Sunday, November 12, 2006

Post on Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Ok, ok, it's been a few weeks but I'm back and ready to share something new of hops and malts. Very little on the hops however when it comes to speaking about this next craft beer.

Yes, it's November. Yes, Halloween's already past (two weeks now). But, so what? It's still Fall and what's coming up next? That's right, Thanksgiving. And while Halloween is all about Tricks or Treats and carving pumpkins, Thanksgiving is all about eating pumpkins (typically in the form of pie but in this case, I'll be reviewing the liquid version).

So enough of the small talk. Let's get to this week's feature sampling. I've been able to find and sieze a reasonably $33.00 priced case of Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Post Road is essentially a spin-off of Garrett Oliver's Brooklyn Brewery. If you are somewhat familiar with Garrett and his Brooklyn beers, you know that high quality, flavorful and innovative microbrews are what you'll get in just about anything offered there. Here with Post Road is not all that much different.

I tasted this one first at about 55 degrees in a standard 16oz. pub glass, nothing fancy here. This brew ended up pouring out with a coppery/burnt orangy color with not a whole heck of a lot of head. I'd say about 3/4 finger and quickly extinct. Kinda disappointing right off the start there. Well, I'm here to drink it not to stare. Good thing for me.

Tasting it was just as pumpkiny (is that a word) as I thought and hoped it would be. Very, very good pumpkin flavor. I liked it, I liked it alot. Just a twinge of nutmeg/cinnamon poking out in the background but overall, I could very easily tell this was a traditional pumpkin ale and not some holiday spice wannabe.

I really liked the way this one smelled. Overall, I thought that it essentially smelled as close to pumpkin pie as just about anything I'd ever tried (other than actual pumpkin pie that is). Sure it had some spicieness to the aroma but predominantly, I smelled pumpkin. So often in many pumpkin beer offerings from microbreweries, everything seems overwhelmed in spices, spices, spices. Pumpkin sometimes seems an afterthought. Not so with Post Road. Pumpkin rules the day here.

The carbonation seemed right on to me for the style. Drinkability is fair to good but I think this description doesn't do it justice because in my opinion, pumpkin/spiced ales just don't have alot of high drinkability in many cases (meaning I'd probably try one and not want another, even if I liked it). Too much of a good thing to continue? Maybe, maybe just too rich for my taste.

Anyway, I really did like this beer and I think many looking for a good, true pumpkin flavored beer will enjoy this also. Again, you'll probably try it, like it, maybe have another and that's it. You'll be done. It's just not all that sessionable. But it's good and I'll have it again (I've got 23 more in my fridge now and only a week and a half til Thanksgiving to finish it!

One negative I will point out is that, for me, in the background, beneath the strong pumpkin sensation, I perceived this subtle taste that kept bugging me just a little. It reminded me of Yuengling lager. Yes, Yuengling lager. When I got that taste in my mouth, for whatever reason I got the idea imbedded in my brain that this was a beer, first and foremost, with pumpkin flavoring added. You know that whole "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" thing? It just gave me a subtle impression that all in all, everything just didn't result in a seamless integration of everything put into this beer.

My overall summary is, this beer is good. Above average I would say for the style (pumpkin ales being a niche style of their own). I did enjoy it. Very, very much...I would say no. But again, who's going to sit down and drink pumpkin beer all day, even on Thanksgiving. Nobody me thinks. But it is a very good representation of the style, and very good for the price I paid. Whether the case is gone by Thanksgiving or not, I just don't know, but I will continue to enjoy it, one Post Road Pumpkin Ale at a time.

My humble opinion will give Post Road Pumpkin Ale 6.50 out of 10 points. At a little over 5.0 alcohol by volume, this is a respectable craft beer for the style and one I would recommend to someone who is into microbrews and wants to try something different (remembering just aren't for everyone) so I'd expect a widely varying range of agreement/disagreement amongst the masses).


You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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