Pumpkin Season

My husband and I took on the challenge of finding the best pumpkin beer! I picked up 6 varieties at my local liquor store and he was the rests:

*I marked my husbands notes with (S)

Elysian: Night Owl

Bottle Description: Brewed with pumpkin, roasted and raw pumpkin seeds, and spiced in conditioning nutmeg, clove cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: light pumpkin, cinnamon (S: pumpkin pie)

Taste: cinnamon forward, malty finish (S: not hoppy, malty, spices aren’t too strong)

Dogfish Head: Punkin Ale

Bottle Description: Brown Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: No real pumpkin aroma, pear/apricot, similar to an Oktoberfest (S: a little spice, but not distinct)

Taste: Malty, coriander, nutmeg (S: brighter in profile to the Night Owl, vague pumpkin spice)

Lakefront Brewery: Pumpkin Lager

Bottle Description: Lager brewed with real pumpkin and spices

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: Brown sugar, pumpkin (S: some pumpkin, some nutmeg)

Taste: Dark malt, brown sugar, molasses (S: a little sweet, no bitterness, some nutmeg)

Blue Moon: Harvest Pumpkin Wheat

Bottle Description: Brewed with real pumpkin and spices

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: Brown malt (S: no pumpkin or spice)

Taste: Malty, slight pumpkin, cinnamon after taste (S: no real pumpkin spice)

Shipyard Brewery: Pumpkinhead

Bottle Description: Ale with natural flavors added

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: strong coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla (S: coriander)

Taste: cinnamon, not brown ale, lighter in character, slight hop finish (S: very light, not bitter, some spice, mild overall, a little brown sugar)

New Belgium: Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

Bottle Description: Pumpkin Ale featuring cinnamon and habanero chili peppers for just the right amount of heat.

Our Tasting Notes:

Smell: Honey (S: not much spice, honey)

Taste: Honey, slight pumpkin front, spice chili pepper finish (S: spicy…literally. Heat is not unbearable. slightly sweet at first, not hoppy, finishes with heat)

Mikaila’s ranking order:

  1. Elysian, Night Owl
  2. Lakefront, Pumpkin Lager
  3. Shipyard, Pumpkin Head
  4. Blue Moon, Harvest Pumpkin Wheat
  5. Dogfish Head, Punkin Ale
  6. New Belgium, Atomic Pumpkin

Scott’s Ranking Order:

  1. Elysian, Night Owl
  2. Dogfish Head, Punkin Ale
  3. Lakefront, Pumpkin Lager
  4. Blue Moon, Harvest Pumpkin Wheat
  5. Shipyard, Pumpkin Head
  6. New Belgium, Atomic Pumpkin

I hope this helps pick your perfect pumpkin beer this season! Enjoy responsibly!

xoxo, Mikaila