Fernie Pumpkin Head

Reviewed by on November 6, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fernie Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Fernie, BC, CA

  • Rated On: November 5, 2014

  • Best Before: March 2015

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

A simple, yet creepy monochromatic ‘Mr. Pumpkinhead’ adorns the label of this seasonal offering from this Rocky Mountain brewery – they’ve taken their popular First Trax Brown Ale, and added organic pumpkin and the usual spice suspects.   The pumpkin craze may be waning a bit, but the weather is looking a lot more early October-ish the past few days, so, um, there.

This 650ml bomber pours a murky dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, foamy ecru head, which leaves some low melting iceberg, and spooky spectral profile lace around the glass as it readily bleeds away.

It smells of gingerbread malt (with the preponderance of pumpkin beers nowadays, this must be a valid moniker), sharp nutmeg and metallic cinnamon spice, some further pastry-like sweetness, a soft vegetal pumpkin fleshiness, and a sugary, mild nuttiness. The taste is sweet nutty caramel malt, edgy clove and nutmeg, that further mixed-up savoury character that I usually get with allspice, an ethereal, given the other players, veritable pumpkin essence, and some floral, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body a sturdy medium weight, and agreeably smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, but just so – the lingering spices and heartwarming veggie character doing well to offset the remaining potent brown ale malt.

A nice enough re-purposing of a fairly enjoyable base beer – I’ve consumed plenty of it on previous ski trips to Panorama. Though the spices may not be all that clear cut, who really cares – we’ve all had lots of cookies and pies with the same lovingly non-micromanaged doling out of the proscribed ingredients, so I’m more inclined to just sit back in my chosen manner and savour the memory of another passing celebratory season.

Brady White

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