Saugatuck Pumpkin Chai

Reviewed by on September 24, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Saugatuck Brewing Company

  • Origin: Douglas, MI, US

  • Rated On: September 24, 2015

  • Best Before: packaged September 3, 2015

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Western Michigan’s Saugatuck Brewing provides the first new pumpkin brew for me in the 2015 season – and a chai-flavoured one at that.

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium red-brick amber colour, with one flabby finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and mostly just bubbly ecru head, which leaves some incoming storm front lace around the glass as things slowly recede.

It smells of musty pumpkin rind, bready caramel malt, some hovering ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon savoury spices, ones that may or may not be attached to any Asian subcontinent-style tea, a bit of isolated black pepper, and mild earthy, weedy hops. The taste is bready, slightly doughy caramel malt, mashed pumpkin flesh, muddled chai tea and its attendant sweet/savoury spiciness, soft table-top pepper mill dust, a weird vegetal astringency, and more plain earthy, herbal, and leafy hop bitters. The carbonation is nice and lively in both its supportive and palate-tickling frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and more or less smooth, the spices not really interfering, as such. It finishes off-dry, a lingering bready malt sweetness starting to bat around the spice and feeble pumpkin like deflating beach balls.

A pleasant enough, very ‘autumn’-tasting brew, even if neither the pumpkin nor the chai really bring it in the end. The various astringencies, including the generally obfuscated 13-proof alcohol start to grow as this one warms, which makes me start to wish for a more rounded pumpkin ale experience, if at all.

Brady White

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