Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Reviewed by on October 8, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Portland, ME, US

  • Rated On: October 7, 2014

  • Best Before: August 2015

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Shipyard is a brewery from Portland, Maine, and this is part of their Pugsley’s Signature Series, which comprises their stronger offerings, and is named after co-founder Alan Pugsley.  I am a little confounded as to why they have to refer to the supposed pumpkin in this brew merely as ‘flavor’?

This 22oz, gold foil-capped bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and slightly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a few instances of random ocean spout lace around the glass as it quickly rescinds its corporeal stature.

It smells of peppy cinnamon heart, clove, and nutmeg spice, semi-sweet vegetal pumpkin flesh, bready caramel malt, a mild leafy hoppiness, and some well-hidden metallic alcohol. The taste is more of the same, the candied, but well spicy cinnamon hearts still holding sway amongst the other persistent usual suspect pie spices, a lessening pumpkin and gourd-ish cousin vegetal essence, some steady sugary caramel malt, understated leafy hops, and a very mild booze warming. The carbonation is quite active in its various fizzy and frothy forms, the body an adequate medium weight, and actually more or less smooth, the spices minding their own business, and the alcohol tied up planning my eventual demise. It finishes pretty dry, with the lingering spices, booze, and masked beyond belief hops easily winning this particular tug of war.

A decently rendered big pumpkin ale, the alcohol kept under wraps for the most part, letting the spice take the, um, heat for the inherent astringency of it all, to no overall ill effect. Perhaps one of the more aptly-named offerings from this brewery, as the 18-proof strength will certainly catch up to you (and me), as I continue to focus solely on the grade-school holiday spiciness.

Brady White

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