Rick Franckhauser's picture

Funky Pumpkin

September, 2015
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
20 / 20

Let me say up front that I loved this perfectly balanced yet complex American Sour Ale, but if you are looking for a sour, pumpkin pie-spiced beer you will be somewhat disappointed. This beer pours a slightly hazy copper-orange color with a tight, white foam stand that falls quickly, leaving a nice ring of lace on the glass. The spice comes across more like phenols from the fermentation rather than spice additions, and for me, that is part of what makes it great. The aroma opens with a hit of Brettanomyces, which is not overly funky, and is quickly followed by cinnamon, allspice and a touch of ginger. The spice then melds with some lemon and orange zest tartness. A slight woody character and some toasty malt round out the aroma. With a medium-light body and moderate carbonation, the beer features a little acidic tingle, which is not astringent but rather slightly warming. The flavor starts out sour and citrusy but the spice elements join in with the toasty malt to round it out. The sourness dominates, but is not overpowering, and everything else is in perfect balance. The spice notes make a quick appearance with each sip. The beer finishes dry with a subtle barrel-aged quality. Though this is not a typical pumpkin beer, it is still a delectable treat for early autumn.