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.