Posts tagged ‘Clove’

O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer – O’Fallon Brewery

OFallon

We had a brief lull in events there for a moment, but now that it’s a stones throw to October, we are back and kicking into full steam. Today’s competitor is a cult classic in some parts, and a major competitor for pumpkin party beer across the country. So with out further ado, lets dig into it!

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Name: O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer

Place of Origin / Brewer: O’Fallon, MO / O’Fallon Brewery

Beer style / ABV%: Pumpkin Ale / 5.60%

Specialty Prep / Individuality: O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer is brewed by adding 136 pounds of real pumpkin to a mash of pale malt, caramel 90, and white wheat, which is lightly hopped with Cluster hops. Once finished it is spiced with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

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Packaging:

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and O’Fallon, with its Baseball Team-styled brewery logo, delivers. Featuring a skewed Jack O’Lantern and a few fall leaves floating against a black backdrop, the label is clear and concise but sadly lacking any expansion on the style, spice content, or even the ABV. – Tim

I’m gonna be honest here, this label -while unfailingly communicating it’s contents- ain’t sexy. I’m sure it’s tradition, but it might be time for an update. – Mike

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Color: 5.5

Lots of action right away from the carbonation, leaving a nice billowing head. It’s a super clean transparent ale that gives light to a reddish pale and golden malt glow. – Rick

This looks quite a bit more appealing than the label. Gorgeous clarity, nice carbonation levels, and a pillow top ivory head that sticks around for a good bit. An autumn amber the color of turning leaves. Now if only it wasn’t 97 degrees outside… – Mike

M- 7 / T- 6 / B- 5 / R- 4

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Aroma: 6.5

Musty, earthy pumpkin at first whiff, followed by the sweetness of sugar and touch of cinnamon spice. There’s a slight roasted caramel malt quality as well. – Brittney

A bit of brown sugar and some cinnamon really blend well to concoct a nice sense of homemade apple pie crust. A touch of raisin is fairly detectable as well as some toffee. – Rick

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

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Mouth feel: 5

Light and slightly slick but not as snappy as I would have guessed from the amount of carbonation when poured. Definitely settles into almost a flatness. – Brittney

Tongue burn from the high carbonation gives way to crisp ale with a bright but slightly thin body. – Tim

M- 6.5 / T- 4.5 / B- 5 / R- 5

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Tasting notes: 6

Cinnamon and Nutmeg soar to the forefront with sweet cream and pumpkin following shortly behind. It’s a pretty spot on semblance of canned pumpkin pie that’s been topped with a dollop of whipped creams, and has a biscuity – graham cracker crusty back. – Mike

With an overall pumpkin pie profile of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove the mixture lacks any real substance which unfortunately matches up with the body. Toasted malt and some hop bitters try to work their complex magic but the lack of any real presence gives the ale more of a late-summer lager profile and not enough fall goodness. – Tim

This one is not overwhelming in any category. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are all there but only the cinnamon really lingers making it fairly dominating. There is a bit of pumpkin serving as a solid foundation for the spices, but it’s a bit sweet for my tastes. – Brittney

I enjoy the subdued mix of flavors here. This beer has some nice qualities but it seems closer to a fruit beer or a cider than a pumpkin ale. The minimal pumpkin allows for some cinnamon, apple, and raisin flavors to take front row. It isn’t too exciting, but I find this beer could make a nice introduction to the style and broaden ones appreciation for pumpkin ales. – Rick

M- 7.5 / T- 5 / B- 5 / R- 5.5

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Finish: 6

Lingering pumpkin sweetness as the spice fades and a touch of the more bitter side of molasses roast and clove give it a drying quality. Fairly lengthy, but pleasing enough. – Mike

This is a very smooth and watery beer with a slightly bitter finish that caps each sip well. It’s easy to drink and light on the palate making it very session-able. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 5 / B- 6 / R- 6

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Flavor balance: 7

  • Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7

The pumpkin is MIA but for the illusion presented in the spice profile. Which, while on paper seems like a fine balance of pie spices, sadly it just doesn’t amount to enough overall bang for your buck. – Tim

There is a solid presence of malt, which lends some presence to the pumpkin, but the spice is very prominent here, making it feel a bit out of check. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 4 / B- 8 / R- 7

  • Sweet / Dry balance: 7.5

It seems to start with unced sweetnesss, but as the glass warms a pleasant, subtle complexity begins to emerge along with breadier malts and a spicy bite. – Mike

