Olds College Barrel-Aged Jack Olds Lantern

Reviewed by on October 31, 2016 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Olds College Brewery

  • Origin: Olds, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 31, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

After debuting their pumpkin ale a few years ago, Olds College has upped the seasonal ante, now having aged the same brew in unspecified barrels.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with one rather skinny finger of weakly puffy, and mostly just broadly bubbly tan head, which leaves some waves crashing on a rocky seashore lace around the glass as things lazily recede.

It smells of edgy cinnamon, clove, ginger, and allspice, bready and doughy caramel malt, graham crackers, subtle fleshy gourd, a bit of vanillan woodiness, faint earthy yeast, and some tame leafy, weedy, and floral noble hoppiness. The taste is semi-sweet, bready and biscuity caramel malt, more clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger spice (ha!), hard to pin down mashed pumpkin, brown sugar syrup, still vanilla-heavy woody notes (which make it hard to directly determine the nature of the barrel), and some understated leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral hop bitters.  The carbonation is quite low-key in its workaday frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with just a touch of spice, and now booze, making things more tricky than um, treat-y here, I guess. It finishes off-dry, the malt stepping back, and the warming alcohol-infused pumpkin and spice friends coming through the gap.

Overall, this is a pleasant enough barrel-treated pumpkin ale (given the source, and the strong vanilla character, Imma gonna have to say rye whisky), one with an approachable nature, making it more drinkable than average for the style. Worthy of checking out, before this kind of thing is gone for another year.

Brady White

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