Posts tagged ‘smooth’

Punkuccino – Elysian Brewing Company

Elysian Punkachino

 

The fine folks over at Elysian brewing, if not the de-facto kinds of pumpkin beer, certainly are one of it’s most prolific producers. Between their ever expanding seasonal releases, extremely creative recipe twists, and an ever expanding pumpkin beer festival now entering it’s 10th year running with over 70 unique pumpkin brews, it’s hard to deny that these folks are as serious about pumpkin as we are. Obviously, we were more than hyped to dive into this years new mass bottle release offering (and extremely sad when we saw all the fest only beers we’d be missing on their website)!

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Name: Punkuccino

Place of Origin / Brewer: Seattle, WA / Elysian Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%: Coffee Pumpkin Ale / 5.00%

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Punkuccino is lightly bittered with German Northern Brewer hops, and features a mash bill of Pale, Brown, Biscuit, C-77, Crystal, Chocolate, and Kiln coffee malt. It then receives a shot of Stumptown coffee toddy, lactose, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and follows Elysian’s trademark method of adding pumpkin to the mash, kettle, and fermenter.

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Packaging:

Elysian continues its winning streak for delivering fantastically spooky graphics to accompany their barrage of Pumpkin beers. Considering how many they produce it’s amazing they are all are so damn good, while other breweries that only manage one Halloween ale, can’t seem to get a solid label on the bottle at all. – Tim

Very cool and festive. I love the art for this one. It’s playful and bold and really sells the brand as well. – Rick

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Color: 8

Porter -like darkness with nut brown and ruby notes, and just a smidge less opacity, all crowned by a latte art worthy head. – Brittney

Significantly darker than to be expected for a traditional ale, bordering on a crossover between a hearty brown ale and a porter–perhaps a not-so-subtle reminder of the coffee appeal of this ale. – Tim

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

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Aroma: 9

This smells amazing; everything smells fresh! The coffee could have just been ground, the cinnamon and nutmeg recently grated. It’s delicate and balanced and extremely appetizing. – Brittney

Cinnamon Dolce cold brew meets toast. Giant malt breadiness. I really get the biscuit malt here and it plays very nicely with the cinnamon. So much so I want to go make cinnamon toast now. – Mike

M- 9 / T- 9 / B- 10 / R- 8.5

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Mouth feel: 7.5

The mouthfeel on this ale is comparable to a full bodied stout. It’s super smooth, somewhat creamy, and just bursting with flavor. – Rick

The addition of lactose gives the ale a silky smooth body with soft carbonation, we are bordering on Latte levels here. – Tim

Medium to full bodied and very creamy. Almost too creamy in my opinion. – Brittney

M- 9 / T- 9 / B- 4 / R- 8

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Tasting notes: 9

Move over corporate spice latte, this is my new favorite hangover drink. The squashed based breakfast food you never knew you wanted. Pumpkin, cinnamon, and cafe latte blended against a pancake batter and fresh biscuit body. It’s epic. – Mike

The pumpkin presence is subtle in the body with toasty roasted malts and coffee providing a mild bittering agent. The cinnamon in the nose is pronounced in the body along with a nice medley of pie spice. The fullness of the ale verges on stout levels of creaminess making this the closest any ale has ever come to replicating a pumpkin spiced latte. Elysian has consistently crafted superior pumpkin ales, however due to my near obsessive compulsion for pumpkin coffee, this may stand as their single greatest alcoholic achievement. – Tim

Cold brewing in the toddy helps to bring out the essence of the coffee without the bitter notes. The Chocolate notes are more cocoa, the cinnamon and nutmeg really stand out as well as the creamy coffee goodness, but I don’t really get a lot of the pumpkin. – Brittney

The cinnamon and coffee flavors are the highlights here. A nice chocolate and coffee flavor is balanced well with a full dose of cinnamon that isn’t too hot. – Rick

