Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ithaca Country Pumpkin

If pumpkin beers tend to be either liquid pumpkin pie or liquid potpourri, surely there has to be a few that blur the line, right? I’d submit Ithaca Country Pumpkin as an example of a line-blurrer, as it has plenty of spicy bite, but is well balanced by sweet pie-like flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (734) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 27, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Ithaca pint glass.

Appearance: Dark copper with brownish/orange hues. Hazy but translucent. Forms a small, off white, sudsy head which fizzles away rather quickly and leaves only minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: All the classic pumpkin beer aromas of potpourri spice and dessert sweetness.

Taste: If you’re a pumpkin beer fan you’re probably going to enjoy Ithaca Country Pumpkin, even though it doesn’t offer anything particularly new. It begins with a sweet burst of cinnamon and graham cracker/pie crust tastes, followed by pureed pumpkin. The finish ends each time with a sharp bite of ginger and nutmeg. It almost creates for a minty flavor, but is balanced out quite well by the residual cinnamon sweetness.

It’s not a particularly bitter brew, as this only uses one hop variety. The malts are mild and lightly sweet with a very subtle honey character. While there is a rustic spiciness, the palate is balanced and delectable overall. Not the best tasting pumpkin beer on the market (it could probably use a little less ginger), but it’s still better than average.

Drinkability: The first thing I noticed about Ithaca Country Pumpkin wasn’t so much the flavor as it was the smoothness and high drinkability. The body isn’t spastic and effervescent - the mouthfeel is fairly soft which enables it to go down smoothly. It’s a bit refreshing while in the mouth and the aftertaste is fairly clean. The 6.3% ABV seems a bit high to me, but I wouldn’t consider that a flaw. A versatile brew - drink it with a meal or as a dessert.

Grade: 8/10

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