October 31, 2011

Unholy Passion: 5 Freaky Scenes from Alucarda (1978)

Spirits of the Past.

A grave situation.
After an afternoon of frolicking and combing each others' hair, Alucarda and Justine decide to play house in a dusty, cobweb-ridden Mausoleum. The doors slowly creak as they cautiously push their way in. Light, flickering musical notes with a hint of forbidden romance set the tone as we get a look around the interior of this strange building. The shot lingers on a Sarcophagus for a few long moments, before Alucarda mentions that she's been hearing voices "from the past". Recalling her Déjà vu, she leads Justine around by the hand and speaks to her of death and love. As Alucarda's words become more intense with each sentence, Justine retorts, "Alucarda for heaven's sake, don't talk of death!" 

"Then ask me the most simple question, what do I eat?" ... "Pussy!?"
Justine becomes concerned once more when Alucarda says that she was almost murdered. Holding her heart, where the pain had come from, Alucarda's words invite Justine into her forlorn world. When Alucarda suggests the two of them make a love pact in which their blood shall be as one, the submissive as always Justine agrees. At that moment, Alucarda's face goes from sweet and loving, to completely insane and then delightfully deviant as she pulls from her sleeve and produces the knife she had taken from the Gypsy-Goat man. She holds out her hand, and Justine is slow to reach out but does so, as it is what her new found lover desires. Before Alucarda can slice into her offering, yet completely horrified girlfirend however, Justine pleads for her to stop.

Love spurts.
Without pause, Alucarda comes up with another idea. The two shall swear by the corpse of the woman in the stone coffin besides them. "Lucy Westenra. Died in 1850. Fifteen years ago Justine, our age! Let's swear by her." Alucarda quickly opens Lucy's resting place up, much to the mortification of Justine, and the two girls are hit with some sort of agonizingly painful, ghostly power. Alucarda writhes in pain, pulling at her hair while Justine screams, terrified and worried for her. Mysterious noises that sound like heavy breathing and soul penetration fill the room, before the girls go running for their lives. "I told you this place frightens me, and now look what's it's done to you!" says Justine. The two then head back to the orphanage.

The Blood Pact! 

After the seemingly-possessed Alucarda gets medieval on Justine's submissive ass, she demands their love pact to be pledged in nothing less than BLOOD! Hey, my kind of woman. "We Shall make them Pay!" Suddenly out of the shadows, the strange Gypsy Goat-man arrives once more, and hell, just in time with that dagger that Alucarda had previously desired and/or stolen. He agrees with her assessments of making 'them pay', and proceeds to begin the following ceremony with some "Rain... unt Thunder!"

Bloody Kisses!
"Now Call Them... Call Them.... CALL THEM!" Alucara at this point goes Ssssssatan crazy, screaming out the various names of His Devilness, while bending backwards at some six hundred and sixty-six degrees. It's quite astonishing actually when you see it, and one of the first thoughts is "How does she do that?" Well, don't worry a single little bit because a few seconds later you're showed just how she does it, because now she's completely fucking Naked! God damned and all that, Gypsy Goat-man rips off Justine's clothes and sits them facing together on their knees. He places the dagger between their hands and raises it upwards. "You will blend into each other... and then, into me!"

Gypsy Goat-man performs his strange-ass half-silent ritualistic cutting of their young and nubile titties, afterwards allowing one another to lick off the knife blood from his fingers and despair in their horrid situation. The rain and thunder that's been coming down suddenly turns Blood Red as the girls drink each others' fluids. Now that the hard work is done, Goat-man disappears into thin air and leaves Alucarda gazing lusciously at Justine's bleeding tit flesh. Sweet! Finally it's just the girls... and me watching, of course! Alucarda leans in and kisses her true love. Titty blood on both of their lips! They share bloody kisses for about three minutes... before Alucarda swiftly makes her way down to Justine's blood-dripping left breast. As she starts to kiss, lick and suck away, Justine seems to completely lose her fucking mind! She screams like an insane woman, and her teardrops flow down Alucarda's face. Very gothic romantic.

As if things weren't uncomfortable enough for the average viewer, there's some crazy psychedelic music going off in the background. I happen to find all of this sexy though, so I'm good. I am however realistic enough to notice how uncomfortable this may make some people feel. Or how this scene in particular is supposed to convey a sense of unease. It's definitely weird viewing, but if someone doesn't get it I'm not going to sympathize with them. They can go fuck themselves with a crucifix. ;)

Orgy of the Undead!

The master.
A Mummy Sister gets down on her knees to pray for Justine after the strange and erratic behavior she displayed during the intense and scrutinizing sermon the night before. That is, if you can consider passing out to be 'strange and erratic' behavior. The two girls have once again disappeared somewhere and by the looks of things this Nun has every reason to be concerned. It just so happens that Justine and Alucarda are being led into the forest by the frazzle-haired, Wife of the Gypsy Goat-man... and she's coincidentally nude. Yup, into the forest, and straight into some sort of Satanic, hippie-commune, ritualistic, orgy of the damned! Gypsy's wife sits the two girls down upon the grass and welcomes Justine. A note of interest is that she does not welcome Alucarda as well. Hmm.

As the naked hippies begin to chant and circle around the girls, Gypsy Wife goes on about leaves and flowers and fruit, as well as other earthly delights. All the while Sister is back in her chambers, writing around in insurmountable amounts of struggling pain while begging Christ to not let any harm befall poor and innocent Justine. "Behold the body of thy new servant!", Gypsy Wife screams out. And thus, out of the light comes the Dark Lord himself, Goat Head Satan! Sooner than the Horned One himself commands his minions to get down to some dirty exploration of flesh, Toilet Paper Nun begins to cry Tears of Blood and Levitate. Naturally. All of the sudden a lightning bolt strikes dead the Wife of the creepy Gypsy Goat-man, and that party's over.

Death Bed Confessionals.

After Alucarda and Justine praise all hails to Satan in bible study, they both appear to black out for some short time. Though, Alucarda seems to be more aware of what has happened, while Justine appears weak and sickly. Mother Superior is informed of their blasphemous behavior and orders them to be seen by the doctor, and  also to go to confession as "they're not little girls anymore."

