Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #321
Ranked #43,754
3.59 | pDev: 11.42%
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Notes: OK, what do you get when we toss pale malted barley, pumpkin and spices into a stainless steel cauldron then stir in some magic? Uh, Trickster! The “magic” is actually mischievous Belgian yeast at play with allspice, ginger and black pepper. This spooky cool brew will make your glass glow bright despite the gloominess of the season.

22 IBU
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 92 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Because of what I knew about the Belgian yeast used in this, I treated this as a Belgian pale ale with pumpkin in it. Hence, I opted for a tulip.
The appearance was a glowing bronzed orange color with a delicate transparency about it. Just a cap of a little white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Sly lace ran here and there.
The aroma had some cardamom, ginger, allspice and nutmeg playing with a balance of pumpkin extract, Belgian pale malts and sugars and a slight pie crust-like character.
The flavor was moderately sweet pulling in those prior noted spices in stealthily to create a refined aftertaste of those malts to spices.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Spices aren't bothersome, but I will admit they're noticeable. Carbonation felt appropriate. ABV felt fine.
Overall, yes, this is actually a Belgian pale ale with pumpkin flavors and spices added to it. The bottle and website actually say so. Still, I'd have again.

Jul 14, 2017
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is an opaque, muddled, caramel coloring with a bubbly, low profile, off-white head. Nose of rich caramel, solid pumpkin spice, hints of Belgian yeast esters, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Flavors are heavily roasted spice cake forward, with solid notes of nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin spice, with a caramel and toffee backbone, creamy highlights, and subtle yeasty esters. The body is mid-range, but the carbonation gives it a thin, almost astringent end feel. Spice cake and pumpkin pie aftertaste, on a crisp, astringent finish.

Jan 29, 2016
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SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So it says its a pumpkin ale on here, but after reading the label and smelling and tasting it, I beg to differ, here's why.
First time, I ever had this, I had it in a pint glass and then I read the label and said to myself I need to get this again to re-pour into a tulip as I believe this is a Belgian pale ale with pumpkin in it.
Tonight's review is according to a Belgian pale ale and poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a ruddy burnt orange close to brown color with a slim finger-ed white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Stringy tingling lacing sticks and then slides into the body.
The smell had some Belgian spices, a light tartness, a light breadiness (from the yeast, I'm guessing) and all wrapping together nicely. And then a light little bit of pumpkin scent comes through.
The taste was basically the same - Belgian spicy, then sweet bready, and then sweet pumpkin-esque in the background.
The mouthfeel was about light to medium on the body with a good carbonation about it - seems to hit appropriately allowing spices to hit just right.
Overall, though I will leave it on here as a pumpkin ale, I really don't think this is one. Still, I'd have it again as its just nice as it is.

Nov 15, 2015
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BenGap from Alaska

3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Strong roasted malt and nutty finish. The pumpkin comes through for a short time before fading. Decent beer for the style. Smell wasn't quite there as much as I would like.

Sep 24, 2015
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a mug from a 22oz. bomber.

Appearance: A slightly hazy amber with a white-orange head that rose to maybe half a finger's length. Once you take a sip settles quick with perfect lacing.

Smell: Light yeast scent. That's it. Smells good but too light for my nostrils.

Taste: Sweet and mellow pumpkin taste complimented by a sour yeast. It's lightly sour but extremely tasty.

Mouth: Smooth finish lightly sticky. Lemon accent at the end with a light touch of nutmeg. Spicy enough that it will shake up your pallates just a bit.

Overall: Good brew, not the best pumpkin ale....but still one worth trying. Drink up and enjoy...Salud!

Mar 27, 2015
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RyanK252 from California

3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours hazy redish amber with a white head that settles.

S: Belgian yeast funk, a bit tart, but also with some fruitiness, a little spice, and a hint of alcohol.

T: Belgian yeast, a nice fruitiness, some peach/apricot, nice spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a little bready malt.

M: Medium body with light to moderate carbonation.

O: Can't say I really got much straight pumpkin, but could tell what they were going for with the spice notes. Interesting take on a pumpkin beer, nice change of pace.

Dec 26, 2014
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a creamy ring with a little lacing.

S: Belgian spices and candy sugar with a bit of bubblegum and a little pumpkin spice underneath.

T: Belgian spices here along with a bit of pumpkin spice. Candy sugar, yeasty bread, and some malt flavors underneath with a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, this beer isn't as crisp as I'd like from a Belgian beer, but isn't watery, either.

O: An alright beer, overall. There's nothing offensive about it, but I wish it had a bit more pumpkin going on.

Nov 15, 2014
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ksimons from Illinois

3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-slightly hazy orange color with two fingers worth of white head

S-pale bready malts, Belgian yeast, some spices, and light pumpkin

T-taste is similar to the smell, tastes is predominantly Belgian in stye with a bit of spice and light vegetable pumpkin flavor

M-medium body, moderate to high carbonation

Overall a pretty decent Belgian style beer but not getting much pumpkin out of the beer

Oct 31, 2014
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VashonGuy from Washington

4/5  rDev +11.4%

Trickster is an interesting change of pace for a pumpkin ale. It's not heavy on the pumpkin, and it's not heavy on the spices, although both are certainly present. The Belgian yeast is there, but that doesn't knock you over the head either.

