairy-like scents often found in a milk stout as well.

Taste: Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout is one of those beers that walks the tightrope off being a genuine, unique brew and a novelty act. It wouldn’t seem that pumpkin and stout would work, but they definitely do in the case of this beer. But that’s not to say it’s anything spectacular.

The palate begins with two distinct stages: the first is by-the-book pumpkin ale with light spices and a gentle sweetness. It’s definitely in the pumpkin potpourri style of beer, not the liquid pumpkin pie type. The second half by-the-book stout - a milky, velvety taste and texture with a quick burst of roasted malts and bitterness. But as I drink on the two halves homogenize into one and create for a pub-style stout with subtle pumpkin potpourri flavors. Not that this is bad, but when you combine two otherwise mild palates you end up with one big mild palate. So there’s some uniqueness to it, obviously, but there’s just not enough flavor to garner anything more than a simple "pass" from me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, tepid, soft, milky texture. Mild dry aftertaste.

Drinkability: I had no idea that Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout was 7% ABV while I was drinking it (I hate it when brewers don’t put it on the bottle). From the mild palate and complete lack of alcohol presence I assumed it was closer to 4 or 5%. So in one aspect this beer should get extra accolades from me for masking its alcohol so well. But on the other hand, with so much potential energy it doesn’t seem to capitalize on it
Grade: 6/10

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