Posts tagged ‘green’

The Great Pumpkin Ale – Cambridge Brewing Company

CBC GreatPumpkin

Founded in 1989, Cambridge Brewing Co. is the oldest operating brew pub in Boston and touts the prestige of being one of the nation’s first. With a firm focus on creativity and responsibility, they admirably support the mission of local, organic, and sustainable food and ingredients, stringent green practices in the workplace, and represent the american heritage, of course, of brewing the pumpkin ales our forefathers introduced.

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Name: The Great Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Cambridge, Massachusetts / The Cambridge Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%: Pumpkin Ale / 4.4%

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Brewed with over 150 lbs of fresh, organically grown sugar pumpkins in each batch as well as organic barley, The Great Pumpkin Ale proudly works along side the fine folks a Farmschool.org, Wilson Farms, and Valley Malt to promote local, organic, and sustainable farming. It also features a mingling of classic pie spices.

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Packaging:

With nice subdued hues framing a cartoonish illustration, this label evokes long lost childhood memories with it’s stylized art. Subtle design work, but very clearly promotes a pumpkin beer. – Rick

With a distinct craft vibe label and smashed pumpkin etching CBC claims this unfiltered ale is New England’s very first pumpkin brew. It’s not the most striking label I’ve ever seen, but the striped turquoise backdrop will no doubt help it stand out on crowded store shelves this season. – Tim

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Color: 5.5

Yeasty autumn leave hues of yellow and red. There is a nice fizzy updraft from the edges of the glass, but the rest you can barely see through. Definitely unfiltered. – Mike

I enjoy the unfiltered cloudiness of this pumpkin ale. What I’m not totally digging is the copper tinge to the light bodied appearance. A frothy head caps the subtle amber glow that emanates from within. – Rick

M – 5 / T- 7 / B- 5 / R- 4.5

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Aroma: 6

Most pumpkin beers smell of spice and then maybe if you are lucky you get pumpkin. This one smells of pumpkin right off the nose to me, followed by cinnamon and clove with a finish that hints slightly of floral and grain. – Brittney

Peppercorns, mace, and burt pie crust, with a touch of vanilla. Earthy hop presence leaves the nose bitter and is reminiscent of the dry cool air in an Appalachian fall. Unique. – Mike

M – 6 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5

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Mouth feel: 5

Medium bodied and smooth with an inkling of carbonation burn on the tip of my tongue. – Tim

Smooth, easy to drink, light to medium bodied beer, with a good bit of crisp on the tongue from a moderate amount of carbonation. – Brittney

M – 4 / T- 6.5 / B- 5 / R- 5.5

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Tasting notes: 5

The pie crust notes come back into play here making up most of the malt profile, along with bittersweet molasses and burnt sugar. The spicing imparts a drying quality, and reinforce a sense of chimney smoke on autumnal days. – Mike

Mellow roasted pumpkin sweetness gives way to bitter burnt sugar notes enveloped in a malty cascade of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and yeasty bread. – Tim

The pumpkin found in the aroma stays true just a bit at the taste. More so, the spice takes over and is followed by a quite malty brew. All of these elements seem to be very individualized and mellow out in follow through of flavor. – Brittney

This ale is a tad dry with some bitter pumpkin elements. It almost seems too vegetal with some definite earthy elements playing a role. I can only imagine the pumpkins were harvested too soon, that’s the impression I’m left with. – Rick

M – 5 / T- 6 / B- 5 / R- 4

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Finish: 5

Long and bitter on the close with the distinct pumpkin character carrying the ale on for a solid minute. It’s worth noting that it’s a surprising and pleasant rarity to find a pumpkin ale which actually finishes with pumpkin. – Tim

I think the finish is where the seemingly immature nature of the pumpkins plays a big part. It makes the beer finish dry and tops it all off with a hot spicing of cinnamon. – Rick

M – 4.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 5 / R- 3.5

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Flavor balance: 4

  • Pumpkin to Spice balance: 4

This is intriguing, in that, pumpkin plays little part of the ale for me, where instead spice and malt dominate and make the overall impression quite aggressive. It toys with being sweet briefly, but the spice ends up bitter and burning. – Mike

It’s over spiced, adding to the dryness which is already at peak levels for me. This approach to spicing is also giving a false impression of the ABV making it seem higher than it actually is. – Rick

M – 3 / T- 5.5 / B- 6 / R- 2.5

  • Sweet / Dry balance: 4

The heavy dry spicing here does me in. Usually burnt pie crust needs beer and whip cream to wash it down. This beer needs another beer to do the trick. – Mike

A sour pumpkin flavor finishes super dry and astringent. Apart from the initial sip, it’s lacking in any appealing sweetness. – Rick

M – 2 / T- 5.5 / B- 5 / R- 3

  • Multiple Drinkability? 3.5

This is a fairly solid ale with nothing too offensive. However, it also fails to be particularly magical in any way. I might have one or two if nothing else was offered, but no more. – Brittney

A solid entry into the pumpkin beer category, but with no distinctive features, I feel like the primary disappointment in this ale is that being one of the older entries in the field, CBC seems content to make a good, tow-the-line ale, which is lacking the innovation that has taken place in the last few years with gourd-based brews. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fine pumpkin ale, but I think a session of them would bore me. – Tim

M – 2 / T- 4.5 / B- 6 / R- 1.5

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Overall: 5.08

M – 4.58 / T- 6.16 / B- 5.25 / R- 4.25

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Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin (Crooked Line Series) – Uinta Brewing Company

Halloween is only a scant 15 days away, and if you’re like us, you’ve probably got a few ragers to hit in the next weekend or two.  To help accommodate your proclivities to rotten gourd punch, we’re going to be amping up our reviews to get as many halloween themed brews to ya before the holiday hits. Stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our updates by email, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Name:  Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin (Crooked Line Series)

Place of Origin / Brewer: Utah, USA / Uinta Brewing

Beer style / ABV%:  Imperial Pumpkin Ale / 10/31%

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.

