Aging pumpkin beers

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by raczkowski, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. raczkowski

    raczkowski Disciple (324) May 16, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone tried this? I have some leftover from last year and plan on doing a side by side to see the difference. Just curious if anyone has cellared some of these.
  2. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio

    I have heard mixed opinions about people's experience with aging pumpkin beers, but generally you don't want to age them. Spice-heavy beers like that will lose their spice over time.

    Rumpkin would be the only pumpkin beer that I would consider aging.
    jbeezification and quirkzoo like this.
  3. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (345) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    I had a two year old Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin the other night, it was still very strong on the nutmeg. I'd say the higher ABV beers should hold up alright.
  4. PGHbeer77

    PGHbeer77 Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I bought a couple Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale bottles this past March on sale for $5 a piece. They weren't bad. I'm glad I bought them at almost half off (PA prices suck). But even at about 6 months they were starting to fall apart. The spices were muddied, and the pumpkin flavor wasn't as crisp.

    I know different brews will age differently, and different people will prefer different things, but this 8.4% double pumpkin, IMO, is best fresh.
  5. Moc513

    Moc513 Aspirant (262) May 24, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    I aged a Southern Tier Pumking for a year and it was delicious. The flavors mellowed out a little bit but overall still had great balance and taste. I actually enjoyed my year old one better than the 2012 one.
  6. davey101

    davey101 Meyvn (1,080) Apr 14, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I always lay down a four pack or two of DFH punkin ale to space out in the off season. I enjoy it, but it does lose a bit of that spice and pizazz. Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela is a pumpkin beer that I would highly recommend aging. Its basically a sasion brewed with pumpkin and spices and the year old bottle I tried was beyond phenomenal!

    Averwo likes this.
  7. crusian

    crusian Crusader (738) May 14, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Divine reserve 9 or pumpkinator cellars really well!
  8. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio

    Ah, forgot about La Parcela!

    This is just making me even more excited about Fall.
  9. JohnB87

    JohnB87 Initiate (0) Mar 14, 2011 Michigan

    Great to hear! I have a La Parcela from last year that I never got around to. I also have a few Weyerbacher Imperials that I'm nervous about.
  10. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2010 California

    I have a 2010 Autumn Maple that I don't really have high hopes for.
  11. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've got a 2011 Pumking that I haven't cracked yet... My buddy had one and said it was still pretty damn good.
  12. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Aspirant (233) Jun 2, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm sitting on a Bourbon Greater Pumpkin. I hope that one works out well.

    - Joe
  13. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug Disciple (370) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin ages fairly well. Of course, it's 9+% abv too...
    floridadrift likes this.
  14. Rob1110

    Rob1110 Initiate (62) Jul 7, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Pumpking ages really well. I personally think it's much better with a year than it is fresh. I've got Pumpkin tastings lined up for this year and next year already:

    This year: 2010, 2011 and 2012 Pumpking Vertical, 2011 Rumpkin, 2011 Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin and Greater Pumpkin, 2011 Oak Jacked and a 2011 Homebrew Pumpkin.

    Next year: 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pupmking, 2011 Rumpkin (and 2012 if I get more this year), 2011 Ghoulschip, 2011 Oak Jacked and whatever else I collect this year.

    As was already stated, the high alcohol beers tend to take well to a year in the cellar.
    FreshmanPour77 likes this.
  15. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (345) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    It does awesome, I've aged a few each year and the bourbon really shines as it gets older. The pumpkin spices fade, but it's a nice changeup.
  16. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (345) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    Eek. That beer was just weird from the get go, maybe a year or two will do something to improve it. Can't get any worse.
  17. smutty33

    smutty33 Zealot (583) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I had a 2011 about a month ago and it still was pretty tasty.Def. loses a lil' somethin in over all flavor but still,it tasted good enough as I was able to have some Pumking in late june............:wink:

  18. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (345) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    Pumpking is so over the top in spice I can see it taking a while to fall apart. Much like the Creme Brulee, Choklat, and other big beers they actually could use some mellowing.
  19. hiphopj5

    hiphopj5 Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2010 Colorado

    Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin ages well.
    floridadrift likes this.
  20. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    My homebrewed "fall seasonal" every year is a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale, made specifically to be cellared year-round to crack open when a harvest mood strikes. I have a few years worth.

