Rotating Banner Images

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Live Blogging Pumpkin Beer Taste Test

And.... I'm back.

Sorta. It's Friday night, I've had a few drinks and I figured... why the hell not.

Not too long ago, M and I picked up Pumpkin flavored beers at Oliver's. Because it's the season. And they are all local-ish. And a couple of wild cards.

So here we go, trying these beers - blind test style. Not that we have a third party doling out the beers. Just a "close your eyes, grab a bottle and pour" kind of thing. I wanted some cheese to go with it, but eh... pumpkin beers and cheese? .. How about we keep them separate.

Bottle #1 (8:34PM)

M: Don't like it. Nice amber color, no head. But it is sour. A good pumpkin flavor, but really sour. It could be the bottle, or just old, or bad beer... but probably the bottle. I doubt they would ship out beer that tastes as bad as this.

R: It doesn't smell like it has a strong spice flavor, but you definitely taste it. Not too overpowering, a bit mellow. Which is almost erased by the strong sour presence. I'm no beer expert, so I don't know if that is supposed to be on purpose, but it makes it a bit undrinkable. An annoying drink, because of that off taste.

(Now we've decided to eat the cheese. Clashes be damned. If you're wondering, it's a smoked blue cheese, manouri sheeps milk cheese, and water crackers. I think the cheese was on sale at Shoprite. I really need to check their cheese section out more often!)

Bottle #2 (8:54PM)

M: Pretty sure I know what this one is. And really, I don't like this either. It's darker, amber, but still clear. (laughs) Smells like a smoked blue cheese. Same thing, really. No head. A little more bitter than I would like. Not sour, though. Decent pumpkin flavor, but kind of makes me think it's an extract. Like a mass produced extract. But I could be wrong. I think it's a Sam's -- 'cause I've had plenty of them lately.

R: Spicier aroma. Dark clear color. No head. Weird, it's almost sweet. Syrup. Seems flat. I taste spice more than I taste pumpkin. I am not a fan of strong spiced things, especially beers. But a tolerable drink. Maybe would order this one again if the other options were weak.

(I'm starting to get sleepy. And I'm on the couch. This is not good. For the drinking.)

Bottle #3 (9:27)

(I was just informed we still have four more beers to go. Insert "I think I've made a huge mistage" meme here.)

M: I don't know. Maybe I just don't like pumpkin. Nice spicy clovey pumpkiny. Can't tell the difference between this and the last one. Light color, but that's about it. No head, again. (Burps) Yup, it's a spicy pumpkin beer. (Chugs the rest of his glass) So far, I would say this is my favorite... but that's not saying too much.

R: No distinct aroma, but I may be getting sick. Taste there is a strong spice flavor. More enjoyable than the last one. Makes me think it's similar to a Shipyard, because it reminds me of the pumpkin one I had before. Light color, clear. Some visible bubbles. Even though it's spicy, I can easily drink this.

Bottle #4 (9:50)

R: Bleh! I don't like it. It doesn't taste like pumpkin at all. It's bitter

M: It's bitter and stuff, but tastes like a different style. Can't tell you what... a different yeast? Carbonation. Even though there is still no head, it's different bubble-wise. A lot more of the same. A lot more bitter. I like bitter, but not with this kind of beer. The flavored beers? Nah.

(At this point M suggested a dance break, because I was nodding off. While typing. It was a long day... what can I say.)

Bottle #5 (10:30)

M: (sigh) (really deep reluctant sigh) (head shake) It's very very dark. Very dark. Super dark. (gulps) More bitter. Got plenty of clove, I don't really taste any pumpkin. And... that's about it.

R: Oh wow. Really don't like it. Yeah. Really don't. I'm done. I quit. Waving the white flag now.

M: That's it?

R: Yeah. This is disgusting.

M: Two more after this.

(Why did I even think to do this?)

Bottle #6 (Oct. 14 @11:30)

(Delay because I passed out and went downstate for the weekend. But same thing... blindly grabbed a bottle. I just knocked back what was left in my coffee, which may affect the taste. Hazelnut spice? Hazelnut pumpkin? My stomach churns at the thought)

M: I like it, but I really want a beer right now. I may not be the best judge. Okay, same flavor, same blah blah blah. I like this one right now and that's all I care about.

R: Hmm... I like this one. It's a little sour at the end, but it's still pretty good. I could definitely drink this one. Maybe even order another if I were at a bar. An acceptable level of bitterness for me, and probably the perfect amount of spice. Not overwhelming, it's a background kind of thing. You know it's there, but it's not trying to steal the limelight. Team player.

Bottle #7 (11:56)

M: I think there is not too much of aroma, not too much spice. But seems mellower than the others, and I like that. I think this is my favorite. Got a little bit of bitter, some hop bitterness. Not overpowering with the spices. This is probably the most Not pumpkin beer that we've had, which is probably why it's my favorite.

R: Not bad. Slight bitterness. Very smooth. Drinkable. Seems like something I could drink all day, which apparently makes it session-like. I'd actually like another one, please. Best out of the bunch.

Now... the reveal

(drum roll)

Bottle #1 - Post Road Pumpkin Ale (Brooklyn Brewery) LOSER
Bottle #2 - Harvest Pumpkin Ale (Sam Adams) TIE
Bottle #3 - Country Pumpkin (Ithaca Beer Company) TIE
Bottle #4 - Pumple Drumkin (Cisco Brewers) TIE
Bottle #5 - Ubu Pumpkin Ale (Lake Placid Craft Brewing) LOSER
Bottle #6 - Pumpkin Ale (Captain Lawrence Brewing Company) RUNNER UP
Bottle #7 - Our Pumpkin Ale (Saranac) WINNER

Overall Thoughts -

Even though we stretched this out a bit, Saranac's Pumpkin Ale was the clear favorite, with Captain Lawrence's not too far behind. Both Lake Placid and Brooklyn Brewery lost, but for two very different reasons. Brooklyn Brewery beers are known to be good, hell... we've had plenty of their stuff so we know what the norm is for them. This was just a bad bottle... most likely. See? Giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Lake Placid however, was HORRIBLE. One sip and I refused to drink anymore of it. Could if have been beer overload? No, there is no such thing. This was just some bad beer. And I think in general, I'm not a fan of the UBU beers. I want to say I ordered an UBU at Philly's earlier this year and ended up giving it to M because it wasn't good.

Everything else was in the murky middle. It's the spices. I don't like spices in my beer. I take that back - I don't want certain spices in my beer. I think some Christmas beers I can tolerate. These pumpkin beers? If you bring some to my house, I'm kicking you out.

No comments:

Post a Comment