Look at the size of that thing.
Justine lays in bed, looking deathly ill, apparently "getting worse by the minute." After checking her pulse and laying his head upon her breast, Doctor Oszek informs the nuns that she is very sick and her heart is weak. At that moment, Sister Bling leans in and says "Pray Justine. Pray my Child!" The sight of Sister's huge effing cross necklace (<--Wut wut!1) sends Justine into a screaming, trembling mess which pretty much freaks everyone the fuck out. She covers her eyes, whining and petrified, mumbling while the Nuns look on, shocked and worried. Justine then lets out two blood curdling screams, and dozes off again.

Meanwhile, Alucarda has stepped into the confessional booth while wearing an incredibly arousing black veil over her face. She makes her statements, and confesses that she has done no wrong.

Sinned? You bet your ass.
"The facts were explained to me, my child. You have sinned.", replies Father Lazaro.

"I don't recall anything wrong.", says Alucarda.

"Liars rot in Hell for Eternity! I know for sure you were doing wrong."

"Yes, perhaps I have done wrong. I did not lie. I love life. With... with Justine. She came close to me. I love Justine. And, you call yourself Blessed and believe in the heavenly armies, and Worship Death!? I worship life!" Alucarda rips the veil away from her face! "Justine and I, we are not to be blamed. You are! With a black cover over your strong body. You're ashamed of it. You are afriad of life. Yet you would like to have me. Wouldn't you? Well take me! TAKE OFF THAT FILTHY ROBE!" Alucarda lunges through the booth and violently grabs Father Lazaro by the cock while he screams in anguish and retreats. Soon after, the Father orders an Exorcism! Justine is then dragged off, with Alucarda following shortly behind.

Rise From Your Tomb!

With my blood...
So Sister Burrito decides it's a good idea to 'go check on Justine's corpse', as she has been unjustly left in the mausoleum to rot before they bury her in unhallowed ground. She approaches the coffin slowly and cautiously, as she should. Obviously, this nun isn't as enthusiastic about opening coffins, graves and/or tombs as is Alucarda. She's scared. But she 'believes in Justine's honest and wrongly convicted soul.' So she opens the coffin that's conveniently been left on top of soil for easy tampering. Curiosity skins the cat, as she finds Justine completely nude, bathing in blood, when all of a sudden... her eyes bust open like a madwoman, vampire-zombie bitch!

...I'll find your love.
One of the most memorable moments of the film for most people, Justine rises completely nude out of a coffin filled with blood(!), and proceeds to scratch the shit out of her former 'friend' and Sister Nun. She bitch-slaps the hell out of stupid ass Angelica, but is eventually calmed down by her pleading and wanton begging. Justine may be undead, but her innocence still resides within. Her human side, the confusion and the regret that she shows after this attack is heartbreaking. Then as fate would have it, some dumb-ass bastard priests and the doctor run in out of the nowhere and douse her with Holy Water. Her body blisters and smokes! She screams in horrifying agony for what seems like half an hour, before coming to her undead senses, lunging forth and biting a fist-sized chunk out of that mummified bitch's neck! They both die shortly afterwards, with sister leaving more than enough spurting arterial juice to refill that now-empty coffin.

Justine dies twice in this. Tell me that isn't some fucked up nonsense. The most innocent girl in the whole film has to not only be tortured and killed, but resurrected and killed again. And that was after her parents had died and she herself had died a little inside. What a poor, poor soul. At least she had Alucarda as a friend though. Well... for how short of a time it was. And thus, as thus was the tale of two morning star crossed lovers.

Both life and love, could not be saved. She took them both... to the graaaaaaaaaave.

But why would the doctor of all people, and he being the one who opposed the stupidly violent nature of the excorcism that killed Justine, later go after her and Alucarda with holy water? Tune in next time to find out! For more Alucarda madness check out my Previous Posts on the film, and visit Adventures in Nerdliness (another cool site that has reviewed this movie).

October 25, 2011

Opa-Opa Pumpkin Pale Ale

Well, ye-fuckin'-haw... look what I found at the back of the fridge.

Opa-Opa Pumpkin Pale Ale (2011)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
Brewed and Bottled by the Opa-Opa Steakhouse and Brewery in Southampton, MA.
64  fl. oz (1/2 Gallon) /  $7.99 USD plus a $2.00 bottle deposit! / ?.?% ABV (There's no info on this anywhere, but their Pale Ale is 5.6%)

Bottle: All of their growlers are generic with a sticker on the top of the cap and a cardboard label that's placed over it. I didn't even know that this beverage existed and I guess not too many people do because I can't find any info on it anywhere (it's not even listed on their own website). It was mixed in with the others just like it and I only overheard somebody asking for something pumpkin, and by chance afterwards I got the last one.

Appearance: Poured an amber, near golden orange.
Aroma: Smells sweet and mild. No spices are jumping out at me, but from them I'm getting a little cinnamon and some slight nutmeg. Light earthy pumpkin aroma go along with the hops.

Taste: The taste is decent enough. It's pretty light all around though. True to their word the pumpkin and spice are subtle undertones of the Pale Ale. Still, it tastes of sweet pumpkin flesh. There just doesn't seem to be anything outstanding about this one, but the brew is decent enough.

Mouth-Feel: Light, smooth, goes down easy... but it's a little too watery for me.

Finish and Overall: Leaves a nice pumpkin aftertaste that's mellow, but it's pretty disappointing overall. It tastes good though, and I guess that's what matters most. It's not bitter, or sour or displeasing... it's just a bit plain. If this were a higher alcohol content with a bit more of that raw pumpkin that they've used I would most likely give it a better rating. I don't know if this is the first year they brewed this, but if so they could do a lot better. How I'll ever know will remain a mystery to me unless I stumble upon it at some future beer tasting, but I doubt that.

October 24, 2011

Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout

Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout (2011)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
Brewed and Bottled by Cape Ann Brewing Company in Gloucester, MA. USA.
22  fl. oz /  $5.99 USD / 11.0% ABV

About: "The Big Brother version of our original fall seasonal.  The Imperial is more robust and intense in flavor with a noticeably spirituous finish."

Thoughts: It's their standard logo with the name underneath. I must have passed this one about five or six times having no idea it was of the pumpkin variety.

Black as midnight, black as pitch... blacker than the foulest witch! Kinda looks like that black blood from "The Ugly". It's got a thick and frothy chocolatey head that fades after a short while.

Smells damn good. Very 'pumpkiny' with a nice amount of spice. Then the coffee creeps in and overflows the senses. I think I'm in for a real treat here.

