Tasting: September 8, 2012
A recommendation is only as good as the source. I still get flak about buying a case of Fegley’s Hopsolutely just because the clerk at Shangeys said, “if you like Hopslam – then you will definitely love Hopsolutely”. Craig used it to make his corned beef. John gave his share away to unsuspecting victims. I kept trying to convince myself that each bottle couldn’t be as bad as the last bottle but each one was as bad as the last.
Before you take my recommendations or anyone else’s advice for that matter, make sure your own palate wheelhouse aligns with the source. Take it with a grain of salt when I don’t speak highly of a wheat beer or a pumpkin ale. I urge you to find out for yourself. By now, you should know that I’m not a fan of pumpkin ales. However, I do have one that I might call better than the mediocre pack and that’s Southern Tier’s Pumking (a Matt recommendation – thanks). I was speaking with a clerk at Wine & Beverage Depot and he said, “I don’t like pumpkin ale, but I like Pumking and Schafly’s pumpkin ale. Okay, maybe sooner or later, I’ll find one I like as much as Pumking.
Unlike a lot of other pumpkin ales — Schlafly Pumpkin actually lists pumpkin as an ingredient. Uh-oh, the aroma is dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg. The one thing I hate about pumpkin ales is that they really are just spiced ales. First sip — same spices front and center — yet a quick burst of genuine pumpkin flavor pops in and out as quickly as it came. I’ll have to agree — this is one is one is a better example of a pumpkin ale. ABV is 8% and the mouthfeel is quite nice. The spices aren’t obnoxious but I do wish they were toned down a little more and the pumpkin was throttled up a bit more. Not bad – 86 points.
Only one more pumpkin ale in my fridge — actually it’s made with yams. Stay tuned.