As we roll into the end of October, with Thanksgiving around the corner, we are sadly into the waning days of the pumpkin beer. Winter and holiday styles have already started showing up in my local beer store, considering pumpkin beers were being delivered in mid-July.
As a lover of all things pumpkin, this saddens me. I’ll only have my homemade pumpkin pies to keep my belly full until I give that up sometime in mid-winter. So, for now, I’m enjoying pumpkin beers while they still last. One of my favorite fall seasonals comes from a local brewery, Big Boss. The Raleigh-based brewery puts out Harvest Time, which currently sits at 85 on Beer Advocate and was even featured this week as one of “7 Great Pumpkin Beers” on MadeMen.com.
What does this ghoulish brew have to offer? Hit the jump to find out.
Let me start with this – I have never had a Big Boss beer I didn’t like. They consistently put out quality beers that taste great and are easy to drink. Harvest Time is no exception. The bottle you see above poured a great fall amber color with some haze and a head that barely woke up before it went back to sleep for the remainder of my time enjoying the glass. There was next to no lacing.
This was unfortunate because it could simply be the fact that this beer has been bottled for some time – once again, pumpkin beers in July – and it’s just a residual effect. Had I gotten more foam out of the pour, I imagine the aroma of this beer would’ve been even better. It was still solid, giving off scents of a rare pumpkin beer that offers true pumpkin smells and not just loads of spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. The pumpkin aroma of Harvest Time was very sweet, almost like candy, and had flashes of banana bread. I’m sure that pumpkin pie spices were hiding somewhere, but I couldn’t detect them easily.
The flavor was pretty much exactly what I would’ve wanted, offering straight pumpkin pie tastes – pumpkin, a little malt backbone for the “crust” and a touch of sweetness. Maybe it was the various aromas that came with it, but if I closed my eyes I could easily taste pie with whipped cream on top. Delicious. Harvest Time had a slight brown sugar aftertaste, which I would argue is damn fine considering the style.
Pumpkin beer season may be coming to an end, but I’ve still got four more of these waiting and even more (different) pumpkin beers to try.