Posts tagged ‘Blight’

2012 Rankings and the start of a new season

GPBR All Bottles 2

It’s that time again. We are sallying forth to acquire and consume more gourd infused carbs than any human rightfully should, with the noble goal of ranking it on a list face-off style. Of course, no comic book battle royale is complete without finding out who came out on top, so without further ado here are our rankings for the combined 2012 and 2011 beers we’ve covered so far. With 60 beers ranked, and a bevy of others pumpkin libations covered, it’s not an easy choice. In fact, we’ve got a couple of ties on the list, so don’t get confused by the funky numbering. Likewise, we’re also breaking down our top five personal picks, and our lowest ranking.
The battle isn’t over yet though. There’s a bevy of beverages coming up this season, and a few surprises in store as well. So stay tuned, and start picking up this year’s offerings. They’re already hitting the shelves.


Top 10 Beers to Date Score

10. Punkin Ale – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  Score: 7.58

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Named for Delaware’s famous Punkin’ Chunkin’ events (seriously cool if you’re a late comer to discovery channel this time of year) Dogfish took home first prize for this recipe 6 months before they opened for business in 1994. It’s brewed with the pumpkin meat straight up, organic brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Notable Quotes

“A very fine ale this is. It’s a well balanced beer that utilizes all senses to fully enjoy it. I enjoy the balance of malts and hops underneath the various spices that all come together to make this a great brew!”



7. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale – The St. Louis Brewery *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Schlafly is brewed with Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove, and features the use of Marynka hops, 2-row and Crystal malted barley, Munich malt, wheat malt, chocolate malt, and American Ale yeast, for a malty and slightly bitter backbone.

Notable Quotes

“The pumpkin at the front of this lulls you into a false ideal that this is a good representation of a pumpkin beer but nothing special. They then use the spice as their ace in the hole. It’s slightly over-whelming to the palate, but in a good way. This beer has just enough earthy pumpkin up front and an assault of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon at the end.”



7. Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin – Uinta Brewing *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Oak Jacked is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with Pumpkin and traditional spices (no specifics appear on the label). It’s then rested on Oak barrels to add bourbon and vanilla notes. A particularly cool aspect though, is that, along with all of Uinta’s other brews, it is brewed with 100% renewable power fed from solar and wind. There’s some great other green practices going on with this company as well, and for that, we applaud them.

Notable Quotes

“Boozy and opulent with notes of vanilla and oak. Rich and chewy like carrot cake with big, bold spices. Lots of nutmeg and clove—with dashes of cumin. The pumpkin is broad and full with a pronounced sweetness that envelops the notable alcohol content, back-end bitterness and a slight metallic touch.”

Oak Jacked WEB


7. Blight Pumpkin Ale – Elysian Brewing *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Blight is the 9th of Elysian’s 12 Beers of the Apocalypse that were released monthly throughout 2012. Each features a label borrowing graphics from native Seattle artist Charles Burn’s apocalyptic graphic novel “Blackhole”. The brew itself is made with pumpkin, dark brown sugar, and fiery Vietnamese cinnamon.

Notable Quotes

“Sweet, sweet sugary pumpkin with a PTSD inducing amount of brown sugar and Saigon cinnamon. That’s all. Seriously. It tastes amazing, but it almost shouldn’t count as beer. Kudos on the coalescence of flavors though, this could have easily tipped into the cinnamon mouthwash category, but someone nailed it.”



5. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.) *Tie*  Score: 7.75

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Brewed with Two-Row Pale Malt Blend, Caramel 60, Special B, and Smoked Malt. East Kent, Goldings, and Fuggles hops are then added, along with 28 lbs of real pumpkin the barrel. Spices include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

Notable Quotes

“Wow. This is that deliciously burnt crust pumpkin pie reheat that you get the day after Thanksgiving. Piled in creamy goodness to keep it moist, and then finished with a slice of apple wood smoked bacon — because you’re the guy that eats pie for breakfast. The pumpkin tastes phenomenal, and there is no doubting of it’s presence. This barrel is bursting with squash, and momma slapped that hand away before it got too heavy with the spice. It’s got all the sweetness and weight of a Belgian triple.”

Fat Jack corrected


5. T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun *Tie*  Score: 7.75

Specialty Prep / Individuality: This demented ale took home the Gold at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, and is made with pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

Notable Quotes

“Thick with roasted malts, lush pumpkin, cocoa nibs, blackberries, dark fruit jam and molasses blending with a notable touches of cinnamon, vanilla and clove. The beer envelops, it’s sweet and bitter all at once with enough pronounced notes of alcohol heat to keep you warm on the long sunless Saturday’s during Alaska’s famed 30 days of night.”

treat1 WEB


4. Slashed Pumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)  Score: 7.83
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Twenty-two pounds of fresh pie pumpkins are baked, caramelized, and added in the mash, boil, and fermentations stages along with pie spices intended to balance the chocolatey porter. ( This may sound familiar from their offering “The Great Plumpkin“, and with good reason.) It is then finished with chipotle peppers to give it a mild Smokey burn. Another nicety for some additional flair is the garnish of a deep fried Pumpkin Grit Fritter made with Anson Mills Organic Heirloom Grits, pumpkin, spices, and a drizzle of honey for sweetness.