Damn that's some good alcoholic pumpkin coffee! Very cool. This one isn't bitter at all. I've had bitter beers and bitter coffee but this one mixes the both of them and comes off both flavorful and strong. Dark chocolate, raisins, fresh ground roast vanilla coffee, Werther's originals, nutmeg, and minor notes of clove, allspice and sugar. I'd like the pumpkin to be the dominating factor in this one but nothing is going to get on top of this coffee.

Thick. Creamy. Filling. 

 For an 11% this one is so very easy on the bite, smooth as hell and tastes damn good. It's really like an Iced Pumpkin Coffee with sweet spices in it. It's different from the rest and really a nice change of pace. This one gets a definite recommendation. Go grab one while you can. I read that they've got a Coffee Pumpkin Imperial as well. This confuses me as I don't see how much more of a coffee flavor they could possibly get into this.

October 23, 2011

Heavy Seas Mutiny Fleet The Great Pumpkin Imperial Ale


Heavy Seas Mutiny Fleet The Great Pumpkin Imperial Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Clipper City Brewing Company (Heavy Seas) in Baltimore, Maryland. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Yearly Release)
22  fl. oz /  $6.49 USD / 8.0% ABV (some reports of 8.5%)

About: "The secret is in the 2.5 pounds of spice per barrel for this fall brew. We add the pumpkin during the mash at precisely the right time to create just the perfect balance of malt, hops, pumpkin and spice.

Best With:  As specialty beers are typically all made with flavor enhancing ingredients, foods with complimentary ingredients are generally an ideal match. For example, pumpkin beers pair well with spiced pumpkin pie, and chocolate beers tend to work well with chocolate based desserts."

Thoughts: It's their standard logo dude (skull and cross-bones) but pumpkinified (sic). Kinda looks like that evil little fucker from Trick 'r Treat. Digging the pirate theme, and well, you can't really go wrong with skulls and bones.

Poured the whole thing into my big ass mug and got a thick two finger head that was going nowhere fast. As it started to die down it never really faded away. Amber in color.
Hmm. I'm getting mostly nutmeg... and hints of pumpkin afterwards. Spices are of the standard sort.

Comes off very tart, kinda fruity. There's something strange about this one. I think I'll let it warm up some. *Some time later* Not too sweet, not too bitter. The cinnamon doesn't have a real kick to it, but it's a bit like black pepper. There's some mild clove too. This one is heavy on the flesh, heavy on the booze and light on other pumpkin spices that other companies so very often abuse with no regard to the drinker. Letting this brew warm up was a very good idea as the cold was masking what it had to offer.

A bit frothy, but goes down easy after a while once the spices warm up.

I'm getting a bitter peppery aftertaste, and it tastes a bit sweeter coming back up. That cinnamon with black pepper still seems the most prominent, along with the alcohol and pumpkin coming in second and third. I was expecting this one to be better than it was, but I'm not saying that in a negative way. For one of the more clove tasting brews, this one is on-par and worthy. The clove is so subtle though that it lets the other flavors shine and that's what I really like about this one.

October 22, 2011

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

 Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Smuttynose Brewing Co., in Portsmouth, NH. USA.
Autumn Seasonal: August thru October (Yearly Release)
12  fl. oz /  $1.79 USD / 6.0% ABV? (Their website states 5.6%.)

About: "Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is our homage to the craft and heritage of America’s brewers. Recipes calling for the use of pumpkins in beer date back to early colonial times, when brewers sought to extend their supply of costly imported malt with locally grown ingredients, such as squash and “pompions.” In that spirit, we brew our ale with the addition of pumpkin to the mash, along with traditional spices to create a delicious American original. Malts: North American 2-Row, Carastan, C-60 / Bittering Hops: Cascade / Flavoring Hops: Cascade, Liberty / Other: Natural Pumpkin Puree, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves."

Thoughts: Notice it's not a drawing of a pumpkin, but instead an actual photograph of one. Like they're trying to tell us: "Hey, we use the real stuff in this!" Well... Long live the orange flesh!

Light amber in color. No real orange or red at all... a bit on the yellowy side.

First smell was pretty straight up hops and malts, and reminded me of a Pete's Wicked Ale for some reason... like of the first time I chugged three of those in a row. On the second smell I got some of that pumpkin. It's very light on the spices, like nothing at all spices. As it warms the smell is pretty much the same spice-wise, but a little more of the pumpkin puree comes out.

All the pumpkin taste and mild spice falls back when those heavier malts and hops hit. The pumpkin is very earthy and real. This isn't any synthetic extract bullshit. Oh, and it's not sweet, far from it! This stuff is bitter as a motherfuck! I stopped drinking about a fourth of the way through to let it warm up, as I do believe this may not be meant to be consumed while chilled. Yeah, still about the same. Allspice and cloves with some mash backup. Pretty sour.

Medium bodied. A bit fizzy when you're drinking it, but it drys you out fast.

I didn't really dig this one too much. Of the more clove flavored pumpkin ales this one will be going towards the bottom of that particular listing. It just doesn't have enough "oomph!" Definitely needs more pumpkin, and less cloves.

 Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale (2013)
Autumn Seasonal.
12  fl. oz /  $1.49 USD / 6.3% ABV

Second Thoughts: I notice that bottle has a stamp on it with a Best By date of 11/23/13 and even more surprising, an ABV stamp of 6.3%. Seeing as the ABV was never listed on this beer's label, and all info on it varied from website to website, it's about time they did this.

Poured a really hazy golden apricot color with a quick fizzling head. Taking a closer look at that haze and it's not cloudy, but rather there are tons of small grainy speckles all throughout the beer. Carbonation is very light.

Smells pretty weak. Is this a lager base? The first thing you get is water, it's very watery. It does smell recognizable as a pumpkin beer obviously, but mostly from the moderately spiced aqua. The scent is a little unexciting and hinting at a sour mash.

The taste fares a little better. Whatever canned pumpkin puree they glopped into their vats, it sure is a raw and unseasoned one. There's hardly any sugar or sweetness in this at all. Maybe some burnt brown sugar in the beginning, and those spices try as they may to cover up that bitterness, but it's not happenin'.

I gave it a big fat MEH last time and no surprise that I'm getting the same reaction from this year's bottle. This one is begging for cinnamon and sugar around the rim of the glass. That's a bad thing. It's got some personality though - clove overload is more like it - and at least it isn't as watery as it smells.

