Tröegs Master of Pumpkins (2014)
12.7 fl. oz. (x4) / $13.99 USD / 7.5% ABV (Not listed on packaging)
About: "Brewed with native Pennsylvania neck pumpkins harvested just a few miles from our brewery, Master of Pumpkins conjures the spirit of autumn by combining roasted pumpkins and traditional pie spices with a French saison yeast. This natural fermentation releases a palate of vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and honey. Taste it you will see, more is all you need! Malt: Munich, Pilsner, Special B / Hops: German Northern Brewer / Yeast: French Saison / JuJu: Cane Sugar, Pennsylvania Honey, Roasted Pennsylvania Neck Pumpkins / Spices: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg / Food Compliments: Mexican dishes or other spicy foods, gamey meats and poultry, cheesecake, aged cheeses."
Thoughts: Popped the cork and a little smoke emerged. MoP poured an extremely clear light-red, auburn-raspberry color with a quick-dissolving white head on top. Natural carbonation is very lively and from the top of the glass it looks like I'm staring up at the moon.
The scent is of natural pumpkin, sweet yet tart, freshly torn gourd, and mild. That French saison yeast really comes out and takes this beer into an absurd place, but what else is there to expect from Tröegs!? Those yeast fiends. Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg are present but taking a backseat to a shit-ton of allspice and honey.
Well... this one isn't the most pleasant of pumpkin beers. It's got a bit of a rubbery thing going on, no doubt due to that funky yeast and the allspice is just dominating! Really, that's about it. Just a lot of Chinese five spice all over the place and a funny tasting yeast. Once you get used it, it's not really that terrible though. It definitely could use a little more cinnamon though.
In terms of those natural tasting pumpkin ales, this one fits in nicely and thankfully isn't as boring or as bitter as some of the other ones. There's a decent sweetness on this one and a nice haze around the end of each gulp. It tastes pretty fresh too... perhaps a little too fresh. Overall despite the good and the bad, this beer is just kinda one note and that's not going to cut it. If it were one note yet amazing tasting, that would be a different story.