This beer is really a little understated, and that's a good thing. It's got a nice balance between the Belgian character and the pumpkin character, with everything just a bit muted. This is not a beer that shouts at you, but that doesn't mean it's not quite enjoyable.

Oct 26, 2014
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lisa_mayfield from Alaska

5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say? This is obviously my favorite. The taste and feel of this beer is exquisite. I haven't found the perfect pairing for this beer yet (oh, darn, I have to keep trying...) but so far this goes with rustic type sandwiches....pretty much the fare at the brewery.

Jul 26, 2014
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scottfrie from California

4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into Gulden Drakk tulip.

A: Pours a clear iced tea color with a very dense, fluffy, and thick light tan head that took forever to fade into a soft film and fuzzy collar.
S: Earthy Belgian yeast and pumpkin spice dominates the nose with notes of clove, lemon zest and bready pale malt.
T: Bready malt and earthy yeast base is easily noticeable beneath notes of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, pepper and faint lemon and pie crust. The finish is doughy and mildy spicy with notes of vanilla as well, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and sugary.
M: Medium body, medium mouthfeel, smooth and slick. Easy carbonation is fluffy and drinkable.
O: Definitely a spice lovers beer, but they mix well with the pale malt base. Belgian yeast adds a doughy and unique flavor that works well with everything else. Enjoyable all-around.

Nov 29, 2013
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Hopdaemon39 from New York

3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a wine glass- pours a pretty clear amber color with minimal head, retention and lacing.

Smell is of pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, the usual. Some barley but I don't get any yeast.

The taste is pretty much the usual pumpkin ale- pumpkin, the above-mentioned spices, a little barley malt. There is a bit of an interesting yeast flavor, but not prominent.

Mouthfeel is nice- medium bodied, light carbonation, certainly a nice autumn brew. Lacking that extra special zest that makes a great interesting beer.

Sep 05, 2013
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spokeydonkey from New York

2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured dark copper from a 22 oz bomber into a duvel tulip. Very little white head leaving a little lacing in the glass. Aroma of vanilla and sugary syrup. Tastes very smooth and with a huge load of vanilla and some subdued cinnamon and cloves in the background. Finishes with a slight bitterness. A medium bodied beer with a dry enough finish to be moderately easy to drink at 7% abv.

Overall it's got way too much vanilla and sweetness for me without much in the way of spice to back it up. A bit one dimensional. Wouldn't get again with the other pumpkin beers out there.

Sep 02, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear yellowish orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface along with lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkins and squash are present in the nose along with notes of cardamom spices.
T: Similar to the smell, the overall taste is rather spicy and has flavors of cardamom and nutmeg along with notes of coriander and pumpkins. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of the spices but the use of cardamom and coriander seem to make this taste more like a spiced beer as opposed to a pumpkin beer. Only the nutmeg spices seem in place for the style.

Sep 01, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, and apple cider aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, spice, and slight vegetal pumpkin flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is decent but the pumpkin presence in this one is very subdued.

Aug 26, 2013
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alpinebryant from Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a good amount of lacing and visible carbonation.

S: Aroma of allspice, cloves, belgian yeast bubblegum and other ester flavors from high temp fermentation. Clove clearly stands out in this as it is a relatively clean looking beer and clove is so noticeable.

T: Flavors of belgian yeast, bubblegum, clove, banana and cotton candy. Clove is relatively subdued, but without many competing flavors spare cinnamon, this is clearly defined by the ground clove flavors. Possibly even some jamaican allspice.

M: Light to medium bodied. High carbonation, but not stinging.

O: Overall this is good. Very tough to beat Treat as it is one of my favorite beers and where that lacks, this would probably do well with a lesser blend inside of Treat. The one thing that I see as a serious drawback in here is the slightly tannic bitterness imparted either from the clove or allspice.

Aug 18, 2013
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flexabull from California

3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer my friend brought back from Alaska to share with me.

Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a smaller white head.

Aromas are of Belgian yeast, light spices, most notably cloves also some pumpkin notes. Pretty pleasant.

Taste is just like the nose. Definite "Belgian" flavors going on. Light bubblegum, cloves, and a general spicy yeast flavor. Finish is crisp with hints of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, lighter body.

Overall, I liked this one. I tend to enjoy pumpkin beers, and while this wasn't a great beer, it was tasty enough and pretty unique.

Jul 11, 2013
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bottle at the brewpub. The box said October 2012. It has the newer sticker type label, so I believe it is a new batch.

A - Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a light tan head the moves to the edges and sits in a ring.

S - Cloves, gingerbread, pumpkin, pepper, Belgian yeast.

T - Halloween spices, ginger, clove, peppery, yeasty. A bit muted at this point.

