Posts tagged ‘Uinta’

2012 Rankings and the start of a new season

GPBR All Bottles 2

It’s that time again. We are sallying forth to acquire and consume more gourd infused carbs than any human rightfully should, with the noble goal of ranking it on a list face-off style. Of course, no comic book battle royale is complete without finding out who came out on top, so without further ado here are our rankings for the combined 2012 and 2011 beers we’ve covered so far. With 60 beers ranked, and a bevy of others pumpkin libations covered, it’s not an easy choice. In fact, we’ve got a couple of ties on the list, so don’t get confused by the funky numbering. Likewise, we’re also breaking down our top five personal picks, and our lowest ranking.
The battle isn’t over yet though. There’s a bevy of beverages coming up this season, and a few surprises in store as well. So stay tuned, and start picking up this year’s offerings. They’re already hitting the shelves.

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Top 10 Beers to Date Score

10. Punkin Ale – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  Score: 7.58

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Named for Delaware’s famous Punkin’ Chunkin’ events (seriously cool if you’re a late comer to discovery channel this time of year) Dogfish took home first prize for this recipe 6 months before they opened for business in 1994. It’s brewed with the pumpkin meat straight up, organic brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Notable Quotes

“A very fine ale this is. It’s a well balanced beer that utilizes all senses to fully enjoy it. I enjoy the balance of malts and hops underneath the various spices that all come together to make this a great brew!”

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7. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale – The St. Louis Brewery *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Schlafly is brewed with Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove, and features the use of Marynka hops, 2-row and Crystal malted barley, Munich malt, wheat malt, chocolate malt, and American Ale yeast, for a malty and slightly bitter backbone.

Notable Quotes

“The pumpkin at the front of this lulls you into a false ideal that this is a good representation of a pumpkin beer but nothing special. They then use the spice as their ace in the hole. It’s slightly over-whelming to the palate, but in a good way. This beer has just enough earthy pumpkin up front and an assault of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon at the end.”

Schalafly

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7. Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin – Uinta Brewing *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67

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.

Notable Quotes

“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.”

Oak Jacked WEB

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7. Blight Pumpkin Ale – Elysian Brewing *3 Way Tie*  Score: 7.67
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Blight is the 9th of Elysian’s 12 Beers of the Apocalypse that were released monthly throughout 2012. Each features a label borrowing graphics from native Seattle artist Charles Burn’s apocalyptic graphic novel “Blackhole”. The brew itself is made with pumpkin, dark brown sugar, and fiery Vietnamese cinnamon.

Notable Quotes

“Sweet, sweet sugary pumpkin with a PTSD inducing amount of brown sugar and Saigon cinnamon. That’s all. Seriously. It tastes amazing, but it almost shouldn’t count as beer. Kudos on the coalescence of flavors though, this could have easily tipped into the cinnamon mouthwash category, but someone nailed it.”

Blight_02

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5. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.) *Tie*  Score: 7.75

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Brewed with Two-Row Pale Malt Blend, Caramel 60, Special B, and Smoked Malt. East Kent, Goldings, and Fuggles hops are then added, along with 28 lbs of real pumpkin the barrel. Spices include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

Notable Quotes

“Wow. This is that deliciously burnt crust pumpkin pie reheat that you get the day after Thanksgiving. Piled in creamy goodness to keep it moist, and then finished with a slice of apple wood smoked bacon — because you’re the guy that eats pie for breakfast. The pumpkin tastes phenomenal, and there is no doubting of it’s presence. This barrel is bursting with squash, and momma slapped that hand away before it got too heavy with the spice. It’s got all the sweetness and weight of a Belgian triple.”

Fat Jack corrected

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5. T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun *Tie*  Score: 7.75

Specialty Prep / Individuality: This demented ale took home the Gold at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, and is made with pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

Notable Quotes

“Thick with roasted malts, lush pumpkin, cocoa nibs, blackberries, dark fruit jam and molasses blending with a notable touches of cinnamon, vanilla and clove. The beer envelops, it’s sweet and bitter all at once with enough pronounced notes of alcohol heat to keep you warm on the long sunless Saturday’s during Alaska’s famed 30 days of night.”

treat1 WEB

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4. Slashed Pumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)  Score: 7.83
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Twenty-two pounds of fresh pie pumpkins are baked, caramelized, and added in the mash, boil, and fermentations stages along with pie spices intended to balance the chocolatey porter. ( This may sound familiar from their offering “The Great Plumpkin“, and with good reason.) It is then finished with chipotle peppers to give it a mild Smokey burn. Another nicety for some additional flair is the garnish of a deep fried Pumpkin Grit Fritter made with Anson Mills Organic Heirloom Grits, pumpkin, spices, and a drizzle of honey for sweetness.