October 21, 2011

Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager Beer

Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager Beer  (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Lakefront Brewery, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. USA
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
12  fl. oz / $1.79 USD / 6.0% ABV

About: "In 1989, Lakefront Brewery owner, Russ Klisch was reading dusty brewing tome, tipping one of our fine lagers and came across a beer recipe that Thomas Jefferson had brewed with pumpkin at his home in Monticello." And? "Serve our Pumpkin Lager with holiday meals. The spice characters really bring out the depth of full-flavored meats and vegetables."

Thoughts: Well you definitely know that it's pumpkin by the huge arse letters there... but why does it say "Lager Beer" underneath that? Hmm... Well, this was one of the first pumpkin brews that I purchased. Why it took me so long to get around to it I don't know why, but it's probably due to lack of some cutesy name or awe inspiring art. Not to say that the label looks horrible.

Like a hazy tangerine, with yellowish shades in the light. Good luck seeing through the glass after you pour your beer, because it's impossible. Nice! And wow, there was no head at all on this one, it faded as I was pouring it... that's a bid strange. A no-head brew that you can't see through? Should I drink this, or drink this?
Smells totally sweet. Cinnamon, sugar and pumpkin pie puree.

Vanilla, ginger and cinnamon. Pretty damn spicy on the tongue which makes it hard to get the flavors right away. I'm not really blown away by this, but it beats quite a few of those other beers I have tried so far. It actually tastes pretty decent but getting past those peppery spices is a bit of a feat. Tone it down a notch and it'd be spectacular.

A little thicker than usual, not by much, and it's attacking my tongue.
There's really nothing that made me dislike this one at all, but nothing that really made it stand out too much (other than how weak some of its competitors are). I'd say that this one is pretty average, and by average I mean it's a flawed yet solid starting point at what a good pumpkin beer should taste like. Anything below this just shouldn't exist at a price range.

I want to try this one again because it was just all over the place, yet tasted good, and after all nonsense it still tasted good. NOTE: Looks the the 2013 version has been filtered.

October 20, 2011

Woodchuck Cidery Pumpkin Hard Cider

Woodchuck Cidery Pumpkin Hard Cider (Private Reserve) (2011)

Brewed and Bottled by Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, Vermont. USA.
Autumn Seasonal - Sept. and Oct. (Yearly Release)
12  fl. oz /  $2.19 USD / 6.9% ABV

About: "Every once in a while you know you stumble upon something glorious. That something just so happens to be our Private Reserve Pumpkin. We have combined our signature taste with a refreshing pumpkin finish. Limited to just two and half hours on the production line this is a true connoisseur's cider."

Thoughts: Bland brown on orange, with the same logo that they use for all of their beers. You're forced to read the neck label if you want to know what particular product it is.

Color is apple red. No head whatsoever, bubbles faded incredibly quick before I could even take the shot.

This smells pretty nasty. Rotten mashed apples and vinegar.

Huh. Well it tastes a hell of a lot better than it smells at least... kind of. Honestly, I only bought this for the sake of completion, but it's really not too atrocious. The pumpkin taste is minimal, but it does hit you as the initial apple flavor dies down. There's no spice at all, but it is pretty sweet and sour at the same time. I'm not really one to separate the reviewer and the self, but it's this kind of thing that calls for the exception. I know this tastes fucking horrible. But I've got a high tolerance for horrible shit. So why be so serious about it? Now I see the funny side of things and I'm always smiling!

Like a flat soda.

If you're really into cider (or wine) then you'll probably like this. The aftertaste is pretty gross and stale, like the smell of brown apple cores.

October 19, 2011

Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale

Like it froggystyle?

Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Hoppin' Frog Brewing Company in Akron, Ohio. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Yearly Release)
22  fl. oz /  $9.69 USD / 8.4% ABV

About: "There’s a place just south they call Frog’s Hollow, brewin’ pumpkin ale in Fall, and they only speak in whispers of the name. There’s a lady they say who has the secret, of spices picked just right. With a crying shout, she’ll knock it out, and hand you the Frog’s delight."

Thoughts: I love frogs, and this frog is one cool dude. He looks pretty much the same on all their labels holding up different colored beers, with a few exceptions like the one where's he's wearing sunglasses or has an afro. But the one of him in the Santa hat for their "Frosted Frog Christmas Ale" has me really looking forward to December. I want to try it bad.

Poured out a lighter shade of very orangy orange. The dark head was slower than usual to build up even with an aggressive pour, but it lasted a minute.
Smells like boiled frog! Ahhhh, I'm just fuckin' with ya... It smells like sweet, sweet pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven and just cut up.

This brew is hoppy as fuck. Get it?! Hop! Like a frog duz... I got hit with high alcohol first and a super fast rush of cinnamon that eventually subdued and allowed the tasty pumpkin to creep in. The lingering hints of the allspice, nutmeg, cloves and ginger seem to all be in equal amounts, and none of them overpower the others. I can taste it go back and forth between allspice and nutmeg with the cloves and ginger following things up after I swallow and smack the lips together. After a while and a few gulps the bite of the alcohol died down a little. There's some great buttery squash as things start to warm up. 

Thick and creamy, just like my ex-girlfriend. Carbonation seems pretty minimal, even though I'm using my new Samuel Adams glass with a laser etched ring at the bottom.
I'm feelin' pretty good and I still have a third of a bottle which I'm about to pour and finish writing this. I don't have a fire erupting in my belly, but rather a gentle smoldering that's making me grin like a dumbass. This ale is pretty damn spicy though, I wouldn't mind the spices held back about twenty percent or so with a bit more raw pumpkin thrown in but I'm not complaining as this one is still pretty sweet. Headed towards the top of the charts, too.

This Ale won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2010, in 'Category 4: Field Beer', beating out 27 other entries including Elysian Brewing Co.'s Dark o' the Moon (Silver) and Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Bronze).

October 18, 2011

Wolaver's Organic Pumpkin Ale

Wolaver's Organic Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Otter Creek Brewing Co., in Middlebury, Vermont. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
12  fl. oz / $1.79 USD / ?.?% ABV (Most likely 5.0% - I can't find the info anywhere.)