Notable Quotes

“The pumpkin aspects are accented very well by the porter’s smoky qualities and the malty sweetness is just right without being too cloying. It’s a unique addition to a pumpkin beer, but the chipotle spice gives this porter a great finish.”

Slashed pumpkin


2. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub) *Tie*  Score: 8.25
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: 18 lbs of pie pumpkins are baked and caramelized in the emporium’s bakery, and are then used in both the mash and boil to add flavor, texture, and sweetness. Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, and a new spice to our equation, Mace, are added to create a uniquely spicy and aromatic finish. Then it’s garnished with a skewered toastette covered in roasted and candied pumpkin seeds.

Notable Quotes

“Deep roasted pumpkin explodes on the palate while the malty spice keeps the ale dry and pleasantly sweet. The shining star here is definitely the smokey roasted notes though, and the garnish offers such a dramatic change in flavor profile, giving a completely different aspect to the ale. Try the first half without it, and then kill it with the toast. It’s a trip.”

great plumpkin


2. Pumking – Southern Tier Brewing *Tie*  Score: 8.25

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Bewitched and brewed with pagan spirit, Pumking is brewed in tribute to Pủca, the benevolent Celtic goblin of fairy folk lore, who is both respected and feared, but notably a trickster of the highest degree. This beastly beer is brewed with 2-row pale malt, caramel malt, puréed pumpkin, and both magnum and sterling hops.

Notable Quotes

“Huge vanilla cookie notes–that are liable to send neophyte pumpkin beer drinkers running for cover–pop out ahead of pronounced cinnamon, sweet caramel malts and roast pumpkin flavors. It’s toasty and liquory with a background of clove, nutmeg and allspice. Tremendously complex, Southern Tier recommends serving at 40-degrees but as it warms up it displays cognac-like elements that are really unique to this beer.”

Pumking 1


1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)  Score: 8.83

Specialty Prep / Individuality: All Jacked Up is a traditional style pumpkin ale brewed with 150 lbs of Tampa, FL grown Calabaza Pumpkins that are roasted in the kitchen by Cask & Larder’s Sous chef. The Pumpkins are then added to the mash, boil, and secondary fermented, based on the degree of char they received, along with mace, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and wildflower honey.

Notable Quotes

“I’m really trying not to be a fan girl here but Ron knows how to make a damn good beer. Just the right amount of earthy/squashy pumpkin with a honey sweetness, and just when you think it can’t get any better the finish completely blows you away.”

All Jacked Up 2


Top 5 Beers by Reviewer to Date:


1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   9.33
2. Pumking – Southern Tier   8.92
3. T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun   8.83
4. Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin – Hoppin’ Frog   8.75
5. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams   8.67

60. Sarnac Pumpkin Ale   3.25


1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   9.08
2. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale   8.25
3. Blight Pumpkin Ale – Elysian Brewing *Tie*   8.17
3. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams *Tie*   8.17
5. St.-Ambroise Citrouille / The Great Pumpkin Ale   8.00

60. Pumpkinhead – Shipyard Brewing   3.08


1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   8.33
2. Southern Tier Pumking *Tie*   8.17
2. Slashed Pumpkin Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub) *Tie*   8.17
4. Harvest Time – Big Boss Brewing   7.83
5. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)   7.67

60. Avery Rumpkin   3.50


1. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)   8.67
2. The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Flying Dog   8.58
3. Pumking – Southern Tier Brewing   8.42
4. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale   8.33
5. Dark O’ The Moon – Elysian Brewing *Tie*   8.00
5. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder) *Tie*  8.00

60. Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider 3.50


Blight Pumpkin Ale – Elysian Brewing Company


THE END IS BEER! Okay, so you’re probably already getting over the whole 2012 thing already, but there’s more than one end in sight. This is our last review of the season, since it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to acquire pumpkin ale at this point. Fear not though, as we already have a fridge full of stuff to start reviewing for next year, and we will be back strong, digging deep into the plethora of craft ales available in the gourd category. For now though, we celebrate the end of the recorded Mayan Calendar with a decidedly Biblical scenario – Elysian’s 9th Beer of the Apocalypse: Blight. Happy Holidays and a fruitful New Year to all of our loyal readership, whatever you may celebrate, and don’t forget to tune in for the 2012 rankings update coming soon!


Name:  Blight Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Washington, USA / Elysian Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 7.4%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Blight is the 9th of Elysian’s 12 Beers of the Apocalypse that were released monthly throughout 2012. Each features a label borrowing graphics from native Seattle artist Charles Burn’s apocalyptic graphic novel “Blackhole”. The brew itself is made with pumpkin, dark brown sugar, and fiery Vietnamese cinnamon.