Notable Quotes

“The pumpkin aspects are accented very well by the porter’s smoky qualities and the malty sweetness is just right without being too cloying. It’s a unique addition to a pumpkin beer, but the chipotle spice gives this porter a great finish.”

Slashed pumpkin

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2. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub) *Tie*  Score: 8.25
(No longer in production)

Specialty Prep / Individuality: 18 lbs of pie pumpkins are baked and caramelized in the emporium’s bakery, and are then used in both the mash and boil to add flavor, texture, and sweetness. Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, and a new spice to our equation, Mace, are added to create a uniquely spicy and aromatic finish. Then it’s garnished with a skewered toastette covered in roasted and candied pumpkin seeds.

Notable Quotes

“Deep roasted pumpkin explodes on the palate while the malty spice keeps the ale dry and pleasantly sweet. The shining star here is definitely the smokey roasted notes though, and the garnish offers such a dramatic change in flavor profile, giving a completely different aspect to the ale. Try the first half without it, and then kill it with the toast. It’s a trip.”

great plumpkin

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2. Pumking – Southern Tier Brewing *Tie*  Score: 8.25

Specialty Prep / Individuality: Bewitched and brewed with pagan spirit, Pumking is brewed in tribute to Pủca, the benevolent Celtic goblin of fairy folk lore, who is both respected and feared, but notably a trickster of the highest degree. This beastly beer is brewed with 2-row pale malt, caramel malt, puréed pumpkin, and both magnum and sterling hops.

Notable Quotes

“Huge vanilla cookie notes–that are liable to send neophyte pumpkin beer drinkers running for cover–pop out ahead of pronounced cinnamon, sweet caramel malts and roast pumpkin flavors. It’s toasty and liquory with a background of clove, nutmeg and allspice. Tremendously complex, Southern Tier recommends serving at 40-degrees but as it warms up it displays cognac-like elements that are really unique to this beer.”

Pumking 1

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1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)  Score: 8.83

Specialty Prep / Individuality: All Jacked Up is a traditional style pumpkin ale brewed with 150 lbs of Tampa, FL grown Calabaza Pumpkins that are roasted in the kitchen by Cask & Larder’s Sous chef. The Pumpkins are then added to the mash, boil, and secondary fermented, based on the degree of char they received, along with mace, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and wildflower honey.

Notable Quotes

“I’m really trying not to be a fan girl here but Ron knows how to make a damn good beer. Just the right amount of earthy/squashy pumpkin with a honey sweetness, and just when you think it can’t get any better the finish completely blows you away.”

All Jacked Up 2

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Top 5 Beers by Reviewer to Date:

Mike

1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   9.33
2. Pumking – Southern Tier   8.92
3. T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun   8.83
4. Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin – Hoppin’ Frog   8.75
5. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams   8.67

60. Sarnac Pumpkin Ale   3.25

Tim

1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   9.08
2. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale   8.25
3. Blight Pumpkin Ale – Elysian Brewing *Tie*   8.17
3. Fat Jack Double Pumpkin – Samuel Adams *Tie*   8.17
5. St.-Ambroise Citrouille / The Great Pumpkin Ale   8.00

60. Pumpkinhead – Shipyard Brewing   3.08

Brittney

1. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder)   8.33
2. Southern Tier Pumking *Tie*   8.17
2. Slashed Pumpkin Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub) *Tie*   8.17
4. Harvest Time – Big Boss Brewing   7.83
5. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)   7.67

60. Avery Rumpkin   3.50

Rick

1. The Great Plumpkin – Ron Raike (Shipyard Brewpub)   8.67
2. The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Flying Dog   8.58
3. Pumking – Southern Tier Brewing   8.42
4. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale   8.33
5. Dark O’ The Moon – Elysian Brewing *Tie*   8.00
5. All Jacked Up – Ron Raike (Cask & Larder) *Tie*  8.00

60. Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider 3.50

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Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale – Uinta Brewing Co.

Having already reviewed it’s big brother, we’re delving into Uinta’s more everyday, devil may care offering. Let’s cue the Pogues, dial into Matthew Lilliard circa 1998, and see how it stacks up.

