Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nebraska Wick for Brains Pumpkin Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1479) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 20, 2015
It’s always fun trying beers from far-away breweries and discovering that they make more or less the same-tasting brews as closer breweries. Nebraska Wick for Brains is a by-the-book pumpkin ale that has a familiar aroma, appearance and palette as many of the dozens of beers of the style I’ve tried from my general region. 

I poured a 12oz can into a flared snifter. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.20 ($0.27 per ounce).

Appearance: A pretty shade of bright flame orange over a nearly clear body. No carbonation visible after the first few seconds. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which fizzles away quickly and completely.

Smell: Classic potpourri aroma of scented candle spices (cinnamon and nutmeg are the most prominent). A slight pie smell, though I wouldn’t consider it sweet-smelling.

Taste: I’ve reviewed so many pumpkin brews over the years, I could probably copy-and-paste from other reviews into this one and no one would be the wiser. Of course, I actually have a sense of ethics so I won’t do that, dear reader. Anyway, the flavor is pretty familiar. Nutmeg and ginger seem to be the most prominent spices. They create for a slightly rustic/spicy sensation rather than sweet pumpkin pie or puree character found in other brews. The brewery’s deScription says the beer is made with real pumpkin and it certainly comes through in the finish as a slight vegetal character. A bit distracting at first, but it eventually fades into the background after a few swigs. Cinnamon begins to emerge as a bit of a warming sensation, but it’s not too strong. In fact, pretty much everything fades away as the beer finishes quite clean. Not much in the way of any particular malt or hop distinctiveness, but that’s not unusual. Overall, it’s a satisfying experience but far from an amazing one.

Drinkability: Seeing the 6.1% ABV on the label I was expecting Nebraska Wick for Brains Pumpkin Ale to be something of a heady, robust, full-bodied brew. It’s surprisingly thin and calm in the mouth. No alcohol character, but it does have a slight oily sensation on the tongue. Still, it’s very smooth and there’s no lingering aftertaste (for better or for worse). Drinkable for sure, but not very efficient.

RATING: 7/10

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