Today’s brew pay’s homage to quite a few things we can all relate to for Halloween. Not wanting to pay our bar tabs, regrets, tricking people until they kick you out of their home.

Er, what I’m trying to say is, Ole’ Stingy Jack, the basis for the Jack O’Lantern legend, is well represented here, and it’s certainly an important one that references so many Halloween traditions. Thankfully, somewhere along the way, that lantern became a pumpkin, or we’d all be drinking turnip beer.

It also presents a great lesson: You might be smarter than the devil, but you’re probably too smart for your own good.

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Name:  Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Oregon, USA / Laurelwood Brewing Co.

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 7.5%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  This amber colored brew was created with roasted whole pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds, organic pumpkin puree, and a touch of spices to create a subtle and delicious brew.

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Packaging:

I’m  a bit of a pumpkin carving fiend, whose been known to turn a gourd or two into the dastardly visage of Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie.  So, this classic black and orange label with a smiling carved Jack O’ Lantern and highlights of white and yellow and bats is right up my alley.  I’ll bet carving those teeth to say “Jack” would be a royal pain. – Tim

A simplistic shadowing of a hobo-like carved pumpkin (or as some might say Jack-o-lantern) rests on a knife. Makes you wonder where he left his bindle or when the next train might be coming by. – Brittney

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Color:  7

It’s your average coppery orange color, nothing too special. It has a light, roasted pumpkin appearance to it while staying fairly translucent. The head wasn’t very impressive as it quickly settles down to a thin ring. – Rick

A hazy amber pour that looks like an autumn sunset reveals some wisps of sediment in the glass.  A light cream, single-finger head hangs on for a few fleeting moments before settling down to a nice ring, with some light lacing.  – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 7 / B- 7 / R- 5

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Aroma:  6.5

Nutmeg substantially dominates this old nose, with a touch of burning candle in the lantern to boot (i.e. a roasting, but not charred pumpkin). It’s not overtly fragrant, but what is wafting off is definitely alluring. – Mike

I get a lot of the roasted quality to it right up front, an earthly floral hoppiness and a pleasant subtlety of the spice. – Brittney

M- 8.5 / T- 6 / B- 8 / R- 4.5

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Mouth feel:  7

It’s watery over the tongue and has a good light body. Not my favorite, but it works for a good subtle style. – Rick

The heavier end of medium hear, with a fantastic cream ale quality that makes it milky and nuanced. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 6

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Tasting notes:  7.5

A nice peppery-sweet explosion hiding under this somewhat vacant nose. Fruity pumpkin and almost basil notes prevail, giving this a vine ripened gourd vibe that takes me back to late autumn pumpkin patches of my childhood. Nice and leafy. – Mike

Sweet, pure, and earthy, with fresh pumpkin giving a raw vegetal brightness and herbal nature to the ale.  The spices are much more subdued here really allowing the pumpkin to shine.  This might be the most untainted pumpkin ale I’ve tasted.  Like it was brewed in the flesh of a 30 lb beast just to be tapped and served to me. The added hop bitterness is almost shocking since it’s such a foreign concept in the traditional style. – Tim

I will always appreciate a good vegetal pumpkin ale option. This isn’t just spice with a pumpkin nod.  This beer is a tribute to all parts of the pumpkin, even the stringy guts.  It doesn’t forget about being a beer with a slightly bitter hop and settles it all with a spice foundation that provides just enough excitement. – Brittney

There’s a nice pumpkin flavor, and nothing is too overwhelming here. I like that there is a nice play between the hops and malts, and the light body gives a nice vegetal quality to it. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 7.5 / B- 8 / R- 5.5

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Finish:  7

Creamy and vegetal, there’s an outstanding herbal hop bitterness here. It’s like picking up ripe pumpkin guts and breathing in. – Mike

Mid-to-long finish still falling down on the sweeter side of the fence, but with a shine from the hops adding a flowery dryness and a stroke of astringency.  – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 7 / B- 7 / R- 5

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Flavor balance:  7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7

Traditional spice plays an accompanying part here, but the herbal hop qualities more than make up for it. – Mike

As much as I’m kind of shockingly in love with the raw pumpkin aspects of this ale, the spice level is far too subtle for me to dare call it balanced.  But, hey sometimes I like things a little off kilter. – Tim

M- 8 / T- 5 / B- 8 / R- 6.5

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 7

A great sweetness backed by a dry finish makes each sip very rewarding. – Rick

A strangely soft, sweet edge to ale, that tends to lean to a earthy bitterness. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 5.5 / B- 7 / R- 7.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?  8

I’d call this a “change of pace beer” one that I’d revisit when my palate gets burned out on “standard” pumpkin beers.  It has something different to offer and that makes it special. With 7.5% ABV and the more aggressive notes from the raw gourd and the hops, I wouldn’t session it, but I’d break up another night or two of drinking with a bottle if I had one. – Tim

Easy drinking session ahead. Light a lantern to find your way home. You’ll be walking. – Mike

M- 9.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 7 / R- 8

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Overall:  7.08

M- 8.25 / T- 6.75 / B- 7.42 / R- 5.58

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