Elysian Brewing Company

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Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Pumpkin Beer
4.04 | pDev: 9.41%
Apr 22, 2020
Sep 24, 2012
Notes: The harvest is over before it's begun. Nature's bounty is dying on the vine. The dry rustle of crop failure is on the wind. Verdant abundance has given way to so much shrivel and waste, except for Blight, a bright spot of an ale brewed with pumpkin, dark brown sugar and fiery Vietnamese cinnamon.

Blight was brewed with Northwest pale, English brown, German Cara-hell and Belgian Cara-vienne malts, bittered with German Northern Brewer, with additions of Oregon pumpkin to the mash, kettle and fermenter. Vietnamese cinnamon and dark brown sugar were added to the boil.
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Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
For a long time, before I started The CANQuest (tm), before I became a "serious" beer writer, I was "The Beer Pest" with an irregular column detailing my misadventures with beer. It was especially apropos as I had one column that personally incensed Dick Cantwell! All is forgiven, or so I am told. Such was never my intention. I really wanted the entire series in this lineup, but our distro from Elysian here in PA was spotty at the time of release. 8=( I am a HUGE fan of Charles Burns & his work so this should be interesting.

From the Bottle (!): "12 Beers of the Apocalypse"; "Pumpkin Ale"; "9 Black Hole Blight"; "If the world were coming to an end, what beer would you brew? Utilizing artwork by Seattle native Charles Burns from his graphic novel classic, Black Hole, Seattle's Elysian Brewing and Fantagraphics Books team up to answer the question with The 12 Beers of the Apocalypse."; "Beer #9: BLIGHT will sustain you with an ale of pumpkin, dark brown sugar and a jolt of fiery Vietnamese cinnamon."; "Remember: THE END IS BEER."

I Pop!ped the cap to begin a slow, gentle C-Line Pour since this was one where I definitely did NOT want to rouse any lees. I got naught but wisps for my troubles, despite having heard a CO2 hiss as I Pop!ped the cap. Hmm. Again, rousing the lees was out of the question. I'll take the loss of discernible head in return. Was the spice holding it in check? Trepidatiously, I leant in for a sniff. Ever smelled Vietnamese cinnamon? I've had it shoved in my face in lieu of mace before! My eyeballs STILL sweat at the memory. No playin' around, this stuff is like ground mace &in the face, eyes, up the nose, it is a debilitating nightmare. Nose was VERY evocative of liquefied pumpkin pie & the dark brown sugar struck me as more towards treacle with a brown breadiness, while the cinnamon was present without being overwhelming. 8=) Yum! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but certainly big for the style. The taste remained liquified pumpkin pie, but I was not getting the high-intensity heat from the cinnamon that the label alluded to. Finish was dry, as any spiced beer should be expected to be, but it was only setting of the smallest & slightest of alarms. YMMV. & next, for that dreaded final pour. It was murky & slightly spicier than the rest of the bottle, but I never experienced the intensity of Vietnamese cinnamon that I was expecting. Fine by me.
Apr 22, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Dec 30, 2017
Rated: 3.64 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Nov 12, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by sposter4 from Pennsylvania

Nov 07, 2016
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Reviewed by artdob from California

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Inviting nose. Moderate head that quickly subsided leaving an orange colored brew. Very robust in its flavor. Lots of pumpkin, sweetness with mild carbonation. One of the better pumpkin brews.
Nov 04, 2016
Rated: 4.09 by aasher from Indiana

Oct 09, 2016
Rated: 4 by DrBier from Pennsylvania

Nov 18, 2015
Photo of Jeffreysan
Reviewed by Jeffreysan from Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
22 oz bottle, 2012 version, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, deep mahogany color speckled with lots of orange highlights and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic! Strong aromas of pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and brown sugar, comingled with aromas of toasted malt. Smells delicious!

Taste: Tastes just as good as it smells! Strong flavors of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger dominating the flavors up front, followed by some really tasty flavors of toasted malt and brown sugar-like sweetness. There is a slight sour note as well toward the finish, as well as a touch of bitterness which is a nice complement to the brown sugar-like sweetness and all of the pumpkin pie spices. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty effervescent, actually. With an ABV of 7.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very delicious beer. Too bad it's not brewed anymore, as I'd certainly like to get it again!
Jan 15, 2015
Rated: 3.76 by Cairncad from Massachusetts

Dec 13, 2014
Rated: 4 by Wiz99 from Minnesota

Nov 21, 2014
Rated: 5 by LoranDrinksBeer from South Carolina

Oct 25, 2014
Rated: 4.22 by 80x2HopHead from Vermont

Oct 20, 2014
Photo of jellikit
Reviewed by jellikit from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
Appearance: copper. Mostly clear. Super thin head. Super thin lacing.
Smell: cinnamon. Nutmeg. Clove.
Taste: same as smell, with a little alcohol backer.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium body. Slightly sweet, mostly dry.
Overall: great pumpkin beer. And I don't like pumpkin in my beer.
Oct 18, 2014
Rated: 4 by BH712 from District of Columbia

Oct 03, 2014
Rated: 4.16 by Anaxagoris from Washington

Sep 24, 2014
Rated: 4 by ScottJWing from Ohio

Sep 02, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by malfunxion from New York

Aug 26, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by wrightst from Maryland

Jun 28, 2014
Rated: 4 by Stephen_Purdue from Washington

Jun 26, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by DaveRinn from Washington

Jan 09, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Lare453 from Florida

Oct 27, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by vermilcj from Ohio

Oct 17, 2013
Rated: 4 by Needmorebeer312 from Washington

Oct 04, 2013
Photo of Billolick
Reviewed by Billolick from New York

3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bomber bottle, w/o freshness/bottling info that I can find.