M- 10 / T- 10 / B- 7 / R- 8.5

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Finish: 8

The coffee and spice are the two touches that linger the most to me in flavor. The intense creamy mouth feel would be the second. The first I’m okay with the second I could live without. It feels like I just drank a pumpkin coffee milkshake. – Brittney

This ale finishes like a rich roasted espresso. The bitter coffee is great here with the dryness of the chocolate flavor adding finesse to the back end. – Rick

M- 9.5 / T- 9 / B- 6 / R- 7.5

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Flavor balance: 9

  • Pumpkin to Spice balance: 8.5

I’m really not sure how they pulled this one off but Elysian knocks it out of the park here. Balancing coffee with spice and having pumpkin show at all, let alone notably, is quite an achievement. To have them play this well together is a downright miracle. – Mike

I really can’t find any fault whatsoever in this from the perspective of pumpkin pie. The title promises a Pumpkin Pie Cappuccino and (even though it’s probably the only one in existence) this is as good as it gets. – Tim

M- 10 / T- 10 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

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  • Sweet / Dry balance: 9.5

Sweet pumpkin and spice up front with a touch of bitter black and hops on the back. This could have easily been a syrupy mess of a palate wrecker, but we’re far in the clear here. It’s damn near flawless, unless of course, you hate coffee. – Mike

The way the coffee and chocolate flavors work together to balance this beer is excellent. I’m really impressed. – Rick

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

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  • Multiple Drinkability? 9.5

When it comes to the morning after a night of hard drinking, sometimes your stomach just needs a light roast coffee and soon after, a lighter brew to get back in the game. Punkuccino offers both in spades, and offers a refreshing touch for intense, heavy coffee imperials, bringing all your favorite flavors to an extremely sessionable brew. This should definitely please seasoned beardo’s and sorority sisters alike. – Mike

This beer is so good you’ll be surprised that it’s only 5% ABV. Full flavored, full bodied, a good pumpkin flavor, and with a low ABV it’s not too easy to avoid drinking them all. – Rick

M- 10 / T- 9.5 / B- 9 / R- 10

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Overall: 8.42

M- 9.33 / T- 9.08 / B- 7.25 / R- 8.42

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Redhook Pumpkin Porter – Redhook Brewery

Name:  Redhook Pumpkin Porter

Place of Origin / Brewer: New Hampshire, USA / Redhook Brewery

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Porter / 5.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Pureed pumpkin, light chocolate, munich, and caramel malts, roasted wheat, oats, and local malted barley come together in this dark draught, before it is light hopped with northern brewers hops. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are added during brewing, and maple syrup is added during fermentation.  It’s also worth noting that this is the fifth entry in their Brewery Backyard series.

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Packaging: Non-applicable. This sucker is only available on draft at the breweries Cataqua Pub in Portsmouth, NH and a few select north-eastern bars. (Unless you have a sweet blog and get a special bottling. Ba-zing!)

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Color:  7.5

Stout black, but if I hold it to the light it glows a ghostly amber. I have to say, the bold appearance of this brew makes me suspect that it has a bold character to it’s body. A vigorous pour will allow for a thick frothy cream colored head, and the lacing is pretty impressive, clinging to the glass the whole time. – Rick

As I poured it was almost like pouring a cola.  As the glass filled the color settled to a touch deeper chestnut with a slight beige head.  It’s a dark porter by color but you can still catch a glimpse of a trail or two of carbonation escaping to the top – Brittney

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

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Aroma:  7.5

Earthy and robust with nutmeg and cinnamon in the nose, the spices are fairly pronounced giving me the feeling that looks had best not deceive me, and this better be a pretty rich beer if it’s going to hold up to the fragrance wafting off the head. – Tim

The smell is promising.  In a season that has been shall we say ‘unique’ in our usual definition of pumpkin beer, I really get the pumpkin and spices.  The only thing that sticks out as slightly different is a touch of a maple and caramel.  So far Red Hook is staying with the autumn spirit and I’m a fan. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 8 / R- 6

