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Name: Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Colorado, USA – Tommyknocker Brewery

Beer style / ABV%:  Brown Ale, 5.0%

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Hailing from the mountain town of Idaho Springs, Colorado this mining themed harvest libation features pumpkin with a touch of spice, and interestingly, molasses, brewed in the spirit of the elusive Tommy knockers, elfin creature who protected miners and caused mischief.

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Packaging:

Nice design work featuring the Tommy knocker elf as a throwback to the brewery’s mining heritage. The color is the only thing that really gives it away as a pumpkin beer though. It could be easy to miss this one on a crowded shelf. – Mike

Maintaining branding with their other beers, the Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale is a graphics driven label focused on fonts.  But that’s not a negative criticism. The very ‘pumpkin’ base of the label offset with the lighter orange and the deep green makes for a very appealing and clean design and the ragged styling of the fonts, easily conveys the DIY craft ethic behind the brewery. – Tim

Not particularly eye-catching in any way, but there’s interesting background patterns,  texture on the lettering, and the muted elf drawing which together save the label from being too boring. – Erich

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Color: 7

This is a gorgeous brown ale with hints of amber and red, much deeper than I had anticipated since the beer doesn’t specifically identify itself as a brown. A moderate pour gives off a single-finger creamy foam head, that settles down to a simple white ring, with very little lacing – Tim

Not what I expected from a pumpkin ale at all.  Strong, dark coloration really compliments the use of molasses as a major ingredient.  The head had a nice frothy appearance that was light and airy. – Rick

Deep burnt amber with fiery hues. Almost filtering out all light. Perhaps a quality of the molasses?  – Mike

M – 6 / T- 7.5 / K- 8 / R-6  / E – 6

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Aroma: 5.5

A pleasant hue of cinnamon on the nose. Clove is present but not screaming. Just a hint of allspice. It’s very subdued though. Reminiscent of that single slice of leftover pumpkin pie when you pull the saran wrap off the next day. – Mike

Pumpkin and Cinnamon ease forward as the most recognizable specialty elements, but the balance is especially in-line with the nutty and sticky sensations one would expect from a brown ale. – Tim

Very little scent comes off this ale. Though, from what I can smell it’s a very light hint of molasses. – Keenan

M – 3.5 / T- 6.5 / K- 5.5 / R-  5.5/ E – 6

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Mouth feel: 7

Creamy and smooth as all get out. Very light and refreshing. – Mike

Very soft and smooth. Goes down just as well. Perhaps one of the smoothest beers I have ever tasted. – Keenan

Expecting a more syrupy feel due to the molasses, but this was surprisingly a bit watery.  The spices tickle a bit, but never become astringent.  – Erich

M – 6 / T- 7 / K- 10  / R- 7 / E – 5

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Tasting notes: 7

A perfect way of showing off pumpkin in a new light! The molasses complements the pumpkin and spices wonderfully with a very light and rich taste. This will be a treat for lighter beer drinkers. – Keenan

Serving as quite the conundrum, Tommyknocker have crafted themselves a pumpkin ale that I’m not sure I’d leap right out and certify as a pumpkin ale.  It is however a really fine brown ale.  The pumpkin notes are subtle and mostly in the nose.  You get a touch, and I mean a touch, of the cinnamon again as it passes the lips, but overall the malt, the slight sweetness, and depth from the molasses, seem to be masking the overall pumpkiness–perhaps to the detriment of tradition–however, if the exception to the rule is this good, I’m not going to take them to task too much for it. – Tim

What’s nice here is that in terms of pumpkin and spices, nothing stands out too strongly.  Where in other  pumpkin brews the cinnamon or nutmeg really stand out, there’s a nice medley of different spices here that make the Tommyknocker more complex and also more subtle.  I get more allspice and cumin in the mix and that helps this brew stand out.  The base strikes me as a typical brown ale, souped up with pumpkin and spices. – Erich

M – 6.5 / T- 7 / K- 8 / R- 6 / E – 6

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Finish: 7.5

The creaminess from the mouth lingers pleasantly leaving an aftertaste of cool whip with the allspice and nutmeg popping at the end. Might be subdued for some, but I really enjoyed it. – Mike

Smooth finish that lingers long on the tongue with a touch of sweet and a touch of sour that had me headed back to the glass for another sip.  Faint spices again at the close, make me think that Tommyknocker means for this beer to be very restrained. If that is the case, then bravo, they have delivered discretion in spades. – Tim

A smooth ale with a smoky finish makes this beer easy to enjoy. – Rick

M – 7.5 / T- 7 / K- 9.5 / R- 6.5 / E – 6

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Flavor balance: 7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:6

It’s easy on the pumpkin, but what really makes this beer stand out is the balancing of the spices and molasses. – Rick

M – 5.5 / T- 4 / K- 7 / R- 6 / E – 8

–         Sweet / Dry balance:8

This is a superior example of a well-crafted brown ale, with the molasses providing just the right amounts of sweetness.  Well done indeed. – Tim

M – 8 / T- 7 / K- 9 / R- 7 / E – 8

–         Multiple Drinkability? 8

The spices don’t dominate or build too heavily on the palate, and the lingering maltiness is pleasantly subtle.  While it may not be all that memorable of a beer, it is very easy to put away a few in a short time span. – Erich

M – 8.5 / T- 6.5 / K- 10 / R- 6.5 / E – 9

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Overall: 6.92

M – 6.17 / T- 6.67 / K- 8.42 / R- 6.25 / E – 6.25

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