I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $9.99 ($0.45 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful, glowing orange hue over a clear body. Plenty of
visible carbonation. Pours to a large, eggshell, foamy head which
retains and laces somewhat well.
Smell: Typical pumpkin beer aroma, though on the spicier side. Notes of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg dominate.
Taste: Shipyard is well known for their regular pumpkin brew
“Pumpkinhead,” a beer which I’ve always said tastes more like pumpkin
soda. While it’s not bad, it’s not great; but the same can be said for
“Smashed Pumpkin,” which is essentially just a scaled-up version of that
beer (in my opinion, at least).
The palette is pretty typical of a pumpkin brew: strong notes of nutmeg,
cinnamon and especially ginger. There’s no distinct malt character and
certainly nothing in the way of hops. A consistent sweetness from start
to finish, with a soda-like taste on the back end. I could definitely do
with less ginger and more of a pumpkin pie taste (this straddles the
border between pumpkin potpourri and pumpkin pie). When you pay $10 for a
bottle of 9% ABV beer, you have expectations of robustness and
complexity. And while perfectly satisfying as far as taste goes, it
doesn’t quite deliver on a bang-for-the-buck level.
Drinkability: For such a heady brew, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin is
remarkably light on its toes. The mouthfeel is thin, but well-carbonated
with a consistent crispness to the last drop. It’s comfortable in the
mouth and going down without any discernible alcohol taste or warmth
considering its 9% ABV potency. A slightly dry and spicy aftertaste
lingers momentarily, which is fine. I had no trouble drinking the entire
bottle myself. This definitely could be paired with autumn meals