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Mouth feel:  6

A sizzling fizzy tingle that wraps the tongue in tiny bubbles. Medium bodied and avoiding any syrupy plaguing aspects.  I do wish we could have tried this one on tap, if only to get a bit more of a creamy nitro smoothness. – Mike

Lush and smooth, it coats the tongue.  Not so full bodied that I feel like have to think hard before I can swallow it, but definitely high on the fullness scale. It’s such a smooth beer, with just a hint of carbonation, that I fondly recall youthful efforts to drink certain other stouts/porters by leaving as few rings as possible on the glass. – Tim

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

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Tasting notes:  7

An immense burst of pumpkin and cherry cola, the cinnamon becomes much more noticeable here. The maple sweetness is very much subdued, and to it’s credit, keeps this beer firmly in the porter category, allowing it to be a bit of passing sweet, rather than liquid pie spice. – Mike

There are a lot of flavors going on here all at once.  This makes a great tasting beer but it is sort of hard to grasp them all. The pumpkin and nutmeg are the front-runners, the caramel provides a smooth base and the cinnamon is sprinkled throughout.  I was worried that the maple could be an overly dominant flavor when brought into the equation but it just subtle enough to not overshadow. – Brittney

This beverage has a good pumpkin presence with a nice cinnamon spicing. Further inspection reveals a nice smoky body with a hint of clove and cocoa mingling about. About half way through the glass something strange happens to the flavor, kind of developing a cola flavor on the finish. Very strange, but not awful. – Rick

Concentrated notes of dark, caramel malts and a chocolate hit right off the bat. Roasted (almost caramelized) pumpkin accents a breath of cinnamon which is given the most prominent spice position in the body.  Just a hit of hoppy bitterness comes out on the end—making for a very complex overall experience. – Tim

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

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Finish:  7

Roasted nuts in a brown sugar glaze gives way to a slightly bitter wash that leaves the tongue feeling a bit dry, and begging for that next sip. – Mike

It’s got a great clean finish (I would have anticipated something much longer) with outstanding notes of coffee and ginger.  – Tim

I like the smoothness of this beer, but it tends to have a watery body that is lighter than expected. The finish is also where this bizarre hint of Dr. Pepper reveals itself, which wasn’t apparent in the beginning of the tasting. It just kind of developed about half way through. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 5.5

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Flavor balance:  7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7.5

Very well balanced, almost too balanced for my liking.  I’m more of a frolic through the autumn fields grabbing one flavor at a time and appreciating it for all of its nuances before moving on to the next. This one puts you on the Autobahn and wishes you well. – Brittney

This is such a complex porter—with big bold flavors competing— it’s a testament that nothing really overpowers the beer. The spices in the nose are echoed to a lesser degree in the body and change up on the finish—while the overall essence of roasted pumpkins stays in harmony throughout.  It’s really a very nicely balanced beer. – Tim

Well in check, I’d go as far to say the real achievement in this brew is that nothing hides. Each element described is definitive, and unmasked by it’s other components. It’s like surround sound for your tongue. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 8

I like the light smoky body of this beer. The cocoa presence along with cinnamon and a little pumpkin really build upon the smokiness and create a nice balance. – Rick

I enjoyed the touch of sweet and finish of bitter in this beer a lot. Very polarized in it’s approach, it offers a unique experience that reminds me a bit of a pumpkin cola up front, and like a pumpkin coffee — black– on the backend. – Mike

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

–         Multiple Drinkability?  7.5

I’m not going bananas over this beer, but it is up my alley. It definitely has some unique flavorings happening which makes it a little more interesting. – Rick

There are a lot of beers that I’d pair with food, but not a ton that I think would rock against a big bad Thanksgiving feast.  With the swagger on display here, I’d put this bad boy up against my mama’s gut buster spread any day.  And, you can imagine it’d take at least 2 or 3 of theses to get though all those carbs. – Tim

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

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Overall:  7.08

M- 7.25 / T- 7.50 / B- 7.42 / R- 6.33