This is a phenomenally cool label with cult comic artist’ Charles Burns art work driving the overall vibe of the ale.  It’s stark and creepy – lets call it fan-boy beer! – Tim

This label has some awesome artwork on it. Monotone colors with a woodblock look, it really fits the theme of apocalyptic brews. – Rick


Color:  7.5

Cinnamon brown with a good bit of particulate. Yeah, there’s so much cinnamon in this thing that you can see it floating. Very mellow carbonation and a flash quick foamy head. – Mike

Copper penny hues with a nice amber glow, this ale presents a nice traditional coloration. Fine bits of sediment are floating around adding to the allure. A fine minimal head is left, with fantastic lacing following all the way down. – Rick

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


Aroma:  8.5

Sweet, sweet Saigon cinnamon that brings a buttery brown sugar note, in and of itself, with a solid malt moment and a kick of spice at the end. – Brittney

This smells like Cinnamon Toast Crunch right down to the sugary depths, the bowling over of cinnamon, and a ton of cereal grains. Please pass the milk. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 9 / B- 8 / R- 8


Mouth feel:  8

Mid-bodied with a nice soft carbonation–sweet and even a little spicy on the tongue. – Tim

Not too snappy, but clean with only a little carbonation and medium body. Very delicate considering the other aspects of this beer, which is probably the primary reason why it works. – Brittney

M- 9 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 7.5


Tasting notes:  8

Sweet, sweet sugary pumpkin with a PTSD inducing amount of brown sugar and Saigon cinnamon. That’s all. Seriously.  It tastes amazing, but it almost shouldn’t count as beer. Kudos on the coalescence of flavors though, this could have easily tipped into the cinnamon mouthwash category, but someone nailed it. – Mike

Bold with a cinnamon bittering, like an atomic fireball bathed in a vat of brown sugar and butter.  It’s bready and fruity like a hot apple blossom, some touches of clove present, but the rest of the traditional pie spices are either lost, or irrelevant.  The cinnamon is so prominent that it really strains credulity to call this anything other than cinnamon beer.  But, it’s damn good cinnamon beer. – Tim

If you focus on the complete flavor you can taste the pumpkin through the intense cinnamon. However, the cinnamon is what most will taste as the dominant flavor in this beer. “This particular cinnamon known as Saigon Cinnamon, from North Vietnam is less tannic than varieties commonly used in commercial preparations. A high percentage of cinnamon oil in the bark imparts a lush, spicy aroma and an intense cinnamon flavor that pairs perfectly with sugar crystals atop crisp, fluffy popcorn, as comforting as cinnamon toast and as satisfying as a sugar-speckled doughnut.”  If you want to check out the popcorn version of this beer head over to 479 for a treat! – Brittney

Our pumpkin is more implied and overshadowed by the spices here. It’s a great sweet dessert of a beer though, hinting at a cinnamon toast like flavor with a brown sugar backing. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 8.5 / B- 8 / R- 6


Finish:  7.5

There is a wicked tingle you get in the back of the throat as this ale cascades across your tongue and down toward the belly.  Not surprising–it finishes dry, but not parching.  Some astringency and woody notes of bark, which build the longer you consume the ale, but fade rather smoothly after a few minutes away from the pint glass. – Tim

Sometimes you have to taste something that almost goes overboard with a spice to truly appreciate what that spice tastes like and once you do you never forget it. Milky and drying Cinnamon, with a good bit of the malt presence showing on the end. – Brittney

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


Flavor balance:  6.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5.5

There is pumpkin here, and it’s the only other thing in this beer. Clearly, you were meant to bleed cinnamon into the mouths of your zombie overlords. This is post-apocalyptic marinade. – Mike

Pumpkin is overwhelmed by the sweet and delicious spicing. It’s good, just not balanced very well. – Rick

M- 4.5 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 7

The sweetness present in the nose and body don’t translate to the ales finish where the spice shuts down what could have been cloying and shifts the balance needle back to even keel. – Tim

Brown sugar and cinnamon dominate the palate making this ale abundantly sweet. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 4.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?  7

This beer is more on the sweet side which is normally a deal breaker for me but I really enjoy it. At first the intensity of the cinnamon would have made me shy away from anymore than one glass but it really mellows out with the pumpkin and malt and I would gladly have another. – Brittney

One of these would probably be enough for a lifetime (which is likely all you will get anyway considering that this is a one time brew). I love it, but drinking two would probably make you shrivel up and die, leaving only your kissable fresh corpse for future generation of Dr. Zaius to extrapolate upon our primitive nature. Damn dirty apes. – Mike

M- 6 / T- 9 / B- 7 / R- 6


Overall:  7.67

M- 7.92 / T- 8.17 / B- 7.58 / R- 6.67

blight end