National Off-Licence

Blog posts of '2014' 'October'

Help the Halloween Party- 28 October 2014

Pumpkin Beer

Ghosts, witches and vampires? No no, everyone knows what Halloween is really about, and that’s Pumpkin brews! And we have some very limited release pumpkin brews for discussion today; Brew Dog's "Pumpkinhead", Brooklyn Brewery’s “Post-Road Pumpkin Ale”, Flying Dog’s “The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale” and our very own Trouble Brewing’s more simply titled, “Pumpkin brew”.

We’ll keep it close to home first off with “Pumpkin Brew” from Kildare’s Trouble Brewing. This has been a draught staple the last few Halloweens and this year they’ve decided to bottle it for the first time. A deep-amber ale, it’s brewed with roasted pumpkin and appropriate spices. It pours like a typical Irish amber would, with light carbonation and a one-finger fluffy white head. The spices are apparent on the nose but not overpowering, there’s subtle nutmeg and cinnamon, with some root vegetable hints underneath soft toffee malt. On the palate the pumpkin comes through a lot more, adding a soft, almost savoury edge which is married by the toffee sweetness and finished with a nice spicy linger. At 4.5% this is a great choice for a spooky session!
On to Scotland next, and to Brew Dog's "Pumpkinhead", they're first dabble in the style. In typical Brew Dog style it's wrapped in eye-catching label designed by London based screen print artist Johnathan Reiner. The beer itself is copper coloured with a humble off white head, the aroma having substantial spice and plenty of sweet toffee. The palate has some nice roasted nut that flows well with the pumpkin flavour and allspice notes which ends with a sweet toffee finish. A very good example of the style from these craft beer titans.

Brew Dog pumpkinNext is Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery. This pours a hazier orange-brown colour compared to Trouble’s effort, and has a larger, thicker off-white head. The aroma again showing the classic seasonal spice, but with a sweet caramel base and some roast pumpkin evident. The palate is sticky caramel malt with a good dose of cinnamon and a nice, clear roasted pumpkin element. It’s smooth and sweet with just a little extra body given it’s 5% ABV.

Post RoadLast, but most certainly not least, is Flying Dog’s “The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale”. In true Flying Dog fashion, they haven’t held back for their Samhain Seasonal. What we have here is a 9%, spiced to the nines, all-out monster of a pumpkin ale. Spices fly out of the bottle as soon as the cap is popped. This ale is a serious departure from our two previous examples, pouring deep mocha brown with a thick, beige head. It’s a veritable spice-rack in a glass with lashings of cinnamon, ginger, coriander, aniseed, cloves and possibly much more. There’s molasses and raisin bread in there too, and it’s all fighting for your attention. On the palate the beer is full bodied and quite smooth, even given its devilishly high ABV. Dried fruit, dark, intense roast pumpkin, and spice, spice, spice. The finish will last until next Halloween, it really is something else.

All these beers are in very limited supply so hurry and get to taste them before they get banished for another year!

Happy Halloween!