Howe Sound Pumpkineater

Reviewed by on October 31, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

  • Origin: Squamish, BC, CA

  • Rated On: October 31, 2014

  • Best Before: Bottled August 13, 2014

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Howe Sound is a brewery in Squamish, British Colombia, along the coast north of Vancouver, and takes its name from the body of water inlet on which it sits.  Pumpkineater (subtitled: Imperial Pumpkin Ale), their autumn seasonal, sits wherever it dang well pleases – just look at its size and strength, and you’ll see why this is an apt beer with which to celebrate Hallowe’en.

This 1L, swing-top bottle pours a rather hazy, medium orange brick amber colour, with two fat fingers of densely foamy, and yet somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some random cirrus cloud-like lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells readily of pumpkin pie spices – cloves, ginger, and cinnamon (hearts) – brown sugar, vegetal gourd flesh (pumpkin, and perhaps some of its squash cohorts), bready, crackery caramel malt, and an underlying twinge of metallic booze. The taste is sweet bready caramel malt, a blend of fall seasonal spices – clove and nutmeg, mostly – well-meshed pumpkin, squash, and even zucchini, and a pleasantly integrated, if a tad edgy at times, warming alcohol. The carbonation is moderate, manifesting in but a plainly supportive frothiness, the body quite full and coddling (like there was a whole metric whack of pumpkin pulp in it), and actually fairly smooth, with a slight whipped dessert creaminess. It finishes more or less sweet, the spiced caramel malt most prevalent.

A more or less balanced, spicy, malty, chai tea-esque, and duly warming autumn-worthy beery tipple, one also good for places where late October frolicking involves a bracing briskness, at times. Whatever, it’s still pumpkin season, and this offering does a bang-up job of reminding me of that fact.  Happy trick or treating, bats and ghouls!

Brady White

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