Well done. This beer seems like it could lean towards cloying at any moment and completely ruin it for me, but there’s a nice balance here akin to dry apple juice. The watery body and mouthfeel play a big part in keeping the sweetness at bay. – Rick

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

  • Multiple Drinkability? 6

While you’re still waiting for the mercury to drop below the boiling point, you could easily put away a few of these ales. The inoffensive 5.5% ABV won’t wreck your afternoon, but with so many other great pumpkin beers on the market, this one is hardly worth running out and stockpiling. – Tim

In a world of gigantic cloying imperial pumpkins, this is a pretty respectable session brew. Not too heavy for milder autumns and enough weight for cooler climates, it plays to both the refreshing and pleasantly boozy crowd. Compared to others in it’s class, it’s nicely balanced and has some notable pumpkin which is a change of pace for anything under 10%. This is an excellent gateway beer to the style. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 5.5 / B- 4 / R- 6

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Overall: 6.00

M- 7.16 / T- 5.42 / B- 5.66 / R- 5.58

Good Gourd Almighty – Cigar City Brewing

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First of all, we’d sincerely like to grant you our thanks and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and whatever holidays you might celebrate in the coming months. Rounding out our third year of reviews you’ve made us popular enough that we are buried in beers to cover, and since they’re becoming more and more scare on the shelves, we have opted to cover them in advance for next years season in hopes of bringing you more consistent coverage and getting you a lot more info early on as these brews start to hit the shelves.

Today’s entry is not particularly concerning in that regard as, if you don’t have it by now, you’re probably not going to get it until next year. But we did feel it’s coveted status would be a great entry for today, and we thank the almighty that we got our hands on a bottle. So gather round your friends and family, or maybe just a good meal and a good brew, and dig into one last seasonal review. From us to you, we give our thanks.

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Name: Good Gourd Almighty

Place of Origin / Brewer: Tampa, Florida / Cigar City Brewing

Beer style / ABV%:  Imperial Pumpkin Ale / 8.5%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:

Almighty takes Cigar City’s ever popular Good Gourd (an imperial pumpkin ale that includes Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Zanzibar cloves, and nutmeg) and finishes it out for some time in rum barrels.

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Packaging:

This is a special release barrel aged treatment beer, so the label is a bit derivative of it’s father brew, Good Gourd. It’s got some nice dark wood and autumn hues though, which certainly infer the bolder wood flavors I expect from this glass. – Mike

It’s not a far cry removed from the traditional Good Gourd packaging, but the “almighty’ stands out in a big way to help avoid confusion, settled against a backdrop of fall leaves, that even though CCB is in Tampa and probably never sees any ‘color’ still sets a festive mood. – Tim

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Color: 7

The way this beer sits in the glass demands omniscience. Fully opaque burnt caramel has fringes of an amber glow, with slim to no head. It is awesome and unassuming. – Rick

Cloudy brownish orange, with a perfect circle of thin semi sticky lacing and little to no carbonation. It looks like there is almost a freeze frame of sediment floating in the glass. – Brittney

M – 6.5 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 8.5

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Aroma:  7.5

A heady nose with massive rum notes, the likes of which I haven’t seen since we cracked the Avery Rumpkin back in 2011. Oak and vanilla finish out the bouquet which displays no remaining signs of pumpkin or spice.  It smells intense and I’m not anticipating a little ‘shiver me timbers’ to go with my rum and pumpkin ale. – Tim

Sweet and creamy caramel notes mingle with some intense buttery fruit flavors. This is getting pretty complex already. It has a hot aroma that singes with rum at the nose, rounding out dry and oaken for the finish. – Rick

M – 7.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 6.5 / R- 9

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Mouth feel: 8

Slick and thick, medium bodied with just enough carbonation to keep you interested without an overwhelming presence of it. – Brittney

Some time in the barrel actual seems to have lightened up the body here, moving away from the syrupy origin of Good Gourd, and becoming much more smooth bodied with a light carbonation tingle. – Mike

M – 8 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 8.5

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Tasting notes: 8.5

Spiced Rum, treacle, dark fruits, and milk chocolate. This tastes a good bit like a Dale Degroff tropical pumpkin cocktail with a few extra dashes of Pimento Dram. It’s caramel coated pumpkin bread – beach side. – Mike

Welcome back pumpkin, what is lost on the nose is prevalent in the body, blending together with vanilla and cinnamon to deliver a drunken pumpkin pie extravaganza. With buttery crust notes and big malt flavors, the rum is held in check (but only barely) until the exhale permeates all my senses with full bodied flavor.  Pass the whip cream. – Tim

