Volume | 12 FL OZ
Alcohol Content | 8.0% by volume
If it’s still early in the season for you and you haven’t been craving caramel apples, cider, pumpkin-flavored treats or feeling the urge to go out and buy your Halloween pumpkins, you most definitely will be after you try this seasonal beer from Coronado Brewing Company in San Diego. Their Punk’in Drublic Imperial Pumpkin Ale, August 2015, has us aliens diving into fall. Perhaps taking the spaceship to a cooler climate would have a similar effect, but right here in San Diego, we are starting to feel the spirit of the autumn season thanks to this beer.
This pumpkin ale is brewed with actual pumpkin puree, which makes it stand out amongst the long pumpkin beer lineup. You can taste notes of pumpkin flesh which tricks your taste buds into thinking you are eating a piece of warm pumpkin pie!
Appearance: Upon pouring, this beer was a deep amber orange color with good clarity. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle rather than on tap, there was only a sliver of cream on top and small bubbles. The beer took on a hazy copper color as it settled in the glass and the foam quickly vanished in less than three minutes after pouring.
Smell: Upon inhaling, this beer has strong notes of pumpkin pie spices and detectable alcohol. Distinguishable notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toasted nuts and roasted malt. Hop aromatics are pretty subdued. Smells like it is going to be sweeter than it really is.
Taste: Pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg are bold and spicy, equally strong malt backbone. The sweetness is understated boasting flavors of molasses, honey and brown sugar. The sweetness then dies down and you get the warmness of the alcohol. At 8.0% you can taste the alcohol in this Imperial Pumpkin ale, which is inviting. Pumpkin flesh is noticeable and has a light vegetable taste. There’s a slight sourness as well. Tart cherries come to mind. Cook pie crust and biscuits are more subtle flavors but make for a well-rounded pumpkin pie experience.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale. Creamy yet light, the spices and caramel malt flavors linger on the tongue while the alcohol warms your throat. A slight bitterness/sourness perks up the taste buds. Medium to low carbonation.
Overall: Even if you are usually not a fan of pumpkin beers, I recommend giving this beer a try. It’s unique flavors of pumpkin flesh and bright notes of tart cherries are what take it up a notch on my fall seasonal beer list. They also did a great job of balancing the spices with the malt, and the hops are subtle enough to not interfere with the complex flavors. I’ll be grabbing another one when I sense a pie craving coming on or just get back into the spirit of fall.
This beer would go great with pork chops, BBQ ribs, or a plate of creamy cheeses. And although I wouldn’t normally drink a sweet beer with a dessert I might actually suggest having this not-too-sweet beer with a slice of homemade pumpkin pie!
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