New Belgium Pumpkick

Reviewed by on November 25, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

  • Origin: Fort Collins, CO, US

  • Rated On: November 25, 2015

  • Best Before: February 7, 2016

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

As we approach American Thanksgiving, pumpkin beers may yet have some life left in 2015.  Here, New Belgium’s offering includes cranberry juice, all the better to match with your relatively healthy side dishes tomorrow!

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with two thick fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent array of snow rime lace around the glass as things slowly dissolve.

It smells of semi-sweet, fleshy pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon spice, a gentle black fruit tartness, bready caramel malt, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is sugary, pastry-like caramelized malt, pureed pumpkin, rather mild earthy seasonal spices – maybe some ginger, maybe some allspice – a touch of white pepper, and leafy, weedy hops. The carbonation is fairly peppy, with a swirling frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and plainly smooth, the spices affecting things seemingly from beyond. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin continuing to meld into the base caramel malt, as the pie-friendly spices carry on fading out.

A well-rendered and kind of cuddly version of the style, as the pumpkin and spice alike seem to be doing more than just phoning it in. The cranberry and lemongrass additives are fairly benign, adding only a thin tartness to the whole affair, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing, unless, once again, you’re Denis Leary and you’re watching the hockey game.

Brady White

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