D - Mild carbonation and a light body. Smooth mouthfeel.

O - I thought this one might be a bit old, and it probably was. Still good flavors, but a bit muted.

Jan 29, 2013
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from 2010 I think.

Pours clear gold with a four inch head of spongy white. A slow retreat settled to a half inch foam cap with plenty of meshy lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with apples, bubblegum, cloves, and orange blossom honey. Hints of coriander and nutmeg follow through.

Light bodied with a crisp, snappy mouthfeel.

Citrus, spice, and honey-drizzeled malt start the palate. Red apples, orange peel, with cloves and bits of ginger.

Finishes with light spice, clovey phenols, and bubblegum.

Tasty Belgian style pale ale. No pumpkin coming through at this point, but the spicing is well integrated now and the high level of carbonation really helps this one stand up nicely.

Jan 18, 2012
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JohnnyP3 from Alaska

3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a C&B Belgian glass. Bottled second week of September 2011. Pours a burnt orange/copper with a thin head of white foam. Slightly hazy with carbonation clearly visible.

Aroma is comprised of spicy pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon. Some hints of Belgian yeast as well.

Nice fresh spiced pumpkin with, as the nose suggested, some seasonal spices--nutmeg, cinnamon, and some clove. The Belgian yeast also makes its presence felt in the panoply of tastes. Pumpkin is definitely spiced with some peppery flavors. Overall, very fresh and festive for this time of year.

Mouthfeel is crisp and lively, keeping things interesting. One of the lighter bodied pumpkin beers.

Overall, a nice twist on the style by introducing the Belgian yeast. Fresh pumpkin taste and interesting spicy qualities. Takes a little getting used to.

Oct 15, 2011
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ccrida from Oregon

3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber (thx Jeremiah!) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Trickster is clear brassy gold with a big white head that leaves nice, sticky lace.

Smell is spicy phenols and sweet cereals, a floral perfume.

Taste is okay, this is a generic American take on a Belgian blonde, spicy (again more yeast like then any specific spice that was added). I'm not sure I really taste the pumpkin...there's a vague vegetable component, but I wouldn't ID it as pumpkin if I wasn't told the beer was made with it. But it detracts, rather then enhances my enjoyment of this honestly mediocre brew, that doesn't strike me as being very reminiscent of fall like most pumpkin beers. The aftertaste really doesn't work to well for me, like overripe pumpkin or something. The sweetness of the malt seems cheap as well. A rare miss from MSBC.

Mouthfeel is very dry and spicy, medium light bodied.

Drinkability isn't super high, as the taste just isn't that good, and the spicy mouthfeel is fatiguing. This one needs retooled, or retired.

Feb 26, 2010
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gford217 from Georgia

3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Ira for another MSBC bottle, poured into a tulip.

Pours a very light, clear amber with a big fluffy white head that recedes slowly to a collar and leaves a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is fairly muted for a pumpkin ale. It really smells like a Belgian golden with some pumpkin and spices thrown in. The spicy Belgain yeast and some fruity esters are just as prevalent as the pumpking and spices.

The taste is more of the same though the spices come out a little more than in the aroma. The pumpkin is very subtle hardly noticeable and, again, the slightly sweet/spicy Belgian yeast backbone is the most noticeable flavor in the taste. The finish is lightly spicy, with both yeast and holiday spices present.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with good carbonation and very much like an average Belgian golden ale.

This one certainly pales in comparison to Treat, though that's certainly a difficult comparison. It certainly doesn't sit squarely in the pumpkin ale category as the Belgian yeast is much more prominent than any pumpkin or spice flavors. As pumpkin ales go, it's fairly average.

Nov 25, 2009
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AKBelgianBeast from Alaska

3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new fall brew from midnight sun.

Pours a totally clear very light orange with a white head that falls very quickly to a ring and some skim, but does leave ok lacing.

Nose is very faint, limited amounts of spice, and next to nothing else. Some slight, almost corn like notes.

Taste is pretty bland as well. The pumpkin spices do make themselves known, but this tastes like nothing more than a bland golden ale with a short helping of spices tossed in loosely. It's pretty balanced, and easy drinking, but for a pumpkin ale im looking for something alot more rich and spicy. The finish has slight bitterness, but not much. There is a little bit of a metallic twinge in the aftertaste, some spices and that little corn like presence linger.

Mouthfeel is about right, viscosity is where it oughta be and the carbonation is fine.

Drinkability is solid, as this one is far from overspiced, underspiced and lacking in substance if anything.

Overall, im slightly dissappointed with this one. Its probably good for people who don't like alot of spice in their pumpkin ale, and prefer a much lighter fall seasonal. Midnight sun will always be my first love for a pumpkin infused beer (ICPP or "TREAT") but this one falls way short of their high standards. Glacier Brewhouse or Moose's Tooths pumpkin ales are much better options this fall. A tolerable beer, but not one i'll buy again.

Nov 21, 2009
Trickster from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 92 ratings