Saranac Pumpkin Ale was one of the first beers to turn me on to the
pumpkin style and it’s one I’ve consistently enjoyed over the years.
While I wouldn’t rave about it now like I did back in 2008, I still have
to say this is one of the better, most dependable pumpkin beers on the
major craft beer market.
I poured a 12oz bottle into my Saranac shaker glass.
Appearance: Dark amber to brown proper color; slightly hazy. Forms a
small, tan, soapy head which evaporates fast and doesn’t lace the glass.
Smell: Rustic pumpkin ale nose with the spices accentuated, especially
clove and cinnamon. Even some citrusy hops are detectable.
Taste: If you need a beer that epitomizes the "pumpkin potpourri" beer
style, Saranac Pumpkin Ale is it. For a non-imperial, fairly mainstream
brew it’s impressive how prickly and complex the palate seems to be.
Right away cinnamon makes itself known by delivering a hint of warmth
and spice, like a gingerbread cookie. Through the middle comes a hint of
Cascade hop which transitions the palate perfectly to the finish. The
ending is delightfully spicy with allspice, more cinnamon, and smooth
vanilla bean to cap it off with some light sweetness. It’s a flavorful,
appealing palate for sure. Not a perfect one, though, but definitely
something that is drinker-friendly.
Drinkability: While Saranac Pumpkin Ale may be lively across the tongue,
it’s not a challenge to drink at all. The aftertaste is remarkably
clean making the beer a bit of a refresher, actually. The 5.4% ABV body
is perfect as it gives it enough energy to be genuinely flavorful while
remaining light enough to drink multiple servings of.