Fall Hornin' - Anderson Valley Brewing Company
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Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
3.31/5 rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Where many brewers are finding success in pumpkin ales that abandon their beery profile underneath in favor of something more akin to pumpkin pie desserts, Anderson Valley hits the ground with a firm Amber-Brown Ale foundation and builds the pumpkin character from there.
Its bronze hues suggest Brown Ale as the ale is lightly hazy and shows slivers of garnet highlights. Rising above the beer is a bone-white frothy cap the retains heartily for the majority of the session and lacing with broken strands along the way.
Aromas of toasted grain and praline provide a sweeter base as the spices of pumpkin pie seem sprinkled about- cinnamon, nutmeg and clove lead the way. Soft notes of nuts and chocolate lurk in the backdrop as the beer's rounded scent is quite crusty and spicy in its portrayal of fall pies.
Its taste is grainy-sweet as it captures the dry malt taste of Brown Ales, the caramel flavor of Amber Ales and hopped in a very American kind of way. Its bitterness and moderate use of sweetness keeps the beer "beer-like" even with the sprinkle of pumpkin pie spices that add give it a hearty pumpkin impression. Its final taste carries a bite from both stemmy hop bitterness and boiled spice.
Medium on the palate, its toasted grain flavor leads to a grainy-dry texture that rises as the mask of sweetness and creamy carbonation recedes. This leaves the finish a little unsettled from spice astringency and biting grain and hop linger. Its aftertaste of pumpkin pie spices keeps the palate rewarded with dessert-like effect.
Where the attempt to keep this Pumpkin Ale first and foremost ale-like is much appreciated, that's not what draws us to these tasty beers. It's the abandoning of traditional recipes in favor of accenting the spices with sweetness and strength is what's best about them. Though this is a well made ale, its certainly not the guilty pleasure that drives beer drinkers into a frenzy as if its catnip for adults.
Serving type: on-tap
08-26-2013 16:38:46 | More by BEERchitect
3.79/5 rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Strong, robust autumn brown color yielded a thick comprehensive head that supported a thin lacing.
The scent is very spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice. The earthy natural pumpkin aromas are absent but the pie like characters are present.
The taste is more earthy, slightly gourdish with a very nice balance of nutmeg and pumpkin spice. I wished for a little more cinnamon but the earthiness is far more natural than some.
I often feel that Schlafly Pumpkin is the level by which all others are to be judged and though this is not Schlafly this is very close to it.
Serving type: on-tap
08-25-2013 02:59:17 | More by KYGunner
3.19/5 rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Done in a horizontal tasting with Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.
Eye: This one started with a nice off white tan rocky looking head but slowly fell to a thin sheet covering the top of the beer. As it receded it left some nice looking lacing. Murky brown in color with garnet highlights. A little darker than I'd expect for a traditional pumpkin ale.
Nose: Cinnamon is more upfront in this one. This smells more of cinnamon whereas the Smuttynose smells more of a mixed pumpkin pie spice. Ginger comes in second. Actually this one smells more to me like certain parts of craft stores like Michaels than it does of pumpkin or pumpkin pie. Just that general fall smell...hard to describe.
Tongue: More or less the same as the nose. Big (not huge) on cinnamon and ginger. Nothing really all that complex about this beer. If you ask me it lacks depth. The most depth I get out of it is a small roast character with hints of roasted grain bitterness(which add some needed complexity to this beer). Body is light and the carbonation is moderate. This isn't a bad beer by any means, but its just lacking in everything I really love about pumpkin ales. It seems to miss the mark on just too many levels.
Drinkability: I'm glad I bought this and tried it, I'll happily drink the rest of the six-pack, however, I'll definitely not be coming back to this one anytime soon. This is good beer, its just not anywhere close to being good for a pumpkin ale. It really needs to step up its game to be able to hang with Schlafly, DFH, Rivertown, and the like. Its great beer, no flaws, but it just misses the mark for being a pumpkin ale..in my opinion.
Serving type: can
08-22-2013 03:28:32 | More by becktone
3.08/5 rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3
12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a transparent dark auburn; huge fluffy off-white head that leaves very nice lacing and great retention. The aromas are full of sweet caramel and chocolate malts and subtle spices. You will find the usual suspects in the aromas and flavors, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots of caramel and cocoa in the nose. The flavors are clean and refreshing, but not extremely bold. The flavors aren't bad, but they almost seem watered down a bit. Lots of breads and grains in the mix as well. Mouthfeel is thin and light, but still has a nice amount of body to it; moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's extremely easy to drink.
This is ultimately a safe pumpkin ale. It's fine, but there's nothing about that makes it standout from the pack. Solid, but run of the mill, in my opinion. The fact that it comes in cans is a plus, considering this is a style that is rarely seen in cans.
Serving type: can
08-16-2013 00:24:50 | More by BB1313
Fall Hornin' from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.