Hail To The Dark Gourd - HammerHeart Brewing Company
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
3.71/5 rDev -13.5%
Pours a deep brown black weigh garnet highlights and a lingering, frothy khaki head.
Toasted nutty malt, clove, cinnamon, and a touch of roast counter sweet pumpkin and ginger.
Flavor is dominated by clove, fairly phenolic, and ginger at the base. Notes of pumpkin weave throughout, with light roast and tar rounding out the bitter finish. The plasticy notes are a bit offputting.
Body is on the thick side, with low carbonation and substantial alcohol warmth.
Phenols detract from the experience, and spices are too overwhelming for my palate, but there's nice pumpkin presence.
05-06-2014 23:38:11 | More by barczar
3.69/5 rDev -14%
A half year removed from pumpkin season, we break from the winter cold with those memories of Halloween, fall festivals and looming snow deep in the recesses of our minds. Yet instead of fondling the fodder of blooms, warmth and barbecue, HammerHeart drags us back to autumn kicking and screaming.
With little of its gourdish hints, the dark ale opens with a bark-brown and shaddowy hue. Laced with cocoa-like haze, the ale shakes off a creamy, sand-stained head. Its strong retention ensures the session well while lacing the glass with broken collars.
Prominent bourbonesque aromas waft about with the undertow of heavy toast, nutty coffee, cocoa, campfire and roasted pecan that all simmer beneath. The decorative scent of allspice counteracts the dark malt notes and bridge into those caramelly and charred booze notes that rise, just ahead of the first sip.
The toasted and charred flavors seem wrapped in a blanket of starchy sweetness. Light caramel and the freshly baked flesh of pumpkin give the early palate a burnt sweetness with dense bready taste. Yet its toasty dryness develops across the middle to open up the kona-type coffee, smoky cocoa powder, toast and pecan series of more robust nuances. Its warm and spicy finish is a medley of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that bridge into bourbony warmth with seared caramel, vanilla and soft coconut cream pie.
Upon the palate, the beer's depth of creamy starchiness is perfectly suited to balance the pang of wood and grain derived astringency and those powdery tannins. Its bready texture holds onto the creaminess of carbonation deep into the session and is slow to dissolve. This also protects the palate from the spicy prickle of alcohol head, en route to a long and toasty-starch linger.
Hail to the Dark Gourd is a robust beer that works hard to capture the essence of the season. But with its layers of complexity piling on, the finesse elements of pumpkin pie get lost. The search for praline, graham cracker and whipping cream are dwarfed by the toast and the char.
05-06-2014 16:12:54 | More by BEERchitect
Hail To The Dark Gourd from HammerHeart Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.