Posts tagged ‘Malt’

O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer – O’Fallon Brewery


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!


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.



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Overall: 6.00

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

Jack O’Lahar Pumpkin Ale – Puyallup River Brewing Company

This brew has a clever name that most of us wouldn’t identify with immediately. For those devoid of search engines, a Lahar is a mud / debris flow, usually associated with volcanic activity. (It’s also a Sumerian god, but we don’t think that’s what they were going for here. – Mike). Put two and two together, and you’ll find that the Puyallup River valley lives peacefully, most of the time, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. That’d be pretty high on the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in the World list. So when you’re worrying about razorblades in your candy, and knife wielding masked men on All Hallow’s Eve, just remember, the citizens of Washington might soon be living through a bad Tommy Lee Jones movie.


Name:  Jack O’Lahar Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Washington, USA / Puyallup River Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 5.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Jack O’Lahar features an expansive grain bill including American 2 Row, Vienna, Dextrine, Dark Crystal Malt, Choolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. Roasted pumpkin is also added to the mash and boil, and an array of spices are added.



I enjoy the plethora of information for the beer, like what malts are used, but the desktop like graphics employed for the “art” that takes up all the room on the label is an afterthought for sure. I guess the positive is you know it’s a pumpkin beer. – Rick

A to the point label with a jack o lantern front and center and bats flying through a Puyallup River sky over a would-be volcano.  There is something to be said for brand identity.  – Brittney


Color:  6.5

I like the dense, almost opaque appearance. It’s a dark brown sugar body that almost conceals the effervescing sediment within it’s amber glow. Actually, an appealing aspect for a light ABV. – Rick

A rusty caramel/copper ale with a smallish cream head and dissipates quickly into a soft off-white ring. – Tim

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


Aroma: 7

Allspice, honey crisp apple, cinnamon, and clove. This smells pretty fantastic. – Mike

Buttery with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar plus a touch of maple, which brings a slight creaminess to the nose and a lot of spice. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 8


Mouth feel:  6

Mid-bodied in body and carbonation with smooth spices on the tongue. – Tim

It has a weird watery feel which is unexpected from the dense coloration of the body. There’s a nice burn to it, but I suspect it’s from the overabundance of cinnamon though. – Rick

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


Tasting notes:  5.5

Brown sugar and cinnamon prevail with hints of apple jack whiskey and cream of wheat. The mash bill really shows in a nice way here, with a lot of grain present in the ale. It’s very tasty, but it’s not very pumpkin. – Mike

I’d place this squarely in the ‘pie’ category with predominant spices overpowering any natural pumpkin elements.  Vanilla and dark caramel balancing nicely with the cinnamon and nutmeg on display in the nose—actually the spice balance on this beer is really rather spot on, I just wish for more pumpkin. – Tim

A lot of spice to taste, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and enough clove to make Anne Gwish roll her eyes with disdain (that’s a good thing). There is a very small amount of smooth caramel but I’m missing the pumpkin. – Brittney

It has a good dry taste that’s pumpkin-y  with lots of sweet cinnamon, but overall does not hold up to the awesomeness of the aroma and coloration. It’s actually kind of a let down. – Rick

M- 4.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5


Finish:  6.5

Clove and cinnamon with a creamy swallow that’s extremely long and lingers for quite some time. If you’re going to hook up this Halloween, skip the mints. This is your make out beer of choice. – Mike

The finish is final and clean for the most part but the spices tend to hang on for dear life.  Something about the finish, maybe just the combination of spices and malt give it a lean towards an eastern five-spice flavor. – Brittney

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


Flavor balance:  5.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5

It’s off kilter.  The spices—while harmonious (for the most part)—are balanced but the pumpkin is too subtle to notice.  This is unfortunately, the usual case with ale brewed where the pumpkin is added to the boil and mash (noted on the label) as most of the inherent flavor is cooked out. – Tim

Dominated by cinnamon and brown sugar the pumpkin is barely noticeable. – Rick

M- 4.5 / T- 5 / B- 6 / R- 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 6

The totalitarian spice approach here makes this brew feel downright arid upon swallow. It’s a shame because in the mouth, it’s otherwise nice and sweet. – Mike

Surprisingly, it’s pretty balanced in this realm. I would expect with the heaviness of the spice that it would lean toward the dry side but the touch of caramel it really brings it together.  – Brittney

M- 5 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 7

–         Multiple Drinkability?  6

I don’t know if this is the kind of beer I’d run out to tell everyone about.  But at less than 6% ABV it’s nice enough to session and it does offer some cool depth of flavor from the caramel. I’d just like the spices dialed back a bit so the pumpkin could shine more. – Tim

This sucker is so spice heavy, it’s likely to murder your palate and spit on it’s grave. – Mike

M- 4 / T- 6 / B- 6.5 / R- 5.5


Overall:  6.17

M- 6.00 / T- 6.33 / B- 6.50 / R- 6.33