08 October 2012

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Julia got me a pair of acrylic skull mugs, which I have used here for the purpose of pouring a Halloween themed beer. Some would say that the Scandinavian version of cheers (Skål!) is derived from the word for skull and thus represents drinking from the hollowed out bones of your enemy. The words are related but not that closely...

For a party this weekend I was told to bring regular Sam Adams lager. I did that, but also brought along a sixer of their Pumpkin Ale, looking for something seasonal and also an opportunity to celebrate the rich history of pumpkin beers. Our founding fathers often had to use strange ingredients in order to fill up the beer barrels.

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale
5.7% abv
14 IBUs (not a bitter beer at all)

Sam Adams does a great job of documenting the production details online, which is how I know that the hops used in this beer are East Kent Goldings and English Fuggles, which sound like two rival primary school soccer teams. This one has a pronounced pumpkin aroma and flavor, with that little sour tang of cooked squash flesh.

The dominant flavors come from the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, which in addition to a pumpkin pie profile also provide a nice little bite to the beer. This is delicious and well worth checking out if you've never had a pumpkin ale before. We had it on a cold and rainy night with four or five different pizzas, and everyone enjoyed it.