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Name:  Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

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

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 4.00%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Malt and hops accented with organic roasted pumpkin and organic spices of the season including cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, and a  subtle hint of vanilla and honey. Try it with roasted turkey, squash or pumpkin ravioli, peach cobbler, or pumpkin cheesecake. It’s also brewed on the same renewable power system as Uinta’s other beers, as we touched on in our review of their Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

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Packaging:

I love this label. It’s simple and clean and lovely. It’s got an iconic pumpkin that’s already popped it’s top and ready for carving, a compass embossed into the bottle itself, and a well thought out font selection for the description on the side. – Brittney

I love the craft nature of this label, with the graphic intense artwork I’m reminded of letterpress printing styles from the early 20th century.  I also like the “Earth, Wind and Beer” motto which–other than bringing to mind disco–denotes a very artisian zen vibe and highlights the alternative power sources used to produce the ale.  I am, however, at least somewhat confused by the “3% Organic Ingredients” proclamation.  I’m not sure that conveys a ‘homemade’ vibe they must be going for.  Mostly it makes me wonder where the other 97% came from. – Tim

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Color:  7

A fizzy amber ale with nice hay yellow highlights, great clarity, and solid staying power on the fluffy head. – Mike

Wonderful pumpkin-orange copper coloration makes for a very appetizing brew. The thick cream colored head lasts for a bit and leaves nice amounts of lacing behind. – Rick

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

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Aroma:  6.5

I’m immediately struck by the bready notes and fresh vegetal pumpkin on the bouquet. Curiously the aroma on this beer is very understated–which for a pumpkin ale (that generally assaults your senses) is both a welcome change and a puzzling curiosity. – Tim

Funky vegetal greenery and grains with extreme amounts of squashy pumpkin. Some Oat and caramel notes underlay, with dry nutmeg, and ten tons of pumpkin puree. – Mike

M- 7.5 / T- 5 / B- 8 / R- 6.5

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Mouth feel:  6

Smooth velvet washes over the tongue making it easy to drink. Each sip starts with a bold splash, but quickly falls flat over the tongue. – Rick

After a slight fight through the remaining head, this one is light bodied and very active. The carbonation masks most anything else you could find in this as far as mouth feel goes. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 4.5 / B- 7 / R- 5.5

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Tasting notes:  6

If individuality is a virtue, this sucker has it. The gourd presence from the nose stays firmly dominant, and yields both rye and heavy barley with under played nutmeg that tastes as though it’s been freshly ground. – Mike

Earthy like fresh pumpkin guts, sweet breadiness from the malts but light on the spicing with only a touch of cinnamon sneaking in.  The light aroma should have been a tell-tale sign, but I find this ale to be somewhat weak and far too mellow to really stand out. – Tim

Slightly disappointed that the flavor sort of fades away on this one.  The aroma really had me excited for something great but all of the sweet pumpkin you could smell up front gets lost becoming just a slight vegetal taste with a tiny bit of spice.  If you are looking for a less sweet option for an introduction pumpkin beer this is the way to go. – Brittney

Not too much happening with the sweet pumpkin aspect unfortunately. What was captured in the aroma is lost here in the flavor. The gourdy profile turns out to be bitter and a tad souring leaving some sweet spices to be desired. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 5 / B- 7 / R- 4.5

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Finish:  6

Peppery and bitter, the finish was unexpected. I have a feeling that this brew might be indicative of a more traditional or authentic pumpkin ale than what we are used to today, with less spicing and relying on the vegetal quality of the gourd to round out the flavor. – Rick

Short-mid-range finish with a touch of hoppy bitterness and tang, coupled with more bready malts and a hit of caramel-esque sweetness.  I’m actually more of a fan of the finish of this beer than I am of the bouquet and the body.  I guess it’s beneficial to make your last impression a good one. – Tim

M- 6 / T- 6 / B- 8 / R- 4.5

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Flavor balance:  6

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5.5

As understated as this beer is, it almost feels unfair to nitpick the harmony on display here.  I think it needs to get amped way up in both departments–but, as it stands, it’s unquestionably more pumpkin than pie.  And that’d be fine, but it’s not balanced if you’re aiming the entire beer below median level.  – Tim

I’m starting to appreciate this ale more as the glass nears empty. The pumpkin dominant profile is subtly accented by a light addition of spices, which seems to go against the grain of other pumpkin ales. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 4.5 / B- 6 / R- 5

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 6

It tips ever so slightly dry, with grain and spice complimenting a very clean and easy drinking vegetal pumpkin. – Mike

A little on the bitter dry side of the spectrum, but decently well rounded. Worth noting here is a slight sourness of a vegetal quality which knocks back any sweetness as well as helping dry it out. – Rick

M- 6 / T- 5.5 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?  6.5

If you could judge a beer by it’s bottle I would drink this one all night long.  It’s subtlety in flavor makes it a simple one to return to for more than one bottle. – Brittney

While there is a relative lack of complexity to this ale, I think it hollow’s out a comfortable and approachable niche, particularly appealing to the drinker that is turned off by sucrose laden pints, and not yet ready for sour funk or a spice beat down. It’s a simple session, but sometimes that’s what the doctor ordered. – Mike

M- 7 / T- 4 / B- 8 / R- 6

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Overall:  6.25

M- 6.67 / T- 5.33 / B- 7.50 / R- 5.67

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