13 October 2007

Southern Tier Pumking (NY)

I paid $5.99 for a bomber of this. Wortwurst over at A Roughneck's Take on Beer says the price is "ghastly," but I'm guessing he paid more for it to cross state borders. This ale has 9% ABV and includes pureed pumpkin alongisde 2-row malt, caramel malt, and magnum and sterling hops.

Abiding the bottle instructions, I chilled this to 40 degrees before drinking, although it warmed up a bit before I finished. The aroma of this copper-colored brew is mostly pumkpin pie, but also a bit of bubblegum or candy corn. It is sweet. The taste is along similar lines, but with a boost of vanilla. If it's pumpkin pie, it has whipped cream on top. Or maybe it's pumpkin ice cream. It's only near the end when I detect some hops and remember that I'm drinking beer. There are appropriate spices as well, most notably nutmeg. All things considered, I think the taste is a bit much. More positively, I don't really sense the alcohol and the body is good: medium-to-full with plenty of fizz.

Many people love this seasonal, although I can imagine others hating it. I'm somewhere in between. I'm glad I tried it -- it really is something else -- but can take it only in small doses.