Elbeck Death by Pumpkin

Reviewed by on October 31, 2017 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Elbeck Brews

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 31 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Edmonton contract brewer Bruce Sample has brought back a Capital Region oldie (relatively speaking), and named it the same as the pumpkin brew made by Hog’s Head five years or so ago.  Now brewed at Boiling Oar in Calgary.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium orange-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some cannonball splash aftermath lace around the glass as it slowly and surely sinks away.

It smells of pungent spice – clove, nutmeg, ginger, and metallic cinnamon – roasted pumpkin, bready and grainy caramel malt, and some leafy, weedy, and rather floral green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and crackery caramel malt, vegetal pumpkin, more zingy spice (nutmeg, dried ginger and clove most prominent), and further musty, herbal, and gently perfumed floral verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate in its palate-assuring frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, with just a suggestion of spice intransigence perhaps gumming up the works a bit here.  It finishes off-dry, but not by much – hops, gourd, and spice seeing to that.

Overall, while this has all the hallmarks for a well-made pumpkin brew, it’s not really all that akin to ‘pumpkin pie in a bottle’, as it is too spiced and not nearly sweet enough.  As simply a beer, however, it works, and is pleasant as an accompaniment to some piquant leftover pizza (would that it were turkey).

Brady White

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