Tuesday, September 17, 2013

St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (968) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 17, 2013
I poured an 11.5oz bottle into a tulip glass. It appears to have been bottled in June of 2013. It cost $3.99 ($0.35 per ounce).

Appearance: A dark, but clear shade of burgundy/maroon. Pours to a small, yellowish, soapy head that fizzles away quickly like a soda.

Smell: Akin to a pumpkin-scented candle or potpourri with a spicy, autumnal aroma.

Taste: I tend to enjoy pumpkin beers that taste like pumpkin pie, but in the case of St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale it’s a flavor closer to pumpkin bread. While the usual spice palette is here and it is rather sweet, the flavor on the backend is quite bready with some banana notes. It tastes a little more authentic than most pumpkin beers, which makes it quite enjoyable.

Too many pumpkin beers make the mistake of overdosing on spice, this beer is one of the few that has them in a restrained, but flavorful, amount. The first half is mild with a slight vanilla character, followed by a touch of bitterness. The finish is where all the taste takes place with a strong mélange of nutmeg, cinnamon, and an overtly bready flavor. It’s more sweet than spicy, but in no way cloying.

Drinkability: I wouldn’t describe St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale as watery per se, just that it’s a little too thin and light for its own good. It’s a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel that’s noticeably tame. There’s virtually no aftertaste, which makes it a little refreshing - but I don’t drink pumpkin beers to quench my thirst. At 5% ABV it’s a nice standalone beverage, but doesn’t have the body to make it work as a liquid dessert or complement a fall meal. 
Grade: 7/10

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