For as strong and intense as it smells it’s actually rather smooth in flavor.  You can tell that it’s got a Good Gourd foundation, but you can’t help but focus on the rum barrel aged accent and the alcohol. – Brittney

Based on the aroma alone I expected this to be super hot and over the top. It actually brings out complex flavors that really add to the experience going above and beyond the senses. It’s really accessible while boasting tons of flavor like banana, oak, cinnamon, rum, sugar, butter, all spice, and even bits of clove. – Rick

M – 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 9.5

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Finish: 8.5

The finish is all rum, but it is hardly abrasive. It reminds be heavily of Velvet Falernum. There is a lasting sweetness with a spicy nip, and a bite of citrus / lime. Definitely a Floridian pumpkin beer. A couple of these and I’ll be boarding ships. Forcibly. – Mike

The dry oak finish compliments the mouth feel so well, it removes any implication of being too hot due to a high alcohol content. There’s still a touch of heat on the back end and the rum is quite noticeable. – Rick

M – 9 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 8.5

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Flavor balance: 8

         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 8

The pumpkin and spices in the base beer were already mixed really well, and the fact that they still stand out after the aging is impressive. I would add that the addition of oak and rum flavors accentuate the pumpkin profile and propel this beer into it’s final form. – Rick

The interplay of the spice / malt / pumpkin / wood / and rum here is powerfully complex and very enjoyable. You can spend long minutes over each sip musing on the different flavors that seem to pop out and retract into the recesses of this glass. The only thing that keeps me from declaring it truly divine is how very forward the rum qualities are at times. It’s not an unpleasant flavor, but as the drink goes on, I begin to lose a bit of the pumpkin as a result. – Mike

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

         Sweet / Dry balance: 8.5

Quite balanced in this respect as the syrupy slickness and pumpkin tend to be sweet but the alcohol/barrel aged aspect brings the dry finish. – Brittney

Pronounced toffee like sweetness lend this ale a significant dessert aspect with only dry components coming on the close from the high ABV and the oak. – Tim

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

 

         Multiple Drinkability?  7.5

While I can appreciate treatments on beers and a bit of barrel aging, I probably wouldn’t drink much more than a glass of this. It’s got a very mellow sweetness that is well tempered by tannic acid qualities and the heat of the rum, but the intensity and alcohol makes it quite potent on the senses. – Brittney

It’s too heady and boozy to be sessionable. I’d rather drive up to some mountains, kick off my shoes and sip this sucker in a brandy snifter beside a roaring fire after a long day of snowboarding.  – Tim

M- 9 / T- 7 / B- 4 / R- 10

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Overall: 7.92

M- 8.00 / T- 7.83 / B- 6.92 / R- 8.83

 

Pumpkin Seasonal Ale – Wasatch Beers (Schirf Brewing Co.)

Name:  Pumpkin Seasonal Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Utah, USA / Wasatch Beers (Schirf Brewing Company)

Beer style / ABV%:  Spiced Pumpkin Amber Ale / 4.0%

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Brewed with Barley, pumpkin, and spiced like a holiday pie Wasatch is founded by Greg Schirf, who just happens to be the man responsible for making  brew pubs legal in the state of Utah. That’s enough to make him a hero in our book!

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Packaging:

Deviates from the norm of pumpkin beers – which generally play up the black and orange for contrast and to tie in with Halloween – opting instead with earth colors: deep green, brown and beige.  The picture-perfect pumpkin on the label is in the usual place – front and center – with some nice flourishes of grains in the green background.  One of the more unique pumpkin beer labels so far. – Erich

I feel like I’m sneaking a peek at the first pumpkin of the season through the farmer’s wooden fence when I look at this bottle.  A well-designed label that is descriptive without being wordy.  – Brittney

There is a lot to be said for clean design and simplicity.  A beautiful fresh orange pumpkin, greens and gold, touches of wheat and an almost Art Deco logo all come together to really evoke the autumn season.  This is classy branding all the way. – Tim

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Color:  6.5

This sucker is about as orange as they come, and features a good bit of debris cloud. Despite a relatively miniscule head, there is a touch of lacing hinting at a thick and resinous quality. – Mike

Nice coloration here.  It’s a sweet looking deep orange, like a dark caramel.  Very appealing.  There’s no head that really stands out and the body is fairly opaque. – Rick