About: "This pumpkin ale is brewed with organic pumpkins grown by Will and Judy Stevens, of Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham, VT, less than 15 miles away from our brewery. They have been growing organic vegetables and flowers for more than 25 years. Using local, organic ingredients whenever possible and supporting local farmers is just one of the many ways that we strive to minimize our impact on the environment. The subtle flavor of pumpkin and mild notes of spice enhance this golden amber ale, making it a perfect choice for the season."

Thoughts: Their creepy faceless harvester is standing in a pumpkin patch this time around. Usually when I see a guy holding an open container and a pitchfork I get the hell out of Dodge, but I still stuck around to try this one out.

Pours a light amber with shades of orange, and a somewhat dark frothy head that fades fast.

Now that's more like it! I was hit with a major dose of pumpkin followed by warm pumpkin pie. This smells damn good.

Straight off, putting a lot of the other so-called pumpkin ales to shame. You get hit with the spice up front, then the pumpkin flavor consumes the palate, and then the lingering hints of spice bounce around in your mouth at the end. The little bit of clove isn't overbearing, and the brew simply put, tastes good. A fine, fine ale.

Fizzy, goes down smooth.

Very drinkable. Everything blends perfectly and it's so well balanced. The spice and the bitter even each other out. It's not strong, but it's not weak. Perhaps slightly watery, but that doesn't matter at all since it tastes awesome and is smooth as hell. I don't really have an opinion on the whole Organic aspect of this one, other than it tastes like they really care about their beer and the price wasn't higher than normal.

Wolaver's Organic Pumpkin Ale (2013)
Autumn Seasonal.
12  fl. oz / $1.49 USD / 5.35% ABV?

Second Thoughts: Wolaver's poured a cloudy amber orange with an off white head that fizzled away fast.

I just had a Post Road and a Smutty's and this smells a hell of a lot better than both of those. Still as a sessionable I find it a bit on the lighter side.. It's mellow, but a lot sweeter and that raw pumpkin in a little subdued. Spices are low and droning, but it's sugary.

It's a mild one, but tasty nonetheless. It's good. It tastes real. The balance is nicely done. You get a little bit of everything in there, and it's well rounded. Everything from the spices to the pumpkin flesh to the sweetness to the slight sourness all make their rounds. It's pretty cool how all around well done this one is. Though, it still leaves something to be desired. It's just not strong enough. For a non-imperial pumpkin ale this one is fantastic. Though still a little watery and not over the top, it's heads above a lot of the other guys.

I would love for them to make a strong version of this. I'm sure it would kick some major ass!

October 17, 2011

Woodstock Inn Autumn Ale Brew

Woodstock Inn Autumn Ale Brew (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Shipyard Brewing Co., in Portland, ME for Woodstock Inn Brewery, North Woodstock, NH. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
12 fl. oz /  $1.99 USD / 4.4% ABV

About: "Chestnut in overall color. Medium bodied with apple and cinnamon flavor and aroma." Uhh, nice description?

Thoughts: Three pumpkin (sorry, apple) headed ghouls in robes surrounding a cauldron of alcohol under a full moon in the blue night's sky. Fucking... awesome! Then there's the bats and the splatter effects. It screams delicious mischief in a bottle.

Very deep cherry red. Looks cool. Thick foamy head that took a few minutes to die down.

Damn this smells sweet. Candy Apples, low levels of clove and nutmeg, all mixed with cinnamon toast crunch.  Wow.

Loads of apple cinnamon, but it still tastes enough like a brew to satisfy. This malt beverage is strange, but damn is it good. Taste changes from candy apple to cinnamon rolls to bitter cider and back again. I wonder how this would fare in a higher ABV%? Wonder indeed... get on that shit Woodstock Inn. I demand a High Gravity Bomber of this!

Medium bodied and tingly. Goes down very smooth.
I'm impressed. I was weary at first when I read that it was brewed and bottled by Shipyard. And secondly, when I noticed that this isn't technically a pumpkin beer. But I'll be damned if this one isn't superior to a few other so-called pumpkin beers I've recently tried. If I ever decide to drink a pumpkin beer that isn't a pumpkin beer, this will be my choice.

October 16, 2011

Blue Moon Havest Pumpkin Ale

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Blue Moon Brewing Company (aka Coors) in Golden, Colorado. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Yearly Release)
12  fl. oz /  $1.79 USD / 5.7% ABV

About: "In 1995, we crafted our first autumn seasonal - Pumpkin Ale. At the time, Oktoberfest beers were in high demand. For our version, we wanted to create a beer that was a little different than what was already out there and complemented the season by highlighting the flavors we’ve all grown to love during this time. It was so popular that it became the first nationally available pumpkin ale. Harvest Pumpkin Ale, as it’s called now, is crafted with pumpkin and spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice for a taste you’ll want to fall right into."

Thoughts: The seasonal colors along with their standard logo seem to mix well. It's deceptively eye-catching... which of course means trouble.

Pours out a dark, hazy orange. The head faded out nearly completely in a matter of seconds.
Kinda fruity, almost like cherries. That was me really, really trying to smell something here. Chopped firewood? Pits?

Wheat with hints of spice. It's not really spicy though, as there's no tickle or tingling. I'm kinda sensing something like gingerbread or apples with a little nutmeg. It's like my brain is trying to compensate for the lack of flavor here. Tastes really synthetic, and I'm not getting anything pumpkin at all. This is very bland and watered down tasting. Can this really be 5.7%? After all, if they lied about it being a pumpkin ale, what else are they lying about? 

Very thin and watery.
Could have been much better, but it's like they didn't even give a fuck when this beer was made. It's a good thing they put beers like this in fancy packages and con people out of their cash, otherwise they'd be screwed and guys wouldn't get laid by chicks with no taste.

October 15, 2011

Cisco Brewers Pumple Drumkin Spiced Ale

Cisco Brewers Pumple Drumkin Spiced Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Cisco Brewers in Nantucket, MA and under special agreement Ipswich, MA. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Yearly Release)
12  fl. oz /  $2.29 USD / 6.0% ABV

About: "On Nantucket a Pumple named Drumkin, brewed up some great ale with his pumpkins. One and all came to savor the delicious flavor, then wobbled around quite like bumpkins. At Cisco they thought, "The is De-Lish! Let’s make some more because we wish, to please all the tourists, and locals and purists, with the best ale that we can accomplish!"

Thoughts: When I saw this little guy on the shelf my black heart melted slimy goo.

Poured a dark amber, almost red color with a dim off-white head that dissipated almost immediately.
Smells like brown sugar and pumpkin. A very good start. On the second whiff I got caramel toffee and coffee grounds. This brew smells sweet, but not strong.

