Blue Hills Brewery Stingy Jack Pumpkin Lager (2012)
22 fl. oz. / $4.49 USD / 5.8% ABV
About: "The legend of Stingy Jack is rooted deep in Irish folklore. He was always known as a fellow of questionable morals." Hey, I like him already! "Twice in his life, he tricked the Devil into sparing his life. When Jack's final day came, he was informed in heaven that he would not be allowed to enter. When Jack went to into the fiery depths, the Devil told him he didn't want him either." Wow, now I really like the guy. "The Devil gave Jack a flaming rock and hallowed out gourd and banished him to an eternity of wandering the earth with just a glowing pumpkin to light his way. Thus the legend of Jack O'Lantern was born. As you enjoy our pumpkin lager, if you happen to encounter Jack, think twice before offering him a pint." Cool story bro.
Thoughts: Thanks to The Yankee Brew News (my favorite newspaper in the whole wide wurld!) I knew that Blue Hills was releasing a pumpkin ale this year. Though, I never figured it'd show up since it's well into October and all the pumpkin beer has already been released and dismissed. And I wouldn't have known that this was a pumpkin ale when I found a row of bottles in the liquor store fridge down the street. Why you ask? Well, first of all there's a fuckin' grinning Leprechaun on the bottle! It was new to the rotation though, so I took a closer look at the label, only to find that the name of the beer had a round sticker over the name! This sticker however, had the face of Frankenstein's Monster on it! Boo-yah. The one behind it had another round sticker that read "Trick or Treat" and behind that "Happy Halloween." There I noticed the words below said shit-eating-grin Leprechaun: Pumpkin Lager. Nice. But why the sticker over the label I wondered to myself!? It wasn't until I checked online to find their statement: "The Blue Hills Brewery beer formerly known as "Stingy Jack Pumpkin Lager" is in no way associated with Les Trois Emme Winery's "Stingy Jack Pumpkin Wine". Blue Hills Brewery apologizes for any confusion this may have caused." Which seems weird to me, because when I looked this beer up on my Untappd account, I found that there are like seven other fucking beers with this name. And their covering up their own shit... over some local wine? G H E Y.
BHB Stingy jack poured a lighter pumpkin shade of orange, with maybe a little bit of potted gold at the end of the rainbow. Or is that rusty copper? It's very carbonated and there are a ton of flakes everywhere throughout the brew. It's very grainy, but not a complete haze. There's a ton of shit suspended in there, slowly floating throughout the beer, but you can make out each speck so it's not cloudy. Pretty cool looking actually. The eggshell head was super quick dissolving, which made my clover welt, but left a puddle of foam and a ring.
It doesn't smell half bad. It smells more like a pumpkin bread rather than pie. It's a little nutty, and toasty... I'm getting a hint of butter. Lots of grain, cereal, almond butter and rice. Whatever spices they've got in here are pretty low on the totem. The scent is a mild earthy one.
The taste is surprisingly not as bitter as I thought it would be. It's mild, but it starts out pretty sweet actually. The cinnamon and spice comes out a little more in the taste, and mixes well with that buttery biscuit type thing it's got going on. It tastes almost like cinnamon rolls, kinda, but nowhere near as sweet. As it warms it starts to smell better, but not necessarily taste better. Alright, now it tastes like a rice cake drizzled with some light caramel, with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on it, dipped in a Budweiser. That being said, it's still not half bad. Would I lie to you?
Mouth is pretty watery (especially after it warms), but it's frothy too. And the carbonation gives off a neat tingling sensation.
While this beer isn't all that exciting or groundbreaking, there's a really solid upside to it and that's the fact that it doesn't taste bad. I'd say it ranks right down there with Sam Adams Pumpkin, it's probably slightly better than Harpoon's UFO Unfiltered Pumpkin and just edges out Shock Top's Pumpkin Wheat. Good job Blue Hills, even more so considering the only other beer from them I've tried so far (Black Hops) I pretty much hated. Maybe I will end up trying that Watermelon beer of theirs. Or is that just the Doubloons talking!? ;) Wow. Such a long post for a beer that I really don't give a fuck for.