I got back to pumpkin ales today, after finding Shipyard Brewing Co.’s Smashed Pumpkin at Whole Foods last night. Intrigued by the description and the high alcohol content, I wasn’t sure what to expect but in the end was not surprised with the outcome.

This pumpkin ale comes in a nice golden amber hue but the head disappears soon after pouring, leaving little, if any, lacing. The nose is packed with sweetness, like honey, and pumpkin with cloves and nutmeg. Upon the first sip, these really come out and the thick body feel makes it syrupy. In fact, it’s so sweet it almost tastes like cola. The hops in this beer are drowned out but there is a tickling bitterness in the back of the palate. Despite the low carbonation, it’s refreshing and I easily drank this one a little too fast but could tell, what with the 9% ABV. Pair this with pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread, or pumpkin anything! It will probably taste exactly like anything you eat with enough pumpkin spice flavoring, but for a contrast, it could be nice to try this with vanilla ice cream or a mild nutty cheese to bring out the spices.

Overall, I found this beer to be true to its title. I feel like it could have been less thick and could have used a little more bitterness from the hops, but it’s definitely drinkable.

Photo credit: blogaboutbeer.com