Dan Preston's picture


November, 2015


Judges Rating: 
16 / 24
6 / 6
26 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

You either love or loathe pumpkin beer season – there’s no in-between. Unfortunately for this beer, I’m of the latter. I’m not sure when most pumpkin beers became straight spice beers, but I wish they’d be as they sound: A beer with some actual pumpkin in it. This pumpkin porter unquestionably went the spice route. It pours an admittedly beautiful very deep brown that is nearly black. You can only really see through its garnet edges, but it seems to have great clarity to go along with a fluffy tan head. It opens with a huge bouquet of spices. Nutmeg takes the forefront and overwhelms most of the rest, but there is some cinnamon, allspice and finally a touch of pumpkin following behind. Hidden well underneath all of this is a light roastiness and some toffee sweetness from the base porter style. The flavor is also spice-driven, though not quite as nutmeg-dominant as the aroma, and it intermingles with allspice, cinnamon, peppercorn and clove notes. All of this spice combines with a fairly light body to make the beer feel like potpourri on the tongue. There’s just barely enough porter there to remind you this is, in fact, a beer. These type of beers are meant to have the spices be complementary to the base beer, but in this case they completely overtake the porter. A little more porter and much less spice would do this beer wonders.