Posts tagged ‘gourd’

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

 

Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Cigar City Brewery


A few things; First off, I will be getting married this Saturday, and leaving for my honeymoon the following monday. Fear not though, we haven’t forgotten about you loyal readers. While I haven’t had the time to make these reviews as graphically intensive as some of the past. (trust me, no ones more disappointed than me, but the show must go on), we have been painstakingly drinking ourselves into oblivion so that the blog will stay regular while I’m away. Tim will be taking over the publishing reigns while we’re gone, but I promise, if I come across any interesting pumpkin brews in the UK, you’ll be the first to know.

Secondly, here in Florida we’re fortunate to have a number of awesome micro and small batch brewers, and at the forefront of that batch is Cigar City, who in their great wisdom, has decided to grace us with a local pumpkin brew all our own. Read on to see what we thought of it, and if you see it on shelves, snatch it up. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

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Name:  Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

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

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

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Featuring Pumpkin, Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican all-spice, Zanzibar cloves and nutmeg, Good Gourd touts itself as a celebration of Fall and Halloween in particular, warding the evil spirits away from their pumpkins, to provide nothing but the best. It’s also our second brew to featuring pairing suggestions including pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and costume parties.

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Packaging:

Good gourd boldly defies the pumpkin beer emblem tradition, instead opting for a more autumnal look with oranges and red abounding, and falling autumn leaves on a cream field. And of course, the trademark cigar city logo. – Mike

This label looks like going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and for that alone, I love it.   Being from the subtropical state of Florida we rarely get to see leaves change color, that’s why I have a quizzical take on Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City incorporating them into their bottle.  Based on the brewery name, I might have anticipated tobacco leaves chancing color, but I’ll take what I can get. – Tim

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Color:  7.5

This ale has a full bodied darkish orange, leaning towards brown, coloration.  It’s like looking through liquid cinnamon, and appears very opaque.  The huge head quickly resides and leaves really nice lacing.  – Rick

Burnt caramel with an impenetrable opacity, this seems to be in strong keeping with Cigar City’s other brews. You can potently visualize the gravity of this one. A tremendous head and long lasting lace crown the package out. – Mike

M – 8.5 / T- 7 / B- 7 / R- 8.5 / E – 7

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Aroma:  5

Hops greet the nose, together with a mixture of spices (all spice, cinnamon).  Unique in that other pumpkin brews have been wary of introducing much of anything in the way of hop character. – Erich

I’m really at a loss for aroma, the beer’s there but I don’t really get much to make it pumpkin or spice, it seems more like an Oktoberfest. – Brittney

This is an odd bird, there is almost nothing happening on the bouquet right off the bat.  A few swirls and a little aeration release a few tell-tale beer signs, but little if any indication of the autumn goodness in the bottle. – Tim

M – 4 / T- 4 / B- 5.5 / R- 4.5 / E – 7

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Mouth feel:  6.5

There’s no bite from the carbonation, but a noticeable sting from the alcohol content.  Overall, it feels light and airy over the tongue.  This is where the initial sourness hits you, but it’s not too off-putting. – Rick

Robustly bodied, with an immense creamy front end, and a surprising lack of astringency. It demands to be savored. – Mike

M – 8 / T- 5 / B- 6 / R- 7 / E – 7

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Tasting notes:  6.5

The feel of this beer is almost clouding to to the palate. It’s complexities seem to note brown sugar, that trademark cigar city tobacco note, and cinnamon, with just a dab of pumpkin rounding everything out. It’s excellent, but if you put this down in front of me, I’m not sure I could honestly tell you it was a pumpkin beer without the power of suggestion. The pumpkin does really seem to emerge more at about half a glass, and as the temperature rises closer to room. Contrarily, it could easily stand up in body alone to and actual cigar. This one is a pleasant enigma for me. – Mike

There’s a slight dark malt bitterness (coffee/dark chocolate notes) that are followed by a hint of vanilla and sweetness, with various spices singing backup and rounded out by well-controlled hops.  This is a complex brew and delectably so – well-balanced and with a galaxy of flavors to explore, except for what should be the star, the pumpkin.  Amidst all the other flavors finding the pumpkin is akin to “Where’s Waldo?”.  It’s a shame – as with other great pumpkin beers that have put the “beer” first – a little more pumpkin in this would’ve made it sublime. – Erich

It definitely has a gourdy profile, but isn’t sweet like pumpkin is traditionally thought of.  It starts off sour, then you find some smoky aspects in there, and finally, with an exhale the sweetness is revealed. – Rick

There is a lot going on in this beer.  Fresh pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla. It’s buttery and floral with bready yeast notes, and what could best be described as ‘pie crust’ in there.  It’s sweet but not cloying and the caramel malts are profound and a little unsettling.  With everything happening here, I feel like I want to love this, struggle to like it, and resign myself to feeling that the beer is just not in harmony and is pulling me in too many directions. – Tim

M – 7 / T- 5 / B- 7.5 / R- 5.5 / E – 8

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Finish:  7

It’s not until the finish that I really catch the cinnamon, but that’s what lingers for me.  It’s a nice conclusion that reminds you that you don’t need to be slapped in the face to enjoy good pumpkin ale. – Brittney

The vanilla notes from the initial flavor endure, leaving a sweet but not-too-sweet finish. – Erich

Clean with a touch of that same caramel – brown sugar sweetness again. I get the pumpkin here more than anywhere else. The higher alcohol content seems to sit nicely with a sharp hops nip on the backside, but all in all, this is impressively smooth. – Mike

M – 8 / T- 6 / B- 7.5 / R- 6 / E – 8

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Flavor balance: 5.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

For a beer that so ‘all over the place’ it’s hard to say anything is in agreement here.  It’s got spice and it’s got pumpkin—that sets it apart from most, but with everything pulling against everything else, the brew isn’t going to win any bi-partisan votes from me. – Tim

It’s a tad spicy, but I keep thinking of fermenting gourds when I drink this brew that it overwhelms the spices here. – Rick

M – 4 / T- 4 / B- 5.5 / R- 4.5 / E – 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance:  

Sensibly sweet, balanced out with the right kinds of bitterness. – Erich

Everything seems to coalesce so smooth in this one, that it seems to become one heady beast of a beer, with a backhand of Newtonian slam. – Mike

M – 8 / T- 5 / B- 5.5 / R- 5 / E – 8

–         Multiple Drinkability?

This is a dangerous beer, because if it captures your imagination, it’s masking its 8.5% ABV very carefully and I promise you that could lead to a serious hangover in the morning.  One and done for me. – Tim

The multitude of flavors may leave one’s tongue a bit fatigued, that’s if the 8.5% ABV doesn’t catch up to you first.  The Good Gourd is clearly meant for slow savoring, not consumption in large quantities. – Erich

M – 9 / T- 5 / B- 6.5 / R- 5.5 / E – 5

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Overall:  6.33

M – 7.08 / T- 5.33 / B- 6.58 / R- 6.08 / E – 7.08