Brad Darnell's picture

Judge's Review: 87 Rating - Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale by The Boston Beer Co.

September, 2020
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
4 / 6
35 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale by The Boston Beer Co., and I am judging this according to the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, Category 30B, Autumn Seasonal Beer.

A medium-sweet pumpkin and yam aroma greats my nose alongside typical pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. The beer pours mostly clear coppered brown with a medium, swift-fading, off-white head. Medium-sweet brown sugar mixes with a medium-sweet pie crust malt flavor. Medium body and medium-high carbonation are also present.

As I spent more time with the beer, I noticed a light candied ginger spice and vanilla sweetness that complements the other pumpkin pie characteristics nicely. The malt is softly toasted pie crust, higher in the flavor than aroma. There is no perceivable hop aroma or flavor, but a soft and light hop bitterness cuts the malt sweetness slightly towards the end of the palate. The beer finishes dry with some lingering brown sugar and cinnamon character that's similar to cinnamon toast in nature.

This beer begs for an accompanying slice of warm pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream, or as a palate sweetener alongside your turkey, dressing and vegetable accoutrements at a holiday meal.