Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Reviewed by on October 8, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company

  • Origin: Hampton, NH, US

  • Rated On: October 8, 2015

  • Best Before: December 18, 2015

  • ABV: 6.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

When you think of stereotypical autumn imagery, what comes to mind?  The American far northeast, that’s what – a rainbow of changing coloured leaves, hard apple cider, and yep, pumpkins.  New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing is known for their ‘make mine a Smutty’ tagline, and they do indeed produce a pumpkin ale for the current season.

This 12oz bottle pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, broadly foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some incoming storm front lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates.

It smells of semi-sweet pumpkin flesh, bready caramel malt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove spice, a hint of white and black pepper, and faint earthy, weedy hops. The taste is gritty, grainy pale malt, a still heady mashed pumpkin vegetal thing, now sort of muddled seasonal spices (maybe some cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice sticking out just a bit), a hard water flintiness, ethereal caramel/toffee notes, subtle earthy yeast, and a mild leafy, weedy, and herbal hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly understated in its tame and innocuous frothiness, the body just on the far side of yer typical middleweight, and generally quite smooth, with a wee airy creaminess arising shortly after takeoff. It finishes off-dry, with the spiced pumpkin character carrying the day over any of the base maltiness.

A decent and agreeable version of the style, the pumpkin at least doing more than showing up, lazing about, and then punching out early. Well-rounded, pleasantly spiced in a way that doesn’t overpower or underwhelm, and worthy of a few rounds, at least until the snow flies around here.

Brady White

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