Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Michigan Brewing Screamin' Pumpkin Spiced Ale


This is the first of many beers I'll be reviewing that were sent to me from Rob Walker. Rob said Southern Tier Pumking is his favorite pumpkin beer, but thinks this beer is a close second. I haven't had a truly great pumpkin beer in a while - would this one do anything for me?


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (578) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 29, 2011
I received a 12oz bottle in a trade with a friend in Illinois. I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Brunt umber/dirty orange color; extremely hazy body but some carbonation visible. Forms a white frothy head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: A potpourri aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, and other sweet spices.

Taste: Usually pumpkin ales fall into one of two categories: the pumpkin potpourri beer, or the pumpkin pie beer. Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale is a little bit of both with strong taste of individual spices, but of the lighter, sweeter variety. The finish is all pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie with a sweet, pastry-like taste but isn’t sugary or cloying in the least. There’s even a gentle cinnamon presence to create for a crust-like flavor, too.

It starts out slightly mild with a general mélange of the usual pumpkin suspects: pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. Thankfully it’s light on the more earthy, rustic-type spices and a complete absence of cardamom (thank you!). There’s a breadiness imparted from the malts that compliments these flavors extremely well creating for an authentic pumpkin muffin-like taste. On the finish comes the pumpkin pie flavor including the graham cracker crust. There’s a dash of vanilla in there, too, and an overall creamy, crème-like texture and taste. Very delectable and enjoyable because it seems so genuine and has no annoying aftertaste. Not the best pumpkin ale ever, but one of the best of the non-imperial variety.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied all around with a soft, creamy texture. Not tepid at all, but not overly effervescent, either.

Drinkability: I couldn’t get official numbers on this beer, but Rate Beer indicates it’s a 6% ABV brew, and I could certainly see that. With no alcohol presence in the nose, taste, or weight, Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale is quite robust. The palate, mouthfeel and extremely smooth finish make it a challenge to drink slowly. While not a refreshing beer, it’s versatile enough that it would pair with a meal or with dessert or as dessert itself, or just to enjoy on its own.

Grade: 9/10