Some may seek Pliny the Elder, others may yearn for Heady Topper. Me? My white whale has been Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale.
Yes, I know it’s doesn’t exactly receive the otherworldly hype of the other two, but for the gourd-head I am, it’s been a longtime coming to get my hands on this beer, which scores a 94 on Beer Advocate. *raises fist and shakes hand at the Gods of Distribution*
Lucky for me, this beer lives up to the hype.
While not a spice bomb, the smell of Schlafly’s brew is full of aromas you’d expect when pulling a pumpkin pie from the oven – nutmeg, clove and a strong whiff of cinnamon that just rocks. I’d liken it to french toast.
The spice combo carries throughout each sip, leaving an aftertaste of sweet, spiced pie. At 8 percent ABV, there was a bit of a boozy note on my first sip, but that disappeared quickly.
For those who are turned off by the intensity of Pumking, I highly recommend this beer, which comes off as more “natural” compared to its monarch counterpart. I may actually like the smell of Schlafly better than Pumking, but it’s missing the “crusty” flavor that Southern Tier nails so well.
All the same, it’s earned a top-notch rating on the pie slice scale:
But wait, BONUS PUMPKIN BEER!
He Said Tripel
I wasn’t sure if this was going to appear in my local bottle shop. San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Seattle’s Elysian Brewing got together to create a pair of pumpkin-laced brews – one a baltic porter, the other a tripel. Both were brewed with pumpkin and spices.
I wanted to highlight the tripel because while it contains pumpkin ale ingredients, I’d argue it’s more tripel than anything … and that’s OK.
It’s very sweet with noticeable Belgian candi sugar and Trappist ale yeast giving it a little fruity flavor. There’s maybe a touch of spice smell, but I didn’t really get any pumpkin aspects until the very bottom of the glass after it had been sitting for a while and warmed. I actually think this brew may be perfect to drink with a Thanksgiving meal, if you can keep it around long enough.
Best part of this beer, however, is it’s clarity. Here’s looking at you, beer.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac