Avery Pump[KY]n

Reviewed by on November 13, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Avery Brewing Company

  • Origin: Boulder, CO, US

  • Rated On: November 12, 2014

  • Best Before: Bottled September 12, 2014

  • ABV: 17.22%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Pump[KY]n is an obvious play on words, Avery Brewing’s base pumpkin ale (last seen in Rumpkin), now being aged in Kentucky (KY) Bourbon barrels.  Yes, another certainly strong suggestion for the waning pumpkin beer season (Thanksgiving is 2 weeks out, now), all the better to segue into winter.

This 12oz, gold foil capped bottle pours a goopy, murky, very dark brown colour, with one finger of tightly foamy, almost cake-batter-esque head, which maintains some ultra-sturdy retention, eventually leaving a bit of ski-hill profile lace around the glass.

It smells of intense sweet pumpkin flesh, chocolate pudding, sharp ginger, cinnamon, and lesser clove spice, molasses, further grainy brown sugar, complex caramel notes – both malty and wooden in origin – and a strangely soft Bourbon barrel booziness. The taste is likewise densely packed, a strong caramel/toffee malt holding sway, amongst concentrated pumpkin pie puree, nutmeg, clove, and sweet cinnamon spice, brown sugar syrup, the vanilla, caramel, and mild rye astringency from the barrel, a suggestion of nutty, nougaty chocolate bar, and a barely, but still restrained warming alcohol.  The bubbles are present, to be sure, but mostly in a mere supportive, structural manner (the guy you marry, vs. the guy with whom you spend Spring Break), the body, well, ripped is the best word I can come up with, because it is solid, heavy, and tight – and pretty smooth ‘n creamy, what with all those spice and alcohol esters mucking about. It finishes sweet and punchy, the cocoa-tinged caramel malt starting to assert its provenance, as the pumpkin and its spiced friends exhibit the turkey tireds, and the barrel notes keep on keepin’ ‘er between the lines.

I have to admit, I was more than a wee bit trepidatious before opening this monster of a beer, but once I became resolute, it really isn’t all that scary – due in no small part to the deft hand(s) who crafted this. It really is quite porter-like, if you discount the initially heady pumpkin, the spice, and the Bourbon character – I know that sounds fairly spurious, given how big and varied this offering is, but overall, what we have here is a tasty, full, and incredibly warming pumpkin ale.

Brady White



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