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Sean Coughlin's picture

The Greater Pumpkin

September, 2015
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

The aroma is complex with elements of cinnamon, oak, vanilla, and ginger atop a bed of biscuity malt with a hint of bourbon in the background. No single attribute sticks out -- this is a textbook example of great balance within a very complex beer. The color is medium-amber with substantial haze and a medium-sized, creamy, light khaki head that stands for a very long time. The flavor profile aligns with the aroma, complemented by sweet pumpkin pie up front and bourbon in the finish. The bourbon comes through a bit too much as it warms, dominating what was an otherwise extremely well balanced brew. There's no hop character to speak of aside from a perfect level of bitterness to reign in the sweetness and remind you that you are indeed enjoying a beer. There is a slight hint of alcohol warmth in the mouthfeel, which fits in nicely for the style. This is a beer that drinks beautifully on its own but also plays well with others. This would be an ideal candidate for pairing with sweet potato casserole or a slice of warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It would also make a nice addition to your cellar: As the spice and bourbon character drops a bit over time, the malt character will intensify -- making for an interesting comparison to a fresh bottle.