Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
While most brewers of pumpkin ales strike early for the Halloween season, this is often to the dismay of the lovers of pumpkin ale who prefers the taste much later in the season, ....say Thanksgiving? ...To accompany all of those desserts, dressings, and spicy foods that define the season? Why not, and I'm on board- let's extend the pumpkin ale season!
Great Lakes' version opens with the quintessential appearance of the style- one that captures the color of orange through a range of amber, gold, and red kilned malts used in its brewing practice. A frothy, and semi-meringue textured head talks the "whipped cream" language. It's medium-firm staying power and soft lacing tells me it's still a worthwhile beer and not a after dinner treat.
At first sniff, the ale offers the pleasantries of caramel (maybe soft praline), but fused with lightly kilned barley, and decorated with the sharp yet restrained spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and peppercorn. With both a delicate tone to dumb down the sweetness and an elevated sense to drive dryness, the beer evokes the sense of drinkability and succulence with its aroma alone.
As the flavors take hold, it's the driving force of dry caramel taste that leads the pack. Though the taste of caramel exudes, it doesn't carry the sugary sweetness that's expected from caramel or praline, but instead a dry malty taste of barley suffices. It's this "grape nuts" character that weaves in honey-ish tones and and paves the way for spices to come. Then there's the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice taste that the nose promises, but does so in the rounded way to imply pumpkin pie! With low bitterness, the beer achieves all of its complexity and balance from the barley malts and the contrasting spices- just like dessert, but at 5+ percent.
Medium bodied, it is temping to read lighter textures into the beer because of the fleeting malt presence of sweetness and the elevated spiciness. It's those spices (and their implied heat), coupled with the firm dryness of malt and medium alcohol presence that the beer registers lighter to the trigemental forces that define weight. It's only the spice astringency that work against it's overall mouthfeel, but with slight effect.
Ok, a lot of big descriptors hit this review. And at first glance, the beer does little to separate from the rigor of adequate pumpkin ales. But as the beer opens up, I see a drier taste and textures that never waiver in variety and layered complexity that remind me of the often dismissed Anchor Our Special Ale of the Christmas Ale varity.
Serving type: on-tap
12-02-2012 08:17:43 | More by BEERchitect
3.9/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
650ml bottle picked up at liquor mart. Overall great looking bottle with orange foil covering neck and cap giving it a nice presentation.
Appearance - Pours with a nice creamy offwhite head which is relatively short lived. Beer is hazy orange color. A small amount of lacing is left behind.
S - Spicy! Nutmeg, bit of clove, pumpkin. Sweet smelling but not overbearing at all.
T - Heavier on malt, clove, and nutmeg taste, with more pumpkin and cinnamon aftertaste. Moderate hop bitterness on the finish.
M - Moderate carbonation, with medium body.
Overall: I really enjoyed this beer - it's not overpowering in pumpkin and spices which makes it easy drinking. I would have liked a bit less clove taste, but that won't stop me from having this again next year.
Serving type: bottle
10-07-2012 01:55:56 | More by zi1ch
4.38/5 rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Served On Tap at Smoke and Barrel Adams Morgan DC
A: A nice Orange rind pumpkin haze with a soulless head, nice ripe pumpkin orange.
S: Nice sweet pumpkin, subtle nutmeg, spicy clove and orange rind spice.
T: A really good sweet pumpkin rind, subtle nutmeg, with a clove backbite, orange rind spice. A really good solid pumpkin beer.
M: Racy and lingering, strong refreshing medium body. Medium carbonation with a nice firm body.
O: This beer is dangerously close to breaking into the top 5 best pumpkin beers that I have had. This is definitely a pumpkin beer to be enjoyed by all beer fans.
Serving type: on-tap
01-21-2012 20:17:30 | More by challenja
Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.