Posts tagged ‘fresh’

Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale – Laurelwood Brewing Co.

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

Autumnation (limited release 2011) – Sixpoint Brewery

Have you all returned from your turkey and pie comas for another round? Admit it, in the back of your head you were trying to pick out the spices in your pie and rating them like a beer weren’t you? Or was that just us…?

With 2011 touting their first autumnal release Sixpoint Brewery is already making waves. Having just started canning their product for the first time this may, it may take a little searching to track down, but this brewery seems to be on the right track, with a focus on unique brews, new spins on classical elements, and some excellent marketing strategies, we’re definitely looking forward to what’s to come. I mean, how many beers have a you tube trailer? (You can catch a link at the bottom of this review).

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Name:  Autumnation (Limited Release 2011)

Place of Origin / Brewer: New York, USA / Sixpoint Brewery

Beer style / ABV%:  Wet Hopped Pumpkin Ale / 6.7%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Autumnation is brewed with pumpkin, ginger and white pepper, then wet-hopped with freshly harvested Citra hops, often less that a few hours old, from the oldest continually farmed hop farm in the country. Canned pumpkin is  added directly to the boil. In addition, 800 pounds of fresh harvested Amarillo wet hops are added to secondary fermentation.

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Packaging:

This is our first offering in a can and I’m swept away by the crafty appeal they’ve built in. From the metallic rust orange, with reddish accent line work,  the bold western feeling six point star mark, and a chunky text style and pumpkin wrought in chocolate brown, it’s one of the prettiest beer cans I’ve ever seen. Being a little taller than the rest doesn’t make it any less handsome either. Top it all off with a quote from Robert Browning Hamilton, and you just well may have one of New York’s finest. – Mike

It’s sort of fascinating that beer in a can has become such a novelty in the craft beer world, but Six Point is representing the crusher with this single pint ‘tall boy’ in a copper-hued can with stars and decals and an aesthetic that looks like  it’s channeling Shepard Fairey. – Tim

Unusual in this realm being that it comes from a can, this pints design doesn’t put a ton of importance on the pumpkin aspect other than a small outline of a gourd to the side.  The short description puts a lot of emphasis on the change of the season and the cycle of it all that gives us pumpkin ale in the first place. – Brittney

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Color:  7.5

Pours an antique copper–that almost mirrors the can– with slight opacity and a striking two-finger head with grand staying power and an degree of impressive lacing.  – Tim

Very opaque with a good strong head and decent lacing.  It’s coloring is the typical cinnamon pumpkin orange variation that is so common with this style. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 6

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Aroma:  5.5

Very hoppy with a background of ginger and pumpkin.  I also smell a tart citrus, like grapefruit.  There is also an aroma that smells a bit like wet earth (I’m not going to say mold but you get the picture), which I’m assuming are the wet hops mentioned on the can.  – Brittney

Hop forward and spicy, with ginger at the forefront. I don’t get much in the way of pumpkin, unless I inhale deeply and let the taste settle in the back of my throat to procure just a touch of vegetable meat. – Mike

Grapefruit and flowers and tell-tale hoppy overtones are all over the forefront of this brew with fresh vegetal pumpkin touches of ginger. – Tim

M- 5.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 5.5 / R- 4

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Mouth feel:  6.5

It has a good presence on the tongue with a light to medium body.  It’s really smooth until the bitter finish, but it strays from drying up and leaving a cottonmouth-like feeling that some hoppy beers can.  – Rick

Begins crisp and actively carbonated with a light to medium body and then mellows out to finish just thick enough to stay on the tongue. – Brittney

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

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Tasting notes:  6

Ginger and hops storm the gates, bashing their way past your teeth with a bittering-ram, and squarely punch you in the uvula. Then as it begins to slowly decay, the wet hopping subsides to a smooth but bitter pumpkin, that seems like it should be drying, but doesn’t seem to have that effect on the tongue. It’s interesting to say the least. – Mike

Stepping into IPA territory Autumnation is a delightful harvest ale with fresh pumpkin and tons of hoppy goodness all over the brew.  Touches  of malty caramel converge in the body and the sourness and acidity of the ale help push the brew into the Indian Summer realm of beers that work best with it’s still ahead of the mid-range on the heat index–which works well for Florida drinkers who don’t see true cold weather till well past Turkey day.  – Tim

Hops, Hops and more hops followed by spices like ginger and some earthy pumpkin.  This is dry and slightly bitter but not overly so.  It would take a lot to pick out that this was considered pumpkin ale if you didn’t know it was supposed to be. – Brittney

This beer stands out for it’s unique use of wet hops, but I think it flounders in trying to evoke a pumpkin ale.  The ginger is just barely noticeable and I’m left without any pumpkin flavor.  Really, the only characteristic that has any pumpkin like quality is the coloration. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 7.5 / B- 7 / R-  2.5

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Finish:  6

I taste like I’m sucking on fresh hops after rinsing with ginger mouthwash. It’s actually strangely appealing, but it’s certain to turn off quite a few. If you like them bitter though, this is a unique long finish that will hold it’s position on your tongue until you surrender. – Mike

This is the sort of finish that just kind of hangs out in the back of your throat.  Your mouth is left with the usual dry malt beverage battle scene and just when you think that is all there is there is a touch of hoppy syrupiness telling you to take another sip.  – Brittney

M- 7 / T- 7 / B- 5.5 / R- 5

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Flavor balance:  5.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

There is hardly any pumpkin flavor to this ale.  The can says there is “spice” included, but there’s nothing to sweeten this one. The ginger is a nice touch that works well with the citrus notes without being overwhelming though. – Rick

The hops dominate here making the breadth of pumpkin spices just barely register, or at the very least disclose in a more ‘herbaceous’ manner–however the fresh pumpkin on the nose along with the tartness of the gourd work well in keeping with the fresh nature of the ale. – Tim

M- 3 / T- 6.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 2

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

There’s very little sweetness here, but there’s a touch of burnt malt that offsets the dry body and finish of this beer in the backend to keep it from being overpowering. – Mike

This ale has a good balance here.  It starts off bitter and finishes with some sweet malts that peek through at the end.  About half way through this beer, it seemed to become less bitter and a little sweeter. – Rick

M- 5 / T- 6.5 / B- 5.5 / R- 6.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?

A pretty solid beer for sessioning, that masks the 6.8% ABV very well–which will be wonderful for IPA drinkers and those of your looking for a pumpkin beer that’s a bit more reserved than the ‘pumpkin pie in a can/bottle’ offerings that some more traditional brewers are pushing this fall. – Tim

Given the full pint can and intensity of this brew, nursing one is enough for me to enjoy the character and nuances here, without getting my tongue too burnt out for another offering. – Mike

M- 6 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 3

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Overall:  6.17

M- 6.50 / T- 7.16 / B- 6.42 / R- 4.67

Be sure to check out the link below to check out this brew on youtube! It’s worth a watch!

Autumnation