Name:  Redhook Pumpkin Porter

Place of Origin / Brewer: New Hampshire, USA / Redhook Brewery

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Porter / 5.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Pureed pumpkin, light chocolate, munich, and caramel malts, roasted wheat, oats, and local malted barley come together in this dark draught, before it is light hopped with northern brewers hops. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are added during brewing, and maple syrup is added during fermentation.  It’s also worth noting that this is the fifth entry in their Brewery Backyard series.

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Packaging: Non-applicable. This sucker is only available on draft at the breweries Cataqua Pub in Portsmouth, NH and a few select north-eastern bars. (Unless you have a sweet blog and get a special bottling. Ba-zing!)

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Color:  7.5

Stout black, but if I hold it to the light it glows a ghostly amber. I have to say, the bold appearance of this brew makes me suspect that it has a bold character to it’s body. A vigorous pour will allow for a thick frothy cream colored head, and the lacing is pretty impressive, clinging to the glass the whole time. – Rick

As I poured it was almost like pouring a cola.  As the glass filled the color settled to a touch deeper chestnut with a slight beige head.  It’s a dark porter by color but you can still catch a glimpse of a trail or two of carbonation escaping to the top – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 7 / B- 8 / R- 7.5

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Aroma:  7.5

Earthy and robust with nutmeg and cinnamon in the nose, the spices are fairly pronounced giving me the feeling that looks had best not deceive me, and this better be a pretty rich beer if it’s going to hold up to the fragrance wafting off the head. – Tim

The smell is promising.  In a season that has been shall we say ‘unique’ in our usual definition of pumpkin beer, I really get the pumpkin and spices.  The only thing that sticks out as slightly different is a touch of a maple and caramel.  So far Red Hook is staying with the autumn spirit and I’m a fan. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 8 / R- 6

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Mouth feel:  6

A sizzling fizzy tingle that wraps the tongue in tiny bubbles. Medium bodied and avoiding any syrupy plaguing aspects.  I do wish we could have tried this one on tap, if only to get a bit more of a creamy nitro smoothness. – Mike

Lush and smooth, it coats the tongue.  Not so full bodied that I feel like have to think hard before I can swallow it, but definitely high on the fullness scale. It’s such a smooth beer, with just a hint of carbonation, that I fondly recall youthful efforts to drink certain other stouts/porters by leaving as few rings as possible on the glass. – Tim

M- 5.5 / T- 7 / B- 7 / R- 5

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Tasting notes:  7

An immense burst of pumpkin and cherry cola, the cinnamon becomes much more noticeable here. The maple sweetness is very much subdued, and to it’s credit, keeps this beer firmly in the porter category, allowing it to be a bit of passing sweet, rather than liquid pie spice. – Mike

There are a lot of flavors going on here all at once.  This makes a great tasting beer but it is sort of hard to grasp them all. The pumpkin and nutmeg are the front-runners, the caramel provides a smooth base and the cinnamon is sprinkled throughout.  I was worried that the maple could be an overly dominant flavor when brought into the equation but it just subtle enough to not overshadow. – Brittney

This beverage has a good pumpkin presence with a nice cinnamon spicing. Further inspection reveals a nice smoky body with a hint of clove and cocoa mingling about. About half way through the glass something strange happens to the flavor, kind of developing a cola flavor on the finish. Very strange, but not awful. – Rick

Concentrated notes of dark, caramel malts and a chocolate hit right off the bat. Roasted (almost caramelized) pumpkin accents a breath of cinnamon which is given the most prominent spice position in the body.  Just a hit of hoppy bitterness comes out on the end—making for a very complex overall experience. – Tim

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

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Finish:  7

Roasted nuts in a brown sugar glaze gives way to a slightly bitter wash that leaves the tongue feeling a bit dry, and begging for that next sip. – Mike

It’s got a great clean finish (I would have anticipated something much longer) with outstanding notes of coffee and ginger.  – Tim

I like the smoothness of this beer, but it tends to have a watery body that is lighter than expected. The finish is also where this bizarre hint of Dr. Pepper reveals itself, which wasn’t apparent in the beginning of the tasting. It just kind of developed about half way through. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 5.5

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Flavor balance:  7.5

-         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7.5

Very well balanced, almost too balanced for my liking.  I’m more of a frolic through the autumn fields grabbing one flavor at a time and appreciating it for all of its nuances before moving on to the next. This one puts you on the Autobahn and wishes you well. – Brittney

This is such a complex porter—with big bold flavors competing— it’s a testament that nothing really overpowers the beer. The spices in the nose are echoed to a lesser degree in the body and change up on the finish—while the overall essence of roasted pumpkins stays in harmony throughout.  It’s really a very nicely balanced beer. – Tim

Well in check, I’d go as far to say the real achievement in this brew is that nothing hides. Each element described is definitive, and unmasked by it’s other components. It’s like surround sound for your tongue. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

-         Sweet / Dry balance: 8

I like the light smoky body of this beer. The cocoa presence along with cinnamon and a little pumpkin really build upon the smokiness and create a nice balance. – Rick

I enjoyed the touch of sweet and finish of bitter in this beer a lot. Very polarized in it’s approach, it offers a unique experience that reminds me a bit of a pumpkin cola up front, and like a pumpkin coffee — black– on the backend. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 8 / R- 8

-         Multiple Drinkability?  7.5

I’m not going bananas over this beer, but it is up my alley. It definitely has some unique flavorings happening which makes it a little more interesting. – Rick

There are a lot of beers that I’d pair with food, but not a ton that I think would rock against a big bad Thanksgiving feast.  With the swagger on display here, I’d put this bad boy up against my mama’s gut buster spread any day.  And, you can imagine it’d take at least 2 or 3 of theses to get though all those carbs. – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 7 / R- 7.5

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Overall:  7.08

M- 7.25 / T- 7.50 / B- 7.42 / R- 6.33

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