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.