    Basically, they age like any other beer. The malt becomes more pronounced, hops, spices and pumpkin flavors fade slowly over the course of like, 1-2 years maybe, depending on how much is used and how they're stored. It works best with higher ABV beers, though, Pumking being a prime candidate.
    FreshmanPour77 likes this.
  21. birchstick

    birchstick Poo-Bah (1,666) Sep 2, 2007 Colorado

    ^^what he said^^. I just had a 1 year old Schlafly Pumpkin, and although it was still pretty good, it wasn't as good as it is fresh - spices dropped and melded together more, malt came more forward in it.
  22. Jfriz25

    Jfriz25 Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I feel the opposite about Pumking. I found one of last years that had been sitting on the shelf at the store and I wasn't impressed. Yesterday a buddy and I bought a fresh one and it was teriffic. Totally changed my mind.
  23. sweatervest27

    sweatervest27 Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2009 Ohio

    I've found that pumpkin stouts age amazingly well. In fact, I noticed an increase in spice profile integration in both year old treat and dark o the moon. Any big fall beer should age nicely.
  24. birchstick

    birchstick Poo-Bah (1,666) Sep 2, 2007 Colorado

    Had a year old DFH Punkin tonight in the spirit of this thread and out of curiousity. Like the Schlafly I had a couple of nights ago, the spices have noticeably faded and the malts have come more forward. This points further to drinking pumpkin ales in season.
  25. FullObs

    FullObs Disciple (334) Jul 27, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Just had a pumking from last yr and it was not good imo. Fresh it is may fav pumpkin beer
  26. FreshmanPour77

    FreshmanPour77 Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 Minnesota

    I personally like fresh and aged Pumking. I have a three vertical that I will crack open soon enough. To the OP, depending on the brew you had from last year. Buy one that is fresh for this year and compare. Please post your thoughts on how it turned out.

  27. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (331) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    It can't get any worse.
  28. mgp2675

    mgp2675 Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 New Jersey

    I've never really understood the point of this, pumpkin beers are so great fresh. The spices and everything wouldn't get any stronger and they get released annually.
  29. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    I have aged this one also ...Much success !!
  30. csano

    csano Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2010 Washington

    I don't think it's about the flavors becoming stronger, but rather allowing the stronger flavors to mellow out a little bit. As an example, I think Creme Brulee is too sweet when fresh, but with some age on it, it's a little bit more drinkable.
    WastingFreetime likes this.
  31. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    I had a 2010 and a 2011 last fall... and the 2010 was far superior imho!
  32. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Southern Tier beers do not age well. Especially the Pumpkin. I had a 3 year old bottle a few years back that might be the worst beer I have ever tried. Rotten pumpkins and cardboard. Any of there diabetes sweet beers (mokka Creme Brulet Chocolate ect) are the same. UGH. Seriously overated brewery.
  33. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2010 California

    That's great to know. I love the beer fresh, but the consensus seems to be that it doesn't age well.
  34. mgp2675

    mgp2675 Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 New Jersey

    ...But Creme Brulee is not a pumpkin beer. Let's try to stay on topic :wink:
    csano likes this.
  35. urdaddy117

    urdaddy117 Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2012

    I just bought some pumpkinator and im getting mixed reviews. Should i age them in the fridge or should i keep them in a dark cool place. I always thought it was better to leave them in the dark.
  36. PGHbeer77

    PGHbeer77 Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    As always, drink one and ask yourself if there is anything that could improve with age. If the answer is no, just drink them. If the answer is yes, age them for a while.

    For example, I just tried a sixer of The Fear by Flying Dog, an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I thought it was way too boozy fresh. I drank a second one just to confirm (always a fun practice), and put the other four in the cellar. I'll try one at 6 months, one at a year, one at 18 months, and finally, the last at two years.

    As for Pumpkinator, I like it fresh, but that's just my opinion. You might think it's too spicy or something or the other.
  37. AndyAvalanche

    AndyAvalanche Savant (994) Jun 16, 2008 Massachusetts

    I've had Pumpking that was a year (or roughly that much) old and I liked it about the same. I've aged Cape Anne regular pumpkin stout and it was a disaster. Have last year's Imperial Pumpkin stout haven't cracked it yet.
  38. szmnnl99

    szmnnl99 Crusader (701) Apr 3, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Pumking was great after a year, I couldn't discern much of a change.
  39. strangebrew321

    strangebrew321 Disciple (313) Feb 18, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    From what I've noticed, pumpkin beers don't improve with age. Just did a Schlafly '11 and '12 side by side and nobody seemed to enjoy the '11. I won't ever cellar pumpkin beers anymore, except for Rumpkin, what a hot mess......
  40. seplo

    seplo Disciple (376) Sep 8, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    i think there are some out there that definitly do get better with age..i.e. get more pumpkin flavor. but some wont, i think it all has to do with the abv and if its bottle conditioned, the only way to find out is to do it, im on the east coast so i know what i can and cant age. also i personally never age them more than a yr....CHEERS
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