Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Hail To The Dark Gourd | HammerHeart Brewing Company

no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
HammerHeart Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by XmnwildX12 on 12-13-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 18
Photo of barczar
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 584 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

 2,038 characters

Hail To The Dark Gourd from HammerHeart Brewing Company
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.