Friday, September 6, 2013

Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (963) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 6, 2013
I poured a 12oz can into a mug. There was no apparent freshness date, though I’m quite certain it’s from the 2013 seasonal release. This was given to me by friends (thanks, Alex and Marissa!).

Appearance: Dark brown/ruby red/mahogany. Translucent. Forms a small, off-white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Heavy cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract aromas, plus general potpourri essence.

Taste: I’ve always said pumpkin beers are one of two things in liquid form: pumpkin pie or pumpkin potpourri. Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale seems to have both characteristics going for it as it’s noticeably spicy like a potpourri-type brew, but remarkably sweet like a pumpkin pie brew (but without the actual pumpkin pie flavor).

Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most predominant flavors here. It reminds me a lot of Cinnamon Life cereal, especially up front. A tingly spicy sensation can be felt through the middle. There’s some rustic, earthy flavors of nutmeg, allspice, and perhaps Grains of Paradise (the brewery’s website describes it as "seasonal spices"). It finishes lighter with a pumpkin puree and vanilla extract taste with just a touch of bitterness. Unique to be sure, though its sweetness seems rather artificial and borders on drinking like a pumpkin soda.

Drinkability: While I would categorize the palette as lively, the actual delivery is quite comfortable. Medium-bodied with a calm mouthfeel and smooth texture. The beer leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste, but it fades quickly. At 6% ABV, Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale doesn’t seem to take full advantage of its weight as it drinks and feels like something much lighter. 
Grade: 7/10