Monday, November 5, 2012

Kern River Pumpkin Ale

Type: Pumpkin Ale
Origin: Kernville, CA
Price: $5.25/22oz
ABV: 6.0%
NSP: 7.43

Tucked into this one ~15 minutes before the kickoff of the Colorado-USC game.  Partially as preemptive medication, partially out of superstition.  You know, pumpkin, Cinderella, the whole underdog thing.  Yeah, it's a reach.  But when you're a CU football fan, all you have is reaches.

I like pumpkin (particularly in pie form, of course...if you don't like pumpkin pie, you're a Communist).  And I like beer, obviously.  But I've never been big on the combination of the two.  I'm all about the change of pace right now though, so here goes.  In addition to the obvious pumpkin, this is brewed with allspice.  Both are clear in the aroma and they combine to produce a sweet & spicy scent.   There's also an unexpected funkiness, and when you put it all together, it surprisingly doesn't smell all that different from a brett saison, though with enhanced richness.

The flavor is, well, a bit dull.  Right up front it tastes like an uninspired amber ale.  Just some malt and a light touch of hop bitterness.  The finish improves the situation, because the pumpkiny sweetness and allspicy, uh, spice come in and give it a bit more flavor.  The best features, in my opinion, are the clean finish and the light body.  But as a pumpkin beer, it's not terribly impressive.  Just sort of unremarkable.  Certainly not enough to inspire the Buffs to whip the stepmother's bitch ass with a glass slipper.

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