It's a tad bitter. A solid and smooth tasting ale with fleshy pumpkin and a burnt coffee tinge to it. There's no cinnamon whatsoever, and it's not really sweet at all. It's mildly spicy and tastes of bread, yet a bit uneventful. There's nothing complex here, but it does taste pretty decent. Still, it tastes of earth and that is something to commend.

Thick and bubbly. It's got a little shock to it every time it hits your tongue. Goes down a little smoother about halfway through.
Leaves a slightly chalky, burnt, smokey aftertaste. It didn't blow me away, but it's not bad at all like some of the others I've tried. I'm a real fan of this earthy tone, and I do like mild, but this one may have been a little bit too mild. Nothing was overdone or severely underdone, but it seems as if something was missing.

October 14, 2011

Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by The Brooklyn Brewery, in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Yearly Release)
12  fl. oz /  $1.69 USD / 5.0% ABV

About: "Early American colonialists, seeking natural ingredients for brewing ales, turned to pumpkins, which were plentiful, flavorful and nutritious. Blended with barley malt, pumpkins became a commonly used beer ingredient. Post Road Pumpkin Ale brings back this tasty tradition. Hundreds of pounds of pumpkins are blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with an orange amber color, warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish."

Thoughts:  Not really digging that flowy font, but it's black and orange and got a drawing of a big ol' pumpkin on it. Looks like it's ready to burst too.

A standard amber with shades of orange. There's light carbonation and the head faded quickly.
Bitter citrus. It's very malty and I'm only getting hints of the spices. It's not strong smelling at all. I almost gotta put my whole face in the glass to get anything. Maybe some allspice and nutmeg.

I'm gettin' nothing but cloves and barley. Very, very bitter and earthy tasting, kind of like dirt. I'm all for bitter too, but dark lord... this one could really use some sweetening up. If this bottle didn't have a picture of a pumpkin on the label I might not even have noticed it was pumpkin ale. Maybe that's why they made the image stand out so much. Never thought I would say that either, as I have become a bit annoyed at how much cinnamon is used in some of these ales, but this one desperately needs it, or something else to calm the utterly dominating hops.

Light but not watery, fizzy and smooth. I was left feeling pretty dry. I feel like I just drank smoke. It's weird. This smells and tastes way too boozy for such a low ABV, has no outstanding flavors(aside from bitter) and does not impress me.
They should have a big picture of cloves on the label for this. I'm hesitant to rate this lower than I should because it's so raw and I like that. It's not a pumpkin pie beer, but I'm just not getting enough pumpkin here to make up for the extremely bitter taste. It's most certainly flawed, and I may have enjoyed this more if it were a 9.0%.

October 13, 2011

Cambridge Brewing The Great Pumpkin Ale

Cambridge Brewing The Great Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by The Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, MA. USA.
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release) - Batch #1.
22 fl. oz.  / $ 5.99 USD / 4.4% ABV 

About: "New England’s first pumpkin ale is finally in a bottle. Made with fresh MA organic sugar pumpkins and organic MA malt, real pumpkin flavor is complemented by just a touch of spice. All hail the original Great Pumpkin!"

Thoughts: I didn't even notice the guy with the axe walking away from that destroyed pumpkin whistling a guilty tune. I love the colors on this. I'm not really down with stripes (aside from Freddy) but this artwork is pretty killer. I wouldn't mind a poster of it actually. It's also pretty cool that they put the batch number and when it was bottled on the side. I think I'll show that off here. Their website states that this is the first time the ale has been bottled in the 22 years of its existence.

Whiter than usual head that fades fairly fast but doesn't completely disappear. Minimal carbonation. It's a bit of a darkish orange with a little bit of amber.
Smells really good. Hit first with a lot of caramel... smells of sugar and brown sugar. It's a little smokey and fleshy at the same time.

Very earthy. Not terribly over-spiced, but I'm getting some pepper. It's not strong and there's no kick to it, but it tastes pretty damn good. Nothing synthetic or generic here. It's a little malty and rich with the pumpkin. This is one damn fine ale. For a Light Ale with a lower ABV than many of the others, it still manages to obliterate them taste wise.

It's a bit watery with a slight foaming. Tingles the tongue but doesn't abuse the mouth. Leaves behind no film and doesn't dry you out.
Such a minimal bitter aftertaste. It may not be as thick as I would have liked, but this one doesn't cop out on the taste with cheap ass ingredients. It's nice to see a light pumpkin ale in a bomber bottle that kicks the ass of its brethren. This one really does deserve to be in a tall standing bottle all its own. Nice work.

  Cambridge Brewing The Great Pumpkin Ale (2012)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release) - Batch #3.
22 fl. oz.  / $ 5.99 USD / 4.4% ABV

Second Thoughts: I reviewed the first bottling of this beer last year, and this bottle is from the third batch. I wonder what happened to batch #2? Hmmm...

Holding this beer in front of this white screen the color is a pretty light orange, shades of yellow, slightly amber even. There's loads of carbonation and the beer itself is pretty clean looking. The stark white head faded in about a minute's time, but left a thin layer with some black bubbles on top.

The scent is very earthy pumpkin with brown sugar and a hint of mild Belgian style yeast. It smells sweet, but not overly sweet, and just a tad spicy.

The taste is very raw pumpkin, slightly tart, with lots of pepper up front and soft tingling spices on the tongue just after the swallow. With that tingling after a while, it's as if you can feel the sugar dancing around in your mouth. Despite nothing be to up front or overpowering, there's a ton of flavor presented here. It's not weak, despite not being as sugary or spicy as others and having a rather low ABV, but believe me when I tell you that this tastes pretty damn good. If something like Pumking is too strong for you, and cinnamon/clove bombs aren't your thing, but you're looking for a worthwhile pumpkin ale, then this is the perfect beer in those regards. Very little bitterness on the end.

Mouth feel is a heavy medium, pretty thick actually. Slightly coating, but very clean feeling.

I'm satisfied with purchasing this one again. It's one of my favorite pumpkin ales out there, near the top for sure, but on top in its own way.

October 12, 2011

Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
Brewed and Bottled by Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster, MA. USA.
22  fl. oz /  $5.99 USD
8.0% ABV

About: "Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin is an ale brewed with pumpkin puree and accented with Belgian Candi Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger. It contains a generous amount of Two Row Barley blended with Caramel Malt and then fermented with Northwest Yeast, creating a unique profile as unique as every pumpkin in the patch."

