Thursday, November 20, 2014

Great South Bay Splashing Pumpkin

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1221) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2014
I used to be a big fan of pumpkin beers, but lately I’ve been having a difficult time finding one I like. I’ll often give a new brewery a try if they make a pumpkin beer since they tend to be generally likable, but in the case of Great South Bay’s “Splashing Pumpkin” it was most definitely not a good first impression. This drinks like a bad batch; if this is what they were going for I just don’t get it.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.75 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Pretty copper/orange hue; crystal clear body; no visible carbonation. Pours to a one-finger, beige, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Smells of cooked vegetables with a slight acrid component. I can tell it’s supposed to be pumpkin beer, but it’s not nearly as pleasant as it should be.

Taste: This beer is the type of pumpkin ale that’s of the squashy/spicy/potpourri variety rather than the sweet pumpkin pie type of brew. Right away there’s an odd off-flavor of canned green beans or some kind of raw vegetal character (possibly DMS). The label indicates it’s brewed with roasted pumpkin, which is definitely interesting, and perhaps that accounts for this strange flavor. However, it doesn’t taste like toasted squash, nor is it smokey in any particular way. I do get some distinct piney hop flavor and bitterness through the middle, and just a subtle spice character on the finish – mostly of clove. There’s a tang on the backend that becomes more acidic and harsh as the beer warms. I tried really hard to focus on the good characteristics of this palette, but the flaws are just too distracting.

Drinkability: There isn’t a lot to enjoy about the taste of Great South Bay Splashing Pumpkin, but at least it’s not a challenge to get down. The mouthfeel is a little thin and noticeably calm, but it finishes clean with just a hint of spice in the aftertaste. For a 5% ABV beer it probably could have a little more flavor to it, though it’s light enough in body that it’s a breeze to throw back quickly. 
Grade: 4/10

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