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Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Halloween AleGritty McDuff's Halloween Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

272 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 12
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Every fall marks the return of our legendary Extra Special Bitter for the season, Halloween Ale – the beer so good, it's scary! From its humble beginnings in 1990 as a small-batch seasonal in our Portland Brew Pub, Halloween Ale has grown to be one of the year's most anticipated beer releases. This robust brew has a deep amber color, a bold, malty palate and a well-rounded hop finish. The perfect beer for a crisp autumn day!

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 08-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #33 (Oct 2009):

Inviting dark amber clarity with an ample lacing. Fruity, taffy-like, perhaps a little peppery and malty in the nose. Solid malt base lets the smoothness of the carbonation roll right through it. Malt is king of the hill here, though it struggles to stay on top with complexi- ties coming from all directions. Hops dial in with a low-key bitterness but bigger herbal and woody flavors. Taffy? Ripe fruit jumps up with a quick flash of estery alcohol and the yeast throws down a musty flavor to show its uniqueness from other yeasts. Everything seems to work together though, leading to balance in the finish.

A masterpiece that we'll miss soon enough--all good seasonals seems to be that way ... every day can't be Halloween either. Hands down one of our most favorite ESBs ever.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 21:49:07 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber with no freshness date. Freaky looking label. Reddish amber colour with a fine clarity and a thick off white lace that sticks quite well.

Buttery caramel, faint alcoholic esters, rustic hop leaf and a toasted grain in the aroma. Very fresh and aromatic with that Ringwood yeast flair.

Smooth and creamy with a medium to full body, big malty flavours of toasted and caramel. Fruity with ripe pear and faint apple juice. Buttery diacetyl is a touch musty, hops round the corner with a more than ample bitterness that is lightly pungent. Hops linger with an earthy woody flavour. Toasted malt flavours survive as well as some diacetyl and faded hop. Finishes a bit sweet also.

A masterful brew that is not only a great rendition of the ESB style but a perfect change up from the onslaught of Oktoberfest beers during the fall.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2002 17:14:38 | More by Jason
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pint 6 oz brown bomber. No freshness date, but a kick-ass spooky wood-cut-style label. Yikes!

Appearance: Deep, dark copper with amber hues, crowned with a slightly off-white foam lace with plenty of retention and clinging action.

Smell: Loads of distinct, coarse Ringwood floral action going on in the nose. Soft apple skin, hint of all-spice and some starchy aromas too.

Taste: Smooth and malty upfront, going coarse with a leafy, apple skin texture on the palate. A delicate apricot and a juicy fruity flavour blends nicely with an even malt sweetness, touch of candy-like sweetness and thin caramel. Subtle spiciness. Big wood notes define this beer, while a background thin semi-citrus bitterness helps to balance the heavy handed fruit/malt flavours. The wood flavours ride you into the finish, which becomes pretty damn clean. Pumpkin starch flavours and body? Maybe?

Notes: Once you get over the sameness of, and get to like, the Ringwood (aka Shipyard) yeast strain in many of the New England beers, you'll find the most interesting and unique flavours. This is no exception. A wonderful ESB, and a masterful seasonal. Drink up! Happy Halloween!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2002 17:31:45 | More by Todd
More User Reviews:
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PressFastF0rward

Maine

1.5/5  rDev -60.2%

06-27-2014 20:08:33 | More by PressFastF0rward
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06-22-2014 18:50:46 | More by rderedin
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06-20-2014 19:41:34 | More by Scott67
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04-16-2014 16:41:26 | More by CSeavey64
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2.25/5  rDev -40.3%

02-24-2014 03:04:39 | More by TheBigBoy
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Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From Notes on 10-17-13, On-Tap at the brewpub.

A - Clear dark orange amber with half a finger of white head, no lacing.
S - Some light candied pumpkin, touch of caramel malt.
T - Sweet and sugary at first, light on the pumpkin flavor, a lot of peppery spice at the end.
M - Light bitterness and a tad soapy which is weird.
O - Mediocre at best, lacks character and pumpkin flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 16:22:10 | More by Omnium
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Goldndomer

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -20.4%

02-09-2014 22:40:14 | More by Goldndomer
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swierczt

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

01-04-2014 19:19:31 | More by swierczt
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theoceantakesme

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3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

12-28-2013 06:52:12 | More by theoceantakesme
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chefhatt

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer into a glass and it has a reddish color body with a very small head to it. The smell has a malty, carmel taste. The taste is kinda sweet and malty, a little velvety, on the back of the tongue i get a little bitterness. The mouthfeel is oily smooth and overall is a ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 20:50:52 | More by chefhatt
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Cheld

Maine

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

12-18-2013 14:10:40 | More by Cheld
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Crumpetsnbeer

Maine

4/5  rDev +6.1%

12-07-2013 21:05:30 | More by Crumpetsnbeer
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BeerMeister8

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

11-21-2013 02:28:15 | More by BeerMeister8
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MikeG304

New York

4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Nice amber color and creamy head with decent lacing.
Sweet, malty aroma with a hint of hops. Nice nose overall.

From the first time I had it(I get some every year when I go to Maine) I always described the flavor as kind of buttery, with caramel in there too, which hits you towards the end.

The mouthfeel is almost,to me, oily smooth, to go along with the buttery taste.

This is one of my favorite, non stout/porter beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 21:12:21 | More by MikeG304
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Massachusetts

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11-18-2013 16:16:41 | More by MGodduclan5
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SpAiReArGsEonNE

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

11-18-2013 02:47:35 | More by SpAiReArGsEonNE
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JKV96

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

11-12-2013 21:42:06 | More by JKV96
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VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a clear reddish copper color. Thin, off white head. Lots of droopy lacing

S-Really nice nose that is stylistically accurate. Tea-like hops and a big caramel covered apple aroma. Mostly sweet. Decadent.

T-Apples and overly steeped tea. Caramel and hard toffee candies. A bit of spicy hoppiness.

M-A bit sticky and the carbonation is a little soft. It still drinks easy enough,

O/D-Really gotta respect their Fall seasonal is an ESB. I think more brewers should experiment with this style. Enjoyable beer and it's been around for quite a whole too. Surprised it's taken me this long to try.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 22:31:31 | More by VelvetExtract
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Ecxeeder616

Massachusetts

2.25/5  rDev -40.3%

11-08-2013 14:37:18 | More by Ecxeeder616
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d_brommer_nh

New Hampshire

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scotorum

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the colorful 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass

a: Clear dark red/brown amber, finger high offwhite head receded to thin surface foam and almost no lacing.

s: Caramel malt

t: Rich caramel malt forward with what they say is hops, but seems a bit different in that there is an unusual sharpness rather than mere bitterness involved.

m: Moderate, good body, hops(?) tingling on the tongue is not carbonation, which seems light.

o: Great caramel malt base is run down a bit by the sharpness of the hops. Still a fine dinner or holiday brew when you want something slightly different but still basically very English.

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11-03-2013 00:01:25 | More by scotorum
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New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

11-01-2013 22:29:08 | More by acurtis
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Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.