Friday, October 23, 2009

Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale Spices Up Fall


Pumpkin ales in general have never beckoned my name. Perhaps it was that keg that my sister got when I went to go visit her in college when I was still in high school. We got a keg of Pumpkin Ale, had a party, and was drinking pumpkin ale for the next 7 days straight. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Pumpkin ales are usually just too much to handle- too pumpkiny, too spicey, too undrinkable. But when I saw that Dogfish Head came out with one called, Punkin Ale, a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 7%, I decided to try this type of beer again.

The nose has a more sweet caramel nutty nose than pumpkin with a hint of spicy cinnamon. The color is a deep red sienna brown. The first sip revealed a spicy beer with a light pumpkin aftertaste- not too pumpkiny and not too overwhelmingly spicy. There is a lingering allspice taste on the tongue after you drink it a while with a hint of sweet syrupy maple. It is not a super sweet beer- it actually smells sweeter than it tastes. The flavors really seemed to open up and balance more after the beer cooled down a bit. It reminded me of a spicy unsweetened apple cider more than pumpkin beer.

This beer is calling for you to grab it for a picnic on a cool Sunday afternoon with a loved one- it wants to be enjoyed outside. Granted I wouldn't go out and buy a keg of it, but a few glasses had me lingering for the holidays to arrive. Perhaps it is my love of Fall that made this beer warm my senses or the fact that someone actually balanced a pumpkin beer for me to actually enjoy to drink.

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