Magic Hat Wilhelm SCREAM Pumpkin Ale (2014)
Limited Release (Fall).
12 fl. oz. (x6) / $8.99 USD / 5.4% ABV
About: "The distant drums of change are thumping, signaling the coming of chilling frosts, falling leaves and ghoulish screams. In a patch ripe with orange glow, Wilhelm Scream awakens and unleashes his season-stirring call for fall. His revelers listen for his echo across the ripened dancing days and prepare their seasonal celebration of harvest and ale. Malts: Pale, Victory, Caramel 80L, Caramel 120L / Hops: Apollo, Nugget / Additives: Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice."
Thoughts: Well this one is a contender for the clearest fucking pumpkin beer I've ever seen. So clear in fact, clearer than most lagers actually, that it makes me wonder just what if any pumpkin was used in the making of this. Probably filtered about ten times before bottling right? It's a deep orange, really nice color actually, with a yellowed head on top that turned to nothin' real quick as carbonation fell flat.
It smells sweet and sugary, so that's a good sign I suppose. It's actually got a nice scent, sweet with a good spice kick to it. Nearly smells like a cold store bought pumpkin pie, which is actually more than you can say about some other pumpkin beers... but alas, this smells a bit synthetic and the sugary tones are kind of weird.
Hmm. Wilhelm Scream isn't horrible tasting by any means... it's sweet but not too sweet, gently spiced, got the slightest bit of bitterness, and overall is pleasant for the first few bottles. The beer itself is too weak to actually enjoy in the long run, since it just become so monotinous and bloating after a while. It tastes good all the way through, but there's just something seemingly fake about it. Though it's somewhat closer to a pumpkin pie-type beer than a raw fleshy pumpkin beer, there's nothing interesting about it after the first bottle. Total hit it and quit it. I needed beer tonight so I bought a six pack just to try, but really I wanted to buy a single and then drink something else. I had a feeling this was going to be a weak offering.
Still, it's not that bad. The residual aftertaste and feeling are a bit "icky", and that's the big problem, but besides that it's smooth, tastes ok, there's nothing off-putting while drinking it and it's even got a decent balance. There's a little bit of a smokiness on the back end of things that kind of brings out some sort of vanilla type note. If this were 8% and had I just huffed a canister of whipped cream while taking a cinnamon challenge I'd probably love it... but the way things are right now, I'm neither pleased nor disappointed. For a synthetic tasting pumpkin ale (whether it is or not), it's utterly non-offensive and enjoyable. Just drink 'em fast.