Saturday, September 8, 2012

Long Trail Pumpkin Ale

There are two types of pumpkin beers: pumpkin pie beers and pumpkin potpourri beers. Long Trail Pumpkin Ale is definitely one of the latter. Heavy on the ginger ,nutmeg and clove and light on the cinnamon, this is a spicy brew for sure but not an absolutely delicious one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (725) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 5, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Long Trail pint glass.

Appearance: Dark copper color, almost completely clear but a bit hazy. Forms an average size, off-white, foamy head which mostly dissipates but leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong potpourri aroma like a candle store or a country bakery. More spicy than sweet with that distinct pumpkin smell.

Taste: If you want a good example of the pumpkin potpourri beer, Long Trail Pumpkin Ale is it. Strong ginger and nutmeg spice flavor from beginning to end of the palate. Though only 22 IBUs, the ginger and nutmeg impart a bitterness and dryness with a strong bite throughout. Clove is quite prominent immediately on the transition to the second half with a very fleeting taste of cinnamon. There’s a bit of a spice rack aftertaste, but for the most part it’s clean.

This isn’t my preferred palate when it comes to pumpkin beers, but for what it is I have to admit it’s quite robust and not a boring beer at all. A little less of the dry bitter spices and a little more of the sweet spices would be more appealing to the average drinker I think. This would be an ideal beer to have with any kind of autumn dinner (e.g. turkey, stew, roast beef) or just to appreciate as a good pumpkin beer.

Drinkability: While not a thick or heavy brew, Long Trail Pumpkin Ale is quite energetic in the mouth. It doesn’t dance on the tongue like a Belgian beer might, but it’s not nearly as tepid and calm as most beers in the Long Trail lineup. Medium approaching to full body, but not a challenge to get through. The 5.5% ABV weight seems right on for this beer as it’s satisfying but not overwhelming.
 Grade: 7/10

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