Sure, it’s Thanksgiving Day. But while people complain about retailers like Wall Mart and Best Buy making their employees come to work, in many places liquor stores are also open (except in Minnesota, of course). So for those of you who somehow forgot to supply yourselves for the holiday meal, here is a last-minute, turkey-worthy recommendation.
Here’s my notes:
Aroma: Vegetal squash and pumpkin pie spices are way up front – allspice, ginger, cinnamon are what I smell, although that’s not apparently what’s in it. Black strap molasses. Graham crackers. Low-level dark chocolate underneath. You get the pumpkin filling and the crust.
Appearance: Very dark brown, nearly black. Ruby highlights. Clear. Full head of creamy, ivory foam with good retention.
Flavor: Vegetal squash notes like acorn squash. Pumpkin pie spices – ginger especially, along with cinnamon. Ginger lingers long after the dry finish. Molasses grabs in the middle and also hangs on into finish. Low malt sweetness. Low-level, dry, chocolate-cookie roastiness. Bitterness is medium-low, but accentuated by dry finish and low-level of dry roast. Toast. Mellow coffee/chickory gets stronger as the beer warms. The pumpkin pie and the coffee to go with it.
Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Low creaminess.
Overall Impression: This is a lovely, unique, and complex beer. Crisp and refreshing, and yet dusky and mouth-filling. Spices are prominent enough to give the sense of eating a slice of pumpkin pie, but not so intense as to make the beer scream “SPICE.” The massive load of pumpkin used (11 pounds per barrel) really do allow for that vegetal squash flavor to come through. And at 7% ABV it’s just strong enough to call it “imperial” but not so strong that you can’t have another. It’s beautiful with a slice of pumpkin pie.