Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Reviews by AleEvangelist:
3.45/5 rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
This beer begins as all decent beers must begin: with promise.
The beer pours a gorgeous burnished copper. Fall has arrived, when your beers begin to change to the colors of the leaves. (And Boston in the fall is supposed to be quite spectacular.) I poured vigorously so as to get as much head as possible, but I found it lacking. Very bubbly, light cream colored head, which dissipates much too quickly.
The aroma is all rich pumpkin. Whether they achieve this with extracts or actual pumpkin puree, I do not know, but as I said...a goodly amount of promise. Which is why...
The taste lets down some. While you definitely get the hints of allspice and pumpkin that the aroma promises, I was hoping for a much richer flavor. More malt would have complimented the richness of the pumpkin and spice, but probably would have increased the cost of this beer significantly. It's sad, though because the build up of sight and smell does not deliver with the standard finish I expect from a Sam Adams beer coming out halfway through the swallow. Somewhat redeeming this, however, is a nice, lingering sweetness that lasts as I finish this paragraph.
Like most Sam Adams beers, the mouthfeel also leaves something to be desired. Significantly carbonated, the CO2 burn is really what you get, though it's definitely thicker than, say, the Boston Lager.
In total, for the Sam Adams line, it's a solid offering. It's not as strong as some of the more boutique brands, but the ubiquitous nature of Sam Adams means that you'll likely see Jim Koch's harvest pack where you will see little else of substance and there's something to be said for that. I wanted more of this beer, but didn't really expect it. It's a nice addition to the line, and I certainly plan to drink more, but I'm glad I started off this fall season with this beer, rather than finishing it off with it.
****EDIT: In fairness, as I worked on some other work, I let the beer warm in my glass. (It had already been out of the fridge for a good 50 minutes.) Warming the beer for another 15-20 minutes in the glass does wonders for the flavor and mouthfeel of this beer. The mouthfeel is positively affected by the distinct lessening of CO2 in suspension in the beer. This increases the silkiness I was looking for earlier, and markedly improves what it feels like when rolling around in my mouth.
And the flavor... Ah. THIS was the hit of pumpkin I was seeking. Again, the CO2 when cold and freshly poured cuts the rich pumpkin, malt, clove, cinnamon, and allspice. Let it warm a bit, let some of that CO2 enter the atmosphere, and you have a rich, tasty tribute to fall that makes me happy it's September. I increased my mouthfeel from a 2.5 to a 3, and increased the overall from a 3.5 to a 4, but you have to let it warm a bit.
Serving type: bottle
09-07-2011 03:16:03 | More by AleEvangelist
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Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,901 ratings.