Thoughts: I really like the look of this label. I know it seems pretty plain only being text, and there's not even the standard picture of a pumpkin on it, but it's huge and has warm, inviting colors.

Orange hued. Poured a one inch thick off-white head that very slowly died down to a half inch head that remained for several minutes, never fading away until I started drinking. Amazing! There are tons of carbonation bubbles in this. Non-stop and they're all over the place. The most I've seen from all the pumpkin ales so far.
Surprisingly mild. No overwhelmingly ridiculous amounts of spice... it sure smells of pumpkin patch. As it warms I'm getting a little more brown sugar in there.

Whoa! Starts off with that mild spice, earthy tones, then it hits you with a zinger. Pucker up buttercup because that 8.0% kicks in. After a few sips and a couple gulps I'm getting used to it and it's holding up well. All of the flavors slowly roll around the high alcohol. Vanilla and sugar representation is well done, nutmeg and cloves both get their time to shine. I'm not really getting too much cinnamon or allspice, which I'm very happy about because I feel those two spices have been severely overdone and ruin some of these ales. This tastes Damn good.

It's smooth and mild, aside from that initial case of fish lips. It's not sticky, and my mouth isn't dry. 
Nice aftertaste. Little bit of a sweet kick, everything seems in balance and it's not leaning towards any extreme. The alcohol, the spice, and the pumpkin never overshadow one another. I'd say for the low price of this 22 oz bomber, combined with the high alcohol content and how good it tastes, this is a must try for pumpkin fans. This one is most surely headed towards the top of my list.

October 11, 2011

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) (2011)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
Brewed and Bottled by Shipyard Brewing Co., in Portland, ME. USA.
22  fl. oz /  $8.99 USD / 9.0% ABV

About: "Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. The OG and final Alc./Vol. provide the structure and body. Pale Ale, Wheat and Light Munich Malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of Willamette and Hallertau Hops to balance the sweetness of the fruit. To fully enjoy all the flavors, this ale is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Smashed Pumpkin pairs well with sharp cheeses, nuts, lamb, hearty stews and desserts like flan or pumpkin pie. Chefs find this an excellent beer to cook with in dishes such as braised short ribs."

Thoughts: Take a look at that absolutely beautiful packaging. This label is very classy, well done and the gold foil lettering is a great touch that really makes it stand out.

Big foamy bubbles that fade in a bout a minute and a half. Golden orange, just like a pumpkin. Not getting too many carbonation bubbles rising up, which is strange as I had expected there would be more.
Nose isn't too sweet, but damn those spices really hit, and you can tell it's going to have a bite to it. Nutmeg and ginger notes. Smells slightly similar to their Pumpkinhead, only taken to the next level. Way to the next level.

Alright, I've been looking forward to this one. Smashed is heavy on the booze factor which I like. You get all of the spices at the start of every gulp and then you're hit with bitter clove, then caramel-like nutmeg. This one isn't too sweet, and the taste maintains itself very well. It doesn't get any worse once you start getting through it like their other pumpkin brew does. I'm drinking mine very chilled by the way. I left about a fourth of it in the bottle to warm up to room temperature. Not as much dirty pumpkin as I would have hoped, but it's definitely out there, and a major step up from their best seller.

Feels good, man. There's a little tingling in the back of my throat. This brew gives off a sweet and relaxing warmth in the stomach. It's pretty smooth at first, but it gets frothy as hell, then tingly. Getting some extremely frothy belches out of this which aren't too pleasing, but at least the aftertaste isn't horrible. I've yet to try any of Shipyard's non-pumpkin brews, but I would say do away with the Pumpkinhead Ale and stick with making this one. Of course their Pumpkinhead is so ridiculously popular around here despite being below average, that it'll never happen. Bottom line, if you're going to buy anything from Shipyard like say, ever, get the Smashed Pumpkin.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale (Pugsley's Signature Series) (2013)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
22  fl. oz /  $7.49 USD / 9.0% ABV

Second Thoughts: It's been nearly two years since I first had this beer. It was one of the first ten I ever reviewed. I remember liking it and hating its little brother Pumpkinhead the abomination. Last year I didn't go near it, but this year I decided what the hell. This is one of the first pumpkin beers out in the "season". I'm quite skeptical to whether or not Shipyard has cases of this from two years ago just wasting away in their warehouse and I'm really just drinking the same beer again.

Bottlecap let out a loud hiss. Smells pretty damn good. It's like a decent quality pumpkin pie slice. It's got all the usual suspects but something strange is coming through on the back end of it all. The malt and hop profiles shine through beyond the spice, and it's a little boozy, but I like boozy and that booziness really mixes well with the pumpkin spice.

It's very sweet up front, spicy and full of pumpkiny goodness, then immediately after the swallow a messy slap of hazy bitter booze comes through and well - doesn't' quite ruin things - but puts a little damper on it all. The hops really come on strong, not that there's anything wrong with that, but combined with that not-so-subtlety hidden booze it doesn't quite make for the ultimate pumpkin pie experience. Still, it is a heavy beer and there's a lot to be admired about this one. It's sweet, spicy, harsh, uneven, beautiful and ugly all at the same time. It's flawed but in a very good way. I still say that from what I've tried, this is Shipyard's best beer.

What really saves this beer from being "messy" is the thick bready feel to it. It's like a meal in itself. It gets a little sour after a while, but that's all in the aftertaste. Overall it's what's to be expected from any standard pumpkin beer as far as I'm concerned. It's heavy hitting, spicy up front, the spices linger, it's got the "right taste" for a pumpkin brew, and it's savory. The only problem is that there's this underlying weirdness to the whole thing, like a certain part of it didn't get properly integrated into the beer and was left a harsh semi-sour muddy grassness.

October 10, 2011

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale (2011)
Autumn Seasonal
Brewed and Bottled by Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. USA.
12  fl. oz /  $1.79 USD /  5.1% ABV

About: "Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavor. This beer was first brewed in August of 2002 at Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in Kennebunk, Maine where Shipyard began. Awards include a 2008 European Beer Star Silver Medal and 1st Place at the 2007 California Brewers Festival. Malts: 2-Row British Pale Ale, Light Munich, Malted Wheat  / Hops: Willamette, Hallertau / Yeast: Top-Fermenting English."

