Phillips Crookeder Tooth Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale

Reviewed by on October 29, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company

  • Origin: Victoria, BC, CA

  • Rated On: October 28, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Last week, we became familiar with Phillips’ Crooked Tooth Pumpkin ale, and now it’s time to say hello to its bigger, more worldlier sibling: Crookeder Tooth, which is also barrel-aged, presumably in American Bourbon cast-offs.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a bit of low-lying, sudsy ocean swell lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel malt, vegetal gourd, clove, coriander, and ginger spice, musty vanillan, a softly astringent woodiness, clean Bourbon booze notes, and a small leafy, weedy earthiness. The taste is big on the sweet pumpkin mass right off the bat, with a nutty caramel malt swiftly backing it up, along with some vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, free associated clove and sugary ginger spice, all closed off rather tersely by an otherwise gentle Bourbon whiskey heat. The bubbles are pretty sedate, barely more than a kid-gloves frothiness to be had, the body a decent medium weight for the base seasonal style, and generally smooth, as the burgeoning alcohol comes betwixt it and a small, cowering creaminess. It finishes a tad on the sweet side, as the lingering pumpkin flesh, caramel malt, and vanilla-heavy Kentucky whisky staves assert their provenance.

Wow, this is whole lot more approachable than I was led to believe over the past few autumnal seasons of wondering about it from afar.  Anyway, the Bourbon barrel treatment is surely more sweet than boozy, but hardly lacking in either quality, rendering the ‘-er’ version exactly as it proclaims: big, brotherly, and adept at tricks and/or treats of a manner.

Brady White

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