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.
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
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
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.