Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saranac Pumpkin Ale (2012)

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.

NOTE: Read (and watch) my 2008 review here:

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (745) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 31, 2012
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.
 Grade: 8/10

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