Thoughts: I dig the whole Headless Horseman dude on the label, but will I dig the beer?

Pumpkinhead poured a slightly cloudy yellow. Kinda looks like pee. Even though the head faded in less than a minute, there are a lot of rising bubbles in this, so it seems that there's some pretty decent carbonation.
Well if it smells like pee that's for me. I'm just kiddin'... smells like a watered down malt liquor mixed with natural ice with a little bit of creeping nutmeg and cinnamon. Huh, I guess I wasn't kiddin' after all.

Tastes pretty standard for a second then the flavor disappears and it's like a quick fading seltzer. It's weird too, because you can feel the spices when the brew fills your mouth, but when your brain goes to process it they run like hell. Not getting any of the pumpkin either. Wait, is there pumpkin in this? QUOTE: "To make Pumpkinhead, the brewery doesn't just toss some pumpkins into the brew kettle. The beer is made with a natural concentrated spiced pumpkin extract, which is added to a wheat beer during the brewing process." They don't toss pumpkins into the brew kettle? Well why the fuck not?!

Kinda foamy, and a little bit silky.
Aftertaste is pretty horrid. Not that I mind the taste of Natural Ice (I'm no snob when it comes to that beer - bring it on!) but I'm not intent on pouring concentrated pumpkin spice in the stuff. How is this beer so popular? I see frat boys and chicks buying it all the time. Oh wait, that explains it. Sorry Shipyard's Pumpkinhead "ale", but we're not going to be partying down anytime soon. Moving on.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale (2013)
Autumn Seasonal.
12  fl. oz /  $1.49 USD / 5.1% ABV

Second Thoughts: TWO YEARS LATER. So a few weeks ago the really small divebar that I frequent got rid of their Budweiser on tap and replaced it with Shipyard Pumpkinhead, a drink that I consider to be the Bud Light of pumpkin beers. Bud Light is still on tap though, as are Coors Light, Heineken, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. SN Pale Ale took the place of Shock Top Raspberry Wheat which took the place of Miller Light I think. That particular tap line made a huge step up. It's cool that they have a real craft brew and a seasonal on tap now, but this place really only caters to Coors Light drinkers. Nobody ever drank Bud there, except for myself and a pal from work. Of course a pint of regular beers are $2.50 while SN is $3.25 and Pumpkinhead is $3.75. I got four pints of the Shipyard Pumpkinhead at $2.50 before the price was set on it. I also got it with Cinnamon and Sugar around the rim.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead is a piss yellow beer that smells like cinnamon, wheat and water. It actually smells OK at first, but gets worse as you start to drink it. The taste is watery as hell and the spices are really subtle, with cinnamon coming out on top of everything. There's no real pumpkin whatsoever and it just tastes really synthetic. It's pretty pathetic for a pumpkin beer, though it's probably the most popular pumpkin beer in the world. Considering Coors Light is more than likely the most consumed beer on the planet, that shouldn't surprise anyone. The cinnamon and sugar around the rim of the glass didn't do much to improve upon the beer itself, aside from giving me a distraction from the watery nature of it. And I don't think that a pumpkin beer should NEED to have this done to it in the first place. It should taste good enough on its own.

October 9, 2011

Saranac Pumpkin Ale

Saranac Pumpkin Ale (2011)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
Brewed and Bottled by Matt Brewing Company in Utica, NY. USA.
32  fl. oz /  $3.99 USD / 5.4% ABV

About: "Saranac Pumpkin Ale is brewed with Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Ginger and Vanilla. Look for a full-body and amber color. We're sure you'll enjoy this special brew! Malt Selections: Maris Otter, Wheat / Hop Selections: Cascade."

2013 Artwork
Thoughts: There is no denying that when you look at this bottle you immediately think of Halloween. The design is pretty simple and would look a lot better with some additional details on the pumpkin.

It's not as orangy as the others. This one looks a bit more brownish, almost coppery. The head built up quick and then bamf! was gone in a flash.

All the usual suspects are there, but they're being subdued in the mix. Like the spices are drowning but keep coming up for air. And it's hard to make out, but I'm getting kinda like funky week old cinnamon rolls.

Bread. Malt. Nutmeg with low levels of cinnamon, but I'm not getting the huge pumpkin flavor that I desire. Maybe I'm just not one for spice balance when it comes to pumpkin ale. I either want full on pumpkin flavor or the horribly over-sweetened pie. I'm finding that I'm not really a down the middle guy with this shit. The flavor however isn't lacking.

Medium body. Bubbles and fizz attack your tongue but the coating inside the mouth isn't thick or weighing. Drying afterwards.
Decent aftertaste. It's hard when the tongue goes from bitter to spice filled and then back again. Is that what balanced is? Or is my tongue just confused? It's not weak or watery, and it's a little different, but it could be better.

Old Artwork
Saranac Pumpkin Ale (2012)
Autumn Seasonal (Limited Release)
32  fl. oz /  $3.99 USD / 5.4% ABV

Second Thoughts: First off, I couldn't pass up this 32 oz mini-growler with a Jack-O-Lantern on it. You nuts? Also, it's been a year since I've last had this beer (and having reviewed 30 Pumpkin Ales as of this writing, about half of them pretty shite mind you), I wanted to see how it holds up to my newly acquired knowledge of tasting.

So what do I think of this one a year later you don't ask? After trying so many pumpkin ales and coming back to this one, I find that Saranac's version of our seasonal favorite is a very flavorful, spicy and great seasonable representation of the style. This beer is jumping out at you in every way possible. It's all around spicy, bursting with intense flavor and best of all, it doesn't fade out on you.

I remembered this one as being a clove driven brew, and it still kinda is, but the other spices are really coming out as well (especially this time around). It seems a little fresher, and the cinnamon / nutmeg blend is outstanding. This beer isn't weak. It ain't no watered down bullshit pumpkin beer. And that's a great thing. I'd say that it deserves to be in growler form.

While it doesn't have that boozy warmth that I enjoy with stronger Pumpkin Ales, this one doesn't lack in the flavor department. It's heavy. I've since gotten used to the "standard" (non-imperial) pumpkin beer taste, and man, there are a lot of fluctuating representations out there. So many weak brews and so many just plain fowl brews out there... not this one. It's still not the greatest thing out there, but as far as standard pumpkin brews goes it near the top of that list.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.