Thursday, October 10, 2013

Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (986) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 10, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. There was no freshness date. It cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Hazy light brown/dark orange hue. No visible carbonation. Pours to a small, off-white, soapy head which mostly fizzles away and leaves little lacing.

Smell: More of a yam scent than pumpkin. Spices are more of potpourri than pie.

Taste: I don’t know why I keep buying Captain Lawrence beers. I find them to be underwhelming as a whole, though I thought a pumpkin ale would be a no-brainer. And while this beer isn’t bad per se, it’s definitely not good, either. The overall palette seems a little dirty to me - there’s a bunch of additives to this brew, obviously, yet none are really all that pleasant to drink. The spices and pumpkin flavors taste like literally ground-up potpourri, whereas a lot of pumpkin ales taste like a figurative potpourri.

The first half of the swig isn’t too bad. A light amber maltiness, though nothing distinctive stands out. There’s dry spicy bitterness through the middle, but probably a little more than necessary. The finish has what should be the tasty pumpkin pie taste (it’s brewed with pureed pumpkin), but it tastes very rustic, earthy and almost soured. Nutmeg is prominent, but that seems to be about the only noticeable spice. It’s not off-putting, but it’s just not complex or balanced enough to be appealing to me.

Drinkability: With a fairly light body and crisp mouthfeel, it’s no challenge to down a glass of Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale. There is a residual aftertaste of starch and spice, but it’s quite tolerable. At 5% ABV it’s too big to session, but too light to have the robustness of a higher-end pumpkin beer. 
Grade: 5/10