Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sixpoint Autumnation

A pumpkin IPA? According to a tweet that Sixpoint sent me that's indeed the idea behind this beer. Of course, that was after the fact. Going into this review I didn't really know what to expect other than it was a fall seasonal ale made with wet hops and spices (according to their "trailers" on their YouTube channel). I was definitely interested to try this beer (mostly because I didn't know what to expect).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 12, 2011
I poured a 16oz can into a mug.

Appearance: Bright orange pumpkin skin hue; very hazy body but not completely opaque. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains very well and laces fairly.

Smell: Tropical fruit juice and pine sap with noticeable resin quality.

Taste: Sixpoint Autumnation seems to be the world’s first "Pumpkin IPA" or perhaps it’s an IPA with pumpkin and other spices added. Whatever the case may be this is definitely one of the most interesting and unique palates I’ve ever encountered because it’s all over the place and yet the flavors all seem to blend perfectly together.

The palate begins with sweet tropical fruit juice - especially passion fruit and mango - nothing acid or bitter like grapefruit. This gives way to a sappy, resin-like taste and bitterness which is of course due to the wet hopping. It’s not quite as thick and syrupy or sweet as a barleywine or imperial IPA, but the bitterness is there. It’s quite dry, but more dull than it is sharp. The finish and aftertaste revert back to the initial juicy qualities but with the taste of autumn. The can indicates the beer is brewed with ginger, pumpkin and "spice" but I don’t get any individual ingredients, but rather a potpourri-like taste and sensation. The aftertaste is a little dry, but clean for the most part. I just wish the pumpkin and spices had been more prominent to make it a true pumpkin beer instead of a pumpkin-ish beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied in all aspects with a soft, tepid, comfortable texture and density.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 6.7% ABV and 68 IBUs, Sixpoint Autumnation is one of those beers that’s not big enough to be a true "imperial," but not small enough to be average in any aspect. The flavor is strong from start to finish, but it doesn’t dance on your tongue. It goes down remarkably smooth and is quite refreshing while in the mouth. Probably too hoppy and bitter to pair with pumpkin pie - this is a main course kind of brew.

Grade: 8/10

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