Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch Ale

Reviewed by on November 3, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Canuck Empire Brewing Company Ltd.

  • Origin: Aldergrove, BC, CA

  • Rated On: November 3, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Canuck Empire appears to be a contract brewery in the Lower Mainland of metro Vancouver, as their beers are produced at the current time by locals Dead Frog.  With the same name as a pumpkin ale from Rogue Ales, it’s a bit surprising that they call this one ‘Pumpkin Patch Ale’, given the many tenuous at best cease and desist orders from breweries over ‘similar’ names.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium apricot amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly ecru head, which leaves some melting snowbank lace around the glass as things evenly subside.

It smells of lightly bready caramel malt, metallic cinnamon, dried ginger root, muddled nutmeg, brown sugar syrup, thin pumpkin flesh, a touch of peppery wheat, and mild earthy, leafy hops. The taste is zingy cinnamon, nutmeg, and powdered ginger spice up front, which is nicely layered into a grainy, bready, and pleasantly caramelized malt sweetness, one that takes a few cues from the sassy wheat guest, along with some background toasted pumpkin notes, and sort of overshadowed leafy, weedy hops. The carbonation is fairly engaging and thorough in its probing frothiness, the body just on the light side of medium weight, and sort of smooth, the flinty spices taking a proverbial pound or so of flesh. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin starting to fulfill its contractual obligations, if in a mildly musty manner – the seasonal pie concept still not quite crystallizing into anything tangible.

While not the confluence of flavours that one might hope for or expect from latter day pumpkin ales, Canuck Empire’s (good name, that!) version of Pumpkin Patch Ale still delivers all the goods – it’s just up to you to put them all together, in whatever order your palate sees fit.

Brady White

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