used to love pumpkin beers, but now I’m over them. I don’t even really
buy pumpkin beers unless it appears to be unique or a friend really
recommends one. In the case of Ballast Point Pumpkin Down it’s a
Scottish Ale that has some roasted pumpkin and spices added to it. In
the world of pumpkin brews, that’s definitely an unusual recipe (and
probably why I really appreciate this brew).
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/24/15 and cost $3.05 ($0.25 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful ruby red/maroon/mahogany hue. Dark but still
clear. Pours to a two-finger, off-white, foamy head which retains and
laces quite well.
Smell: Pumpkin squash and rustic spices create for a nice – albeit mild –
potpourri aroma. Not much in the way of authentic malt or hop aromas.
Taste: From what I can tell, this beer is actually Ballast Point Piper
Down – the brewery’s Scottish Ale – with roasted pumpkin and spices
added. Not having had the base brew I can’t say how this compares.
However, as a beer marketing itself as a Scottish/Pumpkin hybrid it
certainly is interesting. The pumpkin is evident immediately; at first
it’s a bit of a sweet cereal-like taste (but not pie). Flavors of
casserole come through on the first half. The second half is a bit
spicier with tingly notes of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg and/or ginger. I
do taste a familiar Scottish Ale palette at the base of the brew, but
it’s not especially distinctive; but it’s not distracting or
conflicting, either. I would say these flavors all work in harmony, and I
find it to be enjoyable but not quite amazing.
Drinkability: At 5.8% ABV, Ballast Point Pumpkin Down is by no means a
light beer, nor a heavy beer. There’s plenty of flavor to the body, yet
the mouthfeel is a bit thinner and less carbonated than I’d expect or
want. Still, it’s remarkably smooth and the spices do linger just enough
so as to leave a pleasant aftertaste. There is no alcohol presence
whatsoever. This is exactly the kind of beer to pair with any kind of