Pours clouded dark orangy/brownish amber, minor hear that goes quickly and leaves next to no lace on the glass.

Cinnamon all over the nose.

Healthy amount of pumpkin and even more cinnamon on the palate. Carbonation seemingly on the low side. Smooth and enjoyable cinnamon provides a nice zestyness to the the finish.

A bargain and certainly worth trying at only $2.49 at Pioneer market on the UWS of NYC.
Sep 29, 2013
Rated: 4 by brinkdeer from Washington

Sep 28, 2013
Photo of twiggamortis420
Reviewed by twiggamortis420 from Texas

4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
22 oz bottle courtesy of Dana pours a murky orange color with a small collar of bubbly head.

Smells like cinnamon honey! Like toast in the morning with butter, cinnamon and pie spices. Smells really good.

Tastes like a bowl of Golden Grahams with some raisins and honey drizzled on top. A unique (and sweet) take on the style...low on the clove/nutmeg spices and big on the cinnamon and honey. I liked it quite a bit...went down very easily.
Sep 09, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by mtalley999 from Maryland

Sep 07, 2013
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Reviewed by Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Appearance: Clear rich burnt orange. Head is small and wispy with almost no retention. No lacing with a moderate carbonation.

Smell: Loaded with spicy cinnamon. Some softer typical spice profile, including cinnamon and allspice. Nice push of squashy pumpkin. Malts are lightly sweet with a slight biscuity and caramelized undertone. Minimal hopping, slight hints of citrus and earth. So much cinnamon, but it's spicy sweet, rather delightful.

Taste: Nicely balanced approach. Malts are lightly sweet with come caramelized malts. A tiny but bready with a soft hint of earth from the hops. Squashy pumpkin runs through the back with a nice compliment of nutmeg and allspice. Cinnamon plays up front here, but it's spicy sweet, almost like a Red Hot candy, but not quite that sweet. Warming drops out some of the cinnamon, leaving a heavyish spice profile over a mellow squashy pumpkin. Mild sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slightly below average carbonation. Clean and easy drinking.

Overall: Scorch the earth and come back for more.

Oh hey, Elysian can make pumpkin beer. Always and forever. The cinnamon is unique and well placed.
Aug 17, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by Bandi from New York

Jul 01, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A: Pours a hazy orange amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some copper highlights. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of cinnamon with lighter notes of other pumpkin spices (nutmeg) and just a hint of pumpkin.

T: Moderate flavors of cinnamon dominate the taste of this beer but that is over the top of lighter notes of pumpkin and just an hint of nutmeg. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade very quickly.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: As someone that really enjoys cinnamon, this beer did a great job of showing off the flavors and aromas of the cinnamon in a pumpkin beer without being overly sweet. I really enjoyed this one and would gladly have another if I ever find it again.
Jun 30, 2013
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by metter98 from New York

4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin spices are present in the nose - cinnamon seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the cinnamon flavors are a litte subdued and there are also notes of pumpkins.
M: It feels nearly light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer because it wasn't sweet and had really pleasant flavors of cinnamon that weren't overdone.
Jun 29, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by jagada from Pennsylvania

Jun 20, 2013
Rated: 4 by djre4orm from Virginia

Jun 13, 2013
Rated: 5 by NessaHilling from West Virginia

May 18, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by scm2787 from Texas

May 11, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by twenty5 from Pennsylvania

May 10, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by SeaAle from Oregon

Apr 16, 2013
Photo of flagmantho
Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. For whatever reason, I did not get a hold of Blight back when it came out in September 2012, so this is the last of the Apocalypse series I've tried. I must admit I'm looking forward to it. Elysian tends to do up their pumpkin brews right.

Appearance: lightly hazy orange hue with a light effervescence and plenty of floaties in the body. Head is a finger of frothy tan foam with a hint of an orange cast. Not bad!

Smell: sweet aroma with lots of cinnamon and a hint of pumpkin undertones. I must admit the overall effect is one of cinnamon-laced breakfast cereal; indeed, the suggestion is almost apple-cinnamon. Very interesting; weird, but not bad.

Taste: wow, at first taste I wasn't entirely impressed but as the flavor develops, I kind of like it. The aftertaste, especially, captures a wonderful cinnamon character with just a hint of pumpkin (and perhaps not a little of the aforementioned suggestion of apple). A bit sweet, but the sweetness is appropriate here.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and a reasonable creaminess. Not bad.

Overall: this is a beer about which I'm not sure how to feel. On paper, it's certainly a "meh", but this cinnamon character is absolutely intriguing. Definitely worth a try if you come across it.
Apr 10, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Apr 05, 2013
Rated: 4 by imperialking from Illinois

Mar 05, 2013
Blight from Elysian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 86 ratings