M – 8 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 7 / E – 5

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Aroma:  7

Somebody filled a shotgun with pumpkin muffins and unloaded it right into my face. With heaps of allspice, clove, and nutmeg surrounded in gooey pumpkin goodness, this is pumpkin pie all the way. – Mike

Strong allspice notes with cinnamon and clove as part of its entourage.  Subtle hints of pumpkin are along for the ride.  No other distinguishing characteristics. – Erich

One of the best smelling ales to date!  There is a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose, but really stands out is how well this smells like a warm pumpkin pie.  I could even smell whip cream in there on top of it all!  – Rick

Did you know that cloves come from trees?  I would swear that they all live in this bottle.  This one just about knocked me over with the cloves coming off the surface.  A few swirls and I managed to eek out some fresh pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon, but wow…if you have a cold, this could clear your sinuses right out. – Tim

M – 8.5 / T- 5.5 / B- 8 / R- 8.5 / E – 4

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Mouth feel:  5

Light bodied and lively this one does a little jig when it hits your tongue, not what I would have expected from the cloudy coloring. – Brittney

There’s a slight bite from the carbonation and it’s substantially watery.  It’s weird, but the low ABV is very noticeable in the body of the beer, or should I say lack of body.  It’s like drinking soda water with some pumpkin spices thrown in there to make it kind of sweet. – Rick

M – 6 / T- 5 / B- 7  / R- 3.5 / E – 4

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Tasting notes:  5

Surprisingly dry despite the confectionary nose, with clove keeping the other spices firmly under it’s thumb. The barley and pumpkin mesh nicely beneath the spice veil, in a give and take co-action, that alternates between pumpkin and a solid ale perception. It’s a little strange to take in, but very arousing to the palate, making each new swig a slightly different experience. – Mike

After the clove bowls you over one more time in the mouth, there’s pumpkin and allspice in the ale.  A little bready–I wasn’t expecting that–along with a few citrus elements and even a touch of lemongrass.  It would really benefit from a hint of malty sweetness or some bitter hops to try and take on the overpowering clove taste.  Sadly, this is a one-note beer. – Tim

Someone put some thought into this one from beginning to end.  It’s subtleties are it’s strengths.   – Brittney

Unfortunately the Wasatch Pumpkin Ale has fallen victim to the same trap that many other pumpkin brews have succumb to: playing it safe with a bland and inoffensive ale and relying too much on the spices to make it interesting. – Erich

M – 7 / T- 4 / B- 8 / R- 3 / E – 3

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Finish:  5

The tingle stays on the tongue after swallow, but leaves behind a very dry bite and a bitter taste.  I’m left wanting more, but there is nothing else there. – Rick

The cavalcade of spice resides nicely into a fading wash of clove, with the pumpkin and allspice settling in to loiter about a bit beneath the tongue. It’s shockingly crisp though, considering that every other ale I’ve had with this kind of palate tends to be quite on the syrupy side. – Mike

M – 7.5 / T- 5 / B- 6.5 / R- 3 / E – 4

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Flavor balance:  5.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

Starts with pumpkin on the nose, ends with spice in the finish.  This beer is pretty well balanced overall – Brittney

It’s kind of dry with some nutmeg and pumpkin flavors on the finish.  This brew has a strange mix of flavors that are hard to pick up on. – Rick

M – 8.5 / T- 3 / B- 7.5 / R- 2.5 / E – 5

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

It’s not overly dry but the sweetness is so fleeting that if you blink you’d miss it.  That’s a real problem here because I think a touch of molasses might have saved this beer. – Tim

While the finish inclines to the dry side, the overall experience is a nice, neat juice, a little light on the sugar. – Mike

M – 7.5 / T- 4.5 / B- 6.5 / R- 4.5 / E – 3

–         Multiple Drinkability?

It’s as if this beer was designed with a thanksgiving feast in mind. Light on the palate and gullet, and strong on taste, it’s a great blend of fulfilling, but not filling. – Mike

Overall not overpowering or overwhelming in any way.  In my world, that’s a good thing.  A nice drinkable beer with or without a meal, I could definitely have more than one. – Brittney

This beer is just too dry and spicy for me to enjoy more than one.  I’m just disappointed because the aroma is so great on this one. – Rick

M – 9.5 / T- 3 / B- 7 / R- 3 / E – 5

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Overall:  5.67

M – 7.58 / T- 4.83 / B- 6.08 / R- 4.92 / E – 4.08