Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Horseheads Pumpkin Ale

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1261) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 14, 2015
When it comes to pumpkin beers, it seems like fewer breweries are opting for pumpkin pie-flavored brews and instead opting for squashy/earthy/spicy recipes instead. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a pumpkin pie beer that really amazed me and Horseheads Pumpkin Ale has thankfully ended that drought. It’s quite literally liquid pumpkin pie – there isn’t much more that needs to be said.

I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $5.75 at the brewery ($0.26 per ounce).

Appearance: Surprisingly clear shade of pumpkin skin orange with visible carbonation. Pours to a fairly large, eggshell, foamy head which retains and laces rather well.

Smell: Almost identical to pumpkin pie. Huge cinnamon notes. Sweet and inviting.

Taste: Right away there’s a strong note of cinnamon and graham cracker (but I repeat myself). Other pumpkin spices like nutmeg and ginger seem to be noticeable, though subtle. The cinnamon dominates, creating for an almost waffle or pancake flavor. It’s not a prickly or spicy sensation, but is rather sweet. Little in the way of bitterness and nothing in the way of hops. The back end is the best part as it tastes of pumpkin puree; in other words – pumpkin pie. All that’s missing is a dollop of whipped cream.

Drinkability: If I had to knock this beer for anything it would be on its body. The mouthfeel is rather thin and only lightly carbonated. Though it tastes great, it doesn’t seem to have the energy level of a 7% ABV brew (feels closer to 5 or 6%). But at least there’s no alcohol presence at all. There’s a slightly slick sensation to the texture, but otherwise Horseheads Pumpkin Ale finishes clean. It might seem redundant, but it pairs well with pumpkin pie (or substitute it for pumpkin pie). 

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