Did we mention that we were geeks? It’s Halloween, and we couldn’t resist the urge to bring some sci-fi edge to make today a little extra special. So Rick did us the pleasure of arting it up and giving us a little alien abduction of our own.  We hope you all had a safe and awesome holiday weekend (and I’m sure a lot of you will be venturing out tonight as well, so drink responsibly!). It’s worth mentioning that we’re doing a little free giveaway contest, since we are a pumpkin themed blog. So if you haven’t yet, snap a pic of your carved jack o’lantern, and send it over to greatpumpkinbeerreview@gmail.com. We’ll pick a winner on November. 2 and it’ll score you a free shirt!

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Name:  UFO Pumpkin

Place of Origin / Brewer: Massachusetts, USA / Harpoon Brewery

Beer style / ABV%:  Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale / 5.9%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Fresh pumpkin and a hefty Munich, German, and Vienna malt focus blends with northwestern hops and a blend of spices to make this unfiltered ale ideal for pairing with Turkey, Lamb, and Desserts.

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Packaging:

Fairly simple in it’s design.  The type takes up most of the label with a nondescript happy looking jack-o-lantern pasted right in the center. – Rick

We are reminded twice that this is an unfiltered offering (UFO), giving me the impression of a very detailed beer with a lot of character.  Also, maybe it’s just the name, or it could be the faint sky like details of the label but I feel like I should be searching for crop circles. – Brittney

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Color:  6.5

Pours a hazy unfiltered burnt copper with a creamy beige head that leaves some minor lacing – Tim

Mustard Yellow and pumpkin rind define this pleasantly foggy soup of a beverage, with a hefty, if rapidly vanishing head. – Mike

This has a nice aged pumpkin rustic appearance that looks like a dark burnt umber.  In conjunction with the fluffy head and unfiltered body, it all adds up to be very appealing. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 7 / B- 6.5 / R- 6

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Aroma: 5.0

This area turned out to be kind of boring for me.  It starts off a little musty, and I found more malts than pumpkin ale on the nose.  If the sweet spices are there, I’m having a hard time finding them. – Rick

Like cold pumpkin soup, I smell raw pumpkin right from the start with just a touch of light spice. It’s very vegetal and squashy. – Brittney

A notion of cinnamon and nutmeg waft over muted hops and a smear of brown sugar here. The pumpkin element is ill defined and definitely leans towards a more vegetal acorn squash vibe. – Mike

M- 4.5 / T- 4.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 4

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Mouth feel: 5.5

A solid bodied ale that doesn’t let a specific trait define it, but rather allows a number elements to emerge if you let it rest in your mouth, almost like channel surfing pumpkin beer. – Mike

Light bodied with distinguished carbonation,  but overall it’s a bit to watery for my tastes. – Tim

M- 6.5 / T- 3 / B- 7 / R- 5.5

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Tasting notes: 5.5

Notes of banana bread, sweet malts and pumpkin mash, but once again very little spice and a surprisingly tart astringency.  Frankly I expected a lot more depth of flavor since this batch is unfiltered, but the lightness of the body, really makes this like drinking a bland pumpkin flavored water. – Tim

There’s a pleasant surprise here, as the sweetness of brown sugar / cinnamon compliment a baked squash sensibility. There’s an inkling of the nutmeg pie spice element as well, but it really comes off to me as less of a dessert, and more of a freshly baked vegetable side. The hops in particular support this nicely, and it’s an interesting, as well as pleasing difference of take. – Mike

There is a slim bite from this beer, but it’s mainly from the carbonation.  It’s very light on the spices, but this makes way for the pumpkin to flourish.  It’s a tad sour with a hint of clove which keeps it on the drier side of the spectrum.  It’s a good beer but lacks a major defining pumpkin characteristic. – Rick

I don’t taste high notes of anything other than ale here.A very good drinkable ale.  At a stretch, very light pumpkin and very light spice. If you are looking for fall in a glass or pumpkin pie in a pint, this is not it. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 3 / B- 6 / R- 4.5

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Finish: 5

I’m noticing trace amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon on the finish, right at the end.  It has a good bite from the minimal hops also.  I like the smooth finish, but I’m left with a clovy aftertaste. – Rick

The pumpkin-squash approach follows you to the finish line, that’s mostly smooth, but has that spiced snap at the end we’ve become so familiar with. – Mike

M- 5 / T- 3.5 / B- 6 / R- 6

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Flavor balance:6

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

Heavier on the raw earthy pumpkin end than the spice but both could be a lot heavier.  – Brittney

I actually get a lot of pleasant pumpkin flavor from the beer and the astringency adds a freshness to the mix, but nutmeg is the only prominent spice on show and even that is lacking. – Tim

The pumpkin flavor holds a nice dominant position over the minimal spicing that’s just noticeable.  It’s a good balance, but this ale suffers from it’s lack of sweet spices. – Rick

M- 8.5  / T- 4.5 / B- 5 / R- 5.5

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

The sweetness is definitely restrained, but not to the point of absence, but certainly subtle. – Mike

While it’s not exactly too sweet in any way, I found this beer could use a bit more dryness.  Maybe the malts are overused here instead of spice. – Rick

M- 6.5  / T- 4.5 / B- 6 / R- 6.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?

It’s a nice smooth brew that’s a great introduction to pumpkin ales, but misses the mark in what can be offered from this genre of beer. – Rick

It’s certainly easy going, and the different approach here will appeal to some people that don’t dig the pumpkin pie beer vibe. – Mike

Sure, it’s a great beer; I would enjoy a few of these all year round.  Multiple drink-ability as a pumpkin beer? Probably not. – Brittney

M- 6 / T- 2 / B- 6 / R- 6.5

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Overall: 5.58

M- 6.17 / T- 4.08 / B- 6.42 / R- 5.42

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