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Packaging:

My favorite label to date! Finally, let’s get a local artist involved in our beer without it looking like an afterthought. Very clean in its execution, it has all the elements to help sell the beer as an oak aged pumpkin ale. Top notch. – Rick

This sucker is cranked to get you crunk. I mean, he’s pointing to the word “Jacked”. Someone call Jason Statham. – Mike

There is an old fashioned almost Steam Boat Willie-like pumpkin gracing the label on this bottle.  I love the use of the barrel image telling us so much more than just the name of the ale.  It’s cartoony and artistic without being childish. – Brittney

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Color:  8

Color me surprised, this ale pours up a crystal clear with a ruby red glow.  A thick, frothy, long-lasting, cream head provides for excellent retention and stunning lacing. – Tim

I’m loving the color on this one. It has a great color with dark copper notes that help accentuate a deep brown body. The body is pretty much completely opaque, and a vigorous pour will release a beautiful creamy head that settles to ring the glass. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 7.5

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Aroma:  8

Tons of oak and wood firstly followed by a smoother caramel sweetness.  Not a lot of spice but just enough to let you know it’s there.  The aroma runs the gamut of earthy, savor, sweet and (a touch) of spice. – Brittney

Roast sugar pumpkins, burnt caramel, and a nice oak tannin. It smells like a reheated pumpkin pie with blackened crust. – Mike

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

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Mouth feel:  7.5

A medium bodied but rich brew that warms the mouth with a lower carbonation. – Brittney

I’m definitely reminded of the Imperial status of this ale upon the first sip. As suspected from the aroma I find a strong presence of alcohol on the tongue, but without any harsh burning. It’s a bit bubbly allowing me to explore its sweet medium body. – Rick

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

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Tasting notes:  8

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.  – Tim

There’s a significant alcohol presence here that, combined with oak gives it strong notes of bourbon whiskey. Did I mention I love bourbon? The spice is very subtle, and finishes on floral notes, while a malt pumpkin base provides a nice burnt pie crust character. This tastes like my midnight snack the day after thanksgiving. – Mike

First sip is dominated by alcohol and malt with some spice. This beer goes straight to your head. If it wasn’t for the malt aspect I would question if this was a beer at all.  A few more tastes and the flavors really come alive with natural vanilla, spice and oak roasted pumpkin. – Brittney

The oak barrel introduction is a nice touch, only accenting the flavor of sweet ripe pumpkins without being too woody. There are some nutty notes as well that help round out this well nuanced full bodied ale. – Rick

M- 8 / T- 8.5 / B- 7 / R- 7.5

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Finish:  7.5

The. Longest. Finish. Ever.  Bitter and oaky and surprisingly semi-dry.  I certainly anticipated a sweeter conclusion to this ale, but the oak really shines here and helps balance it out.  But…seriously…I can still taste this beer. – Tim

It stings going down, that’s for sure. I like how the dryness on the back end helps it go down smooth. Here’s where it gets spicy and woody, but I can’t wait to take another sip. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 7.5 / B- 7 / R- 6

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Flavor balance:  7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7.5

This malty pumpkin approach combined with the ABV lends itself to dunkel / dubbel territory, while the barrel aging tones the spice down to a pleasant detail. – Mike

Since this beer has such impressive complexity, it goes without saying (but I will) that the pumpkin to spice balance is pretty amazing.  What you miss from the pumpkin in the nose, you get in the body, but the ale is so imbued overall with the barrage of other components that had the brew master not been on top of his game, it might have ended up a muddled mess.  – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 8 / R- 5.5

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 8

This ale has a great malty sweetness and a great dry finish so the cloying aftertaste isn’t too noticeable. – Rick

This is a very well leveled bottle, and the giant ABV hides superbly in its character. There’s touches of bourbon sweetness, and the dry wood finish on the back end, that’s a bit like sucking the beer right from the oak stave. – Mike

M- 9 / T- 6.5 / B- 8 / R- 7.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?  7

The richness of the oak and malt are very tasty for one round but, at 10 + %, I’m probably not going for another. – Brittney

This beer is strong and tasty, but could I have more than one of these per sitting? Probably not. I would definitely revisit it though, because it’s a great pumpkin ale. – Rick

At a 10.31% ABV I don’t think I could drink another one of these in a sitting.  However, the ale is fascinating and intricate that I would be really interested to see what buying a few bottles and cellaring them would do. – Tim

M- 10 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 6.5

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Overall:  7.67

M- 8.42 / T- 7.92 / B- 7.25 / R- 7.08