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Dark Pumpkin Sour - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Pumpkin SourDark Pumpkin Sour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

312 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 19
Gots: 54 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThatsThatDude on 07-02-2014

Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices aged in wine barrels.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Celtics17:
Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RaulMondesi
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad, but the Raul man is a little pissed. I've noticed that the majority of their sours are 7%; so it's basically wash, rinse, repeat (just add whatever different flavor this month) and send it out to the masses (well, Californians, at least). And what we have here is your girlfriend during year four, but she bought a new tube of lipstick. You're looking at her like something is new, and it kind of is, but is it?

So, yeah. Those well known sour characters are there, along with a tad (just a tad) of spice and pumpkin. Again, it's nice, but Raul is getting tired of this one trick pony.

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Bottled Autumn 2014; purchased in Centennial, CO. Appealing label design. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Reviewed live as a wild ale; per the label it's a (sour) "Ale brewed with pumpkins and spices and aged in wine barrels." 7% ABV. Served cold into a tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Expectations are high given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Khaki colour head. Good creaminess, smoothness, fullness, and thickness, with a good even consistency and a nice shiny complexion. Retention is very good - easily 7-8 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Overall, it's an appealing dark sour but it's far from unique or special looking. Frankly, if you handed this to me blind I wouldn't know from the appearance alone that it wasn't, say, a milk stout.

AROMA: Hm. The faint pumpkin pie notes and brown sugar clash with the dark malt base and no sourness or bacterial character at all is indicated. The red wine barrel further disrupts the balance, seeming out of place and unnecessary. I do get a hint of the pie-like acetic character I love in beers like Rodenbach, but it's weak and underwhelming.

Aromatic intensity is mild, to its detriment. It seems the wild yeast/bacteria just doesn't have control of the beer. Even the pumpkin gourd is muted. Not too sure about this one...

No alcohol, hop character, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The red wine character has gone rampant here, putting grape where it doesn't belong and clashing with the mildly acetic pie-like character. The bacteria/wild yeast doesn't have control of the beer, and the sourness at best evokes infection rather than deliberation on the brewers' part. Unnecessary pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, allspice, maybe cinnamon - make the beer even more of a mess, such that by the time you get to the horribly misplaced brown sugar and dark malt backbone you're very confused as to what the intention behind this beer is. Unfocused and muddled, without a cohesive flavour profile or a clear direction. I have trouble liking this, even when I focus on its star note - the acetic character.

Oh, and the pumpkin? Unimpressive, and hardly noticeable. It's a shallow mess of a beer. Far from a gestalt build. Flavour duration and intensity are average. Horrible flavour amplitude. There's complexity, but it complicates what should be an effortless simple build dominated by sour wild yeasts. The sourness, by the way, is a 3/10 in terms of intensity at best.

It worsens as it warms, as it takes on notes of caramelized raisin, licorice (a note I despise in beer and in food alike), wilted (and perhaps rotted) prune, and still more sweet red grape.

TEXTURE: Mildly smacky on the palate. It lacks the acidic oopmh of superior sours. Medium-bodied, smooth, and wet, with a periodic coarseness and hardness redolent of dried fruit. Mildly gooey, overcarbonated, and unrefreshing. The texture is less chaotic than the taste, but still fails to nail the style. Not a great companion to the taste.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. It does need work.

OVERALL: An uncommon miss from Almanac, this wannabe sour will fail to impress the discerning drinker, and in trying to reconcile pumpkin notes with wild yeast loses sight of what brings us to the style to begin with - the sourness. It's further complicated by questionable notes of red wine and strains for balance atop a wholly unnecessary dark malt base. I wouldn't get it again, but it does hide its ABV decently and the premise has promise; it's just a shame the execution isn't there. A reminder that Almanac is still very much a new brewery.

C+

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%

Bottled Autumn 2014.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with dark roasted malt, dark fruit, pumpkin pie spice, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a pumpkin pie spice presence that I am only getting in the smell as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i like that this is an attempt at something so different, never heard of anything like it. props for that. i also like that its not caustically sour, its approachable still, with a little citrus pucker and wine sharpness, but no brutal sourness. the pumpkin in this is really reserved compared to their heirloom pumpkin beer, its way in the back. fortunately, the spice complex is also appreciably mellow in this, allowing the fruity wine barrel character to stand out and play with the pumpkin itself, a really neat feature that is new to me. the body is pretty light for the color, see through brown, and the mouthfeel isnt heavy either. it looks fizzy in the glass but feels a little less bubbly than i wish it did on the palate. the oak wine barrel character is prominent in the finish, tannic and just a little acidic. malts are nice and dark, with some mild unsweetened chocolate and even smoke. a perfect fall beer for those who dont jump on the pumpkin pie flavored ales out there. a good way to make the seasonal classic totally different. top quality right here, but a polarizing flavor profile i have to imagine...

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Dark Pumpkin Sour from Almanac Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.